Fighting Against The Tide
I feel I am fighting against the tide. Against well-meaning people who suggest we should keep trying... That we should find hope from somewhere and keep trying for that longed for baby. We have our reasons for our reservations.
In a world filled with people who have children, and despite desperately wanting this too, we do not. Well, we have two but both never lived past the womb.
It has been a long 3 years of trying for a baby; and what do we have to show for this? Heartbreak, eternal grief and sadness. My husband and I feel done in. Like we emotionally couldn't cope with a third pregnancy; and if, by some miracle, a pregnancy would go full term what state would I be in? I watch our puppy's stomach whenever she lies down as I'm worried she will stop breathing. I panic whenever my husband goes out, for fear of something happening to him.
Am I in my right mind to try (which is a mission in itself) for pregnancy, maintain a pregnancy (which I personally feel is an impossible mission) and then IF and it's a huge NOT GUARANTEED if, I have a baby that is alive; what state would I be in?? Every second of every day for 40 weeks; the level of stress and worry and waiting for something to go wrong would destroy any positivity. My experience of pregnancy is a never-ending sequence of negative, gut-wrenching events. Then, if we have a live baby, how much anxiety would I experience in looking after him or her? The acute fear that something is going to go wrong at some point; this assumption based on previous personal experience and from speaking to many others and being aware that life is not guaranteed to anyone for any amount of time.
Whenever I verbalise this with others, they shoot down my very real, very substantiated fears, facts and worries. They tell me "oh well, do it all again"... like it's that easy!
I know they have not been through all we have, they simply cannot begin to imagine what we are going through, and have been through the past 3 years. The fact I need a counsellor to just get through every week. The fact that IF I was to perform this miracle and produce a live baby, what kind of life could I give it?? I am full of fear and anxiety; how would that emotionally affect my child? What effects would it have on them? Every time they cough, I'd be up A&E panicking; immobilised by fear of losing them as I've lost their siblings before them.
I know when people encourage you to just "try again" they mean well. They know you and your husband have planned for children for years. They don't actually realise that you emotionally are struggling to make it through each day. They don't understand. They fail to understand. That sends me into a spin of confusion; when numerous amounts of people are constantly suggesting you "try again", it piles on the pressure and makes you question yours and your husband's opinions and decisions.
"Trying again" is not the same path, emotionally and physically, as a 'fertile' couple. We suffered from infertility for two years. So for us, "trying for a baby" has meant countless blood tests, invasive internal hospital tests, invasive internal scans tri-weekly, strong medication, keeping records, counting days... Really, when we cast our minds back to pre-pregnancy when infertility was our biggest issue, remembering those difficult couple of years brings icy fear to our hearts. All of that, all over again. Just to potentially end up with a third lost pregnancy. Another dead baby I'm not allowed to ever meet. Or, miracle of miracles, an actual live baby. But then, what state would that new situation leave me in? Mentally; emotionally?? How could I begin to try to get through without letting the anxiety, stress and fear over-take me?
Another fear of mine was being an older parent. My view of that is, you can end up losing family members young if you are the product of older parents. I know it's a taboo subject; any kind of death is. But it's simply fact that many people do not live into and past their 90s.
I had an age in my head, from around the age of 12 and I became aware of the facts of life. I had a cut-off age in my head that I was adamant I wanted a child by. I never seriously gave much thought to the possibility of it not happening; you are taught that "no contraception = baby". Not the case for many. But it's what the masses are taught. I never considered what I'd do if I got to my cut-off age and still had no live baby.
Well, now I am at that age.
I reached my cut-off age this month. I was supposed to have a baby by now.
The best laid plans hey!
When we found out we were pregnant with our second, in the summer this year, I worked out that when I gave birth in 2018, I'd be 30 and a half. I could tolerate that half; what's a little 6 months between friends right?!
Now, if we were to find the strength somewhere, try again, and have the ultimate luck of conceiving (which we know from experience is a huge IF) I'd be older than my cut-off age. This has sent me into such a spin; I DID NOT want to be that age when I started reproducing. When we first started trying, I had just turned 27. That is a scary thought.
For so, so many people, the seemingly 'most natural thing in the world' does not come naturally. It does not come easily. It brings more heartbreak, life-changing, negative issues than you ever thought possible to bear. It is hard, in a world that still teaches 'if you feel ready, you choose when to have a child' when, for many, that is not the case. It is quite the opposite. Having a live child is nothing short of a miracle.