Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Counting our chickens

Because Heather and I, virtuous as we are, are disastrous budgeters, our life, individually and as a team, is divided into two-week increments, with about four days of relief and comfort followed by ten of anxiety and self-recrimination.

Thursday is payday.  It begins a new chapter in our financial life, and, within this chapter, we have the usual allocations for rent, utilities, credit card bills, and groceries, but my post-it note this time is $150 rent, $100 credit card, and $300 insemination.  Seven days into Heather's cycle, we're less than a week away from round two.

In this cycle, instead of focusing on mucus-interpretation and types of syringes, we have the luxury of handing those decisions to Nurse Nina.  She'll make the final call about whether Heather's cervix looks right, the syringe will be medical-grade, and we don't even have to pick up the cryo-tank from the clinic.  All we do is show up, show her Heather's lady parts, and either stick around or wait till later.

I want to feel hurt and guilty because I was supposed to be the one who got Heather pregnant.  Our child was going to be conceived in the home we've created together, with only the two of us as witnesses.  I would feel a maternal (paternal?) connection to the baby because I would be, in some odd sense, the source of the sperm that fertilized my partner's egg.  Instead, I'll stand to the side and hold Heather's hand while some other lady, whom Heather only half likes, creates our child.

Blah blah blah.  I know.  You don't have to tell me.  It's the people who raise the child and love him that are his parents, not the person whose genetic material is in him or the person who puts a tube of genetic material inside the mother's cervix. 

So there's that.  But, honestly, I'm relieved that I'm not going to be the one who fucks up the insemination, or who can't identify a waterfall of cervical mucus when it's at the tip of her speculum.  I feel pretty confident about how to hold Heather's hand, and I'm good at making small-talk with Nurse Nina and smiling at the security guard so he doesn't think we're trying to bomb the abortion clinic (which our friend Gina will tell you is what the place is, whether lesbians get inseminated there or not).  Those things I can do. 

Probably later I'll cry about my lack of a role, but I cry about everything.  At least I can say I paid the lady to put the tube in.  Whether I can afford groceries afterward is a different thing.

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