So, here we go again.
Ever gone off the high board at the pool? You know, the 10 meter one? I once had to go off the high board when I was going though air force training – a confidence exercise. It’s quite exciting: the anticipation, waiting for everyone else to go first – hah, he hesitated, chicken… It really doesn’t look that high from the bottom. I mean, tall, yes, but not high, per se. Anyway, my turn, up the ladder we go…
It’s the other way round from the top, of course.
Your perspective changes. It’s high, and everyone else looks so very short. And you know everyone is watching. Okay, step forward to the edge. Christ, I hope no one makes chicken noises.
Gosh, the pool is rather a long way down, isn’t it?
Looking over the edge is fine. You can pause to do that, and besides, check whats-her-name has got out of the way below. Okay, there she is, climbing out, well, no excuse for hesitating now…
And you step off.
10 meters isn’t very far. It only takes a 1.43 seconds to fall to the water. But 1.43 seconds is a very, very long time when you’re falling. Everything rushes up to meet you, and you know that if you cock this up, it’ll hurt. You have time to think on the way down. You have time to think “well, the pool is still coming towards me!” You hit the water at 14 meters per second, or just a shade over 30mph. It knocks the breath out of you, and that’s if you’re smart and go off feet first.
Got that mental picture in mind?
Round 2 of IVF is worse. I feel like a high diver stood on the edge of a cliff, peering at the murky waters below. You’ve done the jump before, yet that only makes it scarier. Teetering on the edge, it’s a long way down. The water is deep, black, and cold. Or, less poetically, I feel like Harrison Ford in the Fugitive. You know, the scene with the dam.
And I’ve just stepped out over the edge.
Mrs Astronomer emailed the clinic today to say that she’s started her cycle today, so this time next month we’ll be finding out if round two has worked. We’ve got a scan booked for a week or so’s time to take another look at her uterus, whereupon we can set a schedule for using the last of our refrigerated zygotes. The tedious thing is, she was supposed to start her cycle on the weekend, and she’s as regular as clockwork normally – so, there I was, idly hoping that all the drugs from last time had given her ovaries a kick start into behaving themselves.
For the 33rd bloody time in a row, no bloody joy. The odds against that happening for a normal, healthy woman of her age is about 0.06% (assuming a 20% chance of conception/cycle, after 33 attempts, or roughly how long we’ve been married).
I hope this works. I really, really hope this works. I’ve stepped out over the edge, gravity is clutching at me, and I really hope this works. I miss her terribly at the moment, as I only see her on weekends because of work and I don’t want to not be there for her if it doesn’t all go to plan. Most evenings involve a Skype chat, and most evenings involve tears from her. Hopefully, we’ll be less stressed this time round: we know what we’re doing, and there’s practically no drugs. Work has improved and our money concerns are a lot better. We’re still moving house, of course, but you can’t have everything…!
Yet, despite all this, we’re still stressed.
I’ve stepped off the ledge: the waves are rushing up to meet me, and I’m taking a deep breath.
It’ll be fine.