On Monday I was told that I have severe endometriosis and my left ovary is stuck to my uterus and my bowel. The surgeon actually briefly mentioned this immediately after the laparoscopy, but I was too groggy to take it in properly at the time. I couldn’t remember the precise wording that he had used and was hoping that they were wedged there, rather than stuck with adhesions. You know you’ve been in the trenches for too long when you’re hoping that your ovary is wedged between your bowel and your uterus. I had rather optimistically been googling “how do I move my ovary” which returned a disappointingly (but not unsuprisingly) low number of responses. But no, they’re stuck together with nasty black endo goop.
So far I have had no reaction to this news whatsoever. I am numb. I get up, get ready, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to sleep, and then I start all over again. The repetitive, unstimulating work week has gone by and now I am sat home alone on a Saturday afternoon and I am trying to decide how I feel.
On the one hand, 50% of my ovaries don’t work. This is bad given that 99% of D’s swimmers don’t work. I do not like those odds.
On the other hand, 50% of my ovaries do work. That’s more than some people. I can still create a child that is biologically mine. I should be grateful for this.
The most confusing reaction that I am having is the overwhelming sense of relief. I always knew that there was something wrong with me. Not my borderline PCOS hormone profile, something bigger than that. When doctors asked me how painful AF was I used to comment on the subjective nature of the question and then mention that I needed to medicate for the first couple of days of my cycle. I’m not really one to dramatise my pain and I consider myself to have a high pain threshold. For a while now I had been concerned that endo had spread to my bowel as I was always very uncomfortable before a bowel movement. There is a small part of me that is pleased that I AM NOT GOING CRAZY and that I do know my body. I need to listen to my body more. My infertility struggles have taught me how to do this. I think D was really suprised with this diagnosis. He has been fetching me hot water bottles and watching me bloat up and struggle to fit into my clothes once a month for 13 years and yet I guess he must have thought that that was normal.
I remember being 9 years old on my sister’s first day of school. I couldn’t pick her up afterwards because I had severe AF pains and all I could do was lay on the sofa. I remember being 10 years old and bleeding through my towel at school. I told my teacher and she took me to the staff toilets for supplies. I was wearing a skirt and as we walked, blood started to run down my leg. That memory still freaks me out 18 years later. I wish the doctors had listened to me then. I wish that they cared as much about diet and lifestyle as they do about medicines and surgery. Most of all I wish that this next cycle gives me the family that I long for. Because it is a longing now, I long with every fibre of my being. I am ready to be a mother. Fuck you infertility.
I read a blog post last night that moved me. Please pop over and send love and positivity to IdioticInfertility as she has had a very tough past few days (weeks, months, years) and is feeling blue.
I read her post aloud to D while we were in bed. I cried as I explained how well she describes all of the negative, hopeless thoughts that rattle round my mind as I contemplate my next cycle. We discussed what an incredible support network the blogging community is and how much her posts and emails have cheered me on through my dark days. I really hope with all my heart that she gets her happy ending and I’ve never even met her. This got me imagining my own happy ending as I drifted off to sleep.
I had the most vivid dream that I have ever had in my life. It was so lifelike, I still struggle to believe that it didn’t actually happen. I had a newborn son. He was biologically ours and I had just given birth to him. The midwife put him in a little babygrow and handed him to me and I could feel his weight. She told me to try breastfeeding him and I could feel his gums on my nipple. I could smell him. I can still picture his face. And when I woke up this morning I had a full second of blissful happiness before reality hit. I do not have a child. It was a dream.
All day I have been daydreaming about this little boy. I feel like this need for a child that has been steadily growing in the pit of my stomach for the last 3 years has always been a faceless hunger. I wanted a baby but I couldn’t imagine it. I couldn’t imagine myself being a mother. I just couldn’t believe that it might happen. I have been focusing on squashing my hope, burying it. I could hope for a BFP & if that ever happened then maybe I could hope for a heartbeat at 7 weeks, I could handle the hope in safe little increments, without ever getting too carried away.
This little guy has totally fucked that up. Now I need him. Now I can’t imagine life without him. Now I need to hurry up and book my next cycle and it needs to work.
I think I have had an epiphany!
I’ve been thinking about my future ever since my last counselling appointment and I’ve realised that if I don’t have children (melodramatic after one IVF cycle, I know – but bare with me) it might not be shit.
Only might not, but that’s way better than the previous option which was either definitely will, or at my lowest point once my last friend has a baby I’ll drown myself/leap in front of a train. Now that I’m being a bit more rational I can see how happy I am at times even now right in the middle of all of this shitiness. It won’t be like this forever. Even if it keeps failing, one day I will stop trying. Then that son of a bitch hope will stop messing with me & I can move on to the next phase of my life.
In trying to avoid the hurt that comes with hoping that I will one day have children, I had shut out any kind of hope. Now I am slowly allowing little bits of hope to creep back in, like hoping that I will have a happy future. It doesn’t have to look the way that I thought it would, as long as it’s fun.
Obviously it goes without saying that I desperately want children. I certainly wouldn’t put myself through another cycle if I didn’t. But this way, as I start thinking about getting ready for cycle number 2, it feels less like life or death than it did last time around.
Epiphanies are good like that!
I like having goals: something to work towards; something to tick off; something to count down to; something to make sure that your life stays on track & that everything works out as planned. That makes me sound far more organised than I actually am, but countdowns are my thing.
It’s 2 weeks tomorrow until my IVF appointment at the hospital. It would seem that counting down to this isn’t enough for my baby-obsessed brain and I am spending my spare time (what’s that? Oh, it’s the time that i spend at my desk not doing my job) wondering when I will actually commence the stabbing. Then once I’ve started to wonder that I can’t help but start to calculate the month that my potential spawn would be born. Then I panic and scold myself for getting carried away and worry that the little glimmer of hope that I might actually be a mother next year, will have somehow jinxed the outcome of the IVF cycle. It’s like if I believe that it might happen, then it won’t happen.
So, my question is is there such a thing as too much hope? Am I just setting myself up for a fall if I believe that I might be a mother next year? I like to be a positive person but this whole TTC thang has well and truly sucked my happiness reserves dry and it takes all my strength to simply smile some days.
Yuck. I miss the old me who laughed until she got face ache and talked about what her children would look like without wondering if she would end up adopting or childless.
I’m going to cook myself something nice now to cheer myself up and maybe let a little bit of hope creep in… But not too much.