With soggy wet hair, stepping out of the shower 10 y o scrunched his nose up the way he does when he’s deep in thought, blinking at me through shampoo-redened eyes he asks, ‘why don’t you just get the IVF doctors to fix what’s wrong with you and you can have a baby. Can’t they fix your tubes so they work again?’ Nope, I never thought my 10 y o would know what tubes were either, much less that mine needed to be unblocked before we could have a baby. We’d just been watching Ricky Ponting’s story on ABC. ‘How many times did it take them to have a baby?’ he asks. I tell him they went through seven rounds before falling pregnant with their first daughter. ‘What number are we up to, maybe our seventh one will work,’ he says as if that’s the lucky number for everyone going through IVF. If it worked for a cricket legend, surely it’ll work for us too, right? I tell him we’ve already had our seventh go but that maybe eight will be our lucky number, instead.
‘How many more times will it take?’ he asks. That, Charlie, is the golden ticket. ‘Who knows,’ I reply. ‘If we did then we wouldn’t have to keep trying, buddy. We just have to hope the next one works.’
Then I started to think about how many times I’ve been asked what’s my lucky (or unlucky) number? When will you give up? When will you stop trying? How many goes until you decide enough is enough? What’s your limit? Truth is I don’t have that answer myself. If I did then maybe we wouldn’t be on this shithole journey in the first place.
You can’t put a number or a limit on how many times you’re willing to give it a go, much less than you put a number on how much you want a baby (and if you’re asking, Fertility Gods, that’s a real lot, heaps, like gazbillions). You just have to keep saddling back on up to that horse, grab it by its nasty little reigns and do your best to pull that crazy Mustang into line.
I’m thinking 14 might be my lucky number, well the year at least (nooo not fourteen babies you crazy fool) and that eight, well eight has a nice little ring to it thanks nicely. I’ve gone and signed up (under Dr Babies’ guidance) with a naturopath who has given me a list longer than Julia Roberts’ arm pit hair circa Oscar winning days, of potions and lotions that she promises will get my body back in perfect baby-making shape. Or at the very least, they’ll make my hair shiny and my nails grow (an obvious positive). I’m not wholly convinced by anyone who refers to themselves as a ‘baby maker’ but I figure, do your worst love, the crap this body’s seen in the past year would make a junkie look like a saint.
The ‘Herbs’ she has prescribed me, she admits, taste fairly close to ground up gravel and the amount of little brown bottles I have on my kitchen bench which are certain to aide everything from gut issues to healthy liver, heart and folic acid levels are sure to do me no harm. Well apart from that of my hip pocket. At the very least you may see me sign up to run a marathon very shortly. Or…then again, you may not.
No, I’m not ready to give up. Not just yet. Ask me in another year…Love, as always, Lady MamaGxox