gestationspent more "girl time" talking with one of my friends from college this evening.
most of it was spent discussing a mutual friend's pregnancy, the first one of our group. the irony is supreme--the pregnancy was not planned and our friend was one of those rock-star types who managed to frequent most of the bars in the city and still keep her life together. the initial shock has subsided and she is happily anticipating the birth of her baby girl.
the pregnancy is doubly interesting for my phone buddy and i as it is our first vicarious experience of child-bearing. this was not our first exposure to pregnancy in our peer group (we both went to rural, mountain-town high schools--there were girls getting pregnant when we were in seventh grade); but it seems so much more real this time. we have come of the age where one is expected to settle down, start a family, and begin working on gray hair, expanding waistlines, and a mid-life crisis. being pregnant has lost the "after-school special" stigma and has become something that we are supposed to crave. phone buddy and i still aren't so sure that we want to buy into the whole "home-on-a-treelined-street-with-picket-fence-and-dog-and-2.5-kids" modern american life, but as p.b. so sagely put it, "we'll see how this one goes, and then we'll decide if we want kids."
the whole conversation made me think of the phone call we got from the fertility clinic back in july. my amazing husband, in spite of the stresses of moving into our new apartment, putting up with me as i started my new job, etc. etc. decided to be a glutton for punishment and subjected himself to an 8 am spooge-in-a-cup session on the other side of dc. all for the off chance that we might decide we want to conceive someday after the transplant.
our previous oncologists had told us that the chance of us making biological babies was slim. at johns hopkins' urging, we had decided to get tested anyway before he started to take the pre-meds for the transplant, "just in case" there were viable cells that we could save for later. we took this a bit too far and created a whole plan for our family-to-be, hinging to the false hope that the chemo hadn't already rendered him sterile. before the results even came back, we had picked out a sperm bank, discussed how many years it would take for us to be ready to start a family (ie, how many years it would take to pay off the medical bills from the transplant), and even talked about possible names for the little bugger.
one 2-minute phone call was all it took to bring us back down to earth.
the good news = hubby wasn't completely sterile.
the bad news = 80% of cells were immobile, 50% had deformed heads, which translates to the chance of his sperm making a healthy baby was a long shot. the fertility clinic recommended that the expense of banking his cells would not be a good investment. and there was a 99% chance that hubby would be completely sterile after the transplant.
the news shook us both up hard.
several months' distance has allowed some contemplation though. hubby and i had never planned on kids. we were going to be the wild and crazy type that moved to a new interesting area every couple of years without regard to which school district we lived in. we were also planning on having disposable income and travelling a lot, neither of which comes easy when you're a parent.
why are we mourning the loss of the child that we never had? is this yearning for a family an expectation that is programmed into us by society? is this just the next cool thing to do after you get married? worse yet, is this an extreme case of keeping up with the joneses?
25 and i already know that i will never experience the visceral production of a new life inside of my body. but 25, and we still have a whole world of choices in front of us.
why do i want so badly to be called "mommy"?
posted by amanda @ 12:06 AM