It was bound to happen sooner or later. Considering this is the Inner West, I am a queer woman, and most of my exes are in the 35-45 age bracket, it shouldn’t really be very surprising that I bumped into the ex a few mornings ago while waiting for an ovarian ultrasound. Well ok, maybe not THE ex (because let’s face it, there’s a whole string of those in my past,) but still, AN ex. Let’s call her ‘Melissa’. Seriously, the IVF clinic should be listed as a top ten lesbian hangout in the Gay Sydney Guide. So the funny thing about running into this ex is that when we got together, three years ago, I had just made that first tremulous call to the clinic to start the baby-ball rolling. And of course back then I considered that maybe she and I might end up doing the baby thing together. I know she’ll be reading this, which feels kinda weird, but just so you know, ‘Melissa’, it really was a case of, “it’s me, not you”. I thought about it with everyone I met, fucked, or flirted with, back then. When you’re planning a big life-change like a baby, it’s impossible to look at someone you’re sleeping with and NOT wonder, for a brief moment, what they would look like crouching between your legs, catching your screaming newborn, their hands dripping with your blood. It’s impossible to wake up next to a lover and NOT wonder whether they’ll gracefully get up for the 3am feeds so that you can sleep on in peace. And it’s impossible to be sitting next to one of these exes in the IVF waiting room and NOT feel a little bit like laughing hysterically at the queerness of queer fertility.
Things were even queerer a few days before, mind you. There I was in the ultrasound room twirling my knickers around above my head like a lasso, pretending to do a strip-tease for an(other) ex while the sonographer’s back was turned. The sonographer slipped some latex on the wand and then turned to me while lubing it up, smiling reassuringly. “Don’t worry, it looks more intimidating than it feels. I’ll only be putting a tiny bit of this inside.” “Oh I’ve had way bigger than that,” I bragged. She didn’t crack a smile. I have a small team of support people I draw on to accompany me to some of my more terrifying appointments, and S is one of these people. She also happens to be someone I had a long and very serious relationship with in my twenties. We had big plans to have babies together, but I never could have anticipated that we’d be sitting together in a clinic in Sydney while a stranger fucks me with an ultrasound wand and we all watch my ovaries blob around on a flatscreen tv.
I may be happily single, but the ghosts of exes past are all coming out of the woodwork, to either haunt me or help me get pregnant.