Sunday, July 15, 2007

Blessed events

There are three invitations on our fridge right now. One for the wedding of my 26-year-old cousin, who's having a very large, presumably extravagant (and heterosexual, if that's not obvious) wedding; ten bucks says she's pregnant before she's 30. The second is to the lesbian wedding of a friend with a toddler; she conceived on the first try, and for their wedding gift, they're asking friends to contribute to an IVF fund. Not because they need to do IVF for kid #2, but so they can use one partner's egg and the other's uterus. The last invitation is to a baby shower of a close friend who's expecting twins after struggling with infertility for a while. When I was pregnant, I imagined attending these events with a nice little second-trimester belly. Instead I have my usual grandmotherly figure.

Is it any wonder I'm a little cranky these days? This summer was supposed to be a break, and in some ways it has been: I haven't touched my basal body thermometer, haven't gone to acupuncture, and even spent two less-miserable-than-expected weeks on the South Beach diet (more on that later, maybe). In other ways this hasn't been a break at all, because the very nature of a break makes me anxious. The longer I wait, the longer I wait. I probably won't be pregnant again until I'm at least 37. Given that I got pregnant at 35 and 36, and given that I've always wanted two kids, this freaks me out. I worry that if I do get pregnant, it may be my only pregnancy -- if I'm able to maintain it.

It's also not entirely a break because of the hoops I need to jump through to prepare for IVF -- blood tests, copious forms, choosing the next sperm donor, etc. My doctor's office wanted me to see a psychologist to discuss my feelings about "third-party reproduction." This nearly made my head explode: for some reason no one has required me to see a therapist for the 17 cycles of third-party reproduction and two miscarriages I've already experienced. Why is it different now? (Since I already have my own therapist, I'm finding a way around this, but the very idea of this enrages me.)

To get started with IVF, I need to call my doctor's office when my period arrives. From there, I take birth control pills for a month (that'll be fun!), then start the other no-doubt-delightful drugs in anticipation of an egg retrieval about 6 weeks after my period arrives. At the earliest, an egg retrieval could happen in late August. Until recently I thought I'd wait until the end of the summer to get things going. But this week I realized that this break isn't a break; it's a stagnant pause I never wanted. Maybe the best way to stop feeling pissed off and sorry for myself is to accept that I'll never be ready for another miscarriage. I'll never want to do IVF. Maybe going to Paris before I get pregnant again isn't as important as just getting this goddamn show on the road.

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