I wasn't prepared for an ultrasound. "Will I come back to you, after?" I asked.
"I don't think you'll need to," she said. "Why? Do you have questions for me?" She sat down.
"Well," I said, "it's just: I'm angry and frustrated all the time. A lot's happened, and a lot's going to happen, but I don't feel like those things add up in a way that explains my misery."
She asked about my home life, and I assured her: it's fine. (It really is.) I told her about the miscarriage and all the scary things I can't blog, and--when I finished--she asked: "Why don't you think those things add up in a way that explains your misery?"
I wanted to say: because of my faith, but I was crying too hard.
"Listen," she said, "they make safe medications, these days, but I won't be the one to prescribe them to you. Fact is: those things add up. They more than add up," and she patted my knee and sent me away.
And step after step down the hall, I thought to myself: she doesn't think I'm crazy, but this ultrasound is about to prove I'm crazy because I saw a son before Clementine was born, and he looked just like Jim did, as a toddler, only with Cade's (my old) hair. But two beautiful girls later, he still isn't here. I dreamed his name, and I heard the Lord say very clearly: Thank me for your baby. Thank me for your son, and I thanked and thanked, but then I bled out a baby, and how does that make sense? Isn't that (like so many other things) cruelty? And this is about to be more of the same because something's wrong, and I can't do it, anymore; I won't. I. will. not. I don't care that my word for 2012 is supposed to be "trust"; I don't trust, anymore, that the son I saw was real; and I don't trust that the things I heard came from anywhere other than my own, crazy head. I know I'm about to die inside. There isn't much of anything left, and this is going to empty me out and kill me for good. Why am I even here? Why have I been pushing so hard when I can barely handle the kids I have? Whether the doctor knows it, or not, I'm crazy. And I should know.
"How are you, today?" the ultrasound technician asked. (She never has seemed that bright, to me.)
"I'm good," I said, sniffling.
"Is the doctor coming down?" she asked.
"Probably," I said, "if you can't find a heartbeat."
But minutes later, she was saying: "Here's the heartbeat. It looks good, and here's your baby's face. Your little person's very active. Would you like to know the gender?"
"Well, yeah." I said, "but can you tell? I'm only 16 weeks."
"I can," she answered. "It's a little boy."
"Are you sure?" I asked, squinting at the screen.
"I am," she said. "Look," and she moved the cursor over tiny (but pronounced) boy parts.
And (inside), the old, familiar voice insisted: Trust me!, so I went to Good Will and bought a tiny jean jacket.
"I found out, today, that I'm having a boy," I said to the white-haired gentleman behind the counter, and I started to cry all over again.
"Will this be your first baby?" he asked.
"My fourth," I told him [though, really, this baby will be my fifth], "and my last. My nerves can't handle any more."
He looked deep into my wild, wet eyes, studying and misunderstanding all the pain, there. "It will be wonderful, someday," he said gently, "when they're all grown and they come home for Christmas. Until then, hang in there."