Dragging myself out from under the rock

It’s been two weeks today since my latest D&C and it’s been a strange old time. The loss this time has affected me differently – and arguably worse – than last time and I have really been struggling the past week.

The first week after the D&C I think I just felt empty, but after that it was a new sensation. The best word I can think of to describe my overall state is drained. I have had no energy, no enthusiasm, and definitely no ability to be happy. I’ve not wanted to have anything to do with anyone, and I mean that in a literal way as I have avoided all contact with humanity beyond what is required of my job. I’m a pretty cheerful and out-going personality usually and so people have been noticing, which has also not helped.

I delayed telling my best friend about the (failed) embryo transfer and D&C until last weekend, but when I finally did confess and apologise for being such a terrible friend she was very supportive and understanding. I also delayed talking to my mother-in-law until this week (she has known for about a week before that), which I think was a good decision as I was a tiny bit more ready for her 10 million questions when they came (all of which I have no answers for, of course).

I’ve been asked I don’t know how many times how are you? But you know what, most people actually don’t want to know how I really am.  They want me to answer that I’m feeling much better and looking forward to the future and positive that with more persistence eventually I will have a baby.  But that is really, really not how I feel.  So I am either torn between giving them the answer they want or being honest and telling them I’m totally crap and really don’t want to talk about it anymore.

I’ve quickly found that the second option is not socially acceptable.

But it’s been an interesting time in terms of not caring what other people think as I have routinely been giving the second answer and disregarding the consequences. People get very awkward after hearing this, but I’ve spent so much of my life (particularly recent years) trying to be diplomatic and always appear like everything is fine in public but this is to please other people.  I am do not have the energy or the motivation to please other people right now.

By refusing the diplomatic option, I think people are starting to see how deeply this whole baby-making fiasco is affecting me.  While hardly making them able to tap into how I feel fully (how do you effectively convey the intensity of IVF and the associated loss to someone who has never experienced it first hand?), I think people are starting to realise I am struggling.  This is the first time I’ve let people really see that during this process.

Also, my boss is sending me off to a counsellor as I think she’s decided I’m depressed (maybe she’s right – how do I know?)  I know I have been pretty brutal at work….

But actually the past couple of days I have started to feel a tiny bit better.  I started yoga on Monday and, while I’ve always dabbled in it in the past I’ve never really focused on yoga, preferring running and gym classes instead. This time I have promised myself that at least for the next month I am going to try and go to yoga 3 times a week.  This week I think I’ll make it 2 times as I had a work engagement last night, and also it’s probably better to ease into it.  The yoga I do is physically challenging (good) but also I think it’s helping me to like myself a tiny bit.

Physically, I think I’m doing much better.  Almost no bleeding anymore (thank goodness!) and my boobs have gone down a little.  My belly is still more inflated than normal, but I have lost half a kilogram and I’m hoping the other half will be gone by the end of next week.  If I can get another kg off after that I think I will start to feel a little better in myself.

I haven’t read or commented on anyone’s blogs for a week or so because I just don’t have it in me to share your joys and pain just yet.  That doesn’t mean I don’t care and I am utterly thrilled that many of you are doing so well right now. I’m glad someone is getting this IVF stuff right!

 

 

 

 

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Resting, repairing, restarting

Since my last post I have taken a bit of a step back from the world and mainly stayed away from people as a means to heal and grieve. It was good yesterday to spend most of the day at home, being close to my hubby and not having to feel the stress of external pressures.

I don’t know what came over me though, but I somehow agreed to go out for a bike ride for a short while. Now, I’m an outdoorsy, sporty type by nature, but due to all the associated IVF stuff I have not ridden my bike for almost a year!  Quite a shameful admission, but it’s true that I’ve been trying to avoid jiggly activities that might shake up the ovaries and womb.  Well that’s not a concern anymore, is it?!

I really enjoyed the ride, wind in my hair, dust in my face.  I’ve done no real exercise beyond some nice walks for the past two months so I did huff and puff a bit, but I returned home feeling kind of normal (temporarily).  It was a good experience and brought some emotional relief too.

But then it turns out that maybe it wasn’t such a great idea as I had some cramps later (took Ibuprofen and everything was fine after that) and looked up what the advice is for activities post D&C.  Turns out that no intense exercise is recommended for a week or two. Oops.  Also no sex due to risk of infection so the drought goes on 😦 Anyway, I’m fine now other than a couple of small cramps so I don’t think any harm was done from the bike ride.

I’m working form home today which gives me another day to hide from the world and feel both physically and emotionally better before facing the office tomorrow. I’m still super-bloated and the scales say I’ve gained 2kg since the operation on Friday (seriously, how?!!) so it is going to be tent-based fashion for at least the rest of the week. My boobs are not sore anymore so that’s nice, but they are yet to deflate to their regular size (I have mixed feelings about this).

