I had an epiphany on Saturday night. Albeit in a drunken stupor – maybe my mind was free to process the bigger questions on a great night – I realised that whilst I have ‘healed’ for the most part I have struggled to integrate my post IVF life with my pre IVF life.
I knew when my time to let go of IVF came. I knew I would still struggle with aspects. I knew when my time to apply for fostering came. I knew I still loved all of the important people in my life, but the people pre IVF I have struggled to fully integrate back into my life.
I have wanted them in it but I didn’t know how.
So much of the IVF journey is a solo journey. You can share it through words but I don’t think the words really do the reality of it justice. It is something that needs to be experienced to be understood. Add a painful miscarriage to that with months of unending bleeding following and whilst you know the experience has changed you, corrupted your innocence, you don’t quite realise the impact for those that don’t know how to reach out to you to be there.
On Saturday night, I realised that I had been scared to reach out to my pre IVF people, my extended family. It is so easy to shut yourself down emotionally to others, scared of being hurt and/or rejected, that even after time has passed, you still don’t know how to come back to your self. Your core.
With a grin on my face as I type this, my epiphany, and consequently my way back to one of my oldest best friends, was through an extreme consumption of alcohol – something I haven’t done in so many years for a multitude of reasons, and something she is so strongly opposed to usually that even she would laugh at the irony. It helps because I have suffered from my excess. But I let myself go back to her and luckily for me, she let me.
I am now quite positive that my IVF journey will never be truly over because I am not sure it is possible or even remotely desirable for it to be over: it happened, it changed parts of me, it has not destroyed me nor my desire to be a parent, and ultimately I am more empathetic and stronger as a result.
Every step in my life demonstrates that I have lived with conviction, with strength and from love.
And for that I am truly and eternally grateful.