Last Thursday I received a phone call. The phone call. I’d been expected the used car salesman to ring me up and name his offer on our car. Thursday morning we stopped by the lot, and having checked it over he said, “yes we’re interested in your car, but I need to talk with the boss about pricing. Leave your mobile number with me.” Which we happily did, meaning that I carried my mobile on my person, whereas normally it’s left in my purse in the back office.
But Thursday it was on me. And when it rang, I nipped into the back to answer it away from the students. Good thing for that because twenty seconds later I was in tears.
Results are in. They’re not great. My eggs are quite depleted with .7 pmol/L (or something like that, I’ve only heard the results, not seen the paper detailing the anti mullerian hormone (AMH) test results). The nurse said she was so sorry to deliver bad news, but the consultant thinks my best option for the future would be egg donation. Meaning, not my eggs.
Good on the .7 for hanging in there, even if that basically classifies me as ‘barren’ – it’s better than zero. “You just need one,” said both my husband and mother.
Anyhow – cue the tears, hang up the phone, start the profanity (a kind of medicine not recommended by professionals, but definitely recommended by me). Quiet utterances of ‘fuck’ interspersed with sobs of disappointment. My poor boss opened the door during the phone conversation and saw that look on my face (the ‘ugly cry’ look of uncontrolled emotion), but he handled things very well. After I sucked up my outburst just long enough to fill him in, again rose the tears and he was a great comfort. Poor fellow! It was my last day working with him – leaving on a tearful note really does not represent my time within the library. It’s been all laughs and conversation (plus diligent work habits), even during the chemo months the library has been a place of refuge.
But he responded quite well. Didn’t try to fix anything, just let me go home for a private cry.
And then there was my husband. I called him up thinking ‘can’t share this news over the phone, must relate in person’ so just said: “I don’t feel well and need you to pick me up. Like right now, please.” So he came – but not before running around the flat to change his stained t-shirt and throw on some jeans instead of sweat pants. He thought we were going to the hospital! And when he arrived (I had decided to sit on the ground while waiting, which probably increased his worries), he jumped out of the car, and again I broke into a fit of tears –
“I got the results and they say I can’t have children.”
You should have seen his relief! Relief. I wasn’t sick, we didn’t need to go to the hospital. Considering the panic situations running through his mind, things were okay.
“That’s fine, we’ll be fine.” And he let me cry a little more.
And we will be fine. For a few days, I’ll be grieving the loss of those eggs. Ever since flipping through Zsolt’s baby album I imagined having my own little big-headed baby, and now – well, we’ll see. Unlike a cancer diagnosis, I am not filled with fear. Sadness, yes, because there has been a loss. This is a loss. But no fear – instead there’s hope. There are options, there are possibilities, there are opportunities. And when we’re ready, we’ll see what can be done.
For now, I’m grieving. For today. Maybe again a little later. But Zsolt and I both feel that things will be okay. We want a family, so we’ll get a family (Hello! We already are a family, but children would be a wonderful gift).
And until then, there will be adventures. Moving to Canada, trips around the world, chasing careers, getting involved, making a difference, enjoying life. With every year – every bloom of the roses – I’m reminded that things are always beginning, always full of opportunity.
In time we’ll grow our family. For now, we’ll grow ourselves.
(If you’re reading this and think, ‘oh yeah, I’ve been there,’ I’d really love your advice, or just to hear your story. You can either leave a comment, or post a note on this conversation. Thanks!)