Friday 30th July 2010
One year ago.
Suse still hasn’t got her period. Her breasts are still tender. She feels like shit; lethargic and irritable.
“The only thing that would make this okay, would be being pregnant,” she says.
She’s pre-menstrual, but more than that, she’s pre-pregnant.
That’s the bitch about all of this.
She doesn’t want to be waiting for another period.
She wants to be waiting for a baby.
* * * * *
Meantime, I head off to work. I’ve got a week working in the neonatal ICU before I start working for NETS, the Neonatal Emergency Transfer Service.
There are gluttons for punishment, and then there’s me.
As the final six months of my six years of Paediatric training, I’ve had this set up for a while. But the timing is just priceless. If I can’t have a baby, then I’ll surround myself in everything to do with them. I’ll work in a place where every single employee and every single visitor is totally devoted to the brand new babies that have just arrived into this world.
Still, all the same, it seems to work for me. I’m as busy as hell on the first day, and two hours in, my phone beeps. I check it, and find a text from Bel and Dan:
‘We are downstairs having a coffee. We’re sure you are flat out, but give us a call if you are on a break.’
I juggle the thought, before deciding to run downstairs. There I see them sitting in the café, staring off into nothingness, lost in thought.
“Hey guys, how’s it going?”
“Just had to come in to check on things. They’re a little worried about the heart rate. They say it’s sitting a bit high.”
I look at both of them. Given what they’ve been through in the last two years, this isn’t fair.
“Can’t this baby give you any piece of mind?”
“Clearly not,” says Dan. “He’s determined to give us grief right up until he’s born.”
“He’ll be right. He’s just trying to give you grey hairs.”
I look at both of them and smile. I can see both of their shoulders drop at the reassurance. “Seriously, this sort of thing is routine. Totally routine.”
I wouldn’t have a clue. I know nothing about what the CTG looked like, what they found on examination, or any of the medical staff’s concern.
But sometimes, it’s all people want. All they want to hear is that everything is going to be all right. Whether you’re a friend, or a doctor or both. Even when you can’t be sure.
That’s all they want to hear.
* * * * *
I rush back to work, having left them both with higher shoulders than before. I think of them all through the day, hoping they remain upbeat. It’s a battle when they’ve been beaten down so long. After four egg harvests and countless rounds of disappointment, your shoulders have trouble going up anymore. It’s barely worth raising them before you know they just have to go back down again. ‘But not this time,’ I say to myself, ‘not this time.’
The day flies by, and as I finish work, I dial Suse.
“Hey love,” she answers. It’s like there’s been a shower, and her voice has come out. “I got my period!”
The clouds have parted and the sun is out. There’s even a rainbow.
If you can’t have a baby, then sometimes, a period can be the next best thing.
It’s time to start a new month.
* * * * *