From the cloud of dust bunnies flying up into the air, the big, fat spider emerges. It smells my fear. Thrives on it. Lives for it. I swear it’s glaring at me with a vengeance.
It lunges at me. I scream.
Then, in dramatic slow motion, my husband bursts through the dust all around our room and comes to my rescue.
So much for our spring cleaning.
I watch him douse the hairy creature with enough alcohol to get it drunk, and I think to myself that I really ought to toughen up. What would I do if my own child were here and I couldn’t defend him from a little spider?
That is, if I ever have a child.
It was a three-step plan: meet the love of my life, get married, start a family. Growing up, I never really thought about the complexities of having a baby. It was always just there, the plan, an unquestionable truth that would just naturally happen. Everything had to fall into place because, well, it just had to.
As it turns out, I have a very serious immunologic problem. I always thought that I would be the Greatest Mom In The World, but all these fertility issues are pushing that dream farther and farther away.
I have a condition called Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome. All it really means is that my immune system keeps fighting off foreign bodies, all foreign bodies. And that includes anything related to making a baby.
On top of that, I’ve got some weird stuff going on in my ovaries, too.
“Both are polycystic, and you have stage two endometriosis,” my obstetrician smiled at me when it all began years ago. Like I didn’t have bigger problems to worry about. “Oh, and of course, the dermoid cyst.”
The size of a fist.
And then, after years of painful and incredibly costly treatments, we finally got pregnant. We were ecstatic, and my husband and I considered it a miracle.
It was only eight weeks in when our baby’s heart stopped beating.
When she was taken away from me, I thought my world would crumble. I was sad, and angry, and frustrated, and in so much emotional pain. My husband was trying to be strong for me, but all I could think of at the time was that I’d rather not have had the baby at all if my heart would hurt this much.
But as with anything, time heals. God still prevails. I realize just how blessed I still am, and I have so much to be thankful for, whether or not we are graced with a baby. We have supportive families and wonderful friends, a happy life lived in peace and safety.
And right now, I know I’ve got a husband who will love me no matter what, who will always be there for me to keep my sorrows and problems— eight-legged creatures included, away.
He’s back in the room now, dusting his hands and puffing his chest. “Mission accomplished,” he says, grinning at me with the proudest look on his face.
And I smile at him with all the love in the world. “My hero.”