Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Fertility saga: Part 1


After I was married, I took some advice I'd received: enjoy your marriage for at least two years before having kids. Even though we'd been together for five, I decided to treat the marriage as a different animal that needed its own time and at the two-year point, got to work on the having kids part. To AJS, I said (among other arguments) that I had a goal to have a child before I turned 30 (I was 29). Many months later, I was concerned. I started reading up on fertility and made an appointment with a specialist. At the outset, I thought I was under too much stress at work or the wrong weight or, really, I had no idea. I was pretty oblivious about my body's goings on aside from purchasing Tampax and getting yearly pap smears. The Reproductive Endocrinologist (R.E.) ordered some tests for me and AJS, gave me an assignment to start taking my temperature in the mornings and chart it.

Another theory that began to darken my days was that I was cursed. Really. This is silly, but I started to wonder if a past event needed to be taken seriously: back when AJS and I were dating, we were quietly minding our own business in a mostly empty Dupont Circle café when an older woman came in with a baby in a car seat and sat at a table near us. She proceeded to hand the baby cymbals and tambourines to play with. After several minutes of having our peace disturbed by exponential amounts (baby loved him some cymbals!), I gritted my teeth, walked over, and calmly asked the woman if she had some quieter toys to give her baby. Her reaction was intense. She turned on me and practically yelled.

"You obviously don't have any children and NEVER WILL."

After more months of charting (I found a great online charting resource with wonderful information and full of helpful women at fertilityfriend.com), using an ovulation predictor kit, and tracking other cyclical events, I felt that I knew more that I ever should have to about fertility. I could teach a course. But the woman who cursed me left lingering doubts in my head: did her curse have real power to keep me from having kids? Would all these scientific efforts amount to nothing? Maybe I would have to try another type of expert.

Next, crossing over.

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