Another Max

What good might come from Brazil’s 1-7 drubbing by Germany in the World Cup semi-finals? Allow me to describe a timeline of events that may or may not have been totally contingent on that loss.

Tuesday, 9:45 pm. Kids are sleeping, babysitter is set up with fast internet and leftover gazpacho, Betsy and Tobias leave the house to have World Cup Date Night, Semi-Finals Edition.

Tuesday, 10:30 pm. Germany scores their fourth goal in quick succession. Tobias and Betsy are pleased with the first two goals,¬†surprised by the third, and kind of horrified by the fourth. And fifth. Don’t be mean, Germany!

Tuesday, 10:45 pm. With the game comfortably won before halftime and a babysitter in place for another hour or two, Betsy and Tobias order a second beer. Talk turns to Life Situation and Future Planning.

Tuesday, 11:00 pm. ‘Babies sure are cute. And fun. And they sleep a lot.’

Tuesday, 11:01 pm. ‘Hey! We have 5 frozen embryos left over from when we got pregnant with Frida. What the hell, right? Let’s try for another one.’

Wednesday, 10:00 am. Betsy calls the fertility clinic to arrange a consultation, begins to explain the complicated decision matrix around Max’s surprise conception, Tobias’ vasectomy, Max’s diagnosis, and the storage of embryos when she gets cut off by the receptionist saying that they would be pleased to offer an appointment tomorrow.

Thursday, 11:00 am. Ultrasound shows 11mm uterine lining, 21 mm right ovary, unremarkable left ovary. Doctor describes these as ‘perfect’ and says we can start the embryo transfer next month. Betsy coughs politely and asks if perhaps, given the 11mm uterine lining, this month might be an option. Doctor coughs politely, calculates his yacht payment, and agrees to an immediate commencement.

Thursday, 6:00 pm. Immediate, in this case, means a womb-readying trigger shot that very evening! Six o’clock on the dot! Go! Go! Go! Sign here! Pay here! Jab there! Except they forgot to include a syringe so, rather than a calm, sterile injection in the privacy of her bedroom, Betsy gathers the kids, sprints to the after-hours pharmacy, buys a needle and syringe from the astonishingly skeptical pharmacist, finds a cafe with a stroller-friendly restroom on the ground floor, wedges herself in the bathroom stall with the two kids, breaks open the glass vial, mixes it with the magic powder, draws it up, swats the empty toilet paper roll away from Max’s mouth, tells Frida to please not touch that toilet brush, and gives herself a nice subcutaneous 1cc shot in the belly. Which bleeds like crazy all over the waistband of her white summer pants, but who cares because with two kids (never mind three,) anything white has to be thought of as semi-disposable.

So here we are! Appointment at noon on Wednesday for the transfer, and plenty of time to freak out before then. It does occur to me that, with the move to Milan in September/October and the attendant language learning, house procuring, and orientation to schools, doctors, transportation, and special needs services, we might have plenty to do without being pregnant. As with other recent life decisions, this one feels like a win-win.¬†With five frozen embryos and a vasectomy, we don’t have more than five tries. If no pregnancy results from them, we’ll revel in our relatively easy schedule and take advantage of our ability to take the family swimming with a 2:1 adult-arms-to-kids ratio. If we do get pregnant, then awesome!


When I asked Frida what she thought about us maybe trying for another baby she said, ‘Another Max? Oh, YEAH!’

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