1 year go since I started this blog…

…WordPress has just notified me so I feel like I should acknowledge the day.

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I wrote my first post.

I can remember it well, I felt so lost and was searching for some help after my first failed IVF. I couldn’t sleep and found myself just sitting at my computer in the small hours of the morning. I wrote for hours. It felt like a huge relief to put my feelings out there to people who didn’t know me, didn’t judge me and who could understand.

It has helped so much knowing there are others going through what I felt at the same, especially as I felt so alone. I hope there are others like me who no longer feel alone.

In a small way this post is really about saying thank you to everyone’s blog who I have read, to all the blogs that have inspired me and given me strength at times when I felt like I had none – Thank You x

Due date almost here…miscarriage

I do think time passes fast, even though days or weeks sometimes feel like they’re lasting forever, overall when I think where we are today, time goes fast.

On the 21st of March our baby should have been born, I can’t quite believe it’s almost here.

I try not to think about it but the closer the day approaches the more I’m thinking about it. I can’t seem not to each day. I push the thoughts away and get on with things but it’s looming.

I will be away Skiing in France as a distraction that week, the week of my birthday too. I don’t know how I’ll feel or what I’ll do when the day comes. Will I try to forget it? should I celebrate it? should I pretend it’s not happening? Should I allow myself to wallow in sadness or should I go and ski, like it’s a normal day…

I don’t know, the thought makes me feel sick to my stomach, even now I’m trying to hold in the tears.

I should have been ready to drop now, heavily pregnant, maybe even thinking about finishing work… no good can come from feeling this way but I know i’ll never forget. And part of me believes I’ll never get past this.

 

😦

My break from “the next step” so far…

My husband and I vowed to have a good year, 2017 is going to kick 2016’s backside so I thought it would be good for me to write a positive post. We’re trying to make the most of this year but booking fun things to do, things that perhaps we would have said ‘ahh I can’t afford it’ or ‘I’m not sure where we’ll be’. This doesn’t apply to this year. Money comes and goes but this year is for us.

Some fun things we have planned..

Holidays

Last year we booked 2 skiing holidays before we had ever gone skiing to make sure 2017 will be awesome. We had a great time together at Christmas and we have our next holiday in March for skiing. We’d never been skiing because it’s an absolute fortune but we thought why not?! And I’m so glad we did, it’s hard work and scary but so much fun. Something we didn’t expect was that we met people, other couples (no children) and we spent Christmas day at midnight in a bar with 2 other couples from different countries – something which isn’t really ‘us’ and I loved it.

Who knows what will come of March but I’m so looking forward to it.

Disneyworld

We booked Disney for September. I’m not even that big of a Disney fan but there’s something about being in Florida which appeals to my husband and I on a very childish level, it was the first proper holiday we ever did together and we had the best time. How ironic that kids make me sad but being in Disney running around with my husband is one of my favourite places to be.

Weekends away

My husband asked me to book a Monday off in April last week and didn’t tell me why. He told me last night that he’d booked us 3 nights in France, 2 nights in a Disneyland hotel in walking distance to Disneyland Paris with 3 days entry to the parks. I am beyond excited to go, I have no words for how grateful I am. We’re heading there on the motorbike/eurotunnel and then can walk to the parks. He even mentioned a potentially riding round Paris on the motorbike, who knows,  but I can’t wait.

I booked us a weekend away in The Cotswolds around my husband’s birthday, I told him last night and that’s when he told me he’d actually booked Disney – he most definitely trumped me there!

We’ll try and plan another weekend away in the summer if we can.

Other fun stuff

Making the most of london, going out to nice restaurants and bars. Tonight we’re out in london separately so have booked a hotel in the city, tomorrow I booked us breakfast up The Shard in London because… why not. Monday we’re going to a musical, a weekend in May we’re going to discover hidden underground tube stations.

Moving house

My husband and I moved to the countryside two years ago from a flat in London. We moved to a lovely semi-detached home that was brought to raise a family. I love our house so very much, it was a new(sih) house that needed very little doing to it. With a good sized spare bedroom, pretty little garden and a small room perfect for a little one.

