In the beginning

B0003402 Early human embryo

How does a story ever start? I’m pretty sure it starts before anyone ever thought about it. And the story of (the hideously monikered) “trying to conceive” starts pretty much the same way… without much of a thought. Because that’s how it happens… or doesn’t happen. We get born. We go to school. We grow up and we find someone to spend our lives with and we have babies, and the whole cycle starts again.

Except when it doesn’t. Except when you’re with someone for a really long time and you’re happy and still nothing happens. And you start thinking about whether it’s you, or something you did, or some kind of divine punishment for always trying to get to places quickly and being the teacher’s pet. It’s kind of like this:

1) Trying Not To: You really don’t want to have a baby, because in your post-adolescent rosy life, you think you have all the time in the world. This involves various methods of contraception, filling your body with some fairly suspect chemicals, and considering periods to be a pain best avoided. And being sort of adventurous when it comes to getting jiggy with it, because it’s still about entertainment rather than procreation.

2) Not “Not Trying”: You’re settled in a nice relationship. You can barely believe your luck. Maybe you’re even getting married before your friends, which means you’re ahead in the race. Because you’re doing stuff sort of when you should be. And you decide that you should move onto the next stage: Not Not Trying. Like, you’re not trying as such. (People who are, well they’re just a bit weird and it’s TMI.)

3) Sort Of Trying: The period (ha) of Not Not Trying has stretched into several years. Well, a decade. And several partners. The one you thought was going to be the one… well, it turns out he isn’t. Maybe the stress of having those gynaecological problems really hurt the relationship. Maybe you’ve been through a lot of sadness by this time, during which you never thought you’d be happy again. But then you are… and it’s great… and the one thing you’d both really like is a family. So you sort of try. And nothing happens.

4) Trying: And by then you’ve already talked about what your kids will be called and you think you should properly try. And you have some more ops and you try… you really do. And you start tracking days and “CM” (if you don’t know what this is, don’t ask…!) and it still doesn’t happen. And everyone else keeps getting pregnant on honeymoon, or the first month they come off the pill, and it’s kind of disheartening and the only thing you can do is avoid those people when you can and when you can’t, practise your happy face.

5) Doing It With A Doctor: Which sounds much more exciting than it is. Although there is something sort of exciting about actually trying to fix this problem, even if it involves learning how to inject yourself. (And by the way, injections are so not a difficult or painful thing.) It’s sad that it won’t just happen without thinking about it, but it’s pretty great that your partner is super supportive that he’s prepared to go through all the invasiveness of having to spurt into a cup in order to try and help you to have a baby. So that’s what I’m going to tell you about. The journey. What it’s like and the thoughts and ideas I had about it. Maybe this will never be read by anyone. Or maybe, just maybe… in 15 years or so, when the mythology of his/her being is slipping into the mundane, I’ll knock on the door of my adolescent’s bedroom and I’ll say “There’s a story I have to tell you…” 



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