The Wife and I tried for years to get pregnant. At first there was no urgency. We had sort of taken it for granted that we'd have a kid or two, because ... well, everyone did, right? One day we realized that it wasn't happening. Maybe it's a little dumb to stumble upon a cold, hard fact like that out of the blue, but we 1) honestly didn't think there would be any problems getting pregnant, and 2) were petrified at the thought that there might be problems getting pregnant. So acknowledging that was a big, big deal. The clock was running out. We decided to enter the world of fertility treatment.
Fertility treatment was cold and sterile, but it seemed to work. After two treatments through her OB/GYN, we scored a goal. Nancy called me one day when I was away for a writing weekend at a friend's cabin in central Washington. She felt odd and took a pregnancy test, and it came up positive. I sat in my car on the side of the road in lovely downtown Twisp, where I'd driven to get cell phone reception, and marveled at our luck. Was it really that easy? (Answer below.) I went home the next day and we hugged and cried and smiled goofily at each other for an entire evening. A list of names was begun, plans to renovate the basement and convert our office/bedroom into a nursery were plotted. The Wife's first doctor's visit did not go well, though: The fetus's heartbeat was very slow. We scheduled another appointment one week later, and by then the heartbeat had slowed further. It was a sickening trend: The fetus was not going to survive. Almost two months after we got the news, we lost it.
We continued with the fertility treatments, even kicked it up a notch and went to a fertility clinic. We did not care for that experience at all--they were salesmen--but felt it was our only option. The Wife felt we were being sold a bill of goods. When we went in we were told that the chances of our conceiving were slim, so slim that they wouldn't waste everyone's time with in-vitro, but "Hey, come back next week and we'll get you pregnant then." One day, after several months of this, The Wife decided she'd had enough of that. We'd waited too long. We'd been careless. That was that, for her. I’d been edging in that direction, too, but she zipped past me. The issue consumed us; even though it looked like the right thing to do, it was hard to let go. One day at work I had what felt like heart trouble and left, but it turned out to be nothing, except a likely panic attack. Once I figured things out a little better, on my own, I caught up to The Wife. That was that, for me too.
(Tomorrow, Part 2.)