But I struggled, after our miscarriage…that small room was just a small room with no purpose, it was too small for a guest bed, it was always meant to be something it won’t ever be. We also struggle a bit with our loud neighbours next door so that was almost an added push (excuse) to seal the deal on a move.

So on the first of January we decided we would move house to a detached house, within a month we’d sold and found a place we wanted to buy so we’re going through that process at the moment.

It’s a selfish house, it’s not brought with the intention that one of the rooms will be a little persons room. I’m going to have some kind of dressing or craft room, my husband maybe a study or music room. Of course I hope it will be a family home at some point but it’s not the kind of family I had originally planned. It’s also very different from the home we currently live in, the future house needs a bit of work to make it our own, we’re going to make it into something special and right for us and I can’t wait to spend time doing that.

Here’s to a continued positive 2017…

When is enough enough?

IVF is tricky, the whole experience is mentally draining, it’s expensive and it pushes you to breaking point. There are so many companies who put out stories and figures to appeal to people so desperate for a child. I’m not saying these stories aren’t true, or the figures aren’t correct but figures can be displayed in many different ways, omitting certain numbers, which would lead a person to believe something is better than it is.

On paper I’m a success story, my second round of IVF worked, that’s a fact and will be recorded as such on one set of data. Yes there are birth success rates which you can look at, but if you look at IVF figures which resulted in pregnancy then I’m in that group. What may not be mentioned is that I miscarried, that I found this out at my 12 week scan.

Again this is my personal view and I’m not trying to be negative, I appreciate some people may not see it this way. I read so many stories of people giving up their lives on the quest for a child, it’s made me really think about when/ if people ever say enough is enough.

I would have a child one day… right?

I grew up playing ‘families’ with the girl next door, we had a garage next to each other and we would spend hours in the garage with our fantasy family, popping to each other’s houses, taking our dolls for a stroll in our pram. The thought of never having a child of course didn’t occur to me at that age. It was a given, I would one day be a mum and have a real family.

Then as you get old, the fairytale fades and you realise things wouldn’t quite go the way you planned

Even throughout our first round of IVF I had the goal set (egg fertilization), it didn’t even occur to me that we wouldn’t have any eggs fertilize, the thought never crossed my mind. So when we were told we had one egg fertilize it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Then to the second round, my goal posts moved, now it was to get pregnant as I would be on the home stretch, never did it occur to me that our baby wouldn’t survive. I remember so vividly being in the waiting room before our scan, the excitement and anticipation. I could not have prepared for what happened next.

Positive thinking

That’s a term that’s been so relevant to IVF, it’s something that was / is repeated to me by so many people. I am not saying I think it’s a bad thing to say, of course it’s so important. What is the point of any of this if you are not positive?

It’s just for me positive thinking will only get you so far and can sometimes (I believe) cause you to ignores the facts, even science/logical thinking and may set a false hope.

Of course when we were going through IVF we were positive, we had to be because there is no other choice, there is no point to any of it without positive thinking but there are times for it and times when it’s best to accept what’s really going on.

When enough is enough?

When do you accept that your own statistics mean you won’t ever have a biological child with your partner? Maybe this is something you can never accept, I’m still struggling with this hugely.

Do you keep trying and trying, spending thousands and thousands. Give up your life for a child. Humans are, after all, built to reproduce. For some perhaps there isn’t ever a cut off? If you look you’ll always be able to find stories of ‘5th, 6th, 7th rounds of IVF with no end date in sight.

My husband and I lost ourselves last year to a large extent, days, weeks, planned round injections, the whole process was mentally draining. I didn’t want to go out with friends, the hormones, the mood swings, I can honestly say we lost the people we were (something we could only see once we stopped).

Our cut off

Our cut off for trying with both my eggs and my husband’s sperm was our second round.

Why?

