It is 13 years this weekend since I walked down the aisle to my now hubby and said ‘I do’. I have so many fantastic memories of our wedding day. Surrounded by family and friends celebrating the next chapter in our lives together. I was in my mid-twenties, infertility hadn’t crept into our lives, we were renovating our first house and we were looking forward to whatever was going to come our way.
Those 13 years have been packed full of good times. We have seen some amazing places in the world. We have watched many people close to us get married and have families. We have built a life together. A good friend of mine wrote in our wedding card that we should remember, even in tough times, to laugh together. So many times during the past 13 years I have said, if I couldn’t laugh then I would just cry.
It has been 11 years since we made the decision to start a family. 11 years later we are no further forward. Years of disappointment, heartache and sadness have tinged our relationship. We try hard not to think about it, not to allow it to seep into the depths of who we are, but inevitably it does. When I walked down the aisle, never in my worst nightmares did I expect that we would be tested so much. And yet, somehow, we have survived, just us two. Time after time we have brushed ourselves off and found the strength to move forward, together.
I used to read often on forums that infertility had made a relationship stronger and that IVF had brought couples closer together. I could never understand how that could be the case. For me, it felt that it just pulled us apart, that it had created so many cracks in our relationship I wasn’t sure if we would make it from one treatment to the next. The years of treatments not working, the grief, the pain, the isolation and ultimately the lack of wanting to talk about it and what it really meant for us, lead to a point where we were just going from one day to the next…we just survived. There have been times where we have felt broken, both as individuals and as a couple. I suppose there is one thing that has always kept us together…love. Pure and simple, the deep love that we have for each other has held us together in the really hard times.
I am happy to say that now in our 13th year of marriage, things are good. Infertility is part of our lives, but it isn’t all of who we are anymore. It consumed us for far too many years of our marriage, we no longer allow it to. It feels like we are stronger and closer than ever before. It hasn’t been easy and it has taken a lot of soul searching and honest communication. Somewhere along the track we forgot to ask each other how the other one was doing, we avoided talking about the important things and we were scared to tell each other how we were feeling. Once we started talking…and I mean really talking, things felt so much better.
At some point during our 13th year of marriage we will be transferring our 13th embryo. That’s got to be a sign right? Unlucky for most people, but lucky for us? Probably not. After being on this treadmill for so long I have come to realise that nothing is quite that simple. So many times I’ve made those types of connections, been filled with hope only for it to be taken away again just as quickly as it came. Like the time we were due an embryo transfer on our 5th wedding anniversary, ooh now that was a sign. Nope, I spent the week in hospital with OHSS instead. Time after time I have tortured myself with false hope because of some sign from the universe. Anyone trapped in the nightmare of infertility will understand what it’s like and how much it messes with you. We grab onto just about anything in the hope that this time will be our time.
We are heading into our 13th year full of love and hope. Whatever happens, happens. We will deal with it. One thing I do know is that I’m lucky to have found someone to share my life with that truly loves me. There is no-one that I would rather be facing the next year with. From the bottom of my heart I hope that embryo number 13 is the one that finally sticks around, it wouldn’t be lucky, it would be amazing.