“I never could have imagined that we would be doing this.” My husband said, shaking his head as he tied the last string on my hospital gown.
I perched nervously on my unforgiving hospital bed, wondering how long I could hold out before putting on the awful hair net trembling in my hands.
Two years of charting and needles and specialists and procedures and waiting and disappointment and this was our last chance.
I had spent months preparing. I had agonized over timing, breathed through the daily barrage of needles and stalked my nurse for constant reassurance. All we could do now was hope our last try brought our happy ending.
My rigid mattress fought against my need to relax as I welcomed the nurse, her shiny tray of morphine glistening, the only element that had a chance at quieting my raging nerves.
We talked about nothing and everything to pass the time. My husband, offering up plans for our landscaping and a restaurant he thought we should visit to distract me, I, bringing the conversation back, over and over again, to the road we were, hopefully, embarking on.
Slowly, the edges of my nerves began to soften, comfort began seeping in and I debated donning my hair net. I relaxed back into my filmy sheets and pulled the heavy warmth of the blankets at my feet up over my shaking legs.
We heard the rumblings of foreign conversation in the room next to us and launched into stories of shock and disbelief at our outcome if there were a mix up that day. Clearly my morphine had taken effect.
A doctor entered, covered in surgical garb, his face barely visible under the mint green mask. This small figure was not my doctor. The tall, brooding man whose expertise I had entrusted our future in was “unable to make it in today,” the unfamiliar voice explained, unapologetically to our expectant faces. He had “reviewed my charts” and would carry out everything just as we had previously discussed. There I sat, prepped physically and emotionally for this day. There was no turning back.
“There is just one thing I want to talk to you about,” this new figure in our room began, “you had agreed on the transfer of two embryos, is that correct?” I nodded, wide-eyed, as he continued, “I think it is best we implant three today.” He paused, looking down at his chart that had defined my life for the past two years and hopefully the next nine months, “I believe three will ensure success.”
Before my sane, unmedicated, clear-thinking husband could utter a reasonable word I spoke up,
years of disappointment and desperation for a baby, mixed fiercely with the morphine running deeply through my veins.
Yes, we will implant three, I told him, with the glazed over smile of a woman full of hormones and pain medicine and want.
Then the whole world shifted.
This post was written in response to the Red Dress Club prompt:
Write a piece that begins with the line, “I could never have imagined” and ends with the line, “Then the whole world shifted.”
Bring on the critiques, I’m ready this week…
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To think that such simple things changed your fate. If it had been you regular dr, if this dr had not made the suggestion, if you hadn't already had the morphine, if your husband had spoken first. This was very well written! Great job!
I often think the same, writing it all out made it that much more defining.
So strange to think that are whole life can change from the events of just a
few moments. Thanks so much for reading.
arms wide open says
beautifully written. i cannot imagine the emotions that would come with being desperate in that moment.
Nancy C says
You're so good. Your words touch me, linger, leave me wanting to read you all day.
This is so beautiful Jessica. Knowing your story and who those three became makes this all the more powerful.
I love this line "a woman full of hormones and pain medicine and want." It's so realifying; I've never been there, sitting on that table, but your words make me feel as though I have.
"Yes, we will implant three…"
What a wonderfully written sharing. This us beautiful.
This is beautifully written Jessica. I could see, hear, and feel what you were going through. I really loved this.
Branson Merrill says
I love to be critiqued, and it really makes me wish I had something to offer… but I don't. I loved it.
Jessica this was great! I love the sonogram at the end, the implication.
I come here time after time because of your talent, your writing, and the way you tell a story. This was wonderful.
Leighann, this was just a wonderful comment. I can't thank you enough.
Jessica, from what I've read paging through your stories, to say your world shifted is an understatement.
Memoir is such a challenge to "critique," since it's your truth and your voice. I like your style, forthright but descriptive, and with a spark of humor, the loopy "softening" that comes with the narcotics – and the way your "voice" kind of fuzzes out during the morphine-y bits.
Wow…that was a defining moment in so many ways…if he hadn't said, 3 will ensure success…. wow…wow…
reminds me of the movie "sliding doors" with Gwyneth Paltrow. One moment can alter things in a staggering way.
I so enjoyed reading this!
Wow – I love reading your responses to this writing meme. 🙂
I loved the details of the hairnet, the filmy sheets, the foreign conversation in the next room. I was surprised that the weirdness of a different doctor wasn't commented in this piece on by you (I figured Morphine) or by your husband especially since he seems so verbal.
