… but I hope it helps you, amuses you or gives you something to do in your spare 5 minutes. An email notification arrived in my inbox from wordpress. I had a comment on an old post. Oh yes! I remember I have a blog. Sometimes, what I have been through on our journey helps someone. I felt inspired to write an update post and this time, I’m doing it not because I need to put my thoughts somewhere, but in case someone out there in the world needs a little bit of understanding. Secondary Infertility is isolating. Secondary Infertility is lonely. Secondary infertility makes you different to the rest of your Mummy friends. Secondary Infertility is a confusing, guilt splattered, faith destroying rollercoaster of a journey that tortures you, flashing visions of your aspirations and desires everywhere you have to take your child and that can shatter your enjoyment of what you already have. I hear your cries and I hold your hand. It has been my demon for 3 and a half years until I chose not to dance with it anymore. I’m still not pregnant. I still find things hard at times. But I know I have all I wished for 10 years ago. I think I’ll focus on that for now. So hello blog and hey you guys. Wow, it feels weird typing away here again. It takes me back to a time when I was exhausted, anxious and metaphorically floating in zero gravity, not able to grasp on to anything. I just looked at my entries and I last posted in October 2014. A whole human gestation period. I could have grown a baby in that time. But I didn’t! Haha Bloody ha. I haven’t even checked in on you guys since then. Sorry. I hope it has been a good and joy filled time for you. I took time out of infertility. We went on a big holiday over Christmas. It was nourishment for the soul. On returning, normality resumed. Husband went back to work and Little One started back at school. Did I tell you about the first day of school? Oh man! What a moment. A moment I felt joy, celebration, pride, excitement and sadness about all at once. Sadness because my baby was off, taking her first steps into the big world without me and I didn’t know if I would get to do it again. So slap a little bit of self pity into that pile of emotion too. So my days have been quieter and emptier now that I’m no longer a full time mum to a preschooler. We spent a few months at the start of this year being quiet and still on TTC. We did nothing. We expected nothing. We got nothing; except, actually, a little bit of silence and rest from the noise and emotional chaos that has been around us for so long now. It was refreshing and I felt better than I had felt for quite some time. I got a job and now actually focus on something else a few days a week! It is blissful. When we felt ready to get back on the horse, so to speak, I saw my specialist again and had a laparoscopy done to determine if there was anything undetected. There was nothing. I don’t mean there were no ovaries or uterus. I just mean, again, all looked healthy and good. That means I’ve pretty much had every fertility test possible done and passed. Yay! Go me! I get a prize or something now, right? No. of course not! Because life is that harsh. Truth. But hey, really, I remember I’m being all positive and shit, so that’s great news. There really is still nothing stopping us getting pregnant (and we are going to book another holiday. Even more good news!). My specialist tells me ovulation induction is still a good option again for us. So another several hundred dollars and some needles down and yet another failed cycle. Ho hum. On a positive note, my periods are loads better since the laparoscopy. I can be out for more than an hour or two and not worry about where the nearest lavatory is! Every cloud and all that. I began to doubt if I had the patience or possibly faith, I’m not sure which, in ovulation induction and instead took some more time out and began to get my head in gear for IVF. However, dark clouds were gathering. And like that, two friends tell me they are pregnant with their third child. Third-fucking-child. Greedy mother f….. Seriously, I feel like I am being tested and tested and tested some more. I’ve counted up that I know of about 80 people who have become pregnant and had their baby OR BABIES in the time we have been trying. Some of those children are over two years old! Granted, some of these people I know are people I knew more than 15 years ago at school, now live on the other side of the world and I only see their lives through Facebook. But a handful are close friends that I have supported despite my own longing and pain. I’ve smiled and cooed at their newborn. I’ve taken their older child for them so they save some sanity. I’ve listened to how hard it is to have more than one child and how they didn’t realise how tough it would be. I’ve pushed their babies pushchair around the shopping mall to soothe them to sleep so they can try on just two more dresses. I’ve had their girls overnight because they are in desperate need of a date night. Surely, I’ve passed the bloody test?! My one pregnant friend is especially close, knowing all I go through on my journey. This makes it particularly hard for me and at this point in time I’d be lying if I said it’s not affected our friendship. Not because I’m not happy for her. I know that everyone deserves to have the family they want. But that’s exactly it! Everyone deserves the family they want, including me. So, I just need some space. But we will be good again, no doubts. Right now, on the eve of IVF, with the forms all ready to be signed by my specialist, I can not be there for my third time pregnant friend in the way I would like to be and have been to others before. It has taken me 3 and half years to reach the point I am at. I can not focus on anyone but me. I can not help her because I need to put myself first. I don’t want to meet for coffee in a park on my day off so her kids can run off steam. I don’t want to pop around whilst (not so little) Little One is at school, whilst her kids run around, screech at each other and come begging for another snack. I don’t want to hear about anyone else’s complete family today because I am being utterly selfish, staying emotionally level and focusing on completing MY family. It is MY turn. Offer me a catch up in a local bar with a glass of bubbles though, I’ll be there. No really, I have 3 priorities: I pledge to go to work and feel valued, enjoy time with the family I already have and feel loved and, get pregnant and feel the amazing rush of new life inside my belly. I can’t bloody wait.
