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03/04/2004

The sicker picker-upper

So there I was on the table, clenching my teeth to keep from sobbing, naked from the waist down and shielded only by a drape the size and weight of an off-brand paper towel, as my doctor was saying, in a twisted lunge toward optimism, "...but, really, the spontaneous pregnancy rate isn't that bad."

I wanted to scream, and I wanted to laugh. Because I believe you can have it all, I also wanted to vomit. Most of all, I wanted to put my fist through the Sheetrock. With great effort I refrained, thinking of the patient on the other side of the wall, protected only by her single sheet of Bounty. How nonplussed she would have been if I'd suddenly opened a new window into the next room.

When the doctor and nurse had left the room, I paced a little, dressed, and went into the adjacent bathroom, where I threw up tidily, without fuss, into the toilet. It wasn't as cathartic as the impromptu renovation would have been, but it was perhaps a little more considerate and a little less painful.

This is the doctor who suggested I consider donor eggs after the last IVF. "Donor eggs" and "spontaneous pregnancy" to the same patient. Which is it? Am I supposed to hope, or am I supposed to accept?

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