So many reasons. My husband has been married before and had already been years dealing with infertility (they believed the issues were with his wife). So after years of struggling they stopped trying and he spent years accepting he will never have his own children and he had a vasectomy. He married for life so never expected his marriage to end- another example of life not going the way you think. Then once we were together he had a vasectomy reversal, again we were positive, we were told his chances were strong. This failed which I didn’t expect. So he’d already been through two operations resulting in pain he still deals with today.

He didn’t want IVF but he did it for me, he’s an incredibly unselfish man. So with IVF came another operation for him, again. And our first round failed which was tough but we always said we’d give it another go just to make sure it wasn’t a once off, even though if we were being honest, the signs were there to say that biologically there was an issue.

So we did another round, thankfully there was enough sperm left over from our first round so no more operations for him. The second round though worked and we were pregnant. Amazingly we had made it. But of course this wasn’t to last and for me, it was the cruelest outcome to have come so far down the line and have it end in the way it did.

That was it, we did what we agreed and we stopped, I’m not saying it was easy, it involved many conversations over a long period of time, prior to IVF and after.

It was my husband’s last chance of having a biological child, something he has said to me more than once since our miscarriage. I know he is heartbroken. I wear a ring to remember our baby, but my husband carries the weight of multiple miscarriage’s on his shoulders, long before I was around and I know it will stay with him forever.

To continue?

A lot of people say we should get more tests, my husband should have got more tests. But no he doesn’t. He doesn’t have to do any of that, we don’t. He’s been through so much, far more than I can contemplate or anyone else outside of him can. He’s spent years trying to have a child, he’s spent a fortune and given up so much of his life. He went through with IVF, twice, for me because he didn’t want to stop me from having a baby even after everything he’s been through.

It makes me angry to my heart that my husband will never father a biological child, he is a wonderful man, completely one of a kind and I would do anything to have his traits in a child. But that’s the way it is. It would be foolish to continue, not only that I couldn’t do it to him. He’s already done and given so much, we could spend the rest of our life chasing something that will clearly never be what we want.

Acceptance?

Or we could accept the facts, not something I’m sure we’ll ever be able to do but we still try to move forward together. I don’t know our next steps but I know we deserve a life that isn’t spent chasing something that won’t ever happen (and to have spent thousands and years of heartache to go with it). I hope one day we will both be parents, but it won’t be biologically together.

I also am starting to realize we don’t always get what we want. I literally have no idea what our next step will be, I run the options through my head multiple times a day and I fall short each time.

What I do know is I want a great life with my husband, full of fun and adventures. Full of holiday and unsensible decisions (which we are great at).

Is it ever ok not to go to a baby shower?

Hi all,

Impulse blog.

I have found out from another friend that my close friend is going to be having a baby shower.

My view on baby showers

I am based in the UK so the concept of a baby shower is not huge – or at least I didn’t think it was. I thought it was very much an American thing to do. I don’t personally get it, you celebrate and bring gifts when a baby is born. I don’t get a baby shower. When I was pregnant my husband and I discussed me having a baby shower, I didn’t want one – I didn’t get it plus any one in my friendship group struggling to have children would just feel rubbish.

Right back to it…

This is the close friend who is pregnant who I asked for advice on before.

Update on situation overall

I told my pregnant friend I was struggling with her pregnancy, she was wonderful, as the weeks have gone on I have made an effort to ask her how she is, spoke to her about her 3 month scan. Every time I speak to her on the phone I ask and in text.

Another mutual friend has potential fertility issues and a few weeks back we discussed a baby shower for our mutually pregnant friend. We thought our friends colleague would organise a shower and we would let her know we’d leave it to just be a work baby shower.

Hopefully I’m making some sense so far.

Baby shower

Anyway I get a call from my friend (with potential fertility issues) saying another close friend got contacted by our pregnant friends husband to ask to organise a baby shower.

So the husband did message the 3 of us (we were all bridesmaids) and went to one only – this got my back up a bit but i may be over-thinking this and he might not have wanted to upset me and my other friend.

Anyway the other friend is now going to organise a baby shower. My other friend doesn’t know whether to go – her husband thinks she should because she might start not being included with other things if she doesn’t go. I think she will go.

