Let’s talk about infertility. Or should I say ‘Secondary Infertility’? Can I even claim to be infertile when I already have a child? Why do I feel a sense of guilt for even saying that I am infertile when I should be grateful that I already have a daughter?
These are just a few questions that I have asked myself over the past year whilst we have been continuing to try for a baby. Ross doesn’t have a biological child of his own – and what makes it even worse is that it is not his fault that we are not succeeding. It is mine. My stupid, useless ageing eggs – oh, and on top of that, the abnormal chromosome ones too. The guilt I feel about my body and lack of baby is immense.
Ross and I want to make our family complete. We want a sibling for Grace, Ross wants to continue his family line and I just want to feel the completion of a second baby.
When I was much younger I always believed that I would have a happy, complete family. Be married to a man who loved me and took care of me. Have two children and live a life that was happy and full. I’ve come to realise that your dream of idealism is really just that…a dream. No one can really predict what twists and turns your life is going to take.
Don’t get me wrong. I do now consider myself lucky. I find it hard to believe that someone like Ross would love and care for me as much as he does – especially as he is 7 years younger than me and could easily go off and find someone else…someone fertile…to have a baby with. He must really love me to stay and keep trying.
I now scroll through my Facebook timeline, sometimes skipping them and sometimes feeling happy for the continuous pregnancy announcements. It does depend on my mood. A bit of a minefield when you are involved in the parent blogging community. To all those who have announced their pregnancy over the last year, I am sorry for unfollowing you and your notifications. It is not personal. I am happy for you but I need to protect myself, you see. I need to stop the hurt for the bad days. The ones which I find it difficult to accept or cope with this and I just want to hide under my duvet or want the world to swallow me up. But then, I shouldn’t feel like that because I have Grace. Then the guilt is back again.
I get PR opportunities that relate to small babies and pregnant women. My heart breaks when I have to write back to them and say ‘this does not apply to me right now’. I want to ask them to just put me on the pending pile or to send it to me ‘just in case this is the month’. I will be there eventually and then I would love to work with you. I don’t know that for certain though, do I? But how do I let my heart and soul give up hope on the fact that maybe, just maybe, this will be our month.
If I could go back in time, to around 15 years ago, when my ex kept telling me ‘not yet’, ‘maybe one day’, ‘I don’t want one’…. ‘get rid of it’. If I knew then what I know now, then I would have gone and frozen some of my eggs for this very moment. The moment that I am going through right now. I should have seen the light when I first got pregnant at the end of 1997 and was made to get rid of it because ‘otherwise I was going to end up another single mum’. But hindsight is a wonderful thing. And actually I feel that things happen for a reason. I felt that I got my closure when I had Grace exactly 9 years to the day later. 9 years since I had got rid of the one that he had so clearly not wanted. I can’t even use the proper terminology because I find it too upsetting and I feel too guilty.
‘If’ is a big question though, isn’t it? So many ‘what if’s and ‘maybe’s in this life that come round to bite you on the bum.
When you have been trying for a baby as long as we have – over 2 years in total – the whole process starts to loose it’s romanticism and starts to become mechanical. Babies should be made of love (although that could be the idealist coming out in me again!) but instead I find myself reading graphs and temperatures and eating different foods, taking different supplements, reading advice after advice page, searching through Google and even using devices! I feel like a walking science experiment. Ross and I just want to go back to enjoying our intimacy without the schedule and looking for a basal body temperature change.
Then, what if it does happen again? What if we lose it again? What if we go through all the joy followed by all the pain?
And so we are back to the ‘what if’s again.
The other day, the nurse at the hospital told me that trying for a baby was a roller coaster. I guess it is in a way. The ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ of emotion. Getting your period, counting down the days until you ovulate, then watching out for the temperature changes, hoping that you do actually ovulate, then hoping that you timed it right when you do, then the horrible two week wait where you read into every sign – the tiredness, your hurting boobs, the mood swings – hoping, praying that this is the month and then the great big come down when your period turns up and you have to get off the ride and queue up all over again. It’s exhausting and it starts to take over your life.
The one thing that Ross and I do have on our side is determination. Whatever happens we are not going to let this beat us or split us up. Yes, we argue about it and we both have our difficult days, sometimes him, sometimes me and sometimes both together but what I do know is that we will get there eventually because we can’t see it any other way – and it even scares me to say that. And when we do get there, how lucky will that child be? Coming into a home where it is so wanted and will be so very, very loved.
I just hope that one month, in the very near future, this roller coaster will be one worth riding.