« It's the thought that counts | Main | Heavens to Betsy, only #5? »

03/28/2004

Will my cyst need its own little suitcase?

It's finally happened. I knew it would. I'm only shocked it wasn't sooner.

This evening I was sitting in the kitchen, idly leafing through a magazine while Paul efficiently prepared dinner. Normally we cook together, but I delegated tonight's meal entirely to him in penance for my disgraceful lunchtime spree — a bad business that consisted of a giant buttery slab of coffee cake, one cubic centimeter of a wizened Mimolette, and some whole wheat toast crumbs I dabbed up from the countertop with a spit-moistened fingertip.

(I was really very hungry. But also very lazy.)

Anyway, as he cooked I looked at magazine pictures of sparkling, deserted beaches and clear ocean water the color of Windex. I said, "I know this is contingency planning at its most extreme, but if this upcoming IVF fails, and if we then decide to sign up for a donor program, there will be a wait...so during that time I think we should take a trip."

(Imagine, if you will, how stratospherically high I must have been on delicate Ceylon cinnamon — the only kind we had in the house when I baked yesterday — to suggest that after we drop upwards of $15K on an IVF cycle that fails, and after we commit to spending even more than that on a donor cycle, it would be a great idea for us to take a lengthy and exotic vacation.)

Ah, but that wasn't what Paul picked up on. In fact, he agreed that it was a jim dandy plan. "A change would be nice," he said, wiping the remainder of the crumbs off the counter despite my desperate pleas that I was planning to eat those later.

He continued, "...Because when we're going through an IVF cycle, even though it doesn't take up that much of our day-to-day time, it does take up an awful lot of our mental energy."

I thought it was nice of him to say "our," instead of singling me out for my scary and consuming obsession. I was about to praise him for being so exquisitely sensitive. But he wasn't finished yet.

He said, "I mean, you're not quite becoming your ovaries, but..."

I knew right then that I have become my ovaries. For Paul to notice, it must be obvious, and for him to say so, it must be pretty bad — as oblique a comment as that might seem, for him it's quite direct.

Don't get me wrong. I do talk about other things. In fact, I talk about my reproductive hopes very seldom. I try hard to keep my preoccupation under wraps, as I am well aware that it is unattractive, unhealthy, and probably more than a little frightening to the interested onlooker. But I think of other things only in short bursts, without a great deal of focus. The bulk of my attention is directed south of my navel. And Paul knows me well; I think he can hear what I'm thinking, as if my overactive neurons were making audible tapping sounds, sending out urgent Morse code signals to the outside world. Helllllllp meeeeeeee.

I am so busted. And disappointed in myself, because I'd hoped I'd stayed more interesting than that. And angry, because prevailing physical conditions leave me unable to ignore my insides happily, complacent in their smooth and reliable function. And embarrassed, as I'd tried not to be so naked in my absorption.

I suppose the humiliation will have been worthwhile, though, if I get a vacation out of it.

Comments