Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ethics and annivesaries

Before I get into the latest installment of Marriage: The Crisis Year, I just have to comment on the story that's going around the news and blogosphere this week. You know the one - where the woman who already had six kids from fertility treatment just gave birth to octuplets? I wasn't planning on talking about it because it's already received too much attention, which I think is one of her motives to begin with. She's already receiving book and movie offers and she'll likely make a lot of money from this. However, currently a fertility customer myself, I have to say something. No, I don't want to be told how many kids I'm allowed to have (I don't live in China for a reason), but isn't there such a thing as common sense? Responsibility? Maybe this woman is crazy; maybe she has greedy motives - hell, maybe she just LOVES KIDS THAT MUCH. Whatever. What blows me away is not so much her, but the doctor or doctors who allowed this to happen.

And another thing: who's paying for it? Apparently her parents have gone broke trying to help her support the first six kids, so it can't be them. She hasn't worked since 2002, so it's not her. She's single, so unless there's some guy footing the bill, there isn't an income there. I know how much money we've already put out for this stuff and I haven't even been implanted yet, so...what? Did she watch too many episodes of Jon & Kate Plus Eight and think, hmm...what a good idea; if they can make money, why can't I? (I'm a Jon & Kate fan and only bring it up to support a theory.) Are the taxpayers paying for it, as some have suggested? That would mean she would've had to apply for some type of financial assistance, which brings me back to: who the hell would put their stamp of approval on this idea?

One of the first things I read about the fertility place we're using is that they do their best to prevent multiples. It's in the best interest of both the mother and the children, and while there were pictures of twins and one set of triplets on the wall in the waiting room the other day (and they were SO BEAUTIFUL!), that's pretty understandable. You start taking fertility drugs and having procedures done with the sole intent on creating a life - it's an unavoidable side effect. Personally, I wouldn't mind twins. I'm almost forty and this might be the only big show; to end up with a family of four like the one I came from is a very pleasant proposition to me. Of course this also is from someone who has no idea what it's like to take care of ONE baby for any length of time, so that sounds pretty cocky just saying that.

I don't know what will come of this, if anything, but I hope things turn out okay for all those kids who never asked to be born into this chaos. And I was just thinking nothing could surprise me anymore...people will never cease to amaze me.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the day we met, so that ties in conveniently with another annivesary, the saddest one I've ever had.

All the shit hit the fan September 12th. Our second wedding anniversary was October 9th. You can imagine how difficult this day would be on its own, but what made it even more horrific was the fact my parents had no idea what was going on (yet). We lived almost two hours away from them. They wanted to celebrate with us, and being a weeknight the best idea was meeting in the middle for them to take us out to dinner. It was what we'd done for our first anniversary and it had been a lot of fun. I told Brian what they wanted to do and he for some reason agreed. I don't know what the hell we were thinking, to be honest.

The drive down was quiet and though I tried not to think about our wedding day two years before, that was fairly impossible. It had been such a great day; a day I never would've imagined barely two years later would bring us to where we ended up. We talked a little, but tried to keep things light, knowing we'd be putting on a show and would need to save the mental and emotional energy for that.

It was so bad. My parents met us at a Ruby Tuesday's near the mall in downtown Gainesville. Brian grabbed my hand as we got out of the car to walk to the restaurant and that one little gesture nearly made me fall apart. My parents were happy and excited to see us and among the hugs and kisses, handed us a present. For the love of God. I just called Brian to see if he remembered what it was: a Fry Daddy. I knew it was something big and for the kitchen. I don't remember what I ordered to eat that night, but I do remember how hard it was to fake eating it, considering I'd pretty much given up on eating by then. Always someone with a good appetite especially when out to eat, my parents noticed, but didn't make too much of it - I made some excuse about having a slightly upset stomach (not a lie) and got a doggy bag for the leftovers.

My dad and Brian loved each other a lot. It was good to see Brian perked up while in his company - one of the hardest things for him during that time was the thought of disappointing our parents. Which is why you should really try to keep your affairs secret. I'm kidding - I had to lighten the mood a little.

After we parted ways, I'm not sure what possessed us to continue with this horrid evening, but we decided to see a movie while we were right there. The hell! Of course it was bad - did you ever see The Others with Nicole Kidman? Some people liked it - I guess I'm a little biased about it and probably wouldn't have liked my favorite movie of all time if I'd seen it that night. No, I really think it actually sucked. Over two hours of creepy mystery with a totally obvious pay-off. Ugh.

We drove home. He knew better than to spend the night elsewhere that night and I was glad to have him home. The year before we'd danced to the song we danced to at our wedding - "I Love You" by the Climax Blues Band (the lyrics were so perfect for us, there was never any question what our wedding song would be) and we'd said that would be a tradition we'd do every year...that night we didn't dance, but just listened to the song quietly sitting on the couch together. Sad, sad. As with everything in this story, there was no cinematic moment of realization that we belonged together or that we'd get through this somehow. Real life is never that convenient.

Exhausted from the night's effort, we finally went to sleep - me in our bed and him on the couch, the dog settling down with a big sigh in between the bedroom and living room, not understanding at all what the stupid humans were up to these days.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I would have been able to listen to the song. I'm impressed that you guys could.

Kim said...

I figured the night had gone so well so far, why not throw some salt in the wound!

Anonymous said...

My wife seems to thing that same song is "our song"...I tell her it isn't, but she doesn't care. That song makes me ill...she wont listen.

Kim said...

Tell her it's already taken!
Unless you guys got married before October 1999.

Whiskeymarie said...

I purposely didn't read the second half of this as I want to read it in it's entirety and probably won't have time until the weekend (work- argh. If I'm m.i.a. for a while blame my job).

But the woman with the eight kids? I will probably get crucified for saying this- but I honestly feel that having more children (especially EIGHT more) when you have no means to support them and there is only ONE of you to take care of them (I read that her Mom & dad want nothing to do with her anymore) is tantamount to child abuse in my book. It's totally irresponsible and I'm disgusted by it. The doctor who allowed this to happen should have his license revoked.
Those poor kids. I don't care how much she "loves kids" and I don't doubt that she will love her own enough, but beyond that these kids are at a huge disadvantage from day 1. They are going to spend a huge part of their lives paying for their mother's irresponsibility.
It's sad, really.

OK, I'll shut up now.

Kim said...

I completely agree!!
I know this is an emotional topic, but I can't find any justification for this situation.

crisitunity said...

I agree with Marie. I left a long comment about this on Beej's blog, which I'll sum up here: I don't care if it makes me a bad person, I'm critical of this woman.

Kim said...

I'm hoping that's how the majority of people feel so something like this never happens again. I think it's horrible.