Need I even start this post with a formal invitation to the pity party? I think not. You all know you’re always welcome to read my wallowing words if you are so inclined… you are also invited to leave now if you cannot take another rant from me about how angry and sad I am, how unfair life is, and how I might break into a million tiny pieces at any moment.
Still here? Ok, well, you were warned, so here goes: I’m going to split this update into two posts… one about what happened last week and one about this past weekend (including the mothers days).
Part 1: Last week: The Scary-Looking Old Man
Most of you know that Riggo and I have recently been forced into taking a break from all kinds of baby making via Assisted Reproductive Technologies (aka, our only hope of conceiving, according to more than one doctor). This break was necessitated by a lack of insurance coverage (for IVF) and the obvious and painfully large gap between how much money we have in savings and how much we need to move forward with our next step (DE). I did not welcome this ”break,” and I see it more as a forced, indefinite waiting period. I was not ready to stop trying. I was not at the end of my physical or emotional rope in this process. My racing biological clock has not slowed down or temporarily stopped so that we could enjoy a period of respite… no, it’s still moving at that same unnaturally fast pace towards its final tic-toc, while laughing maniacally as it watches my few remaining eggs start acting on their plans for early retirement.
One of the things that Riggo and I were pinning a lot of our hopes on in our quest for the holy grail (the money to move forward with DE) was the sale of a family heirloom. We have been working with a family friend/antiques appraiser in order to make that happen since around January. My father and step mother gave me this “valuable” piece of family art a few years ago (it’s a portrait of an ancestor done in the early 1800s of a somewhat prominent historical figure from SC). It was given to us prior to my father’s death (my father is still alive), presumably because they no longer had an appropriate place to display it in their home (after having moved out of the rectory when my dad retired). I don’t blame them for getting rid of it, because, in my opinion, the thing has always been scary to look at… it’s a very stern looking man with white hair, a hell-fire and brim-stone demeanor, and well, not a friendly face to have staring back at you from above your mantle (where it was for most of my adolescence).
Was I sad and ashamed and guilt-ridden over my decision to sell it? A little. The scary man was my grandfather’s great grandfather or something like that…he was a pioneering Baptist minister in SC, and an ardent patriot during the Revolutionary War. It was passed down from that time all the way to my father, and then to me. My dad would not be pleased to learn of my plan to let it go (out of the family). But I was hoping that he’d understand and be supportive of us when I reminded him that we are selling it in order to get the money to have a baby one day. But we didn’t get that far. We found out last week from our friend, the appraiser who has been brokering the deal with the university in SC that was named for this man in the portrait, that they are no longer interested in buying it from us. In a nutshell, they wanted us to donate it to them. There was no counter offer… just a “we are no longer interested because we feel that we will eventually be given the only other existing portrait of the man via a donation when the other ancestor that has it finally croaks.”
I had already been put through the most horrendous guilt trip over the fact that I was trying to sell it to the university (instead of donating it)… when I went to drop it off in their special collections department for appraisal by their people, the staff woman was extremely rude to me and made me feel like a piece of shit for making the poor, private University (poor my ass!) contact board members to ask for donations to pay for the portrait. I did not feel like the reason for our having to sell was any of that woman’s business (in fact, I thought it was very rude and unprofessional of her to ask me), and all I said was something about unexpected and large medical bills. It was all I could do not to tell the bitch exactly why we are having to sell it… “Listen, librarian lady, this is not something I want to be doing right now. But I’m a 35-year-old infertile, see, and so I need a very large sum of money, quick-like, before my baby factory shuts down completely. OK?! So please just buy the damn portrait for your University archives now and stop making me feel like a tiny piece of ant shit!?”
No go. There went months of hoping… not to mention toting that big-ass scary-looking framed man all over GA and SC. But most importantly, there went almost $10,000. It was the only thing of any real substantial value (we thought) that we had.
I will never be putting that portrait up anywhere in our home. It will sit in our crawl space under the stairs, wrapped in some old blanket, and be a constant reminder of how close we came to getting the money for our DE cycle. I can hear that scary old man from down there right now… like the tell-tale heart beating its way into my brain….saying, “Hahahahahhahah! You will never get the money, you will never have a baby, you will never get the money. Aaaahhhaaaahhahhhhaaaaaaahhhhaa!” I hate him. I hate that University. I hate that I got my hopes up and went through all of that with that stupid, ugly portrait, and once again, we’re back at square one.
So that happened at the end of last week… another huge blow. Without a very generous donation or loan, we are looking at two years before we will realistically come up with the money for a DE IVF cycle on our own. I’ll be 38 by then. Which means my ovaries and uterus will think we are 48.
It’s about time for a very serious talk with my father, which I already know will involve my complete and utter inability to form coherent sentences through the sobbing mess I’ll become upon sitting down and looking at him. Whether or not he chooses to give (or loan) us the money we need to get our donor eggs is something I cannot even think about. It makes me weak in the knees just allowing those sorts of thoughts into my psyche for the briefest of moments. I’m not ready to see him. He just got back from his 5 month missionary time in Cairo, followed by their 2 week African safari which wrapped things up before they headed home. I can’t even call him to welcome him back. Besides the fact that he hasn’t bothered to call me to check on me (he knows from one email communication what we’ve been going through and what happened with our cancelled IVF last month) since he’s been home, I’m just not ready to accept that he might not be willing (cause I know he’s able) to help his youngest daughter have a family of her own.
I will probably be posting more about my father in relation to our infertility journey at some point. It’s a sore spot for me, obviously. And since my dad is the only (immediate) family member who does not currently read or at least have access to my blog on occasion, I feel comfortable being honest here. BTW, the reason my father does not read my blog is not because I don’t want him to, or I haven’t told him about it, or I haven’t given him the web address. It’s because when I told him about it and offered to send him the web address, he never responded. Maybe it’s a good thing he’s not interested in what I have to say about what we’re going through. Because if he were, then I couldn’t (wouldn’t?) be so open here about how much he hurts me.
PS: Hey, by the way… if anyone out there knows anyone that might be interested in obtaining (via a quick sale and a bargain price) a groovy, ornately framed portrait of an old 19th c. Baptist minister, please contact me ASAP!