… continued from the baseball/mole post
So, there I was… pregnant but not; worried but not; generally feeling ill and definitely taking the rest of the day off. I really did struggle with the decision to tell SM my news right away or wait until after work. I knew he had a busy day, and I wondered how much of my wanting to spill the news was borne of my need for a sympathetic ear. That is, how much of my decision was based on selfish motivations v. thinking of what he would want? In the end, I decided that if the shoe were on the other foot, I would want to know immediately of any of his health concerns, and I would want to share the burden with him, rather than him having to suck it up. I figured he’d probably feel the same.
So I called him and asked if he wanted to meet for coffee. He was a bit confused. I told him I wasn’t going back to the office after the appointment, that I was taking a sick day (it was already around 4:00, so what was the point?) and going home. That took a second to sink in. I asked if he were busy. He said he was, but he would always make time for me and that he was happy to meet me at the Starbucks near the metro. I got on the metro and then called him when I got there. He took a few more minutes to make it over. I already had my drink of choice (a mocha milkshake from Potbelly, yum!), so he got his java and joined me at a table outside.
How do you start a conversation like this? How do you tell your husband this kind of news so that he doesn’t assume the worst or get the crap scared outta him? I wanted to ease into the conversation without alarming him, so I started with, “I have good news and bad news.”
"The good news is that I now know why I’ve been feeling so crappy lately,” I told him.
Then I sped up and basic spewed out, “The bad news is that it’s because I have a molar pregnancy, which means that my body thinks I’m pregnant but I’m not really. But that’s why I’ve been feeling crappy lately, but there isn’t a baby or anything. But there’s all this extra tissue developing in my stomach, and I have to have a procedure on Friday to take care of it.”
Etc., etc., et cetera…
I practically dumped the information over his head, making sure to get the most relevant information out as quickly as possible so that he wouldn’t have time in between to think, let alone get too worried. Of course, he was still concerned and stunned and probably felt like he had been whacked upside the head, which was still spinning. He definitely had the “deer in the headlights” look on his face. Poor SM. He had no idea any of this was coming. He thought he was there to meet me for a nice mid-afternoon-escape coffee-break.
Anyhoo, I filled him in on all the details as I knew them, regaled him with a blow-by-blow account of how my day had gone and asked him if he thought it would be a problem for him to take off Friday. If he couldn’t do it, then I felt sure my mother could come with me. Of course, he wanted to be with me and said he’d make it happen (it’s amazing how few questions get asked when you tell your boss you need a day off because your wife needs surgery). We chit-chatted a bit more. I wanted to make sure he was comfortable with what I was telling him, not totally freaked out by (1) the pregnancy news or (2) the “I need an operation” news. But he’s not the type to get freaked out that way. He took it in his stride and told me that the only thing he cared about was my health. We sat there for a while and talked about stuff, but then he had to get back to the office. He left, and I went home for the day. I was still a bit shaken up, and the last thing I wanted to do was put on a good game face and head back to my office.
The next day I came into work to discover a box of flowers on my desk. It turns out that SM had ordered me roses for Valentine’s Day; they had been delivered the day before – the day when I didn’t go back to the office after my doctor’s appointment, which explained why SM was so surprised when I told him that I decided to take the rest of the day off. What a sweet man. He didn’t spill any of this at home the evening before, so the roses were a complete surprise the next day (which was Wednesday, February 11th – I know this because I had my procedure on Friday, the 13th). I still have the dried roses on my desk. The leaves are falling off, and they’ll probably make a mess as they continue to disintegrate, but they are just lovely to me.
Somehow I got through the rest of the week. I’m guessing that no one wants to hear about my hospital visit on Friday, but I may post a few observations anyway. It was my first time to be wheeled in a gurney down to an operating room. Kinda like you see on TV, but not… and all very weird for me.
Labels: health, relationship