Having told a number of people that we were doing IVF back in September, then experiencing a missed miscarriage in November, it’s safe to say we wanted to be more guarded before we undertook anymore treatment. Too many people knew before, too many people knew we’d be getting a result soon after treatment and that put a huge amount of pressure on me without realising. Knowing we had one frozen embryo to go we decided to do this round in secret – well, it’s not really ‘a secret’ but we made the mutual decision not to tell anyone. Not even close family, which was a big deal for me.
You’ve read all the books, the glossy baby magazines with the pretty pictures and you’ve spent hours scrolling through Pinterest. You’ve got all your baby ‘must have’ items, the pram, the buggy and the scandi-chic nursery and to be honest, you don’t really think beyond this, but what about when that baby turns into an actual small person? A child? What other essential items do you need and where do you get your ideas from? What happens is, you generally get ideas from other parents. A friend will tell you how amazing something is or you’ll see someone using something and realise you need said item, but does anyone share with you the items that are slightly ‘off piste’? The items that might not have been tried and tested, that might not spring to mind but that might be needed when that beautiful (non mobile) being becomes an movable, un-stopable force? That’s where I step in to help. You’re welcome.
It’s been eight months now since we had IVF – which writing down I actually can’t believe it’s been that long now – and it’s been about five or so months since the miscarriage. Something I keep asking myself, something I keep sitting down to write about and something I keep being asked, is when we’re going to try IVF again? This is a tricky one because at the moment, the simple answer is, I just don’t know *shrugs shoulders*. I feel like the fog of everything that has happened, the fog of winter and the fog of never-ending coughs and colds is finally clearing, and it’s now that I can start contemplating moving forwards. So what do we want to do? Do we want to try again? What happens next?
Alcohol has always been a big part of my life for as long as I can (hazily) remember. It’s always been there, lurking in the background, at every family event, every BBQ, every nightclub, every wedding. A night out wouldn’t be complete without a drink in my hand. I can remember various booze related things growing up. I remember having sips of my dad’s beer when I was little, and sips of wine on holidays, I remember one Xmas Eve with family friends when I was about fourteen or fifteen, my siblings and friends children got me rather drunk, my dad had to help me walk home and I had my first hangover the next day – it was horrific, but clearly didn’t put me off. I remember my mum picking me up from a pub where I’d been with older friends and had promised not to drink. My wobbly bambi legs gave me away, that and the fact that I fell through the open front door. My teenage years meant underage drinking – always cider round the friends house whose parents would let us drink. Then there was drinking in the pubs we got served in and there was the raiding of drinks cabinets to take concoctions out in plastic bottles. Then there was university and my twenties, boxes of punch, shots, wrestling – but that’s another story altogether. It’s all been a rather wonderful, boozy cycle.
You’ve had a miscarriage, it’s goddamn awful, horrendous – the most empty feeling there can possibly be, to have been pregnant and then not. And, if you’re anything like me then you’ve read as much as you can bear on various Google searches (read as Mumsnet chatrooms) You’ve read about those women who fall pregnant a month afterward a miscarriage (urgh), read about why it might have happened, the odds, that it wasn’t your fault etc etc. But other than reading things that might drive you a little crazy, what else should you be doing? Well, from my point of view, moving on from a miscarriage has been a slow and steady process. I like to think that I was lucky (ha, I try to find the positive) in that mine happened very early on, and beside my boobs – which were enormous – my body had only just begun to physically change. It’s obviously very different for all women, and no doubt how far along you were is a huge factor, but here are the things that I’ve realised I have had to accept, or things that have helped me cope with this rather horrible experience.