a great 2008
January 1, 2008
We greet the new year wrapped up in each other. We spent the last evening of the year just the two of us. Tipsy from champagne and stuffed with good food we are in each other’s arms. “This is the year we are going to marry; this is the year we are going to have children.” We whisper and laugh and make plans not knowing that one is much easier than the other. This particular night just a few hours passed midnight everything seems possible. Sun will shine on our wedding day and a September baby doesn’t seem all that far away.
The beginning is light and crispy. I am, we are, happy and positive. What is one negative result? The sadness disappears quickly. I realise that our next shot is just perfect – we will conceive a baby while enjoying snow and skiing. As we sit around the table in the cabin eating dinner and people start talking about next year I smile. “Sure we’re going,” I say but inside I am thinking we’ll have a baby that’s just a couple of months old and skiing 2009 will be without us.
J proposes in late February. It’s out of the blue even though we have already decided to get married in 2008. J wants the PhD out of the world before thinking about a wedding so I decide we won’t tell anyone – not yet.
The negative results continue. I am getting more familiar with just one pink line than I would like to. I try not to google too much; I try not to check calendars too much. J is getting more and more wrapped up in finishing the PhD. Dinners are late, when they are eaten together, and we are worn out from our everyday life when we finally get under the covers.
Summer lights things up a bit. J submits his PhD and defends it. We tell people we are getting married and send out the invitations (two months before the big day). I have a wedding dress made especially for me, J inherits my uncle’s old dress coat. We spent a handful of days by the ocean and I am sure that this is it. What baby would not want to be conceived in a body that’s healthy from sun and salt water and plenty of cherries and apricots? Not ours apparently.
August 23, 2008
It rains from morning to night. We wake up together and hear the pouring rain. Everything happens under umbrellas. During the day my mood lights up, I am after all marrying my sweetheart. At my parents I look up rain’s symbolic meaning. It symbolises fertility and wealth. When I tell people this they laugh and say we’ll have lots of children and I smile, but on the inside there’s an all too familiar sting.
“Don’t you worry. It often rains when the bride and her father arrives, but when the married couple exit the church the sun somehow always shine,” someone tells me minutes before the ceremony as I clutch my dad’s arm and feel rather nervous. It rains when we exit as husband and wife. We’re covered by an umbrella as our guests throw rice at us, another fertility symbol. We let them throw rice at us twice, can’t hurt.
J speaks as he has never spoken before. I have never heard anyone say such loving words about me, I have never heard myself described so beautifully before. He mentions the stock of butter I always keep in the fridge, my always checking people.com, my love of films and books, and he mentions that while others think that Paris is the city of love he and I know better: Lausanne is.
We honeymoon in France. We eat baguette and goat’s cheese, drink red wine and relax. It is on this trip that I decide something about the coming autumn: I need a break, I can’t go on. We agree that we’ll get checked out at the doctor come the end of the next cycle. I want to know what is wrong, J wants confirmation we’re just fine. On bad days it feels like I am giving up the dream of becoming pregnant. On good days I am proud of myself for realising my body and mind need a break.
I am terribly ill. I sleep the days away, my appetite is gone – I don’t even like tea and let alone the thought of toast is turning me off. I am waiting for my period. I won’t test. I won’t. I don’t want to have to test every month, to be faced with one pink line, in order to have my period. I wait and I wait. I am ill. I spent three days at home in bed.
October 16, 2008
On the fourth day I decide to test. I have one test at home which I decide to use. That will give me my period tomorrow, I think. As the second pink line appears I look at it and think to myself that something is wrong. Then I cry.
January 1, 2009
We celebrate the new year as a married couple with their first baby a mere five months away. It seems like forever before we get to meet the little thing. On one hand time is good. We have many things to decide in the upcoming months: Find out sex or not? Name the thing, agree on the surname combination that will inevitably have to happen, and for me alone: get much, much bigger. On the other hand time is annoying when all you want is to get to know this little thing and start real life with it.
2008 was great. Even though I didn’t start running and didn’t cook something to impress my brother and didn’t invite people over for our house warming. And even though I didn’t do a lot of all the other things I dreamed of doing there’s no denying that 2008 was indeed great. 2008 was the kind of year that will echo – not only in 2009, but also in the years to come after.