On a day when everything that could go wrong seemed to go wrong, I didn’t have my darkest thoughts until the very end. On Monday I decided to make a change in my commute, opting to drive into Lowell instead of all the way into Cambridge, and to take the commuter rail into the city. I made the final decision about this while I was on my walk on Monday morning and, almost as if to tell me it was a bad idea, the heavens almost immediately opened up and began to pour down on me. I was only halfway home at that point and by the time I crossed our threshold I was soaking wet and glad that my iPod was still playing and hadn’t accidentally electrocuted me instead.
Then I was late for my train, missing the commuter rail train I’d intended to take by about ten minutes. That gave me that much more time to read on the train platform before the next one came in, but it meant that I would be late to work for sure and it was just one more thing for me to get down on myself about.
Work was hectic and my brain was scattered. I got stuff done, but my brain was plagued by constant worrying about the doctor’s appointment Stef would be attending that afternoon. This was her first appointment since being transferred from the IVF clinic over to her OB/GYN and, as ever, I was terrified of bad news. No bad news came, but there seemed to be some miscommunication between the two doctors’ offices regarding our treatment plan. Stef seemed confident that everything was as it should be, but I was panicky and insisted on calling around to make sure things were okay.
The lone happy accident of my day was that, thanks to the change in my traveling plan, I bumped into K on the way to North Station in the evening. We talked while we walked and it was nice. She headed off for her train while I got into the absurdly long line to purchase a monthly commuter rail pass and that was that.
The cherry on top of the whole day was that the train back to Lowell ended up boarding late and, consequently, leaving late. As a guy who is pathetically attached to regularity and carefully planned schedules, my day was just getting worse and worse.
When I got home, I cooked dinner and we watched most of The Sixth Sense on TV. During commercial breaks, Stef expressed happiness and excitement regarding all of the information she’d been given by the doctors. I was still a bundle of nerves. For the first time in months, we had no injection to do. The doctor’s had finally switched us over to shots every other day. But I was sitting there terrified, terrified of her miscarrying because they’d stopped the progesterone supplements too early, and terrified also at the whole situation.
Flipping through the booklets she’d been given, my heart raced every time I saw a baby’s picture. I actually jokingly asked, “Why the hell do there have to be so many baby pictures in this thing?” and Stef tried to calm me, knowing where this was going. Panic set in. I’m going to be a father? And I started to cry. I started to think about how much more horrible this world will get in the next twenty-seven years and how I’ve now created another human being who will have to suffer as I have, someone who will have to suffer perhaps even more than I have. I started to mumble to myself, “What have I done? What have I done?”
Oh, to be rid of these dark thoughts once and for all… What I wouldn’t give.