I also got a call today from the place where my embryo was sent for genetic testing and was nearly floored when they told me it would cost 450 EUR of testing.  REALLY?!!  We are now weighing up whether to test it or not. I still think it’s important but 450 EUR seems a lot.

Otherwise, I’m now looking forward to re-starting my regular life again. I’ve had some wine over the weekend and many, many cups of tea (I am delighted to add tea back into my life!). Hubby and I are thinking of making a trip back to my homeland in a few weeks to see my Mum, but we are yet to formally plan it.  Given we have a few months off from the IVF treadmill we are going to try and enjoy ourselves and take advantage of our (temporary) freedom.

While of course this is not what either of us wanted, we are trying to find a way to make the best of our situation and hope that something more positive is around the corner for us.

 

There is nothing anyone can say

Yesterday was the end of being pregnant for me. You might argue that it actually ended the day the embryo’s heart stopped beating, but I don’t know precisely when that was, other than in the last week. Until yesterday, I still had the embryo existing inside of me, even if it wasn’t thriving so I figure that I was still pregnant until then.

But now it’s gone and all that is left is an emptiness.  How do I feel?  I mean, physically I feel mainly fine today.  I’m bloated and the pregnancy hormones are still floating about (they take a few weeks to completely go) so I don’t feel like I did before I was pregnant either.  I kind of feel like a frumpy version of my pre-pregnant self.  The lady at the supermarket asked me today quite innocently if we are planning on extending our family beyond cats (no, it looks like I’ll just start a cat empire actually) and I think that was because she could see my mini bloat belly and mistook it for something else.

Emotionally, I don’t know how I am. How am I meant to be?  I have randomly been sobbing on and off all week, but I think I’m pretty functional most other times. More than anything I feel empty. I’ve had so many thoughts the past few days and quite a lot of them have been around the topic of maybe it is time I quit this IVF stuff now. I think that will pass at some point and we will try again, but it’s just so exhausting mentally. All this failure saps the joy out of the rest of life.

As I was lying on the operating table yesterday, the anaesthetist – who is a very nice man and remembered me from my last missed miscarriage / D&C  (great, I’m locally famous as the woman whose babies keep dying) – was trying to be kind and was telling me that I will have a baby eventually and to keep trying.  I appreciated his support but all the while I was nodding and agreeing there were tears flowing like rivers down both sides of my face. I must have looked like a right old sight!

I woke up not very long later to find that everything had been cleared out of me. Now for those faint of heart and who do not want to know about gory stuff, DO NOT CONTINUE READING THE REST OF THIS PARAGRAPH. I don’t know precisely what happened, but the procedure seemed to have been a bit more brutal than the previous one. This time around I woke up to find what the nurses described as a “tampon” inside of me because my cervix had been cut a little. The doctor downplayed this so I am not really sure how much of a big deal this actually was, but I have suspicions it was more serious than he was letting on.  Anyhow, he instructed a nurse to remove the “tampon” and I fully expected her to whip out something akin to a Tampax. (The thought of another person removing this did not massively thrill me but I was so numb to people getting involved in my business by then that I thought it inconsequential). Anyhow, what proceeded to happen was that she pulled out what seemed to be three miles of cotton gauze from my lady parts. It was very much like one of those annoying clowns who goes to hand you a handkerchief from his sleeve and it just keeps coming and coming!  I was thinking how much more can there be??

They then made me stay in the clinic for another 30 minutes just to make sure I didn’t bleed more (again, I think what they meant is to make sure I didn’t have a life-threatening haemorrhage, which was a nice thought to have). Then it was straight home and back to bed to try and sleep off the anaesthesia fog. I had some pain initially but it wasn’t severe enough to take painkillers. Unfortunately I do have antibiotics to take for a week – I think thanks to the cervix situation – so I am still not drug-free! I am not happy about this but also I don’t want an infected cervix/womb so I’m not arguing this one.

While yesterday I had a bit of fog from the drugs most of the day, today has just been about getting out of the house and trying to be normal (see supermarket visit above).  Hubby and I went for lunch and I had a glass of wine (!!) which was really nice and I was pretty relaxed. We then went for a stroll to get some ice-cream and passed a total of four pregnant women within about 200 metres. Then we went into the ice-cream shop and two heavily pregnant women walked in together and I lost it. I just walked straight back out the ice-cream shop and sat down on a bench and had a cry in public like an idiot. Hubby just chose an ice-cream for me and came out and fed it to me without saying anything.

There is nothing anyone can say. I am just sad.