Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October First

Dates are very meaningful to me. It always surprises people when I remember their birthday. But I do. For the most part. I have intricate maps of information in my head, which is how I remember a lot of things. Dates are located on a rounded square depicting the calendar year, and in my mind, I literally travel that rounded square each year as we go through the weeks, months, seasons. I'm just a psychology nerd.

October First. Two Thousand and Nine.

That's the day when things went from maybe to NO. It was unequivocal: no babies would ever come from my genetic material. I couldn't make a baby from scratch. It was NEVER going to happen. It's not that it would have been possible before 10/01/2009, because my ovaries were inactive and un-stimulable before then. But that's the day it became crystal clear.

There were two terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days during my awful journey through infertility. October first, 2009, and May 25, 2011. I can't tell which was worse, and rank ordering them is moot.

Both involved a drive from Fertility Treatment Town to Pleasantville, neither of which I really remember. Neither of which were entirely safe for me to do alone. But I look back now and I feel those two drives were emblematic. Alone, and empty handed. The first, without eggs to make a baby. The second, without life inside the baby inside of me.

I remember the Santa Cruz Lemonade jar on the May 2011 drive. I was pregnant, thirsty and craved lemonade. I had it in the car. I drank it awkwardly on highway 401, at 125 km per hour.

I thought about it a lot today. October First, two thousand and nine. I remember getting home and lying down on the couch and sleeping and losing a lot of time that day. My body was NEVER going to make eggs. My body was NEVER going to make a baby.

When at supper on the evening of Oct. 1, 2009 Mr. A asked what I was going to do the next day, I could hardly fathom the question, let alone make up an answer. I think I said I would try to get out of bed. A part of me died on that day. What are you supposed to do the day after a part of you dies?

10/01/2009. That was five years ago now.

This evening, I rocked my baby to sleep, like I do most evenings. My body did not make this baby. My body grew this baby. This baby is my baby. She will never need to know about October 1, 2009. She will only need to know about June 23, 2012 (the embryo transfer) and February 28, 2013 (her birthday). The sorrow which lay ground for her existence is not hers: it is mine. Her life is hers, with its joys, its tribulations, its constant learnings, its intensity.

I think about genetics very little these days. What I think about is how to give my girl everything, EVERYTHING she needs to grow up strong, and healthy, and smart, and strong. Our mother-daughter genetic disparity is part of her story, part of mine. And that will be the subject of interesting discussions, and meaningful soul searching on her part in a few decades.

October First, two thousand and fourteen. I have a daughter. I am someone's mother.