Friday, August 13, 2004

Mid-August -- Before Vacation and Baby Making

A curious thing has come to pass... I have been working so diligently for the last couple of weeks that I have worked myself right into nothing to do on my last day in the office before vacation. I would go home, except that I need to wait until noon for a phone call. Until then I am shiftless, rootless, and otherwise adrift.

This, clearly, indicates the need for blogging.

The trick is that I'm feeling so out of practice, that I don't know how to start. There are at least three topics I'm considering: 1) the travails and dilemmas of baby-making (not in the euphemistic sense, but in the "I started Clomid today and am both excited and disappointed by the prospect of being able to/having to prompt my ovaries to produce" sense); 2) what accounts for those long-lost friends with whom you manage to reconnect somehow who then re-enter your life's narrative as a new or revisited character versus those with whom the encounter proves to be something more like a piece of candy --- a mutually enjoyable nostalgic novelty --- with no more to it than a quick "catch-up" and an extended stroll down memory lane; and 3) my delayed and -- I'm really quite chagrined to admit this -- thus, dwindlingly charged thoughts and feelings about the Democratic National Convention and like matters. Or, actually, what I really wish is that I had more steam for poetry or fiction right now, actually. But, apparently, I don't. Maybe when I get back from vacation.

So, hmmm. What to blog about today....

Well, after trying to feel around for what has the most juice in it, I'll take door number 1.

Topic 1: Baby-making
There are several buses in town that are covered in some advertising agency's idea of clever and creative use of space, and indeed, there is something visually appealing about buses completely covered in colorful murals moving through the streets of a city --- like paintings on wheels making their way through traffic, offering one split-second of wonder and delight at their incongruity before the immunized adult mind returns to the irritation of being in a metal box surrounded by other metal boxes going nowhere. However, I'm not so keen on the murals as advertisements.

And one particularly common one around here shows a smiling pretty young mother holding a gorgeous smiling fat cheeked baby up to her own cheek, and the caption reads: "The right things happen when you do the right things."

It's for the fertility program at a local hospital.

It makes me want to spit.

I'm just not over the disappointment that D. and I are not going to have a baby spontaneously, unexpectedly, made just in the heat of passion and love. And that seems to me like doing the right thing: marrying a man who is as good or better to me than he is to himself, who will be good to his children, who makes me feel hopeful about the human race, who I love, love, love and who loves, loves, loves me back. We both waited to try until we knew we were ready (with the right person) and could provide for children. We're fit and healthy. I mean, come on. If the world were fair....

And I know it isn't. I really from the depths of my being understand that it isn't. I believe in karma --- that the actions one takes have effects. To me that seems an indisputable law of science and relationship. However, I also believe that as delicious as it is to believe that "karma" is some universal way to mete out "justice," (defined, of course, subjectively by whoever is seeking it), that's just human folly. I think "karma" is actually far beyond our rational minds to understand and certainly doesn't play by any black or white/tit-for-tat rules, if any rules we're capable of understanding at all. I strongly suspect the human mind is limited in some aspects of its capacity to percieve the natural order.

In any case, so, D. and I don't deserve a baby in a universal sense, I understand that too. But that moving billboard, following me around town, makes it very hard for me to give up the wish that it was that cut and dried. (It also makes it hard not to seethe with righteous anger at the gross manipulation of certain people's emotions -- namely, uh, mine.)

Instead, we have just today taken an inteventionary step. Rather than leaving it to my body to decide whether or not to have a baby, we're going to try telling it to. The Clomid I am starting as of today will cut off all my natural estrogen production for the next few days in order to "trick" my body into over-production, and thus, as a side effect: bing! ovum release. (Or ova, as the case may be.) Then we get D.'s swimmers (we've already established that they're strong and legion) together with my egg or eggs, and... well, we see what happens.

Okay, this may not be the most helpful way to think about it, I know. I'm conflicted, honestly, about the concept of intervening in this process, even with well known, well-established drugs, that have helped many of my friends have perfectly delightful children. It doesn't make all kinds of rational sense. I'm not sure it's even good to admit to --- I certainly have a few friends who would strongly criticize me for feeling conflicted. They'd say it might prevent me from getting pregnant, having my mind sending conflicting messages to my body/brain, or even if I do get pregnant, I might scar the fetus somehow into doubting whether I really wanted it. I am suspect to this kind of thinking because it prompts guilt, and it takes a lot of willpower for me to resist an opportunity to feel guilty. However, this is a little absurd even to me.

I'm conflicted for what I think are good reasons. I do very much long for children. But I have a great life. D. and I have a great life together. Kids will change that in ways we can't anticipate and I think it'd be just plain stupid not to feel trepdiatious about that. Also, there are so many children in the world who have been orphaned or abandoned. I'd love to have the experience of being pregnant, I really would. But if the idea is really to help raise a kid, and my body isn't the best baby-producer in the world, maybe it'd be good to give all this love and home to a kid who is already here and needing some help to turn a bad start around...

All that said, I really want to have a baby. That's really why I swallowed my first of five pills this morning. In my own fruity way I actually think my body had been trying, lately, to ovulate specifically in response to a whole-self desire to be a part of "the circle" in this fundamental way, and it needs a hand because all operations were shut down for so long (when I was married before). I don't really think of Clomid as forcing it to do something it is not willing/able to do on its own. I actually think of it as training wheels. But it's hard not to feel sub-female for needing them.


What I really need is a vacation. Which, oh, hey, is coming up right about NOW! Waaahooo!

See you in a couple of weeks! Hope they're good ones for all of you, and that especially pertains to anyone reading this sentence. :-)