The dimly lit room was so quiet I could hear my heart pounding. One prayer was in my mind and moving in voiceless whispers on my lips:
"God, please let it be positive."
I can't adequately put into written words the rawness of my spirit in that moment; the fear twisting my stomach into knots about the upcoming procedure I hoped to avoid. The doubt that the answer to my prayer would be a yes was a knife in my chest. I thought back ever so briefly over the countless casual questions and comments from friends and family and co-workers over the past few years and for a minute I wished they could all see me.
I wished they could see me sitting on that exam chair in that dimly lit room; naked except for a pair of black crew-cut socks and a thin cotton medical gown covering the front of my body; a sheet draped over my lap. I wished they could see the terror that had to be evident all over my face despite my clenched jaw, wide eyes, and forced smile for the nurse. I wished they could see my prayer being repeated over and over again as I waited all alone in that room twisting my sheets 'til my knuckles were white, waiting for the nurse to go find the doctor and begin the procedure.
The nurse (who was also the ultrasound tech) was so increadibly kind to me and non-judgemental. She took great care in explaining the look of terrifying-looking equipment beside the chair and how rarely it would be needed in a procedure like this right at the beginning. She made sure to explain each step of the upcoming test and what they were looking for. And she started the test off before going to find the doctor and leaving me alone.
I was there for a procedure to determine whether or not there were biological issues preventing my husband and I from conceiving. I've blogged about this casually in the past on my weight-loss blog. So many people are quick to assume couples just aren't trying when they wait as long as we have to get pregnant. So few people who ask why you're waiting or when you'll start a family realize that maybe you're tried or been trying. That maybe you have physical or mental or emotional issues holding you back. There is little support for non-cookie-cutter marriage-than-kids couples.
This was not a fairy-tale beginning to the starting of my family I'd always hoped for or dreamed of. I'd assumed it would be so fast, pregnancy when we were finally in agreement that we'd be okay trying. I'd always known that weight could be a factor. I'd also known that countless years of birth control pills could affect our ability to conceive. We hadn't been trying all that long to be honest, I know countless other women who've tried for years as opposed to months. But my heart is burdened for all of them.
Before I was left alone to pray in silence the doctor had come in for the first time with the nurse. They tilted the chair back and I had a great view of the gray tiled ceiling. The procedure would be simple enough, though intrusive and personal. A little saline inserted to allow them to check for cysts or other blockages. I sat waiting for the "extreme discomfort" I had been pre-warned about by the kind nurse. The doctor did nothing. She stared at the ultrasound screen for a moment, mentioning what already looked like a cyst just from the pre-test.
"Are you sure you can't be pregnant?" the doctor asks me.
"Yes; I was at my doctor for a virus just a couple weeks ago and my test was negative. We haven't tried since then."
"Let's check anyway just to make sure. If I do the procedure it could terminate a pregancy." was her reply.
Then I was alone. Then I was praying. Nothing in me wanted to go through with the exam. The nurse poked her head back in, then left to find the doctor. I should have brought Justin with me, I wished, I should have brought somebody else to be here. But in that moment when things felt so dark and bitter and lonely I knew that God was there. No matter the result, no matter the procedure, God would keep holding me.
An eternity after the wait began the doctor entered the room.
"It's a good thing I had her check!" she announced, "It's positive!"
The words hung in the air, the nurse presented me with a ziploc bag showing a test and pointing out how it meant positive. All I could do was gape in shock, unable to process or register what was happening. This kind of stuff doesn't happen in real life I reminded myself, but the proof was sitting in my hands.
"You were too early on to show up on the last test at your doctor," my OB explained, "We're estimating your conception date as around January 4th."
The floodgates opened then. Ugly-crying, sobbing, trembling hands as I doubled over on the chair, unable to stop myself. God had answered my prayer! I was going to be a mom! Justin and I were finally going to start a family. God is so good! The doctor hugged me, the nurse had already rolled away the tray of scary equipment.
"These are happy tears right?" the doctor asked me. I could only nod, muted by tears.
"They've been trying for a while," the doctor explained to the nurse.
They turned on the lights then. Light replaced the darkness and fears that had lingered only moments before. And I was beaming inside and out.
It was no fairy-tale beginning. It had been prayed for and chased. But God is always God, and He is holding me.