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04/17/2006

And that was the cycle where you gave birth to a flock of snow white doves, right?

Ten minutes in, I was cackling.  I sounded hysterical, felt that way, too.  "I'm sorry," I apologized.  "This is all just so absurd."

We'd been playing a lively guessing game: my doctor was summarizing my reproductive career without consulting my file, and I was cheerfully correcting him as we went. 

"And then we transferred three," he said, nodding in remembrance. 

"Mmmm, no," I said, enjoying this hugely.

"Really?" he asked, starting to rifle through my file.  "I would swear we..."

That's when I started laughing.  "I've never made three," I said, and cackled.

It is absurd, all of it.  I have an encyclopedic, obsessive knowledge of my own medical history; my doctor had my file open on his lap; and yet we were still playing this ridiculous game of Go Fish.  ("And that was the cycle you got pregnant with that adorable litter of playful but cross-eyed Siamese kittens!"  "Uh, nooooo..."  "Are you sure?  Because I thought...")

Absurd, because despite what you might think, given my three pregnancies, I am terrible at IVF, barely squeaking by each cycle; but there I was, talking protocol at my local clinic.

And also because I am not good at pregnancy.  But here I am again, hoping, ready, asking, "Please, sir, may I have another?"

You can laugh.  It's okay.  It's funny.

I'm laughing — yes, at the absurdity of it all, because about a year ago I was pretty sure it would never come to this.  But also because I'm delighted.  I'm thrilled to know what I want, to have a plan, to be in a position to try.  Still pragmatic, because I'm not, you know, stupid, but also optimistic that there is a chance — just — that we could, if we are extremely lucky, eventually succeed in having another child.

So.  We talked protocol, we talked dates, and we did a cursory physical exam.  ("Oh, how I've missed this," I sighed, as the speculum slid home.)  My doctor deployed his stethoscope, and remarked with some satisfaction that my calm composure must be a front, because my heart was racketing along at about 120 beats per minute.

Can't fool the guy with the scope.  Can't fool myself, either: no matter how I try to caution myself that this cycle might fail, that a pregnancy might fail, that my body might fail in the end, my palms get moist and my heart beats hard and I smile when I think about it. 

I'm excited, and hoping, and laughing.

Okay, cackling.

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