In a former life (or, say, this one last year) I might have questioned whether it was a slow day for news. As it was, the story held my interest like so many bombs in Baghdad or a car crash involving my next door neighbor. “Infertile on facebook,” ran the headline. It appeared in The Washington Post.
The story followed one gal – who could have been any Infertile Myrtle with a presence on the social networking site, who could have been me, but was, instead, an occupational therapist named Diane Colling – who checked her news feed only to find yet another sister/cousin/friend with an ultrasound image for a profile pic, kvetching about how she’s gotten huge in the abdomen or how she’s seriously spent for spending all weekend watching hubby paint the nursery in a gender-neutral, VOC-free yellow. All, mind you, on the heels of a latest failed IVF procedure.
So it was that, last week, I availed myself of the usual onslaught of new pregnancies, baby pics and an annoying inventory of complaints about those problems I only wish I had: sensitivities heightened for cramping fallopian tubes and the contrast dye leaking forth from my parts like so many babbling brooks. I just survived my first HSG. And the universe (or, more accurately, my social network) was content to make absolutely certain there was no way I’d ever forget that the only not-to-scale pic of my uterus I’d ever seen didn’t showcase anything remotely like a growing fetus. It showcased empty. And lots of it.
The insane part, of course, is that I was partially relieved for all that empty. That HSG appeared free of cysts, blockages and other noticeably, fertility-compromising conditions. My first week’s worth of fertility testing revealed a well-within normal Cycle Day 3 blood test, too. I was a specimen of reproductive health! And I wasn’t pregnant.
I wasn’t pregnant because, as I’d soon learn, the Projected Pops – who, I’d be remiss not to mention, had the dubious distinction of visiting a “collection center” for the first time last week in order that he might jerk off into a sterile, plastic cup and subsequently have his junk analyzed under a microscope – has a limited number of mutant sperm. That is, low volume and 0% morphology. Which means, to be doubly sure we’re as fucked as our docs suspect, he’s got to repeat this, ahem, “procedure” in a few weeks’ time.
Meanwhile, we were the recipients of bad news that, truth be told, I’d been suspecting. And anticipating. First a phone call, then a letter… We regret to inform you, Projected Progenitors, that you almost certainly won’t be able to get knocked up the old fashioned way.
I don’t have a baby bump or morning sickness. I can still fit into my pre-preggo jeans. I have nothing to report about my precious newborn (though yours is adorable) or terrible twos (which, comfort you though I might, sound pretty damn unenviable) or that first day of pre-school (since I’m somewhat uncertain I’ll ever have a kid to leave in tears on the playground in the first place). But I do sleep through the night. I have copious amounts of sex. Sometimes even good sex. Even when I’m not trying to get knocked up, little ol’ monogomous me doesn’t have to worry about birth control. I can go away for the weekend. Pretty much any weekend. And I have no reason to hire a sitter. My house is clean and orderly. I cleaned it myself. No multi-tasking. I just came home from work and cleaned it and nobody got in my way. And I left all those household cleansers on low-lying shelves and nobody died for drinking them and I didn’t worry they would. And when I was done, I soaked my feet and read a book. About pregnancy.
Status update: Infertile!