I reviewed the results of the preconception genetic test with the fertility doctor I used to bank my eggs years ago. When I came into her office, she immediately asked how Constance was. Apparently, while I was medicated during my prior egg extraction, I wouldn’t shut up about Constance. My unending gibber gabber left an impression even years later. When I told her that Constance had died suddenly, she burst into tears while explaining to me that I shouldn’t be sad because Constance was in heaven. The statement did little to comfort me but seemed to stop her crying.
The fertility doctor reviewed the genetic test results and then assured me that there was no reason to think that Constance’s challenges or passing had anything to with me. It is a little comforting to hear that but I still feel like I should have somehow protected Constance from her medical challenges like the epilepsy and the brain tumor.
Then we talked for a long time about the eggs that I’d banked before and the likelihood that they’ll become children. Apparently, now there is almost no difference in the success rate of fertilized eggs versus unfertilized eggs. As a result, she’s confident I could get a couple of live births out of them if I wanted to. It was nice to hear.
I love children and it is nice to think I could have another in some future life when I have a home, a stable job, a co-parent, and the ability to make it through the day without breaking into tears at how unfair a deal Constance got.
After my appointment, I went back to work. On the way, I thought about all of the things that were aligned perfectly before we decided to have Constance. We had both finished graduate school. He had a great job. I had a job where I could work from home so making doctor’s appointments was easier. We were both healthy and living in a lovely home with a fantastic view. We did the preconception testing that was available at the time and there were no flags. We felt very confident and jubilant in the decision. I got pregnant about three weeks after we’d decided we were ready. It was easy and it felt right. We had no idea how hard Constance would have to fight to make it through the world. We didn’t know she’d be taken away so young. It’s hard to fully appreciate how naive we were.