I spoke to my husband whose views haven’t changed on baby showers – he doesn’t see the point because we will all celebrate and buy stuff when the baby is born.

Me

I struggled to be on a skype call to a pregnant colleague the other week because another colleague said ‘we’re all so jealous that you’re pregnant’ i had to leave the room and cried.

I don’t want to make it all about me (contrary to this post all about me) but I just don’t get baby showers. Plus the idea of talking about having babies, babies, babies, surrounded by women talking about them, I just don’t think i’m strong enough.

Plus I was due to have my baby in on March 21st this year, if it’s around that time I will be crushed.

No one has contacted me yet

Apart from the friend to warn me, nothing from the pregnant friends husband or from my friend who is organising – so it’s made me already feel so far out of the loop.

Hurting my friend

I worry my friend would be hurt if I don’t go, I worry about what her husband would think if I don’t go along with my friends. I don’t believe they get the situation I am in.

But then what if I do go and get upset – wouldn’t that be worse?

I am trying to heal my heart, i can’t see how this could possibly help?

I am not saving I won’t be there as soon as I can when she gives birth, I will. I will do all I can to support her but I just don’t think I can do the baby showers.

Advice?

*I should have said – my pregnant friend doesn’t know about the baby shower – her husband started the ball rolling with organising it, so i won’t be able to explain myself to my friend, i also don’t have the relationship to explain to my pregnant friend’s husband either…*
Has anyone ever been in this situation? what would you do?

Is this utterly selfish, should I just try to suck it up?

Anxiety rambles

Anxiety is high this week, it was high last week but I put it down to being that time of the month but it’s still here, anxiety my old friend, my learned behaviour.

Each time of the month that comes makes me sad as I’m sure it does every woman dealing with infertility but I think that’s only part of it. I have techniques to try and cope with anxiety from my counsellor but nothing seems to help at the moment, perhaps that’s an excuse… who knows.

I have my last session with my counsellor next week, in some ways she’s helped but in more ways she hasn’t (another post on that some other time maybe).

A year off, a year of limbo. As much as we need this year, as much as we are lucky to be able to take it, to have to need it, it presents a year of no answers. And a year I can’t change because I’m not ready. A year of trying to accept any child will not be biologically mine and my husbands.

I don’t know if I want more IVF, I don’t want to kid myself, to put myself through it again, to put us through it again. My husband who has been through so much on the quest for a child, who has spent thousands and thousands, years of heartache. Plus the idea of another 12 week scan makes me stomach turn, I push back the tears and put the feelings in a box again.

As for adoption and the mind field of this, of giving up all of the time we can spare to volunteer with children, just to be considered, just to get a foot in the door, it makes me angry of how much is expected just to be put on a list, whilst so many woman who arguably were not fit to have or raise a child, have done so without a single form to fill in or person to answer to.

Are we meant to be childless, the idea of being childless is never discussed, no one dares to mention – a wise blogger once wrote / echoed . Why is that never presented as a feasible option whilst growing up. Perhaps if it was then it might be easier to consider.

For me right now it’s not an option, but it’s not to say it won’t ever be. I think about everything, our options,  our lack of options, thoughts change over time, so much throughout the day, just looking for answers and wishing for an impossible outcome.

We are so fortunate in so many ways and I don’t mean to be ungrateful for all that I have, it’s just tough sometimes, I feel suffocated in uncertainty.

How I am feeling right now today

Scared and sad

We are taking the year off from it all. Last year was consumed with fertility treatments. We came so close. There are some weeks I’m fine, I have stopped crying when we hit the day of our 12 week scan so time is helping.

Yet I find myself crying randomly and the thoughts of the 12 week scan keep popping in my head more regularly than I would like. Vividly memories of lying down… I stop. I immediately shut them out, get them locked up again.

I guess it’s ups and downs and time. A few things have led to this downward feeling, speaking to my pregnant friend, seeing my husband’s friend’s wife who turned out to be pregnant, seeing my mum on Sunday,  visiting friends who had a baby which I’m still struggling with.

