I told my Grandma. Grandma "IVF doesn't work, is painful, expensive, and therefore just shouldn't be allowed" J. I've wondered, since she unwittingly said this to my mother*, how she'd take the news.

"It doesn't always work," she says. I know - but there's still a good chance of it working in our case... probably... eventually. "It's expensive," she says. Well it's valuable. And within our means. "It's painful, and difficult," she says. We've been doing it since January. We've got through this much, we'll get through some more. "But why... what's wrong with you? Or can't they explain?" It's not important what's wrong, Grandma. The point is, we need IVF if we want to conceive a child.

And then... then she smiles. And then she laughs. "Well this is good news!" she tells me. And it's my turn to look at her askance. "Well, I thought you weren't trying at all," she explains. "This gives me much more hope for good things."

Later, taking the kettle off the stove, she tells me how she's going to put us on her prayer list. "And I've had a lot of success lately. Not," she cautions, turning from her teabag jiggling to look at me through the top of her glasses, "always in the way I'd imagined, but good news nonetheless." And she turns back to pour the milk.

For a second, her confidence infects me, and I believe that her prayers are our missing ingredient. Then it's my turn to caution. "Just don't hold your breath, Grandma," I say gently.

"I never do any more, darling," she replies, and sets the tea down. And her thousand-yard stare goes straight through the window, and into an emptyness beyond. Life goes so quickly for her now, and she's given up trying to forsee all the twists and the turns. Things happen in the twinkling of an eye. One day, all of a sudden, I was born. The next, out of the blue, we were married. And tomorrow, all this will be over, who knows how? But she remembers what it's like when you're young. And remembering, she smiles in sympathy - a smile to save up for an older me, for the day I understand.

*Within days of a) my revealing the news to my parents and b) my EPU. Good timing, Grandma J.


Thalia said...

Although she sounds like she's got some misguided notions, and isn't always terribly tactful, it also sounds as if she loves you a good deal and only wants the best for you. That's a good thing. Not to mention the cups of tea.

Serenity said...

I need to get this out: I love your writing, Bea.

Thanks. :)

No matter how misguided her opinions, there is some comfort in that she loves you and will be thinking of- even praying for- you, no?

Anonymous said...

It's so lovely that you can talk to your Grandma, mine knows about ivf but never ever ever talks or asks about it or the babies we have lost- it just wouldn't be proper.

And I love your writing too... :)

ms. c said...

Well seeing as we are on the "I love your writing" train, I think I'm going to jump on!
As Thalia said, Grandma J seems somewhat misguided and a tad tactless... just like my grandmother! Though we haven't shared with her yet, I can fully see this conversation playing out in my household.
What got me is her hope for you... She obviously loves you very much.

lola said...

ah grandmas - you just have to love some of the things that they say! she does love you though, that is clear, and some good prayers can't hurt either, right?

Unknown said...

That's a whole hell of a lot better then my hubby's g-ma's response "Well, I think you guys just need to have sex more often. Are you doing it enough dear?"
You just never know what you're going to get as a response when it comes to gramma.

StellaNova said...

Despite her possibly tactless comments, she sounds like a complete sweetheart. Experience AND hope are hard to maintain together. Maybe her prayers are just what you need ... or they might at least provide you with an extra stitch in that blanket of support. It's always good to feel loved.

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