We're in the kitchen on a Saturday morning. She's stopped by on her way to her M.I.L.'s house. Chatting at the table, she suddenly holds out her arm, to show me a cotton ball held in place with some bright, stretch-tape at her elbow.
And I know.
A surge of delight almost makes its way to my face but I will it to remain blank, calm and ask
"Oh, what's that from?"
I have always pictured this moment, this moment of hearing the words I know she is about to say, as being greeted with a squeal, and tears and hugs and open whooping joy, but
"Tamp it down, Cathy" I tell myself. It's got to be very early, don't get excited, opening yourself up for hurt and yes, anger. All this passes through my head before she answers, almost shyly with a small smile
"I went to the Dr. this morning"
I smile back, a little teary, with a little laugh, our eyes locked.
"It's really early, don't say anything to anyone. But, I just had to tell you! But it's really early so..."
I hate that this has to be tempered with the meaningful "so.." After the treatments, the late periods producing negative tests, the longing looks at other babies... a glimmer of hope, joy.
Her next appointment was good! Her numbers were climbing! I told her that I wished I could have jumped around screaming that first morning, but I thought it would make it worse if this appointment wasn't good.
"It was just a little early for the ultra-sound. I'd had the same experience with my last baby, sometimes they just can't find them til a little later, it will be fine..."
But it wasn't fine, it just wasn't there.
So we hope for next time, hopefully the time when we can jump around in a hug, laughing, squealing and crying with happiness.