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I make a better moron than a hero

From my doctor, via e-mail:

As always, nice seeing you two yesterday...I just wish the circumstances were better. I am in awe of the resilience you folks have exhibited.

My response:

Some days I feel heroic. Other days I just feel stupid.

Today is one of those other days.

I talked to a friend about our situation and told her we might try stimulated IUIs as we vacillate about whether to do another IVF. "Is an IUI really expensive?" she asked.

"Nah," I said, "not in the grand scheme of things." I was thinking in terms of an IVF cycle, which would cost us upwards of $15,000 at Cornell, to say nothing of the money we've already spent.

But when I told her how much a stimulated IUI actually costs, her jaw dropped. "What sounds like not a lot to you," she said, lips pursed, "sounds like an awful lot to me."

Once again I was reminded of how dramatically my frame of reference has changed, and of how foolish and almost reckless this pursuit sometimes seems, even to me.

The money is really the least of it (and I know how fortunate I am to be able to say that). What embarrasses me most acutely are thoughts of the wasted time, the misplaced emotional energy, and the utter self-absorption of the last year.

Sometimes I feel heroic to have kept up the struggle in the face of such discouraging results. Like there's some intrinsic merit in pursuing a cherished goal with no thought to personal hardship.

But other times I feel like a total chump. One year, thousands of dollars, two pregnancies, and nothing to show for it all. All such a sad goddamn waste.