This is going to be a triggering post which mentions that hated and yet rejoiced word beginning with P. If you’re unable to cope with reading about that right now then please do protect yourself and skip this post. I’m writing about this because in a way my blog needs closure and I also need writing as therapy.
The last time I wrote about IVF 2 I was going through beta hell and I was suffering from severe cramps. I was pretty much at my lowest. Dr Oracle moved my scan forward and the outcome was that we saw a small gestational sac (measuring behind) but the most beautiful angelic looking yolk. I was told not to get my hopes up, the sac might have been in the right place but it wasn’t the correct size. Yet, all I could do was fixate my memory on the halo that was now sitting in my womb. At that point every part of me traveled inwards, an invisible shield shot up around me and all I could do was pray to stop me from falling apart. I decided to stop writing and talking about it due to a number of reasons:
1. Going quiet is my way of dealing with stress and anxiety. If I don’t focus on it and avoid talking about it constantly then I can use the energy to focus on other areas of my life and it stops me from falling into depression.
2. My closest friends here were suffering awful cycles and outcomes. As my pregnancy showed signs of progression, I didn’t want to bombard their WordPress and Twitter feeds with pregnancy talk. It also never seemed the right time to say ‘Hey guess what? I’m pregnant but nervous as hell.’ After thinking about it, I decided that until I felt confident in the pregnancy there was little point mentioning it. It’s funny how the milestone of viability kept moving – 8-9wks, 12wks, 20wks, 24wks, 28wks.. it was only around 24wks that I finally told my real life circle and even then I still felt as if the rug might be pulled from under me at any time. I just didn’t want to count my chicken before he hatched (the same way I didn’t want to get excited about egg numbers during IVF).
I said to my IF buddy BB that it was my turn to be strong for her and other friends. I may have been going crazy from anxiety but it was still a positive and progressing pregnancy. I think Turtle summed it up nicely when she wrote:
I wrote this back in May:
You see… I remember the rawness of the pain, the feeling of doors closing and being left behind.
I remember how it’s so easy to fall into the wrong side of the statistic and so hard to be on the right side.
I remember how tough it is to get yourself out of bed after a failed IVF cycle.
I remember how my bruises were reminders of a battle I lost.
I remember worrying about how to finance another round and watching the pressure it puts on a marriage.
I remember putting on a mask to survive and wondering how you can feel so dead when you’re so alive.
I remember how much effort it takes to get yourself back on track.
I remember the pain in my partner’s eyes.
I remember how each baby post I read made me feel helpless. How each bump picture seemed liked an unachievable dream.
I remember and that’s why I didn’t write. The timing wasn’t right to be writing about a pregnancy – even if the journey is far from perfect. I don’t know whether this pregnancy is here to stay but I do know that this blog isn’t for me to write about pregnancy or raising a child.
So those of you I went quiet on… forgive me. I did it because you were suffering at the time and it just didn’t feel right announcing it while you were in pain. The great thing is that so many of you have now moved on with successful pregnancies.
3. Women who were cycling at the same time as me with promising betas started to experience losses. I was conscious of their pain and the possibility that I was going to join them very soon.
These are some snippets I wrote during Spring 2014:
I’m really scared that this baby will stop growing. I can’t even bring myself to write because I don’t feel secure. I tell myself that I won’t get attached but I already am so in awe of what I saw. Even if it’s just flesh and bone.
I just wonder whether I’m going to be writing about birth or miscarriage.
I decided I’d write when I feel secure on whatever the reality and outcome. Since the last post, my anxiety has been through the roof and I’m not even sure how I’m still functioning and moving.
But my low betas of 37, 111, 297 have led to the birth of my son on 8 January. He arrived two weeks early and was delivered via a category 1 c-section. He’s still in hospital as he’s tiny and needs some help with feeding. That’s another story that I won’t be sharing on this blog. If/when I get time to I might open a new blog but first I’d like to update this blog with posts about hypnotherapy, nutrition and all the small things that helped me survive 2014’s IVF cycle.
Fertility Doll will stay focused on infertility – that I can promise to those stuck in the trenches. I invested a ridiculous amount in alternative therapies so I when I’m healed and in a routine I want to pass on that knowledge.
