Monday, September 24, 2007

Fast forward

I'll jump ahead because otherwise this could take years. After the frozen embryo transfer cycle and the short-lived pregnancy we had a longer break then got back on the horse in Spring. Another fresh IVF cycle this time as there are only two frozen embryos and because I was so productive egg-wise, the clinic suggested I add to the frozen pot. In brief, the third cycle yielded only nine eggs – the clinic slowed me right down so as not to over stimulate me and in my oppinion went too far the other way. Not that nine is poor by any means. Anyway, it looked briefly like I might not even get any embryos which is when I lost the plot. I became like a wounded animal, standing sobbing in one corner of the garden with Sue and my mum trying to reach out to me. I could only lash out at them, literally, physically, verbally. I was inconsolable. To go through all that again and potentially not even get the chance to fail, cruel. But we got three good embryos, the best two were chosen and put back in and I got to do my two week wait again. Only to fail again. Once again, my periods come bang on time. You could set Breitling watches by my menstrual cycle.

That was probably the worst crash. But I didn't allow myself too much time to think, I waited the obligatory three months then went for number four. Summer now. And I'm thinking - surely this time it's a definite. I was convinced. I'd looked after myself, been at yoga, etc etc. Surely it was my time...? I mean, fourth, it was a definite. I became quite high at the prospect. I hated the injections by this time, even though needles had never bothered me before. My arms were ravaged from the blood tests, I looked like a bad junkie. My veins seemed to disappear every time the clinic nurses came near me. One time it took three nurses, five attempts before finally successfully getting blood out of me. They even had to go into my hands and that hurt.

But it would all be worth it when it worked.

But it didn't. And then I really crashed. I won't go through the next six months in much detail because I don't have the energy right now, but suffice to say it was a very dark time. I have always managed to be quite blindly optimistic about life, but this ability had now left me. I was in a dark tunnel and there was certainly no light at the end of it. I wasn't suicidal. I was just stuck. I couldn't go backwards and I couldn't go forwards. I was just stuck in this hell of turning 40, not being a mother, and the prospect of being a mother looking more distant than ever. Of course it seemed during this time, more than usual, that new pregnancies were being announced every week. I had to keep being pleased for other people. Which gets very draining. It's not that you're not pleased for them, but you want to join in. Desperately. And it's so confusing and incomprehensible to know that your body doesn't do what most women's bodies do so easily. I would look at pregnant women, stare even, as if I could absorb by osmosis their ability to reproduce.

Those six months were hellish. My relationship with Sue hit an all time low. I turned 40. We bought a house. Life seemed in chaos. Here I am trying to have a kid whilst my relationship falls apart. Here we are buying a three bedroom house when there are no kids to fill the bedrooms. How did life go upside down like this. I'd had enough dramas in the past, that I won't even go into, but certainly enough to think that it was my turn to have the good things. The time crawled by. I put one foot in front of the other and hoped that I could keep my head above water. But it was bloody hard. I hated someone at work who was young and carefree. She seemed to me to be everything I wasn't - light and fun. I don't hate her, she's sweet. I hated me and what was happening. It's horrible finding yourself feeling so hateful to people who have nothing to do with your predicament. I don't like resenting other people, and I don't like wanting what others have because as we all know really, nothing is what it seems. I just wanted my version of family. I was having to undo 35 years or so of belief that of course I would have kids by now. I remember laughing about how I wouldn't be forty and having my first kid. I was right but not in the way I thought.

For one who had never enjoyed Christmas, this time, the new year brought relief for some reason. I had never been so relieved to say goodbye to a year.