(On re-read, this makes more sense as a brain dump than a coherent essay. I had a point originally.)

For some reason all the crap I try to keep in the "Danger: Do Not Open" compartment of my brain is sneaking out today. Probably because my partner is not here to abuse/help me vent fumes. Current thought as I wait for Leelo to stop sproinging out of bed and finally go to sleep: Fertility is capricious.

There are a good number of people who never figure this out, who get knocked up just by looking at their partner's dick, who announce their pregnancy as soon as they see the two blue lines on the stick, and who start painting the nursery during the first trimester. They get perfectly happy, healthy babies. They are usually horrible people who don't deserve this kind of good luck, has been my experience. I've been temporarily related to one of them.

I was wide-eyed like this, too. At first. I never thought I'd run into any problems igniting or keeping a pregnancy--hadn't I breezed through a full 8 1/2 months, albeit by accident? What's to worry about?

When Seymour and I got pregnant the first time, I was all blabbity blah blah blah from week four on. It wasn't a planned event, so I was doing a lot of scrambling at work, talking to HR about related benefits, and trying to figure out how I was going to hit simultaneous work and birth deliveries in the Fall. Family was happy. We were shocked but adjusting, and becoming happy.

I'd been having light cramping, but thought nothing of it. For a lot of women, womb expansion means constant twinginess, and I figured that that was what was happening to me.

After a week of me braying to anyone within range, the only family members we hadn't told were my brother and his girlfriend. We wanted and arranged to tell them in person as they had a new infant and the kids were going to be close in age.

They weren't home when we arrived, so we walked downstairs, bought some ice cream, and sat outside their doorway. I remember precisely that blissful moment of sitting on on ratty walkway carpet, watching ice cream melt, and squeezing Seymour's hand.

When they arrived, I whispered to Seymour that I'd rather hit the pot before telling them, and beelined for the bathroom. Where I discovered blood soaking my underwear.

I sobbed and tottered my way from the bathroom into a distraught Seymour's arms, who translated the situation to my brother as best he could. Then they drove me to the nearby ER. A kind nurse tried to decipher what I was hiccuping about, but had a hard time hearing me over the five shouting attendants who were trying to hold down a 300 lb guy on PCP in the next bed. Eventually they declared me a miscarriage and sent me home.

I went back to work, and used the office grapevine to spread my information so I wouldn't have to talk to do-gooder acquaintances who really needed to know why I was so ashen. I went to a follow-up appointment with my OB, who for some reason asked me to get weekly blood tests "just to make sure everything is okay."

In my ignorance, I figured that was that. Until the day two weeks later when my doctor called me at work and told me that she needed me in surgery in three hours because my blood tests showed that I had an ectopic pregnancy. More instant hysteria, this time for the benefit of the entire office.

I had no car (it was my day to drive but I'd locked the keys inside) so a friend drove me to the hospital. Seymour had no car either, so a very kind friend drove him all 25 miles from work. He arrived just in time to hear me giggling punchily over having to ask the surgery prep nurse for forceps to remove various body ornaments.

For some reason those sick fuckers put all OB post-op patients on the labor & delivery floor. Just in case I didn't have a real clear idea of what I'd be missing--bastards. Whatever. I recovered quickly, and we got on with life.

A couple of years later, we started to try for kiddlings for real. I was still partially ignorant--I knew bad things could happen, but I didn't think we'd have any problems getting pregnant. After almost a year, we figured it out, though. A consult with my OB and a subsequent hysterosalpingogram (too fun) showed that the pesky little ectopic situation had effectively shut down fallopian tube #1. I was operating with only one cylinder. Moreover, I should brace myself for more ectopic pregnancies in the future.

Needless to write, the first phases of both Iz and Leelo's pregnancies were emotionally charged. Positive pregnancy tests were insufficient--we had to wait several weeks each time to find out whether the pregnancies were viable. We continue to be grateful for having won the lottery both times. And I now get in the face of anyone who takes their fertility for granted--they can think what they like, but I sure as fuck don't want to listen to them, and I especially don't want anyone who's had a rougher time than me to hear it.

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