I am writing to you from my balcony at Le Savanna Country Lodge in Kisumu, Kenya. I can see Lake Victoria and the Kenyan highlands in the distance, and I’m surrounded by the sounds of roosters, tuk tuks (small Flintstonesque cars), playing children and the poetic lyrics of Color Me Badd (specifically: I wanna sex you up). I’ve been working from 7 am until midnight every day until yesterday, so I’ve not had time to indulge in blogging. Now that I have time to write, I’m struggling to sift through my thoughts to create a post worth reading.
We were so hopeful this month. Everything seemed perfectly aligned. We paid all the bills for the legal and medical prerequisites to using the KD and we were finally getting to the more financially sustainable part of our journey. R felt good after two well-timed visits to a new acupuncturist, and she had a great time in CA with her sister. In spite of my earlier mixed feelings about missing this month’s inseminations, I found myself really enjoying my field work and the hard work it requires. Everything seemed just perfect and we were sure we’d finally move out of this liminal state and into the next phase of preparation for parenting.
So when last night I found myself staring at R–from 8,877 miles away thanks to the modern miracle known as Skype—I was surprised by the news of this cycle, which was evident before she told me. The bad news followed on the heels of disappointing news from the KD that he and his long time partner had split. The potential for a new lady friend on the horizon means that all the preparatory work we did may be moot now, because we’ll have to wait three to six months to repeat all the medical screening tests, and time is not a luxury we feel we have at this point. We are inching ever closer to that magical age of 35, when pregnancy becomes high risk and the chances of even getting pregnant drop significantly. So now that everything seems uncertain, we feel a bit foolish to have followed our dream of having a KD we know and like, against the strong advice of medical professionals, family, and friends.
You have been kind to support and encourage us. You’ve been optimistic when we have not been. We’ll really need you now as we think about how to move forward. All the options left are terribly expensive and uncertain, and each carries some risk. I don’t know what we’ll decide or how we’ll even weigh the options. All my thoughts and emotions are whirling around in a noisy blender, changing color and texture by the hour. I feel a heavy sadness, and then significant guilt over it, as I look beyond the hotel walls to the sight of people laboring in the heat of the day, trying to earn enough money to feed their families this evening. I am aware of my unearned privilege, especially as I type here in the shade. While I grapple with this and other sad news from home, I have to remain focused on the tasks at hand, which I enjoy. I have been so fortunate to follow my childhood dreams of working in Africa, and am humbled to be a part of an incredible group of people working to improve the human condition. It’s an experience that is sometimes physically and emotionally uncomfortable, always challenging, and intensely rewarding. I was just writing to Bean the other day, telling her that hope she will be so lucky in her life.