Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Luck, part 2.

Suppose you are in the card aisle.  You see a mysterious pack of cards on the shelf and you are instantly intrigued.  It turns out, the pack may contain the most incredible thing you can imagine, something you have thought about your entire life.  You flip the pack over and check the flap for the pack odds.  They read something like this: 3 in every 5 packs will yield that one life-defining thing you have always wanted.  2 in every 5 will yield nothing. 


"60%-chance is pretty good for something incredible, I wonder how much it costs..." 


Of course, odd packs like that don't have a price tag, nor do the shelf labels.  So, you meander the aisles looking for the little price-scanner-on-a-pole.  You finally find one in the cosmetics section, which is great, because all of the hot girls now get to see you price-checking your dorky little hobby.  The scanner lets out a ding so loud you're pretty sure the windows on the front of the building are now shattered.  The price pops up and say $20.


 "Hey, I've got a twenty in my wallet,"


As you turn to walk away, the damn scanner dings again.  At this point, you're one ding away from needing to use that twenty on some new underwear.  You look at the screen and realize that you missed a few zeros.  The scanner reads: $20,000.00.  You don't have that much in your wallet...even when you add in all the credit cards, debit cards, cash, $3.72 in Target gift cards, and the couple of tasty treats on your MyPanera card. 


What do you do?

Well, I bought the pack...so to speak. 

After a frustrating couple of years, my wife and I (mostly my wife) took the plunge on IVF.  I say "mostly my wife" because the comparison of what I had to do and what she had to do was comically unfair.  I had to do something while "reading" a Hustler that most guys have tried to not get caught doing since they were teenagers.  She had to have all manner of foreign blah blahhed up the blah and blech and injections and pills and "pills" and yikes.  Yep, she had a miserable few months being violated in hellish ways, and I had to look at porn and masturbate.  Unlike most guys, though, I actually had to leave work to do so.

If anyone ever tells you that it is way easier being a guy than being a girl, and you don't agree, you are a dumb motherf***er. 

Ok, back to the card analogy (damn right I'm not done with that):

You decide to buy the pack, and the ride home is awful for your wife and not-so-awful for you (see above).  You finally get home at the end of this long journey, and you help your wife to bed.  The process has annihilated her, and she is on strict bed rest, and you are on strict do-whatever-the-f***-she-tells-you-to-do-you-lucky-bastard duty. You immediately go grab your pack to see what is inside.  You look at the front of the tag and it says, "Sorry, you can't open this for 2 weeks."  You've gone to that store 3-4 times a week for a couple months, and now you just have to sit on your ass and wait.  A lot of you probably open packs as soon as you get home.  If you are like me, you open them in the car (for which I'm never proud of myself).  If you parked far away, you might even open a few while you walk.  Let's say you have to wait an average of 15 minutes before you open your cards.  Two weeks is 672 times that long.  And, you're not exactly waiting to open a loose pack of 2006 Fleer Ultra. 

...

...

...

Finally, the two weeks is up.  You're so beat down at this point you can barely move.  You're almost afraid of the pack, now.  You make breakfast to take your mind off of it, but don't eat any.  It's time to confront your fears.  You open this pack more carefully than any other pack you've ever opened.  There's no rippin' or crackin' or bustin' this.  You slowly reveal the contents of the pack.  As with any super-high-end product, your pack inevitably produces a redemption card, that says, "Please take this to the store to find out whether you have received the most incredible thing possible or nothing."  You hold in your explosion, because the shake of years of frustration inside you has become indistinguishable from normal.  You drive to the store and present your redemption to the person behind the glass. 

"Ok, thanks, we'll give you a call sometime today and let you know."

"...Sometime today??? Right now is sometime today...how about right now?  Right now works for me.  I'm available, you don't look busy, how about right now?"

You thought the two weeks were long.  At least then you had an appointment.  Now, nothing.  One hour passes...no call.  Two hours...nothing.  You're now praying that you fall asleep because because you've run out of mindless chit-chat and the waiting is eating your soul.  No sleep for you.  Three hours...nada.  Four hours in, the phone rings.  Oh my G..ah, what the...ahhh...AHHHH...where's the pho...you got it? ok answer it...

"Dammit, it's just my sister calling...

...No we don't know yet.  I told you not to call my phone.  You'll know when we know!""

5 hours...you're checking every two minutes to make sure the damn phone is even on.  Still no call.

At the sixth hour, your brain is mush.  Not cliche brain mush.  I'm saying someone has taken your brain and heart, thrown them in the Magic Bullet, added sugar and spice and everything nice, then pissed in it.  OneBZZZZZZ, twoBZZZZZZ, threeBZZZZZ...that's just three seconds and you have a delightful mush. 

You feel like your senses are far gone, but you still manage to hear the phone vibrate before it rings.  In a split second, the mush becomes unBZZZZed.  The brain starts racing, the heart starts pumping, and the piss damn near makes an appearance. 

Your wife answers the phone because you just can't.  The muffled voice on the other end says something.  Your wife yelps with emotion.  No matter how long that two weeks or six hours felt, nothing can compare to the freeze of that moment when you try to decode that yelp into good or bad. 

...

...

...

"Congratulations!"

A little over a month ago, I said I needed some luck.  The last thing I equated luck to was hope.  Luck is hope.  For us, luck came in the form of The New Hope Center. 

