Life has been a roller coaster again lately.
On Saturday, a day on which we were committed to helping our friend Micah move back down to the Central Coast from the LBC, I got a positive pregnancy test. I called my doctor's answering service because he had requested that I do so the instant I got a positive (as I will have to be put on heparin immediately to save the embryo from being smothered by thrombophilia).
The doctor got out of the shower at 7:30 on a Saturday, told me to get my butt down to his office right away, and got me a prescription for heparin, taught me how to inject it, and sent me to get quantative tests for HCG and progesterone so that he would know whether or not he must supplement progesterone.
He called me back in a few hours, perplexed. My HCG was only 17, which was very low to be detected by the home (urine) test, and my progesterone was also low. He asked me to refrain from starting heparin until I had re-tested in 48 hours.
Meanwhile, Pat and Robert went without me to move Micah down here, with all of the comedy of normal inter-city moves (a traffic ticket for Micah, the usual moving van mix-ups, the usual problems with the storage place being closed with no idea which unit was Micah's).
Sunday, we had a wonderful day and didn't worry too much.
Monday, I went to work. Pat did too, but PWC called him and had him pick up a loon wrapped in fishing line and a seagull with a hurt wing at the ranger station, and drive them to Morro Bay. He figured he would be in time to get me a discreet blood test at lunchtime... which he was! After the test, we drove to a park to watch birds while we ate our PB&J. And then... we found an injured Western gull. So, we caught the gull, Pat went back to Morro Bay, and I went back to work to scarf PB&J in the break room.
My doctor called me in the afternoon. Bad news; the levels had barely changed (HCG to 18) and they had needed to double to be viable. We had caught a nonviable pregnancy too early with our test. There was no chance of it developing into a baby.
I was calm and collected for 45 minutes, until Pat called me back; then, I was a basket case. He came to pick me up early, wearing a swimsuit and a jacket (it was cold) and carrying a somewhat disgruntled loon for release "on the way home."
I rode with him to release the loon, trying not to cry. She was absolutely beautiful. We walked her down onto the beach in her pet carrier and Pat walked her out past the choppiest of the breakers (loons need flat water to fly).
She didn't want to fly. She seemed a little out of sorts. She waterlogged quickly. She was clearly a little injured and not really ready for release in the 59 degree water. And she was agile as a bead of oil on the water, diving and reappearing when threatened with capture, bravely diving under the breakers as she swam. So there we were, Pat concerned and trying to swim-walk in the chilly water up to his chest in coat and trunks, and me running up and down the beach, knee-deep in the water in my work pants, yelling useless advice, laughing and crying, sometimes all at once. The bird never really quite sorted out how to attack anybody, although she did make a menacing expression once that got her splashed, grade-school water war style, by Pat. Her response? She dove and got 15 feet more head start on him.
Nobody among the dozens of passersby asked us, "what is that animal?" Or even "what the fuck are you doing?" It seems that loony behavior is either too threatening to be questioned, or too normal to bother with.
The loon's mate showed up and said hi to the loon. We decided she must be okay if he was there. We started to walk away and I looked over my shoulder to say my goodbyes to the graceful birds.
And she beached herself, too waterlogged to swim.
Pat sprinted across the beach and managed to catch her -- a struggling, muscular, wringing wet, non-waterproof, feathered snake with wings -- and stuff her back in the cage.
And away we went again to Morro Bay, me sobbing in the passenger seat the whole time, Pat holding my hand and saying all the right things. No, you can't have him. He's mine. Wet trunks, compassion for wild things, and all.
It's pretty much over and done with now, and I am largely done with the most serious grieving. I'm feeling upbeat: after all, we are very fertile, especially for our age; I do seem to be capable of implanting even a weak pregnancy; we are very good at recognizing the signs of pregnancy; I have my prescription for heparin filled and know how to use it when we finally need to do so.
Don't cry for us, but do laugh with us. And please pray for us, however you pray. For a multitude of reasons, we need it.