The ache

Pain doesn’t go away. It follows you. I didn’t think that moving home would fix things, but it certainly was going to be more positive, and it has been in many ways. But sometimes you have to sit with the pain, look it in the face, mention it (vaguely and without the right words) online, connect and share with people who get it and people who don’t, and stare it square in the face and carry on.

I’m so tired. I often think that I am done hoping and planning and that I am not strong enough for this. But somehow we face each new hurdle, ache, cry, and carry on. You have to carry on.

In some ways my faith has carried me. I struggle so much with it – why does my love and desire in every cell of my being not translate into this dream being fulfilled? Is it the timing, is it the season… it can’t be to make the end result sweeter because we are past that point. You know that pain and sadness have swallowed you whole when you find yourself sympathising and hurting for Serena Joy in The Handmaid’s Tale; rational thought goes out the window when something you so desperately want is denied you and yet you are surrounded by it, often by those who don’t realise that their disdain for parenting at times can feel like their hands are in your throat and stomach, squeezing, squeezing.

Sometimes the thoughts come that God has forgotten me and maybe I am a fool and all the atheists are right but then I come back. I always come back. It’s okay to be angry with God, to be sad that He isn’t here moving mountains and healing my pain but that’s not what (my) God is, that’s some idea of God that gets spread by those of different faith. God isn’t moving chess pieces and causing earthquakes and killing children with cancer. God is under the covers with me in each sob. God is hurting with me too.

It’s hard to see past the ache with a body full of hormones, too, and I always try to remember this. Sometimes the drugs are tough physically and other times I just want to throw things at the wall or sleep until Saturday comes. Sleep until the baby comes. Maybe it’ll never come.

We are focusing our efforts on our house just now, and progress is slowly being made. It feels like we’ll never get to move into it but 8 short months ago it felt like we’d never leave Scotland, so here we are. Time is moving so fast yet so slow. I am constantly reminded that good things take time and living in the future doesn’t make me happy. I need to find smiles today.

They say laughing is good for IVF/implantation rates. I find solace in yoga, meditation, crying, YouTube marathons, and my husband. And the fluffy dog here helps too.

 

 

And winter sunrises. 5 minutes a day I see the above and things feel peaceful and okay.

I hope you are okay. I will be.

May

This recent silence doesn’t really signify anything exciting, I’m afraid. I’ve been reading your posts with interest and keeping up with progress. So many pregnancies in the infertility spaces I occupy and I really couldn’t be happier for all the mothers waiting to be mothers.

Time here is ticking by so fast. It’s already May and I feel like I’ve barely accomplished anything this year. I do, however, start a new role on Monday, and the Mr is going to be confirming something soon, too. We’re still staying with family but hoping to move in about 6 weeks. The sun is still shining yet the days are definitely cooler.

Time goes by regardless of how much you want it to stop and pause. You just have to breathe along with it and hope for good news on the wind.

I am also still in a confused state of feeling like I’m in the wrong place. I have started to fall in love with Wellington all over again, yet I’m confused as to why we’re heading towards winter and not summer, why it’s dark at 5pm, why the small courtesies and traditions of my Scottish days are no longer there. I’m still adjusting, I guess.

I’m thinking of you all often. Infertility is definitely a waiting game, no matter what stage you’re at. Nothing happens in a hurry.

Good things take time. I’m here if you need me.

More writing

2 other pieces of mine have been published in the last few months over at The Spinoff Parents.

If you’d like to read them, they are below:

How to support your friends and loved ones who are struggling with infertility

An IVF journey: A mother writes to the baby she hopes to have

If you’d like to keep up with all of my work, please visit my Facebook page, always linked at the top.

Thanks, as always, for supporting my writing. ❤

Circling

Wow, hard to believe it’s been 2 months since I wrote here – and for that, I can only apologise. Everything has been very slow, in all parts of our lives. We are in a holding pattern.

It is frustrating, but we’re getting there.

We were close to having a job for the Mr, but then it fell through. Then we were getting ready to move into our new home, but decided to let the current tenants stay until the end of May to help them out – which ultimately with the job situation has ended up being a very good idea.

We are circling, floating. Time is one big long stretch to me right now, with no real routine or order to it. For someone who is a big planner, this is frustrating. There is always another week to wait, another month to sort things, more dates in the diary. It feels like progress some days, but others it feels like we’re standing still.

I don’t want to wish the year away, and I pride myself on being patient as much as I can be. But the waiting gets hard.

I have no real update to give you on our IVF/infertility situation. We are getting closer, I promise, and I’ll reveal what’s been happening soon. It’s such a crapshoot, trying to manipulate science into what should be natural – and is natural for what seems like everyone else.

We’ve been collecting treasures and pieces for our new home and are getting excited to get in there. Hopefully we’ll be undertaking some renovations before we move in, kicking off with a new fence in the coming weeks (with the permission of the kind tenants). At least we have progress to look forward to.

