As the date when I am supposed to submit my thesis draws ever nearer, time seems to slip more and more rapidly through my fingers. That I will meet my self-imposed deadline of having a completed draft of the thesis written before I start teaching at the end of September is already seeming an increasingly remote possibility.
And yet the past week has passed by at a crawl. With every passing day, I grow increasingly anxious that I am about to miscarry for a second time. Every twinge, every cramp, sends me scuttling off to the bathroom to check whether I have started bleeding. The time between now and next week's scan seems to stretch out into eternity.
Time is thus at once speeding up and slowing down. Were I a quantum physicist rather than an art historian, I could no doubt come up with a complex mathematical equation that would neatly encapsulate this paradox (possibly I would also find it easier to find gainful employment once I have submitted the thesis). Instead, I seek to distract myself during this seemingly endless wait by knitting and by watching the Olympics. Mel wrote last week about how we inevitably find ourselves viewing the Games through the lens of infertility. She pointed out how hard it can be to watch those who are at the pinnacle of bodily achievement when one's own body is not co-operating, how difficult it is to see other people achieving their dreams when one remains so far from achieving one's own.
When watching the Olympics, my feelings aren't with those standing on the podium, but with those who were pipped at the post. All of the athletes competing at the Games trained for years and years to get to that point. They made great personal sacrifices and poured all their energies into achieving that one thing. In many cases, their dream is over in a matter of seconds. And I cannot help but worry that the same may be true of this much longed for, but entirely unexpected, pregnancy.
Intellectually, I know that, if this pregnancy is viable, then it will continue. If it is not, then I will miscarry, and there will be nothing I or the doctors can do to prevent it. And so all I can do is to hope with all my heart that I make it to next week's scan, and that everything looks as it should.