Monday, September 16, 2013

Still Not Over It

I'm not very sure where I go from here, both in terms of this blog and in terms of my "recurrent miscarrier/subfertile" self.

I'm getting on with life and the initial grief over the last cycle not working has passed. That said, now that the journey is over - at least in terms of new treatments and new babies - I am becoming aware of what it has left behind.

I have an amazing son and I love him with all my heart. I love him in exactly the way I expected to love my child way back at the start of this journey, when I thought that I would have a child that was genetically mine in the old-fashioned way (involving my husband, a bed and myself, all in one room - not it different cities). I do not feel any grief over the fact that he did not result from my eggs - thankfully, I discovered that was a part of parenthood I didn't require. But I do feel grief about what a very long time it took us to get here, about the fact that I am an "older" parent when I was not planning it that way, about the losses along the way (although I do not feel those as the loss of children - personally, they were very early and I view them as the loss of pregnancies and possibilities) and about the other losses we suffered while pursuing parenthood (career progression, romance & intimacy, money, self-worth, friends, confidence in my body - the list goes on).

I think I'm a better person after all this - I am definitely stronger, I empathise more with others in their difficulties in life, I am less self-obsessed (though look at me, starting every paragraph with "I"). I also maintain that even if we hadn't had a child, I would be OK - not brilliant, but OK - and I am OK with one child.

I do get angry sometimes, though, when there seems to be an expectation that I will be more grateful for my very hard-won singleton than my friends should be with their easily achieved 2.4 kids. After all, I nearly had no children - so I must be very happy to have one. It's true that I do feel lucky to have him and grateful beyond words that I had the money and other resources to pursue treatment and to be living in a time when treatments are possible. I feel immensely grateful when I think of myself as part of the IF/Loss community - without entering the pain Olympics, I think we went through a lot, but I know that there are people out there dealing with worse and not getting the result we got - how could I possibly not acknowledge my luck here. But when those around me in real life, say things like "You must be so happy that it all worked out for you?!" or "You are very lucky to have him." when referring to my son, I feel angry. Because 7 years of trying, 6 losses, countless failed treatments, embarrassing procedures, tests and questions, the discovery of several chronic conditions along the way and a failed attempt to have a sibling doesn't strike me as very lucky. Lucky would be planning a child, trying for a couple of months, getting pregnant and having a baby, followed by something similar a couple of years later if you wanted more than one!

When reading other people's blogs, I find myself reading about women who are going through such a similar journey to mine (including a couple recently from the UK who have clearly been visiting the same clinics and specialists that I did) and I hear/see them saying the same things I did. I want to rescue them - I want to tell them not to get sucked in to treatments that cost huge amounts of money and are not backed up by good research. I want to tell them not to see donor eggs as a last resort. But that's not my job or my business - I had to go through that process and I would probably not have appreciated someone telling me I was on the wrong track (even someone who'd been there before). I am helping out as often as I can at our SANDS group for those with IF (sadly most have also had a miscarriage or a stillbirth as well - please tell me there's research that's trying to join those dots because it doesn't seem like a coincidence to me).

Anyway, here I am, not quite sure where to go.


S said...

I think it's OK that you're not "over it," and I agree with you that going through what you did to become a mother hardly makes you "lucky." That doesn't mean that you love or appreciate your child less; it just means that you haven't forgotten what it took to get to this point.

I get it.

Roccie said...

Ugh. I know Pain Olympics are not healthy, but I cannot help but read your experiences and find them heartbreaking - in real need of a resolution. Someone to make something happen.

You explained much better than I ever could over at my house. I think I felt the same way when I was in pursuit of Jay. It seems to hurt even more when you are working for a team.

Anonymous said...

Hi, here speaking from somewhere far away in another country, looking for some peace/answers in the hard journey i´m living...weighting between PGD or Donnor Eggs after 5 mc, 2 uterus surgery, one failed IVF and lots and lots of pain in my heart...I want to thank you A LOT for your blog...I´m about to decide what to do with our money, our lives and to try to run away from this deep grief... Read your blog strengthen my decisiĆ³n to choose donor eggs instead of wasting and losing the little strength I still have.

