I’m feeling particularly sensitive about our inability to have a baby. You’d think that a fertility clinic, which serves many women who are likely feeling the same sensitivity as me, would be… sensitive to it. But no. Here is this giant wall of reproductive triumph. I picture Dr. Fertility Clinic in his no doubt very expensive socks receiving yet another thank-you card or another picture of a sleeping infant wearing felt antlers — an infant whose parents are so grateful to have “traded in silent nights for a bundle of joy!” I picture him loudly tacking the photo onto the clinic wall for all the other clinic doctors to see, like at those car dealerships where they bang a gong every time they sell another Hyundai.
So while we can’t really afford fertility treatments, we can definitely afford to laugh. After all, this whole experience is going to become strangely funny fodder for the story we tell our child about his or her conception. “Your dad gave me shots in my ass,” I’ll tell the kid, laughing. “Isn’t that silly and ridiculous and gross? But maybe less gross than thinking of your parents having sex?”
I consider his words, let them settle on my wounded uterus and pride, and determine them to be wise and full of grace. (Although still easy for him to say because he hasn’t endured several years’ worth of blood tests and invasive procedures and shots in his ass.)
We choose to laugh at it all, any way we can. Because pinching your fat for an injection from the person you hope to maintain intimacy with is awful. Because having an ultrasound nurse ask you — a grown woman in front of an entire waiting room — whether you peed is absurd. Because seeing the number of new-baby puns people come up with to announce on social media that they’ve procreated is ridiculous.
IVF — especially its nonsuccess stories — is a tale that is seldom told outside of private conversations and support groups, and I’m proud to help amplify a topic that affects 1 in 8 people in the U.S. I hope when people learn my story, they will get a glimpse of what it’s like to struggle to conceive. I hope it will make people struggling to conceive feel less alone. Most of all, I hope it will make everyone laugh at the beautiful, painful absurdity of it all.
Wendy’s series, How to Buy a Baby, will stream on CBC Comedy beginning Nov. 13.