It can quite easily be summed up as this. My sister got married and asked me to look after my nephew for two weeks so she could go on her honeymoon.As a woman whose life is pretty much upside down at the moment due to battles with the infertility demons, my reaction was pretty much this..
But I had to breathe, remember by sister’s happiness and compose myself. So (insanely) I said yes.
Super infertile aunt
For two weeks I lived a very surreal life. I was on the posh part of town, driving her fancy car and doing the school run. Every morning my husband and I would sit at the table with our nephew for breakfast and every evening we would take it in turns to get him bathed and ready for bed. We had to laugh at the situation and the irony.
I love my nephew to the stars and back (as I told him). For those two weeks, he was my world. We made cupcakes, drew monsters, practiced his phonetics and letters, carved pumpkins, built lego and played the ‘crazy song’ in the car at the start of every journey. Seeing him happy and healthy got me through it.
One morning he said to me that I looked like his mummy. That made me smile but inside it broke me, I suddenly realised as I stood outside his classroom that I might not get to do a school run for my own kid for a very long time… if ever really.
The day before my sister returned I was cleaning up her bedroom, preparing to pack up my things when I stumbled on a Boots pharmacy bag. I opened it to see if it was rubbish and inside I found a pregnancy test. My sister is a gorgeous mother, she totally deserves to a new addition but it blew me away. She’d spoken about wanting to try but suddenly the reality of welcoming another baby … having to smile and smother my pain all over again.. I don’t think I can face it. I’m tired of playing the aunt.
A lil ray of hope at Halloween
Right now I’m holding onto a conversation I had at a Halloween party. It was the one night that we had managed to get off in those two weeks. I spent two hours lost in my world applying facepaint because a little earlier that evening I had encountered ex-colleagues who only got married this year and were already pregnant. Painting my face helped me mask the pain and gave me an excuse to hide from the rest of the party. It was then that I saw my friend’s boss, a career woman who doted on her little 2 year-old golden haired boy the last time I had met her. She asked if I had any kids and I was honest about the struggle.
Then she shared her story, she was told at 26 that she couldn’t have kids and she was very close to 40 when she met her partner. They struggled to fall pregnant. She only got one period in the few years they were together and he had sperm count problems due to diabetes. It was when they finally gave up and were about to think about adoption, that they fell pregnant after a fun weekend in Paris. What struck me in particular was that she too over compensated as an aunt because of it. That’s exactly what I do. Her story re-lit my candle of hope and my mind wasn’t stuck in darkness anymore.
What would you fill the void with?
I guess that’s been one of the hardest things in the last couple of months. To stay on top of it all and to not get sucked into the void of darkness and pain that comes with this awful journey. Thea asked me to mentally fill the void with something. I chose yellow flowers. I almost cried when my husband came home with a single yellow rose that had been growing in our garden. He didn’t even know about my conversation with Thea that day.
I need to make some job decisions too. Everything is a mess. I hate the stagnation. I want to move on. I feel like I’m stuck with a map that doesn’t make sense (a bit like the new Apple Maps I guess lol) and I don’t know which direction to take.
One day at a time, right?