Thanks for sharing your experience.



Silver said...

Thank you, Anonymous! I don't know if you'll stop this way again but it means such a lot to hear that this blog has helped you in some way. Apart from being a place for me to download my feelings about our journey, the other motivation for this blog is the hope that someone might read it and get what I got from infertility/loss blogs when I first found them - the feeling that you are not alone and that there might be hope after all. Silver x

Anonymous said...

I'm so lucky to find your wonderful blog! I have PCOS and I know how it feels. I've been in treatment for years. Unfortunately it brought zero result. I'm currently pregnant with twins from donor egg. I should say now I have no feeling my babies are not mine genetically. To be honest I had some doubts. I didn't know how I feel about the procedure... I thought maybe I should wait and try something else and it will help me to get pregnant. But we'd found out that the likelihood of having our own children was practically zero. So ivf with donor egg was our last and only one option. I have a very 'modern' family with step parents/brothers/sisters, half siblings and step nieces and nephews etc. Genetics really means nothing to me. People who raise and love you are your true family. In the beginning my dh wasn't fully on board. We had some very serious arguments about the procedure. But when he found out I was pregnant everything in him changed! The babies I'm carrying are our children and will always be ours. It's such a hard decision to make, I know. Only you will ever know if it's right for you or not as it's not right for some people. I look at it like at usual treatment of infertility. Doctors just help you a little bit. And then you carry/ give birth/ raise - do what usual parents do. We still haven't decided whether or not we'll ever tell the babies about the donor. But we're definitely not telling anyone else how we came to be pregnant. It's only our bussiness. I don't see something super special in it so everyone should know. These babies are mine. I really feel it and I don't make myself to do so)

Silver said...

Hi Anonymous.

Congratulations! That's fantastic news about your twins. Funnily enough, I've been meaning to get back to my blog and your message might just give me that push.

I hope you will tell the babies about their beginnings - and your family too. I don't know whether you are in the UK of further away but I'm a member of the Donor Conception Network in the UK ( and their advice is very much to tell donor conceived children and those closest to them about their origins. As well as being the mum of a donor conceived child (now 5 ½ years old - no idea how that happened so fast), I am a teacher with 20 years experience. It is always best to be honest with children - they can tell when something is being hidden and they will often assume that it is something much worse than it really is and that it is somehow their fault.

Many of my wee boy's friends have siblings and there have been questions about babies and where they come from. We have been open with him from the start - I can't imagine how hard it would be to have to lie to him about his beginnings. There is also the chance that these things will come out when the child is older - my father had a form of cancer a few years ago that, had chemo not worked, a bone marrow transplant would have been needed and his immediate family would have been tested to see if they were compatible. A friend discovered when she was 18 that she was adopted - she'd had a very happy, warm family life but the fact that her parents had hidden that from her was devastating.

We were at a day-long course run by the Donor Conception Network recently, called "Telling and Talking" and there was a huge range of experience there, from folk like us who had been open with everyone to some who had told no-one. It's not an easy topic, and you definitely don't need to tell EVERYONE. But please think hard about keeping it from your babies and your own parents and siblings. We worried that my husband's family, who are very religious, would be shocked when we told them but they were just delighted that we were going to be parents and they were going to have a grandchild/nephew/cousin. I can say with total honesty that I have NEVER had anything other than positive responses when I've told people about being a donor parent - and it's even led to people asking advice and going on to have treatment themselves.

I wish you all there very, very best with the rest of your pregnancy and being a mum. It's the best job ever! And you are totally right about the babies being yours. I sometimes feel like my son is MORE mine that he would have been if I'd had him the straightforward, old-fashioned way - after all, who has worked harder and made more difficult choices to become a parent than someone who has been though infertility/loss. There is not one second of one day that I have regretted using donor eggs or mourned my own genetic heritage - I couldn't love a child more than I do my son.

Silver x