Diana Wynne Jones's book, Fire and Hemlock, relies for its denouement on two stone pillars which rotate. On each pillar are the letters, N, O, W, H, E, R, E. Between them then they can spell No where, Here now, Where now, Now here. That's what this feels like. Rotating spheres of meaning, coming and going, and in the end signifying not that much. It's hard to make sense of this.
I knew on Monday that it was over. Those pangs I wrote about were clearly period pain. Of course knowing and believing are two different things. Certainly my subconscious knew it. I dreamt all night that I wasn't pregnant. It was one of those dreams where you are completely convinced that it's real. It was horrible. When I woke up at 04:15 it took me a minute to orient myself again. Then I tried to feel relieved that it was just a dream. That I might still be pregnant. Then I felt the pangs again and knew that I wasn't. I slept on and off until about 07:15 when I gave up and went to the loo. And found blood. I wish I could remember the precise words of the ending to The Peacock Spring. Una gets her period and it's the end of her final clinging onto her relationship with Ravi. But my copy is in a box somewhere and I don't want to murder Rumer Godden's words. So let me try. It felt like the end. It felt like a final full stop on a story. A sharp cut to the thread of hope I'd been finding it increasingly hard to sustain for the last 18 hours. "The curse has come upon me." (My mother and her generation called their period "The curse". Do you think they got it from Tennyson or is that something from time immemorial? Do Americans of a certain age ever call it that?).
And while we're on the topic of hope, let me be clear that there is no hope for this cycle. Nothing could survive the total destruction of its habitat like this. I refuse to call a period Aunt Flow, but boy is this flowing. It's dark and red and heavy and hot and angry. Of course I guess I could have an ectopic. But since I have no symptoms, even though I've been told by the clinic to continue the suppositories, I very much doubt that I'm going to be subjected to that particular trauma. Which I suppose is one lucky break I've had. But it is full on. I'm having the worst pain I've had for years, which is leaving me nauseous as well as crampy. Which at least has the bonus that I wasn't tempted to drown my sorrows in food yesterday. I did eat some of the HUGE box of chocolates that H went out of his way to buy from the best chocolate shop in London (I don't think he realised how many chocolates they can pack into a box, or how much it would cost!), but my heart wasn't really in it. Nor did I fancy breaking my wheat-fast and so while H had pizza for dinner, I had a salad. I think I'm too sad even to want to over-eat. That's a rare occurrence for me.
I'm crying at the drop of a hat. It's not easy as, unlike Susan, I can't hide under my desk to do it. Luckily yesterday I was able to turn all my meetings into phone calls. So I did everything from home in my pyjamas. It got the work done. Today I have to be chirpy and present in person again. I reckon I can do it in 30 minute increments. I'll have to find some reason to duck out when I need to.
I still have to go for a blood test, but I got the nurse to let me go in tomorrow instead of Friday. I just want this to be over with. I have an appointment with Dr Candour on the 29th. We have to wait that long because, get this, "It takes two weeks for the clinic doctors to look through the file and return it to Dr Candour." Two weeks. No worries. How about I walk over there and just help them with that little task, huh? Or don't you think they'd apppreciate that? While I'm there tomorrow I have to sign some kind of consent form for them to release our records so I can get a copy for big guns clinic. My intent is still to do another cycle where we are and then see what happens. In the meantime I want to get going with BGC as they have quite the waiting list. Not surprising given their figures.
I'm not ready to start hoping again. I know that this cycle was not the end, but it is so hard to let go of the thought of our perfect eight celled embryos and the perfect boy/girl twins they were supposed to turn into. I had already imagined their summer birthday parties and chosen a few potential names. I know. I'm a sap and an idiot. When I noticed myself doing it I stopped myself, but it's hard to keep control of your brain all the time. I keep telling myself that doing another cycle is a good idea because it gives us the potential of a few more frozen 38-year-old embryos for future reference. Actually, they'll be 39-year-old since my birthday is in January and there's no way they'll let us cycle again before then. I never thought I'd be 39 and not even pregnant. Life wasn't supposed to be this way.