The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. Ernest Hemingway

My heart starts beating wildly when I’m taken to my bed in what has become an all too familiar room. Green curtains with flowery frills at the top that separate the white beds. The white hospital gown nicely folded, just waiting to scratch my skin.

The obligatory blood pressure test and visit from the new anesthesiologist follows and then it is the long wait. I can hear my heart beating loudly and tears starting to well up. I just stare at the cheap art on the wall, the white ceiling and the long bright lights – and breathe deeply. I listen to the sound of my breath.

Finally I get wheeled out into the narrow corridor to the theater. Nurses lean over from above asking the same questions I’ve heard so many times before. One slips a cap over my hair and two others check the paperwork against my hospital bracelet. Then the nurse with the thick foreign accent arrives, wheeling me through the last door.

The tears flood down my face. There is nothing as scary as being in a room that feels like a cold empty cave…where miracles rarely happen for me.

The two nurses help me move over onto the procedure table. They clip a heart monitor onto my right index finger, adjust my arm with the anesthesia needle and add an oxygen breathing tube with a new anesthesia in my nose. I can hear my heart beeping, feel a nurse’s hand on my shoulder and one saying it will be OK.

The anesthesiologist adjusts the breathing tube and asks if I’m feeling sleepy yet. I shake my head and keep my eyes closed to keep the tears at bay. I hear Dr Clark come in and then nothing…

I wake up. The lights are so bright. The blankets so heavy under my chin. The needle in my arm uncomfortable and the breathing tube still pumping oxygen into my nose. Then a nurse arrives.

I know that she has to check my ‘lucidity’ but I stop her midway through her question to ask if he found one. She starts to smile and says that the doctor found one but he will be in to see me shortly. She proceeds to ask questions and I can vaguely hear, but my mind is on the good news – nothing else matters.

They wheel me out into the general room where hubby waits. He doesn’t know yet and for the first time I could break the news to him. (Usually the anesthesia takes almost 2 hours to wear off.) We hold hands. It’s good news, but it’s not yet final. It still has to survive 6 more days as an embryo before it gets frozen.

My sandwich and juice arrives, the last test to make sure I can go home. It’s always the same, grated cheese on brown with lettuce and a LiquiFruit. I wolf everything down, it has been more than 12 hours since I had anything. I don’t understand why people would check if I get nauseous from that… but if it gets me out of the hospital, who cares.

I get dressed before the doctor arrives – I still hate that hospital gown with its two blue ties and hard material. Then we wait just to talk to Dr Clark. He pops in before his next procedure, smiling. We know the drill, don’t get too happy until the embryo gets frozen… but at least there was one. It is still better news than we’ve had 90% of the time.

…and now we wait.


Susann is a travel, parenting, beauty and lifestyle blogger in Johannesburg, South Africa.


  1. I can’t imagine! Beautifully written to bring home the cold clinical journey to having a baby! Holding thumbs, Susann!!

  2. Pingback: They said it would be impossible, but they were wrong! The biggest announcement of 2018. - Goddess

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