I can't tell you what a relief it was to have them call and tell us that our IVF cycle was successful. The whole process was overwhelming to go through, and now that we're pregnant, the process seems even more unbelievable.

It's still early, but we are overflowing with hope.  As Andy Dufresne said, "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things."

I agree.

29 comments:

The Diamond King said...

A very, very big congratulations! Oh, and if you thought this part was rough on her...

But mostly congratulations!

The Lost Collector said...

Congrats! Really happy for you guys.

Best wishes over the next few months!

Dhoff said...

Congrats, man. That's great news. This post is splendid, funny and touching and a little gross--just like life. Perfect. Glad you got your hit of a lifetime.

Derek Hill said...

So happy for you, congrats!

Kyle4KC said...

Congratulations! Children are a blessing and I'm so happy for you (ok, I'm sounding a little girly).

God bless you and your new addition!

Psalms 127:Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children[a] of one's youth. 5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!

Dennis said...

WOOOOOOOO! Congrats! Ideas for names: Hokie (or better yet Hoke) or maybe Spankee?

By the way, if you start--um--donating more often, you'll be able to afford a few more blasters in your budget. Just sayin'.

All the best to you and your wife, that's awesome news.

SpastikMooss said...

Congratulations! And a very finely worded post - definitely puts collecting in perspective and shows how much you (well mostly your wife ;-)) had to go through!

Ryan H said...

Great News, I'm happy for you two!

Matt Perry said...

Congratulations! Man, that's awesome!

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING will prepare you for when you see your newborn for the first time. Prepare to have your mind blown.

Congrats again, and Kyle's right, they are a blessing! Enjoy every minute.

Captain Canuck said...

whatever you do, do NOT carry the card analogy any further and call the little one 'Mojo".


other than that, a big congratulations and the best of luck.

Greg Zakwin said...

Congrats!

BASEBALL DAD said...

Congrats to you and your wife ! It took us four years the first time, but was all worth it in the end.

Matt said...

Congrats, and thanks for sharing the news with us.

dawgbones said...

Damn, now you gots to wait 9 months for that redemption!!
Congrats to you and the Missus. Wishing you all the joy and happiness that only parenthood can provide! If there is anything I can do for yall, I'm on that side of the water at east 5 days a week!!

night owl said...

Congrats!

I can relate to a lot of this, but you folks were a lot more persistent. You deserve to be rewarded.

Jason said...

Congratulations! My wife and I went through that as well, and I know exactly how you feel. Even though us guys have the easy part of the deal, it's a helpless feeling sitting by as your wife suffers, unsure how it will all turn out. In the end, it was all worth it. Best of luck these next months as you await the new blessing.

Kirk Jacobson said...

Congrats. It is a wild ride. My wife just passed her due date. The wait is so painful. We just want to meet the little fella. Enjoy the ride.

(...Joe) said...

Congrats dude!

I must admit, I like to think (ok pretend) that I'm a somewhat intelligent human being but I had no idea what IVF was. I had to google it after reading this and it alllll makes sense now. My excuse is that I'm only 24. haha

flywheels said...

I tried to think of some kind of whitty congratulatory comment, but I got nothing. So, happy to hear the good news.

Robert said...

Fantastic news and post!!

Congratulations!!

Mariner1 said...

As the father of an IVF kid I can completely relate. While my wife and I were successful in 1997 and having a boy in 1998, it isn't always that happy. Back when we first did it the success rate was about 20-25%. I remember all the trips to the doctor the pills and the shots. While we wished the second time would have worked, we are so thankful to have a great kid out of it.

From one dad to another to be- CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

dayf said...

"She had to have all manner of foreign blah blahhed up the blah and blech and injections and pills and "pills" and yikes."

This is one of the most finely crafted sentences ever written in the English language.

Congratulations, on both your writing ability and your sweet Mojo hit.
(warning - this new hobby is WAY more expensive than cards)

Kevin said...

Kids are the best.

I have two myself and may get a third.

Steve D. said...

Congrats! Best of luck!

High-Five Man said...

Congratulations!!

Matt said...

Congratulations! As somebody who went through IVF with his wife about 18 months ago, I can relate to everything you wrote about. The only thing better than the day you find out it worked is the day you get to meet that kid for the first time. Then every successive day after that is even better.

Also, thanks for sharing the fact that you did IVF. Maybe it's just living in the South that makes me say this, but people (myself included) are very shy about talking about it in public.

Spankee said...

Thanks, everyone. I did my best to respond through email to everyone. Some of you didn't have reply emails, so I'll address those here.

@Greg Zakwin: Thanks!

@Kirk Jacobson: Thanks! Best of luck to you!

@Mariner1: I can't imagine going into it with a 20-25% chance. 60% was scary enough. We've logged more than 2,200 miles traveling to the clinic. Thanks!

@Steve D: Thanks!

@Matt: Thanks! I'm glad it worked for you. I've found that the more I mention it, the more people I meet that went through the same or similar circumstances. It's a somewhat awkward topic at times, but I feel like it's something that more people need to know about. The work that the doctors do is about as close to miraculous as anything I can think of.

1967ers said...

Congratulations, man, that's absolutely fantastic. I hope everything comes through great for you two.

Community Gum said...

Really late to the party, but Congratulations from us too! I can't imagine how stressful and trying this has been on you both, but I'm very glad to hear it's all working out for the best.