Easter Baskets and Ovulation She Lived in a Shoe
Wed 07 December 2016
Easter makes me think of eggs…
Which makes me think back to my time in the old “Infertility Days.” I was married once, a million years ago, for all the wrong reasons, but I did very much want to have a baby. It can only be taken as the wisdom of the universe at that time that I was unsuccessful. However, it was the beginning of my hint that all was not well in the garden of my uterus. Visit Gather at http://www.gatheronline.com for more information
After, when I met the man who I was sure I wanted to have a family with (he was less committed to that idea, or any other it turned out, preferring to let life happen to him by surprise and haphazard accident) but I was committed, and I was again unsuccessful in my quest. And as my biological clock was by then ticking like Big Ben, I gradually became obsessed. Really, really obsessed with having a family. But life is funny sometimes…So the story went like this…
Once Upon a Time, in my terribly wounded teens and 20’s, I had all manner of unprotected sex, mistakenly believing it was all I had to offer and that it could buy me love. And because I knew how to make myself what young men desired, it did, a number of times. It was all for naught, because I couldn’t see the love, mostly because I didn’t know back then how to be loved.
But as this was back before the war with HIV and my luck was good, I happily survived it relatively unscathed, and completely unpregnant. So then I got married, thinking that love and security could be found in the word “wife.” And, being as I was a wife, I wanted a baby. But, despite some attempts, the baby never came, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise since the marriage rightfully and peacefully ended, sort of like a dream you might have during an afternoon nap.
Then I met a very nice guy, fell deeply in love and wanted more than anything to have his babies. Yet, my success rate remained in the high zeros, breaking my heart, over and over again. Becoming more desperate all the time, I began my baby quest in earnest, trying to unlock the key to the timing of my erratic cycles, taking my temperature two and three times a day, meticulously tracking the results, trying to optimize sex, buying endless numbers of home pregnancy tests, devastated every time my body and I failed. It was my own personal Easter egg hunt into baby madness.
In the midst of it all, one very ordinary day, I had an ovary commit suicide, taking with it a fallopian tube as well. Hearing the news upon waking from a quick emergency surgery, I went quietly mad and left the whole of that life behind, accepting that I would have no children. So, I found a man who didn’t want them either, because that seemed to be where I belonged now. And I tried to let that dream die, tried to smother the quiet sadness of it and make the best of things, and this new man, he was quite happy to help. But he had his own desperations and in trying to smother that, he ended up smothering me, accidentally crushing my soul and spirit, until I finally had to creep away, wondering if there was anything of me left.
And so, cut loose, lost, still looking for a future I could call my own, and in a moment of semi-indifference and a nothing left to lose attitude, I opted to exercise one last option; to have children with a longtime family friend. I moved to Las Vegas and rolled the dice. And with the help of some very aggressive drugs, my one little ovary won itself a prize for most eggs produced by a woman with single ovary. 23 of them. Mama got herself a new pair of shoes, 3 pairs of them – to go with 3 brand new babies.
Then I tried, and failed to build a normal family for them with that longtime family friend, until finally, things weren’t so friendly anymore. And so I had sex with that very nice guy from before, even though, having grown tired of his accidental life, we were no longer together. It was just one time…and it produced just one baby. And now, blessed as I was by baby richness, I had my remaining tube severed and tied off. But the thing is, it didn’t stop the babies from coming.
Because my niece started having babies, and because her life was made unmanageable by drugs and addiction and their accompanying instability and swamped by the almost overwhelming job of saving her own life, one by one, those babies became mine too. In just over ten years I had gone from desperate infertility to 6 children, all under the age of 10.
And now I live in chaos and love, and I never sleep, and sometimes my medication stops working and go a little bit or a lot mad, and then I recover and then I make dinner. And I wonder how this all happened and if I’ll ever make it work. I wonder if I’ll win the battle between my depression and raising them to the age of majority, and somewhere in there, I watch my own life get squeezed out and I grasp at the slipping threads of my own receding sense of identity.
Almost two decades beyond the days when my panicked womb tried in vain to time it’s own rhythm, you can now set a stopwatch by my ovulation cycles. I can tell you each month the moment it happens. Life is funny this way.
Yep, Easter makes me think of eggs…