This post is a very personal one; more like a diary entry than a blog post but meh. Maybe it can help someone else feel a little less alone. And that is why I am publishing it. If you are a young person, you probably don’t want to read what follows.
I have a migraine today. If I wasn’t tying my own thoughts into knots I wouldn’t even be on the computer. I need the knots to release so I am trying the old adage of “it’s better out than in”. Maybe I am responding the way that I am because of my migraine. What came first: the chicken or the egg.
For those that know me it is no secret that I experienced a failed IVF/ICSI attempt last December. Emotionally I was okay. Physically I was not. I bled solidly for two days; a gushing tap. And I was completely alone. Not an experience I wish upon anyone. The worst part of it had been that I had truly believed that this cycle would be the one and upon returning from Bali I would be pregnant, and so I had not restocked my supplies. And I was bleeding so profusely that leaving the house wasn’t an option.
It was the first time in years that I contemplated taking my own life. That shocked me; I truly believed that I had moved past that depth of thought. It was fleeting, the idea, but it existed. The physical impacted the emotional. I moved beyond it and came out the other side. This afternoon though, whilst not suicidal, I was forced to confront the consequences of that period of time.
My trust of other people has always been a bit dodgy. Growing up, never knowing what was going to happen next, kept me in flight or fight for a long time (still there I’d say, sometimes anyway). I was not safe as a child and that trauma scarred my psyche. Now before anyone feels I need words of wisdom about how strong and resilient and inspiring I am, I am not feeling down. I know that the best parts of who I am were also borne from that time, and for that I am grateful. However, where I had learned how to trust, last December that lesson took a powerful hit. And so when I came out of my appointment this afternoon, feeling wobbly, I couldn’t reach out to anyone. I was very scared that if I did, there wouldn’t be anyone there. I know this is dumb. And I don’t mean to offend the people that are there for me, but this is how I felt.
I arrived to my appointment early (typically). I waited in the Waiting Room, patiently, with eyes closed. My head really hasn’t been kind to me today. When my turn arrived, and she called me, I went in calmly. I had followed all of the instructions I had received: empty your bladder at 1.10pm, drink 1 litre of water between 1.10 and 2.10pm, arrive for appointment for 3.10pm. I lay on the bed, lifted my top and lowered my pants, she put the gel over my belly and moved the wand over it. I only had 60ml out of a possible 250ml in my bladder.
She asked why I was there. I told her that I was on Day 44 of bleeding. We laughed and joked about it. She took the images she could. She asked if I would be comfortable with an internal and I said yes, because I had had them before; invasive and uncomfortable but more thorough. And I was still okay. Still calm. I rubbed the gel clean and went to the toilet to relieve my bladder in preparation.
Her directions to the toilet were clear, “Take two steps and you’re there.” For some reason I thought I knew where the toilet was and ended up in a completely different room, the wrong room. To the amusement of both worker and waiting patient. When directed more pointedly, I asked, “Oh you meant the door with the word TOILET written on it in very big letters.” We all laughed; mine embarrassed. Yep I was awarded my Masters degree because I’m that smart.
And I emptied my bladder and escaped back into the room. I changed into the robe and lay on the bed. And where she had been talking and laughing, she grew silent. She asked if my periods were regular and I explained that I had experienced a failed IVF attempt in December last year and since then, no they hadn’t been regular.
She finished. Told me to wipe myself clean and that the admin staff would let me know when the results would be ready and she left. I was already worried. I became worried whilst I had been lying there. As I left, the worry started to take me over.
I’ve made an appointment to see my doctor on Wednesday morning. I will wait until then. But I am worried. I was hoping to try again; this could stop that. And so, whilst I know I shouldn’t worry and I shouldn’t make it bigger than what it is, and whilst I know I should meditate and calm myself, I am struggling to do so.
I do not want to grieve the finality of not being able to be a birth mother.
I do not want to grieve the finality at all.
Yes I will survive. And yes, I have nurtured and mothered a lot of children. I know that I am loved and blessed and should be grateful for all that I have accomplished throughout my life. I know all of this.
It’s just that I don’t fail. My family is very fertile; my sister only has to look at her husband to fall pregnant. I have always achieved, against the odds. I don’t know how to fail like this. It’s hard. And it’s lonely.
I know it is temporary. It just hurts.