What ever happened to me? (part 3 of my personal story)
Over the years I have had my share of fertility experiences, and in previous blogs I described in detail my first encounters, from abortion to infertility, to ICSI, to marriage breakdown. I wrote about my miracle baby boy who became a thunderbolt into parenthood and has pretty much broken me down and rebuilt me in the most incredible way.
A couple of years ago I ‘came out’ and admitted with an open heart that whilst I had been privileged to help many many women find their peace, make their families and overcome their battles I was deep within my own black hole.
Secondary infertility had struck with a whole new set of feelings and circumstances at a time where I was deeply burnt out within my personal life. I wrote in my blog ‘Why there won’t be any more babies for me for quite some time’ how I was walking a tightrope of deep learning and change. I had been diagnosed with severe endometriosis and blocked fallopian tubes. My cycles were all over the place, anything from 2-7 weeks long, and my little boy who had recently been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism was in deep need of me to show up and work out how to make his world better.
So what happened after that? What has been going on for me these past couple of years?
It’s quite a story!
With my heart open I will tell you just exactly how it went.
I should open by telling you with a considerable amount of shock that things have not ended as I envisaged. As I sit here typing this I am actually pregnant. Typing that feels so strange and I am also so aware at how reading those words can sting so hard, and I don’t want to evoke that feeling in anyone. It is with utterly humble gratitude that I bring the story of this miracle which I did not envisage or expect despite longing for it. It is an ending I did not know was really out there for me, an ending I had peacefully said goodbye to and let go of.
I worked so hard to get to a place where I surrendered any attachment to how this little one came to us or even if they came at all. My plan since my diagnosis at least has been to find an emotional place where I could find peace and contentment without it depending on a particular outcome.
I can’t even begin to explain how that all happens in one blog but I will try.
First two years of trying to get pregnant – The cold familiarity of ‘trying’ that took me right back to when I was struggling to have my son. The torture that your mind twists within your every waking moment, darting between hope, devastation, optimism and sheer despair. Not to mention those days where you cry because you feel like a total fool for every believing it could happen…..
Diagnosis of blocked tubes and endometriosis – A wake up call to me that my body was suffering. I was neglecting the whole of me. I was a sinking ship and I needed to turn things around.
Everything I looked at which was to do with fertility made me recoil in horror. I felt agitated, resentful, angry and exhausted. The thought of beginning any kind of fertility friendly plan or IVF journey repelled my entire spirit.
It felt horribly uncomfortable to be ‘without a plan’ but I knew without an inkling of even a hint of a next step beckoning me I couldn’t do anything.
So what could I do?
What did my inner spirit tell me to do?
Well actually it said make the changes that you have been trying to make that affect YOU. Essentially this meant learning how to stop saying ‘yes’ to everything. Frankly, my inner spirit also urged me to drink wine. Go off the rails a bit. Just put all the sensible stuff out of the way.
So that was the quest.
I flitted in and out of deep darkness, yet something kept me afloat and my project to learn the ability to say no and redefine my boundaries became interesting and fun. How far could I push myself to give myself what I needed?
I threw myself into my relationship and poured in some much needed rebellion and fun. Luckily Joe is ALWAYS up for spontaneous drinking and meals out that we can’t really afford.
I knew it was ‘bad’ for me. But I also on some level knew I needed it. I could feel things beginning to heal. But it was by no means an easy road.
I had a relatively big operation to clear as much of the endo as they could. I wanted to give my body a leg up on its way, and frankly I was so busy that the idea of an enforced spell in hospital sounded deliciously inviting. They cleared what they could from my pelvis, and bowel but gently reminded me it would make no difference to my natural fertility as my tubes would never restore.
IVF vs Adoption Vs Nothing – So I recognised that the biggest part of me would love to be a mum again, but it was confusing. I wanted it yet at the same time in all honesty I was enjoying my son being older, and the type of life we were able to have both as a couple and as a family. That was helpful because it reminded me that we ALL fear change, and that that we are also ALL able to adapt to what ever we end up with. I knew each path brought good experiences no matter what.
