400

Now, for you, back to that other Saturday, some years ago.  I woke up, and still felt normal.  We had been given an appointment in the morning, so caught an early train.  There was a bitingly cold wind as we went from the car park to the station, and R left me inside the waiting room while he bought a car parking ticket and nipped back with it.  It wasn’t a cosy waiting room and the main doors to the outside world and to the track opened straight into and out of it, so it was more of a foyer than a waiting room, but at least it was not so icy.

I knew that this blood test was going to be a waste of time, and really would much rather have stayed at home and done some housework before the awful cramps and pains that I was now expecting hit me.  I estimated that this would be some time tomorrow.  But we had decided that we would find something of interest to do; there’s always something inLondon, after all, and we would make a day of it.

R came back in, muffled up in his scarf, gloves and hat, with just his dear, bearded face visible.  I looked at him.  That man still hoped that we had a child.  I knew that he was not going to be a Daddy this time either, and I knew that he would have the scientific proof later today.

My heart was a mixture of emotions.  Sadness, because this man that I loved, who would be a Great Dad, would be so sad; grief, for the tiny little embryos that two days ago already had heartbeats which had now ceased, and who would very soon be leaving me for ever; anger, because – well, because it just wasn’t fair, I suppose.

Their sex would have been determined the moment that the sperm had been chosen by the ICSI specialist’s tweezers.  Had they been boys or girls?  We would never know.

R walked to the little shop at the end of the room in order to buy a newspaper to read on the journey.  I watched him walk to the counter – and immediately felt as though I had been slapped in the face.

There was a revolving magazine rack to the left hand side of the counter, displaying among other things a car magazine.  On the front cover it was advertising a new, smaller model of some type of car.  I think that it might have been a Fiat Cinquecento, but am not sure.  It was celebrating the arrival of their “New Baby” car.  In big letters.  Big letters that I could see right across the room.  Big letters making words that seemed to mock me.  Was their no escape from the B word?  Why today, of all days?  Why did the magazine rack have to be turned so that that particular headline was facing me?

It mesmerised me for a long moment.  I couldn’t tear my eyes away from it, and yet I couldn’t bear to sit looking at it any longer.  My legs made the decision and stood up and then took me outside into the freezing air.  I think that I must have been holding my breath for a while because the freshness of the winter air in my lungs came as a surprise, and after a while I felt steadier.

R came to join me; I nearly told him about the headline, but it was stupid of me to get upset about seeing the B word in print.  It was only print, after all.  Soon our train arrived, and we crammed ourselves on to it.

R read and I spent the time watching the countryside flash past my window, with eyes that only half registered what they were looking at.  I tried to remember all the things that other women, mothers, told me that they didn’t like about having children.  I tried to convince myself that I didn’t want a baby, didn’t want a child.  I fitted the words to the beat of the wheels on the track.  I don’t want a baby, I don’t want a baby, I don’t want one.  Over and over and over again.  Maybe I would start to believe it.  Maybe Fate would even hear me and believe it, and make me pregnant, because it thought that I didn’t want to be!  (Ha – some hope!)

Well, I knew that that wouldn’t happen, but all the same the repetition of the words in my head was some kind of calming influence.

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About Linda Weeks

About my life with the daughter I thought I'd never have - but I did, thanks to a wonderful anonymous egg donor, to whom I will be forever grateful. xx
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