My parents got married in 1970 and divorced in 1980.
Then they got remarried in 1990 and divorced again in 2008.
And then last year, they got re-remarried.
This time it’s different, though. This time they’re also married to God.
They seem quite happy in their religious re-reunion. They hold hands, and they sprinkle each other’s days with compliments and kisses. They talk about the torah, talk about religion, and talk about how sad it is that they’d never talked before about the torah and religion. It’s all very sweet.
Revolution #3 on the marriage-go-round could be the one that sticks, but I’m not entirely convinced because my parents have 45 years worth of untherapized shit between them, and I happen to believe more in counseling than in gods by a factor of infinity.
Unlike my parents, I am an atheist. To clarify: that’s totally, utterly, and completely unlike my parents. In fact, if you were to imagine a continuum of faith that ranges from 1 to 10 (with 1 being a monkey and 10 being Kirk Cameron), then I am a zero, and my parents are Orthodox Jews.
It’s safe for me to say that you have no idea how consuming religion can be until you’ve spent a week with Orthodox Jews – very safe for me to say, because you honestly have no idea.
But I’m an atheist, not an asshole, so I’ve done my best to accept the changes. I deal with their not being able to eat with me at restaurants, I arrange plans around their combined 6 hours a day of prayer, and I ignore the fact that they’ve started dressing like extras in Fiddler on the Roof. If they’re happy, then I’m happy for them.
Happy, that is, until my mother came home from a bris and handed me wine blessed by the rabbi because she believed that my drinking it would get me pregnant. Then I wanted to punch her in her bible.
I drank the wine, but only because the experience made me really need to drink some wine. It didn’t get me pregnant, but it did give me some clarity about a boundary that I wanted to set around my parents’ faith: when it comes to rituals, there’s a line they can’t cross, and that line is at my vagina.
Sacred or not, I needed my parents to understand that wine wouldn’t make me pregnant. Maybe if I were 16 and had a butterfly tramp stamp pressed against the flatbed of a pick-up truck while the idiot guy on top of me refused a condom because I could just douche with Mountain Dew, then the wine might serve as a pregnancy aid, but it still wouldn’t be the wine that got me pregnant: it would be the egg, the uterus, and the idiot on top of me.
One good egg, one good sperm, and one good uterus is what it takes to get pregnant. Nothing else. Nothing.
Not prayer, not optimism, and not crossed-fingers; not astrologers, not psychics, and not hypnotists; not gluten-free diets, not vitamins, and not kale; and definitely not vacations.
One good egg. One good sperm. And one good uterus. That’s it.
And as luck would have it, I’ve got six good eggs and six good sperm in the form of six good embryos on ice. At least the embryos looked good before they were frozen, so odds are high that they’re still good now.
As far as the uterus goes, that’s currently in development. Injectibles started last Monday, my period is on its way, and we’ve got 4+ weeks of blood draws and ultrasounds before my transfer on October 18th.
But a good uterus is not a sure thing. Goodness means over 7mm of lining, a trilaminar pattern, and hormone levels high enough to make me cry when the pickle jar won’t pry loose. Those are quite a lot of variables, and the truth is that I’m a bit nervous because I’ve struggled with one or another of these issues during most of my previous cycles.
Statistical odds are on my side, though, and I’m hopeful that donor cycle two will yield me baby number one. So, wish me luck, dear friends. And, … um, … if you’re so inclined, then maybe say a prayer for me, too.