Tuesday, August 14, 2007

baby steps

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On Monday my podiatrist said I could start wearing running shoes for a few hours every day, freeing me to drive and run errands and do cardio, so long as I don't put weight on my foot, which means, of course, all I can do is the recumbent bike, and even then it started to hurt after a half hour and by the time I got home it was swollen again and I had to ice it back to feeling okay. But it's a start, and it felt good to move quickly again, and what made it even better is that I got to the gym just as a repeat of Star Trek Voyager was starting. And what made it even better than that was that it was one of my favorite episodes ever, "Counterpoint." It's a perfectly generic Star Trek episode, one where the loner captain gets a (brief) fling with a sexy alien, but this one has a classical music soundtrack (because counterpoint, the musical concept, helps Janeway understand how to open a worm hole. Obvious, right?)

The episode ends with my favorite shot in the entire series, this wonderful moment where Janeway sits alone in her chair after she has been betrayed by, and then, in a counterpoint kind of move, herself betrays, her new and/or almost lover. (In the fanfic he's totally her lover. Mostly in a smdb kind of way. It's hot, if you like imaging Janeway having a three-way on the holodeck with the alien and a holodeck version of him, which maybe you don't.) Mahler's 1st has been playing throughout the scene as Janeway checkmates the alien man and sends him away. The music swells as the camera pulls back, and the look on Kate Mulgrew's face--somewhere between stoic and resigned--her body language as she sits, slightly slumped, in her captain's chair, perfectly conveys the total loneliness of her command and, to me, sums up the series' message for women: you can't have it all. You can get your four stars and be a Star Fleet captain, and you can command loyalty and respect, and you can be smart and sassy and you can even beat the Borg Queen, but though you might experience fleeting moments of love and passion, ultimately you will be alone.
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It's a great moment, and there is a women's studies 101 connection between my attachment to this moment, which serves as such a powerful, compact meditation on the difficulties of desire and ambition and being a woman in our culture and what I'm going to say next, but I didn't start this post intending to write about Voyager. I started it to add another bullet point to the list from my last post, and to tell why I had foot surgery this summer in the first place.
  • vials of sperm purchased last week: 2
See, I had to have foot surgery this summer because I'm trying to get pregnant and I needed to stop procrastinating and fix my foot, which had been getting progressively painful over the past year, and which would have gotten impossibly painful if, for example, I suddenly put on a lot of weight.

Those of you who read my partner's blog already know that we've been planning this for a while now. I'm lucky enough to have really amazing health insurance that has a generous fertility plan and covers everything--the blood tests to check your hormone levels to see if you're perilously close to menopause, the ultra-sounds to see if you still have eggs and what your uterine lining looks like (weird to see that. really. weird.), the insemination(s), and, if necessary, ivf. The only thing it doesn't cover is the sperm. So I've spent the last six months researching fertility clinics and sperm banks, getting tested, weighing the pros and cons of using a known donor versus anonymous, taking prenatal vitamins, saving for sperm, and learning how to chart my cycles.

I've been hesitant to blog about this because I feel a little embarrassed about wanting a baby, and a lot superstitious about admitting it. I don't mean embarrassed because there's anything wrong with wanting and choosing to have a baby. I guess I mean embarrassed to admit that I have the audacity to want something so big. I don't know how much I'll blog about it while we're trying to get pregnant. If I don't say anything, don't ask: I'll let you know if it happens.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think you are worried about not being able to have it all too? I guess your point is that all women fear this. I like your description of the counterpoint episode. Good luck in this next adventure.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Hilaire said...

Hey, good luck with all of this!

6:13 PM  
Anonymous New Kid on the Hallway said...

Good luck, good luck!!

10:23 PM  
Blogger Margo, darling said...

Thanks for the good wishes. I do feel sheepish about it all.

Anonymous, thanks for engaging my Janeway musings. I really didn't mean to write about Voyager, and so when I started the post, that connection wasn't on my mind. But then I got so into writing about Voyager, I felt like I had to make a transition into what I meant to blog about in the first place. So I made a connection that is a little laborious and overwrought. I don't know if anyone can have it all, or if they'd know if they did, but for sure that show had an investment in having their first female captain always choose her career over her personal life.

And I don't think that was the wrong decision necessarily, I just think it kind of sucks that when we give female characters real authority and success, we also have to punish them by making them be alone, and worse, melancholy in their aloneness. But maybe I'm being overwrought again. Janeway was pretty cheerful, actually, and perhaps I'm being sour grapes just because I wanted her to get down with 7 of 9.

11:11 PM  
Blogger Adriana Velez said...

Wow, that's so exciting -- I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Lane says, "Oh great, have a kid, it'll ruin everything." Jasper is yelling and throwing himself all over the room.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous What Now? said...

Congrats on both of the baby steps. We'll all stay tuned, and you can fill us in as seems helpful or appropriate. In the meantime, the best of recovering health to you!

5:07 PM  
Blogger Margo, darling said...

Hey Adriana,
Over at The Great Whatsit they're having an interesting discussion about parenthood right now, I noticed, with Lane participating more enthusiastically. Your honesty and candor in reporting on the joys and frustrations of parenthood has really influenced my thinking about all of this. So blame Jasper!

10:40 AM  

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