Does anyone have that terrible song ‘Tubthumping’ by Chumbawamba rattling around in their heads now – great because you will be joining me I have it playing over and over in my head and it will probably stay there for a few more days.
I cannot begin to describe how hard the BFN hit me once it actually hit me properly. It took a week for me to really shed a tear about it and then they all dried up and I found myself thinking (again) oh, it’s not that bad. But then last week just wasn’t good. In the middle of the week I found myself thinking those thoughts, the deep dark ones that are uncharitable. The one’s that are filled with bitterness and rage at the unfairness. The one’s that are expressed in those posts I avoid at all costs because I don’t want to be THAT person. And suddenly I started to understand for the first time the women who are bitter and angry and filled with negative thoughts. We always talk about how people just don’t understand infertility and don’t know how we feel. But until I had a failed cycle I didn’t know either even though we have been on this infertility path for over 18 months.
I made myself a promise that I would not allow infertility to define me. It would always just be something that we had survived (hopefully) but not something that made me who I am. And there for a few days I found myself being totally defined by that BFN.
Then Saturday dawned, a beautiful day… but not in my heart. It’s always a Saturday with me. Saturday was a dark and terrible day. Poor DefTTC… I just cried and cried and then cried some more.
I just couldn’t seem to actually pull myself together. The gut wrenching sadness the horrible sobs of a truly broken heart. DefTTC dragged me out to a market to get me out of bed and there was the entire population of children and pregnant women in the whole of Cape Town, I swear. But I held it together, until we got home. Then I cried some more.
I went looking through old photos looking for some photos for some new frames we have bought and cried again. I can’t remember if I’ve ever told you about DefTTC’s aunt. While we were in the UK she was our surrogate mom. She was there for every major decision we took over the course of eleven years. Going into her home was like entering a time warp, we were always so comfortable there and just never wanted to leave. She passed away nearly three years ago and I don’t think I’ve ever properly allowed myself to grieve (more of the repression) and as I went through the photos there she was staring out at me and it made me so sad all over again. And of course there were photos of my mom and that made me sad all over again.
Eventually we tried watching TV to see if we could get me to stop crying and we watched Discovery – a story about the rescue of three circus lions and their release back into a sanctuary in South Africa… but what do you know, two of the lions died! And so I cried some more!
It felt so good to just mourn my babies. (I want to apologise to anyone who has had a miscarriage, or lost a child, I know I don’t have any idea of the real loss of a baby, but those embies were my babies)
I’ve said before how I think I repress things and I don’t think until the IVF I realised just how much I do that. I got an email from my amazing step-mom earlier this week and she said, “Just remember though although everybody has come to know you as the strong one, and you have had to be most times, it is ok for N to feel out of control, and like a little girl. You sometimes have to just be really gentle and kind to yourself, allow yourself to feel like little N occasionally.” And she’s right, I just don’t allow myself to be anything but strong. I am sure that a psychologist would have a field day digging into the ‘why’ of this, but why doesn’t matter that much. DefTTC is probably the only one who is allowed to see me vulnerable, who I allow to know that I can break. I don’t even like to admit it to myself.
I cannot begin to describe how the fear overtook me last week. The absolutely immobilising fear of doing another IVF and getting the same result. The fear was so overwhelming that for a moment there I couldn’t imagine doing another cycle. All I could think was how I had put my poor husband through enough meds to be the equivalent of six IVFs, got him on board and working with me to achieve this dream and I am too scared to carry on. That I had been totally unfair because I had made him want something and made him go through hell so we could have it and then I wasn’t going to be able to see it through. I have never in my life been that scared of ANYTHING.
I read about a study where women were offered up to three free IVF cycles and most of them stopped after two. I never understood those women before. I didn’t get it. But for a few days there I understood. My friend L warned me that the second IVF is the one that can break you. She advised me to take enough time before the second IVF to get myself strong enough to face it. I didn’t believe her, I couldn’t imagine not jumping straight back in, but now I know what she was talking about. And I thank my lucky stars that we aren’t going straight back in. I am so relieved that I get another month. And I’ve also realised that I have to admit I am weak (or maybe just not that strong) and I may need even more time than that. I will not go ahead until I am ready.
The good news is that I am back on track to better times (for now). As every day this week has passed I have started to feel stronger. I have started to feel more in control again. The fear is easing. I have been better able to face the fact that our spare room is still just that. I am feeling so much better. So I am getting back up again, one step at a time.