Joe was against IVF. He couldn’t see why we would go through that just for the sake of genetics. He felt strongly that we could give a loving home to a child who was already out there and needed us. It made me love him about 100 times more when he said that. I well up just thinking about it. He is an amazing step father to our boy and this just proved even more to me that it is the relationship that counts as opposed to the genes.
It touched me so deeply that it quickly helped me realise that I also did not ‘need’ to have another pregnancy. That if someone belonged with us they didn’t need to have come through my body in order for it to feel right.
I am making it sound like it was striaght forward. It wasn’t. It took a long time and lots of conversations and soul searching to let go of never carrying another child. Again – another blog for that topic!
Getting ready to adopt – It was summer 2015 and we had been enjoying life the three of us and feeling proud of where we had emerged. We decided that come January we would go to an adoption meeting. We were SO excited and at ease about it.
October that year my period was weird. I knew something odd was going on but couldn’t believe it would be pregnancy related. But sure enough after a week of that awful ‘could I be’ feeling matched equally with that ‘you are SUCH a fool for even thinking this’ feeling I took a test and it was positive.
I had a week. One week of feeling that flicker of life inside me. It was a dettached feeling as I knew it was likely to be some weird ectopic odd fluke thing, and yes. After a week I woke up and I knew it was over. Two days later I was bleeding.
I went to work that day as I loaded myself with paracetamol and changed my blood soaked pads every hour. I went to work and wondered what the hell I was doing.
Clearly I still had work to do on the whole looking after myself front.
After the miscarriage – I was confused, resentful, angry and bitter. This had been pointless. It had wounded me for no reason. It had stalled our adoption plans because you can’t look into that if you have only recently had a loss or failed fertility treatment. I was so upset that the peace I had waited so long to find had been cruelly snatched away from me.
It tapped into every trauma button in my body as I was then no longer in a ‘don’t have to think about it because I can’t get pregnant’ place and back in a ‘am I trying? Is this possible?’ place. I am sure you all know just how awful that place is. Setting yourself up for disappointment vs hope every bloody month. The thought of it wrecked me.
I eventually emerged into the head space of; well maybe it’s none of my business how this little one chooses to get here. Simply my job to open every door?
I was thrown back into wondering if I should explore my fertility, have IVF, do STUFF, or keep going with our adoption dream.
How am I here now, pregnant? – I couldn’t really afford to have an HSG and I wasn’t sure I was ready to hear about my body still being broken. I grieved, we pulled through somehow and I said to Joe I might have to consider IVF if it felt like it called to me. He lovingly agreed to just do what ever I needed.
In the February I went on the self care retreat in Arvigo massage. It was a HUGE wake up call. It completely shook me to the core and reminded me that my body needed me to show up for ME not just to be pressured into making a baby.
Why was I only ever interested in looking after my womb if it was part of project baby?
Why was I not taking care of myself? AGAIN?
That weekend something big clicked in me. I began this beautiful regime of self care, which felt so good and so right and so for ME.
Six weeks later I was pregnant.
My body had done some kind of awesome self healing sort out. I believe due to my intentions behind the actions I took (again – another blog needed for that one) and the divine timing that we can never control.
So a totally different experience and a totally bizarre ending that I still cannot believe.
It proves what I have always passionately believed. That it is not about what we do but why and how we do it and how it makes us feel. It reminded me that just as I have seen so many clients make miraculous recoveries from what should have been permanent stopping blocks I can experience all of that too.
So can you.
Not that it always has to be pregnancy or a certain amount of kids or even kid related at all. But we can all have an ending that feels better than we could have ever expected, and that ending can sometimes really take a while to find you, but it will always come.
I am going to end by just saying that I am well aware that pregnancy news is hard, and I want more than anything for Catching Rainbows to remain a safe haven for everyone. So I can promise you there will be no in your face bump pictures, no harping on about it. I will let you all know what ever you would like to know but it’s safe to say that this is still a safe space.
With all my love,
Edited to add - This is a really old blog now as my little one is now 3, but I keep it up here as lots of people ask about my own personal story.