All I can say is a huge thank you to all of you who supported me and interacted with this blog over the last couple of years. You’ve been my sanctuary.
Thank you for this moving update. Your compassion toward fellow infertiles is truly laudable and yet you also deeply deserve the space to rejoice in the birth of your baby. I really identify with your feelings of fear and insecurity during pregnancy as well as those of ‘guilt’ in sharing your emotions about a difficult pregnancy with your peers who so desperately just want to be given that chance… I also fell silent on my blog around 14 weeks I believe. I have never stopped following my fellow infertile bloggers but just needed to keep my own trials out of the public arena for some time… I am today 32 weeks and have only begun to truly believe that this is indeed going to result in a live baby girl, my baby girl…I am still scared but I am also ready, so ready. Should you start a new blog, please do let us know how we might find you and follow you in this new chapter of your life: motherhood. I am sincerely happy for you and hoping that you will be taking a healthy little boy home soon.
I think I will start a new blog once I’ve got to know this new little man in my life and I will let you know. The final weeks really do fly by, I always thought ‘When I go on maternity, I will spend two weeks completely enjoying my pregnancy’ (because I never really let go). Little did I know I wouldn’t get the two weeks because he’d be pushing to get into the world. So as scary as it is, spend some time really enjoying and communicating with your baby girl while she’s still kicking inside of you. Not giving myself that is one of my regrets.
Thank you tola!
Congratulations on the birth of your little boy. I hope he gets big and strong and is home with you soon. And I hope you’re recovering ok from the csection.
There is nothing to forgive, I’m just happy your beta hell worked out and you now have a baby to cuddle.
Wonderful news xxxxx
Thanks Viv! It’s been one incredible journey. I stare at him in awe and still can’t quite believe he comes from me.
6 months later, I still wonder when someone will come and tell me I need to give this baby back! Lol
Thank you! 🙂
Thank you for sharing and for the very compassionate and sensitive way you have done so. I feel that it is important to share positive outcomes on this journey as gives hope to others that it can work. For a while every time an infertility blog fell pregnant I felt like the world jarred a little – Not due to discomfort with the news but with disbelief that it could actually happen – and it opened me up to the fact that I was not allowing myself to believe it was possible to move out of this place. Reading their stories of their darkest moments and then moving onto the next phase has been incredibly empowering. Thank you xxxx
That was one of the biggest issues I addressed before this IVF round – belief in it working. I felt that by doing hypnotherapy focused on belief I was trying to fool myself into believing it could work without actually believing in a positive outcome. Like I was being false. So my hypnotherapist identified that I basically prepare insanely to avoid failure but for IVF I had to stop thinking of the worst case scenario and accept it might work. It took a lot of effort to think ‘This could work.’ With 6 years of IF under my belt, I got to the point where I knew I couldn’t go on living my life with the shadow and that all the treatment had its limits. For a moment I started to allow myself to think and dream of an alternative reality that wasn’t focused on children. I think that was me ‘letting go’ .. finally. Being at peace with whatever the outcome was meant to be – it working or not working. It was really hard to do it but it was empowering.
You dark horse! Many congratulations, beautiful! Truly overjoyed that your beta worked out into a wonderful son! I hope that he gets to be home in your arms soon.
So much love to you and your family xxx
I know! I was due soon after you! Was so hard keeping it quiet!! Thanks for the love and well wishes. I can’t wait until little man is with me and not stuck so many miles away 😦 Wishing you the smoothest and safest labour ever x
Ps I hated NCT too.
Anyone who has gone through IF can understand your reasons for doing what you did, no forgiveness is needed. I understand and appreciate your compasssion for those of us still in the trenches. I have been through beta hell multiple times and it had never worked out, so your story gives me hope.. That maybe if I am there again it will work out. But the most important thing I have to say, is congratulations on having a sweet boy. Although this post came as a shock, please know I am truly happy for you. Sending so much love.
I didn’t know anything about betas until this happened but I was surprised to learn that even strong betas don’t guarantee a positive outcome. It’s insanity and a torturous time – like an extended 2ww wait on top of the normal 2ww. I really hope 2015 breaks the cycle for you, surprises you like 2014 did to me and that by the end of 2015 you get your joy. x
Im so sorry your pregnancy was filled with such fear. Im also very sad you were not able to share that with us, i think the majority of us would have been here for you. Congratulations on haveing a healthy baby and i hope you can bring him home soon!
