This is my grandmother, Rita.
She appears in my memoir in several places, so although the following isn’t an excerpt, it is a bit of a spoiler ;)
On my way to my first ever RE appointment, I got the call that she had had a massive stroke and was dying. Three days later—five years ago today—she died.
Later that same day, I gave 8 vials of blood as part of our pre-IVF testing—which also included the genetic tests that would diagnose me with an inverted 8th chromosome, forever ruling out IVF with my own eggs as a possibility, and making egg donation a straightforward choice.
My grandmother and I didn’t enjoy a typical “grandmaternal” relationship (point in fact, I called her “Rita”), but there was a lot of affection as I grew older. And we bridged a generation gap when she learned that I have endometriosis. She said, “That sounds like what I had…” So, I told her endo often skips a generation…
And when I miscarried, months before my infertility diagnosis, she sent me a card that simply said, “If at first you don’t conceive, try, try again.” She’d had two miscarriages and was glad that my generation was able to talk about that unique kind of loss in a way that hers hadn’t.
So when I learned she’d left me enough money to pay for DEIVF—to the dollar amount—I laughed. I knew at the time how lucky I was and am, but her help from behind the grave was uncannily well-timed. She was quick-witted, but this was a delivery that even she couldn’t have fathomed. And yet, somehow, I can’t help but think surely she knew…
Rita, thanks to you, we have a kind, intelligent, empathic, goofy, gorgeous little girl, and have twins on the way. Without your help, they wouldn’t be here. Maybe you already know that or maybe you never will. Either way, I raise my glass to you as I raise my children.