Okay, in a word - ow.
I guess every OBGYN has his own personal little touch, and Dr. Tiny, as we'll call him, likes the tenaculum. A scary sounding name quite befitting the object that bears it. The insemination itself was virtually painless - even the catheter going in was barely noticeable - and there was almost no cramping afterwards. But the clamp on the cervix, yeah, I felt that.
Clamp. On. The. Cervix. Good God, that's just barbaric. And not the least bit romantic, I might add. If we conceive, my memory of that blessed moment will be of Dr. Tiny's head between my legs, the stale air of the exam room, the discomfort of My poor Beloved who wanted to be anywhere else but stuck in that tiny room with me, and that awful clamp.
It all seems like a strange way to make a baby.
And yesterday as I sat in the waiting room at the clinic for what felt like the 900th time this week, I was suddenly seized with doubts about what we're doing. I mean, is it right to force your body to do what it doesn't seem particularly interested in doing just because you deem it should be doing it? Does pumping yourself full of drugs and submitting your innards to countless ultrasounds make good sense over the long haul? Will there be any repercussions for me years from now? Should we just accept the fact that Thomas was our chance at having our own child and move on, confident that the gods have our best interests at heart and know what they're doing?
And speaking of God, Is it right to sneak around behind his back like this?
I know scores of people do it every day. The clinic is jam packed almost every time I'm there, and I'm sure the numbers are indicative of patient volume at clinics all across the country. There are thousands and thousands of couples who resort to assisted reproductive technology to have the families of their dreams.
But does that make it right? Just because we can do it, does that make it okay?
It seems logical that in this case, having the ability to do it does make it okay. Why wouldn't we use the technology we have to do something as wonderful as make babies, right? So why does it still seem off to me somehow? It is because it's a little grittier when you're actually in the trenches? Is it because it's easier when it's "them" and not you? Is it because I'm afraid that this, our last hope, won't work and I'll finally be forced to face the fact that I will never carry another child?
And why the hell am I doubting it now? For one thing, it's clearly too late. There are twenty one million of My Beloved's very best, hand selected swimmers having a party in my uterus right now. Thanks to Dr. Tiny and his cervix mangling clamp.
(He must be in cahoots with Helga, the vagina mangling ultrasound technician. A story for another blog.)
And I'm going back for an insurance squirt tomorrow morning, so clearly I don't think it's all that wrong.
Oh Lord, I just don't know anything anymore.
I guess looking into the face of a child you've borne, no matter how that child came into being, erases every single doubt and makes the months of turmoil, disappointment and despair completely and utterly worthwhile.
Having already looked into the face of my beautiful first-born son, I have a feeling that must certainly be true. And in the absence of any other certainty, I'm going to hang onto that.
Particularly tomorrow when I meet Dr. Tiny for a second round of clamp action.