I have seen mention that yesterday, October 15 – Baby Loss Awareness Day – also covers infertility.
With that in mind, I have my own story to share.
I will preface it with that I know I am lucky. I was only ever almost the 1/4.
I’m often blasé about my infertility and my struggles with it, because I know I’m lucky.
#1 Son was conceived in a normal time frame, and we didn’t KNOW how impossible he should have been.
TT? We knew – and it was hell. Hell just knowing that what we were putting ourselves through was likely pointless, but that we had to jump through the hoops to get the IVF referal.
The months of trying that followed, that weren’t straightforward because of my surgery. The tears, the stress, the guilt – because I HAD one child, surely he should be enough? Knowing in my heart that he wasn’t. That he needed a sibling and that I needed to have a second baby.
Then that positive test. Then the hope and fear that came with it. But then to be sternly told that with my issues the likelihood of ectopic pregnancy was very high, so any pain, any bleeding I MUST go direct to A&E – do not pass “Go”. Do not collect $200.
I remember that day so clearly. I remember the pub lunch the office had gone to that day (because I was SO glad I’d stuffed myself 😂🤣); Returning to the office, going to the toilet (it was 4pm) and seeing blood. I went stone cold.
I remember how supportive my awesome boss was – he took one look at my face and asked if I needed to leave. I could barely nod, and he just told me to get gone – that he would handle everything.
I remember calling the hus-creature and sobbing to him. I remember the kindness of another colleague who took me for a cuppa and let me weep whilst waiting for him to collect #1 Son from nursery and come get me.
I remember reaming a random cold caller who had DARED to call me “about the car accident you had”
I didn’t pass my driving test until TT was 8 months old.
I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I do remember screaming (whilst on a public high street – which as a Brit is a huge nono) that I was in the middle of a potential miscarriage and waiting for a call from my doctor and she was tying up my phone line. I DO however remember her terrified apology. And to this day I hope I made her think and reassess her career choices.
I’ll never forget rushing to A&E, 7 weeks pregnant with my girl. Terrified I was going to lose her. Knowing that if I did? There wasn’t going to be another baby.
I had to break the news to both sets of parents that yes, I was pregnant with the much longed-for second child but possibly for not much longer and could they please come get my eldest from the hospital so that he was safe and away from it all.
A night of nil-by-mouth and such kind (but silent) nurses. But nobody explained why. Nobody talked to me. Nobody could handle my fear, my panic or my pre-grief.
Because they knew. They had seen my notes. They knew what this meant. That I was almost certainly going to need emergency surgery so not even a cup of tea.
But I was one of the lucky ones. The following morning I had an emergency scan, saw a heartbeat and cried tears of joy. I remember the technician commenting that it was so rare for them to see happy tears. I got a week’s sick note and I rested. Oh god did I rest.
I got the fairy tale. I often talk to women with endometriosis and tell them my story because I want them to know that the miracles DO happen.
But so often they don’t. To this day I don’t know why I was so lucky.
Infertility is hard. So hard.
Baby loss is worse.
So I lit a candle for everyone who needs one. And I hope that I haven’t caused pain in this; I simply feel that I do have a story to tell.