This week I got asked to write an article about the paranormal, in return for payment. Such is the thing dreams are made of! But when I started researching the article, I began to lose motivation. Could paranormal experiences all be in our minds? Well, yes, but that wasn’t what got to me. It was the patronising tone of the researchers involved. Because if humans have dreamt up paranormal experiences it’s because we need them, and what’s the harm in that?
To explain what’s going on in my head here, I have to give you some context and that means admitting something big. Big, as in no one talks about it. Although I don’t know why. Big, as in not everyone in my circle knows about it. Although I’ve told most people, because I don’t understand why it can’t be talked about. In fact, I think it should be openly talked about a lot more often. Maybe then there wouldn’t be such a taboo over something so common and isolating.
I’m talking about fertility. It’s not until your start hearing your maternal/paternal instincts calling or your biological clock ticking that you realise just how dangerous that F word can be. Because, of course, it should be simple. A bit of wham bam thank you ma’am and nine months later you’ll have a baby, right? Maybe. For some.
It’s actually surprising how many couples suffer from fertility problems. Google it, I dare you. You can officially use the word ‘infertility’ after a year of no luck conceiving. And there could be any number of reasons. It could be a problem with her, him, both or neither. That’s right, unexplained infertility, because nature can just be a bitch. Me? Well, we’ve racked up over two years of trying to create life, on and off. Two years, two losses, countless medical appointments and one wife, slowly losing her mind.
To say it’s painful is an understatement. To lose your pregnancy. To fail to get that second line on a pregnancy test, month after month. It’s something we have limited control over, so how do people with fertility problems cope? We repeat mantras to ourselves.
‘It’ll happen when it’s supposed to happen.’
‘It’ll be when it’s meant to be.’
We have to believe in fate, in some higher power, because if we don’t then what do we have? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Coincidences rank alongside these mantras. I’ll share an in-joke with you. When I fell pregnant earlier this year (remember that bad week I had?), I knew it before I took the tests. I knew because my sub-conscious knew and, after a year of nothing since my chemical pregnancy (you get pregnant but miscarry immediately), it allowed me to have hope. At the same time, my guinea pigs started drinking more. ‘Well,’ I thought. ‘I must be pregnant. My piggys are drinking loads!’
It’s no different to your mother dreaming about you having a baby and then two days later your pregnancy test turns positive.
Maybe there’s something behind these ‘coincidences’, maybe there’s not. But that shouldn’t detract from the fact that these incidences give us hope where there is none, and keeps us sane when we have every right to laugh hysterically and sink into a depression.
So when these academic researchers and scientists claim that religion and paranormal experiences are all in our heads, it makes me want to cry. ‘So what?’ I shouted at my laptop screen. If believing that your grandmother is watching over you, or that a higher power is just waiting for the right time to fill your uterus, or that your guinea pigs know you’re pregnant and send you the message through their water bottles, helps us to get through these difficult, emotional and painful times, then what’s the harm?
Discovering that paranormal experiences are all in our heads takes away the magic and excitement for most, and for some it takes away the hope. And without hope, what is the point?
I am aware that this rant is quite depressing, so to lighten the mood I want to share a little more about my fertility-lacking coping mechanism. After two years of eating healthy (kinda), popping all the right pills and charting my temperature, I’m now trying the ‘sods law’ method. I’m eating what I want, when I want, and living my life. Going on holiday and planning ‘I’m not pregnant’ treats, which include eating raw cake mixture when baking and deciding to go on the scariest ghost tour in Edinburgh next summer.
I also have a plan B. Just in case those powers that be forget about me and the ‘right time’ to give me a child. No one can stop me being a mother, and they shall call me Crazy Dog Lady!…or Crazy Guinea Pig Lady! I haven’t decided which yet. Mwhahahaha!!!!!
Seriously, though. Plan B is just to be happy with what I do have. A wonderful husband, lovely friends, amazing parents, a home and, if we never have a baby, money! (I’m thinking holiday home on the west coast of Scotland…)
So my advice, if you’re worried about your ability to conceive, is to believe what you want to believe and do what you need to do to stay happy. Happiness, hope and love are the most important things. Never let go of them.