Sunday, December 18, 2011
Ho ho ho
Tomorrow, we're leaving work a little early to drive to Nashville. We've got a hotel room (thanks, Priceline-- I got a room and a strange sense of consumer triumph within five minutes) downtown, so we'll crash for the night, then get up and drive only three minutes (again, consumer triumph) to the fertility clinic's offices-- and we don't know for sure what happens then.
Heather has an appointment, then I have an appointment, but somewhere in there I imagine we'll sit down with the doctor together, and probably at some point we have to meet with the financing coordinator. It's so much money that I can't truly engage: insurance covers nothing, and the parts we know about equal at least a quarter of my annual salary. There are, of course, the parts we don't know about, and I don't especially want to sit next to Heather as those are itemized.
This appointment carries a lot of baggage. IVF in general is supposed to be the silver bullet, the outsider who comes to town and takes down the villain who's been tormenting villagers for years in the form of ICI and IUI, and this is supposed to be the start of that heroic resolution. Jimmy Stewart has come to town.
Somewhat departing from that metaphor's original structure, we'll also be confronting the question of whether Jimmy Stewart or John Wayne will slay the cruel Lee Marvin. Heather has been noncommittal about my potential role as surrogate, but every now and again there are flashes of enthusiasm. Her decision is central, but I guess we have to hear what the doctor thinks of the scheme and our relative qualifications.
Do I want to be more qualified? Or do I want Heather to be an impeccable candidate? My ego would appreciate an "untilted uterus" shout-out, and my totally selfish ambition about child-bearing would appreciate the doctor's preference for my womb. Still, I'm on antidepressants and headed towards a New Year's encounter with Weight Watchers (I'm waiting for my iPhone so I can have the app). I want Heather to get an ego-boost, too, and to feel that she's qualified to have a baby if she wants to. I just want her to follow the ego-boost with the decision to entrust her embryo to my vessel.
So Tuesday is everything. I'm miserable at the thought of bad news-- Heather has to undergo six months of tests or treatments, transferring the embryo to me would cost another $5,000, there's a glut of patients so they couldn't do anything for a year. I can't remember the last good news, so, while the trip seems like an adventure, I'm struggling to endow it with any hope or confidence. It's just more information, like warming a frozen sperm vial or rotating after insemination or using the right syringe-- none of which have made a measurable difference.
I wish we could see someone like Michael Jackson's plastic surgeon: throw the money at them and they make it happen, without caution or discussion. Here's a credit card; just fucking plant a baby in one of us. Modern medicine should have someone pregnant by Wednesday.