Kelly G in ATX says
Of all the ones I read today, your was one of the only ones that used the first line of the prompt as a line of dialogue. I hadn't thought of that! It was a clever use of it and was a great hook for your tale. I liked too that the procedure was a bit mysterious at first; it made me want to keep reading to find out what was happening. I am torn about how it ended; part of me wishes there was a little bit more before the final line, but not knowing your story, I don't know what you could have added. Beautiful piece! And I'm glad that it had a happy ending in the long run :o)
What a momentous day!
To say your world shifted is quite an understatement, knowing where the journey took you. A beautiful post, my friend.
the same happened with us – we went from 2 to 3 on the table! we've often wondered about the 'what-if's' –
thanks so much for sharing your experience so eloquently! i'll never forget how it all started, tho at the same time it all started, it was also the end of that harrowing part of the journey!
Wow! Implanting 3 definitely would make the whole world shift!
Very well written, Jessica!
Wow. This is just incredible. Both the writing and the story. I can't believe they had you make a decision like that at the last minute with a different doctor and under the influence! But it sure sounds like you made the right one. I have twins (they were spontaneous), and I can't imagine triplets. But more than that, I can't imagine none.
This was beautiful.
Oh friend! There is no way I could possibly critique this piece.
First, because I'm sitting her with a lump in my throat and goosebumps on my arms.
Second, because your descriptions were so well crafted that I was IN the room with you, sitting on that hard mattress, listening to the sounds of mumbled conversation. My stomach was fluttery waiting for the doctor. You swept me from my little computer desk to an exam room with your words.
Third, because I know the outcome and I know part of your journey and realize that, indeed, the whole world shifted.
This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
I felt like I was right there with you, especially with those last few lines. Thanks for sharing your story.
Jessica Anne says
Beautiful post. I can't believe you had to make that decision so suddenly and medicated.
I have written about our IVF journey on my old blog. I remember having a similar discussion the day of our transfer because our prior treatments hadn't worked. I wanted to put in 3 embryos but my RE dissuaded me. She said it wouldn't increase our chances of conception that much and she also thought our embryos looked so good that we'd end up w/ twins. Lo and behold, we did.
I am always pleased to encounter another IVFer….thank you for sharing your story!
d, the undomestic ho says
Wow.. I felt like I was right there with you — you're story is incredible, and so touching Jessica. Simply beautiful.
angie (sevenclowncir says
This gave me absolute chills. I've wondered about your story. Have you shared more of it here?
Thanks Angie. The story of my triplets and our loss can be found here: http://fourplusanangel.com/hadleys-story/. Thanks for wanting to learn more.
Law Momma says
This is just gorgeous.
I love everything about it!
Thank you, that means a lot after just being wrapped up in your writing. I could spend hours on your blog. You have amazing talent.
Wow! This is simply beautiful…Thank you for sharing this part of your journey!
I really liked sharing this, knowing others have sat in that exact same spot. Thanks for reading.
Elena @NaynaDub says
This was a beautiful post – you had no reason to be worrying last night as I saw you were on Twitter. 🙂
Thanks Elena, maybe I should start sending them to you early for reassurance.
Oh Jessica, thank you for sharing the beginning of your journey with us. Would they really throw a curve ball like that at the last minute, three instead of two? Wow.
I know, at the time, I was so mellowed out that I didn't think a thing of it but once I was unmedicated my husband and I talked and talked about how strange it was to have to make that kind of decision so quickly.
Wow, this gave me chills. I can't even imagine. I was shocked to find out I was carrying two, three? Wow. About the doctor, that is the way it always seems to go. Why is your doctor always out of town or on vacation when you go into labor or something to that effect? Oh well…
That is the way it goes isn't it? I remember freaking out everytime my nurse or doctors weren't available during the little steps of IVF and for him not to be there at the most important time was so scary.
So amazing and wonderful!
Theta Mom says
Yes, the world does shift – and what a life changing decision to have to make…thanks so much for sharing!
One of those things that you never realize just how life changing it can be until after the fact, thanks so much for reading.
Beautiful and scary at the same time..
You said it perfectly, it was absolutely both.
How amazing! My friend has twins, and wants another baby but she has to decide how many of her frozen embryos to use. What a difficult decision to make!
Such decisions. So nice if it would just come naturally for all of us.
By Word of Mouth Mus says
Beautiful … I remember being in that room.
Watching on the screen as they guided the tube.
Transferring life I kept on telling myself … but it wasn't to be.
Have a wonderful weekend Jessica!
I'm sorry, I hope this didn't bring back painful memories. I get clouded with our loss and forget that we are so lucky that our last chance worked at all. Hugs to you.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend as well.
By Word of Mouth Mus says
Oh sweet Jessica, I didn't want to make you feel badly – you move me so much with how you write.
It just took me back to all of that, a time when no one understood what I was going thro … wish I had known you, and blogs back then!
Shortly thereafter we adopted Tas … and boy, did my world shift 😉