It turns out that infertility post-miscarriage is not just about picking up where you left off. I had thought it would be easier because "at least you know you can get pregnant". And yes, I am hopeful for subsequent treatment cycles. But there is a cloak of sadness, both protecting and hiding me from the outside world, that wasn't part of last year's post-miscarriage collection. Occasionally the cloak comes off and I feel like standing up, naked, and screaming "See, I'm not like other people".
That's what's changed. Before I was a normal person suffering the knock-back of infertility. I was (or should I say, we were) infertile, I was not "an infertile". Now I am little else.
I gained a colleague this week - a successful, outgoing, friendly guy, full of enthusiasm for his work, and for his 6 month old daughter. It's like looking into the mirror of what might have been, had our May 2006 baby made it.
And yet I don't feel like a failure. In my work and my social life, sure, but in life, no. I don't feel like a failure because I know I've done everything possible to help us have a baby. In fact, I feel like a successful infertile - from miscarriage to IUI in less than a year! I should write a book. I should write a book.
We are hanging on by a thread. DH broke down last night, he doesn't want to do this any more. But he will carry on, as he knows it's the only thing that will make me happy. I am postponing his happiness for the sake of my own. I hope he thanks me for it some day.
It's hard to find the words to describe what infertility does to a couple. How do you explain it to your friends? I talk about the monthly disappointment, the tears, the bitterness, the constant longing for a child. But that still doesn't conjur up the image of a grown man and woman shouting at each other, sobbing in each others' arms, hour after hour, night after night. Infertility is not just about the inability to have a child. It is about the pain of relationship strain and even breakdown, the loss of close family and best friends to ignorance and jealousy, the loss of a hard-earned career, or at least the end of motivation for it, the constant financial pressure, and the terrible guilt that the one beautiful child you have is the real loser in all of this.
Only two cycles into our current struggle and already we are breaking. I know we will patch up the cracks and carry on as normal, it's the only way we know. It's impossible to take "time out" - what exactly does that mean? Using contraceptives so that there's no point in getting your hopes up? Wouldn't you still, just a little bit? And we did have some wonderful time out - happy as Larry we were, just a week ago.
Will go off now and count my blessings (one, two) for the zillionth time and psych myself up for the big O this weekend.
Ho hum, twiddle my thumbs. CD8, a useless day. Not a time of hope, nor of despair. Just another day in a long month in a long year.
We are on cycle 2 post-miscarriage 2. No miracle holiday baby for us. Just a long, heavy bleed, and a step back from another IUI. We had been given the go-ahead to start this cycle, and I had all my meds with me, but I managed to make the sensible decision to wait until I've had a normal cycle.
So now I can look forward to another cycle where I pretend we have a chance, take my temp every morning, agonise over OPKs, drag myself back from the brink of testing at 6dpo, only to have my hopes dashed at 7,8,9 and 10dpo.
And here I am on CD8, wishing the days away, eyeing up that mid-cycle rush with the expectation of a first-timer. Still hoping for a miracle, still waiting, after all these years.
It's been all me, me, me recently, hasn't it? I got very drunk at the weekend and possibly talked a little bit too much about infertility to a friend, while she played devil's advocate. How could I forget the two rules?
The first rule of Infertility Club is, you do not talk about infertility. The second rule of Infertility Club is, you do not talk about infertility.
Going anywhere nice on holiday this year? We are off to sunny Spain on Wednesday - I have a conference Thurs-Sun and then we are having a proper holiday for the following week. Was hoping I would get to talk on Thurs or Fri, but the bastards have put me on Sat morning, thereby ruining our chances of a big night out on Fri. We leave early on Sun morning (so long suckers!) for our real holiday, so that's Sat night out as well.
I'll be bringing my laptop, but won't be going out of my way looking for a WiFi connection, so I may be some time. Will send updates and pics when I can. See you later.