Monday, 25 August 2008

All I want for Christmas...

Tricky couple of days. My period came yesterday - marking August 2008 out as the 28th month since we started trying for a baby.

In some ways, the dwindling summer and the length of time that has passed means I'm now resigned to another year ending without any "happy news". I anticipated the 2006 and 2007 festive seasons with first a certainty, then a forlorn hope, that I'd meet the expectations of my family and "be preggers by Christmas". I had secret visions of sitting at the dining table either rejecting lunch because of morning sickness or else tucking in with a sizeable bump nestled beneath my mum's "good" tablecloth. Smiles all round. It was a nice image.

I don't feel any such hope this year. Christmas is just going to be another tough kid-oriented nightmare to get through before we can present ourselves back at the clinic next spring, having served the ridiculous year-long sentence that has been imposed on us in punishment for my daring to be under 30 and infertile.

But even though I no longer really feel capable of hope, it's still upsetting when my period arrives. Which I suppose means I am still capable of hoping, just not of admitting to it.

Yesterday afternoon saw me sitting in the hospital visiting my grandfather (another story altogether), thumbing through a magazine someone had left lying around. It featured a full-page ad for one of those reborn dolls - a snip at just £80, as opposed to the usual "thousands of dollars" (so the ad claimed).

God, I wanted one. I fully appreciate in the still-sane part of my brain that getting a doll that resembles a newborn baby would be a Really Bad Idea. I mean, what the fuck would I do with it? Cuddle it when I got home from work? Get a pram and wander about the estate with it looking (as all women with prams do) vaguely smug? Actually start to believe it was real? No. It doesn't bear thinking about.

But I still want one.

Hubby saw the telltale flood threatening to spill over my lower lashes and grabbed the magazine to see what I was torturing myself with. "No," was his simple but firm advice. My mum's, when I mentioned it to her later, was more ferocious: "Absolutely not! Don't you DARE!"

And they're both quite right.

But I still want one.

Anyway. My last two periods have resembled the ones I used to suffer with when I was a teenager - really heavy, really painful (and this from a woman who's had an HSG); basically proper periods, the like of which I haven't seen for many years.

Perhaps this is my body finally getting back to normal. In the absence of anything obviously wrong, and of a better diagnosis, I do wonder whether my years on the Pill totally screwed up my system. Maybe things are only now getting back in sync. Or maybe it's related to the frigging harvest moon. Who the hell knows?

Last night I barely slept because of tearing, wrenching cramps. Hubby fetched me a hot water bottle when he got up and I lay with it clamped to me for an hour, trying to find the positive in the situation. Aside from a rather interesting mottled red patch on my tummy from the heat, I struggled.

But if all this pain and gore really is an indication that my body is back to its un-Pill-polluted teenage strength, I'll accept - even welcome it.

After all, with regular ovulation and a sustained effort from hubby and me, is there - just maybe - a chance I could be pregnant by Christmas? Or is allowing that thought simply setting myself up for a heartbreaking end to a difficult year?

I do not want to start another Christmas morning by failing a pregnancy test. And every year that bloody song upsets me because of the line "Baby, all I want for Christmas is you".

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Back from a "summer" break

Summer's in inverted commas because it has done nothing but relentlessly piss down since the back end of June. Don't you just love British weather?

I feel bad that I've been away from the blog for so long, but I really needed a rest from even thinking about TTC, never mind doing it. (Not, of course, that I ever properly stopped thinking about it - it's never more than a second from my thoughts, and I'm never more than a minute away from tears on the subject these days - but you know what I mean.)

Hubby and I have had a holiday - hooray, break open the Champers! We went to Florida to see my cousin. It was lovely, hot and relaxing, which is exactly what we both needed. And although we got on a lot better over there than we have been doing, we only had sex about three times during the fortnight. (Yes, alas, gone are the olden days of twice-daily whilst on holiday.) I think that shows how very bone-wearyingly sick we both were of the whole thing before we went.

Things have drifted backwards a smidgen since we got back - I'd suggested, in an effort to maintain that "holiday glow", that we have a date at least once a month where we go out for dinner and DON'T MENTION BABIES, but we're yet to arrange our first trip out. It's easy to slide back into the old routine.

But we can't slip back into the old routine. There were a few weeks, not so long ago, where I genuinely feared this marriage was knackered. I very much didn't want it to be, but equally I couldn't see a way out of the mess we'd spiralled into. Now I still think there's a mess to clear up, but at least I'm sure we both want to get our hands dirty in the clean-up op.

I've had one period since last I blogged - it came, inevitably, as I was sliding into my bikini bottoms for my first day on the beach in Florida. I swear my body is at war with itself. But on the plus side, it was the most normal period I've had in months - it came and stayed, for one thing, rather than pissing off for a week as soon as I'd been out to buy tampons.

After it ended we had a few tentative TTC sessions where I actually attempted to retain the dollop afterwards - for the past six weeks I've been making like a carefree twentysomething and going directly to the loo without passing go or collecting £200. And I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a dark part of my mind that fervently hoped we'd conceive in Florida. I even, in a weaker moment on the plane home, had names picked out: Peter for a boy, as we stayed in St Pete (and it was hubby's father's name) and Tallahassee for a girl. (I'm just kidding about Tallahassee.)

We then have continued our tentative foray back into the world of babymaking since our return. Hubby actually ravished me the other night - no ravishing has been done in this house since early 2006, let me tell you - and caught me unawares so that I hadn't had a chance to do my usual bedtime ablutions beforehand.

I ended up making him go to the bathroom to collect my contact lens kit, be-pasted toothbrush and a bowl for me to spit the foam into so that I didn't lose the sperm. That was almost funny, and it's the first time I've felt a twinge of anything like humour towards the concept of TTC for a long while.

I've not been back to the clinic, but am considering going this week. I sort of feel a bit ashamed that I haven't gone in for a blood test, but at the same time I was so deeply upset by what they said to me in May that I genuinely couldn't face the place.

My period, had it followed a 28-day cycle, would have been due yesterday. It didn't come, and I did my first pregnancy test since June. (Oh yeah, I'm ROLLING in cash now I'm not buying those bloody things every ten minutes. What credit crunch?)

It was negative. And I hurled it at the wall.

Some things never change...