“Don’t you see that line?” I asked Mimi holding the peestick up in the sunlight. It was almost eye-deceiving.
“I don’t see it,” she said.
Mimi can be brutally honest, and her eyesight is deplorable. I decided to ask someone else. It was still early to be testing anyway.
It had been a rough six weeks. IVF is the big monster of fertility treatments, and I did it as a single woman. There were a lot of drugs and a lot of drugs that I had to inject myself, some with small needles in the stomach and some with large needles in the butt. There was a lot of money at stake, and nothing was going right. Everyone in the office seemed to be sick, and I aimed a can of Lysol at anyone who looked at me funny. Then on the eve of my retrieval, a very unfriendly letter from the department of internal revenue arrived saying that my return had been selected for examination and that I had to produce all of my receipts in a spate of 10 days and mail them in the itty bitty enclosed envelope.
Shit. Thank you, IRS. Your timing is impeccable.
I tossed the letter aside and concentrated on the retrieval. Retrieval is the term for the egg harvest, and despite the IRS’s evil machinations, there were 19 eggs. NINETEEN! It was almost embarrassing. Eleven fertilized. I was on top of the world… until Day 3.
On Day 3, I got the 7:30 a.m. call with the embryo status report. There were two 8-celled embies, several 6-cells and a bunch that didn’t seem to be amounting anything. An 8-celled embryo on Day 3 is what you want to have; it’s like a Grade A embryo, and I only had two. If there had been more, they would have gone back in the incubator for two more days so that the best could be selected.
“TWO out of ELEVEN?!” I asked. WTH?!
I’d had two glasses of wine the night before—the only two glasses in a month—anticipating that Day 5 transfer, and now I was doomed. I called Lillianna.
“Call your psychic.”
“We’ve been through this before, Bean. The psychic said you were going to have a baby.”
“But what kind of baby?”
“She wasn’t sure.”
We transferred the two Grade As and one of the 6-cells, and I went on bed rest for two days and read trash novels. A book on Eastern medicine I’d read said that pineapple aids in implantation, and I wasn’t taking any chances. I ate pineapple at every meal.
The days afterward were hectic. Work was chaos, and everyone was still sick. I kept the Lysol close by. The woman from internal revenue wouldn’t return my calls requesting an extension, and I developed the nastiest fever blister in the history of the human race. I called it Texas. It was so huge that my face started to look crooked. I was stressed and certain that things hadn’t worked, which were pretty much confirmed by the imperceptible line in the sunlight.
That was Day 11. On Day 12, I started feeling like I was having indigestion in my uterus—funny little pings, going up and down, like little electric currents. “The residual effects of the drugs,” I told myself. Then my acupuncturist, whom I’d gone to see for receipts to send internal revenue, said that my pulse was slippery, textbook slippery, a sure sign of pregnancy, but it could be something else, and had I peed on a stick?
I dared to hope.
On Day 13, I tested again. It was Valentine’s Day, and it was 2:30 in the morning. I figured that five hours of sleep was enough to have concentrated urine.
And I sat there on the toilet looking at the single control line thinking, “There goes $15,000… but then before my wondering eyes did appear another line. This time the line was dark.
I was with Bean.