Or: Trying my best not to be sad and bitter
Our appointment for IVF #2 finally came around today. It’s been a while coming, as our timelines for IVF #1 were: Started in April 2015… Pregnancy and miscarriage in July 2015… Fibroid identified in July 2015… Fibroid removed in October 2015. (I got it done privately – if I had waited for the NHS referral I would probably still be waiting.)
So it’s now December and I figured we would be starting again over Christmas. It was going to be a bit earlier but our appointment was put back by a few weeks as they had no doctors in that week apparently. I understand – it’s the NHS; beggars can’t be choosers.
And yet I think I had more hope until today.
Today we went and were told that they recommended we start again on the same protocol. They said that they got 12 eggs last time (even though we only ended up with one embryo) and they fertilised 6 (even though we only ended up with one embryo) and apparently a 50% fertilisation rate is within the recommended level – it has to be below 40% for them to recommend ICSI (even though we only ended up with… You get the picture).
I wasn’t rooting for ICSI or anything. I guess I was just hoping that they might have a bit more of a reason for doing stuff differently, to give me hope for a different outcome.
Not only this but I was told to wait for my period (due in 2 weeks, yay) and then go and get the blood tests done which you’re meant to have on day 2-4, and also to get the scan done to check everything’s fine with the uterus. So I have that scan scheduled for next week. I’ll probably have my period. They said not to worry, that they can actually see stuff better. (Yuck.)
And then here’s the big one: Once those things are done, I email them and they’ll put us back on the waiting list.
Oh yeah, there’s a waiting list of FOUR MONTHS. That is entirely different to last time which was a pretty much immediate start. I was picturing having to do all the not drinking and having horrible injections over Christmas and New Year. At least I get to do the celebrating… right?
Wrong. I don’t feel like celebrating at all. I just feel like… I’m a year older. A year closer to 40. A year further along from having these problems… Now it’s 16+ and I still haven’t even got close to a sustainable pregnancy. It will be APRIL by the time we might start IVF #2. I’ll be old, and still infertile, and it will be a year since we started IVF #1. I still don’t feel any sense of reassurance that they’ve identified any reason why I’ve never had a successful pregnancy – or why I’ve never gotten pregnant naturally over 15 – 16! – years.
I’m past the age where my ovaries are meant to have shrivelled up. I’m at that age where they just kind of go, well maybe some women aren’t meant to have children. Maybe you should “just adopt”. (I don’t want to adopt… If you want to know the justifications then click on Adoption for my posts on the subject… Adoption is great for many people… I was adopted… I’m happy… but I DON’T WANT TO ADOPT. Okay.)
Everyone is pregnant. Everyone. I’m actually not even that bothered by it any more – I’m used to being the one who isn’t pregnant, who isn’t a mother. It runs in the [non-biological] family, ironically enough.
If I sound bitter, I don’t mean to be. I’m just tired. Tired of always being Other. I’m not white, I’m not biological, I’m not a man in my work world of men, and I’m not even capable of doing the things that women do without even thinking about it. Every day there’s another grinning mum-to-be on my timeline, and don’t get me started on the cutesy US-style pregnancy announcements and gender reveals that have started popping up. Send me one of those and I
vapourise unfollow you!
I suffer horrendous bloody painful periods every few weeks and they’re for nothing. It’s like an insult. I feel like: If I can’t ever have children then please can I have a hysterectomy because it’s not fair I have to suffer this every month for nothing.
Maybe I have PMS. (I shouldn’t do as it’s not for another two weeks!) Maybe it’s just that time of year and I have SAD. Maybe I’m tired of being the cheery one all the time. I’m tired of always being the one who’s trying to make things happier for other people. I’m tired of being the aunt.
I think T realised I wasn’t too happy with the “Do the blood tests in two weeks and then we’ll stick you on our four month waiting list” spiel but we both had to go back to work. We did discuss briefly how long it will take. He thinks if this one doesn’t work then we should try and get a private cycle in before our third and final NHS go. I don’t know if that’s possible. I think if you go private then you forego your NHS goes, but it just seems crazy to have to wait a year between tries. By the time I use them all up I’ll probably be over 40 and that limits your options.
Thing is, I’m lucky and that means I’m generally happy. Not because I’m an “adoptee” (adoptee swearword), not because I’ve had a privileged life, but generally – I’ve done okay. I’ve come through the most horrendous work situation and out the other side… I don’t love it, but I can cope and I get compensated for coping. I have enough money that I’m not worrying about it, because I concentrated on paying off debts this year so for the first time (in foreeever!) I have a bit to spare. And I have enough that I can enjoy spending it on other people. I’ve kind of gone a bit mental lately. I feel like I almost have too much… That I had all this extra I haven’t spent because we were going to have a little one, and now we don’t – I might as well spend it on other people.
