When the initial shock of our news had subsided, we dived into a black pool of suspicion. Suddenly, everything around us posed a noxious threat to the future integrity of BH’s swimmers;the tap water suddenly started to taste a bit funny, the heating was quickly readjusted to arctic as the only temperature that would support the growth of new sperm and plastic food packaging was binned for its high levels of chemical toxicity. We discussed whether we should get our filings removed for all the potentially poisonous mercury they might contain and whether the chlorine in swimming pools was actually, you know, safe. The list of threats was endless and….

POINTLESS, we eventually decided, because unless we were going to move to an eco friendly yurt in the middle of St Barnabus and Beyond-the-End-of-the-Earth-Nowhere, then we were just going to have to work around modern life’s toxic stench.

So, like a pair of monkeys high on glue, we swung violently into action and started to compile endless, constructive lists: – shopping lists of nutrient, antioxidant rich food; lists of exercise activities that won’t overheat the scrotum; lists of healthy snacks for the 4pm energy slump that don’t include the word muffin; lists of acupuncturists specialising in male fertility; lists of activities that don’t involve drinking; lists of what to tell people when they ask him why he’s not drinking (diabetes? phantom male pregnancy? a mind transplant?). It felt better to be doing, to be planning an escape route from our Baby Prison.

As I write this, the living room is filling with the stench of burning and it’s not the result of BH char-grilling an antioxidant rich cabbage. There are two fire engines parked outside, spitting blue lights into our living room as they fight to put out a monumental blaze in the house opposite. We were first alerted to the drama an hour ago when we heard cries of “No! My life’s in that house! Everything is lost!” amidst even more anguished cries of “There’s someone still in there!”

As it turns out, no one was still in there and no one was hurt, but there’s one helluva singed carcass sitting outside. The whole episode made me think, that however hard the past few days have been, BH and I are dealing with this together. No, I thought, all is not lost. All is far from lost.

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