I left you in my last blog post Getting Intimate - Finding My Fertility, at Part 4: Hope. I’d just experienced the sting of my first round of fertility medication showing a glimmer of progress before fizzling out. I feel pulled to write the next installment, as while my body has not yet changed, my mind has.
In Sisterhood and Brotherhood,
Before I continue the story I must say a deeply profound Thank You to every one who sent messages of support after that first blog. I remember my husband calling from downstairs after I clicked publish “Umm...baaaaabe? What have you posted? My Twitter is going nuts.” I got so many stories from people whose role as parents I had taken for granted, no idea that it had taken them up to 5 years to see their dream of children. My husband got messages from men acknowledging how hard it is for them to be the strong support for us pining mothers, whilst also processing the emotion themselves. It was pretty humbling.
Part 5: The 10%
When I was at Uni my boyfriend nicknamed me “The 10%” because I would consistently come in the top 10% of my classes. He’d give me shit about it tongue in cheek, but was also genuinely proud of me. Over 10 years later and that relationship long gone, "The 10%" popped up again. After our first failed round of medication, we upped the dose and tried again. The doctor told us this would work for 90% of people. It turns out I had landed in the 10%, but this time I really didn’t want to be there. I was one of those edge cases where it just wasn’t working. I grew a even bigger, fatter, healthier follicle, I had those butterflies of “holy shit, this is going to work”, dull cramps would make my heart skip a beat thinking a bleed was coming. But once again, nothing.
So I was sent for an ultrasound to make sure there were no adhesions or blockages in my fallopian tubes. Hell. On. Earth.
Part 6: Pain For Your Thoughts
That ultrasound was like reaching a new level of physical awakening. I had been warned it would be uncomfortable, the nurse stood beside me and took my hand, and I remember thinking “awww that’s nice, but I got this”. That was until I heard the doctor say “I’m going to inflate the balloon n…”
All I remember is whimpering in pain, squeezing the nurses hand, trying to remember to breathe, and my poor husband looking frightened, perhaps worrying if this was meant to happen or if something was going wrong but not wanting to interfere. Luckily I was given the all clear, but I remember standing in reception as we paid an exorbitant amount for the privilege of my insides being invaded, and looking at happy expectant mothers awaiting their turn to go in and see the heartbeat of their child. “I don’t want to come back here unless there is a nugget of love inside me” I said to Shannon. He took my hand and instead of walking me to the car, took me across the road to a tiny hole-in-the-wall cafe where I ordered a giant coffee and the most arrogant and over the top muffin they had. My mind was saying Fuck It.
Part 7: There, or Now?
That was when my mindset starting changing. The next option is injections which we were told were almost 100% guaranteed to work. My pessimism said “yeah, but I’ll be the 1% this time”, and with both my husband and I travelling, I decided I needed a break. I took that break to really sit with it. Write. Dream. Cry. Ponder. Talk to my mum. Spend time with my infant nephew (that little squish featuring in the photo above!). What do I want?
I realised in my desperation for the “destination” of motherhood, I had misdiagnosed what was really behind my yearning. In taking the injections to force a pregnancy I would be skipping what I truly wanted, and that is to bleed. I don’t want to skip the natural part. I deeply, physically, spiritually and essentially want to experience my cycle again. And mark my word when I do, I am going to respect the shit out of it. I am going to study it, get to know it like an intimate friendship, and work with it as a part of me that is as intrinsic as my breath. Is there a guarantee that I WILL get it back? No. But I am giving it one more solid go.
Part 8: Nature
So I’ve changed tact. Medical professionals are on hold. I am seeing an acupuncturist, taking Chinese herbs, estrogen drops and natural supplements, supporting myself with essential oils, and studying Yin Yoga and meridian theory. I'm connecting with my creativity because after all, as a woman, creativity is inherent within my cells. It is easy to let that make me feel like I am broken but instead I'm stoking the fire of creation in other ways. And it feels good. It feels like I am giving something back to my body after taking so much from it during my eating disorder. I’ve had no explicit bodily response other than improved energy levels, sleep, and the comforting feeling that I am doing something, taking action.
And so we continue on…