The Bag of Hope
I open the door to an almost empty waiting room.
“Can you sign in here please?”
Why is there nobody here? This can’t be a good sign.
I sign in, hand the receptionist my necessary cards.
“Oh, I talked to you yesterday, didn’t I? You’ve been having some problems, right?”
Girl, I got problems you don’t even want to know about.
“Fill these out and we will be right with you.”
Why is there nobody here? Omg, is that him? He’s ancient. Not a good sign.
“Carrie? You can come on back.”
I desperately try to calm my system for my vitals. The high-normal systolic indicates my failure to do so. I stammer my way through my feminine history. Finally, she gives me The Cup. In the enclosed safety of the bathroom, the tears threaten to trickle. I don’t let them.
Back in the exam room, I wait alone.
It is freezing in here. I am wearing a sweater and still shaking.
I say come in.
He shuffles in and introduces himself without a smile.
He’s an old old, not a young old. Maybe this was not a good idea.
But he attempts to make small talk by asking me if I am related to so-and-s0. And there is something sweet about his demeanor and the way he gently pats my upper arm. As if to say, “I know this isn’t easy.”
He hands me The Paper and tells me to undress from the waist down.
He confirms physical signs and tells me he wants a blood test. It is too early to do anything else.
He makes diagrams of incisions. Asks me what my wishes are.
Says he wants to see me again in a week.
As I am checking out, one of the aides hands me The Bag. I know what is in that bag. All of the cheerful advice, literature, magazines, and coupons. There is hope in that bag. I want to hand it back to her, but I don’t. I feel like an impersonator with that bag.
I lug The Bag, along with my purse and coat, to the lab.
The lab tech is old. Why is everyone here old?
But the lab tech is also sweet and wishes me the best.
I gather my things, glad to be finished. And in the enclosed safety of my car, the tears threaten to flow. I let them.
The whole ride home I am aware of The Bag on the passenger seat. Once home, I set The Bag down on the counter and get busy making dinner while Hayden listens to Christmas music in the living room.
And after playtime, dinner, fussing, playtime, bath, story, and bedtime, I go back to the kitchen to clean up.
And there is The Bag.
The Bag filled with hope.
Maybe I will just peek inside.
As I thumb through the maternity ads and coupons for Similac and Breast Is Best pamphlets, I don’t feel giddy. I feel, meh.
Been there, done that.
I put the literature away. Talk with Scott and have a second emotional release. And then, with each passing hour, I feel less and less. Less of what only someone who has been pregnant can understand. Yesterday, I could feel it, but the feeling seems to be receding.
I don’t know if it’s because my feelings are only a response to my anticipation.
Or if it really is fading away.