Yesterday was my busy day of looking after my nieces and rushing from one activity to another with them. This is what my back garden looked like when I got up yesterday morning.
We had about six inches of snow overnight. Fortunately, I had left my car out on the main road - our road is narrow and on a hill, and was completely impassable. I still had to do a lot of digging to be able to get the car out and set off, and the 17 miles to my sister's house took over an hour. This country doesn't really know how to cope with snow...
Fortunately, the snow wasn't as bad where they live - they only had a couple of inches, if that. I met my sister and Niece #3 as they were walking away from the school, having dropped #1 off and given #2 to someone else to drop at playgroup. We loaded #3 and my sister into the car and I drove to the hospital and dropped my sister off for her appointment.
The church and the playgroup are only a couple of hundred yards apart, so I parked between the two. Before getting in the car, I phoned the clinic to tell them my result. I think the person who answered was one of the embryologists. #3 was making a bit of noise in the background, so I explained that I was looking after her while her mother was at an antenatal appointment.
The embryologist replied with something along the lines of, "Isn't it ironic the way that works out? But you're really lucky - you get to have the fun and then you can hand her back when you've had enough."
I wanted to scream at her, "Why do you think I''ve put myself through all this? I want a baby that I don't HAVE to hand back", but I meekly muttered, "Yes" and then had a little cry before getting #3 out of the car. I left the pushchair in the car and just carried her down to the church. She showed no inclination to walk on the funny white stuff.
The children walk from the school to the church for their end-of-term Mass - a distance of a little over half a mile. The whole school walks together in a long crocodile, with a couple of policemen to stop the traffic for them when they have to cross a road, and it's quite a sight. #3 and I watched them arrive, spotted #1 and said hello to her, then went into the church.
#3 applauded every hymn, clapping her hands enthusiastically and saying "hurray". I should have shushed her, since we were in church, but it was so cute!
Meanwhile, as soon as I heard the sweet voices of 150-odd children singing the first hymn, my eyes started leaking again. I kept surreptitiously wiping the tears away, but it wasn't as easy to wipe away the sadness.
At 18 months, #3 can't ask what's wrong, and I'm not sure she even noticed that I was crying - but I think she did know I was sad. She was extra-cuddly, and she kept putting her little hands on my cheeks, gazing into my eyes and then pulling my head forwards to bump her forehead gently against mine. Then she would nestle her head under my chin for a cuddle before pulling back and putting her hands on my cheeks again.
We had to leave the church before the end of Mass to get to the playgroup for #2's nativity play. She was a cherubic little angel with pink wings and a sparkly wand. She sat there looking beautiful, joined in all the songs, and was a total star - and my sister arrived from the hospital just after the play finished. It was very sad that she missed it, but I got a few good photos, and I think a couple of her friends did as well.
By the time the play and the party afterwards were over, I had better control of myself, and when #1 was out of school, I played in the snow with #1 and #2 while my sister had a bit of a rest and then pottered about getting a few jobs done.
When I got home, our road had turned into an ice rink and I skated down the hill to a parking place. It was scary, and I'm not taking the car out again until the snow has cleared, if I can possibly help it.
DH had his office Christmas party last night, so I had the house to myself. I spent most of the evening looking at adoption websites, including a couple with profiles of children who are waiting for adoption.
We're not making any firm decisions until after we've had our follow-up appointment with Mr No Nonsense on 11 January, but I think we've reached the end of the road with our eggs and sperm. We're never going to have our own biological children, and since DH seemed very luke-warm the last time we talked about other options, this may be the end of the road altogether for my hopes of ever being a mother.
Christmas week - what a great time to be dealing with that.