There were a lot of early losses floating around the community last year. It never felt like the right time and I didn’t want to be a trigger in any way. I found it hard being here for 2 years and watching BFPs – so I guess I just did what felt right.
Plus in a way maybe it was good for me, it forced me to share it more with family and friends. To pull on their support.
In any case I think I owe you a congrats on your recent BFP 🙂 Keeping everything crossed for you!!
I understand. I’m very happy for you. Thank you!
I had tears of happiness in my eyes for you as I read this! Bless you for handling this in this way, though I’m sure you struggled and are s struggling with anxiety etc. For your baby boy. Please let us know if you start another blog! I’d love to read about how the rest of your journey unfolds…
Hey Steph! I guess I just felt that the weight of my anxiety was nothing in comparison to the weight of failed cycles and running out of options like some of my friends were. Pregnancy after IF is scary – the cargo you carry feels extra precious – I can’t deny that but still I will never forget the depression and triggers that hit me after IVF 1 failed. In time I’ll probably start a new blog and will let you know 🙂
Congratulations! I am so, so happy for you.
Thank you! 🙂
I offer a HUGE congratulations!
May your son continue to grow strong, healthy and happy
Many happy wishes for your new family
Thank you for the HUGE congratulations 🙂 we appreciate it x
OH MY GOODNESS! I’m so very very happy to read this. I’m in shock. …I was just thinking about you today! You are such a sweet and kind soul to be so considerate to others. ..but I feel sad that I haven’t been able to share in your happiness.
I’m so over the moon for you my love, the hugest congrats xxx
I remember going silent on you on whatsapp and feeling awful but really the timing was not good for you then. I was sooo overjoyed when I found out you fell pregnant naturally and was so tempted to reach out and tell you but then my insane infertile self panicked and hid instead. Not long to go now for you!! Final weeks will fly by. x
In this game hon, whatever gets you through is ok by me! I’m just over the moon for you and hope your little boy is home with you soon. Can totally understand the fear and anxiety as struggling myself….I’m just gobby about it instead!
Keep us updated with your little one’s progress xxx
Congrats on your new arrival and best wishes.
Thank you Greg – that means a lot!
So happy to hear your news! Sending love and support to you, the wee and new dad!!! What an exciting time.
I appreciate the love and support – thank you! ❤
Wow that is amazing – I always wondered what happened after your low beta…and was very hopefully my story helped in some way – similar betas for sure starting in 30’s and then 2nd draw just over 100! Very, very happy for you and best wishes to your son being home with you soon.
You know when you left your story of hope I thought ‘yeah as if I’d be that lucky’ – little did I know that it truly was possible. Thank you for reaching out then. At the time I did need stories of hope to counterbalance all the stories of doom on Google!
Well I am incredibly pleased for you and very happy to know how it all turned out now !!! Congratulations 🙂
I’m SO SO SO happy for you!!! You’ve been in my thoughts from time to time and was hoping you will get your little bundle soon. I’m sure he is gorgeous and he will get big and strong and cheeky and fun! Revisit your Aviva books for some post-pregnancy moves when you are ready 🙂 All the best, Sofia/Aviva Method xo
Well, Happy New Year indeed! Congratulations!
I am so pleased to read your update and it truly warms my heart. I’ve followed your blog for years, including my years of infertility. So happy to read that your story has it’s happy ending 🙂 Congratulations on your little boy! Boys are so much fun and they truly love their mamas like non other. Best of luck to you in this new year!
What wonderful news! Congratulations! ❤
Congratulations!!!! I’m absolutely thrilled for you and I don’t even really know you. I felt in many ways we were so similar and experiencing the same battles. Turns out we are sharing in the same joys as well. I’m due tomorrow after 3 rounds of ivf. Congratulations again so so happy for you! I’d love to keep following you, your writing is fantastic and it always brings a smile to my face when you are in my inbox. Enjoy that precious miracle of yours!
Such a wonderfully compassionate post, and congratulations!!
