Long ago (ok, like eight years ago), my ex-husband got into watching the show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on FX. I thought it was absolutely heinous. It was basically a show in which every single character was an incredibly, unapologetically horrible person.
Then, as with many shows I eventually grew to like, the more I endured hearing it in the background, the more I had to bite the bullet and admit that I was kind of a horrible person, too, because I had started to find it hilarious.
I never expected to have to do this in a blog about infertility and egg donation and IVF, but…
Anyway, as with basically every sitcom I’ve ever seen, after several seasons, a female actress (Kaitlin Olsen, as Dee Reynolds) got pregnant, and the pregnancy was incorporated into the show. And despite the show being a guilty pleasure about the worst people in the world, I have never seen this situation handled more beautifully. Usually, the resultant baby is incorporated into the sitcom in a practically-inevitable shark-jumping disaster, and I was dismayed at what I believed to be the impending downfall of a show about horrible people (a baby? Either that would be horrible in an unsalvageable way, or the characters would become less horrible, which would be somehow worse).
The baby Dee gave birth to during the season finale was not incorporated into the show afterward. Not only that, after half a season of The Gang trying desperately to figure out who the father was, the “father” (actually mother) turns out to be the character Mac’s transgender ex-girlfriend Carmen, who had frozen sperm before a gender reassignment surgery. This is revealed when Dee is wheeled out to the waiting room with the baby in her arms, followed by Carmen and Carmen’s new husband. It’s revealed that the egg was an anonymous donation and Dee was the surrogate. She hands the baby over to his parents, and in the next seasons, Dee and the other characters continue being their own terrible selves.
Even though I did not at the time know that I was infertile and would one day have to use an egg donor as well, I thought that this was an awesome way to handle the pregnancy, in the realm of the show. But, in addition, the whole situation after the birth was handled so casually, which, to me, seemed very normalizing and non-judgmental of ART, third-party reproduction, and transgenderism. They didn’t make a big deal out of these things. The way this show about a bunch of unabashed awful people portrayed the situation said “Look how normal and joyful this situation is! A transgender woman and her husband are able to have a child with the assistance of a surprisingly generous acquaintance and an anonymous donor.” (of course, Mac ended up being a jerk to Carmen and her husband, and it turned out to be not because he was transphobic, but because he was jealous, but anyway… you know. Horrible people, and all).
Now, an update on me. Things have been going very smoothly since the donor got back on track after her bizarre ovulation-while-on-the-pill incident (maaaaaybe they should place an IUD during that egg retrieval, or the poor woman’s likely going to get a big surprise in the future…). It hasn’t gone 100% smoothly because I almost started menstruating, which was, well, unusual, and also infuriating. But, I called the doctor immediately, they reassured me, changed my medication regimen, and the situation went back to normal. My endometrial lining was almost 8mm on Thursday, and I’ll get it checked again tomorrow. The clinic’s goal is to gradually thicken the endometrial lining to at least 8mm, so I’m well on track for that. Menstruating would have been a disaster, and I’d have had to start over.
The donor’s being closely monitored now and is apparently growing a nice batch of eggs. She’ll do her retrieval sometime this week, and if all goes well with the fertilization and embryo development, I should be due for my transfer early next week (I have not just my fingers, but all of my digits crossed for that).
I haven’t decided yet whether I should just put this blog on hiatus after I find out the results of the pregnancy test, or if I should keep moving forward and announce them. I’m reluctant to announce prematurely, as I know that’s not considered “good form” and you’re supposed to wait until the risk for miscarriage is lower. People have different reasons for that. Either they don’t want everyone involved in their business if they do experience miscarriage, or they don’t want to make people uncomfortable by “burdening” them with that information.
Therefore, on the other side of the coin, I wasn’t really “supposed” to tell people I am even trying to get pregnant, which potentially made people feel uncomfortable and burdened (though no one has disclosed this to me, so who knows). And I decided to disclose it not only to (selfishly?) gain more support, but to help raise visibility of infertility, ART, and third-party reproduction, and to educate about the process and considerations. So, why not risk the possibility that I’ll end up gaining support, raising visibility, and educating in the case of miscarriage, as well? It’s been kind of a tough decision. I’m torn as to what the “rightest possible thing” would be. I’m leaning toward a blog hiatus until mid-June – adorably, my second trimester would start just prior to Fathers’ Day. But that also leaves me without being able to discuss my feelings about a negative test result, because if I’m going to reveal a negative result but not a positive result, then me not saying anything on or around the test day is tantamount to a pregnancy announcement. Hmmm. I’d appreciate any input.
Final thought… I can always announce it with ***SPOILER ALERT!*** 😉