I have realised that while I did manage the whole IVF cycle so much better than I had ever anticipated, I was repressing. You know how sometimes you don’t realise how sick you have been until you start to feel better. I think the tension I was carrying around was like that. Since the BFN I have slowly started to unwind. Little by little I can breathe deeper and actually fill my lungs again. And suddenly I realise how I was repressing the stress inside me. Not good I know and I’m thinking up a plan to manage this better next time around.
When we read the news of the BFN it was just an “oh… okay” moment. I didn’t cry, but I did feel disappointment and sadness, but just an “oh… well”. I can’t explain it. I guess I simply didn’t feel much at all. When I tried phoning my sister to let her know and got my step-mom and told her the news I shed a tear, but I have to admit it was mostly because I could hear my little sister crying in the background (unrelated to our BFN). And so most of last week passed me by. I only really cried when we watched a sad movie on Sunday night. I followed that with one of those rants. You know the one, where the world is unfair and how much it hurts and all “woe is me”. But mostly I was fine. I even said to DefTTC “why are we taking this so well? Am I that strong”.
And then Friday braai night came along. I can’t remember if I’ve told you about braai night before. But basically DefTTC’s family have a braai (BBQ) every Friday night without fail. It’s a great tradition where the family get together. Since my niece was born, obviously braai night has taken on a whole different outlook – it’s all about the baby. Now obviously that’s to be expected and while there have been a couple of evenings where it was hard to bear I have been fine. My niece is a complete sweetie – too cute for words and an angel. And so talk around the fireplace has morphed from talk of 4×4 routes and camping trips and weekends away or additions to the 4×4 gear to baby, baby and baby. The net result is that braai night has become something I feel like I am sitting outside of and looking in on. And because obviously the men have become extremely bored with the turn of conversation the TV is more often on and the sport is more often dominating the evening and all in all the appeal has been drifting away. But through it all I adore my in-laws and so I have quietly endured.
As we left home on Friday to head to Braai night I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach. You know the one… the bitter hardness, the stab of “oh my god how will I get through this”.
Anyway, braai night was as per the new usual with the women sitting in the braai room and the men in front of the rugby. So my MIL asks what the FS appointment is about next week, so I say it’s just to review the IVF cycle and figure out what if anything we should do differently next time. And she pipes up with “No heavy lifting”. I was so confused I looked at her and said what are you talking about and she says “you mustn’t lift heavy things, like the way you just lifted JL” (my niece). I was stunned, I am certain she wasn’t suggesting that the reason our IVF cycle had failed was because I lifted my niece – who I have to admit to not even remembering playing with during the 10 days between transfer and test day.
Now before you all launch into a diatribe against my poor MIL please bear in mind that this woman has been amazing, she has been perfectly supportive and known just how to balance between showing she cares and NOT asking how things are going. I am putting this one diversion from her normal sensible self down to her own disappointment at the failed cycle and we will move on.
However, that stupid comment was the straw I needed to break through my repression. And by Saturday morning the reality hit me HARD.
Our cycle failed! I know for all of you out there, you figured this part out a week ago. But I’m not sure it had hit me. The reality that those embies never made it. Those possibilities never snuggled in. Those maybies have now completely ceased to exist. I cried like a baby on Saturday morning, really gut wrenching sobs. And DefTTC just held me and let my tears stream down his chest. I had the crazy moment of “did I lift JL” or “did I do anything else that ‘made’ it fail?” But I do know that these thoughts are normal and are simply not true. I know there is no ‘reason’ it’s just the way things turned out. How much easier it would be if life were that simple and we could say that this and THIS are the reaons it didn’t work and if you do it differently next time it WILL work, but that’s just crazy talk.
I should have known I would never get off that lightly. Just taking a negative in my stride that way. Just moving straight on to thinking about next time. And all that bullsh!t babble about the odds and them just not falling in our favour. It’s all true but it doesn’t mean jack to your heart. I was so deeply sad yesterday. And I am glad for it. Without a proper release and a decent farewell to the cycle that failed, I’m not sure I would ever be ready to actually tackle another cycle. And so today is a better day again. I am sure there will be other days like Saturday, but I need them to work through what was and move towards ready to focus on what might be next time.