A success and a failure.

The good news is – John’s operation went ahead and he is now recovering at home and doing well. That pesky gallbladder has been removed, and he is now taking some time to reboot into version 3.0 (2.0 occurred after removal of his appendix years before we met). I am hopeful for what this new version might achieve.

The bad news is – my follicles still haven’t responded to the FSH influx they’ve been doused with over the last 20 days. Follicles all remain around 6-7mm, so there is no point in continuing this cycle.

I spoke with the nurse today about the next steps. We’ve got an appointment booked with Mr Walker our consultant on 21st March where we’ll discuss IVF in more detail, but that seems to be our last port of call in this stormy sea crossing to Babymaking Island (this is why I’m not a professional writer).

I feel bruised. Both physically, from all the injections, and emotionally. It’s a strange place to be, having this huge thing to get your head around, but also it not seeming that big really because we’re already part way up the mountain (clearly I’m all about metaphors today). I’m still shocked that it has come to this, after fully expecting our second baby to come about more easily than the first, or at least in the same way. For it to be this much harder has been quite a dent in my expectations, and associated hope gland.

However, we know a few things for sure:

1) John has supersperm. I’ll let him decide if he wants to elaborate on that here.

2) I CAN successfully carry a pregnancy to term, it IS possible.

3) We have the money to go ahead for now.

4) I am not at work, so am not having book a million hours off for all these appointments.

5) We NEVER have to have perfunctory, baby-making sex EVER AGAIN!

6) We have the most amazing friends and family, who not only have significantly contributed to (3), but also love and support us in the most amazing ways.

So we have a lot to be thankful for. On that final point, we are currently being served by a food rota our friends have organised, and have many offers of help looking after Toby and John while he’s out of action, some of which we’ve accepted, and others we’ve appreciated for what they are – wonderfully empathic people with hearts to love others and serve in sacrificial and meaningful ways. Wow, we need community.

I have a few friends who have been through IVF. One went through it 7 times. I have a whole new level of respect for these strong women, who subjected themselves not only to the potential and pain of loss if the pregnancies didn’t take, but also to the intimate physical manipulations and hormonal batterings. Science is wonderful – it is truly amazing that they can create embryos In Vitro – but the devil is in the details. The stomach cramps and bleeding after egg collection, the bloating and swelling, the highs and lows of hormone storms and the financial implications tied up in the hope and disappointment of just one more cycle…

But as one friend has reminded me this week…

“… the world only tells us the places where we are broken, the places where we’ve failed, the places where we are weak and imperfect and inefficient. But the Gospel tells us that those places, the places of our dry desert and lonely wilderness, will bloom with beauty and richness. The mended places are places of strength for us. What the enemy meant for evil, God will use for good…I believe that dangerous women own their stories, their bodies, their brokenness. They live their whole lives as invitations to wholeness, a beauty that embraces and subverts the whole of our stories, embodied.” – Sarah Bessey 

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