Well. It’s that phase of trying to conceive, isn’t it? The seriously boring phase. The part when you actually get the time and energy to realise you’re 34 already – how the buggery fuck did that happen? – and Dream Job is beginning to get a little *ahem* unchallenging, which gives you time to notice that your boss is just a teeny weeny bit of a control freak and some of your colleagues are unreasonably stupid and all of them are just bloody there all day, seriously interfering with a girl’s ability to get a vast mug of coffee, put her feet on her desk, and fish out her knitting (funnily enough (no, not really) this urge is always at its most almighty when Alpha Boss has one of her periodic ‘and everybody must be extremely punctual or Alpha Boss will pitch a fit’ moments). And you think, shit, my entire life is turning beige.
See, as far as I have been able to make out from my extensive but haphazard skimming of the infertility blogs of the world, TTC does sometimes fall into a tedious, oh, look, there’s the rest of my life and it is also tedious phase. The basic story arc goes something like this:
- First inkling that getting pregnant is hard, Barbie. Much fretting about what the matter is, and if medical attention should be sought, and what, exactly, one is prepared to do or not do in order to procreate (this last hilarious in retrospect. Hil. Ar. Ious. Such innocence). Others in the same position start popping up to hold hands. Veterans pop up to stroke hair.
- First doctor’s appointment made. Massively exciting and distressing rollercoaster now embarked on. Infertile blogger usually screaming to get off somewhere between first transvaginal ultrasound and the hysterosalpingogram. Tests, whether infuriatingly inconclusive or hideously conclusive, all depressing. Sex life wobbles precariously on brink of toilet. But lo! a hopeful light at yonder window breaks! Devoted readers start to hang out on the blog, cheerleading and/or kibitzing.
- First rounds of treatment, whether Clomid or a spot of surgical interference to tidy up whatever inner mess is the issue, or straight into Big Guns Land with IVF. Sex resumes urgency if not always passion and tenderness. That Bitch Hope starts sniffing around the ankles. Things are very exciting and dramatic and, frankly, make great reading.
- A few people are allowed out of the fun fair at this point, as said treatments worked and thank God, they have a child at last. The rest are getting a bit sick of it all. The fireworks and champagne are interspersed with wailing and gnashing of teeth
- Treatments fail. Treatments work, heartbreakingly, for a few weeks, and then fail. Bodies become resistant to drugs. Bodies overreact ridiculously to drugs. There are more tests, more surgeries, more valiant attempts, on and on, with nerves slowly winched out on the rack to well past the point of permanent damage. Another handful of people nevertheless hit the jack-pot and are allowed to leave. The regular readers are all chewing their nails off by now.
- And then, nothing. Nada. Zip. One has temporarily run out of options, or funding, or strength, or all of the above. Some more people run away from or are chased out of the fair, this time with no prizes. The rest mill about for a while, until they get the wherewithall to clamber back on the rides. Weeks, months, drift past. The regular readers hang on grimly, bless them; the occasional soap-opera fans dissolve back into the ether, to hunt for something just a tad more fascinating than watching someone lose weight at snails-pace or save money at glacial rates. One in a hundred has a miracle. Everyone else instantly hates their own sodding unmiraculous bastard innards just that little bit more.
- Repeat 5 and 6 ad nauseam.
I am afraid that chez May we are currently stuck in phase 6. And I agree, my God it is dull. I had no idea infertility could be so bloody boring. Did you know? I mean, before you got to phase six? Me, I’m now very glad my acupuncturist wants to impale me with burning needles, because otherwise I’d have to impale myself just to give you-all something to read.
No, Satsuma still hasn’t come out of her room. How did you guess?