This Clomid cycle has been much improved. Maybe my body is coping with it better, or maybe the B6 is helping, but either way it has been welcome relief after Clomid cycle 1. Skin is pretty much clear again now, and it’s nice to be rid of the teenage look and not have to cake heaps of concealer on each morning. With a week to go until D day, there are no major PMT signs. This time last month I was already starting to cramp, and tears were almost on the hour. Emotionally, I feel so normal. Feeling normal shouldn’t even be something I have to make note of, and feel grateful for. It should be just that, the norm. Anyway, the point is, I’ve been feeling pretty good. Not irritable, or any anger towards the universe. I feel light, and the most accepting I have felt of our situation for a while.
The infertility battle can define you if you let it. I can become all consumed, overwhelmed and it can infiltrate my life at almost every level. I’ve talked about it to my husband at every chance, only for him to become despairing; holding his hands up, asking what I want him to say or do. I’ve unloaded onto my closest friends whenever I could. I’ve thought about it constantly, and I mean constantly, for days at a time. And I’ve let the humiliation, questions, hurt and sadness eat away at me, leaving me feeling bitter or teary.
Right now (and I say right now, because I know these attitudes can fluctuate), I’m tired of battling. I’m tired of feeling like I’m clinging on by my fingernails. I’m tired of feeling desperate. I’m tired of feeling like I’m running, looking over my shoulder because the dark shadow of infertility is haunting me; out to catch me; claws at my back attempting to have me entirely in its clutches.
I’m tired of trying to find reasons for why this is happening to us. I’m tired of feeling like I have to justify myself to others: we aren’t really and truly infertile; everything works, really; I’m just like you, it’s just taking a long time.
I’m tired of this journey defining us. I’m not just the girl who couldn’t have a second child. I’m not just the girl who couldn’t move on. I’m not just the girl who let infertility destroy her. I’m a Mum. And a frickin’ good one. I’m a wife. And a frickin’ awesome one. I’m a friend. And a frickin’ fabulous one.
I’m in no way saying that I’ve lost hope. Not at all. I actually find it pretty difficult to give up hope (I tried once to see if it would help, it didn’t because I had nowhere else to go but down). I’m just saying I don’t want anger, bitterness and sadness to be the first thing people see. I’m saying I don’t want my daughter witnessing the horror of an incomplete Mumma. I’m saying I want to have fun and laughter every day. I’m saying I want a relationship with my husband focused on love, enjoyment of each other’s company and not on shared grief (though we will have this sometimes). I’m saying I want to live in the now, and look forward to the future.
I don’t know what the next week has in store for us. I’m staying positive it’s something good. But if it’s not… Well, let’s just accept that it’s not. I think I’m getting to the point where I turn around and face my infertility shadow head on. I’m close to sticking two fingers up to it, and shouting, “Come on then if you think you’re stronger!” I want the power back. I am stronger. I want to choose to accept what is happening, but not give in. I also choose to calmly and serenely do whatever I can and whatever it is I have to do to make this reach a conclusion.
Stage 1: Accept.