I've been away (working this time - just flogged). I'm back. I am catching up, once again.

I had a dream the other night and in it they told me I had cancer. It was a slow-moving kind - I could look forward to a good-quality life stretching years, or even decades into the future - but it was also incurable, and they advised against further pregnancies lest the compromise to my immune system loosed the beast within. I woke up wondering what I'd do with the frozen embryos. I like to say it's behind me, but sometimes it's not.

Here's where we're at: I feel we should use them some day and just see what happens, but I am currently in no mood to go back to the fertility clinic and I don't see myself being in that mood for quite some time. As PB and SB mature, I find myself wanting, in fact, to start the gradual move back to being a fully independent person, with the types of goals and aspirations which are hers and hers alone; which have nothing to do with the more vicarious achievements of potty training or beginning to read. Not that I don't take pleasure in those things - it's impossible not to be pleased when PB delights in being able to count all the way to one hundred by himself with only the minor omission of the number fourteen (always fourteen), or when SB finally, after much trying, works out how to get her shoes onto her own feet and stamps around looking smug as a bastard. But ultimately those achievements are theirs, not mine. I want to think of them as theirs, not mine. I want them to live out their own lives, not mine. And part of that is building my own life, which is not theirs. I can't start to do it if we're going back to the clinic next year to roll the dice with our frozen embryos.

Not only that, but I'm kind of tired of babies for the time being. The first time around was a steep learning curve. The second time was a chance to put our new knowledge to practice. The third time would be, I think, kind of same old same-old. I don't want to raise a child with that kind of attitude - on the off-chance, of course, that a live birth results, and on the greater chance that it doesn't, I guess I also don't want to have to make up my own mind to walk away.

My current preference is to leave the embryos in the freezer for eight to ten years before getting into it all again. By then, I'd have had time to do a few things. I'd be old enough that trying naturally or through further ART would be seriously uninspiring, and pursuing other avenues such as donors or adoption would be such a new ball game that walking away would be a relatively simple choice to make. And if it did work, scrambling to remember everything I ever knew about babies would be an interesting challenge - one I could share with my teen/tweenage kids.

Mr Bea disagrees. He doesn't want the decision hanging over his head - he wants it behind him. Wants it all behind him, one way or another, within the next year or two. I suppose it won't come to a head really, then, for at least another twelve, if not twenty-four, months, and - gosh - by then, I could be living with a slow-moving but incurable cancer, thus changing the decision entirely.


Of all the people I know, face-to-face, who have suffered infertility, one couple remains childless. The woman of the couple is now forty-two - old enough that trying naturally or through ART is getting kind of uninspiring, and of course adoption or third-party reproduction is this whole other ball game. Last time I spoke to her it was a year ago, she said she was fine, and that "if it [was] going to happen it would happen in its own time". I want to bring it up again when the situation suits, just to let them know I would talk it through with them if talking it through is something they think might help. At least, I mostly want to do that, but I have become aware of a niggling hesitation, and I have only just begun to pin it down: I think I'm afraid of being judged.

I have no problem with the fact that other people will make different choices from mine in the same situation, and on top of that - let's face it - two cases are rarely so identical that we can accurately use the word "same". But I think I have a problem when other people reason in a way that judges my reasoning.

There's a difference between saying, "I prefer to follow where life leads," and, "I figured Someone was trying to tell me Something." The first is a value-neutral statement about one person's preferences. The second is a value-laden statement asserting the existence of some supreme force or entity who knows best and whose messages have a particular interpretation which should be adhered to. It particularly irks me that those who use the latter argument almost always use tools, wear clothes, and take other kinds of medicine. Headache pills, perhaps. Sometimes they even fly in planes or sail in ships, as if Someone wasn't trying to say, "Take the no-wings-no-flippers hint, guys." I just don't believe that everything that was "meant to be" was meant to be easy, and I'm pretty sure a quick flick through most theological, philosophical or moral teachings would back me up.

I like to say it's behind me, but sometimes it's not.

Powered by Blogger.