The glow from the doctor’s monitor was the only light in the room. Four people crammed together in a tiny room in the back corner of a doctor’s office, searching for a tiny bean.
I’ll be the first to admit that I had absolutely no idea what we were looking for, nor what it would look like once we found it. The doctor and his magical wand of ultrasound. Now, to be fair, we’ve been through this before, though mainly in preparatory visits and to monitor the progress of any follicle growth. Typically, they would locate whatever the object of the day happened to be (follicle, cyst, etc), snap a screenshot, and click for length and width. Easy enough, I know how this game is played. I was convinced that it would be easy enough to keep up.
CLICK. CLICK. CLICK.
But this time we weren’t looking for a follicle, or cyst, or what have you. This time we were looking for a tiny person.
“Infertility” is a heavy word with an even heavier connotation. Besides inviting a trillion invasive questions from friends and families and all too impolite associates, it is an ominous and definitive label that is not always as defining and hopeless as it sounds. But sometimes, it can feel as though the label is thrown out there to help keep your hope and prayers at bay, just in case fortune doesn’t smile on you. A preemptive “thanks for playing”, before the games have even begun. Throughout our four years of marriage, Monet and I have fought to always view that term to define a current state to overcome rather than a diagnosis.
As a newlywed, you’re always asked the same question by single people longing to be in your shoes and by those married long enough to snicker at the naiveté in your answer. “How did you know he/she was the one?” I’ll spare you all the sparkling bells and overcooked superlatives. I was willing to commit my life to this woman was because I stared into her heart and saw her for the delicate and intricately woven snowflake that she is. In her, I saw a shape that I knew all too well; my own.
Our spirits merged together again in Charlotte, shortly after marrying, in a movie theatre parking lot. I cannot, for the life of me, remember what we were going to see but, we caught a preview for a movie titled, “The Odd Life of Oliver Green”. In it, a young couple facing infertility placed their wishes for an unborn child into a box they proceeded to bury in their backyard. Magically those wishes somehow gave life to the child of their dreams. Or something to that effect, I dunno. We never got around to actually seeing that movie. Spoiler alert, sorry.
Anyways, it took every ounce of my testosterone to fight back my tears during this preview. Going through my twenties, I did not father a child despite many of my friends doing so left and right. It left me with an unnatural fear that I may somehow be incapable of having children and that terror has followed me every day of my life. Unbeknownst to me at that time, Monet also shared this soul shattering fear. We both (somehow) managed to hide our tears during the movie but wound up discussing the preview shortly after the movie, sitting in the parking lot. I came clean and admitted my fear, as did she. It was amazing that we both didn’t somehow drown in all the tears that we shed that night. There’s a freedom in true transparency that can only be experienced once you really bare your soul to another. The feeling is entirely indescribable. We drove away that night aware of our innermost terrors and committed to finding a way to overcome them with our faith. Together.
CLICK. CLICK.CLICK.CLICK.CLICK.CLICK. CLICK. CLICK.CLICK.CLICK.CLICK.CLICK.
“That’s a whole lotta clicks, Doc. What in the world is going on? Are you double checking something?
The lights flicked on and our doctor was dead silent as he stood up and removed his gloves and stood up.
His face was beet red.
“Okay, well…”, he started. I noticed his assistant shuffling over to the far corner of the room where I was seated, still trying to count up all those damn clicks. She put a hand on my shoulder.
“We knew this was a possibility…”
My eyes squinted. The assistant’s hand tightened.
“Congratulations. You are very, very pregnant. You’ve got four babies in there.”