22:26:00

The Two Sides of my Story





Deep breaths. I have toyed with the idea of writing this post many, many times but have always got cold feet. For some reason I felt the need to justify why I was putting something so personal on the internet. Every point I came up with, I analysed how someone could misinterpret it and make a nasty comment. Until one day, I sat and thought about what my blog means to me and realised it’s my little space on this vast superhighway and it’s a place I like to visit and like to connect with. Therefore I am ready to wear my heart on my sleeve and write this for me.


It is officially three years since Ian and I have started trying to change our family of two into that of three (or 4 or 5). The journey so far has been filled with tears, worry, waiting for test results, great sex, not so great sex, fear, excitement, hope, heartache, soul searching, laughs and of course 36 unwanted periods. That’s what it is, a journey. I suppose I will only reach the destination with either a pregnancy or my much dreaded menopause. In the meantime we will carry out with all it’s ups and downs.


When I was a little girl I latched on to anyone who had a baby or toddler. If we had a street party, went to the beach/park/playground, celebrated any sort of occasion with others, I was always to be found playing with the babies. I wanted to be a mother and even had the desired age one chosen - twenty eight. Twenty eight was the age I would give birth to a little one; married by twenty seven and first baby by twenty eight. Naively that was actually the only life plan I ever made. Things didn’t work out exactly like that - obviously. Hearts were broken, relationships ended and lessons were learned. My 18 year old selfs plan was not to be. Thankfully though, I met the most loving chap who was patient enough to support and adore me while I learned to trust again. At 29, I married my curly haired boy and looked forward to making some curly haired babies. 


Alas, so far, it has not worked out that way. The past three years has been a time of great reflection. As the months disappear from the calendar, my thoughts and feelings have shifted. The first year of trying was full of excitement, anticipation, short term planning. Every upcoming occasion was fuelled by the thoughts of “Don’t buy that outfit too early because I will probably be pregnant by Christmas/ Brian and Kathy’s wedding”, or “ We must not book our apartment in Miraflores because the hill would definitely be a challenge to push a pram up”. 


The second year became more of a time for worry and panic. Ian moved to another city midweek to study a Master’s Degree and I felt angry because our chances of conceiving became even slimmer. At this stage though I had been to a specialist and Ian had been tested in a very humorous situation (Basically the nurse had never met anyone to make a deposit so quickly and I pissed myself laughing most of the way home). It’s great to have giggles in time in stress. In February 2014, I had a procedure where they found that my bowel was partially attached to my left ovary and I had a small bit of endometritis in one of my fallopian tubes, which they repaired and I was good to go again. But still it didn’t happen. Nineteen months later still no baby.


So as a woman how do I feel? To be honest I feel strongly about both sides of my situation. During my 28 day cycle I feel many, many emotions. My wonderful husband can vouch for that. On one hand, the older I am getting the more selfish I am becoming. I fear that if we did have a child/children we might long for our old lives back. We enjoy our freedom, our lie-ins, our meals out, our trips away. Since moving to Germany we have become even more grateful for our lives. We are used to it being just the two of us. It has been just us for nine and a half years and we delight in our independence. Also not having children takes a huge worry away. Neither of us have been financially successful in our working lives. We are certainly people who work to live and not live to work. I am still not sure what I want to do with my life and Ian’s music, so far, has not exactly been lucrative. I want him to continue because it’s his passion and I would hate for him to give it up and work a mindless job. I am extremely appreciative of our lives together and not having a baby would not take that happiness and our love for each other away. 


That said, there is the other side of how I feel. This feeling ebbs and flows throughout the month but it hits me with full force in the heart the first week of each month, when I see my period. I am now 34 years old and there is that little voice in my head that says “only 6 more ‘good’ months left and then an optional 4-5 years but with higher risks”. That is really terrifying stuff. You think you have plenty of time to have children but if like me, you have difficulty conceiving, the time just seems to fly by quicker. At first, you almost just live period to period, constantly trying to hurry your cycle along until one day you are almost out of time. That’s where I feel I’m at right now. I will be 35 in April. Thirty five and barren. Yes I know that is an awful, awful term but sometimes it’s exactly how I feel. I don’t feel like a woman anymore. Of course I feel feminine and girly but my body has failed at one of it’s most important jobs. It is unable to carry on my genes, my family legacy and bloody hell that hurts. I feel so much anger towards my broken insides and question why I’m not working properly. 


Sometimes it’s hard to imagine not experiencing the two blue lines on the pregnancy test,  the first time seeing the scan of our child, the growing of a human inside of me, giving birth, skin on skin, breastfeeding, the first few weeks of having no idea what we are doing, until finally settling into life as a threesome. So we may never witness our child’s first  smile and the thousands after, or the attempts at walking, the messy floor when he/she tries to use the spoon, toilet training, tantrums, school, birthdays, the magic of Christmas, learning to read and to write, to cycle, and to swim, graduation, friendships, romance, heartache. We may never become Grandparents.


