The Dichotomy in my Heart

This is a story about a miscarriage. Well kinda sorta. Perhaps it’s more of a story about making a decision.

On January 6, 2007, I went into my obstetrician’s office to do a repeat ultrasound. They didn’t tell me that the reason they requested a repeat was because the heartbeat on the first ultrasound had been low, and that the doctor wanted to make sure that the baby was okay. In fact, the person on the other end of the phone (possibly a nurse), said “nothing is wrong, just wanted to follow up.”

This phone call came the day before Christmas break. The person on the phone offered me appointments the following week for the ultrasound. My then-husband and I had plans to travel out of state to see friends, and were supposed to leave the next day. However, some small voice inside of me screamed, “the doctor thinks something is wrong with your baby,” and I wanted to postpone those travel plans to come in for the ultrasound on Monday.

“Oh, sweetie, don’t cancel your travel plans,” she told me. “Let’s just make an appointment for when you are back in town after the holidays.”

“Why? I mean if something could be wrong, shouldn’t I come in as soon as possible?”

I remember her acting as if I were strange to operate on such negative pretenses. Maybe this lady thought it was her divine calling to reduce negativity and fear in this world.

“I’m not going to tell you want to do, honey. If you want to come in Monday, you can. But I’m telling you there’s no urgency at all. This is just a routine request to follow up. If I were you, I would wait until after my travel plans.”

After asking her again and again why this was okay to wait, (as if she were some kind of psychic), I finally agreed to come in on Jan. 6.

I somewhat lamented that decision that night as we were packing. I didn’t sleep. I was sick of my then-husband and family members telling me that it was the right choice.

But the next morning, upon waking, I suddenly made a very conscious decision to not worry about that ultrasound until Jan 6. I’m not sure why or how I did this, because if you looked up the word, “worrywart” in the dictionary, you could potentially find my picture there. Perhaps I just knew I had no control over the outcome. Perhaps it was simply because I trusted in the nurse’s vote of confidence to wait until after the holidays. Or perhaps it was just some freakishly positive choice I made.

Because that Christmas Break was one of the best I have had during my fifteen years of teaching. We visited friends out of state, and went to Christmas parties and New Years parties and laughed our butts off. We talked with our loved ones about the excitement over our pregnancy. We fantasized and “oohed and ahhhed” over baby clothes and cribs.

And when I went in for my ultrasound on Jan. 6 and was told there was no heartbeat, I was dumbfounded. I have never been a quiet crier, but I really let it all out that day. I wailed in that doctor’s office. I didn’t give a shit who heard me or what happy pregnant mom would freak out by the sounds coming out of the ultrasound room.

“I feel so stupid for allowing myself to think that everything was okay!” I cried. I was disappointed in myself for making the decision to choose to believe that the baby was fine. I wondered what I was thinking, getting all happy and stuff, even after I had heard that small voice inside me that had warned me that something might be wrong.

I was hard on myself. I actually felt embarrassed that I had allowed myself to be happy. It’s that strange, yet familiar, dichotomy of feeling like one should feel hopeful and expect that good things are always happening, while another part of you is feeling like it’s always better to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised.

And I don’t think there’s an easy resolution to that dichotomy. However, I obviously know now that I made the right decision regarding waiting to find out. It would have been hard to find out at either time, but I am thankful for those pleasant experiences I shared with family and friends during those two weeks.

Maybe the point of it all is to know that things always work out. That’s why we shouldn’t worry. And sometimes not getting what we want only sharpens and focuses our desire. It shapes our future decisions into the decidedly right ones, because we now know how good it feels to be happy or to enjoy an experience that we have wanted to have for so long.

Tonight’s recipe is a recipe I made during that break. It is for a veggie dip, and omg, I love it. I make it almost every year during the holidays. It was given to me by my best friend’s mom named Phyllis.

Dill dip for Veggies

2/3 c. Mayonnaise
2/3 c. Sour cream
1 T. Onion flakes
1 T. Chopped fresh chives (I use green onions)
1 T. Chopped fresh parsley
1 t. Seasoned salt
1 tsp. dill weed
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce

1. Cream together mayonnaise and sour cream.
2. By hand, crumble spices into mixture and stir until smooth.
3. Add Worcestershire sauce and mix well.
4. Refrigerate to chill. Serve with choice of raw veggies.

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