As some of you might have known, my husband and I decided a while ago that we’d quite like to get us one of those baby things. You know, cute, small, often smell a bit like poo but have very sweet gummy smiles to make up for it?
We want a small version of the two of us; a tiny nerd obsessed with Harry Potter and trains, who likes cycling but also to bury their nose in a book for hours on end. A little girl with my eyes and my husband’s stoic pragmatism; a hyperactive little boy with curly hair, a dimple in his chin and a terrible sense of balance on a bicycle.
It’s not happened yet.
And it’s been over a year.
Did you know, pregnancy symptoms and PMS symptoms are pretty much exactly the same? Did you know that you can buy pregnancy tests in packs of 50? Did you know that if we were in the US, I would be labelled infertile by this point?
I am a one-woman repository of ‘trying to conceive’ information. I’m not kidding: if you want to know about luteal cycles or cervcial mucous, I’m your girl. It just kind of happens, when you’re trying for this long. You become so well acquainted with good old Dr Google that you diagnose yourself with every reproductive illness going. You agonise over forum posts from years ago, deciding that you’re ‘just like her’ with every poster going.
Every month, you convince yourself that this is it, this is your month. That tiny bit of nausea must mean something, that tiny pain on the left side of your pelvis must be implantation cramps. Then when the blood appears and your heart sinks to the bathroom floor, it’s like a small bereavement.
I know it’s only been a year. Some people take far longer than a year – and we’re the lucky ones. I may have had a chemical pregnancy last December, but it was so early (and so badly mishandled by the NHS, but that’s another story) that it was never even fully confirmed. I believe it’s in my notes as ‘catastrophic bleed’ or something similarly vague. In a year, we could have had far worse than that; I know couples who have struggled with miscarriage after miscarriage.
We’re the lucky ones.
If I repeat that to myself enough times, it might eventually help. With the pain, the heartbreak, the absolute soul-destroying jealousy every time someone else announces a pregnancy the same week – the same bloody day – my period rolls around.
Soon, I’ll finally bite the bullet and go to the doctor. I know I’ll be told to go away again – after the aforementioned ‘catastrophic bleed’ I was more or less given a full MOT – but it might put my mind at rest.
The most painful thing of all? This isn’t just hurting me; it’s hurting my husband.
I’m not 100% sure why I wanted to share this. I suppose I want people to understand why sometimes I’m distracted; sometimes I might not want to be sociable or particularly friendly. Plus, I know there’s a lot of you out there my age, just married, just settling down and starting to think about having kids too – this kind of thing could happen to you one day. I feel totally alone in it most of the time. I don’t want anyone else to have to feel like that.
I solemnly promise that I will always be here to listen to anyone talk about BBT, CM, and DTD – believe me, there will come a day when those acronyms mean something to you and you’ll find yourself possessed with a strange desire to discuss them.