Congrats to you. Thanks for being so sensitive and thoughtful in your announcement. There’s no way to please everyone in how you announce, so I give kudos to anyone who does it in a thoughtful way. My thoughts are with your son and I hope you get to bring him home soon. I’m so glad you’re going to keep blogging, too.
I m so happy for you. I understand the difficulty writing about a pregnancy, so no need to apologise on going silent. Enjoy mommyhood, they grow very fast. Do post the link to your new blog, I would love to follow your new story.
Aww congratulations!!! This is so wonderful! You are so sweet to continue to remember those in the trenches. I love the note about not being pregnant is harder than all the pregnancy baby things! So true!!! So happy for you!
Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!!!
This has totally made my day! I am so utterly thrilled for you.
I totally understand the silence – and the fear – and the guilt. You are amazing, you survived the trenches and i hope you are enjoying every moment with your wee boy xxx
Huge Congratulations my friend!! I have been thinking of you and wondered how it all went. What a joy to read this update! May your son grow strong and healthy so he can come home soon. I’m so thrilled for you and your husband. Also hope you are recovering well. Now, enjoy your son, but I don’t have to tell you that, eh 🙂
Congrats lovely!! And so so many wishes of happiness for your new life as a mum. Hope you recover soon from c-section. Turtle really said it right with that tweet.
Lots of love to the three of you! And the cats too, they’ll soon have to get used to the new life too 😉
Congratulations! very happy for you. May your son grow strong and healthy so he comes home soon. Seems the good Lord answered your prayers, well done on keeping the faith as what you went through is a mighty test! Remember us in your prayers and hope to read about your new story 🙂
Loved reading this post. I can relate to it so much. I only just updated my own blog today after ages… Hopefully my blog will end in a birth story and not another miscarriage. Congratulations on your lil boy. xx
I was so hoping that your silence was for good reasons. It truly is hard sharing such a joyous, yet totally nerve wracking, occasion when the focus of everything for so long was IF, IVF, crap results, and heartache. I left the blogosphere for 6 months to “heal” and in that time didn’t share our secret, and final, FET with our last frozen baby. Through all the nerves I pushed myself to announce it because if I didn’t I felt like I would just keep hiding it and my already high anxiety would become higher. The support felt was overwhelming. Even though every day scares the bajesus out of me knowing that I have these wonderful people cheering me on is what makes each day just a tiny bit easier.
I’m so happy to hear your news, to hear that you are doing well and you made it! I’m glad that you were able to share your news with your friends and that you were able to let us know that you are OK and everything worked out. This post truly made my day!
Take care of yourself and I look forward to reading more! If you start a new blog I will for sure be joining your devoted readers list 🙂
Oh, honey! When you said you’d be posting something soon, I never guessed you were pregnant! And yet, looking back, it seemed extraordinary to me how you were so excited about others’ pregnancy milestones — you were quietly celebrating your own! I am so, so happy for you! You are an amazing woman to have been and continue to be so thoughtful of others in the trenches.
Welcome to the world, little man!
Congratulations dear FD, a glorious baby! Im so thrilled and happy for you! Wonderful post! May you all be well, healthy and happy. Veraxxx
Wow–just wow!!!! I am so thrilled for you! I have been thinking about you for so long. I thought that maybe you were just taking some time to heal and process but could have never guessed this. This is the best news I’ve heard in a long time.
You’ve been such a wonderful source of support to everyone else and it’s apparent you were trying to be sensitive to others while managing your own anxiety. I had anxiety of my own during my pregnancy and it wasn’t until around 24 weeks that everyone knew I was pregnant and some didn’t realize it until week 30.
All those years of hoping and waiting have finally turned into this new little miracle! I know that you are overjoyed. I look forward to your updates.
Awwww sooo happy for you!!! Having a baby in the hospital is hard, but it will all be worth it when he’s finally home. Congrats!! Xoxox
Just checked back into my reader and saw this!! This is just tremendously wonderful news. Congratulations, and all the best to you and your family!! xxoo
Have you started blogging elsewhere now?
Hey there, no I just stopped as I haven’t had the energy to. Want to come back to this space when I can. x
I’m so thrilled for you lovely. Hugest hugs xx
Ahh thanks lovely ❤ x