AF arrived bang on time this month, and so I took a deep breath and phoned the clinic to confirm that we would be proceeding with a cycle of IVF/ICSI next month (my first appointment will be on Day 21 of my December cycle, so a few days before Christmas).
I'm finding it difficult to see this as the next step in our journey through infertility - somehow it seems more like the end of something: as though we're now officially giving up on the idea that we might manage to conceive without medical assistance. It feels like we're admitting that we've failed, and that we can't do what seemingly everyone else out there can.
Infertility has taught me a great deal about my body; I have learnt to respect its rhythms and chart its cycles. Now I feel that I am going to have to give up control of that body, and hand it over to the medical profession. It is hard to accept that conceiving a child, which should be a private and intimate act between me and my husband, is going to be such an intensely medicalised and public process.
Perhaps as the IVF draws closer, I will be able to cling on to the feeling that at least we are actually doing something that will take us closer to our dream of having a baby. At the moment though, it feels more like we've come to the end of a particular road.