"It's normal to wake up in the middle of a panic attack because you know you'll be starting again soon." My inner psychoanalyst says so, and she's always so calm and rational and, well, right.

"Things have been peachy whilst you've been on break. Why wouldn't your subconscious be freaking out at the thought of going back there? Why wouldn't you feel like you are being sucked whole into a vortex of doom?"

This is why I keep this woman on. Vortex of doom. I hope she's going somewhere.

"But you see, you're not going back."

I'm not?

"You're going forward."

Hmm. Intriguing, if slightly too much like something trite my high school English teacher would have come out with. And to complete the impression - an assignment. I busily write down the ways we have progressed in our adventure to parenthood so far:

1. Have shaken that silly notion that sex leads to children. Took a while to kick that, too, having been fed the tripe since approximately age seven.

2. Will never have to go through any low-tech ART again. Stuff's for pansies.

3. In effect, have stopped TTC using any method other than IVF.

So you see, not so much a break as a big goodbye to a doomed project and a big hello to one that's much more likely to succeed. As a bonus, we've

4. Stimmed for the last time in a long time. Although if this results in a long, drawn-out pattern of failed FETs, chemical pregnancies or miscarriages, I'm not sure it'll be much of a consolation.

5. Sorted out any future contraceptive disputes once and for all. I was not looking forward to having that "vasectomy" discussion and now I don't have to.

6. Got a really nice dog.

I had to do this roleplay where I walked out of a room which represented our pre-IVF TTC efforts and into a new room which represents our future post-IVF TTC efforts. So instead of a whirling, screaming, sucking vortex, I now have a sunny new infertility office. With a view. Of a lake.

My inner psychoanalyst had one more task. I had to tidy up the new room. You see, when I arrived it was strewn with books. One was a story about how our BFPs all turn into blighted ovums. The next, not to be outdone, was filled with ectopic pregnancies and tubal resections until eventually there's nowhere for an embryo to implant but inside my uterus which one after another stubbornly refuses to do. There was an even more gruelling tale of ovarian cancer, picked up on our first routine scan at our first FET.

I had to burn them all. I just don't need them at the moment. Maybe in my next office, if I get one.

So here I sit. There's a phone with a direct line to my FS. There's a list on the wall of Things To Do Instead of Obsessing About TTC. And there's a cute little teleporting device which I can use to get back and forth from the real world when I need to. My inner psychoanalyst encourages me to use it frequently, and with enthusiasm.

Maybe tomorrow.

Just now I'd like to sit. Waiting for the next part.

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