For years now, I have harboured secret fantasies of defying the odds and falling pregnant without medical intervention. Latterly, these fantasies have also involved my triumphant revenge over Dr Abrupt. I imagined myself breaking the news of a spontaneous conception to him. That would be him well and truly shown and told, I thought to myself.
But the gap between fantasy and reality is inevitably huge. And so this morning I did not march into Dr Abrupt's office and tell him where to stick his dildo cam and his syringes of FSH. Instead, I babbled about possibly faulty pee sticks. I told him about a dog I had as a child that suffered from repeated phantom pregnancies. Fortunately, he cut me off just as I was about to launch into a story about Anna O, Joseph Breuer's famous patient, and her hysterical pregnancy. "Why don't we do a scan and see what we can see?" he asked patiently.
And there it was - what Dr A described as a 'perfectly normal and healthy six week pregnancy'. He pointed out the pregnancy sac and, nestled inside the sac, was a little tiny bean just over 1/2 centimetre in length. Could I see that small pulsating dot, he asked. "That's the baby's heart beating."
And that tiny flickering somehow made it much easier for me to believe in this pregnancy. Obviously, it's still incredibly early, but my sense of hope is growing stronger along with my symptoms.
Dr A told me that I should now go ahead an appointment with the midwife at my GP's practice, as there are decisions we need to make with regard to antenatal care. "If I had conceived through IVF, you'd scan me again in another couple of weeks here at the Great Big Infertility Clinic, wouldn't you?" I asked. "Not necessarily," he replied, "if we see a heart beat and everything looks normal at six weeks, we'll generally just refer you back to your GP." "But what about hysterically over-anxious women who've already had one miscarriage?"
"Oh, well," he smiled. "We do make an exception for them. We can fit you in for a second scan on Tuesday 9 September, if you like."
And so it seems that I am destined to continue to living my life in two week increments.