I remember eating lots of cold cereal and turkey sandwiches during my college years. The food in the caf was less than appetizing. Of course there was also the occasional late night Domino’s Pizza…
I remember eating fried pickles at the Cherokee Inn with my sorority sisters. It was like a rite of passage. Fried pickles and beer. Oh, and MAPS Fest at the Reservoir: Men Are Pond Scum.
I remember being very upset on Bid Day morning when I woke up a Phi Mu. I was so sure I was destined to be a KD. But things have a way of working out for the best. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I remember wearing my Gap overalls a lot in college. I LOVED them. I thought they were so cute. Obviously that’s no longer the case, but I was addicted back then. I also remember loving my Doc Martens. My friend, Emily, showed me how to rip my jeans at the bottom to look cool.
I remember going to synagogue with all of my favorite professors in Jackson. We barely had a minyan half the time. It was always lovely and I even got to carry the Torah scrolls a few times.
I remember meeting D while I was in graduate school and thinking early on that he was the man I’d marry. On our first date in October of 1999, we dined at Vincent’s in NOLA and I didn’t really eat. I was too nervous. I left my leftovers in his car by accident when he dropped me off. When he drove away, I left him a message on his answering machine at home telling him I enjoyed our date and thanking him for dinner. When he got home and heard the message he called his mom and played it for her. He thought it was cute.
I remember wanting to be a mom even when I was very young. I always knew it was something I wanted to do. I never dreamed it would be so difficult. People should realize that conceiving a child is akin to all the planets aligning; it’s that complicated. Some people are just lucky, I guess. I wasn’t one of them.
I remember lugging around my dog-eared copy of “Taking Charge of Your Fertility,” along with charts of my cycles. I remember the doctor saying, “Honey, you’re not having cycles. Honey, you’re not even ovulating.” I remember filling my Clomid prescription and starting it several months before we moved to KC. I remember getting my hopes up. I remember deluding myself and imagining what it would be like to get a positive pregnancy test.
I remember all the tests. I remember crying. I remember the phone call from the nurse that fall afternoon. She said, “The IUI failed. We need to move on to in vitro (IVF).” I remember being so caught off guard I couldn’t really speak. I never thought I’d need IVF.
I remember filling about 12 prescriptions at the pharmacy. My new red sharps box. Needles–both large ones and small ones. A bottle of progesterone in oil. Pills, pills, and more pills. A schedule written out. I remember driving back and forth to that office every other day for months. Ultrasounds. Blood work. Procedures.
I remember the first mock embryo transfer, which was like practice for the IVF. My cervix wasn’t cooperating and the doctor couldn’t pass the catheter through, so she had to use a tenaculum to clamp it. I screamed and cried. And she yelled at me, “Get a hold of yourself! You’re a grown woman!” That cut me to the core. If I hadn’t wanted a baby so badly, I might have left right then and there.
I remember the first IVF failing. I was broken. But I wanted to get right back on the horse and do it again. I was determined.
I remember starting all over again. Not long after the shots began, I told D, “I can’t go through this again. If this one fails, I want to talk about adoption.” He nodded silently.
I remember on the day of the embryo transfer the doctor said both looked so good she was concerned we’d end up with twins. I cried tears of joy.
I remember seven days later, I started bleeding. I called D at work to tell him. He could hardly speak. I remember I called the nurse and started crying so hard on the phone. She told me to come in the next morning for my blood test, even though it was still too early. I begged her because I needed to know it was over. I needed to have closure and begin to move on.
I remember it was an eternity until I went for that blood test. I remember waiting by the phone. I remember getting the call an hour after I got home. I remember Brandi saying, “Erin, you’re pregnant!”
I remember extra shots of progesterone to stop the bleeding. I remember being scared it wouldn’t stick.
I remember morning sickness setting in. My fear began to wane.
I remember going in for my six-week ultrasound. I remember as soon as something was on the screen the nurse grinned from ear to ear and held up two fingers. “It’s twins!” she yelled.
I remember Friday, December 9, 2005 like it was yesterday. The best day of my life. The day my daughters were born.