I’ve spent the better part of a decade hating Murphy because his law always applied to me. When I had a miscarriage, guaranteed somebody close to me would find out they were pregnant just as I’d start bleeding from the miscarriage. If I was pregnant, somebody close to me would find out they too were pregnant and within days of their news I’d start to bleed. If I was having an IVF or battling through a failed IVF or failed attempt (IUI, Timed, Stimmed, whatever) then guaranteed someone close to me would always find out that they were pregnant and somehow I always just knew that I could trust that Murphy’s law would prevail.
As an example, my SIL fell pregnant, accidentally, with her partner who she’d been seeing for 6 weeks because they never used birth control ‘cos he said he suspected he was sterile from Mumps as a child, that was 3 weeks after my first, most crushing and most devastating miscarriage. Going through her pregnancy while dealing with the fall out of my miscarriage was hard. It was excruciatingly painful to spend Sunday family lunches ooh’ing and aah’ing over her growing belly, talking about baby stuff and listening to all the plans. I kept a stiff upper lip, I held it together but I cried great big silent tears that would slide heavily down my cheeks and make wet patches on my shirts in the car on the way home after every one of those days.
I hosted her baby shower, three weeks before her baby shower date, I found out I was pregnant again, what followed was almost two weeks of on and off bed rest because of unexplained spotting. Two days before her baby shower my miscarriage was confirmed. But I kept it together, I kept a stiff upper lip and did the very best I could. I hosted her baby shower with a smile plastered on my face while I tried not to double over from severe miscarriage cramping.
A few months after I’d had my 6th miscarriage and reeling from our first failed IVF, Walter and I went away on holiday to my family in the Cape, we went to my parents holiday home on the West Coast at Langebaan. It was supposed to be a time of healing, a time of reflection and a time for rebuilding strength that my 6 miscarriage and first failed IVF had sucked out of me. Four days into the holiday we received a call that would crush what little strength I had started to rebuild. My SIL phoning to tell us we were going to be Aunties and Uncles for a second time. My second nephew was born on the one year anniversary of my 6th miscarriage, 22nd November.
This is just an example of what has transpired along my IF journey, there are loads of examples like this which I could share. Where time and time again, just when I thought things couldn’t get any harder, something would happen that would push me even further into the deep, dark pit of despair.
The one “bullet” I have managed, by God’s mercy, to dodge is pregnant colleagues. I work for a small company, we are all of 16 employee’s and up until very recently, it was very male dominated with only a handful of women, of which all had either had children or were past the child-bearing age. Until the beginning of last year when two female colleagues joined the company. Neither one of them married, both of them in the region of 30, both of them in serious relationships. As my IVF in March last year failed, they both got engaged and set wedding dates, one for November 2009 and one for February 2010 and I knew… I just knew… I was in big big trouble.
I knew what was coming, I knew that it was only a matter of time before suddenly champagne wasn’t sipped in the boardroom, before bellies started to grow and before I would be surrounded ( I work closely with both these women, we share an office) I would be literally surrounded by pregnancy and pregnant bellies and baby talk and baby plans and I was frantic. It was one thing to hold it together, to keep my emotions in check with family or friends when visiting once a week or once every couple of weeks. But how was I going to survive this? How was I going to come to work every single day and be faced with my lack of fertility, every day, 5 days a week for the bulk of the day?
But somehow God, in His greatness and mercy, stepped in and saved me from my worst nightmare.
When I cam back from maternity leave, I noticed that the female colleague who’d gotten married in November was looking decidedly chubby, shortly after that she announced her pregnancy, she’s expecting a girl and she’s being born in November. Of course, having spent so many years longing for a child, I’m super in tune to all things pregnancy related and had noticed that my other female colleague, the one who got married in February, was also starting to behave decidedly pregnant. No champagne in the boardroom. No cups of coffee, no more traveling and then last week I saw it, I saw her stand at her desk and unconsciously rub her belly and I noticed the very early start of a baby bump. She’s since told me that although she hasn’t announced it yet, she is in fact pregnant and just past the 12 week mark.
Thank you God for small mercies, thank you God that my beautiful miracle child has saved me from what would have been unbearably painful for me to be faced with every day. Now instead, they come to me to ask for advice on baby goodies, on sleep routines on all things baby related. I can participate and fully enjoy their pregnancies without being so horribly aware of my own barrenness.
I’m so grateful for this small mercy!
I know this posting must make me sound like a horrible, bitter infertile but I just want to categorically state that I’m not one of those who feels that nobody else should be allowed to have a baby because I can’t, or that others weren’t allowed to rejoice in their blessings cos I couldn’t have what they had but just because I’m happy for others doesn’t mean I can live vicariously through them without being deeply affected by my own loss, pain and despair.