For the past few months, since working in ED, I have barely had time to eat or sleep, let alone think about my problems relating to infertility. Anybody who has been unfortunate enough to sit through the six-hour waiting times as a patient in a UK Emergency Department, will know that this is no job for putting your feet up.
The worst part is actually not the endless workload, but the shift patterns. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going, what day it is, what meal I should be eating at what time. And I can go a week without catching a glimpse of my other half. But I have been semi-grateful for the distraction from the world of assisted conception.
I say “semi”, as we’d decided to fund IVF privately, as opposed to trying Femara, as we knew we wouldn’t have a cat in hell’s chance of “doing” timed intercourse whilst I was on an ED rotation. These funds were to be released from the equity we had in the house, and our mortgage company assured us that it would be a matter of weeks before the funds appeared in our account. Two months later… we had bills from the hospital for around £5K and no money to pay them with. The hospital policy is that treatment is discontinued until the accounts are settled, and this has caused no end of worry.
But, we’re on the other side now, with the funds freely available for this time round, and any subsequent attempts.
Yesterday, I received my Gonapeptyl depot injection (and can I just say, OUCH – the prospect of injecting myself in a few weeks – all being well – does not fill me with joy). I have been warned that I will be feeling, well, menopausal, for the next few weeks, and am to expect the trio of hot flushes, vaginal dryness and mood swings. Can’t say that they would be top of the Christmas list, but no pain, no gain, right?
With that in mind, it probably wasn’t the wisest idea to decide on yesterday to be the day to visit my friend, B, and her new baby. I had to do it sometime – her in-laws were away on holiday, and other family members out working, so I wouldn’t be inundated with fussy, excitable family.
She looked shattered, but it didn’t hide the overwhelming aura of motherhood and the sheer happiness of having a little person in front of you that is 50% you. I spent the entire time with my eyes fixed on her, trying to keep the baby out of my line of vision. He was absolutely adorable though, and all those years ago when babies weren’t on my mind, I’d have been all over him like a rash. Now, it always feels like a reminder of a personal failure, coupled with this intense surge of hormones that spark an innate desire to nurture this vulnerable little being. Aren’t hormones cruel?
What I always find incredibly frustrating is as soon as a friend or family member becomes a mother, it seems to be the only topic of conversation on offer. I kind of get it… it’s become your whole life. But it’s not mine, and we shared plenty of other stuff before you got pregnant. I listened to what felt like a whole hour of, “he refluxes most of his feed, so I’m using Gaviscon with every one”, “I think he’s constipated and colicky”, “I was up four times last night, it’s more tough than you could imagine”. I felt like the last one was my cue to leave, but I feel like such a rubbish friend. I suppose it’s not really much different to listen to your bestie gabble on about her wedding, or work, is it? And you sit and hold their hand through everything else. But she’s a friend who has seen me sob over my diagnosis and the Clomid not working multiple times. Why can’t they think before they open their mouths? If you were a horse fanatic, you wouldn’t go on and on about breeding thoroughbreds to somebody who had no interest in them, so why do new mothers talk “baby” to those that don’t have them and cannot in any way empathise?
Sorry, that’s my rant over.
And in my defence, I think it’s my mini-menopause talking. My husband’s doing his best to avoid me these next few weeks. And who can blame him.