In February 2015, it became 1,051,200 minutes since ‘Let’s make a Baby!’ began. After 5 years of marriage, it seemed the perfect time. Since that marvellously naive moment, there have been 6 months of nothing, nada, zilch of fertility signs on my part, 18 months of fertility support, HSG test, 2 prescriptions for Provera, numerous early morning wake-up calls to take my temperature, 5 consultant appointments, smears and swabs and pee sticks and more pee sticks (and more pee sticks, if I’m totally honest…) and countless hours partaking in scouring-the-internet-for-help-because-that-twinge-must-mean-something, not to mention 50+ encounters with *that* probe.
It’s included hope in the form of Clomid and, later, Puregon/Pregnyl injections, hope perpetuated by the smiling promises of nurses, hope when seeing other (in)fertiles conceive, and the times when my body seemed to know what it was supposed to do (joy of joys!).
But it’s contained more tears than I could ever count: the weeks and weeks between appointments where nothing could be done because my body wasn’t ready; the appearance of tennis ball sized cysts following Clomid, which took 9 weeks each of bleeding to disappear; the first miscarriage at 9 weeks (baby died at 6+5), just when we dared to whisper that, really, truly, this *might* be it; the second miscarriage, detected only because of a blood test and an unusually heavy and painful period; the third miscarriage at 5 weeks, just a day after it was confirmed… and more recently, the tears that have flowed whenever another couple posts their smiling faces and that oh-so-famliar-but-never-had-one-myself black and white scan and the accompanying announcement which seems to scream to me, “WE’RE SO FERTILE AND YOU’RE SO NOT!”. NB: Of course no one has ever implied this, but when your head is screwed after dealing with the recurrent misery that is recurrent miscarriage, the world tends to skew, and innocent Facebook posts morph into something you feel is aimed specifically at you, and not the other 496 friends they’re posting to.
And there’s the blame thing. When people find out that you’ve somehow lost the baby (termed in the same way as though you’ve simply misplaced it in a moment of inattentiveness), they don’t blame you, but they ask you everything; did you take folic acid? Did you drink coffee? Did you run too much? Did you get enough sleep? Did you forget to kiss the green Mystic Tropical Plant of Fertility seven times on the first full moon of the month? And the answer is no. No, I didn’t forget to take the tablets I’ve been taking since ‘Let’s make a Baby!’ began. No, I didn’t drink coffee. No, I didn’t run too much. Yes, I did get enough sleep. But then it makes you question everything yourself. DID I run too much? Did that one singular normal cup of tea (rather than my caffeine-free tea) make a difference? Should I have gone to bed earlier? Was it because I had a glass of wine around about the time implantation would’ve happened? Did I lose it because I had one negative thought on how life might change once a baby is in our life?
And the list goes on. And then the thought process takes over: it’s my fault. I couldn’t protect the baby. I didn’t grow it right. I’m just unlucky. I MUST have done something to deserve it. Maybe I’m just a really horrible person and this is karma?
I know it’s stupid. I know it’s not my fault. I know I couldn’t have done anything differently. But in questioning myself, I feel as though I might find a reason and that this might help us understand why. And then I can put it right, right?
Right now, we’re going through tests to find out just why I can’t seem to grow babies. All the blood tests are done so I’ve just a hysteroscopy to get through (after which all the results will be available) and we’ve been referred for counselling should we wish. It makes me feel calm, knowing things are being done, although the accompanying wait is frustrating.
Yet after this, there’s still only a 40% chance of finding the answer to that pesky, elusive little beast called WHY.
I just hope it’s an easily-solvable why.