Bombs away?

Infertility, how do I hate thee – let me count the ways…ONE (one thousand), TWO (one thousand), THREE (one thousand)…

This isn’t going to be pleasant. 

Christmas this year was all set to suck, and I’d freaked out about it to the point where Christmas songs had me in tears, looking at Christmas cards, or decorations, or sparkly-decorated trees, had my insides twisting. We didn’t decorate the house. We didn’t get a tree. We didn’t even send cards until four days before Christmas. None of the presents we’ve remembered to give have been wrapped. People have been missed.

Because this year was meant to be our year.

Mine, Husby’s and the beginnings of our family.

The configuration of our parents’ locations and our personal, ‘perfect plan’ for how our marriage would go, had resulted in an expectation from the very beginning that we’d spend our first three married Christmasses at one of each of our parents’ homes, and then the fourth – our special one – would be US. Our Family. Us + Baby. Because that’s how it was going to work. It was neat. It was cute.

It made absolutely no allowance for Real Life (or, arguably Common Sense).

Nonetheless, the expectation was there, lurking in the background of our marriage, alongside my strong ties to Christmas being a light-filled annual high-spot in an otherwise traumatic childhood. And that it was always and every time about Family.

Factoring in our two losses and our two-months-left until a (necessary, unavoidable) change in Husby’s meds renders him infertile, Christmas began to feel pretty toxic. The closer it got, the less I coped. The less I coped, the more I turned to wine, friends and denial. And increasingly the comments came about seeking professional help – concerned murmurings into my ear alongside hugs which lasted too long.

I ran away from Christmas this year, and in fact, on the day, a combination of factors worked together to make the day not only manageable, but GOOD. And I was so grateful.

And one secret factor, which I shared with only a select few, beginning with Husby, first thing in the morning the next day (when the symptoms persisted), learned as I sat still half-out of pyjamas, curled on the edge of the bed, trying not to be excited.

Because on Christmas morning when I went to the bathroom, there was something unusual which made an appearance. And a too-early one for it to be my monthly. And which was potentially implantation bleeding. The timeline was perfect. What had appeared seemed to be ‘textbook’. And Husby did a quick research on Google and we talked in hushed tones, reminding ourselves out loud that it might not be anything. And that there was no way to tell yet.

But I was excited and couldn’t hold it in. I was suddenly thrown off-balance, stumbling back into the very centre of that rug of hope, with my dreams and wishes and prayers all floating up beyond my grasp,  like helium balloons disappearing into the blue, sparkling with promise as they did so.

Balloons with bombs on the ends of their strings.

Because if this wasn’t implantation bleeding – if it was just a cruel twist of fate (and probably the effects of ongoing, intense stress) impacting to make my body react peculiarly, on Christmas morning, of all mornings…

So we waited. And still the symptoms seemed to fit. And with no way to confirm it until I officially missed a period, we just had to keep waiting. For four days our hopes lifted higher and higher and inexorably further from our reach, even as I knew that the dropping of those bombs (if they fell) would be ever-harder and more devastating.


I was powerless in the beam of those hopes – so beautiful and containing everything we’d ever planned for ourselves before we crashed into the brick wall of Reality which was his illness. I was mesmerised by them and utterly unable to wrench my eyes away – back to the darkness where I still struggle to come to terms with the two tiny graves I see hovering in my mind, and the desolation of Husby and I clinging to one another, alone-together and simultaneously wishing we were more whilst hating myself for not finding this TwoFamily enough – back where my eyes should have been: Not Hoping.

If I could flip a switch and NotHope, I would.

If I could make it so that each time we’re together, the thought doesn’t cross my mind “will it be this time?”, and don’t lie in crazy upsidown positions and stop lifting heavy things…if I could just enjoy the times we’re together without thinking about ovulation dates or cycle days or the possibilities which might follow…if I could stop stressing so that my body has a chance at conception…if I could figure out how to stop stressing…

Tonight. After oh-so-nearly five days of being under the spell of these hopes. These wicked, precious, awful, wonderful hopes…I went to the bathroom again, and I think the bombs fell.

I’m 90% sure.

I am 90% obliterated.

And I’m so, so sorry.

To those I told…so sorry to have given you this beautiful, fragile ‘maybe’.

Mum, Dad, WonderAunty, Sis…so sorry to have raised your hopes.

Husby…”sorry” cannot begin to convey this Feel.

Two more months and one shot at ICSI…There’s still time. There’s still time. There’s still time.

