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.
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.