Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fertility rights

Before we became a couple we talked about everything. One of those topics was children. He said He didn’t want children, but one did have doubts. It is hard to go against the grain when you come from a clannish family. Besides He was only a baby himself and one always thought He would change his mind... when He grew up or met the right girl. See one believes we have a biological clock and love can’t stand in the way if that thing decides to go off.

Personally one never wanted children. Most little girls have dolls... one small slave had a model farm, with the greatest tractors that could dispense little hay bales as you moved them along, which was far more fun. It seemed that mothering gene was just missing altogether. In fact you have probably never met someone so determined to not get pregnant. We are talking about someone who would get the morning after pill if a condom broke... while on the pill as well.

So as you can imagine we had lots of long talks about the topic of family. At the time one was starting to have very strange periods... one went from a 35 day cycle to bleeding erratically. So after a round of doctors’ appointments and failing a round of hormones to stabilise the issue, it was decided that going back on the pill was the answer. Besides we were planning on having sex so it was sensible...

As our lives became more intertwined, people started to make strange little rumblings. Well they were strange to one small slave. One of the joys of living with women is that people don’t make certain assumptions about you the way straight people do. His family and friends were making those subtle noises about having a baby... before it was too late... said glancing pointedly in one’s direction.  It was an eye-opener. One had no idea how much pressure is put on a couple to breed and some of it wasn’t subtle.

All this time the pill issue raged as off we went on a chemical cocktail merry-go-round. Round and round with each of them failing more spectacularly, or producing more bizarre side effects, than the last one. The injection gave one morning sickness at 10am on the dot and as it turned out, that was the least of the issues for some of them. In the end we decided that we needed to investigate alternatives.

The first stage of this was a sperm test for Him. It was hysterical. You have to go three days without sex to get a good sample. We failed that at least twice before keeping off each other long enough to go the distance. When the results came back it turned out He had veteran sperm. They came in on crutches and there was a 20% chance for Him to father a child.

Well for us it wasn’t as bad as it could have been... though His mother was devastated to the point of offering to pay for IVF. An offer we hastily rejected might one add. So we stumbled on in the hunt for contraception... Did you know a diaphragm can actually rub someone’s penis raw? Neither did we, until it happened. They never put that kind of stuff in their handy little manuals now do they?

All this trial and error continued, while the periods were getting more erratic and longer in duration. To the point that one ended up with an 11 day cycle towards the end. In the end we consulted a gynaecologist who had tests done that confirmed that one had PCOS . We learnt that our chances of ever having children together naturally were marginally less than zero. And in that moment everything changed... ‘cos life is like that.

See not wanting children is vastly different from being told you can’t have them. Then that clock went boom. It is not a rational thing at all. And in that moment, one realised that one had finally met someone who one would want to have children with and it wasn’t going to happen. We both stumbled out of that appointment in a state of mourning for what might have been. If we had been different people and younger and, and, and...

And all the while people kept asking when are you going to start a family? We used to joke and brush it off. But some of them were like terriers. In the end we just told them the truth point blank and they were never the same around us again. We made them too uncomfortable... rolls eyes.

So here we are... all these years later... and we often look around our place with its toys sorry "collectables" and breakables and sigh in relief. We like our life and don’t have any regrets and we do have more spending money. It is just a different life from what might have been....

1 comment:

Tiara's boy said...

You have a fantastic way of expressing things, I really enjoy reading your musings. My own experiences on the subject are very different to yours but it wasn't meant to be for me either.
If...such a small word but means so much.