I won’t understand until later, when I talk to Madeline, that the Dr. means EACH CYCLE. So, your odds improve the more you do it. As a 40-year-old, I don’t have a static 5% chance; after four months, I’ve got a 20% chance, almost as good as a drunk 20-something who forgot to make her hook-up wear a condom.
Those seem like okay odds, and they’ll will continue to climb as long as I can keep luring Quentin into my kitchen! But again, I don’t realize this until later, so my dread now morphs into a stunned numbness.
“The quality of your eggs depend on your age and your hormones,” Says the Doctor. “The first thing we’d do is an ultrasound of your ovaries and see what they look like.” There is also the Hysteroalpingogram, which is not a way of communicating with Victorian women who have been committed to remote, Alpine sanatoriums to convalesce from Hysteria. It’s a procedure in which radioactive dye is shot into your cervix and spills into your fallopian tubes.
How come, if I’m bringing my own donor, I have to pay $1,500 for a screening? The whole point of having a known donor is that is ISN’T thousands of dollars. I mean, it’s my body, I’m clearly comfortable with having this person’s body fluids inside me, can’t I decline a pricy screening? Nope. Because money is changing hands, the government is of course involved, and the FDA is required to certify that Quentin’s sperm is up to their standards, and this costs $1,500.
It seems crazy that I could just have SEX with Quentin (something my very own MOTHER suggested) and get preggers, but if I want his seed catapulted into me via the miracle of modern medicine, the FDA wants to get involved.
Dr. Evangelista tells me I would have a week period wherein Quentin could come into their office and bank as much sperm as he can muster, but once we run out of that supply, he would need to be re-tested, at $1,500.
It would be nice – really nice – if fertility clinics had customer appreciation cards. Like, get 9 IUIs and your tenth one is free? Two-for-one Donor Screenings? Whatever. I ask Dr. Evangelista how much the odds increase by utilizing these procedures.
“Well, your odds on a natural cycle are 5%,” She reiterates, twisting the knife. “An IUI without drugs will increase your odds to 8%. Add Clomid and you’ll likely produce two eggs, and the more eggs you produce the greater your chances. That would up it to 11%. An HGC injection will produce 3-5 eggs and you go up to 12%. If you want to look at IVF – “
I don’t, I don’t want to look at IVF, it’s fucking outrageously expensive, literally beyond my means. If I could spend THAT kind of money I’d hunt down some Doctor internationally who practices Egg Fusion, where they take my egg and Dashiell’s egg and they smoosh them together, making a little girl with both our DNA. I mean, if money was not an object THAT is what I’d be doing. But money is an object, in spite of what may be surmised from my dining habits.
“With IVF your odds go up to 25%. But – “ She pauses, lest she’s accidentally inspired hope - “At your age range you are dealing with a 40% chance of miscarriage.”
I sit mutely on the phone. I think I’ve gotten all the information I need.
“At your age,” The Doctor continues, perhaps mistaking my glum silence for quiet calculating, “You’re at a critical point. The difference even between 40 and 41 is significant.”
“Okay,” I say.
“Any more questions?”
“Nope. I’ll just, um, think things over,” I lie. There is nothing to think over. I am not going to this, or possibly any, fertility clinic. I’d be better off taking my savings to Vegas and sprinkling it over roulette tables. The odds are superior, and once I’m rich I can just go buy a million babies like Angelina and Madonna. Right?
“Okay, well, best of luck to you.” YOU’RE GOING TO NEED IT, I imagine Dr. Evangelista cackling over her phone as she hurls it into the cradle. ANOTHER POOR, BABY-MAD HAG GETS HER COMEUPPANCE!
NEXT WEEK: Mucus!
Oh, hey Readers – I’ll be touring the US and Toronto reading from Getting Pregnant with Michelle Tea throughout April on the Sister Spit Tour! Come say hi! Tour dates here.