Perhaps not the most mature response last Thursday’s sudden, unexpected shock of infertility (3 months prior to schedule, non-medicine-related (as anticipated)) – Husby’s body has performed an inconvenient and highly upsetting pre-emptive strike and we’re infertile); I hid. For several days. From almost everything. I was also very grumpy, apt to burst into tears at the slightest thing and a moody, grumpy bint to anyone who tried to speak to me.
In fact, we’ve probably been infertile for a while, without knowing it (lends credence to the ‘why worry’ approach – all that energy wasted on the ‘what if’ and it was happening all along) but perhaps ignorance is bliss, who knows? It’s rather bittersweet that we managed two miscarriages (the irony’s not lost on me) but in a way, a relief that we are unlikely to have another naturally. That was something I’d been really struggling with – the pressure to get pregnant before August whilst still trying to heal from two losses.
In the midst of being utterly heartbroken about never having children (fatalistic of me – we still have one shot, courtesy of the NHS, but I don’t dare to get my hopes up) I’ve also been trying to cope with the idea that not only is Husby still really ill, but that there’s more undiagnosed ‘stuff’ going on than we previously thought. And he’s upset about it (naturally) and I need to try to retain some portion of energy to offer sympathy, motivation and support to him when really all I want to do much of the time is go to bed and never come out again.
I can’t work out who I feel worse for, but neither of us signed up for this. We’ve been struggling (well, I have – Husby didn’t think there was a problem until I confronted him with the idea that perhaps because I’m having a HUGE problem, there might be one) and I’ve particularly struggled with anger, related to this and a bunch of other things. Wise Woman Lynn, when I last saw her, recommended that we go to couple counseling and get that fixed before I continue the miscarriage work with her. Husby’s agreed, ostensibly to support me. It can only help; now to make the next step and get an appointment!
Marriage is EFFORT! People tell you this but I don’t think until you do it, you really understand. Unless this is another (quite typical) case of me not taking on board anyone else’s experience and leaping in feet-first with no lifejacket…
Apart from my family and friends, the thing which has really helped has been finding a closed book on facebook called Why NO kids?, which is run for people who are struggling with infertility. It’s been a great place to vent and hear the comments, sympathies, understandings and explanations of people going through the same thing. The ladies there are so friendly and helpful – everyone’s really ‘for’ one another.
Another source of help and encouragement has been the very gracious April, of the Peacefulwife Blog, who’s taken time to provide useful spiritual guidance and some common-sense input via email. Whilst I don’t blame God for the infertility, I’m sure struggling with the knowledge that He could so easily fix it if He wanted to…
The long and the short of it is, though, that like it or not, in the space of 8 months we’ve gone from a hopeful, excited couple hoping to begin a family to a tired, emotionally wrung-out pair of has-beens with very few hopes of having a biological family. Which, ok, bigger picture, doesn’t matter too much (provided we’re approved to adopt – my next panic-inducing thought; what if we’re not approved? What the hell then?) but I was (quite selfishly) really looking forward to being pregnant.
When I was quite young (14?) I had a dream that I was pregnant and could feel the baby moving inside me. It was sublime. And now, just plain painful. Painful like when I see a pregnant lady. Or a baby in a pram. Or an advert on TV for baby stuff (they all seem to be). Or when I get asked (by a well-meaning but ill-timed stranger) whether or not I have kids. Or when anyone sympathises with me.
I had so hoped that the dream was somewhat prophetic and I was hugely looking forward to Husby and I traversing that route and enjoying growing our own child and then being able to look after them and help them grow.
Last Tuesday I had a more traumatic dream (skip ahead if you’re squeamish or don’t want to know the depths my subconscious feels free to plumb), which, perhaps, was prophetic. I had both miscarriages at once, into a toilet, and along with the copious amounts of blood, I saw my two tiny babies there. I had no idea what to do, so I scooped them out with my fingertips and then left them on the windowsill because there was nothing I could do for them. I woke up very shaken and proceeded to have a bad day. On Wednesday I stayed home from life and hid. Thursday required that I engage with Niece and Neff duties, and in the midst of that, Husby got the phonecall from the clinic – they’d spun down his latest ‘contribution’ and (bearing in mind that a count of less than 6 million swimmers per ml is a cause for concern where couples wish to conceive), to their incredulity, had found 1. Not 1 million. Just 1.
In other (slightly less horrendous) news, we now have a name for our second Neverborn – Sam. One day I hope that Husby and I will meet Sam and Jesse and know that they were worth the heartache in this life.