There are other thoughts and emotions which surface regularly too. I will never have that extra special bond with my mother. The thought of never getting to place my son or daughter in her arms pains me. She may not get to watch me,with pride, as I nurse my little one. She might not get to hold in the advice she is so dying to give but knows she should not. I will never understand what motherhood feels like and therefore will always just be her daughter. I watch that special connection she has with my sister and my sister-in-law and as much as I respect it, I also envy it. But my goodness when the words like “you couldn’t understand, you’re not a mother” are mindlessly uttered from her mouth (not intentionally, but usually in situations where she, my sister and sister-in-law are talking about children etc.) the pain I feel in my stomach, heart, throat and cheeks is almost unbearable. I may not ever become a member of ‘The Mother’s Club’ and that makes me feel less connected to my womanhood than anything else. 


To be honest I cannot write any more on this subject for the time being. My head is racing with just too many thoughts and my brain is unable to put them all into coherent sentences. This story is just a glimpse into how me, a girl who loves a boy, who wants to make a baby with said boy, but somehow cannot, feels and thinks and rants on a dark Wednesday evening.   


Thank you for reading 

gem

xx

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13 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing. You are not just a daughter...you are a brave and open woman. I am an adopted person and just became a mum at 35. Time has not run out and if it has there are other ways to be a mum that mean the world to a child whether carrying your genes or not. Best of luck in your journey X

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  2. Thanks for sharing. You are not just a daughter...you are a brave and open woman. I am an adopted person and just became a mum at 35. Time has not run out and if it has there are other ways to be a mum that mean the world to a child whether carrying your genes or not. Best of luck in your journey X

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  3. Awh Gemma I have no words, bawled my eyes out reading this. Im glad youve got it off your chest cause it must be so hard. Wishing ye all the best for the future and fx ye'r wish is granted. X

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  4. Thanks for being so open - I'm certain your honesty and openness will help so many others deal with their pain. Hoping you're pain gets easier and each and every one of your dreams come true.

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  5. Lost my original note! That is beautiful and honest and I feel it . Hope it helps. We too assumed babies would follow our wedding, in 2005. We delayed making plans, just in case.... Didn't do something, just in case.... Things rolled on ..... But thankfully, we now have a beautiful son & daughter , ages 4 1/2 and 1 3/4 years. All down to the miracle that is ivf, not without its own challenges & pain. I'm 45 now, so you've years in you yet ;-) Don't give up hope, there are no other words but the very best wishes to send you x

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  6. Hi Gem
    That's so brave an honest! In tears listening to you read it on her.ie hearing the emotion in your voice xx

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  7. Hi Gemma, we are trying 5 years, I am now battling cancer (and I'm 44 !!) but we hope to give it one last try in 2016, there is always a sliver of hope and I intend to cling on to it, the very best of luck to you both xxx

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  8. Hi Gemma just listened to your blog and it could have been written by me. Your honesty in talking about the pain just made me want to give you a big hug. I can't reassure you that everything will turn out fine or like the other well meaning comments, tell you that it will happen for you in the end.

    But I can tell you that there is a support group for people like us, we're called Plan B and you can find us on www.planb.boards.net. It is a safe place where you can talk to other individuals who are in your position, who totally understand, who 'get' how the off hand comments can feel like someone has punched you in the stomach. Please come and find us.

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  9. Hi Gemma, sitting here crying listening to your blog on infertility. Everything you are feeling is exactly how I and thousands of other women in the same situation feel. You expressed it so perfectly, so eloquently. I am lucky to have gotten pregnant through fertility treatment and have a wonderful 4 year old who I just adore, unfortunately 3 years of treatment later, 2 very traumatic miscarriages and failed ivf it's not looking like we will have any more. I just wanted to tell you how brave you are in telling your story, it's not something people talk about, which only makes it more difficult for those of us going through it. It can feel like such a lonely journey and I want to thank you so much for making me feel less alone by telling us what you are going through. All I can say is don't give up hope, despite everything I still haven't, and I wish you and your husband all the luck in the world. You will have a wonderful life together no matter what happens.��

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  10. You are so very brave, thank you for sharing your story. It is heartbreaking but I wish you and your husband all the best for the future and hoping that you get to hold that little one in your arms very soon. xx

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  11. Hi Gemma. Such a brave thing to share outside of yourselves. You are very brave and it has brought tears to my eyes. I wish you all the best in this journey to a happy ending i hope...you two truely deserve it. Keep in touch.
    jean Brazil

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  12. Thank you for sharing your story, it was so beautifully written. I think it is good to hear your perspective and wish you the very best, keep writing!

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  13. Gemma, your openness, honesty and bravery are amazing. I wish you so much luck and wellness on your journey. You have time on your side and I really hope your dreams come XXX Ali

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