I spoke to another friend on the phone yesterday and we briefly spoke about adoption. She said something along the lines of it maybe being easier, unless I was bothered about not carrying a child. That’s stayed with me because how could I not be, I was so close. It’s not her fault at all, no one can understand unless they’ve been thought it, I can’t understand what she’s going through either – there’s no bad feeling here but it stuck with me.

We will never have a child that is both mine and my husbands. This thought makes me feel sick and it’s an unchangeable fact.

I don’t know about a sperm donor, I don’t know about more IVF, I don’t know about adoption, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. This is why we are taking a year off, we have too, financially, more so mentally, we need  a year to enjoy our life.

Right now I don’t believe I would get through more treatment, I don’t know if I even want to, I don’t know, I don’t know, I can’t comprehend this. Logic tells me that will fade but that’s my mindset now. I won’t ever get past it, the thoughts and feeling will fade with time as will the memories but that’s the best I can hope for. Adoption of course is no easy path and the open evening we attended so long ago taught me that.

It’s one ones fault, it’s not mine or my husbands, it’s not the pregnant women or babies I see, it’s no one’s fault and I don’t blame anyone.

It just breaks my heart and leaves me empty.

Positive end to 2016

fireworks

Inspired by a fantastic blogger, this seems like a great way to end the year on a positive note:

Things I’m grateful for:

  • I’m healthy
  • I am lucky to call myself a home owner
  • A small group of close friends who I love
  • A supportive and loving husband who I would be lost without
  • A ridiculously comfy bed (not to be under-estimated)
  • Dancing – this week I went out dancing with 2 colleagues – we just danced to cheesy music and I loved it
  • Learning to ski – yes I’m not great but I’m so privileged to have the opportunity to be able to learn this new skill
  • Holidays – we are fortunate enough to be able to go on them
  • My job – I have been working on a positive attitude towards work and it’s helped hugely- I am grateful to be employed
  • Rollercoasters, rides & laughing – I went on a ride at Winter Wonderland – my friend I couldn’t stop laughing – it.was.awesome

Moving forward is a tricky thing…

just when you think you are fine you find yourself breaking down without any warning.

Recently I’ve been feeling like I’m doing a lot better. I’m aware our pending holiday (we fly on Sunday) could be the reason behind it, almost like it’s a false ok but I take a bit of comfort in my mind being given a break for a while. I literally can’t even wait to travel to the airport – that’s how excited I am.

I’m looking forward to getting away for Christmas, from my parents, from our life for a while. We’ll be skiing (a first) and after a few lessons I’m not good but a holiday like that should mean I can’t over think too much.

I had a chat with my pregnant friend, I hadn’t asked her about her pregnancy, not since we had a chat where I said I need to take a step back but I brought it up on the phone with her and asked her how things were going. I think of it often but couldn’t quite bring myself to talk to her about it (as much as I wanted to) but it  was ok and I felt so pleased for her that all was going as it should. She said she had the date for her scan and didn’t know if I’d want to know the date, I said she could tell me (it’s when we are away). That left my heart feeling a little sore but I was ok and overall I just felt delighted for her.

Then today I spoke to another close friend who is in that friendship group about the scan and just started crying. The scan is a tricky subject because that’s when it all fell apart for us. I found myself thinking about our scan (such a painful memory) on the commute into work but I started talking to my husband to take my mind off it. I guess talking about it with my friend brought it up and it hit me like a ton of bricks as I wasn’t expecting it… I got myself back together but can’t seem to shift the feeling…

I’m hoping I can just switch off on holiday, we so desperately need the break and to get away. I hope that everyone has a wonderful festive season – here’s hoping 2017 is a great one for us all.

Great Blog from Different Shores: Don’t tell me I’m a failure — Different Shores. Postcards from non-parenthood

When I’m on Twitter I often run a search for #IVF or #infertility to see what the latest news is in that arena. I often come across fertility clinics and infertility support pages that post up things like this: And this stupidly oxymoronic one: And these vaguely sinister ones: Where to start? I usually just ignore memes but in the […]

via Don’t tell me I’m a failure — Different Shores. Postcards from non-parenthood