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Fortune favors the bold. I, therefore, am screwed.

I am scared to start this last IUI.

I am frightened of all the usual things, of course — the lackluster response, the likely negative, the novelty of disappointment as yet another unexpected disaster occurs. But I'm used to those fears by now. I've internalized them neatly into a series of attractive tics. Every time the phone rings when I'm cycling, I convulse like Shabba Doo circa 1984.

What troubles me now is bigger. It's taking more nerve than I expected to volunteer for this again, because if this cycle fails — which is, after all, the very likely outcome — I'm one step closer to the end of the road.

We'll try IVF at a different clinic. But if that doesn't work, which is, after all, the very likely outcome...what then? We might try again. But we might not. Depending on the way it fails, that could be it — time to consign my exhausted ovaries to the glue factory, where they will be simmered into mucilage, to be used by resentful preschoolers in the ham-fisted creation of macaroni art.

I am not very good at living in the moment.

I feel like I'm on the threshold between the known and unknown, the comfortable and the inconvenient, the ineffective and the probably-also-ineffective-and-even-more-expensive. It's an awkward place to be. They talk funny here and their currency looks like Monopoly money, and we won't even talk about what passes for toilets.

I want this IUI to work because I want a child. I also want it to work because I'm terrified of what might lie ahead if it doesn't — more disappointment, new and different kinds of grief, and ultimately having to settle for less than I want. Like Monica, I'm fighting the urge to see this as just another step along a progressively more tortured path. I am trying to believe this could work. Otherwise I might lose my nerve entirely.