I get knocked down… but I get up again

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.


About MommyAtLast

Finally a Mommy to our Medical Miracle IVF Boy / Girl Twins who were born in November 2011. We overcame azoospermia using hormone therapy for my hubby to conceive our precious Hope Babes on our 4th IVF.
This entry was posted in fertility Treatment, Infertility, ivf, TTC and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to I get knocked down… but I get up again

  1. Cathy Nel says:

    OH what we have to go through 😦
    It is all a process and I agree with you we have to be 100% ready and emotionally capable of taking on IVF once again. There is just so much at stake. I’m also glad that I get 3 months before attempting another cycle. I’m just hoping and praying all my changes make the difference needed. I can’t bare to think beyond one cycle at a time at the moment. I truly is devastating!
    But with that being said you are in great hands and you are doing everything one should to achieve your dream of parenthood. To grieve is natural and a release of the pent-up emotions can only do you good. We all have to have a good cry sometimes to release the tension from the IF-pressure cooker.
    Thinking of you guys and hoping and praying along with you that your next IVF will be a success

  2. Lesley says:

    A failed IVF is a huge loss and your grieving is hard but necessary. You are not weak, you are one of the strongest people I know. Grieving the loss of precious embies just makes you a caring person who really, really wants to be a mom (nothing wrong here.)

    Sounds like you are on the road to recovery at your own pace. That is the very best you can do.

    I’d cry about the lions any day of the week, sometimes a really good cry about the things you wish you could but can’t change is the best way to deal with it.

  3. Times may not always be good
    But whoever said that they would
    But girl, when life’s not fair
    Just know that I’ll be there.

    With a shoulder to always lean on
    And a heart that will always be strong
    Through valleys and hills, gray skies or blue
    Girl, through it all, I’ll be lovin’ you.

    Alway have, always will
    Take my word, I will love you until
    The night hs no stars
    And the beat of my heart stands still
    Always have, always will.

    As true today as it was when I held you in my arms and sang this to you 12 years, 2 months and 20 days ago, on our wedding day.

    You don’t have to be bullet-proof…that’s what I’m there for… you just be yourself, do what you need to do, look after yourself and give yourself a break every now and again.
    Love you my raisin.

  4. Missy says:

    I think your step mom is so right that we need to let ourselves be vulnerable for a while and don’t need to always be strong. Thinking of how you framed this with the song lyrics, sometimes it is best for us to stay down for a while when we get knocked down rather than try to jump up too soon. Take you time and mourn.

  5. Mash says:

    I hope you’re feeling better after letting it all out!

    You’ve been so brave, and do you know, allowing yourself to cry is even braver. You’re going into that scary space and that takes courage.

    Thinking of you!

  6. Danielle says:

    I Get Knocked Down was the original name of my blog but I had to change it because I COULD. NOT. STOP. SINGING. IT.

    This was an amazing post. Grieving loss can be so therapeutic and help us move on to whatever is coming next. I hope what is coming next for you is wonderful wonderful stuff. xoxo

  7. ChrisN says:

    You have had such a rough time the past few months. With your Mom, your IVF etc etc. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are not weak, just human and sometimes it is good to let it all hang out. I hope you continue to feel stronger each day, take all the time you need. Whether you have your next IVF in 1 month or 3 or 6 makes little difference and you will know when you are ready. Wishing you lots of love and strength

  8. ttcnot2easy says:

    my love.. you’ve made my cry all over again too. We never get over the crap that we go through, sadly it’s always there. but it DOES get better with time. Probably not what you want to hear (gawd knows I wanted to headbutt every person who said that to me). Advice I CAN offer you is to let those feelings go with the flow. Do not tamp them down the way I did, because when they do eventually surface.. foof, it’s ugly.
    I think of you every day.

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