It was a wonderful Christmas celebration with my family, and overall we had a very good fortnight. But...
When my brother and sister-in-law, who were seeing my sister for the first time since she announced her pregnancy, were exclaiming over her in excitement and trying to work out whether the baby had been conceived in Spain when we were there for their wedding, I was reminded that I ovulated on their wedding day. We were having our last-ditch attempt before going for our first appointment at the clinic, and we had high hopes for a little Spanish baby - before we got home and Mr No Nonsense shattered our dreams with his blunt assertion that DH's sperm were so bad that we would never be successful on our own.
When Niece #1 was chattering away to DH on the way back from setting off the Chinese lanterns, she said, "I'm going to get married before #2 and #3, because I'm the oldest. And then I'm going to be a mummy before them as well." He reported this to me as a cute thing that she'd said. And I said, "I'm seven years older than her mother."
When I was waiting for DH to meet me at the supermarket and help me carry the shopping home, I overheard a conversation between an expectant father and a middle-aged woman. He was saying that he wasn't really excited about the impending birth, and they launched into a long conversation about sleepless nights, dirty nappies and what hard work parenthood is. Before I accidentally told them a few home truths about people who don't appreciate how lucky they are, I picked up my heavy shopping bags and started to trudge home without waiting any longer for DH.
These are just three examples among so many. Reminders of what we're missing crop up in both expected and unexpected places, and often seem to hit me just when I'm feeling at my most vulnerable.
I had another long talk with DH about this about Monday. I said I knew we could have a generally happy life without children. But I also knew that for as long as I'm not a mother, I'm going to feel incomplete, and I'm going to be wounded day after day by little comments and incidents which remind me of what I'm missing out on.
He's not doing so well either. He was completely knocked back by our first IVF failure, because as soon as I'd had the embryo transfer he was absolutely convinced that I was pregnant, and that our problems were over. In his mind, he made no allowance and no preparation for the possibility of failure, and he's been struggling ever since.
It all came to a head on New Year's Eve, when he refused to come out with me - because he just wanted to close his eyes and forget that 2009 had ever happened. I'm glad I now understand that, and we've done a lot of talking since then and hopefully understood each other a bit better.
But when will this ever get easier? If we don't have children, will the little incidents, comments and overheard conversations ever lose their sting? And will I ever manage to go more than an hour without thinking about this?