Are you still there?…
I’m still here! It’s been almost a year since our last of 3 miscarriages, and we’ve inadvertently taken a sabbatical from fertility treatment. This wasn’t planned. Had it have been, then perhaps I’d have relaxed, enjoyed it even. Spent the time getting my head straight after the year of grief and living hell that was 2018. But instead, I’ve pushed it all out of my mind and just below the surface of day-to-day existence in, what turns out to be, not the healthiest of manners. As such, I’ve spent the last year with the predominant feeling of guilt for not getting on with our final round, guilt for not losing weight, guilt for actually quite enjoying just having one child, and a loud, screeching panic that time is fast running out.
So it’s not really been all that much of a sabbatical.
I wrote about what’s been going on for us, and the potential pregnancy-that-obviously-wasn’t-a-pregnancy earlier back in June, and ended by saying I needed to crack on with things. This didn’t happen. With each new month that has passed, I’ve vowed to make the changes, lose the weight, and get this last cycle done before Christmas. And each time I’ve failed. I just don’t seem able to pick myself up again this time around. So I just throw myself into my new business (cake making!) and bury it all a little deeper.
Or so I thought.
Last week a BBC Radio 4 drama, that touched on miscarriage in quite a bit of detail, saw me sobbing into cupcakes and wondering if I still had cells in my body from the embryos I’d miscarried (answer: very possibly). It is at times like these I become starkly aware of just how full my reservoir of grief is. I’m just about coping on top, walking around like my biggest concern is buttercream icing and phonics, but just under the surface, right there, if you listen hard enough you can hear it gurgling away – this giant underground chasm of sadness and loss and disappointment that is ready to crash over me at a moment’s notice. And when it does, there is no time to run for the hills. I’m submerged, and drowning.
No wonder I can’t move forward.
Turns out, out of sight isn’t really out of mind. Even if you believe it hard enough.
So today I have returned to therapy.
I last saw my therapist after John’s dad died, back in 2016. We had a lot of catching up to do. I love therapy, and highly recommend you all go do it. Especially if you’re dealing with infertility. I have seen the therapist at the fertility clinic a few times, which is a fantastic service and I’m so glad they offer it, but for me, sitting down with someone I’ve worked with before and knows me is invaluable. And today, as I laid out our 4 year story of hope, loss, disappointment and grief, I realised quite how much I’d been sitting on all this time.
I’m really looking forward to unpacking it with her. I know it’ll hurt, and I’ve already cried on her 3 times in the first hour. But I owe it to myself and my family to deal with my big feelings and sort out my jumble of emotions. Perhaps then I’ll be able to find the capacity to do the next and final round of IVF (which has now been pushed back to early 2020)?
Finally, I’d like to write down a revelation I had yesterday. It’s not a new one for me, I’m brought back to this place routinely as I strive and strive my way through life. But each time it feels new. Deeper perhaps – affecting me on a whole new level each time: Right now I’m surrounded in my innermost places by grief and Big Feelings, and I’ve been trying for too long to overcome them on my own. And failing. I haven’t the strength to keep ploughing through. I’m spent. But I’m surrounded by God. And I feel like He reminded me of that yesterday, as I stood in Church with my usual level of disenfranchisement. I don’t need to strive to overcome. I need to recognise where I’m at, and let Him comfort me there. And in His love, with no agenda or guilt, I can let that grief and those big feelings heal.