There is a lot of emotional drama that goes along with being infertile. Goodness knows I've shared enough of it with the world already. I've been weeping angst and sorrow onto my keyboard as I've carried an empty womb forward from one month to another. Sometimes this can become so overwhelming that I find myself to be tedious and boring and sad.
An image of my body drooping on a cold bench at the train station, clothes washed in grey beneath a shabby sky. There's no life in that. How am I to create life when my days are these tedious treads in worn shoes? Well, the first thing was to stop trying to conceive (TTC). I pressed a large Pause button in my head and told my husband to buy condoms.
The only way to escape humdrum is to use contraception. It takes away the idea that you are TTC and replaces it with the excitement of a good roll in the hay.
I have a friend who has been playing the infertile game for over seven years and she's endured more than I can even imagine. I've watched her bravely overcome multiple miscarriages and still laugh at a joke or seek out the beauty in her garden, holding the gleaming cup of a crocus and smiling at its audacious colour.
I tried to do that on Sunday before last. I went into the garden and ambled over to a flower. It was purple. I held it and smiled at it. I attempted to feel a connection to the Earth and a sense of peace. I felt like an idiot and my left leg got a cramp. I don't think my remedy resides in mud and blooms.
On Monday it was my next visit to Warm and Fuzzy. I had spent a week not even bothering to think of infertility and babies. I'd ravished my husband and cackled uproariously at my daughter. Somehow these moments had blown the cobwebs out of my head and introduced doubt.
I was happier when not trying for a baby. My family was happier. There had been more laughter and I felt as if I had taken something off my back that weighed a thousand stones. What a cliché. How very true.
Was this a sign? If I could be so happy without the constant strain of trying to conceive, then surely this was a lack of commitment on my part? I asked my husband. He had no answer. He has always been very pragmatic, his view being that if it happens that's wonderful, if not, then that's also OK. He adores his daughter and is content with his family.
I asked my father. He wanted to know if I was going to go on a diet. "You've put on too much weight," he said, "Why not do some exercise instead?"
I asked my friend.
"You've been breaking for months," she said, "You've lost your funny. Maybe you should stop and find yourself again."
I walked into the doctor's office and sat down. He suggested that I go for a Hysterosalpingogram. It's an x-ray that locates any blockages within the fallopian tubes and is one of the most important tests of fertility.
You can take pills until your head falls off, but if your tubes are blocked you will struggle to conceive.
As he explained what would happen to me and how the procedure would work it I found the answer to my question. I wasn't going to quit. This is not a thing you can just drop or forget or move on from, it's a battle right up until the day that your body is no longer capable of carrying a child.
I arrived at the x-ray hall early on Tuesday morning and was ushered through to a little cubicle. I was to take off my clothes and pop on the sexy pink gown with the open front. Then I was lying on a cold table and the doctor said, "I need to inject this anaesthetic into your cervix. It will sting, but you need to keep still."
Can you imagine that device? It was long and terrifying and I'd completely forgotten about it. I think that's what they refer to when they talk about selective amnesia. Someone was about to stick a needle into my cervix. Unpleasant? No. More like ghastly.
I closed my eyes and thought of England. Not sure what that means for everyone else, but for me it was something to do with having forgotten my raincoat and wondering where that funny smell in the back garden was coming from.
As we waited for the area to go numb I wondered at the role of this injection. Did a cervix have any nerves? I don't remember any pain there specifically when I was in labour. Do you?
The time was up and the ink was injected. My fallopian tubes were pretty. Ink spilled around on the screen and I was given a clean bill of health.
Afterwards I bled and suffered from pain and cramps, a normal side effect and worth it. Now I know that the only thing standing between me and pregnancy is the age of my ovaries and the quality of my husband's (cough) dudes.
So, to relax I'm off to try Reiki. Who knows, perhaps an ancient Japanese man with a penchant for playing with energy could prove to be the key to my cure...