At work, I had offered to organise a National Conference of Librarians in my particular field of work. I’d been to one the year before, and had met some really nice colleagues, and I had offered (in a moment of madness!) to host the next one. The date was duly set for August 1998, and I and my little team of two helpers started to plan for it.
In October we were called back to the clinic for scans and discussion about the drugs that I would be taking. Everything was OK, and we informed our GP. He very kindly said that he would buy the drugs for us, and as they would have cost a couple of thousand pounds we were very grateful. His only condition was that he would keep them and I would go to the surgery every day so that he could give me the injections; that was fine by me because I didn’t want to do them myself in case I didn’t do them properly. I’d heard (and guessed) that it is not easy injecting yourself in the back of your thigh, and I wanted a professional to do them so that I’d know they’d been done properly and in the right place. So we accepted his kind offer, and waited for the call from the clinic that would tell us when to start.
In the meantime we went to a nearby Christmas Barn Dance with our parents, and of course other couples were there with their families; Mums, Dads, children and babies, three generations, all having fun. We shouldn’t have done it, I know, because it tempted Fate, but it was impossible to watch the little’uns dancing on the floor and wondering whether the next year we would have our own baby with us.
There they were, everyone else’s children – laughing, hopping up and down and swinging their arms in time to the music, rushing to grab their Dad’s knees because they wanted to dance with him, chasing each other under the tables and having a whale of a time. One day, our children might be joining them. We were going to start our Adventure really soon!
Two weeks later we had our office lunch, followed by a Christmas evening out with my three best friends. All this time we had kept our secret. I didn’t want to tell anybody what we were doing – not because we were ashamed, of course, but because I wanted to be like ‘everybody else’. I wanted, one day, for H and me to call on my parents and his, and break the Wonderful News!! To them first, then the rest of the family, then friends and work colleagues; how I wanted to see the joy on their faces!
If we started our treatment soon and were successful, then the first and most dangerous three months of our pregnancy would be over by March, and we could announce it to the world. Of course we might have told our parents as soon as we had news that the treatment had worked, two weeks after embryo transfer – we might not have been able to keep the fantastic news to ourselves any longer!
I had this glorious daydream, that we’d invite both sets of parents out to lunch on Mothers’ Day. We’d bring their presents, and get there first. I’d tie a balloon to each of their chairs saying "Happy Mothers’ Day!" – and I would tie one to mine, as well…….
They would come in and be pleasantly surprised to see the balloons and pressies and one of them would suddenly realise that I had a balloon too, and would remark upon it – whereupon I would say – "Well, that’s because I’m a Mum too – or I will be in September!"
Oh, can you imagine the joy that would follow that! Tears would roll down my face whenever I thought of that day. I hugged that picture to myself for weeks. Every atom that is part of me kept trying to wipe that picture from my head, but there was a rebel atom in my brain, and I only had to relax for a nanosecond and it would bring out that picture again. It was the atom that kept me going, the one that, in the face of doom and disaster, has always given me a nudge and said "Ah, but you never know – it MIGHT happen…."