Actually we don’t have world enough and time

Years ago, my boyfriend got in trouble with his then-girlfriend for an Insensitive Joke. It was Valentine’s Day, he was on a radio panel on ABC local radio, and the question was: “What price love?”

“$6.90,” Simon volunteered. “That’s what I paid for a single stem rose earlier. Should get me off the hook.”

On the other end of the ether, Simon’s girlfriend got hopping mad. She felt that it underrepresented Simon’s regard for her. She knew most of the other panel members. Basically it just gave her the shits.

Life moves on. They broked up, we got it on, not least because we both regard $6.90 for a single stem rose as a bit of a bargain, frankly. Within a year, I was finally ready to shrug off the I’ve-got-heaps-of-time-might-just-go-travelling-even-though-I’m-nearly-30 me, and the I-would-think-about-kids-but-I’m-a-still-a-kid-myself-despite-being-slighty-over-30 me, and the ok-sure-I’m-34-now-but-oops!-I-don’t-have-a-boyfriend me, and – true to my sex and demographic – DEMANDED we try to get pregnant right away. I was, by then, 36 (geriatric, in obstetric terms). Simon agreed, understanding enough to seem empathetic and dishy but grumpy enough to seem take-charge and manly.

We never did get pregant, though, and after about two years I started wondering why. (Simon had, by then, forgotten about it.) My wondering led to all sorts of tests. Which led Simon to all sorts of other tests, some of which he would have happily been marked “absent”, even if it meant failure, which says something, because he’s very conscientious.

Which leads us to the question, what price baby?

$2,527. Plus the anesthetist’s fee.

It appears Simon and I can’t conceive naturally, so we going to do IVF – to be precise, a particular type of IVF called ICSI. Our problem is Simon’s sperm is really quite retarded and fairly solitary in nature. (Those chips off the old block.) With ICSI, they find one particularly athletic sperm and inject it straight in to the egg, which they have – the idea is – previously extracted from me. We hope to get pregnant this way. We have a few things going for us and a few things not going for us. On the plus side, male infertility is easier to deal with than female infertility. I’ve had every test known to womankind and my insides look ok. On the minus-sign side, I have just turned 39. These are old crone eggs, well past retirement age. Frankly, they were thinking about a nice little unit in Noosa. A little back from the beach, where prices are better. Now I’ve come barging in, expecting them to don hotpants and act 25 again. “Oy vey!” they say. (My eggs are Jewish, for some reason.)

Our plan is to give it a red hot go, then in true Aussie fashion give up if it doesn’t work. In which case we fully plan to go on and have a ball doing other stuff. Really, I don’t want to make it in to a big thing – I know this happens all the time: the infertility bit, and the IVF bit, and the potential pregnant bit and the potential childlessness bit. Everyone is at least one of those things. I’m just telling you.

Anyway. Fingers crossed for us. It starts soon. End of the monthish.

In posting this information, I rely on you to NEVER ASK ME ABOUT IT UNLESS I BRING IT UP. (Simon may feel differently. Ask him.) I will let you know if there’s any developments. I don’t mind talking about it but I’m thingy about people asking. Not that I blame them/you/whatever. I’d ask; I’d totally ask. But I’ve learnt how it feels from my side, and from my side, it’s like, if I had something for you, I’d give it up. It’s a slow and difficult process – and there’s really no interesting development except “Would you believe it? I’m pregnant”.

I say all this knowing that YOUR [think of yourself here] sensitivity and enormous insight would preclude YOU [ditto] from any vulgar behaviour, but just explaining my thingyness.

And thanks in arrears and in advance to those who’ve answered a call from me just to hear shuddering sobs, or have listened or will listen to much medical and emotional detail. Preciate it.

Published on 20 October 2007 at 12:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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