Impossible Voyage for a Family
I know this will be a hard one to write, it's the basis for a lot of my hurt but I have to get it out so I can move forward and exorcise the demons that lurk in the corners of my brain. For many, getting pregnant and having a family is easy but for others it's difficult and for some like me it just doesn't happen for a number of reasons. It's a hidden sadness, you are reluctant to share that you are trying because too many well meaning people ask each time they see you 'any news yet?'. They mean well but each time they ask it's another little dagger stabbing at you and reminding you that the one thing your female body is supposed to be able to do just can't and that misplaced sense of failure wells up again. So you don't share the information, you keep it secret.
We knew early on we'd need some help and the sale of the house was supposed to raise the money to pay for IVF but thanks to the house being repossessed we were left with nothing. IVF isn't cheap and getting it on the NHS is almost impossible. I get that they have to prioritise their budgets and treating a child with cancer is obviously a far better use of precious funds than IVF. Doesn't stop it hurting but you can understand their need to balance the budgets and spend wisely for those most in need. However, I went from a situation of thinking there would be enough for about 5 rounds of treatment to a zero bank balance and homeless in one day. That was a lot to take in, not just the loss of the money as am not actually that materialistic but it was what it was intended for that hurt the most. It wasn't as if we were wanting a flash holiday or a new car, this was supposed to fund a much wanted (on my part) family and then in one day all those hopes and dreams were wiped away with a single phone call. Everything was thrown into chaos in my mind, I had to deal with the practical reality of losing a home and the paperwork that entailed and also get my head around the emotional loss it left in it's place. That black, empty hole where once hope resided had been taken from me. Hope had gone, and when you don't have hope everything feels empty. I didn't mind about the house so much as what he'd agreed that the money would be used for and all the while knowing it wasn't there. He let me phone clinic after clinic around the country to find the best treatments to decide where to move to all the while knowing it was a lie and that we couldn't afford it. He even made some initial appointments with me to see clinics all the while knowing it would never happen. That's why I can't forgive about the house loss, it wasn't the house it was what the sale was supposed to achieve.
I had always assumed like most that you get married and the babies would just follow in time, didn't occur to me it wouldn't happen like that. The mix up started very early on, I read some notes at the Doctor's years ago that said I would have problems conceiving - but the test was wrong. It's only years later when I finally scraped the money together for IVF on my own that I was told that actually I was very fertile. They harvested 11 A grade eggs in one cycle which apparently was unheard of, they were normally happy to get 2 or 3 so were slightly shocked at getting that many and they were all viable, again something that apparently didn't normally happen. So for years I'd carried this misinformation so had always assumed it was somehow my fault. Finding out it wasn't me was like a sucker punch on top of everything else that had happened, up till then I could sort of accept things but that was a wicked devil blow to my fragile emotional state.
I know I was pregnant with twins twice, they show you the screen with the embryos implanted so I knew exactly the time and date I was pregnant. Sadly my body didn't want to carry them and both times I lost them in early miscarriages. Trying to be matter of fact about it is incredibly hard, you rationalise as best you can, you try to cling onto some small hope but the reality is there is very little and your world is cold and empty at the loss of what could have been.
To those that know this dark place you have my empathy, you can't really talk about it to anyone. To many that are trying to conceive you have early miscarriages but don't necessarily know you were pregnant whereas I knew for definite I was. The clinic are sadly used to it and they just say well come and see us in two months when you feel ready to try again. And you try to get back onto the rollercoaster of drugs, injections and constant appointments. Your life becomes regimented around a diary of appointments and coming up with excuses at work as to why you are yet again going to be a bit late gets hard work because you don't really want to share where you're really going. And then time and an empty bank balance caught up with me and I had to get off the rollercoaster with 5 remaining frozen embryos destroyed as the health laws demand. Having to walk away is hard but time isn't always on the side of the female body and you have to recognise that however much the rollercoaster says come back, try just one more time you've run out of ride tickets.
I don't know what kind of parent I'd have made, probably a very silly one who made dens under the dining table and turned spaghetti into stories of worms and naughty centipedes. I'll never know, but I do know I have to forgive myself for the hurt I've carried for far too long.