We didn’t have any kids, but we did
get a new cat a few years ago.
Can’t be entirely a different tune
we were about to dance to.
How we concluded it was right
must have been the flick of the coin
across a doctoral submission. We were
bored enough with the march of days.
I knew about folate and caffeine
not getting boozed or too stressed.
The last night we went out drinking
I chucked in my handbag in the taxi.
A fine herald to tracking luteal phases
taking temperatures and vitamins
far too much knowledge about mucus
tinny chime of a thermometer in darkness.
Every site clicked out different snippets
of guilt and dodgy web design. These women
weren’t me, hadn’t eaten my history.
I didn’t fit their cycle of acronyms.
Sex was bound to dates, not inclination.
It’s wet weather timetable, folks.
Today we have to stay inside, even if
we’d rather run around in the storm.
I don’t know how many little sticks
I pissed on that came up single-lined.
I had already given her a title
she was named, in all but reality.
Each surprise of dark blood
gushed out tears and dispirited
bottles of wine. I snapped three
tests in half and stabbed the wall.
It is unbearable to suspect
your body is a failure. It feels
like a desecration of evolution
a misconception of simple biology.
When a second pink line glowed
in early morning bathroom light
I didn’t tell you straight away
in case my eyes had failed me too.
Today’s poem is based on suggestions from seven peeps:
- @_camer0n: “in reality, in all but name.”
- @realnixwilliams: “stupidly designed websites”
- @notcharming: “deciding to start trying to have a baby”
- @ernmalleyscat: “stormy day at school stuck inside with the lights on”
- @slimejam: “new cats”
- @SeanMElliott: ‘Finding a title”
- @iFigaro2u: “music”
Deciding to try for a baby was easy (essentially because we had no idea what we were in for). Actually trying for one was a rollercoaster of anticipation, disappointment, anticipation, disappointment, overwhelming amounts of knowledge about fertility charting, anticipation, disappointment, really wanting to get drunk but not being able to, anticipation, and then, because we were lucky: joy.
I ended up knowing far too many acronyms about menstrual cycles, and Paul took on more knowledge about mucus than any man should ever have to. In the months where we didn’t conceive, I felt like a physical failure. Perhaps my body simply wasn’t up to the job? It wasn’t like I had treated it particularly well over the years. The idea of not being able to have children, and it being my own fault, was almost unbearable.
After several months, the baby I was convinced was going to be a girl (he’s not) was conceived. Photo is indeed THE pregnancy test that told me I was pregnant. 10 dpo, almost faint enough to not be true. He held on tight for the next nine months - until he was 10 days overdue, in fact. How disgraceful for a librarian to have an overdue baby.
I can’t imagine trying to conceive for years and years. We were so lucky. I am so grateful.