Last night, after exiting at Union Station and beginning my walk across Capitol Hill to home, I soon passed the French restaurant where we ate dinner with S & G, our friends also doing IVF, in mid-June. I couldn't help but think of the good spirit and cameraderie that was in abundance that night, and everything that's happened since.
"So you had the embryo transfer last Friday?"
"No, we had the egg retrieval on Friday, the transfer was Monday."
"And you have your retrieval on Monday?"
"Yes, G has to give me the trigger shot on Saturday night at 10:30."
"Hi G, it's Aaron -- Kathy's pregnant -- now it's your turn!"
"That's great! Congratulations!"
"How's S? How'd the transfer go?"
"It went well. S is sleeping right now, she's been pretty worn out since the transfer yesterday."
"The good news is that S is pregnant. The bad news is that she's having a reaction to the meds -- they're making her ovaries swell to several times their normal size. It shouldn't hurt the pregnancy, but she's in a lot of pain right now."
"S and G got to see the embryo's heartbeat!"
"She's behind us by over a week. How come she got to do that already?"
"She had to go in for a sonogram because of her ovaries, so they got to see the embryo while they were checking on S."
"S, it's Aaron. There's no heartbeat."
"Are they sure?"
"Yes, they're sure."
"That's not acceptable. That's just not acceptable."
"I'm supposed to do lunch with S tomorrow."
"Are you ok with going?"
"I think so. I'm happy for her, but I'm trying not to think about the miscarriage until we go to Europe. I'm nervous about how I'll feel talking to her."
"Aaron, S had a miscarriage!"
I want to go back to that dinner in June, to capture the moment, its twinkle and its glow, the positive vibes and hopefulness. Even if both couples are successful down the road, however, I know that the mood from that evening is irretrievable. I never knew that a loss of innocence could happen in one's 30s or 40s.