And there’s that final balloon.

That 10% of mistrusted uncertainty hovering sadly by itself, looking tarnished and lonely now, with the bomb tugging eagerly at the string, ready to fall…

And I’m so sorry.

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45 thoughts on “Bombs away?

  1. The ones you see about Dachshunds are actually about what the dog taught me and inspired me to write my memoir. Most of my posts are relating to trauma and dealing with it. Thanks for the idea of categorizing them — not sure if I know how to do that (I'm still in the learning mode) but will try. One that I thought of that might interest you is Losing a child – the pain never goes away http://bit.ly/19AQaIj “Yes, you can die of a broken heart” http://bit.ly/IVSj9W and One more trauma http://bit.ly/16JGRlL How do you cope with stress http://bit.ly/16JGRlL and http://amzn.to/14IKPeO. Hope this helps and I will figure out how to organize them — I thought it was just by date. Thank you

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  2. It's been a really nasty end to the year. Trying so hard not to write off that final 10% and to let the new year begin with a measure of even-headedness. No small task. Thanks for your understanding.

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  3. Oh Lizzie, what a ride. A nauseating, tumble in circles that feels like it won't stop. My heart is breaking, but I won't let it. I'll piece it together and use glue, and spit, and love, and tomorrows sunshine to keep it whole so that you can see that it can be done, and find your peace. I wish I was there for you.

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  4. I can't give you anything concrete, although I wish I could. But that 10% could be all you need, and it's being held up by 100's of us, all standing right here with you in support.

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  5. Sorry, but I'm holding those 10% up. I wish it to happen for you so badly, and I WANT this to happen for you!! And I know it WILL happen, so why not now??? Hoping for those 10% to add another 0… Hugs to you, Lizzi! I wished I could take some of your pain and struggles off you. Keeping you in my thoughts, and hoping, hoping, hoping!!

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  6. I'm sorry, Lizzi that you hoped and wished and were postponed. I truly believe you have been postponed and not denied. Hugs to you and yours.

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  7. Thanks lovely. Wishing doesn't work. For me it tends to lead into flights of fantasy and turns me regretful against circumstances against which I had no armour or protection. Wishing leads to destructive thinking.

    But if I'm wishing, I wish I could have a healthy, whole Husby…

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  8. Thanks. You remember it well. This was the first month really that there had been any indication that something might've stuck. It was so unexpected and seemed so portentous (being Christmas day and all), and I got suckered in. And the crash sucks.

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  9. Lizzi, I know others have said this, but just want to say front he bottom of my heart, how sorry I am. I truly remember back when we were trying for the first time (before I got pregnant with Emma), how each month I would get my hopes up and then had them dashed. It took us almost 6 months of that and then a chemical pregnancy in the middle, too. I know it isn't totally the same, but yet, I do very much remember how I felt and just want you to know that I am thinking of you. IF you need anything, I am a message away. Hugs to you my friend.

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  10. I wish (amongst wishing *so* many other things rightnow) that there was a way for that to be possible. I'd sooner be a shell, not feeling this. Not having any residual hopes (they're diminishing though, so there's that). Able to not care. Not hope for any other month. Not be hooked into this any more…

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  11. Thank you Carol, and thank you so much for sharing your story. I see that there are many parallels.

    I went over to Battered Hopes but seemed to end up in the midst of posts about dachsunds….is there a place you'd recommend me to start, or a tag or category I could follow to the parts you want me to see?

    I'll certainly keep writing, leaving signposts, getting it out of me…hoping it helps.

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  12. As i said earlier, you have no idea how we relate – even emotionally. When I was in my early 20's and told I had cancer and would never bear children because I only had two years to live (and my husband was sterile) anger rose up inside of me and I told the doc I would not accept his diagnosis and I would walk in there pregnant one day. He shouted at me and told me to go home, suffer and DIE. FOURTEEN years later, I walked in there pregnant and that was almost 30 years ago. This is why I felt strongly you should read Battered Hope. I know it will be encouraging to you. And I do not believe in giving false hope or empty inspirational quotes — I know and understand your pain. Then when we lost our son last Christmas — we went through the season numb and in agony. So, keep sharing, keep talking about it — it helps to heal. I feel for you deeply.

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  13. Aw shit. I fell asleep for just a bit and woke up to this. Sorry doesn't begin to reflect how I feel. I want to take all your sorrow, wrap it in a box, and bury it at the bottom of the ocean. This sucks. *MassiveHugs*

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