Last night I had a chat with one of my Mom-Post-Infertility friends. We got onto the topic of PTSD and how so many of us who make it through to the other side of a long battle with infertility, will on some levels battle with some form of PTSD. I’ve spoken about this before. This is definitely very real for me. I don’t have the curl-yourself-in-a-ball-while-lying-in-bed-shivering-&-crying variety of PTSD. But I do struggle with a number of issues from years battling infertility and I’m not sure these will ever fully leave me.
For the most part, I’ve packed the pain of my years of IF away, tucked in a cold, little box, somewhere deep in my subconscious but every now and then I’ll see something or hear something that will cause my heart to revisit that cold little box and unpack it for a little while and I’ll experience that pain all over again, in all its bloody, raw messiness. And it will hurt my heart and cause my eyes to brim with unshed tears.
After getting off the phone with my friend last night, I climbed into bed and started to watch Guiliana & Bill on the Style Network. Not sure how many of you have been watching there show, but it isn’t at all what I had originally thought it would be. It’s not a fluffy Hollywood story where everything is just peachy and everyone lives happily ever after. While we live thousands of miles apart, in both miles and lifestyles, I feel so deeply connected with them. Just a quick recap – they’re infertile, they’ve had one + IVF that resulted in a pregnancy which ended in miscarriage, another IVF which resulted in severe OHSS and a FET which last night we learned was negative.
Walter watched last night’s episode and he too sat glued to the screen, even from a man’s perspective, he could identify with what they were going through. During the 2ww, Giuliana was convinced the FET had worked and they were pregnant, I felt familiar squeezing sensation around my heart and that heavy pit develop in my tummy. We watched as Bill remained somewhat detached from the hope and while he remained realistic, she became more and more convinced she was pregnant. We watched as they received the devastating news that the FET was in fact negative. We watched, identifying with all of their feelings, emotions and devastation as hope was once again stolen from them. We watched as emails of support from other infertile fans started pouring in, offering her camaraderie and encouragement. We watched as she bravely tried to read an email to Bill, from a fellow infertile, who’d written to her, offering her support, telling her how she understood what it felt like to struggle and try and try and try, while everyone around her fell pregnant naturally and had babies and moved on while they were trapped in the same, unfair, sad place. We watched as Giuliana read this email, as her voice started to quiver with unshed emotion, as her eyes filled with tears, as she leaned forward and into Bill, while he stoically put his arms around her and she cried out her heartbreak.
It was too much for me, I got up and walked out, found a quite spot and silently let the tears roll down my cheeks as I let my heart unpack that cold, hard box of pain and felt it all over again.
There is a part of me that will never fully recover from a journey that broke my heart, mended my heart, molded & shaped me.