I was so excited and hopeful going into my appointment today to get my pregnancy blood test, that I genuinely forgot that I might not get the news I so eagerly sought. My wife and I went for lunch afterward, trying to kill the two-ish hours it was going to be before we got “the call” about our results.
I stuffed my face with Chipotle’s tacos and thought, “This is the last food I’ll eat before I get the news of my life forever changing.”
I was wrong.
I’m not pregnant.
My first attempt at IVF didn’t succeed like I had so believed it would. I convinced myself that these sorts of things only happened to “infertile” women, and that wasn’t me. I’m gay. That’s my fertility issue. So naturally I thought that a little sperm was all we needed to make the dream of a family become a reality.
Not the case.
I’m not pregnant.
Sure I feel like a moron. I was told going into this that there was only a 20-30 percent success rate. But for some ridiculous reason, I didn’t believe that would apply to me. I was going to be pregnant. Wham bam thank you sperm.
The fertility center called two and a half hours almost on the dot after our appointment. Sara and I were resting on our bed, trying to stay calm more than anything.
“Babe, babe, it’s them,” I nudged her as the phone rang and my caller ID showed it was our fertility center.
“Oh my God, oh my God,” she rose.
“Greta, hi. I have you on speaker phone. Sara is right here, too,” I said, wanting Sara to hear the great news at the exact time I did.
“Ladies, I’m sorry, but I don’t have very good news. The blood test was negative.”
I looked at Sara. She was staring at the phone. White. I looked back at the phone.
“Okay,” was all I was able to say.
“I’m sorry. I know this wasn’t the news you wanted.”
I was silent. I looked again at Sara, she at me this time.
“Okay,” was still all I was able to say.
“So now you call us when you get your period and we’ll start again,” Greta sweetly said.
I managed an, “Okay, thanks Greta,” and hung up the phone.
I held the phone in my hand, staring at it for what felt like an eternity.
Did they test the right blood? Could they be wrong? Maybe I am pregnant and they just made a mistake somewhere. Wait, what do you mean I’m not pregnant? I had two “textbook” embryos transferred into me. What the F*CK happened to them??
I’m not pregnant.
Sara held me. And called my mother.
And for the second time since I made our journey to motherhood public — the first time being the night before our first visit to the fertility center — I questioned why in the world I’m sharing all of this with you. I wanted to run and hide, and keep our failure to ourselves. I didn’t want to tell my family, you, and the countless friends — from childhood summer-camp friends to current coworker-friends to my greatest and dearest friends — all of whom have been cheering Sara and me along, sending us prayers and well-wishes, and following our story, that there is no baby. That neither of the two embryos made it. That my body did not do what we all were praying it would.
But I’m not pregnant. And this is my story.
Since I began this journey, I have found strength in strangers and loved ones alike. I have heard from other women, some of whom I’ve never met and others I haven’t seen since schooldays, that they have found strength in my journey. My intentions when I first began this voyage was to start a family. And I’ve gained one I never expected to. It might not be of the crying-infant type, but it has been born nonetheless from something steeped in love and support. And it gives me the strength to keep going.
That is why I share my story.
Pregnant or not.
Next month, we will “Get back on the horse” (as an old friend so rightly told me to do), and we will try again. And we will keep at it until that darn test comes back positive.
Read more of Aela’s writing at Two Moms Make A Right
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