Happy New Year, folks! (Yes, I know it’s February!)

Ok, that greeting is getting rather old now… I CANNOT believe we are in February already. When did that happen?!

I realise I’ve been rather anaemic on the blogging front, but I’ve just had to catch up with life, and have had to lock “baby” away in a box for a few months.

Firstly, I’m going through a career change. I have left my training programme to be a General Practitioner and am embarking on the road to becoming an Emergency Medicine doctor. Yes, I’m mad. You’ve read the headlines. I am hereby sacrificing sleep, weekends and sanity to deal with the patient spectrum of “dying from a heart attack” to “stubbed my toe on the end of the bed” (yes, we do get those in A&E). BUT, as I have said previously, I have found an area of medicine that I am passionate about, and enjoy. I cannot mould my entire life to fit around a family that may never happen (though hopefully will) and life has so much else about it.

So the vast majority of the past month or so has been spent preparing for interviews, and deciding how to occupy my next 5 months before formal training begins in August.

In some respects, as much as I complain about it, I have been grateful for the distraction.

I completely and utterly underestimated how emotionally draining IVF would be. I had my medic hat on, and, when I started bleeding and got the negative test, my “human” came to the fore, and my heart broke. That was amidst news of my 39 year old sister-in-law becoming pregnant along with a few friends – some of whom, had been my “infertile buddies” and have received that golden ticket to pregnancy, leaving me behind, all bitter and barren.

I felt myself sinking into that deep, dark hole of depression, again. I cried at the smallest, most insignificant things, I felt irritable, unmotivated, and avoided people and social situations like the plague. I couldn’t sleep with sleeping tablets as my mind just wouldn’t switch off.

Christmas was hard. In fact, I denied most of it, as, all I could feel, was my sense of loss at a time that was for “family”. In hindsight, it was slightly ridiculous – I have a wonderful family, who would move heaven and earth for me. My mother-in-law was devastated when I said that I’d rather spend Christmas sleeping at home. So much so, that I felt immensely guilty and dutifully turned up, ate my dinner and wore my hat. I was glad for it to be over though.

Now my happy pills are doing their job, life seems a lot brighter. My mood is far less labile, and I barely cry. Sometimes, I feel like I struggle to emote at all – it’s like the pills have completely dampened my ability to feel things. But I prefer this to the alternative.

Several other things have also metaphorically kicked me up the arse recently;

1- I discovered a nurse at my workplace who went through many attempts of IVF and has a 7 year old child. Subsequent attempts led to a twin pregnancy, but she lost both babies at 37 weeks due to a cord prolapse. She never had the strength to go through another cycle.

I cannot even begin to imagine what she went through. Miscarriage/stillbirth is horrid at the best of times, but, on a backdrop of infertility and assisted conception, is just EVIL.

Although I mourned my little day 3 embryos, I have been spared that heartache.

She told me that, every time she thought more positively about a cycle, it always seemed to go more successfully than others. So, I have vowed that, for attempt #2, I will adopt a positive mindset.

2- My husband’s best friend, aged 36 years old is dying of cancer. Last year, he was found to have throat and tongue cancer that didn’t look like it had spread beyond a single node. He subsequently went through successful radio- and chemotherapy but, shortly before Xmas, was found to have a lung tumour. This was successfully resected, but he recently started complaining of back pain. Now they’ve discovered 2 tumours in his spine and he has been told he probably only has months to live.

He has a wife, and 5 year old. His mother died of cancer a few months ago. His dad will have lost his wife and son within 12 months of each other.

Isn’t the world just a cruel, cruel place?

It has made me realise, more than ever, that I should spend every day counting my many blessings, and stop fixating on the (very) few things I don’t have in life.

So, as cycle number 2 approaches at the beginning of March, I will be keeping this quote in mind: