The decision to go for IVF was tough. I think before we started discussing it with Dr Candour I knew it was the right answer. But it feels hard. Miserable in fact. I wasn't ready for the shell shock on my emotions.
The day we saw Dr Candour I was somewhat of a basket case. The day after, I had my first acupuncture appointment with new acupuncturist and it really helped calm me down. But on Wednesday I had a complete collapse and couldn't stop crying all day. It was a bit tough to explain to clients and colleagues why I was constantly wiping my eyes while discussing issues such as their current program structure. Thursday I was ok. Saturday I was fine until a recently new mother turned up to see my personal trainer in the slot immediately after mine, bringing her baby with her, encouraging all sorts of billing and cooing about how cute the baby is. I just left without admiring the baby. I'm sure the baby's mother thinks I'm a bitch, luckily the trainer knows what we're going through so I think she understands. I'm up and down, and all the places in between.
I think my extreme funk comes from two directions. The first is that this feels like a last resort. There is nothing else we can try if this doesn't work to have a biological child. And right now, not having a biological child feels like the end of the world. Jen's post on this really helped me think about it more rationally. I do know that being a mother is more important to me than anything else in my life, and so if it comes to it I will want to adopt. But oh, that feels like such a loss right now. I'm mourning the potential loss of a biological child, before we've had the loss. I know that's perverse, but it's what I'm feeling. Even more bizarrely, I'm mourning the potential loss of a second or third biological child. I'll try to explain.
Although I have never had a clear visual image of my dream child, I have always imagined my daugher - her character, what I would do with her, what she would want to do - since a fortune teller in India when I was 19 told me I'd have three children, two girls and a boy, and that one of the girls would have a big impact on the world. Although I'm very anti hocus-pocus, this was the same fortune teller who told me my mother's maiden name - which is an incredibly odd combination of English and Jewish names, double barelled - nothing he could have figured out - so I did have to give him some credibility. And, let's face it, I gave him that credibility because I wanted to. Two girls and a boy sounded about perfect. I wanted my daughters to have the sister that I never had. I suppose now those children may still come, and perhaps they will be biological and perhaps they will be adopted. But the fact that they may not come either way is a loss.
When I'm not worrying about never having H and my biological child, I worry about having an only child. When I was 23 a friend of mine died from leukaemia. He was an only child and both his parents were only children. I looked at them at the funeral and thought I had never seen anything like the level of devastation they were experiencing. I am well aware that nothing can make up for the loss of a child, but if you have another child surely you are not quite as alone. And the other way round - if you are the only child, the loneliness of being left orphaned and without siblings seemed unbearable to me.
This was supported by a very moving article I read about 10 years ago, where a woman described going home to clean up her parents house after they had both recently died. She described being there with her sister, and how her sister was the only person she wanted to be there with, despite the fact that they had not spoken in 5 years and were in no way close to or supportive of each other. But her sister was the one person who could understand what she was going through, and who shared her memories. I imagined what it would be like for her to be going through that experience without her sister and I cried.
Finally I worry about the pressure of parental expectations on an only child. I am a bit of a perfectionist (Ha, hear my friends laughing at that understatement). I worry that I'd really mess up an only child if they are the only repository for all my hopes and dreams for my children, no matter how well I try to hide that.
This wasn't meant to turn into a diatribe against only children. I know some wonderful only children - my favourite goddaughter is one - it's just another potential loss for myself that I'm mourning. It wasn't the future that I envisaged for myself, just as adoption was not the future I envisaged.
Back to our regularly scheduled blog entry. Second, IVF feels like admitting failure. The failure of my body to do what it is supposed to have done. Much as I have been pessimistic on here, I've also secretly always known that I would be pregnant soon. That's why each month of failure is as devastating as it is. So going to IVF is going somewhere that I always characterised as a last resort for those whose bodies didn't work as well as they should. Now I am 'those people'. My body is broken. It doesn't know how to get H and me together into one being, or how to get that potential being to implant. Or it doesn't know how to make eggs in the first place, who knows.
So I'm broken. But I'm at least exercising and not baking. Although I did eat several spoonfuls of New York Super Fudge Chunk yesterday. Not even my usual flavour of choice, but it seemed like the right option to accompany an evening of season 2 of ER. Carter looks so young! Lucy Liu was so plain! Ross was such a maverick!
Onwards and upwards.