Saturday, November 14, 2009

What goes through your head when you're 4 months pregnant but not the genetic mother of your child?

Conversations go through your head.
Well-meaning friend
: So have you had your amnio?
me: No, the doctors don't recommend it.
WMF: But -- you're so old --?
me: (smugly) But my eggs aren't.

OR: conversations I imagine might happen but don't.
Doctors: You're beyond the normal child-bearing age and we just don't know how your body will respond to pregnancy.
But: Didn't happen. Not a hint of any message of that kind. Instead, just cheery, upbeat, professional attitude and compliments on my "good" (low) blood pressure and overall health.
(These imagining probably reflect my underlying fear: I put career before motherhood for two decades, shouldn't I pay the penalty of childlessness? Or at least, shouldn't others expect me to? I'm upsurping male privlege. Got married at 42 and had my first child at 47.)

OR: conversations between me and H:
Me: I didn't recognize that the black guy was Lightman's longtime FBI protector. I'm so glad our daugher won't inherit my prosopagnosia.
H: But I'm sad she won't inherit your genius brain.
Me: She'll have your genious brain. And she'll have my nurture.

OR: conversations between me and myself:
Me: You've got uneven cognitive profile. Sure, you have some wonderful itellectual strengths, but you're half-way to Aspergers. Do you really want to risk on your child an unhappy roll of the genetic dice?
Myself: No, I don't. This is the best thing. The eastern mediteranean beauty with H's 1/4 German Jew and 3/4 Anglo Saxon brit. What will she look like...?
Me: Merely 5 years ago you wanted to be the genetic mother. Now you don't care. Now you even say its better this way. What changed?
Myself: As the years go by you focus on what you really want given what is possible. I've always thought environment was more important than genes. I'm now living my intellectual commitments.


Anonymous said...

I thought there were five implanted?

HumanProject said...

Yes, we did call to ask about number implanted later. My doctor's elated '5 embryos!' had meant that the petri dish had delivered up 5 top-grade embryos. The team implanted 4.

The medical personnel were cheery, competence, efficient, but without a lot of detailed communication. I've wondered -- was this part of the language barrier? But medical staff in the U.S. frequently are cheerful, efficient, competence and taciturn. They tell you little about what is going on, though they respond promptly to a question. Perhaps it was okay not to have long explanatory verbal sessions....? I had internet; after every doctor visit I could go home to google to learn about what had happened at that visit. Yes, the 4 implanted scared me a bit, but I blame myself for spending two hours researching number of embryos to transfer after the transfer, ha ha.