The 40th Birthday Present Only a Husband Can Give

At midnight S walked into the bedroom grinning and bearing carefully-wrapped gifts. I saved the big one for last, tearing off the paper like a 4-year-old (I’m a bit over-the-top about birthdays, I think because mine comes so close to Christmas). Inside was a woven hamper. “It’s a fertility basket!” S said excitedly.

Tucked inside were a variety of foods, all inspired by research S had done online and in my stack of unread fertility books (over the last few months I bought everything I could find, but I can’t seem to make myself read them—it’s like admitting defeat, somehow). There was peanut butter (vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, and iron—though one of the books says that peanut butter should be avoided since it depletes calcium) and pumpkin seeds (vitamin E, zinc, and thiamin), dried apricots (vitamin A and iron), sesame crackers and bars (zinc and vitamin E), raspberry tea (good for the uterine), olive spread (not sure what that’s for, but it’s yummy!), and black cohosh supplements (a Native American remedy, though there’s conflicting info about its effectiveness/advisability).

The timing for this gift was pretty perfect—yesterday I walked 7 miles (hello, transit strike?) to my post-op appointment with the surgeon, and she gave me the thumbs up to start trying again. Given that good news, we had a little fertility picnic in bed last night (and no, that’s not a euphemism—we actually sampled some of the snacks!).

Coming from anyone else, this gift would have provoked tears and self-pity. Coming from my husband, it reminded me yet again how incredibly lucky I am. I waited ten years for him to enter my life—from the time my first marriage ended—and I’m so glad I did. Yeah, my age is probably the reason we’re having trouble getting pregnant, but I’d rather be childless with S than parenting with anyone else.

And in other good news, it sounds like the transit workers might be returning to work. Cookshop, here we come!