Saturday, May 22, 2004

Baby Ambition

Observation: It's hard to sit googling "poor sperm morphology" with your Dad wandering in and out of the room every five minutes.

One thing I realise is that there are plenty of other people who have had a really shockingly crappy time on their "TTC journey"- in some cases, enough to humble me into silence about our possible problems.

But of all the things I have read about couples suffering through infertility, this is possibly the worst. One of the couples duped by Moira Greensalde had been through 13 miscarriages and 8 failed IVF attempts. I can't even imagine the hell that they have already suffered. Another couple, thinking they were finally going to have the baby of their dreams had gone so far as to buy baby clothes and paint the nursery.

It was noted by one columnist that the method of acquiring the baby over the internet was illegal in this country, and with good reason. But everyone acknowledges the desperation some childless couples face in their desire to have a child. In fact, the court in sentencing Ms Greenslade went so far as to describe it as "an ambition."

Is wanting to have a baby an ambition? For some reason that jarred with me. I have lots of ambitions in life- to pass my probationary period at work, to discover how to hook up remote networking on the computer, to learn how to make really good creme brulee ( won't E. be surprised to learn about that one!). But I wouldn't have included having a baby in that list.

Ambition sounds sort of calculating, a bit cold, a bit self-obsessed. But who am I kidding? I am pretty much obsessed. What else would drive me to take my temperature every morning, submit myself to blood tests, spend hours scouring the internet for information on fertility. I know that if I put half as much energy into other aspects of my life, I'd be a Pulitzer prize winner author by now, or a a black belt in karate or an astronaut (ok, maybe not the last one. But it sounds like an impressive goal. Great at dinner parties. "Hi, what do you do?" "Oh, I'm an astronaut. I'm just back from Mars").

I think I might worry more about myself if I started thinking about trying to buy a baby over the internet. But even then, I don't think I would call it an "ambition" as such. Heartfelt longing. Desperate desire. Anguished hope.

Moira Greenslade got two years in jail. The baby has been sent off to social services (it's not clear if the father is, in fact, one of the three men involved). And the three couples get yet another hole in the place where their heart used to be.


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