And other people have it much worse. They really do. I know that doesn’t discount my own suffering – everyone has their own stuff – but I remind myself of it because I want to remember that I have a lot. I have almost everything I want – I mean, I have everything, apart from a child.
So I decided I would try to be a fairy godmother, where I could. (When I posted about this earlier, I was told that “It’s not the same as being a mother”… Believe me I get this – there is really no need to remind me. So in the interests of non-ambiguous nomenclature I will say I’ve taken up a habit of Random Acts of Kindness.) Having some spare cash makes it easier, when you have a busy life and are at work as much as I am, but it doesn’t have to be with cash – it just so happens that my lack of needing to buy any baby related stuff what with my baby not making it to term means I have some spare.
It’s kind of fun
being a fairy godmother doing random acts of kindness / spending money on other people / spontaneous unexpected giving.
One of my friends was diagnosed with terminal cancer earlier this year. It was such a shock. Two small kids. We all rallied around and donated to a GoFundMe she set up to try and do something for her kids when she was gone. Miraculously, she’s in the 1% or whatever of people who seem to respond to treatment. She’s not out of the woods yet but everything looks so much better. She always loved horses so I sent her an advent calendar with Playmobil stables in. She said it was brilliant – I think it’s good to embrace the child within! And she has kids who will help!
Another friend has recently gone back to college. She has three kids and had a difficult time with money over the past year. I admire the fact that someone can be so determined to get funding and do that, with all the childcare and other demands on time. I messaged her this morning and asked if I could send them some money for Christmas. She was really shocked and said they weren’t “deserving” or “poor enough”. I said it wasn’t about deserving… I’d like her kids to be able to have something nice from Santa – something extra without worrying about the money. It sounds dumb (and maybe patronising – I don’t mean it to) but it’s not that much money to me but enough to make a difference for them.
My honourary little sister has been really ill lately and probably has to have another very serious operation. I took her out for a special birthday treat in London, and it was really fun to design an itinerary and send it to her and organise lots of fun stuff and pay for it. It seems extravagant but I feel like – I don’t have any other kids to spend it on. I can be like my fairy godmother was to me. Just the fun of making someone feel special. I want her always to feel that she can depend on me. And the same for my real “dishonourary”(!) sister – she has had a horrible time with almost the same results as me (miscarriage after IVF) and I have tried to send her lots of things in the post to tell her I’m thinking of her. I know we’ll talk when she wants to – I didn’t want to for ages. I only feel like I can talk about it a little bit now, and it happened back in July, almost 4 months ago.
There is a boy with autism on a Disney forum I’m on (via his mum, who posts the updates about him), and he’s almost grown up and yet he’ll never grow up because he has severe developmental delays. His mum can’t afford to take him every year so they have to wait until 2017 to go again – but he absolutely loves Disney. In the meantime, someone suggested sending him postcards when they went to Disney, and so people have been doing that, and I did it when we went. And then I thought: I now have his address… So when his mum posted that he had a crush on Frozen, I sent him some toys from Frozen. She always posts the videos of him saying thanks. It kind of melts your heart.
All of these things are small expenses for me but they mean something to other people. I try and do things with my time too, and not just money… I bake cakes for people. I try and make crafty things now and again. In a non religious way, I guess I sort of see it as tithing… I think that I’ve been fortunate so I should try and pass some of that on. Especially for kids… I don’t have children of my own and I might never do. So maybe this is the closest I’ll get to indulging my own kids. I think the best RAoK are the unexpected ones, and especially if it’s something the heart desires but can’t afford.
This is my way of dealing with it, I guess. “It” being infertility, having an excess of love that needs to be expressed in some way. (Poor T and Dog can’t take it all! They’d suffocate!) It feels silly really to be upset about these things when other people have far worse problems.
I’ll be like the mad old auntie who buys insanely indulgent gifts. (I’ve bought the nephew a giant stuffed elephant because he wanted a real one for Christmas – it’s not exactly life size, but it is as big as he is.) I’ll be the friend who gives extravagantly. I want my friends to know how much I love them… I want to bring a bit of joy, however fleeting to people’s lives. I know there are probably deep seated reasons why I do this. But right now it’s the only thing that’s getting me through.