I don’t like that question. No matter what number I give, I am either too young or too old in the eyes of the interrogator. I’m never just the age I should be.
“I’m old enough,” I answer.
“Well,” she says, simultaneously rubbing her hands up and down my arms as if she can polish my barrenness right off my skin, “you can still have a child. My son is forty-one, and he and his wife just had their first child. They used IVF. It went so well, they probably even have some children in the trash.”
I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say.
“There are some frozen embryos, too, or something like that,” she keeps rubbing, “but at least they have one that’s alive, now.”
I know what to say to this. “Those embryos are alive, too.”
She stops rubbing. Her eyes flicker. There is knowledge in her eyes. Conviction. She knows, and I can tell she is bothered. “I know. I don’t know what to think about all of that.”
And I am sad for her. She is a grandma many times over through IVF, and she is confused. I realize I misjudged her. She wasn’t being flippant about the children in the trash. She was confessing. She couldn’t stop herself from telling me. She just needed someone to know.
Please help, dear Church. Tell the truth about IVF before more children are created in glass to be tossed out with the trash.
Babies are not garbage.