February 11, 2000
She's Here

Cycle 4, Day 33, 14 dpo
Temp: 98.4
Cervical Mucus: Spotting
Cervix: Low, closed, firm

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This is not the entry I wanted to write today. This is not the entry I started out to write. I had about half an entry typed up, about how Eric and I never do anything fun or romantic for Valentine's Day, when I stopped to go to the bathroom and found that I was spotting. Aunt Flo is on her way.

I am at work. I cannot cry. I have to smile and help the nice patrons find their happy books, and joke with my coworkers, and keep my eyes from crinkling with anger or filling with tears of sadness. I can't scream. I can't break things, or stomp around, or vent my frustrations in any way except by typing. And so I type.

I found myself staring at the toilet paper, streaked with red like some kind of bitter Valentine, muttering over and over, "I'm all right. This is all right. I'm not mad. God will give me a baby when He sees fit. When HE SEES FIT!" and suddenly I realized just how very, very angry with God I really am about this whole mess. I've prayed, and I've thought, and I've done everything just right, and still He seems to dangle the goal of pregnancy just out of reach. Why hasn't it happened yet? Don't I deserve it? Doesn't Eric?

I think, I know, that I'll be a good mother. Why can't I be given the chance?

Well, if the old hag is on her way, I wish she'd just get here so that my breasts can stop hurting, at least. I have that much to look forward to, anyway.

I don't feel like talking about Valentine's Day, like I had originally planned. Maybe I'll be in a better mood by Monday and I'll have cute stories about the wonderful things Eric has done to cheer me up this weekend, and how he made the whole thing better, almost. Oh, Eric! I don't want to have to tell him that this wasn't our month again. He was nervously excited last night when I was so nauseated that I couldn't eat more than a few bites of dinner. As he put it, "I'm alive with the possibilities." I don't relish the coming moment in which I'll have to wipe out his anticipations with a few words. Happy Valentine's Day, Sweetie. We failed again.

Somehow, I don't think a box of candy conversation hearts is going to brighten the holiday for us this year. Neither will the champagne that I'll actually be able to drink. Nothing much worth toasting.

A hidden part of me is trying to console me with thoughts of, "Well, the timing wasn't just right yet. You didn't really want to be in a wedding at seven months pregnant, anyway. This way, you'll be a little less heavily pregnant during the hottest months of summer. It'll be better this way! Plus, you'll have more time to save for when you're not working."

I want to smash that voice. I don't want to be logical, I want to be pregnant.

My nausea didn't disappear with the knowledge that I'm not carrying a child, so I'll have to assume that I'm getting some sort of stomach illness. Isn't that a kick in the teeth? I haven't had any sort of major nausea-inducing sicknesses since childhood, and I haven't vomited for any reason at all for about six years now (there were these parties my freshman year of college, you know?). I don't want to break my "streak" now. It's just not worth it! I've got a baggie containing a lemon-juice-saturated paper towel in my pocket, and I've been sniffing at it whenever the need has arisen all morning. I will not puke I will not puke I will not puke. Not here. Not in front of the children.

I don't handle getting sick very well, so it's a good thing that it doesn't happen often. I remember a few years back when something hit me, right after Eric had left college for Spring Break. I was supposed to leave the next morning, but suddenly I was running a fever of a hundred and two and was too weak to lift a finger. I stumbled down to the apartment downstairs that Eric shared with a mutual friend, and he let me crash on the sofa. I was completely delirious; I remember trying to call Mom and bursting into tears when Cory told me that she wasn't home. She ended up driving up to West Virginia to pick me up rather than waiting for me to recover enough to drive home. I was never so happy to see her face as I was in the moment she appeared at my door.

Maybe the reason I don't get sick very often is that I've already paid my dues; When I was a baby, I had major medical problems. I've mentioned my kidney problems, and for years I had to daily take a couple of liquid medicines to deal with those. All I remember is that one was pink and the other was green, and Mom usually let me decide which one I wanted to take first. They were equally foul tasting, so the episodes invariably ended with me being held immobile by one parent while the other forced my jaws open and poured the liquid down my throat while I coughed, spluttered, and gagged. Years of this, I went through, and to this day, I still cannot make myself take any kind of liquid medicine.

I was also born with a cyst in my skull, and when I was almost two, I underwent surgery to remove it. In the hospital pictures, I am smiling and cheerful as I hold my new stuffed animals, bought by worrying parents. Mom kept a drawing I made, though, of my MRI. In my babyish scrawl, I sketched a macabre scene: I am in the center of the page, lying under a large piece of equipment. There are very large sweat beads flying out from my face, and my face is petrified. In the upper-left hand corner of the paper, there is a small rectangle - a window. The faces of my parents and a doctor are looking out at me from very far away. It's the most pitiful thing I've ever seen in my entire life.

Before this past weekend, I'd never broken a bone. All of my major malfunctions have involved major organs. Aren't I lucky?

I'm feeling a bit better now. I think I might be able to actually carry on a conversation with a coworker or patron without bursting into tears. This journal is such a godsend.

I think I'm not so mad at God anymore, though that's obviously something on which I'm going to have to do some more thinking. I'm not surprised, though; I've never been able to hold much of a grudge. My temper tends to burn like sulfur: quick and hot, and then it's out.

A toddler just came into my area, alone, and ran to put Barney in the rocking chair. I think I'm going to go help her find a book. I think it will do me a world of good.

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