Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Scrapbook of Infertility Memories
Most people when they think of scrapbooking think of creative ladies armed with a pair of scissors, a glue stick, and collection of colorful papers, photos and mementos ready to be collaged together. They will gleefully cut and paste the "best of-s" and favorite moments of a lovely vacation trip, a family history, or a precious baby's first year. I, on the other hand, am required by my agency to create a scrapbook to give to a potential surrogate telling her who we are and why we need her help to make a baby.
So I spent last week collecting photos of me and my husband in our various life activities along with a letter telling our story. Now it's surreal enough to step outside yourself to tell a stranger why we are worthy of her help, but it's also really odd to read "my story." All us bloggers are writing regularly about our stories, but to read a summary story about myself was like being a third person looking at me and my husband and how insane it has been. It wasn't emotional, it was almost like I was reading someone else's story and thinking, "Wow that's damn sad."
To make things worse, they require FIVE copies of the scrapbook. So once I finished one I became a scrapbook sweatshop and cranked out four more copies. By then, you really feel like you are reading a pre-packaged storybook about a seemingly happy-go-lucky couple whose been really shit on.
But if I were going to be true to the craft of scrapbooking and didn't have to worry about freaking out someone, my keepsake memories would go well beyond a letter and some photos of me and my husband. Mine would have a title on the cover saying "The Barren Years." I would maybe have a smattering of photos of all the embryos transferred in me with captions, "This one lodged in my right tube," "This was lodged in my left tube," "This one implanted in my uterus but decided not to develop anymore after week 6." And then I do some cut outs from my fertility clinic bills in the shape of flowers and paste them against some pretty pink paper, then maybe a couple syringes to glue on with some ribbons, and for sure a rip out from my progesterone and menopur boxes, and if I could manage it, I would get a hand print from my doctor to show what's been in my uterus through the years.
What insanely dark things could you put in your scrapbook?