Here are the beautiful words of my twin sister who recently commenced IVF. Sadly, no eggs were fertilised in the first round, but she is currently undergoing her second round. Fingers and ovaries crossed.
For 32 years I planned for you
Built my house on three degrees, 2 careers, a small but cosy savings account and travel adventures I hoped would inspire you.
Leaches. Scuba diving. Stinky tofu.
For 27 years I searched for my partner
Someone to dote on you with abundant enthusiasm
I found someone and life was lovely.
When you find THE ONE they say you KNOW.
I hope you KNOW one day.
We planned for you.
In our dreams. At a fertility clinic.
We had the PERFECT donor.
My best friend’s brother and life was lovely.
And this is where the lovely stops.
Where life and all its chaos happens.
Where life is not fair and you make an earnest vow to appreciate it if it turns back in your favour
Where your mother can no longer put a band-aid on, kiss you and tell you it will be ok.
Because it’s a promise she has no power to keep
My partner ended it and I was sad.
Partly because I missed her.
Mostly because I lost the future we spoke of.
In my dreams I had painted your room
With Little My Ponies, soccer balls and all the colours of a lolly shop
With stars that shared stories and pointed to endless possibilities
I reveled in your giggles, your shrills and silence that sung,
Mummy, I love you
Mummy, I feel safe
Mummy, isn’t life just wonderful?
Yours was my favourite song
The first time you tripped I wanted to pad the ground with bouncing castles so you would never feel pain in this world
But I knew grazes would shape you
A gift that you could play hopscotch
Twirl yourself ‘til you fell dizzy
Avoid the hot potatoes on the burly streets of life
In my dreams you had a younger brother or sister.
and you would play so beautifully,
Then fight, kiss and make up
You were cheeky
You finished your cupcake, then asked your sibling for half of theirs
Your sibling gave you the big half
I allowed it because you said, ‘Please’
For 32 years I picked names
Elliott, Hugo, Luca, Benson
You must have been a boy because it was these names I always picked.
I caught your hazel eyes
As you caught golden butterflies and asked, Why?
Why do these fanciful creatures only live two weeks?
Because life is full of truths like these
And baby, education can wait. Careers can wait.
But babies baby, cannot.
Nanna Tonkin had it right
I should have sold bananas in Coles
What good is a career if you have no one to spend your toils on?
For 32 years I had not planned for this
How can I age 12 years with a blood test?
12 childbearing years
Then words from my donor
Two years after the deposit was made
My fiance does not approve, I’m sorry I cannot go
through with it
Time stopped that day
For five months the clock struck
No you did not ovulate
I peed on every stick on the market
No smiling faces or double lines
A lonely stroke that stabbed at my identity
Arms bruised like a junkie
I stopped counting the blood tests when I counted my unborn baby’s last toe
I stopped looking at my bank account
When there was nothing to see
I engaged in promiscuous activities
And all I got was a venereal disease
An ant of an irritant
Beside the hairy monster of despair
They say infertility is a roller coaster
My ride has been the giant drop
I once enjoyed adrenaline
But this is the kind
Where you cling to the seat
Cause the buckle is broken
And you don’t know how you will survive
If you can’t have a child
I hate my ovaries
Because they are failing
I love my ovaries
Because they are my hope of a biological child
I wait for my next cycle
to begin in vitro fertilization
Begin injecting follicle stimulating hormone
A dose two times the normal recommended
A dose that increases the risk of miscarriage and down syndrome
But if this is my chance of a child
It’s the chance I’ll take