Wednesday, 12 September 2007

All About Loss

I thought I might post about what's been happening around here. For someone who's generally pretty open in real life, I think I stay a little guarded on the blog.

But late last year I posted a list of goals for 2007 and one of them wasn't knitting related and was really important. At the time I remember getting lots of really wonderful comments and support about it, so I don't mind writing about it here and explaining how it's going. You're all a lovely bunch of readers and maybe some of you have gone through this too.

That goal was to either be a mum or be pregnant by the end of the year. It came really close to happening recently.

Partly what's inspired me to talk about it is that January One announced her pregnancy, achieved with fertility treatment, just a little while ago. It looks like we had treatment at different ends of the same month and fortunately for her, apart from a tonne of puking, it's all going really well for her. I was excited when I read her news. I was pregnant then and couldn't wait until I announced mine, too.

We've wanted a baby for a long time. About three years ago, we thought we'd give it a go and somewhere down the track we figured out it wasn't going to be easy. We were even told at one stage it'd be close to impossible. It took us a long time to get up the courage to give fertility treatment a go. We saw people we loved really having a hard time with it and wasn't sure it was for us.

Then we met a new specialist who gave us hope. A round of more tests later and we were good to go.

The weeks of self-injecting the hormones were actually not that bad. It was more of an odd experience, tinged with some weird and scary emotions, but I got off pretty lightly. All the while I just felt relief that it was all finally happening and we were really doing something about our problem now.

Incredibly, it worked first go. We were breathless with amazement. We'd really had no expectation, just hope, that we would be lucky, so very lucky, to have it work first go. That was in mid-August.

We had four really happy weeks. Maybe it was only three. But it felt like a lifetime to me, in a good way. This amazing thing that's been a source of so much pain and sadness for us and has coloured so much our lives for the last three years, had finally happened.

We told a few people, had a lot of happy talks about baby names and waited for that first ultrasound, at seven weeks, where we'd check for a heartbeat.

That morning, we saw on the screen a blob with a flickering dot inside it. All was well.

But it wasn't. Not until we got the doctor's report later in the day did we find out that actually the heart rate was quite slow and the embryo was undersized. I remember standing on University Avenue with the piece of paper in my hand at lunch time and for the first time in weeks, feeling real fear. We were warned to be prepared for it all to go wrong. And it did.

A follow up ultrasound four days later revealed no heartbeat at all.

If you've suffered a pregnancy loss, I don't have to tell you how sad it is. I read the other day that miscarriage after fertility treatment is a double blow. Yep. It is. Nothing surer. That little bunch of cells you've both longed for and fought for works its way into your life pretty damn fast. Being briefly pregnant was both an incredibly real and entirely surreal experience. When you've longed for something for such a long time, to actually have it happen is powerful and grips you with excitement and fear and wonder all at once.

When it's suddenly gone, you're back to feeling hopeless, even though you know you can try again.

We're surrounded by good people. Lots of love and support has come our way. We're grateful. And we'll go again, when everything is back to normal, we'll climb that mountain of fertility treatment again and hope for a better outcome next time. At least we know we can fall pregnant. That's a step closer than we were a few months ago.

In the meantime, I'm just gonna let myself feel fragile and sad and even angry that yet again, we're longing and hoping and faced with uncertainty. And I'll keep working on the steeked jacket because I promised Sean I wouldn't start knitting baby stuff until it was done and I plan to keep my promise.