Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Venus Envy


Although it appears as if those ancient sculptors used my body as a model for their venus figurines, I'm not all that fertile.

You'd think my mom would nag for more grandchildren, but she doesn't thankfully. Katie's my biggest critic. She's been jonesin' for a sibling for years. Pretty much since she could form complete sentences she's been begging me to have another baby. I was the youngest child and spent the first five years of my life with two brothers and two sisters living in the house with me and my parents. One by one they grew up and left. By the time I was twelve, it was just me and my parents. My unhappy parents. My parents who when I was twenty-two finally got divorced but should have when I was at least twelve. At least Katie's parents actually like each other.

But I know how miserable it feels to be an only child. I empathize with Katie's longing for another sibling. I remember elbowing my mom, pointing at the TV and saying, "Look, Mom! We should adopt that kid" whenever the local news show had a featured ward of the state up for adoption. I really just wanted someone to play with. My friends were fine. But they had to go home at some point. I wanted a perpetual sleepover. Anything so I didn't have to listen to my mom and dad, both accountants, talk about debits and credits on and on to infinity.

I know how boring it is to be a kid stuck around just grownups. I reminded myself of that feeling when Katie punched me in the gut with this comment yesterday when it was just the two of us in the house:

Katie: "I wish some kids were here."
Me: "Why?"
Katie: "Because then I'd have someone to play with and I wouldn't have to listen to boring adults talk to me."

I was able to conceive Katie, after trying unsuccessfully for thirteen months, with the help of the drugs Clomid and Estrace. And the best drug of all, William Carleton. It only took six months of taking those drugs for my body to finally produce an ovum frisky enough to want to get it on with one of Will's kabillions of sperm.


I told myself I'd never have a lonely only. I would never do that to my child since I knew how it felt. So we started trying to get pregnant when Katie was six months old, when my doctor said it would be safe for my body to try again. That was when I was thirty-six. I'm forty now, fast approaching forty-one with no bun in my oven despite the appearance of my growing belly.

Katie's nearly given up begging for a brother or sister now that she's in school and spends three hours a day with kids her age. But now she's asked both Will and me on separate occasions if she can start going to all-day kindergarten instead of being "a half-day kid."

It costs $300 per month to be an "all-day kid." We can't afford that, and we make too much money to quality for a reduced rate tuition. And yes, it's a public school. Damn budget cuts, living in a conservative Midwestern state.

I told Katie if I can get a book deal and start making some money off my writing we'll be able to pay for her to be an "all-day kid". Her eyes beamed and she blurted out instantly, "Will you tell my teacher tomorrow I can be an all-day kid?"

I had to explain to her that it takes a long time to get a book deal. "You know that author who wrote 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' and 'The Cat in the Hat', Dr. Seuss? His books were rejected hundreds of times before someone decided to pay him for his work."

"That's gonna take forever!" Katie's face had the same look of despair as when I told her we're probably going to have to wait a couple more years to have enough money to adopt a child.

It blows being subfertile and unpublished. I'm filled with desire to create, both another child and stories, but I evidently don't have complete control in what happens with my ability to create and share with the world. The Michelle Duggars and the Danielle Steels of the world make it seem easy. I have Venus envy.