I had the opportunity recently to share my fertility story over on a site called My F Word. The host, Selina has been through several years of fertility problems, and has a section where others can share their tales on her site. There’s a real mix of lives in there, I urge you to go and have a read if you are experiencing similar issues. For me personally, for a while now I’ve been wanting to get the last few years written down, for my own benefit but also for any other women out there experiencing secondary infertility, to hopefully see that you are not alone. Here is my post.
I’ve had two very different announcements this week. A pregnancy one on Facebook with the standard scan photo, and a text from a friend, telling me about her miscarriage. What a stark difference. How exciting and wonderful for one person, and how truly rubbish and shit for the other. This is sadly just the harsh reality of life. Off the back of this, a thought popped into my head, it’s June. It’s June. This is the month I was supposed to be due, the month I was supposed to have a new baby. How had I forgotten about this, and now I’d remembered, how did I feel about this?
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?
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.
Have you heard about or do you know what ‘Self-Care’ means? Is it something that’s on your radar or is it more in the Bermuda lost triangle zone as far as you’re concerned? Do you even know what I’m talking about?! Self care is essentially about taking responsibility for yourself, your health and mental wellbeing. It essentially means to look after YOU. I knew of the term but despite doing a lot of things for ‘myself’ I didn’t really acknowledge that what I was doing was called ‘self-care’. Listening to Women’s Hour on Friday (I know, I’m WILD) there was a segment about this topic, where it took one woman finding out she had cancer, going through all the treatment and coming out the other side, before she realised that she hadn’t been taking care of herself at all. She realised pre-diagnosis that she’d been burning candle at both ends, running herself into the ground working and partying too hard. Having cancer made her realise she needed to slow down and start loving herself a bit more. The programme really got me thinking. Certainly leading up to IVF I was really good at meditating on a regular basis, I was getting loads of sleep, drinking loads of water etc but then the pregnancy and sickness stopped all of that, and then after the miscarriage everything went to shit, quite frankly. I went off track by way of rebelling and showing my anger I suppose. I stopped doing all of the things that were good for ME. I realised that I hadn’t been looking after myself at all.