Falling in love with Peanut

Robin’s daughter, Michelle, called from Melbourne Friday, her voice quivering with excitement.

“We got four!” she cried.

We knew exactly what she meant, even before her longer explanation. She and her partner, Miriam, have been trying for months to conceive. They were hoping to avoid the more-invasive in vitro fertilization process and the drugs and surgery that precede it.

Parents in waiting, and proud grandpa

Miriam and Michelle visited Robin and me in Kelowna at the start of their round-the-world tour

That was not to be. So this month the doctor loaded up Miriam with drugs, to prepare her body to release as many viable eggs as possible.

The surgery was two days before Michelle’s call. The doctor harvested seven eggs.

From that point everything had to happen quickly, to ensure the eggs would have the greatest chance for survival.

We lit candles for those eggs, focusing on them before we drifted off to sleep, willing them to accept the little swimmers who would join them in the petri dish.

Four of them did. Today the liveliest of the four was implanted in a welcoming womb.

That tiny, four-celled dot is suddenly unutterably precious to us. We know there’s a possibility the little life will stop multiplying, leaving our Miriam and Michelle to go through the hopeful weeks again, with one of the remaining embryos.

We’re prepared to love these two special women through whatever happiness and pain lie between today and the birth of a wanted child. But right now our hopes are pinned on the little embryo implanted with so much love.

We adore you already, Peanut. And we’ll love you whether or not you decide to swim in a warm world for the next nine months. Somehow we think you’re gutsy. You split into two and then four faster than your sibling embryos, as if you were eager to grow and experience what’s ahead for you on this crazy, achingly beautiful planet.

So we’ll hold off on the champagne until we know you plan to stay. But we’ll keep lighting candles.

Cathryn Wellner, 2010

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