Two weeks after our RE appointment I was on a red eye flight to attend Myrtle’s baby shower. I couldn’t sleep well as my bladder felt like it was about to burst, but I had to hold it to preserve the concentration of my first morning urine. Finally, I made it off the plane, peed on the stick and waited eight minutes for my fertility monitor to inform me that I was at my peak fertility -four days earlier than previous cycles. I'm convinced my ovaries are sadistic little bitches. Maybe they've felt under-appreciated for so many years, and now they're getting their revenge by fucking with me. We had a quickie literally right before I left for the airport last night -it is amazing how the procreation process just kills all romance. Was that close enough? Will it be too late when I get back tomorrow? I can't help to wonder why my cycles seem to be centred on when one of us is travelling. It seems as if my hypopituitary axis has been copied into our Google calendar. Maybe this really is a bad idea any my brain is actually acting in a protective capacity. I barely had enough time to consider these questions as a queue of angry women were waiting for the stall and I was holding up Myrtle’s husband who was gracious to pick me up at 7 AM.
Myrtle greeted me at the door when we arrived and annoyingly looked fantastic nearly eight months pregnant. I was secretly hoping she would be ginormus and I would have at least one reason to feel satisfied about not being pregnant. I adopted the delusional notion that my athletic frame and frequent exercise would allow me to look great while pregnant, while Myrtle was already slightly frumpy and had already gained all her recommended pregnancy weight and yet looked amazing. Again, if I weren’t jealous enough already. It was satisfying to hear Myrtle tell me that I was looking thinner after recently running a half marathon, but I was reminded that she can loose her bump and look like me, but I may never look like her.
The conversation shifted to our plight and upcoming voyage to the homeland.
"So are you going to try to conceive in England?" she pressed once again.
I started screaming inside my head, yet again. "Actually Myrtle, I'm due to ovulate tonight."
"That's great!" she replied to my astonishment "You have five days to try!"
How the fuck did she get pregnant when she knows nothing! I asked myself whilst answering at the same time.
"No Myrtle. I have 24 hours."
She offered the sexual services of her husband. I laughed, as it seemed like she was finally starting to understand.
I filled her in on the details of my visit with Dr. Somebody I Used to Know and his recommendations. "I still think you'll conceive on your own" she told me based on some type of logic that is unknown to me. I know she was just trying to be helpful and optimistic, but I couldn’t help read into her blind faith. Is it somehow implying that spontaneous conception is superior to an assisted pregnancy? Well, it is cheaper, much more private and more natural, so I would agree on that one, but does it give such pregnancy an asterisk? Would I still carry the feelings of failure if I couldn’t do it on my own?
Spending the weekend with Myrtle and her husband has called my jealousy into check and reminded me that the grass is not always greener on the other side. Myrtle expressed her concerns about balancing motherhood and work and her partner’s readiness to embrace the roles and responsibilities of parenting. I got the impression that while not wanting to go through the infertility uncertainty that we are facing, he wouldn’t have minded if it took them longer to conceive. For the first time, I started to appreciate what I have gained during this process, and I could even feel a little smug; my husband is willing to wank in a cup so we can have a child, how’s THAT for commitment!
My mission was accomplished as Myrtle judged her shower to be a success.
"I know in my heart that I'll be throwing such an event for you soon" she told me as I left for the airport. I started to protest that I don't want a shower, but I know it’s not worth wasting any energy on a hypothetical situation. I know she is only trying to be positive, but it’s actually annoying when she keeps insisting that I will get pregnant. They are only words, and they don’t mean anything.