Watching the Sea, Hopeful

By the end of the day on Saturday, I was in the midst of a breakdown. The day had been fine. In fact, it had been a good day, complete with a trip to Gloucester and a walk along the ocean. But when it came time to do our second night of “two shots a night”, I was panicky. I convinced myself I’d done it all wrong because Stephanie winced during one of the shots and because the second shot, the Follistim, which is administered via a pen-type device, didn’t go in as easily as the night before. I was a wreck, but thankfully my wife had enough gas left in the tank to calm me down.

It’s not a position I want to put her in. I don’t want her worrying about me and that has given me cause to internalize much of what’s been going on with me during this process. That wasn’t a great strategy. It was going to come out sooner or later. But, I had to try. I have to try and do anything I can to keep stress and anxiety away from her, at least any excess stress and anxiety that she doesn’t need. That’s my job.

The day had, for the most part, been a good one, as I mentioned above. We drove south towards Beantown, and I drove us through Cambridge, across the Charles, and then along the banks of the river, without any particular goal in mind except eventually finding a bathroom. We stopped at the Lesley campus for a minute to use their facilities and it was then that the idea of heading up to Gloucester came to mind. It was scalding hot outside and Stef assured me, hater of the sun that I am, that it would be cooler out there. I thought to argue that the traffic would be horrible, but the idea of Gloucester really seemed to brighten her. And since she’d been low all morning, I didn’t say a thing. We just went.

We did a loop around the rocky coast of Cape Ann, taking what I think was Route 127 or Route 127A in a circle, pointing out to each other the places we’d been by before, the place where we’d almost decided to have our wedding reception and things like that. We had a good laugh, thinking about how, if we’d actually gone with that place, we’d only have been able to invite our immediate family to the ceremony. There was a wedding going on when we drove by and it looked absolutely posh.

After the loop around Cape Ann, we drove through the center of Gloucester, out to the street where the monuments are. We walked along the ocean, snapping loads of pictures, especially of the monuments, and eventually made our way up into the state park, where we took even more (pictures, that is).

There was, of course, the obligatory stop at the mall in Peabody, or wherever that mall is, on the way home, so that I could check out their Apple store, which I’d never seen. And then we drove home. I sat in front of the computer while Stef sat outside, in the humid heat, writing. I didn’t know how she could bear it, but I didn’t question it. When she came up a while later to tell me that it was time for the shots, she still hadn’t put on the air conditioning for the day. It was scalding up here and when we went into the bathroom to do the shots I was agitated. And that’s probably why it didn’t go well.

She went downstairs afterward and turned on the AC, probably because of my whining. I went to bed, frustrated with myself for letting my attitude ruin the careful balance of our situation. Eventually I got up, to cook dinner, but it took a lot of time with us just lying on the couch together for me to just calm down.