Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Remembering to Writing

As Easter arrives this year, I can't help but remember two years ago: the first Easter in our new house, a new life beginning (and then ending... we had no idea what was yet to come).

And then I remember Easter last year - in the midst of The First Round of Holidays without E's grandfather; when we were 4 days shy of viability - new life growing, but not quite yet in our grasp...

And this year, we will have this little guy crawling (no more army crawl - he does proper OnHandsAndKnees now!) all over our Easter:

This year, I want to introduce a new series (and no, I haven't forgotten Tour Tuesdays - the first post - our master bedroom! - is merely waiting for a clean picture of a nicely made bed.... It's been waiting almost 2 weeks...)

No, this new series is for you readers who have always wondered how good of a book your life would be... I'm going to bring the past to life (as much as I never want to relive the time after that Easter two years ago, I don't want to ever forget.)
((I'll be mixing in some fiction with fact, blurring the lines - maybe this will eventually turn into something publishable (HA))).

I took a creative writing course in high school (elective English class) and while I failed miserably at the whole "Draft, Redraft, revise - rewrite, redraft AGAIN" aspect (I always wrote the best when shot from the hip... Off the cuff... flying by the seat of my pants...) I sincerely enjoyed writing. 

So this will be my attempt to get back at it. (And hopefully I'll help future-Kate out by pre-writing a bunch when I'm in the mood/setting/environment to write and then I can just schedule-post them...)

Without further ado... (still trying to think of a cool moniker for this series... lol any suggestions?)

 All morning, her heart had picked up its pace, with every THUMP THUMP the blood growing to a pounding crescendo in her ears - and would then, with a few shallow breaths, slowly meander back down to a regular tempo.  Her throat would constrict with giddiness and excitement, fingers trembling as she re-aligned, for the third time, the laid-out silver.  
There was only a few minutes until they all started to arrive and, while the turkey may or may not have been completely and hopelessly overcooked, the brown paper-mache nests (that took all of the Elmer's glue and patience she could find) were sitting pretty, with pink, purple and light green foil-wrapped Reese's Easter eggs set precariously within.
"Are you sure the batteries are charged?" She called out again to her husband.  Darren had a tendency to zone out when she was on a request-rampage, and that morning was a typical rager... Had he covered the turkey after ONE hour of cooking, or three?  Had he charged the batteries for their camera?  Had he gotten the extra folding chairs up from the basement? 
She would have preferred retrieving the chairs herself rather than rely on (and wait for) Darren, but given the two little pink lines she saw almost three weeks ago, she would have to remind him again about the folding chairs...
Her fingers stopped on the family silver - her thumb pad tracing the heirloom pattern - and daydreamed, as she lately was so prone to, about the baby.
A baby...
Still such an intangible concept, when it was currently just the size of a sweet pea.  She felt bad thinking of the baby as an "it," but wasn't sure how else to refer to, well, to it.  The past three weeks went day-by-painstaking-day, and while it still hadn't sunken in that their family was expanding, it had felt eons ago that she had peered down at the fresh pregnancy test in her hands:
       Oh my god, please don't be a chemical pregnancy, was her very first thought at the two lines.  A terrifying thought - one that seemed to happen to "other people" except - a recent cold weekend in March had brought her best friend a longed-for positive;  Darren and she had celebrated with them, a bit subdued themselves after a flashy camera-phone picture of their big blue plus sign... After all, she and Darren had been trying since the prior November...
     "So you've been to the doctor yet?" Grace asked her friend.  Because, surely, Grace thought, her friend knows that one must wait until the magical second trimester arrives, when you slide feet-first into the safe zone, before you spread the cheer and good news. 
    Her friend told her that she had just taken a test the night before; an appointment was set for first thing Monday morning.  And despite the laissez-faire attitude that made Grace wince, and the easy-to-achieve pregnancy that she would face down every minute with her friend, she hugged and congratulated them - smiled as the husbands high-fived and toasted to his manliness and super sperm.
        And when her friend started bleeding the very same day that she received a negative test standing in the doctor's office, Grace got the message "It was a chemical pregnancy; " it was something she had to go research. 
      An early miscarriage.
      "A Really Early Miscarriage" according to the friend and her physician.  An event that occurred in something like 1 in 4 pregnancies, when the embryo failed to implant.  WebMD informed her that "most women don't notice anything but a period that's a few days late."
And so, when Grace found herself in her own bathroom, staring down at a pink positive test days later, her first thoughts were not of baby shoes and strollers, but of fear.  And each day was filled with dashes to a restroom - while out to eat, while at work, or while in the movies - to see if there was any blood.  Each morning was a slow trip to the bathroom, please please please - a repeated plead with every step, only to find blood-free panties.
Each day began with another pregnancy test, with each day's line darker than the last - surely a sign that everything was progressing well.  But the darkening lines only went so far to assure; the day of the first doctor's visit, the minutes crept by like a school-clock of the year's last hour before the longed-for summer vacation.  She had spent more time researching the previous night - things like "beta levels" and "blighted ovums."  She felt armed and ready to request, no - demand - the best tests.
The hour finally came, and Grace arrived at the doctor's office with minutes to spare - and so sat in her car for some last-minute cramming on "progesterone."  Again, when it was finally time, she walked up the stairs, repeating the mantra from the past two weeks Please please please have everything be ok... Please let it not be a blighted ovum...
Grace abhorred the pants-less wait at every OB-GYN visit, the butcher paper sticking to the backs of her thighs, as with every footstep down the hall she wondered if it was finally her turn... Finally, the physician's aide arrived in the exam room; and after applying a dropper of the urine sample to the clinic's pregnancy strips, informed Grace casually, "Well, you've got a Barely-Positive here..."
Did it matter how positive? wondered Grace - all of her research had generated the "a line is a line" answer... And so she pulled out her next arsenal - "I'd like a blood test, please - a Beta and Progesterone." 
It was only as she was checking out at the desk, scheduling the next appointment where they would (hopefully) see a teeny little heart beat on the ultrasound, that she overhead the nurses in the lab room adjacent, wondering who this "barely pregnant patient was, requesting bloodwork - what exactly did She expect to see at just four weeks!?"

With no point of reference for pregnancy appointments, aside from the not-so-stellar outcome for her friend, Grace brushed off the momentary embarrassment - she didn't care if they laughed at her.  She felt reassured that she was on the right path, already feeling the responsible mommy-to-be.

The dogs barking in the next room pulled Grace out of her reverie.  She shook her head at her freshman foolishness, requesting a beta... the results of which were never given to her, she only realized now as she pulled herself up from the dining room chair.

A quick glance told her that Darren still hadn't set up the folding chairs...

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