Monday, January 15, 2007


by Mouse

As my wife and I work on giving our son a sibling, all things pregnancy are very much on my mind. One evening as I walked back from Shoppers and a streetcar sped past me, it hit me that two very different things share an acronym: “trying to conceive” and the Toronto Transit Commission. But the further I walked, the more similarities I found between the two.

Timing is out of your control.

Sure, I have a basic idea of when I need to leave the house and when I’ll arrive at school, but I build in a cushion of time. If Scooter and I manage to catch a streetcar just as it arrives, we make it to campus as much as fifteen minutes early. But if we just miss a streetcar, we could be waiting anywhere from three to ten minutes and may have to hurry to stay on schedule.

Similarly, when I’m ready for another cycle, I can figure out a rough schedule of when I’ll ovulate (and, therefore, need to head over to Buffalo). But I have to be flexible. So I begin to look at a window of time: I’ll surge between Monday and Wednesday, which means insemination between Tuesday and Thursday, and then I figure out what appointment times might work on those days. Even then, I can’t make any definite plans until the surge decides to come.

Sometimes the best route is not the most direct one.

When I’m traveling downtown on the subway, I usually decide to go a few extra stops by way of Union Station instead of transferring at Bloor. While I can’t know for sure how long the other route would take, the few extra stops make sense to me.

My first child was born in the States, using a US donor; we are using the same donor for our second baby. Due to Canadian regulations, it is not a straight-forward task to have ‘pop’ sent to us here. We would be able to get an exemption since we already have a child by this donor, but it would require paperwork and waiting for bureaucratic approval. Add to that the waiting time for getting into a fertility clinic up here. So we decided to use a clinic over in Buffalo. It means more driving time, but has probably allowed us to get an earlier start.

When you stop and add it up, it costs more than you think.

Once a month, I go buy my monthly TTC pass. Twice a month, I buy twenty child TTC tickets. And then we pick up the odd batch of ten adult TTC tickets for my wife to use when I can’t get the pass to her. Even without including the per ride cost of my pass and even with using the discounted ticket price, the cost of a round trip for the three of us is $5.14. And our cost per month? Not doing that math. It’s a budget item and we stay within our limits.

The cost of insemination is pretty much the same. We purchased several of the donor’s ‘deposits’ before we started the insemination and are now paying for ‘banking.’ Each time I go to the clinic, I hand them my credit card at the end. Yes, I am aware of how much each item and procedure costs, I’ve got the receipts. I just don’t look at them all together. This, too, is a budget item, though we’re hoping to remove it soon!

“surge” links to

Mouse is: a mother, a lesbian, a graduate student in the Humanities, an American in self-imposed exile, an observer, an introvert, and an expert in Thomas the Tank Engine and Mighty Machines.


penelopeto said...

wonderful post! the ttc's slogan would also work for your comparison - the better way.

good luck to you with catching the streetcar and the sperm.

Lisa b said...

I totally thought you were talking about the transit from your title. hope you get to ditch the other TTC budget item soon

Amanda said...

Good luck! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.