Dawn L. Ford
Dawn has her MFA Theatre Studies, specializing in collective creation. She has worked as an actor/ director/ playwright developing and producing new plays with a focus on telling the stories of marginalized people. Five years ago, Dawn shifted her artistic focus to fiction writing and has taken courses through the University of Calgary and the Alexandra Centre. She also started working with the City of Calgary's Public Art Program in 2007, and provides Community Cultural Development initiatives city-wide. Currently, she is on maternity leave with her second child, and spends her time renovating her house with her partner, chasing after her three year old and working on her first novel.
Tomorrow the process will begin.
The blood will haemorrhage from my body in a thick clotting mass, my stomach will cramp and I won’t be allowed to take anything to block the pain. I will groan with the heating pad pressed to my belly while I make the call to the clinic to book the appointment. The nurse and I will count out the days and I will book the time off of work. I will stop drinking coffee, eating meat and soy. I will try to enjoy what I imagine will be my last glasses of wine.
Nine days later I will go to the clinic and they will probe my uterus with their phallic ultrasound sticks and they will point at the screen, measuring the growing round blobs. Finally they will send me home with the expensive little bottles of fluid that I will draw into a syringe and then inject into my leg or stomach, whichever fatty bit I choose, three times a day. Thirty-six hours later I will return, bruised and swollen, and they will clamp my cervix into a vice with a “pleasant” heating lamp that makes me feel like I’m peeing. Then the nurse with the cross around her neck will lace the arched tube up inside me and as they inject the semen sample into me, I will cramp again. For a few minutes, I will be scared that this cramping won’t stop, so I will lie very still and just breathe.
When I inhale, I will imagine that I feel it working. When I exhale I will imagine the necessary chain of events in my body. The little fish finding the egg. The egg accepting one inside. The egg drifting to a cushy spot on the uterine wall and nuzzling in for a little nap, rooting itself into the lining and starting to grow. Over the next 19 days I will start to imagine that I see the signs that this is working—I will think my pee smells funny, that the garbage smells worse than usual and makes me feel a little nauseous, that my breasts hurt and that my mouth tastes like metal when I eat tomatoes. I will be moody and scared and I won’t know if that’s a good sign, or a bad one.
As I get closer and closer to the 19th day, I will start to be hopeful, even though I know it’s dangerous. I will start to rearrange my furniture and plan how to tell my mother. I will soon become manic in my hope that 19 days will come and go with no more blood.
If the blood comes again, I will cry, drink another glass a wine that I hope will be my last, call again, and count the days one more time. They will continue to treat me as though I have a disease that can be remedied with their pills and their probes and their injections, and I will let them.
Because one time, after the 19 days, the blood won’t come again, and I will have won. I will pee on a stick and see that finally, this time, it is positive. I will have shown the world that birth does not need to come from a fateful accident of random seeding. I will have shown them that even a woman who does not love men can become pregnant.
Until then, I will continue to let them treat me as a disease because this is the only way for me. This is how I will make a baby.
"The Brain, within its Groove Runs evenly -- and true -- But let a Splinter swerve --" Emily Dickinson
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