Getting Lucky

(Julie and McCormick complete a mercifully short fertility odyssey…)

Yes, they did the wild thing. Ok, not wild, but satisfying. The demons were chased.

“You knew it was today!” she said, consulting her phone, in the after.

Her appreciation made him feel large, in the after.

Ten days later he is laying out meditation mats when she brings him the stick.

“I think…is this.. a plus sign?”

“Intersecting vertical and horizontal lines? Yeah, we call that a plus sign.”

Julie makes a big-eyes face. McCormick, already looking within, sees an elevator descend from his crown to his base and open its doors.

A new life.

He walks right through.



Intimacy Now!

(McCormick and Julie adjust to Dr. Serlek’s opinion that they have less than a 5% chance of conceiving on their own.)

In the days after the appointment, they Googled. McCormick read In Vitro Health Outcomes, fearing the karmic cost of science’s assistance. Julie bookmarked adoption sites and made calendars showing where their careers and income would be in two years, or seven. They touched their laptops more than each other. Not what McCormick had intended when he’d suggested leaving this up to nature.

Had they kept a chart of basal body temperature and cervical mucus, he would have known, that morning Julie cased herself in lycra and tied back her hair, to be ready when she returned, sweaty from the gym.


Who Can Afford Romance?

(Julie and McCormick are talking about their visit to a fertility clinic, which they made just after getting engaged…)

In the waiting room, Muslim and Orthodox women stare straight ahead. In a little room with drawn blinds there’s a slick easy chair and a crinkly pee-pee pad. He remembers the porn he watched.

She feels guilty dragging him there, but she’d assumed long odds. She has to have the facts.


The results are slow swimmers, tired tubes. Dr. Serlek might have injected the hormones right then if they’d written a check.

Walking back on a hilly east-side street, McCormick says, “Let’s see what Nature does before jumping into that.”

Julie is two steps ahead saying something he doesn’t hear.



(Finally, McCormick finds his flow…)

Helping Julie unjam the work sitch gives McCormick a boost. Light and joyful, he roasts a chicken and sautés spinach. June, tired from her day in the sun, pouts. She was hoping for pasta. The parents shrug. The kid eats.


June falls asleep easily. The night comes cool. McCormick and Julie rent Vegas Baby, because everything else on Amazon looks scary or stupid. The IVF stories choke them up. They hold hands, recalling June’s arrival. A miracle. They were both past 40, and their own fertility doc had assured them, “Without my help you will never have a child.”



(the story of late-life conception continues in the next installment…)