Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"A collision of culture and nature"

Thanks to Planned Parenthood on Facebook, I'm reading an article by Jocelyn Elders about how Americans suck, so to speak, at acknowledging teen sexuality.  Biological imperative, etc.

Heather is in the midst of an episode of House Hunters International about a couple looking for a house in Botswana ("Guests can share a bathroom!") and I felt my own imperative to interrupt her and ask how on earth we would address our own teen's sexuality in the future.  I didn't say anything, though, because a) we do not interrupt House Hunters International for anything other than food, and b) I realized that we're barely a week into the two-week wait, so this wasn't quite an emergency.

Yesterday we had a late lunch and a surprisingly positive, enthusiastic chat about our hopes for this cycle's effort.  I admitted I felt this might be it, and she said she thought so, too.  "I didn't do much visualizing this time," she said, but whispered "I hope this is it!" and swore not to talk about any symptoms.

What we also agreed on is that trying to get pregnant, by such elaborate means ("Trying To Conceive," or "TTC" according to the Cryobank community), took over our lives.  Everything is on hold.  We talk about how we would cope if neither of us could get pregnant-- could we be happy without children?-- but it's a grim, unappealing reality and a long way ahead.  If Heather is going to try 12 times, and I'll do the same if that doesn't work, we're only a tiny way through the possible journey.

"Journey" is such an upbeat word, and I guess that's why I picked it when I started this blog and the process.  It's fun to think about, and it was way fun when I had blown right past conception and straight to the controversy over home birth and epidurals.  Now, in the midst of our seventh attempt, fun is a rare occurrence, and it seems less like the journey of a week's safari and more like the journey that Laura Ingalls took across the plains.  The Ingalls' journey was a lot cuter when it was little girls with corncob dolls and new sewing machines, but I can imagine Ma Ingalls thinking, "God almighty, when do I get a house with windows?"

What we have right now, it feels, is a slog.  We're plodding, we're trudging. 

When I withdrew from college, I bitterly told a therapist that it was an adventure, and he told me that maybe it was, and I should look at it that way.  I appreciated his perspective, but what it was turned out to be a lot of hours watching Friends and eating junk food while avoiding human contact.  Not comparable, I'll admit, to months in an oilcloth-covered wagon, but no adventure I recognized. 

Neither is getting pregnant.  Not for two grumps like us, anyway, after six and a half tries.  Maybe we need a long drive.

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