Even if you have an answer to the inevitable inquiry, 'so when are you going to have kids?', you still have to be prepared for the follow up questions. So how exactly do you spend your time and money? My parents enjoy asking when we plan to take a vacation, or what will be our next renovation project. Fortunately, I've become just as skilled at evading these questions as well. It's hard to plan a holiday due to Husband's busy umpiring schedule. We can't decide just what exactly we want to do to improve the gardens, so we're just maintaining what we have now.
Actually, that's a lie. A stronger than usual wave of depression swept over me as I looked out at the pitiful state of our back garden. We have a great space with so much potential, but it's fallen to the wayside of neglect. When we began trying to conceive, we started working on some simple projects, but we soon discovered that both procreation and renovation would be expensive investments. I thought back to our spontaneous conception. Husband viewed it as if we had won the lottery. Not only for the miracle of life, but he saw the savings offset by avoiding infertility treatments. The sad condition of our garden has become a tangible example of our road not taken. Oh, what we could have done if I were holding a baby right now and the bank accounts didn't take such a hit... In my despondent state, evil thoughts creep into my otherwise somewhat rational mind. Jane, you knew that you may have had a septum present. Maybe you shouldn't have gone swimming that morning...
It is especially frustrating when your partner who knows first hand why we haven't booked a holiday or decided our next DIY project, asks the same questions. Earlier in the week, he asked about when we should take our time share in Hawaii next year. I suggested that we postpone that discussion for few more months, until we know when or if anything major will be occurring next year. "That's why I was thinking December. It works with my hockey schedule." he replied. Um, no. While I appreciate that we can't make any tentative plans, waiting a year and a half before we take a proper holiday does not sound appealing. Okay, maybe a small part of me would like to do the baby moon thing. Tonight, Husband announced that he reckons we can remodel our master bathroom for $25,000.
He carried on talking, but I tuned him out as I focused on chopping up vegetables. If Husband had his way, he would have leveled our entire house and rebuilt it entirely. He often over estimates what we actually need to have done and he fixates on unnecessary items. During the planning of our kitchen renovation, he wanted a top of the line sub-zero refrigerator; which I agreed he could have if he would cook us gourmet meals every night. He insisted on a double oven, and for the record we've only used both ovens at the same time once. However, I do concede that it helps our re-sale value. My father and I had to talk him out of installing new cabinets as ours were in excellent shape and I'm a skilled painter. If I had relented, we probably wouldn't have been able to pursue IVF when we did as we would have been climbing out of a $20,000 debt on superfluous cabinets.
I started chopping louder and quicker in a passive aggressive attempt to express my annoyance. What was really irritating me was the fact that he's banking on our first transfer being successful. As he talks about 'paying off IVF', it strikes me that he's not anticipating any additional costs. Have you learned anything from me? I thought back to my second pregnancy. I had given him strict instructions not to be optimistic, and for the most part he was compliant. Yet one night while he was in LA at a hockey tournament and perhaps after too much sun and/or beer, he started talking about attending the event next year and leaving me at home with a four month old baby. I went slightly ballistic, which prompted him to end the phone call abruptly. I wanted to cry. Pregnancy and the anticipation of a baby should be a happy occasion for a couple. I was denying him that aspect. However, after the inevitable miscarriage, Husband understood why I snapped at him that night.
It was time to ground him once again. I pointed out that there is a 25% chance that an euploid blast won't implant and we could be receiving yet another BFN. Even if it does implant, a miscarriage can still occur. If we make it through the first trimester and an anatomy scan does not reveal any significant structural defects; then maybe, just maybe, we can exhale a sigh of relief and start accepting that we might actually be having a baby. "Well we're ahead of most regular couples as we know we have a normal embryos." he contended. I shook my head. "We've merely eliminated one possibility. The everyday woman is not thinking about how many different ways she can experience a miscarriage." We may have identified a pathway, but we're still a long way from being out of the forest.
A few days earlier my medical assistant emerged from the exam room with a report on my next patient. "She's 22 years old and she should be about 12 weeks. She's French and is moving back to France tomorrow. I'm not quite sure why she's here since she's going to be receiving all her care in France..." She was here today for one reason only. The little black and white ultrasound photo to show to parents their future grand baby. Especially if her parents weren't too thrilled about the pregnancy, an adorable ultrasound photo might soften the blow.
I recognised the patient as I had seen her for a routine visit last year. She was attending a local University and couldn't decided if she wanted to stay in the States or move back to France after her graduation. I started by asking when she confirmed her pregnancy. It was just days after her missed period. She decided to stop taking her birth control pills as her prescription expired and she was curious to see what would happen. She received her BFP just days before she was due to register for classes in the Autumn term, so she withdrew herself from the University and ended the yearly lease on her flat. She had shipped most of her stuff and would be going home to finish packing after the visit. She expressed how she wanted to be close to her family during the pregnancy and early infancy, as well as guarantee French citizenship for her baby. Her fiancé had started the process to gain a Visa, which hopefully would be granted by the time the baby is born.
Her uterus felt smaller than expected on her exam. Fuck. Maybe she just wasn't as far along, which is very common for women who are just coming off birth control pills. Although, if that were the case, she wouldn't have had such an early BFP. The Crown-Rump length measured 7 weeks and 2 days without any evidence of cardiac activity. Fuck. She burst into tears when I described what this meant. Instead of a photo for her parents, she would be going back to France with my office notes so her doctor in France could manage her early pregnancy failure.
"O-M-G! I can't believe she would make so many plans without having an ultrasound first!" exclaimed one medical assistant after I asked her to print up my notes and place them in a sealed envelope. "I know, seriously!" echoed another who was standing near her. Both of them were in their early twenties when they had their firstborn, and I doubt either waited for an ultrasound before announcing the pregnancy or purchasing some baby items. She is a young girl who should have been able to make such long range plans as soon as she saw two lines on the stick. She shouldn't have to think the way I do. No one should.