All about my mother

My mother called me at work the other day. To arrange all the sprinting to her house to gaze apon The Aunts, ostensibly. Note ostensibly. I hate it when my mother calls me at work. She, having worked in an office for, ooh, seventeen days of her entire life total, cannot get her head around the idea that I am a) supposed to be working, not talking excitably to stray relations about other stray relations in between updates on my reproductive organs, parlous state of,  b) there are other people in the office, also supposed to be working, and c) I do not want these people to hear a single word about my reproductive organs, parlous or otherwise.

Nevertheless, Mum called me at work, forcing me to hide in the stationary cupboard (I am NOT KIDDING) with my mobile phone, and having strong-armed me into galloping frantically to her place late on a Friday evening, she then did indeed wish to know about my internal organs, and I attempted a discreet update, which led her to ask her perennial question of ‘but what else are you doing about it?’ By which she means, how many private specialists have I interviewed yet. Answer, none.

Mum, being somewhat posh and raised by wealthy people, thinks absolutely anything in the world can be solved by throwing money at it. She now has a deal of money again (having been poor, dirt poor, relatively poor, and fine now thank you). She chose this phonecall, therefore, to announce loudly her absolute intention to give us the money to ‘go private’, and also her absolute awareness that ‘the treatment’ costs several thousand pounds a go. And then she got weepy and swore that even if she didn’t have the money she’d mortgage the house to raise it, as this was so important, and then I got weepy, and we snivelled ‘I love you so much’ at each other several times, and then I had to explain that if we go private now, we forfeit the rest of our NHS treatment, so could she stop asking me to investigate Harley Street clinics just for the moment, and she said there was no harm looking, and I told her I loved her again, and then I had to climb out of the stationary cupboard and go back into the office looking blotchy and flustered.


I relayed this very exciting conversation to H that evening, in tones of wild cheeriness.

H blenched.

Wherefore blench you, Husband? I queried. I thought this was part of the back-up plan – if the fallopian tube is genuinely buggered (and dear God will they please get on and tell me if it is or isn’t), we had been wondering about IVF. One go on the NHS, one private we can save for and one, possibly, sponsored by parent, not that we’re relying on that because we’re well-brought-up. We had talked about this, hadn’t we? As a possibility? Three goes? (I really should do a separate post about the conversation that lead to the decision that we could even consider IVF, but anyway).

H said yes, but he most certainly didn’t want to be bounced into IVF by the likes of my mother. We should be free to make our own decisions, and not be forced into anything by bribery. He’d love the money, of course, it’s a lovely welcome gesture, but he wants us to decide what to do with it.

I back-tracked my excited frolicking a little and said I was quite sure Mum would be happy for us to use it for whatever fertility treatments suited us best when the NHS petered out on us.

Good, said H.

Right, said I.

We should spend the money on your health-care needs, said H. IVF or other treatment or counselling or whatever it is you need most.

That we need most, said I.

Anyway, said H. I don’t feel comfortable accepting an offer that has too many strings attached.

Apart from the string of having to spend it on IVF, which is not really a string as such?

H pointed out that there are other strings, such as being given the money now and therefore having to spend it now, which would be a My Mother thing to do, as she has the patience and attention span of a humming-bird (he didn’t quite say that, but we both know it), and we’re on the IVF waiting list and going private even a weeny bit boots you straight off the waiting list. I pointed out that I am 33 and a half and the NHS IVF go wouldn’t be for another 18 months at the earliest and these things have a freaking age limit, as do I. But yes, I do not want to be booted off the NHS list either.

H has had enough of the way my mother’s more tactless if (obviously) (well, obviously to some one or other) well-meant remarks and suggestions upset me. If the price of her financial assistance in the baby-making game is going to be more well-meant interference, H is reluctant to accept the assistance. I cannot say I blame him, after all, it is H and not my mother who has to deal with me in a stricken rage.

I feel trapped between badly wanting to accept the money no matter what, and being very very grateful for it, and agreeing with H about the… the… the stringiness of the offer. Possibly. But I am far more gung-ho about IVF than H (I really must write that other post), which may be colouring my thought-processes couleur du rose.


10 responses to “All about my mother

  • Rachel

    I love the image of you in the closet having a little heart to heart with your mother. Is there any way you can accept the money now and promise to use it towards a baby – either the making part, or should that not be necessary the raising part? I’m starting to get the sense that even after you’ve got one in hand, it’s still quite useful to have a little savings left (wishful thinking, but anyway).

    And just for us clueless Americans, how does NHS manage to not read a lab result for 3 weeks but still keeps track of whether you’re also consulting private clinics?

  • Lori

    I have a mom with a bit of money as well but has never offered to help and I’m certain never will (with the economy tanking). If she offered me the money I’d sign up for IVF so fast it would make your head spin. I’m older than you though and don’t have the time to sit around for 18 months for free IVF, though there’s no free IVF in America unless your blessed with incredible insurance. If you and your husband can save, save for the second IVF. Maybe she’ll spring for a third if it comes to that. I’ve lost so much time in this I can’t imagine choosing to wait some more. Eighteen months, that’s a crazy wait. I had to wait 4 months to see my RE the first time and thought I’d go absolutely crazy.

