Hope. Whoever came up with all those cliches about its importance should be shot. Or at least passively aggressively glared at until they feel super-bad about what they’ve done.

We should not spend our time hoping and praying for things to happen. In fact, as children, we should have our hopes raised and then dashed again on regular, government-appointed occasions, as a mandatory part of our education.

Then, as adults, we will be able to calmly and cooly assess the chances of something coming to pass – instead of hoping like mad something will happen, no matter how slim the chances, only to lose it when it doesn’t.

So here’s where I’m at: into month nine, now, of trying for a baby. I have learned all the Mumsnet acronyms. I can recite, off by heart, the lengths of my past five cycles (erratic, thanks for asking). I can bore you for hours with information about how to create the right conditions for conception. Hell, I can even talk to you about cervical mucous, if that’s what you’d like to discuss (no, me neither).

My husband has balanced Robertsonian translocation, a genetic disorder which means his chromosomes are… skew-whiff. So I knew to expect some difficulties. But I can’t seem to get past the first hurdle – the actual conception. And it’s more tiring than I ever thought possible.

What I didn’t expect – despite the forums and acronyms and vast, vast quantities of chatter out there – was the loneliness of all this.

That’s not because my husband isn’t involved. It’s not because I don’t have any friends – because I do, and they’re fabulous. And my mum and sister and even, occasionally and incredibly awkwardly, my dad, are all desperate to say encouraging things.

What’s the point of talk, though, really? It can’t do anything. I have tests booked – and besides, spending time with people gives me the chance to be outside my head.

But here I am again, at home on my own, and feeling sad. And it would be nice to know there are others going through this.

So hi there, I’m Emma. I can’t seem to get pregnant. Nice to meet you…