When I started my Channel Challenge I didn’t realise how many parallels there were going to be with going through IVF. Maybe if I did, I’d never have done it. There’s the physical and mental toughness of the training; there are all the things about succeeding that are out of your control; and now I’ve realised there is also The Wait.
In IVF it’s officially called the Two-Week-Wait – the interminable fourteen days after a round of treatment when you have to wait to see whether it worked and you got pregnant. It’s an intensely difficult time when Hope and Disappointment stand together on a precipice and you have no idea which of them is going to fall. In my case, Hope has always fallen and anyone who has read my book or been through IVF themselves will know not just how disappointing but how devastating it can be.
In Channel Swimming it’s the One-Week-Wait. On Friday 21st August my tidal window opened and I had seven days in which to swim. But the weather had other ideas, the sea has been un-swimmable, and I have been sat in Dover, waiting. Just like the Two-Week-Wait of IVF when you become obsessed with every tiny twinge, I have become obsessed with wind speeds, even the smallest change. But just like IVF, I’ve had to accept that nature will ultimately decide my fate, not me.
For those of you who follow my blog regularly you’ll know that I usually post on a Sunday. Last time I looked it had turned into Monday and that’s because, after a week of waiting, late yesterday afternoon I got a call to say that my boat pilot had found a slot for me in his next tidal window if I could be ready to set off at 8am the following morning (ie. today). Just before I went to bed I planned to write a blog and tell you. But at 10pm there was a major storm and at midnight he texted to say that the Channel was un-crossable. Again.
So my One-Week-Wait now becomes Two. It feels a bit like deadly déjà vu. My Channel Challenge has become as big as my Pursuit of Motherhood and I still have no idea whether this test is going to be positive.