Today it’s four weeks past THAT day, the day we got the news that our hope of having children was over. Four weeks since the phone call that told me we’d had a ‘failed fertilisation’. That out of the 7eggs collected the day before, from our 6th and final IVF cycle, none, nada, zilch, zero, zip, had become embryos. It felt like the cycle was over before it even started – all hope stolen in a blink of an eye, & no explanation for it.
I started journalling two weeks after, on the off chance I might start this blog. So today I’ll share my first journal entry – its the closest I’ve got for you of what it was like in those first few days. And in all honesty I don’t think my feelings or my coping have changed an awful lot in that time.
Finding out none of our eggs had fertilised in our 6th & final IVF cycle, was devastating to say the least. It would have been bad enough to have gone through a transfer and got another Big Fat Negative (BFN), but this way, feels like we’ve been cheated so much. Such a final & sudden end to our cycle, stealing the last of our hope. Of course, my husband was at work* when I found out, meaning yet again, I had to find someway to hold myself together – very precariously together mind you – and only because I had some adulting that had to be done, otherwise you might still find me in a soggy pile on the kitchen floor. Only thing is, I got used to my ‘fake it til I make it’, smile glued on, survival that by the time Mr got home, it was easier to just stay that way – going through the motions, heart closed off to the world. The temptation to hide under a rock with a supply of coffee and chocolate has been really high!
A life without kids is never a life I imagined for myself – from about 8yrs old I’ve dreamed of being a mum, having a family. I’d always wanted 3 but 2 would have been ok (Mr only wanted 1 or 2, so 2 felt like the compromise), but as the past 4 years have happened the hope has changed to “1 would be fine” – asking for more felt greedy when 1 seemed so difficult, but it appears we managed to piss all the gods off and none is to be our lot.
Waves of every emotion roll over me – anger, loneliness, failure, hurt, devastation, grief, sorrow. I’ve been strong for so long, picking myself up after every set back and trying again. Now, I’m not so sure I actually want to pick myself up. I’m all out of strong. All those sayings about ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’…..I’m not sure I believe them. I don’t feel I’m any stronger than before. I don’t feel I’ve learnt anything or gained anything from this Trying To Conceive (TTC) horror. In fact, I feel like I’ve lost most things – lost my patience, lost my compassion for others, lost my self-esteem & self-worth, lost friendships, lost hope & faith, lost fitness, lost my dreams & future plans. If I gained anything, it was weight – about 20kgs of it! And anger, cynicism & jadedness. I know I have lots to be grateful for, but right now, none of it helps, and most of it…I’d trade if it meant being a mum. The one thing I am most grateful for is my marriage – but there’s no luck there for why we still have a good marriage – that’s all down to hard work and tolerance on both our parts. Maybe that’s why I have little compassion and patience for others – I’ve needed it all for myself & our marriage to ensure survival.
I’m still mostly in shock and disbelief really – I can go about my days (mostly) doing the things that need to be done – but mostly it just feels like the limbo we’ve had between cycles, as if we’re still trying – and then I’ll see or hear or think something that reminds me I’ll never have kids now & its like getting punched all over again. Most of my days I spend trying to prevent myself from crying, and feeling like it’s all a bad dream that surely I’ll wake up from soon. Part of my wants to stay here, wallowing in the pain – I don’t want to be the ‘inspirational’ person who picks themselves up and goes on to make a nice life for themselves. The other part of me wants to jump the painful stage and just get on with building a happy life – and maybe an inspirational one with a successful blog, a book and a TED talk, haha, but realistically I don’t know how to do either. And logically I know it’ll be a bit of both and a mix of forward and backward steps, and along the way it’ll probably get somewhat easier, some how. And somehow in there I’m going to have to reinvent myself, create a new identity out of this identity crisis & learn to like myself & my life again.
*My husband works away for a couple of weeks at a time (and then is home for a bit), we have phone/email contact in that time but can’t see each other in person.