Part 5: On a mission
Reaction to the Christmas Day article about the family is so positive - Kathy gets good-luck wishes at work; her husband, Joe, is hailed by bank tellers as a celebrity; Andy and Wendy are kissed by customers along their catering truck route - that it invigorates them.
They are so excited, they decide they will not wait for the doctor's appointment.
As soon as Wendy begins ovulating again - on Jan. 6 - they give artificial insemination another go.
* * *
An air of ordinariness surrounds the second try at pregnancy.
Joe does his part, providing the sperm and leaving just in time for his wife's sister, Wendy, to arrive and make herself at home in the guest room, nestled - for luck - in an afghan made by Joe's late mother Florence.
They do this three times in three days. Always, Kathy and Wendy share a meal afterward - pizza one day, Chinese food another. When Kathy's fortune cookie reminds her, "Where there is a will, there is a way," she pastes it into her diary.
She writes there, too, about how positive and confident she feels. She declares, in a kind of personal manifesto: "Today, I choose not to be childless."
And indeed, she is on a mission.
Following the advice of an infertility organization, RESOLVE, she calls Michael Grant, a Pawtucket lawyer who specializes in surrogacy, about drawing up a contract to protect both families' interests.
She also starts searching for health insurance to cover surrogacy, a frustrating and consuming project, but one important to her.
It's true, she says, that they could keep the surrogacy a secret, and rely on regular insurance, but then how to explain it when Wendy hands Kathy the baby in the delivery room?
"I do not want my sister to have to act like she's had an affair when she hasn't, or like she's giving up a baby that's hers and Andy's," she says. "I want all of us to go through this with dignity."
Meanwhile, Kathy keeps praying to God - not just for a baby, but to accept whatever happens.
* * *
Jan. 14 arrives, the day of the appointment with Dr. Blazar, Kathy's gynecologist from years ago.
The doctor's advice to them all is to keep trying on their own at home for a few months; he gives them some utensils more suited to the job.
He also talks to Kathy alone, and something he says - something very simple and poetic - touches her, nearly making her cry:
"Okay, Kathy," he says, looking directly into her large brown eyes, "now how are we going to get you pregnant?"
You. How are we going to get you pregnant.
"Does he know how comforting his words are?" Kathy writes that night in the diary. "What a release this has all been for me. God will lead me to the path that can make this miracle happen."
* * *
Once again, Wendy gets her period. Once again, Kathy cries.
During this rough patch, Joe is not - he admits it - as sensitive to his wife's feelings as he might be.
Kathy understands. He's simply not as invested in the project as she is, and who could be? - "This is my whole self."
She suspects, too, that Wendy's not getting pregnant presents issues of "strength and manhood" for Joe; perhaps he feels he's failed as a man.
Asked about this, however, Joe says that isn't it. After all, his sperm had been tested and found to be up to the job.
No, he says, what he feels inside is something different - something even harder to tell Kathy about.