I finally spoke to Miss Consultant’s secretary, because I’d finally caught her at her desk, after several sets of answer-phone tennis and quite a lot of listening to the phone ring while I imagined Miss Consultant herself, sitting at the bigger desk, wondering what on earth that noise was and when would Secretary come back from the photocopier and make it stop. Secretary took down notes of all I had to say on the matter of clomid, provera, anovulation and unmonitored cycles, and promised to get Miss Consultant to call me on Monday. Monday is good. Monday gives Satsuma three more days to get this right and embarrass me in front of medical professionals again.
Because, yes, Satsuma was arsing about yesterday. Temperature had dropped again this morning. None of the ‘fertile things’ had stopped either. No ovulation yet.
I think it was the disappointment that put me over the edge. But this morning I broke, with an audible spanging noise, and started crying all over H, and couldn’t stop. So I stayed home, and had a headache, and did laundry.
I don’t suppose I’ve taken An Unwarranted Number of Sick Days yet, but I do worry about it – that my boss will want to know why I keep getting ‘headaches’ and what is going on with me? Perhaps I should have gone to work. And cried uncontrollably all over the issue desk instead. Perhaps not. Because I can’t face discussing my reproductive issues with my bosses (I have two. I have two jobs. In the same office. At the same desk. But half the time I answer to Phi Boss and half the time to Alpha Boss, who is Phi Boss’s boss). (No, it makes no sense to anyone else either). Where was I? Ah yes. The Uterus, she belongs not at work. For why? Well, I have a list for why:
- It’s embarrassing enough having to take a day or two off every time I get my period. It’s even more embarrassing explaining that actually, no, I cannot discretely mark these days in advance in my shared calendar with a little code word so the Bosses know I won’t be in then. I am *whisper it* irregular. And everyone sucked their breath through their teeth, as if I’d just confessed to having a recreational drug habit.
- In my office, people do not have babies. Those who have had babies are now all old enough to have grand-babies. Those who are married and Of Reproductive Age do not have babies, and do not talk about babies, and are all rather driven career-people (yes. In a library. I agree it’s sad). (Oops. Did I just call a half-dozen of my colleagues sad?). The Single Set are, well, dating, or moaning about dating. I do not know how to be The One Who Wants Babies. And, as many of you know, the second you mention fertility treatment, your bosses assume it’ll work. I can’t be the one who keeps not having the expected babies either. I just can’t. It occurs to me that this is why the Married Career-People don’t talk about babies. Perhaps all four of us want babies very badly and therefore daren’t mention it…
- And I don’t want colleagues to know that I am a wreck and not really concentrating on work so much (luckily, I can do most of my job in my sleep) and I’d happily chuck the lot for a viable foetus. I don’t want them to know I am bored and frustrated. Or being repeatedly shafted by the Anxiety Goblin.
- I think I have Issues about vulnerability and openness, and I know I have Issues about not being able to cope or, more specifically, being seen as not being able to cope.
Point 4 may be the briefest point, but it is the hugest point. Me and my issues. I can’t cope with not being able to cope. I’d go on and on about my childhood now, and bore you all shitless, but I’m too nice. Suffice it to say, as far I am concerned, me saying ‘I hurt and I need looking after’ is pretty much the same as me saying ‘Please kick me good-and-hard in the soft bits. And again. Any betraying, ridiculing, and blaming you want to get in while you’re at it? Bring it on.’
This is not exactly fair on H, who has spent the best part of 16 years being kind and reliable and gentle and caring, and yet still hasn’t managed to pry my hands away from this most cherished delusion.
I think I made a deal, once, with God, not that I believe in God, but if you have deals to make at 3 in the morning, a deity comes in handy. I said, I don’t think I can spend my entire life working quietly in an office, helping other people achieve Stuff. I have irrevocably screwed up my academic career. Given that one Treasured Dream has gone down the pan, can I have a creative career, possibly as a writer? And can I be a parent? Well, now, my career is the exact opposite of creative and writery (we forgot to discuss crippling self-consciousness in the Deal, or the unshakable conviction that I Talk A Whole Lot Of Trouser Potatoes Sometimes), and, well, how long, oh Lord, how long?