A Change of Direction

Its been a while since I last posted something on here. Time has quietly passed on here for a number of reasons.
Firstly because we (finally!!) moved house and we had no internet.
And secondly because I didn’t know how or what to write. And at times I didn’t want to write. Because writing it down, or saying it out loud, somehow makes it more real.
 
So here goes…
 
ivf is our only option. We have one shot left of making a baby.
 
I know we are EXTREMELY lucky to qualify for funding. There is actually no physical way we could afford to pay for this ourselves.
 
There is an 18 month waiting list, so our one chance has been allocated to April 2015
 
Right now 2015 seems like a whole lifetime away but Grant and I are going to take this in our stride. We have been talking about how good it is, how it means we can really prepare ourselves (as much as possible) emotionally, physically, financially for this. There’s also talk of a wee holiday which makes me excited.
 
So we’ve known for a couple of weeks but we’ve really only started telling family and friends (the ones who are already in the know about our journey) these last couple of days, because its hard to tell people to say the words out loud, some days its just hard to talk about and it can be hard to carry their reaction/one thousand questions as well. 
 
Its hard knowing that our hopes, dreams and desires rest on this one shot in 2015.
 
I’ve been working on letting it go, and for the first time feel like I’m actually letting it go and not just talking about letting go. I guess its easier to let go when you no longer have anything to control.
 
I’ve stopped tracking my cycle for ‘getting pregnant’ purposes.
I have also stopped trying to time our ‘relations’ for when I think I’m ovulating.
I’ve stopped taking herbal supplements.
I’ve stopped monitoring my sugar/bad food intake. (Yes Im still going to manage what I eat and be healthy, but not for the purposes of getting pregnant.)
I’ve also given away all the baby stuff I was hoarding for my future children. I do this not in a defeatist way but have actually found it surprisingly liberating and its been nice giving away ‘the best’ things to my friends. To them its just another baby item, but to me it means so, so much more. I’m giving them my hopes, my dreams but also the ‘best’ designed items – because I would only ever have the best for my kids. And it hasn’t been as hard as I anticipated. It was harder thinking and deciding on doing it than actually doing it. Instead, I felt good giving it away, in a blessed kind of way.
 
I think I am finally starting to come to terms with the idea that we may never have children. Trust me, it got a little dark there in places. While I put on the happy, brave face, what was going on inside was a different story. And I understand that this is a journey, a process, and that some days I’m going to believe that I have reached the destination of acceptance and peace only to wake up the next day and realize I wasn’t at the destination, but rather at a rest stop along the way.
 
In one such dark space I started compiling a list of “I will never”
This was a list of all the things I will ‘miss out on’ because I am not a mother.
It was both a pity party and quite cathartic.
 
It was my intention to post it on here – my big whinge on all that was being robbed from me.
The day I was going to post it I was reading through some blogs that I follow and I read one entry who did the same thing, but made it thoroughly positive. Well damn.
It was a fun and entertaining list of all the things that were great about not being pregnant/having children.
Maybe one day I’ll write my own and post it on here.
 
While Grant and I are still on this infertility journey 2015 is a long way away and because of this I feel that the nature of my blog is going to change, is going to need to change. I don’t think I can go 18 months talking about infertility because I’m going to run out of things to say. We are still on this journey so I will still address what I’m thinking and feeling but I believe these types of posts will (read should) become less frequent.
 
I still believe that I am called to be someone who occupies hope and that I am to share this with others. I believe I can encourage others in their journeys. And this blog is one way in which I can do this. I’m not entirely sure of how this blog is going go but I’m going to take it one step at a time and see where I end up. I hope you will continue to come along for the ride.
 
Much love,
Anna.

Teary Eyed Heartbreak

It’s just not fair.

Yesterday I found out that my dear friend is pregnant. Within mere weeks of going off the pill. She has no idea about cycle lengths, or when ovulation occurs. She’s never tracked cm, tested her temperature or pee’d on an ovulation stick. She’s never planned to get pregnant. She claims they hardly ever have sex. And somehow they happen to get pregnant without trying. For the second time.

It just screams injustice.
Well not really. It’s what’s meant to happen. It just hasn’t happened this way for me and therefore it’s not fair.
Which I understand is a little selfish.

Truthfully, and surprisingly, I was genuinely happy and excited for them the moment I heard.
Although, I did cry myself to sleep last night.
And then had cruel dreams over and over about being pregnant. Because sometimes life has to be extra cruel.

And today, all day, I’ve been on the verge of tears. Today I have a roller coaster of emotion. Emotions. Up and down. Tormenting me. I don’t want kids. I want kids. I don’t want kids….

Who cares what I want when I don’t get the choice. My biology has already decided for me hasn’t it?

