Monday, 29 September 2008

A long time coming

My viewing of The Sex Education Show is inducing apoplexy each week.

I knew this would happen. Hubby warned me it would, too. And they haven't even done the programme about fertility yet - that's tomorrow night. So far they've tackled how to spice up a knackered sex life (sadly, I fear it is too late for a doctor on that score for us); how to avoid catching a series of scary rot-inducing diseases (answer: condoms); and how pregnancy affects sex and the body.

The pregnancy episode in particular induced some serious yelling at the TV. It followed an equally annoying programme called Would Like To Meet Again, which follows up couples who were set up on blind dates by the programme makers two years ago. Cue Jack and Jill, or whatever their names are, who're - guess what? - married with two babies. Well, congratubloodylations Jack and frigging Jill, you smug, smug shits.

Then the sex show started, and it was all about pregnancy. Hubby ascertained this, made a small noise somewhere in the back of his throat, and retired upstairs with his book and some body armour.

"Labour can go on for up to four days," said the programme, which went out of its way to depict a near-religious level of awe for the appalling suffering women put themselves through in the name of giving birth. Well, diddums. So far my infertility's gone on for two-and-a-half years. So you'll pardon me if my heart doesn't bleed - another part of me's doing more than enough of that on a monthly basis.

Then there was a bit that explained the changes pregnant women's bodies go through, complete with two exceptionally smug ladies wielding different-sized bumps. The programme discussed the concept of the "mask of pregnancy", whereby a woman's forehead and cheeks can darken. This had in fact happened to one of the women, and I found myself absurdly pleased by the sight of her stupid brown patchy face.

(I realise I am sounding like more of a bitch here than possibly I ever have before, which is saying something, but I'm trying to be honest. I know it's not just me who feels this horrible, impotent rage.)

It got me wondering about what "the mask of infertility" looks like, if there is such a thing. I think there is. I was looking through old photos earlier, trying to locate one of a scary stately home I once visited which one of hubby's colleagues also has a horror story about. I couldn't find it, but I did find lots of snaps of myself as a teenager and student. Some were taken a decade ago, some 12 years ago, so it's reasonable that I should look older now - but what shocked me is how much sadder, and somehow less alive, I look. I really, really miss the girl I used to be before this. I see her only rarely now, and find there are fewer and fewer people who can bring her out.

Anyway, the programme concluded by filming a birth. Our intrepid narrator Anna was present throughout, which involved spending most of a day and night in a maternity ward getting bored or scared by the sound of screaming. At one point, she asks the camera: "Did you ever think waiting for a baby would be such a hoo-hah?"

No. I fucking DIDN'T.

I'd managed to get myself so riled up that I didn't think I'd cry at the moment of birth. But then they played that bloody song, the one that goes "Baby, you've been a long time coming/Such a long, long time/And I can't stop smiling". And that really fucked me up.

After all that, they called the kid Willow. I mean, I ask you.

3 comments:

Alison W. said...

I know how you feel!

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear...
I have discovered your blog today.
I was not looking for it. I don't even remember what I was surfing the net for. I have spent some good hours reading you.
I know there are no words to comfort you, because what you experience cannot be comforted but by one person who doesn't even speak properly at first.
I am not the person to tell you "not to lose hope", because I am rather one of the persons who think "hope" is the greatest whore of them all, EVERYONE lives with it. I will be checking your blog for news. And "hope" (truly, from the bottom of my heart) that "whatever is wrong" goes "wrong" just one time, enough to give you that opportunity to see the bloody lines and crosses and whatever cherubs, hearts, birds or bees they are putting on pregnancy test these days.
Stay sane.

Angela said...

Hi there.. I just today created my very first "blog" i like you have been on this dreadful road called infertility and was just looking around and came across your blog. I cant figure out how to become a "follower" geez i feel like a "stalker" but its nice to talk with people that understand where your at. So just thought id say hey and if you could explain how i can follow your story or need someone to vent or talk to let me know.