I’m struggling a bit with writing here at the moment. A writer’s block of sorts, but also a symptom of all my focus being overwhelmed by infertility, IVF and our failure to conceive. And much as I want to write about all those things, I feel a little cautious and a little stifled as a result of some of the thoughtless things that have been said to me in person. Deep down I’m afraid of opening myself up to more of the same here. In the past week I’ve been told that “I don’t seem that upset”, which is perhaps the most hurtful thing I’ve heard so far. As if anyone else has any right to judge how I *should* be feeling, when they haven’t been anywhere near being in my shoes. And I detest the assumption that they know just how I’m feeling based purely on what I choose to show. It may be true that I’ve managed to retain a composed public face, but that says nothing of how I’m feeling under the surface. I could go on, but it’s not what I really want to write about.
I’ve also been told this week that I need to stop putting my life on hold. This is something that I freely acknowledge that, at times, I have been doing for the last two years or so, and have even questioned the sense of numerous times myself. Despite that, and whilst the comment is no where near as hurtful as the one above, I still find myself hating it and responding, if only internally, with the question “why?”. I know the answers: because it’s not fair on myself, or my husband and son, to deny us opportunities to do things; Because we might be waiting for something that will never happen and I may regret what we forgo in the meantime.
But I just can’t quite shake the idea of the possibility that I might still fall pregnant.
Perhaps in order to understand this, you need to know more about me. You need to appreciate the fact that I’m the kind of person who never gives up without a very big fight, if at all. I’m known for my tenacity and remembered for saying that if you tell me that I can’t do something, I’ll try twice as hard just to prove you wrong. In fact, I’ve done just that more than once in my life. Some of the obstacles I’ve faced, and overcome, aren’t relevant to this blog, nor things that I wish to keep dragging up, no matter how proud I am of my ultimate successes and big achievements. Suffice it to say that when it comes to something I want, or something I believe passionately in, I’m determined and prepared to do whatever it takes.
Maybe this is one of the reasons that infertility is so difficult for me. It isn’t something that can be overcome by hard work alone. It’s all almost entirely out of my control. I can’t go further, climb higher or dig deeper in any sense but one: my resolve to not let it break me. Like so many things in life there are really only two options – give up or go on.
I know that I might be forgiven for giving up. We’ve tried for a long time and we’ve thrown much of what medical science can currently offer, along with more money that perhaps we should, at the problem. I know that no one would blame me if I simply walked away. In fact, I think plenty of people would applaud me for accepting the family we have and making my peace with what is to be.
But I can’t pick that option, no matter how sensible, or how laudable.
Instead, I choose hope.
I may not be able to influence what happens from here all that much. And I have begun to get my head around the fact that we will most likely only have Thomas. I will probably not get to experience another pregnancy, nor that first rush of love for a person that we have created together. Baby steps towards accepting that, however, doesn’t mean that I’m ready to give up entirely.
I’m still able to hope that we may have a different outcome. Whether that’s through a miracle natural conception, or another assisted conception cycle that somehow brings us a different outcome – the possibilities are still there. If believing that makes me think twice about plans for this year and next, then so be it.
Whilst I have hope, I go on.
I choose hope. It just might still happen.