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|Essays · Poetry · Comedy · Art · Video||summer 2021|
The Fallopian Chronicles,
Jan 2004, llandry
At the age of 38, we gave up on getting pregnant solely relying on good ol' Mother Nature and opted to bring medical science into the game. We began the least expensive and least invasive fertility treatments available: the drug Clomid paired with in utero insemination. Or, as I call it, the "turkey baster method."
By trial number four, I was at the end of my fallopian rope. I thought it was all useless; that it just wasn't going to happen. But, my ever-positive husband had me commit to our limit of six Clomid cycles so I remained on board with the plan. Now, when we began treatment, the doctor proclaimed confidently that most people get pregnant on trial #5. He said it kind of matter-of-factly as if to say, it rains in the winter. I still didn't believe him.
Trial #4 came and went. When the next cycle started, I stopped following the fertility diet. Suddenly I wanted nitrates and caffeine and a whole lotta wine to drink. My cycle got a little delayed and the surge that detected ovulation happened on a Saturday which meant we were to call up the weekend guy and show up for treatments at 7am on a Sunday. "Oh great," I thought. "We'll get some fly-by-night weekend shift doctor, it won't work and it's back to square one... and with only one more chance...fugget abowt it."
Now, just because I detected a surge using the ovulation stick, doesn't mean I felt confident about it. Things seemed different. The line on the stick wasn't as vividly purple as usual and I hadn't felt the familiar pains in my ovaries declaring egg production. But, we had the appointment so off we went to the weekend clinic. It was Father's Day and we were due to meet David's mom and dad at the racetrack where we'd give him some play money to bet on the horses as his present. We needed to get this over with and just get on with the day.
Again, David did his business. Then, we drove over to the clinic where we met the doctor. He was an old guy, reminding me of some jolly little elf, some grandpa. He had a very devil-may-care attitude and I thought this guy is just waiting to retire here.
When we got into the exam room and I was stripped waist down sportin' a gown and feet in the stirrups, he came in, fiddling about with the syringe and the vial of sperm. His first question was, "so, did you have THE SHOT?"
"Shot. No. Should I have the shot?" I was wondering about the shot. I heard about the shot but my doctor said I didn't need the shot. Could that be why we're not getting pregnant? I felt so horrid and sure that we had been doing this wrong all along and that this trial and all the rest were futile.
He raised a hand and shook me off. "No, no, every doctor is different." He looked at my chart and said, "You have one of the best doctors. Let's just see how it goes."
I told him about my spiral helix of a uterus and how I usually experience blood and pain and cramping. Again, he brushed me off saying, "let's just see what we have here."
Then, he backed up, flip-flapped the latex gloves off and into the sink and said, "done."
"What? You're DONE? Are you sure?"
I didn't feel ANYTHING.
"Yup. Lay still for a bit and you're good to go."
I figured this guy was old and experienced and knew exactly what to do, or he was in the early stages of dementia and a quack and we had just thrown away $300 bucks, not to mention a good Sunday sleep-in. Upon leaving we told him we'd send him cookies if it worked. He smiled sweetly. Poor little man, I thought. Poor us.
I was just happy not to be in pain.
We went to the track with David's family and had a fun afternoon in the sun, watching the horse races and making two-dollar bets. I stayed away from alcohol and caffeine like a good girl.
Back at home that evening, the ovulation pains started. "Great," I said, "we did everything wrong this month." So, we capped it off with a little turkey basting of our own...human style. I just let it happen. There was nothing we could do to change things.
During the next two weeks, I had been moody and bloated, and figured, oh, the usual monthly PMS. I milked it and wallowed in grouchiness. We went out for Italian food and a movie and had a solid discussion on the real possibility that we were never going to have kids. We figured we could sell our house and move back to the city. Ya know, position our life like proper DINKS (double income; no kids). Travel. Have a lot of fun without the hassle of family. Or, we could adopt. We both preferred spending more money on private adoption instead of the really expensive, but not guaranteed, method of in vitro fertilization. I just didn't think I could handle it. Not at $20,000 a try. After dinner and before the movie started, we slipped into a bookstore and bought a book on adoption. After trial six, we'd start the process and adopt a child who really needed us.
June 30th was my husband's birthday and the day my period was supposed to start. Three days after my period starts, I start the Clomid cycle. We went out the night before with friends to celebrate with wine, cheese, and a lovely dinner cruise around the bay. It was fun and I put all aside, with a deep conviction that Trial #5 was a bust and it was time to just enjoy life again.
The next morning, I woke up early and went into the bathroom. Hmmmmm, no blood or hint that the period was going to start. I had one pregnancy test left out of the ovulation kit package. I giggled to myself. "I know I'm not pregnant," I thought, "but, hey, I have to buy a new ovulation kit anyway, so what the hell."
At this point, I had been peeing on ovulation sticks and pregnancy sticks for two months. I knew what they looked like and was confident in my peeing, testing, and observation abilities.
So, I peed on the stick with its pink result bars, stuck it on the counter and finished up in the bathroom. By the time my hands were washed, it was time to read the result.
Two identical pink bars.
I was pregnant!
Upon reading the results on the stick, I ran into the bedroom where David snoozed on his birthday, jumped on top of him and shoved the stick in his face.
"Happy Birthday, honey," I sang out.
He was a bit confused and groggy (it was 7am) so it took a few seconds for him to see me holding my pee-stick.
"Are you sure?" He said, propping up on his elbows. "Should you take the test again?"
"No!" I said. "I’ve never seen this result so I’m sure it’s right."
We whispered together a bit. His sister had spent the night and was snoozing in the other room. We were terribly excited but didn’t want to get our hopes up. Now that we had finally made it to our goal of getting pregnant, we knew that our odds of miscarriage were still high so we tried our damndest to hold in our joy.
But we were so joyful.
That entire day was so romantic. We hung out in the backyard with his sister, barbecued and puttered around. David and I would hug or touch hands or give each other private looks when she wasn’t paying attention. We were both soaring. It was like we had just met all over again.
Lynn Landry is writing again after a lot of goading, coddling, and shaming by friends. Technology has set her free as she discovered she was "born to blog." Check out her daily musings on life in Oakland, CA at Bad Mother.Got feedback on this page? Share it with the moocat!
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