Grant said to me last night that I can’t get bitter. I can’t let this impact my friendship with them and I was almost offended. I know this, I didn’t know why he had to purposefully say this to me. It felt like he was getting at me, pointing the finger and attacking me. Maybe it landed just a little too close to home. But today I saw the wisdom of his words as I had to start myself on the journey of actively choosing to be happy for them. I genuinely want to be. But I can see that there are going to be moments where this will be really hard. But its going to be worth it. I don’t want my friends to hold back their excitement and joy because of me and my issues. I want to choose to celebrate new life not despise it or them for being blessed. I want to be a part of the wonderful journey rather than being isolated in the dark corner wrapped up in a bitter pity party. I’m going to acknowledge my feelings (to mostly myself, Grant, God and you my followers) because I think that is healthy but I’m going to choose to be happy for my friends.

And so, in the spirit of celebration, I managed to go look at and purchase baby items for them today. And I wasn’t even teary eyed. Wrapped it and wrote a card and everything without a single watery eye.

However, during work today E would mention something like eating chocolate made her feel sick and other various pregnancy related statements and I would feel my eyes begin to water.

I may never know that feeling.
I may never understand what that is like.

Then I look around the room at the children at work and I think of all the parenting nightmare stories that I hear daily, and I think about the hard work that parenting is and I feel relieved.

How can I be beside myself, barely keeping it together one minute and literally the next minute utterly and completely relieved?

Is it because I’m trying to save myself the heartache of being childless now? Better to rip the bandaid off now than tomorrow. Or are these dreams and desires of having children, that I’ve had since I was young, something that I’ve desired because I’ve convinced myself that this is what I’ve always wanted?

I find myself being short with Grant and I know it has nothing to do with him at all. It’s my own mixed up crazy bag of issues and its so unfair for me to outlet it on him. And I don’t realize I’m doing it until the words are already out of my mouth. Cringe.
I’m trying to be real and authentic, while also stopping and thinking before speaking, so I’m not stamping all over my beloved at the same time.

It’s hard.
It’s a hard journey.

I’ve been thinking about our meeting with the specialist next week and what they might say and what we might do. Part of me is done. I don’t know how much more I can cope with. Yet another part of me tells me not to give up yet, that I should travel every option so I don’t look back over my childless life when I’m 50 and regret not taking the chance.

But getting pregnant via ivf (or whatever medical intervention we go with that somehow, miraculously works) because I don’t want to regret it later and not because I actually want a baby, is no reason to have a baby. I realize that lots of people have babies for worse reasons but I just can’t accept this.

In all honesty I think I really do deeply desire a baby and all this is my way of trying to cope with the idea that this dream may never come to pass.

The Cost of Infertility

So far I have had four rounds of ‘treatment’ over six months. Six months of taking tablets, having blood tests, scans, meetings and appointments, prayer and acupuncture.
With very limited result.

So far its been an interesting journey, especially for a control freak like me.

You can believe that I have asked many questions in an effort to understand. I have tried exercise. I have tried dietary changes. (According to numerous sources I shouldn’t eat gluten, sugar, foods with a high G.I, fast food and a whole host of other things. It really doesn’t leave much. Especially because I’m a fussy eater anyway. It got to the point where I was loosing a lot of weight. A lot. As a small, slender person I didn’t have much weight to loose. So I’ve just cut down on these foods instead until I can meet up with a nutritionist). I have tried acupuncture. I have tried praying and fasting (and continue to do so).

I have tried many, many things.

Infertility is not cheap.
It costs money.
It costs strength.
It costs hope.
It costs thinking space.
And it can cost relationships.

Some days its hard to be joyful with others who are pregnant, or have just had a baby. It can be so so hard. It can take a real effort to not go down the “why them and not me?” path. It takes a conscience effort to remain positive some days. But deep down I know that there is no life, no hope going down that path. It can only led to more heartache and bitterness.

Do I want people to shy away from telling me their news? From inviting us to share in their family time? No. And No again. And. Sometimes yes. But I want to be told anyway. I want to be invited anyway.

Because on other days it takes little effort to share in the joy of others. I really cant predict how I will feel on any set day. On these days its like a beacon of hope – this can happen to me too. I can share in their joy because my answer is prayer is just around the corner. I have to believe that.

I want to choose to be joyful in other peoples pregnancies and children, regardless of whether I ever have children or not, because I don’t want to become bitter and resentful. I want to share their joy because I want to celebrate the beauty of life with my friends. I don’t want to hide away in pain and sorrow.

Does that mean I fake being joyful? No.

I never want to be fake, I never want to pretend to be or feel something that I don’t. I want to be authentic and real. But at some point I must choose to shake the sorrow and pain and choose to be glad. Right now that is a daily, sometimes hourly, task. A task that I sometimes fail at. But I will continue to try.

In time, with Gods grace and mercy, I believe joy and gladness will no longer come about because of an active effort, but it will be second nature. I will be joyful. I will celebrate with others. I will hope. I will trust in God.

I will rejoice and be glad.