So the chatterers around the water cooler this week—we FULLY DO TOO have a water cooler in the office!—are still on about this Sunday's New York Times Modern Love column. For those of you who were lucky enough to be too high or too dead to read it, it's about a nice lady who went to the fertility clinic and came back with three feti. Fetuses. Whatever! Precious, beautiful thumbnails of human life! Very, very expensive thumbnails, it turns out. Bad news! Apparently, you paid a lot of money for them!
So! Chick goes to the doctor, finds out, unsurprisingly, that after "years and tens of thousands of dollars" of fertility treatments, she's chock-full of trips. Everyone panics.
Over the next couple of weeks, we consulted various specialists, including one who told us the odds in plain terms: The chances of having severe complications in a triplet pregnancy, he explained, are only 2 percent greater than with twins once you pass the 26-week mark. Babies born earlier than 26 weeks, which happens in roughly 14 percent of triplet pregnancies, almost always suffer serious handicaps, and many die. Then again, the reduction procedure itself carries the risk, however small, of terminating the entire pregnancy.
Focusing on those cold numbers, we made our decision: we would not reduce.
So, uh, apparently all her pent-up baby-crazy made her actually unable to focus on those cold numbers, because she did the exact opposite of what they indicated. But hey! Modern love!
At this point one is thinking, fuck, chick should have just adopted a crack baby (do they still have those? Maybe from Estonia or something) and put the tens of thousands of dollars she spent tweaking her defective uterus to life into, say, its college fund. Especially since college is going to cost $80,000 a semester in 18 years.
Then, at 19 weeks, they SEWED HER CERVIX SHUT and put her on bed rest. A few weeks later, they took her to the hospital and basically HUNG HER UPSIDE DOWN. At 26 weeks, she gives birth. (God, one hopes they removed those stitches. Argh.) Congrats! You're a mother now!
Well, so was Anna Nicole. Yay, puppies!
Listen. The biological urge to reproduce—yeah, it's some crazy stuff. We get it! We talk to our cats. We've had those fucked-up moments of baby obsession. We hear her. And we know that all over Manhattan, women are emptying their bank accounts to get pregnant. But at least they're spending their husband's bonus money.
But with a good insurance plan and Medicaid's coverage for babies under 2 pounds 10 ounces, we were relieved that we did not have to pay the million-dollar hospital bill. This was not the time to pontificate on how our quest to have a family resulted in a significant financial drain on society's resources, though that knowledge has weighed on me.
Actually, this seems like a great time to "pontificate," though that's a word choice we'd certainly question. Clearly, after all the fertility treatments, we're not talking about poor people here. A million dollars? A million dollars? Also we'd question the phrase "quest to have a family" too, because God knows spending upwards of seven figures to breed isn't by any means the only way to get a family. Wow. Modern Love has actually made us Libertarians or something. But do we at least get a tiny cut of the freelance payment for the Modern Love column as a refund on those babies we paid for?