Turkey Bastard, My Old Friend
And the people bowed and prayed
To the plastic God they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the signs said,
I participate in a TTC message board with a small group of nice, not-overly-baby-dusty, realistic women who are mostly in a similar boat--trying over a year but not yet doing IVF. A few months ago, one of the board participants was heading in for an IUI--the first one of us to do so. We were all intensely curious about the process, and asked dozens of questions, which she was accommodating enough to answer. When referring to the proverbial turkey baster, she called it--whether by typo or intent I can't remember--the Turkey Bastard. And the name stuck.
This nice woman, who had been trying the old-fashioned way for two years, had instant IUI results: first try HPT+, and now an uneventful second-trimester pregnancy. We all thanked the Turkey Bastard and wished for our own Bastard encounters in the future. One by one, several of us have gotten there, though as yet without the Bastardesque luck.
I promised myself before the IUI that I would not get my hopes up too much. The odds are slim, especially unmedicated. But as Dr. Meow was squirting J.'s shiny-clean sperm from the Bastard into my well-lined uterus (to which J. did not have a front row seat, and thanks everybody for letting me know I'm not some uptight freak for prohibiting it), I started to imagine that smallish 18MM follicle bursting forth, the egg beginning her graceful progression down my all-clear left tube, and being mobbed upon her swim-suited grand entrance to the pool party, like Esther Williams in one of those movies where she's gently handed from gorgeous, adoring man to gorgeous, adoring man, till the gorgeousest and most adoring starts crooning to her and she gives him a kiss.
When I got home, I immediately started re-Googling IUI odds, just so I could bring myself back to reality. And while there were some studies--confusingly written--that seemed to give more optimistic numbers, the one I saw most often was that 10%.
When I told J. the odds, he said, Well, I guess that means you can't be too upset if it doesn't work. Just like that: can't.
And I said, Yes, I can.
He countered with, No, you can't.
And I said, Yes, I can.
And he said, Here, I'll prove it to you: pick a number between one and ten.
Two, I say.
See? The number I was thinking of was seven.
And your point is?
It's really hard to guess right, he says.
But I'm not guessing I'm pregnant: I'm hoping I'm pregnant.
But why would you bother hoping for something that's so unlikely?
And, though I wanted to kick him in the nuts for saying it--and he would have deserved it for the insensitivity alone--I had no good answer. Except that I do hope. This cycle, I do. Try as I might not to, I do. Maybe it's the novelty of the Turkey Bastard, maybe it's the homey smell of firewood on this cold night, maybe it's the little cooing sounds Archimedes is making from the other room. And maybe it's just that unpredictable Pollyanna optimism that likes to creep in when the door's unlocked. I just don't know.
When my period shows up around the 17th, I'll probably be crushed, and maybe I'll go back to my near-constant, self-protective pessimism. And maybe I'll break out the Simon and Garfunkel again. But I'm not ready to give up that little voice of hope and listen to the sound of (pessimistic) silence. Not just yet, anyway.