In positive news, the weather has been kind to us, in short moments. Locals have found it very frustrating but accept that they live in a town where the conditions change by the half-hour. As two ex-Scotland-dwellers, we’re happy to see the sun. Lots of swimming for us. We don’t feel 100% like locals yet, but we will.

I send good thoughts your way on whatever you may be dealing with this month. Soon it will be autumn, and soon we will have some answers. We’re just being swept along for the ride right now, and right now, that’s okay.

Progress and anxiety

Pals, I need to quit Google.

We’re getting close to making progress on the next steps in our treatment and I just can’t. stop. looking. up. shit.

I thought I’d be excited and looking forward to it all but I’m more anxious than anything. I have written a list of questions for the clinic, and looked at possible dates for protocols. We’ve decided I may not work until we’re through with this first cycle of IVF – we’re putting a lot of money and time and energy on the line to try and make this self-funded cycle successful and decided that a few more weeks without me earning a salary is not going to bankrupt us. We are so lucky to be in this position. I never thought I’d be able to afford to not work for a few months, let alone pay for a cycle of IVF. We’re so grateful, and we need to throw everything we can at this cycle.

So do I have an update? Not really. It has been a strange transition back to life here. I feel like we never left in a way, but in other moments I feel so lost and foreign back here. I don’t know where anything is, I don’t understand some of the systems in place, and we’re grown adults living upstairs at my folks’ place. It’s weird.

We’ve been up north for a week or so having time with family, but we’re heading back to our family home soon. We’ve started looking at the job listings, made a few plans for our home that we move into in April, and set up bank accounts for D and a new phone number for me. Progress.

 

 

I do miss our home. And then I remember that it’s not our home anymore. 8 years is a big chunk of your life and it feels like we left in such a blur of stress and sadness and activity. Our friends are only an internet link away, but it is confusing and unsettling. We want to be here, but we want to be there.

I guess that’s how it will always be.

I’ll write soon with further updates on how things are progressing, but there may not be too much detail for a while – some things we need to keep to ourselves. But I hope that I’ll still be able to make you feel you’re not alone – this infertility business cuts you to the bone and it’s all you can do some days to keep your head above water.

Keep swimming.

New year thoughts

Well here we are. 2017. The new year.

A year of change; a year of possibilities and hope.

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We’re in New Zealand now and it still feels surreal. It still feels like one of our usual visits, when we spend 3-4 weeks living in this house and then get on very long flights “home” again. I still catch myself calling Scotland home when I refer to it. I’ll need to change that.

This is home now.

In other developments, we are seeing the new RE/specialist at the end of the month, and we’ll also need to get a GP soon (we’re hoping to get into my old family practice). We’re not sure how quickly things will move forward, but it’s good to have a plan. If I’ve learned anything over the last year it’s that nothing in infertility happens in a hurry.

I’m hoping this will be our year. If nothing else progresses but we end up moving towards parenthood, then it’ll be a good one.

No resolutions this year. Just small changes and everything crossed.

Tapes

I think it was the illustrious TV personality Dr Phil who first called them “tapes” (though I struggle to find anything online to corroborate this) and it’s become what I call them, too.

Tapes. It’s an outdated term for sure, as who listens to tapes anymore? But whenever my mind starts to repeat something negative to me, I try and tell myself to stop the tape.

My mind has not been kind to me lately.

 

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I get the same messages in a loop when I’m feeling down. Everything from “no one really likes you” and “you just annoy people” to “you’ll never be a mother” and “why bother eating healthy foods when you’re just gonna stay fat anyway?”

Most days I can tell these thoughts to fuck off. On good days I can roll my eyes at them and remind myself how much I like myself, how my friends don’t find me annoying (and if they do, then maybe I don’t need to stick by them – I mean, I know I have flaws, but I’m likeable) and how I can definitely become a mother somehow. And I’m not fat, I’m just on the chubby side and need to eat less sugar mainly because it makes me cranky, and start to actually listen to my body when it tells me how angry dairy makes it.

On bad days it’s hard to just get going on things. I get the bare minimum done and hope that I don’t run into too many pregnant women at the shops.

 

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Positivity goes a really long way.  It’s just that over the last 18 months, with work and life stresses, I’ve been less and less positive. And I’ve written before about feeling like a failure. My mind can be very cruel, and I think obviously a large part of it is that I’m constantly hit in the face by everyone else’s seemingly-hyperfertile reproductive systems.  It’s human nature that we are rapidly reproducing, and there are very little places you can go without seeing a baby or a bump.

For me it’s become all about taking deep breaths, telling myself it’ll pass and that I don’t need to listen to the negativity inside. And sometimes someone else has the tape player and can shut it off for you, just by reaching out to check in, or reminding you how much hope there still is.

Press stop if you can. Don’t let those tapes run. And on the worst days? Aim for pause.