It’s been a while since my last blog post; apologies to our lovely followers. I thought that during our time off from IVF I would still feel the need to write my blog, however it’s been so nice to get a break from the world of infertility and IVF. It’s almost been too nice, so much so that the thought of delving into it all again is something I’m dreading.
Of course, despite saying we’re having a break, you never really get away from it. Every week there is another pregnancy announcement on social media, or people posting photo after photo of their little ones. Of course I would never resent anyone doing this, it’s exactly what we would do if we had a child; however I’ve even been avoiding the separate Instagram page I set up for my blog. On there I have over 800 followers, 95% of which are TTC/IVF/Infertility accounts. It used to feel like a safe haven; no matter how sad I was feeling, I would go on there and read a story about someone who was in a much worse situation than us or had been through a lot more IVF cycles than we had, and it would put our situation in perspective. It was so nice to feel like we weren’t the only ones dealing with this horrible disease.
Lately, however, my news feed on there has been full of pregnancy announcements or bump shots. And that’s hard to deal with. Obviously I’m over the moon for the couples on there; I know the struggles they have been through to get to where they are, and that makes them even more deserving of their happy ending. However, it used to be a place where we were all in the same boat, and then suddenly you feel like you’re out on a limb again, treading water all by yourself.
In a way I wish that we could just escape all this. I’m the type of person that when there’s a problem or an issue, I like to find the solution and then it’s over, job done. Infertility doesn’t work like that. IVF can be an answer, yes, but it can take a lot of time, money and struggles until you reach that conclusion, and with the success rate only being at 25%-30%, there’s a huge chance that it will never work out like that.
Looking back almost the entirety of 2017 for us was spent on IVF in one way or another. The way it takes over your life is just overwhelming. At the moment I so desperately want to get off this rollercoaster. I wish more than anything that we could either have a baby, or I could stop caring about having a baby and just move on with our lives. Every time I see a new-born baby photo or a pregnancy announcement, I get that pang in my heart which hurts like hell. It never stops, you just get used to dealing with it and pushing it away into the deepest cavities of your soul until it appears the next time. And round and round we go in this vicious cycle, never managing to jump off and run away from it all.
And I can see other people wanting us to get over it too. They seem to forget what we’ve been through and all the sensitivity that used to be there has gone while they shout about their pregnancy or baby as though it won’t affect us at all. I can see that they want the old Rachel back; the one who didn’t have a care in the world or this huge hole in her heart. But infertility and miscarriage changes you and unfortunately I find I have less tolerance for fakeness. The people who are our friends now are in that position because they’ve been with us through the good times, but most importantly the bad times too. And we’re so lucky to have them.
At the moment we are still undecided whether we’re going to do another round of IVF, although in all probability we will. I think it would feel like giving up too early if we didn’t give it at least one more go.
However, I’ve also started making some steps in other areas too. I am desperate to think about something other than IVF and am all too aware that the 3 degrees I have are just sitting in my brain waiting to be used again, so I’ve tentatively begun looking for a job and have even applied for a couple. I’m fortunate that I can take my time and be quite specific in the type of job I apply for although I haven’t worked for a little while, so don’t want anything that will be too stressful to begin with. I’m unsure how this would potentially fit in with our IVF plans, however I just know that I can’t have a repeat of last year. I need something more to occupy my mind and have something just for me, that I’m good at and that makes me feel good.
We have also made plans this year to catch up with friends we haven’t seen for ages, and take the trips that have been on our to-do list for a long time. Also one of my lovely friends has asked me to be her bridesmaid in her wedding next year, so that is something I am super excited about! I love planning and everything to do with weddings so I can’t wait until all the fun for that begins.
As much as we will never give up on our dream to become parents, it’s time to put ourselves first for a while and just let things naturally take their course. Who knows, maybe that is the answer to all of this. And if not, IVF will always be there waiting for us.