This morning as I was leaving the hospital's parking garage I handed my ticket to the man in the booth, who leaned out of his window to speak to me face to face. "What would you say," he asked, "if your ex-wife called you at 7:15 this morning to ask you to go out to dinner tomorrow night?"
"'Call back at a decent hour'?" I suggested. (He looked a little frail, so I didn't tack on the gratuitous "...you faithless whore" that immediately sprang to mind, for fear of giving him a stroke. Although we were right at the hospital...)
He doesn't know why his ex-wife wants to see him. I asked him if he was going to go. "'Course I am," he said, as if the question were patently silly. "What's she going to do to me that 100,000 North Vietnamese didn't already try?"
I did think this time would be different. More gonadotropins, no prior suppression; I thought I'd respond much better. Given my body's well documented flair for the perverse, in fact, I wouldn't have been shocked at all to go from my last cycle, with no response whatsoever, to one where my ovaries became studded overnight with dozens of opalescent vesciles just bursting with potential life. I am still a goddamned optimist: the petri dish is half-full. I honestly thought that could happen.
But no. After six days of injections, I have three or maaaaaybe four follicles on my left side and two on my right, one of which is rather larger than it should be, and will either cause me to ovulate early, become a dominant follicle and suck up all that sweet, sweet FSH itself, or — and this is the best-case scenario — yield nothing worth having but leave the rest of the cohort unaffected. And Saturday's measurement of my endometrium appears to have been inaccurate, so I'm doing neither as well as I'd thought nor as well as I'd hoped.
It's easy to feel discouraged, to feel stupid for even trying, to wonder furiously what the fucking fuck is wrong with my 35-year-old body when my ovaries can't be bothered to do much more than lazily give me the finger even when poked with a stick. It's hard to remember that a better cycle than I've had in the past is not the ultimate goal; that in the short term, a pregnancy is; that I do sometimes manage that. Just okay, if it is okay, could be good enough.