Whilst sitting in the doctors surgery, awaiting our first appointment to get the baby-on-board ball rolling, it suddenly hit me. We can’t make a baby Bloomer. Something that comes so naturally for so many has evaded us for nearly two years and now we need help.
It’s an odd feeling. You feel a sense of relief telling the doctor what you’ve both been through the last couple of years. You feel a sense of guilt for taking your body for granted when you were 17. You feel defeated for having to resort to medical intervention. But the overriding feeling you leave that surgery with is hope. You hope you have more answers soon. You hope your tests come back fine and it’s just not the right time. You hope nothing is wrong with either of you.
The tests start. The waiting begins. The phone calls come. You start again. It’s a cycle that you can only assume will only end with bad news. Bad news that if you’re not one of the 92% of women who conceive in the second year of trying there is probably something wrong. Bad news that something went wrong with your blood tests and you need to ‘pop to the hospital’ to do another one. Bad news that the blood test can only be done on a certain day in your menstrual cycle so you now have to wait 26 days. It’s hard but you keep moving forward.
So, yes. Saying it out loud does make it more real. But the reality is that it is real, it’s is happening and we’re getting closer to some answers.
You’re sat on a packed commuter train at 8 in the morning. You’ve just launched your blog about one of the most personal things you’ve ever opened up about. You receive a message you wish you hadn’t opened. Billie Eilish- Ocean Eyes starts playing through your headphones as you’re looking out to sea and before you know it you’re ugly crying in front of a carriage full of strangers. I’m talking full blown, tears streaming down the face, silently staring out the window crying.
You’re all welcome to my pity party. If you don’t bring drinks and snacks you’re not getting in.
I’ve got more emotions running through me than a fourteen-year-old kid who’s just hit puberty. Think MySpace circa 2003 and you get the gist. A mixture of vulnerable and exhausted but at the same time feeling incredibly overwhelmed with the response to the introduction of Maybe, Baby?
I underestimated just how many people my blog would resonate with. Within minutes I was reading messages and comments from both men and women who are currently going through a similar situation or have previously experienced this. People who are further down the fertility journey than Morgan and I or only just starting out. Couples who defied the odds and conceived naturally and some couples using the wonder of science to help them along the way.
But what struck me was there was a common theme amongst all messages.
This is definitely not something to be ashamed of.
Whether you choose to share it with the world, keep it private, tell your closest friends or even just your pet dog you’re owning it in your own way.
It’s perfectly ok to have a bad day. Actually, it’s expected. After all, this is a journey and there will bumps along the way. Some will be heartbreaking, some will change the direction you’re moving in, some will make you question whether it’s worth it at all.
Whether you can relate to the content of this blog or not please remember that you have no idea what the person next to you is going through. That ‘bad day’ could be caused by anything and the way you react can determine whether or not that persons day is made a little easier or a little harder.
Strength comes in many different forms and I’m incredibly proud of the people who found the courage to share their stories with me. I’ll say it loud and I’ll say it proud, fertility is not a taboo subject.
Oh and while I’m here, thank you to the woman on the train who gave me a face wipe and a sympathetic smile. Not all heroes wear capes.
You spend the majority of your teens/early twenties worrying about getting pregnant but when you’re ready to get knocked up it suddenly becomes incredibly difficult.
Maybe you popped a pill daily? Perhaps you took an injection in your butt or the coil in your hoo-haa? Or if you’re like me, you got three implants, (one resulting in surgery after it was broken in half during a bit of rough and tumble) and struggled with the side effects but put up with them for 14 years because you desperately didn’t want to create a little mini-me.
But life changes. All of a sudden you find yourself settled down, married, with a little house and two beautiful cats and the topic of babies crops up. Your implant gets removed, you whip your coil out whilst sipping on wine in the bath (true story) and cancel your pill prescription to prepare your body hormonally.
It’s a tough gig. 20 months of maybes quickly turning in to 20 months of not this time. Promising friends and family that you’re waiting for the right time and it’ll happen when it happens but you’re ok about it. Listening to countless people tell you that it will happen when you least expect it. Telling you to relax and enjoy married life. Everyone means well, you know that deep inside so you smile, agree and quickly change the subject.
I know I’m not alone on this journey. I know there are other people who are on a very similar path but for some reason we just don’t openly talk about it. I wanted to start this blog mainly so I have somewhere to document the highs and the lows but also so we can open up a dialogue about fertility, infertility and the bits in between.
Maybe it’ll happen next month, maybe it’ll be next year or maybe it’ll be in 5 years time. Maybe it’ll happen naturally, maybe we’ll need help along the way or maybe we’ll have to think of other ways of extending our family. Either way I’m ready for this. Together we will tackle this head on.