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Oct 9 / Caro

Broken

I’ve been a bit quiet lately, both online and off. It’s not for a lack of things to write about or share. It’s not even as simple as a lack of time, although things have been exceptionally busy. It’s more down to a lack of motivation and a slide in to reversed philosophy of not doing today what can be put off until tomorrow. That, and every time my thoughts turn to my blog, or to other parenting blogs – and hence Twitter too – with so many sibling tales and happy pregnancy announcements throughout, they can’t help but turn to the baby we keep failing to conceive.

I never meant for this blog to turn in to a “trying to conceive” blog. And I certainly never dreamed it would become an infertility blog. When I first wrote about trying for a second child back in February, we’d already been trying for a number of months and I made the decision to share because I wanted to touch on the subject of the extra stresses that are associated with the experience when you have diabetes. I honestly thought at that time that we wouldn’t have too much longer to wait, so it seemed like the best time to cover the topic.

But here we are, eight months down the line, no nearer to having another child but with the newly acquired diagnosis of “secondary infertility”. The cause, if any, is as yet unknown. And I’m starting to really feel the strain. Even Ian’s attitude of calm, relaxed patience is starting to falter. Time and again he’s been the one to remind me that it’s “normal” for this to take up to a year. But just this week he has conceded that though this statistic is often bandied about, we know very few people who have waited that long and then suddenly conceived without fertility treatment. In fact, we know far more people who have experienced accidental surprises, or fallen pregnant on their first try.

Somewhere along the line this has stopped being about a desire for a nice tight age gap – although the number of Phil & Ted’s pushchairs at the local park is still a stark reminder of what we now won’t have. But these days it’s about desperation to complete the family I aspire to, whilst slowly losing hope that it will happen at all. I feel as though I’m surrounded by pregnancies, or families with more than one child. I know it’s partly because I’m focused on it, but it’s hard to do anything else when you want something so badly. It’s hard not to wonder why it seems to be working out for everyone around me.

I’ve tried to be positive about this. I’ve tried standing the typical questions on their head and asking not, “why us?” but instead, “why NOT us?”

I think it’s probably selfish to believe that we’re somehow more deserving of an easy ride than any other couple and I know just how lucky we are to have one fantastic child. But yet I can’t help but think that I’ve already dealt with enough crap and, in particular, enough of my body’s failings. Whilst no one else may deserve to be in this position either, I think I’m justified in wishing for a break.

My entire medical history, not mention life story, is too long and too boring to share here. Besides, I don’t care for the medical one-upmanship that abounds across the internet – there is no competition or prize for the longest list of bodily ailments. I prefer to focus on living well despite limitations. But here are some of the important facts of the matter: Diabetes pre-dates my earliest memories. I literally do not know what it feels like to live with a body in full working order, to not be reliant on an external supply of an essential substance that most people barely even know about, never mind take for granted. Then, following a run in with meningitis as a teenager, I’ve dealt with a life altering diagnosis which severely limited my freedoms and opportunities at precisely the time of my life I should have been seizing them. Instead, I was seizing in an entirely different way. To this day I live with brain circuitry that is dependent on medication for its proper function. And whereas many people couldn’t tell you where their pituitary gland is located, I’m intimately familiar with each of the hormones it produces and what can happen when their function goes haywire too.

I live with a broken body. Bloody hell, I live well – a good life – with a broken body. But I think it’s understandable that just sometimes I wish my body would do what it is supposed to do, without the need for medical assistance, without any hiccups. I’d like for things to simply work.

I’m not normally one for reading horoscopes (I mean, come on, can those little paragraphs really each be so applicable to one twelfth of the population?) But at the hairdressers earlier, the page in the back of a magazine caught my eye. Under my own sign, it included the statement “eventually life runs out of ways to torture us”.

Today, feeling down as I do, I couldn’t help but wonder when that time might come for me.

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13 Comments

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  1. Katie / Oct 9 2013

    Sorry to hear you are going through this – I have a number of friends in the same position so have a small idea of how you are feeling. It’s more common than you think although I’m sure that doesn’t really help. Will keep my fingers crossed for you anyway x

    • Caro / Oct 9 2013

      Thank you Katie. I know it is supposed to be quite common, but I don’t really know anyone in real life who has admitted to experiencing the same thing. People not talking about it is one of the problems though, which has also influenced my decision to open up about it. I really do hope that we’ll get there in the end, I’m just feeling a little less optimistic each month.

  2. YouBabyMeMummy / Oct 9 2013

    I felt the same as you for a long time when we were trying to get pregnant for the first time. I have a knackered back and was taking lots of medication. Consultant advised not to try for a year. I was so desperate I came off all the drugs and just beared the pain. I don’t sort of assumed we would get pregnant quickly every else does but it didn’t I think I went a little mad, monitors, temperatures, endless peeing on sticks, consumed by the desire to be a mum. We were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Had so many tests and booked our Ivf appointment for mid august. I found out I was pregnant just before the appointment. I wont try again as I have my angel and I don’t think my body would cope as I am broken too. Try to focus on your little one. Don’t let it consume you. I truly hope your dreams come true, in the meantime go and hug your baby xx

    • Caro / Oct 10 2013

      Thank you for commenting. It does help to hear stories of people who have struggled but then ultimately fallen pregnant. Reminds me not to give up! I think I’m mostly doing a reasonable job of not letting it entirely consume me, but I definitely have down days and days where I seem to be confronted by nothing but pregnancy announcements and pregnant women!

  3. Chloe / Oct 10 2013

    I think you are well within your rights to feel fed up and selfish. I can see how twitter would not be a happy place to be, especially when you can’t pick and choose what you read.

    • Caro / Oct 10 2013

      Thanks Chloe. I’m glad I spent some time on Twitter yesterday as I picked up one certain Mumsnet thread that definitely cheered me up!

  4. Carie / Oct 10 2013

    I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this. It isn’t fair and you’re entitled to shout it from the rooftops. That desperate longing can get horribly all consuming and I think you’re doing incredibly well at keeping your chin above water.

    • Caro / Oct 12 2013

      Thank you for taking the time to comment again are, as I know you’ve given me wise advice before πŸ™‚

  5. Rachel / Oct 11 2013

    I am sorry to hear you are down and feeling broken. Try to remember that each day brings totally new things. I think I have commented on this subject here before, but it took 6 months for me to fall pregnant and the hardest thing was trying to stay positive and not into despair and panic about what might be wrong. I don’t have any advice, but i do send you virtual hugs xx

    • Caro / Oct 12 2013

      Yes, you did comment before. I think six months saw my impatience and frustration peak, and this second six months has seen me grow ever more negative . You are right, of course, that staying positive is as important as it is difficult. Thank you for the hugs x

  6. Jennifer / Oct 13 2013

    I’m sorry that you’re going through a difficult time πŸ™ It must be so hard to see other people’s updates on social media. I don’t really know what to say apart from that I’m thinking of you xx

    • Caro / Oct 13 2013

      Thank you Jennifer. There isn’t much anyone can say, but it helps enormously to off load some thoughts here and receive comments like this. I’m feeling in a more positive frame of mind today too – as I hope my most recent post shows πŸ™‚

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