I’m kind of a superstitious person. Sometimes. Okay, much of the time. I don’t think I’ll break my mother’s back if I step on a crack in the sidewalk, but if I notice the crack I’ll probably avoid it.
My biggest source of superstition is numbers. Specifically dates. I hold a lot of significance in birth dates, death dates, milestones and the like. Before my husband and I were engaged, I’d talked him into committing to a specific wedding date — July 5th (happy anniversary, love!). My lucky number (and birth date) is seven, and his five. I also would have accepted May 7th as a wedding date, but in 2013, that fell on a Tuesday. Joining two significant numbers together into an important date of unity felt very special. I was not in love with getting married on the hottest day of the year in New York City, but some things were just more important.
Each time we’ve used medical intervention to conceive I’ve found that the expected due dates fell on the birthdays of very important people in my life. The first was my brother’s birthday. The second was my best friend’s (also the day before my aunt’s, who’d died the year earlier). I will never forget them. They’re tattooed on my soul.
When we arrived at the embryo transfer last week, I was on the look out for signs. The date that we’re expected to find out if 3AB “takes” will be during a significant week, but not the specific date. I wanted more of a connection.
I got it.
My embryologist, whom I’d met before but somehow never made the connection, shares a last name with my family. It’s the name of my mother, brother and stepfather. The moment that I read her name embroidered on her scrubs, I felt warm. I literally stopped her mid-sentence and told her she shared a named with my family and that that was such a wonderful gift to me on a day when I was feeling scared. This isn’t a very common name, particularly in the South.
I immediately perked up and held that warmth during the procedure.
My husband asked me after, while I was changing back into my clothes, why I hadn’t further explained the name significance to the embryologist. I knew I could fully form the words without crying. My stepfather died very suddenly five years ago. He was so important to me. I couldn’t say that out loud then, and at that moment I don’t think I would have wanted to. Because I didn’t feel sad when I saw her name and felt the connection – I felt happy. I felt like he was showing me that this was going to be okay. He swooped in with the support that he’d given me throughout my childhood and early adult life.
Thanks for the sign, Dad.