I am trying again. I am busy injecting myself, taking pills and supplements, drinking herbs and changing patches in a second attempt at creating a baby. (This is how you do it, yes?) IVF is perhaps not for the sane-hearted. You really have to want this so badly you are prepared to put yourself (and, in my case, the five-year-old I live with) through a brief menopause (waking up thinking, Why is my house so damn HOT?), then extreme PMT (be warned: this is where I am now, although mostly I'm just weeping rather than shouting) and all manner of undignified scans (although I love seeing my amazing insides on the screen). So, some time in the first half of March one of my snow babies (frozen embryos) will be brought home to my womb, hopefully to snuggle in safe and sound (which is what didn't happen last time). After the transfer is the epic two-week wait until I can do a pregnancy test.
It is a good time to be making a baby. The flowers are coming out; we have had a couple of days of strong sun; long-tailed tits are eating fatballs outside my window; a red admiral is against the pane; and my friends are having babies, just to prove it really can be done and Pickle wasn't some kind of fluke.
Not a fluke, but still a miracle which dazzles me every day. And so many days... Pickle is five now. Five whole years. We went to a puppet show at the theatre with one of her friends and had a little party at our house, with games and balloons and party food and the splendid diplodocus cake her Gappy had made with her (to Pickle's design).
Her actual birthday was a school day, so we stopped on the way home for hot chocolate, then a lot of present opening.
I hadn't expected Pickle to be at school on her birthday because I didn't think she would be going back after half term. She began in January, then quickly became really ill and missed the bit when her friends who'd started with her became confident. She hated it and was miserable for a long time. Holding to my belief that she would love school if she could get over this first insecurity, while constantly wondering if I was just putting her through hell for no reason, has been the hardest thing, apart from getting us through without Thomas, that I have done as a parent. There is such a strong desire to make her happy and I could have done that so easily. I could have quit at any moment and decided she wouldn't go to school. Pickle would have been delighted and I would have been very relieved. I came very close so many times, but held my nerve. I had seriously thought about home schooling, at least for the first few years, but her school has allowed me and other parents to send our children part-time. Pickle goes three days a week and enjoys it. She often doesn't want to get out of bed and she hates to be rushed getting ready, but she is full of good things when she comes home and is proud of what she is learning.
We do some home schooling still, but I'm happy if that happens in an informal way and trips out definitely count. Recently we went to The Eden Project with friends. The girls loved dressing up.
I failed to interest Pickle in some great sculpture.
We saw lots of wonderful plants and listenend to an accordian-playing storyteller with a beautiful throne.
In the tropical biome, the children took their tops off and discovered they could cool themselves by slathering cold mud over their bellies. They looked wonderfully feral but my camera couldn't withstand the humidity so no pictures.
So, my girl is now five. I am walking a very wobbly hormonal tightrope. A month from now I may be pregnant. Thank heavens for spring!