Gosh, I feel nervous writing this. That hasn’t happened before.
Sorry it’s been so long. I have been meaning to get in touch before now, but every time I’ve thought about, I just haven’t had the energy and wasn’t sure what to say. The last time I wrote a blog on here was just around Christmas time at the end of a pretty eventful, but ultimately hideously unproductive, year containing 3 miscarriages and a lot of heartache.
Our plan at that point was to start the last round of IVF in the new year, probably around March time, after losing the weight I’d put on in the last cycle (again) and some bonus Christmas Weight. But this didn’t happen.
I didn’t set my mind to it. I couldn’t pick myself up again this time.
Instead, we booked a big holiday to America, I started a new business (www.lauraskitchencakery.co.uk), I began tutoring A-level biology, I took up more cleaning work, John left RPS (the company he co-founded and worked on for around 12 years), and we got on with life.
All this busy-ness has been great. I thoroughly love my new business and the tutoring, and John is starting new ventures too. The holiday was amazing (put on more weight), and we are no closer, in June, to starting that last cycle. There is definitely an element of avoidance going on here.
I feel like part of me has just checked out. I’m no longer regularly taking the Metformin – something I’ve been on twice daily for the last 3.5 years of trying to make a baby. I’m still not actively moving towards losing the weight again. I do not believe this last embryo will work and I have almost zero desire to go through the whole terrible ordeal again.
We saw our consultant earlier this year to talk through our options. He thinks the weight loss won’t make much difference as my BMI (at that time) was within range of 30-35 and therefore not medically a ‘contributing factor’. But he said if I wanted to lose it so that I’m psychologically in the best place (“I did everything I could to make it work”), then I should do that – there was no rush to get going again. He also said he’d double my steroid dose to 20mg, as the frequency of pregnancy-miscarriage was now statistically a little on the high side of the expected range, and could indicate an undiagnosed immunological issue, which the steroids could help with. He still thought we’d just had faulty embryos, and said he still had hope for us.
I am in a very strange place.
I feel, on some level, like the window for having child #2 has passed for us. Toby starts school in September and we are well out of the baby stage. We have new things in our lives now – new jobs, new challenges, new friends, new humans that others have successfully made. The pile of Toby’s old baby things in the corner of our room has morphed into a pile of baby + toddler + preschooler things, and threatens to take over that floor of the house. Each time I put something away up there now, I laugh at my own hubris. I feel like just selling it all and reclaiming the space it once occupied.
We can do things now that we couldn’t previously due to Toby’s young age. This last holiday to the States was amazing, and having just 1 child, who is able to carry his own luggage, was such a joy. We travelled around museums and zoos and up skyscrapers, unencumbered by a buggy and carrying only minimal paraphernalia about our persons. If we have another baby now, we reset the clock to zero. Do we want to do that? A significant part of both of us does not.
If I’m really honest, I’m just not sure I want another child anymore.
What I’m trying to figure out is – Is that statement true? Or is it just a self-defence mechanism against the fact that we are just 1 cycle away from the idea of that existence becoming reality. And all the pain therein.
Just before we went to America, I thought I might have been pregnant. To begin with, it was a silly thought. I’d had 2 consecutive cycles in a regular pattern (unusual for me), and the third period had not materialised (not unusual for me). This on it’s own wouldn’t have made me think anything was afoot. But then I started to experience a few pregnancy ‘symptoms’ – sore boobs; changes, pangs and stretches in my abdomen; queasiness; tiredness, and I started to wonder…
I didn’t take a test straight away – we were just about to go abroad and we’d delayed the last IVF deliberately to not be in this situation when away. If it was positive, I didn’t want to spend the holiday worrying I’d lose it, or worse, actually losing it.
So I waited until we got home before I took the test. By which point I’d become convinced it’d be positive. I just felt so strange, especially in my abdomen. Over the weeks since my period was ‘due’, the wild idea that I could have just gotten pregnant naturally – after all this time, after all this – had gone from a fleeting thought to a wonderful ending to our story that people would be amazed by.
The test was negative.
I felt so stupid.
Of course it was.
I booked a doctor’s appointment in case something more sinister was causing my symptoms (especially the abdominal discomfort*), and I cried, and I felt like I’d been through my own private cycle of hope and loss, without the bonus fertility clinic tea and biscuits.
And that recent experience (3 weeks ago) was enough to raise the tired, hurt, broken, grieving part of my mind that deals with this shit from it’s slumber, and shake it around a bit. I must write a blog post. I must lose weight. I must start taking my medication again. I must, I must I must. I must give this one last final push, before the year is through. I really don’t want to, but I must reengage with that part of me that is so deep in grief for the thing it wants so desperately that I’ve had to bury it away so it doesn’t consume me whole. Perhaps I’ve buried it too deep this time?
It’s time to get out the shovel and start digging.
This won’t be pretty.
*There was nothing serious wrong, but I probably had some sort of mild intestinal infection or alike. It went away on it’s own, with no further treatment.