Pregnancy. Even my therapist is pregnant. She tells me this the day after I go to a fertility doctor, whose office is decorated like a unicorn’s sugar fart. It’s lavender, silver, acrylic, has tufted sofas, Barbie’s dream fertility doctor. If Barbie focused on her career for fifteen years and woke up mid thirties needing a haircut and a baby. The décor is the same as Kate Sommerville, where I get facials and once, botox! After the doctor who feels like she could be related to Melissa Gilbert/Laura Ingalls, explains how my tubes work and how at 38 even if I have buckets of eggs, I still “can’t rest easy because it’s all about age.” They’re old, these eggs. She explains all of it to me. She asks if I want a sperm donor. It occurs to me, while sitting across from her desk, with a savings account, and functioning eggs, I could say yes and be pregnant in a week. It blows my mind. I say no to the sperm, like I’m saying no to an after dinner cordial. “Oooohhkay,” she says. Like, you’re missing out. These cordials are the bomb. There you are sitting there acting like cordial is just gonna spring up outta the ground like a geyser, well sister, you gotta another thing coming.
“I’m conservative,” I say. Which is code for, I wanna do this with a partner who loves me enough to watch me get fat and stretchy and then hold our little love larvae in the middle of the night when I am so full of colostrum my teets are a proverbial cheese store. I want that. She nods, “So do you want to freeze your eggs?” I’d rather dye my eggs than freeze my eggs. “I just want to know how they are,” I said, hoping they aren’t little puffs of ovum dust. She nods, bored by me. I’m her regular customer. I just want a report. I’m not one of the outliers buying sperm or a little Japanese hotel for my eggs to rest in until I’m 47 and defrosting them. She cautions me, “the very best thing to do is freeze an embryo.” I nod, my seventh grade health textbook smashing through my head. “So that means?” “Yes, we would fertilize your egg with sperm from a donor and then freeze it.” I nod. The next scenario rolling out through my head. I meet my husband after doing this, when I really am only ovum dust, and I say to him, “Babe! Good news! I have a future baby waiting for us at a cryobank in Westwood! I’m as old as Methuselah, but you can raise your dream genetically mysterious modified baby and I wont even charge you the sperm donor fee, cause really, you donate your sperm to me, only in a different way, but it still totally counts! Whadday say baby? Babay!”
She shows me the diagram of my fallopian tubes. It looks like a Dali painting. One of the things looks like a hookah pipe. It’s the tube.
“Oh, yeah, I don’t wanna buy any sperm today,” I say. She nods. “So we’ll do an ultra sound and count the follicles that hold your eggs.”
“That sounds awesome,” I say. It’s sorta lame, cause I’m a little cocky. I come from hearty farm people. My people don’t get sickly cute fancy people disease, we live long thick lives lined with children and casseroles and Midwestern-ey things. I always wanted to be willow and sickly. Some elegant thyroid Kate Moss-ey issue. No such luck. Horse healthy, always.
So there I am, on the table with her magic wand inside me, looking at an ultrasound, “One, two, three, four…” she counts smiling, “you’ve got tons. Fifteen on each side.” I sigh relief, but am not surprised. Thirty little guys. I imagine a classroom inside me. “See them there,” she points on the screen, “they’re like little chocolate chips,” I look at the pillow sacks. I check out the dark spots. Those are my future? Those are my future. “You have thirty,” she looks at me with seriousness, “but remember,” and I say it in my head before she does, “it’s the age that matters most.” I feel out of control right now, but not enough to buy sperm. Just enough to come to the doctor who sells it. And I may have to eat my hat on this one, but man, if it’s so cool to adopt a shelter animal, can’t we apply the same logic to kids? I mean, all the manipulation and money in an attempt to squish nature into a DNA Xerox machine while babies need homes. My dream is to have a baby out my squeezebox, but…. oh, who am I kidding? If I have the chance I’ll do anything in my power. I feel a strange new tenderness towards Octomom, pat my abdomen and thirty buddies and think…hang in there guys. Hang in there.