As I look at my iPad with groggy eyes, one of the only devices that displays a clock, it tells me it’s 3:28 p.m.
A two hour nap, and I still want to be sleeping. “Why have I been so tired these last few days? I bet I’m pregnant,” I think to myself.
I throw my legs over the side of my bed, stretch my arms above my head, forcing my blood to flow and my body to wake up.
I feel my muscles gain control and the sleep in my eyes subside. I head to the bathroom, as I always do after sleep, and that’s when the unwanted messenger announces, with the best sign a woman has, “Shawna you are not pregnant.”
As I stare at myself in the mirror with blank eyes, I feel my self slowing wandering through a maze of emotion. Just weeks earlier I felt lost in this same unwanted labyrinth. I’m disappointed, and feel guilty. Is it my fault?
This is the first known time in my life I could have been pregnant.
Two weeks ago Chais and I walked into Chiang Mai Ram, dubbed as “the foreigner’s hospital”, that oddly seems to have more locals than farangs.
Despite the language barrier, and cultural differences we checked in with ease for my scheduled appointment with Dr. Suppachai Sirisukkasem, a fertility doctor.
Soon, whether I was able to tell him through broken English, or non at all, he’d find out from an ultra-sound that I don’t ovulate.
Most women don’t like the act of getting checked-out; the process is cold, some what painful and often accompanied by small talk that is presumably intended to distract you from what is actually happening: A complete, but needed, disregard for privacy.
The process was comfortable in comparison to the States. Instead of asking me to strip down to only a paper hospital gown, they asked me to keep my top on, handed me a pair of pants to change into, and shortly after, I noticed a handy zipper located just where the doctor would need to look.
I managed to keep a smile during the exam, until I heard I was dead down there. Of course, the doctor didn’t actually say, “Shawna, you are dead down there”, he was too nice and didn’t speak that much English, but his only words, “not normal” felt just as dreadful.
I’m a young woman, who is healthy, alive and should be working properly…but I’m not. Even though I’ve already heard this from previous doctors, I didn’t want to hear it again.
He handed us a prescription for Clomid and detailed instructions on how to take it. We would see him again for another ultra-sound; it would tell us if the Clomid had the “superhero” power of making me ‘normal.’
The appointment took an hour, and we walked out of the hospital with just 2,849 less baht in my wallet ($90.89). That is exactly why we decided to see a fertility doctor in Thailand, it’s cheap.
Twelve short days later, we found ourselves back at the hospital, where we learned that Clomid is indeed super, and it has the power to make me ‘normal’… as well as being our kryptonite. In just a few words, he said with a
toothy grin,“You go home and be pregnant in 3 weeks.”
Chais and I didn’t return the response with an equal, happy smile, but rather slowly turned our heads until our eyes met, exchanging the same look of fear. We were in shock, like drifters without the courage to move.
We fought. I cried. We fell silent. What are we doing? Are we ready to be parents? Is it selfish to bring another life into this already over-populated world? Do we want our freedom as a spontaneous couple taken away? I asked my friends, “Why have children?” Some tried to answer the question. Most didn’t. A handful responded with, “Just follow your instincts, Shawna!” ALL of them told me that parenting had changed them for the better.
I don’t know if it was the friend’s responses or those instincts talking but Chais and I decided that we DID want kids. The new question was: WHEN?
I assumed it would be in 9 short months.
I find myself still standing here, looking through the mirror at that same blank stare. I’m surprised. I’m disappointed. Just weeks earlier I was having a panic attack about the very thought of being pregnant, but now my heart shatters with sorrow as I soak in the reality of not.
I allow myself to shed a few tears, smile, lift my chin and walk out of the bathroom as I yell out to Chais with a steady voice, “I’m not Pregnant.” I can hear the hollow silence of our apartment, the loan buzzing of our refrigerator and Chais’s typing seize as his voice bounces back at me, “I’m sorry, Sweets.”
[Note #1: Even though I'm not pregnant, Chais and I will continue to look into being parents. Our hearts are telling us to adopt, however that is going to take ALOT more planning. At this stage of the game, planning seems to scare us both. As we decide more, we'll be sure to keep you all updated.
If we choose to continue fertility treatment, at least we can experience this in the least expensive city that we've been in. As you know my first visit was $90.89, which included a PAP smear, ultra-sound and two prescriptions (Clomid and Folic Acid). The second visit was only $30, which included a sperm count and another ultra-sound! Health care is amazing here in Thailand!
Note #2: This was my second assignment with Matador U]
Please comment below: What situation has caused you to feel lost in your own maze of emotion?