The last few weeks I have struggled, swinging from being ok to being completely grief stricken. My stress levels have been building, my anxiety has sky rocketed and have just generally felt rubbish.
Last weekend I had to pee on a stick to check that my body had ‘dealt with’ the miscarriage. Staring at a negative test filled me with so many emotions, sadness that it was finally over, anger that we had to go through this, panic that we may never see two lines again and fear about what comes next. The clinic called me a day later to check that I had a negative test. The nurse talked about a follow up appointment, apparently it would be something to look forward to. I corrected her, in a nice way of course. I am forever disappointed, yet not surprised, by the lack of empathy and support that clinics show to patients. I still haven’t been asked if I would like to speak to a counsellor. Maybe it’s not in the script, who knows. Its pretty poor though. All they seem interested in is when I go back for a follow up and for another transfer. Basic support seems to be lacking. It really needs to change.
I have days where I feel generally ok. Work is completely manic at the moment but at least it means the time passes quickly. What is also means is that my stress levels are through the roof. I have been working long hours just to try and keep things under control. I haven’t been eating properly. I wake up early worried about things. I have pain in my back and shoulders. All of these are my stress indicators. I can hear them screaming at me to stop. I cannot stop. I feel a huge sense of responsibility to do the job to the best of my ability. I suppose work is a great distraction, but at the same time I am also very aware that we are hoping to do another FET in the next 8 weeks and being in a state of high stress is not going to help me one bit. In fact, I wouldn’t cope with it and so I cannot allow it to continue. I can also feel myself hurtling towards the point of another panic stricken breakdown. Last weekend I had moments of feeling like I did when I hit rock bottom. For most of the day I felt the same way that I did on that fateful Sunday in December 2015 when I knew I couldn’t carry on as I was. It was a scary place to be. I never want to go back there. I am determined not to. So, it is time for some self care. I need to try and re-balance things. Easier said than done.
In the aftermath of the last treatment cycle, I feel alone. I am surrounded by people and yet there are times when I feel completely alone. Our latest cycle only added to the desire for a family. I feel like I have been pushed back 5 years in our journey as the yearning for a family throws me back into the depths of feeling empty, feeling like something is missing and feeling that I am so far apart from those around me that I just can’t connect with anyone. I thought I had moved on from these feelings, but I suppose it just shows how quickly it can all come flooding back. A family was within reach, we had done it…but no, a cruel twist of something came and snatched it away from us. And once again I am left with a heart smashed into a thousand pieces. People struggle to say the right thing. People struggle to say anything. Someone dared suggest that at least now I know I can get pregnant…just no. On so many levels, just no. I understand the sentiment but no, not right now. I am plagued by the feelings infertility brings, right now it will not leave me. I know in time I will move forward. I have done it before and I will do it again.
Lots of people have asked us when we will do another cycle. I swing from wanting to do it as quickly as possible because I want to be pregnant and have a baby, to never wanting to put us through it again. The thought of hormone patches, scans, injections, steroids and an embryo transfer fills me with utter dread. I have always been filled with hope when we knew we were having FET. Now I am filled with fear. Maybe it is too soon to be thinking about it, but I can’t dwell on what has happened last time. I need to find the strength to move forward. Grief will come and go. We all reach the point at different times of knowing when we are ready to go again. If we get to June and I’m not ready, I won’t do it.
For now, it is small steps to start to prepare. I have started to walk the dog more often, the fresh air definitely helps with the stress levels. It will hopefully help me get rid of a few pounds that I put on during our last cycle too. I need to address the stress issues at work and this time I will not be consumed by it, but it is easier said than done. I have booked an acupuncture session in 2 weeks time. I didn’t do it with the last FET but I think it may help my anxiety levels. We have a follow up appointment at the clinic at the beginning of May. I’m not expecting them to change anything but we can’t cycle again without the follow up. All chocolate is removed from the house, healthy eating starts again from now. Today I have started my vitamins again. Small steps indeed. But important ones.
I need to try and work through the fear and reach a place of hope. This quote sums it up perfectly:
“Never let fear make decisions for you. Try to make life choices from a hope-filled perspective, as this will give you the greatest potential of achieving a happy life”
Zoe Clark-Coates, Saying Goodbye
The next few weeks will be key for me in deciding what to do next, more treatment or not. All I can do is take each day as it comes, look after myself, be kind to myself and know that it will get easier with time. The moments of grief will pass, the emptiness will lessen and I will find a way to move forward positively. I have to.