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A Mixed Bag

Yesterday’s mammogram was not as painful or as humiliating as expected. There was no pulling or tugging (maybe I have good breasts for this activity) and much less squeezing than I expected. I wonder if it’s a technology change, a place difference, a perspective, or my own disinclination to look, but I wouldn’t describe it as flattening like a pancake. Thank goodness for that. It was also much shorter than I expected – less than ten minutes. Also surprising: to be given a cape instead of a gown.

capeThis lady’s cape offers far more coverage than my own. I might as well have been wearing a scarf for all the length it offered, barely covering half my back and arms. Which makes me wonder why, exactly, we bother wearing them in the first place. In all, I was glad it wasn’t as dreadful as I expected. In fact, my reaction was much like my daughter’s any time she encounters a new turn of events: “Oh. Well then.”

The mammogram clinic is in the same building, on the same floor, and one door down from the fertility clinic. I hadn’t really thought about that until we pulled into the parking lot and I got the butterflies I always do: happiness, excitement, what if it’s this time, can’t wait until it’s my turn to come back for the first ultrasound…oh.

Cue carefully bottled up sobs. In fact, I think I’m still sobbing somewhere deep inside. It isn’t fair. I know that my wife will want to comfort me (again) and as much as I love her, I’d rather she not. This is my own grief. She has her own somewhere but it isn’t something we share in the same way. I wonder how many mammograms it will take to shrug off the hope of the fertility clinic. It wasn’t one.

It’s hard, but as I dropped my daughter off at school today I was reminded of all the things we can do and she can be without a sibling. The school we can afford. The soft singing I can hear from the backseat. The time I can take to sit at a small table while she ever so carefully drops a single drop of water into a pea-sized cup. All worth the tears. More than worth it.

4 Responses

  1. Oh my the patience, it was making me all sorts of anxious just watching the video of the little water droplets.

  2. Thank you for continuing to share the experience of joy and heartache in the decision to only have one child. I’m not %100 sure where we will land, but I know that it is very likely that Z will be an “only” and there will be some heartache when the decision is final for us. It’s good to watch someone else walk a similar path. And it is so good to see the video clips of your awesome kiddo. I need to start posting Z videos….

    • Yes to videos! And thank you for the comment. It feels like a lonely place, the “I want one more but can’t” club, even though it’s a crowded room. The more sharing the better.

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