Am I a misanthrope if I sort of hate everyone this week?
It’s hard to keep a brave face and an uncracked exterior when all of this holiday gushing begins. The cards start to arrive, with the smiling faces of my friends and family, and their beautiful broods, babies (fur and otherwise) and the forced cheerfulness of Christmas music.
We got back another negative result with the latest round of blood work. Not a miscarriage. Thank god. But, nonetheless… the tentative hope (every day of it) held out, just in case, feels like a bad joke – when you tell yourself to think positively (and remind yourself that every pregnant friend isn’t doing this to you on purpose) and you remember that you’re usually so cheerful, so gracious, so happy. But this feels like it’s been going on for weeks; this mood where little things annoy you; you feel happy, but it lasts as long as the episode that is distracting you; you rearrange the house and clean with freakish attention to detail; little things that should roll of your back feel like they are thrusting you under the waves and pushing you, relentlessly towards the tears that are brimming (which you hold back stoically… even though this feels so unfair).
My own personal brand of hell? Being asked/told to teach a ‘family dance class’… where everyone brings their beautiful cherubs to dance to Feliz Navidad, Frozen and denominationally diverse holiday tunes… Please, can I? One: I don’t teach little kids. I teach teenagers. Two: I don’t own or have Itunes lists of children’s music… and don’t want to envision your sugar plums as I plan a playlist and can’t have any of my own. Three: I cannot imagine a worse thing than grinchingly grinning through a 90 minute class where I teach you and your kids a dance routine and am LITERALLY surrounded by pregnancy and fertility, where the worst parts of me picture myself in a heap on the floor crying, or I lose it at some poor person who has no idea that I’m mentally cracking. And if this all sounds dramatic; I’m a drama and dance teacher (so I guess you’re on track, good job). But it’s also how I feel. And I know it’s not flattering, or rational, or adult to feel this way.
Two years is a long time to watch other people move forward in their lives, to want something so badly, to see the possibility come close and then to feel powerless as it’s snatched away. And the other wonderful parts of your life, your health, family, relationship, beautiful clothes in your closet… can only patch that little hole in your heart for so long. I have even tried mentally tricking myself into ‘not really wanting kids anyway’ to see if that helps. It doesn’t .
But there is hope, right? Medical assistance? Yes, but even that is so fraught with traps, emotional and financial, that it’s enough to wreck even an optimistic, highly motivated person. Plus, I’m mildly OCD and anxious, so this lack of control – in a prolonged sense – is really taking its toll.
So, here’s the long part:
Canada (let’s be accurate… Ontario), has a program available through which they will subsidize one round of In-Vitro for eligible couples. The numbers, the waitlists, the criteria… I wanted to slump out of the meeting, past all the other couples who are going through the same thing… just thinking about the $35,000 that one friend has spent. The stats, the two year wait list. There is also the extra gay hoop: if we know our donor, in order to even sign consent… to be put on the list…to wait two years…. we have to collect, quarantine, test, freeze, thaw and process the donor sperm. All of these steps involve added costs; but a straight couple can just say ‘we’re a couple’ and donate fresh specimen – no testing, no quarantine… because they are presumed to be sleeping with that person. They can say it and it’s taken at face value – saving them thousands. Or I could order some sperm from south of the border, for less than the price of a known donor. But then, instead of knowing my wonderful, equitable, healthy, kind, smart, sane, empathetic, feminist brother is the other part of the DNA cocktail… I could wind up with some broke, redneck, anti-immigrant, sexist, racist, homophobe (who voted for Trump (GASP!))’s sperm as the other component to the most important decision of our lives.
All of this is to say… that this waiting game is killing me. And if I seem sad, and someone has the bad luck of asking how I am… I’ll be lying when I say, I’m fine.