Wednesday 15th September 2010
One year ago.
The lull that is the luteal phase has come, and it feels strangely anticlimactic. Following two full weeks of action steps, there’s not really a lot to do this week.
It leaves a guy wanting.
There’s only the Crinone pessaries to administer. And as much as I like to help – there’s helpful, and then there’s wrong.
It’s not quite like giving a needle.
I enter the bedroom, to find Suse on the bed, a plastic pessary in one hand, the consumer information in the other. She sighs heavily.
“Very common side effects,” she announces, “Include cramps, abdominal pain, pain around the genitals and the back passage, headache, breast enlargement and breast pain, feelings of severe sadness and unworthiness,” she say, looking straight at me, “decreased sexual drive, sleepiness, feeling emotional.”
She takes a breath. “…Constipation, nausea, passing urine at night.” She flicks the page over. “Common side effects: include bloating, pain, dizziness, vaginal discharge, itching of the vaginal area, vaginal thrush.” She sighs again, taking another deep breath, “diarrhoea, vomiting, painful sexual intercourse…”
“…What sexual intercourse?” She looks at me daringly. “Only joking,” I say, offering my palms up conciliatorily.
“…And painful joints. Please note – this is not a complete list of all the possible side effects. Others may occur in some people, and there may be some side effects not yet known.” She looks at me.
“Are there symptoms they left out?”
“I mean, can you think of anything else that could possibly go wrong with your mind, body or vagina that they haven’t already listed?”
Suse looks at the sheet for a moment.
“They haven’t mentioned heart attacks. Or stroke.”
“Better email their legal team tomorrow.”
* * * * *
We’ve both tried to remain busy. Suse has to reprimand an employee, while I meet with an old boss because I am a long time between reprimands.
We pass the time, any way we can.
The latest newsletter from IVF Friends arrives in the mail. This time, they’ve abandoned the snow theme, instead brandishing the cover with a sleeping kitten, lying between bedsheets.
The pictorial symbolism of this rag is overwhelming.
Within, I find a four-page article called ‘Secret Men’s Business’, written about IVF from a male perspective, published in The Age in 2004. It is a riveting read.
It marvels at the fact that men tend to remain peripherally involved, that we usually remain externally unemotional throughout the process, that we don’t like to talk about or share their experiences, and that our stories remain largely untold.
Unless, I guess, you’re me.
* * * * *