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It’s an odd thing, peeking on a stick for the first time. I did it three times before I accepted the result as final, irreversible, conclusive, and fatal. Even so I stared at the test sticks for an age, hoping against hope that the positive result would somehow miraculously reverse, and my life wouldn’t be heading into surreal territory.

My feelings as a twenty one year old university student, weren’t the feelings that most women have who’ve tried once twice, three times or many times to get pregnant. I was angry, depressed, almost but not quite semi-suicidal, wanting to go back three weeks to the day, the minute, the second the condom betrayed me. I wanted to blame someone, anyone for its failure.

I felt like screaming, “NO-O-O-O, THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING TO ME!” The words rattled around in my brain, like a shout in a hollow cathedral I’d visited once in Italy, but they never made it onto my tongue.

I’d made definite plans for myself. My life’s goals were, I thought, cast in stone – but what’s the saying “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.)

“Well,” Mary asked ,when I finally made it out of the bathroom.
I handed her the evidence, turning away so I couldn’t see her expression.
“That’s it then,” she murmured. “You should still see a doctor to confirm.”
“That is it,” I said, “the end of everything.”
“Not necessarily. You could defer, and pick it up again after the baby comes.”
I hardly heard her as I walked out of the kitchen, locking myself in my bedroom, as the tears began to flow.

Thirty minutes later there was a gently knock on the door. “Tea,” said a voice that I recognised as Anna’s.
I had to smile, we Brits think that a cup of tea is the answer to everything.
I rolled off the bed and opened the door. Tears were streaking her face. She handed me the mug. “Don’t worry, lovey,” she said, “we’ll sort something out.”

Three days later I stated bleeding.
Jim came back the following day. I didn’t tell him. What would’ve been the point?

It’s been almost exactly twelve years. I’m obviously less fertile now – now that I want to be knocked up it’s not happening so quickly. My period is due tomorrow………….