When I was a Mexican secretary, my friend Alfredo reintroduced me to Murphy's Law. He was the computer guy in my office. When I called him to show him something that was going wrong with my computer, and then he came and saw it not go wrong, he said that was "Murphy's Law." The way one says that in Spanish is "Mal de Murphy" (literally "Murphy's Curse"). But what I THOUGHT he said was "Mar de Mole," or the "Sea of Mole." Mole, of course, is the chocolate-chili sauce that you put on chicken. For years, what I thought I learned that day was that when the computer guy comes to see your computer malfunction and it doesn't, that's called "the sea of mole." I thought it was a poetic Mexican computer concept. Years later something finally clicked and I realized he meant Murphy's Law.
James and I had a little Murphy's Law incident this weekend. On Saturday I realized that I didn't have enough of one of my medicines to last me through the weekend. I could get a refill from my pharmacy, but they'd have to order it and it wouldn't get to us before Monday. So the doctor's office told me about a specialty pharmacy that had the stuff in stock. They gave us a brochure with a map to the store.
The map was drawn badly and it was not clear which direction was North. James told me that according to convention, North will be at the top of the map. We headed out in one direction. That wasn't it. We took a U-turn. We finally found where the pharmacy was supposed to be. It had moved. There was a sign on the door directing us to the new place. We found that. We got the medicine. We were hungry and cranky, but we had survived and had 300 units of Follistim in hand. And a "healthy" candy bar.
Later that day I got a call from the nurse saying they were going to reduce my dosage of the Follistim. So I wouldn't need the extra amount we had just bought. Murphy's Law. You know we'd have needed it if we hadn't bought it.
Let's bring the focus on this out a bit. I have wanted -- expected -- to be a mother as long as I can remember. I remember being seven, having my mother tell me about when she was my age, and thinking about how I would relate in the same way to my future daughter. My future children were always characters in my mind, my plans. Just as I couldn't imagine life without my parents, I couldn't imagine life without my children. I anchored my future existence on their existence.
And so when we started to try to conceive, I knew it wouldn't work. I was thrilled that my gynecologist said we could come for a check-up after six months of trying to conceive. If I hadn't been so perilously close to the dreaded 35-year mark, I would have had to wait a full year before I could seek medical intervention. But I knew -- feared -- all along that I would need medical help; I didn't trust my body with anything this important. It was the most important thing, in fact. And you know, Murphy's Law. Murphy's Law tells me that I want it too much for it to actually happen. If you want it too much, it won't happen. (And please know that I mean this as the purest form of pessimism, not as a causal explanation that our emotions cause our infertility).
This weekend a dear friend who has gone through three IVFs found out that this last one didn't work. It's devastating. She'd be a wonderful, wonderful mother. And she will be, one way or another. But it would be so much nicer if it had worked out this time. She's running very low on money, hope, and emotional reserves.
I picture her and her husband floating alone in a little rowboat in a big, dark, salty sea. Mole, mole everywhere, and not a baby to love.