  • Nina

    Well, it’s up to you. You can accept the money, strings and all, and save it for later when you need it. Or you and H could sit and talk seriously with your mother and explain how you feel about said strings, or you could refuse on principle. I agree with Lori about it being a really long wait. I’m in the same boat right now with wanting a baby so bad I can’t see straight. I guess you just have to decide how much of your mother you can stand. Cause even if she says “no strings attached” she’s still going to feel she has a right to dictate terms. It being “her money” and all. I don’t know her, obviously, but my MIL and she could be twins/clones from your description. Well meaning, yet clueless. I call mine a rude parrot. Your mother may have slightly more class from being raised by “posh” folks, I don’t know. Good luck, and I hope for the best.

  • Aphra Behn

    You see, I think it’s too stringy. But then I’m not in your shoes. Too stringy for me may not be too stringy per se and certainly may not be too stringy for you.

    Your test results may well be sitting in some typist’s in tray by the way. When I had bumpy boobs I heard the consultant dictating the letter as I was leaving which arrived some six or eight weeks later. Fortunately he’d already told me everything he said in the letter.

    Think hard about strings and gift horses and greeks though. And maybe attach some strings of your own.


  • korechronicles

    Not only tough but touchy as well. No assvice from me (did I hear someone say there is a first time for everything?) only good thoughts that the right thing will happen for the right reason. Cue butterflies and violins.

    And what is it with the medical feedback? Or total lack thereof. Not bloody good enough NHS! Do you hear me? Tell May what she needs to know already. You’re seriously pissing off those of us on the innernet as well.

  • Solnushka

    I was thinking about the test results and how I have found that the NHS is largly quite fast with bad news and interminibly slow with good news. I quite realise that this is nothing you can pin your hat on though. *hug*

    It is an awful uncomfortable business screwing money out of your nearest and dearest and to an extent, I think, always needs to be done with a bit of very thickskinedness.

    By which I mean, would it be possible to accept the money and ignore any twinges of conscience that you should do with it what your mother thinks you should do with it, and just use it how you would like? A bit of selective deafness combined with willful obstuseness goes a long way, I find.

    But I’m not sure that the givers always mean to seem to be attaching strings – they would give the advice with or without the money, and accept our descision likewise. It’s only our acceptance of their money that makes us feel we ought to listen.

    And even if that’s not true… I think sometimes it is necessary to be very self centred in life. Money is only money, relatives are obliged to forgive us eventually, but IVF is _important_.

  • womb for improvement

    I think your approach is exactly what I’d do. Continue with NHS until it become too long or too frustrating or (godforbid) IVF 1 fails. Then grab your mother’s offer with both hands – even if it does mean you have to name the child after her (regardless of if the child is a boy or girl). I say that’s is what I’d do cause my Dad has made the self same offer, but at the moment I don’t think the NHS are doing anything slower than private would. I will see what the waiting list is like when I actually get to the medical intervention stage.

  • Xbox4NappyRash

    Firstly, this was deliciously written.

    Anyway, I do think your own gut feeling/plan is best, do as much as you think you can face on the NHS.

    I know I personally would hate the thought of taking the money, really, but at the same time I’d give a limb to get what we want.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    I’ve been mulling this one over all evening, and I’m still not sure that this’ll come out right. I am keen to offer kind thoughts and support – and I’m still not sure I shouldn’t follow the delightful Kore C’s example and just stick to concentrating on sending you all the good karma I can muster. Navigating deep and uniquely personal waters for you here, and if the ?curved tube is ok then, of course, IVF is not necessarily the best solution. It’s not precisely an organic or restful way to achieve a pregnancy.

    Like Xbox, Nina & Lori – I would have immediately carved holes in myself if it would have helped. The delay between appointments was the stabbing of a million knives in my heart – and these were private appointments. I was fully prepared to spend every penny we owned, that we could borrow, that my parents owned, that HIS parents owned (and both sets offered) in order to bring the baby prospect closer.

    When clomid didn’t work, I was on fire for IUI. Like, tomorrow, dudes! When IUI proved tricky, I wanted to start IVF instantaneously. Miscarriages slowed me down, but even then, I was still impatient with clinic delays. We were fortunate: our clinic allowed a mix of private and NHS treatment, so it was only really my own body that was slowing me up between attempts.

    How Hubby would have taken my uncaring attempts to ruin him, I really don’t know – it never came to it in the end – but if he had tried to stop me, I would have gone mad. Quite out of my mind.

    So. Yes. If it were me, I would bite her hand off. (Lovingly, naturally). If it turns out that IVF is the way forward for you, then 18 months is long time to have to sit chafing and watch your friends have more babies. The delay is not likely to impinge on your conception chances for Baby number one (I pray, hope and wish) – but if you ever wanted a go at baby number two, (It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an Infertile who says “Just give me one, please God. It’s all I ask.’ must be in want of a totally clearer fucking crystal ball!) then that’s when you might find yourself calendar-watching with rather increased anxiety.

    If your mother really can afford it, I would (sorry, H) sink my hesitations, and let her pay, beginning right now. If the tube is looking bendy to consultant, then I would be on the phone like a shot to whatever clinic could start my downregulation next week. But then, I also have the patience of a hummingbird. Your mother & I would move seamlessly forward here, I feel!

    I’m very anxious not to give you the impression that because you are not as dementedly unscrupulous as I was, that your desire for a baby is any less fervent. I know well just how much a baby May/H is wished for here.

    In any event, all the above waffle is not what I think you & H should do. It’s merely what I would do if I were sitting where you are now – and hence, of course, bugger-all in terms of relevance. What I actually think you should do… is exactly what you & H decide to do. Because that will be the only right course.

%d bloggers like this: