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Here is a list of thoughts that swirl around in the head of a primary IF after a spontaneous positive HPT test when she had already been blessed with a one perfect little baby:

  • This is too good to be true.
  • I’d better not get excited yet.
  • Life is terribly unfair. How could it be my turn again?
  • This could not be happening.
  • Could I ever love another baby with the incredible intensity that I love my first miracle with?
  • My first baby is my little miracle. I’m not prepared for her to have to share that podium with another baby yet.
  • I should not get too excited.
  • How could I not get too excited?!
  • It’s not my turn.
  • Oh no, how could anyone survive morning sicknes and pregnancy while you’re the mom of a baby?
  • I am so incredibly blessed.

This is way too good to be true.

On my way to the bathroom on the 28th of June, I remembered that it was 14 dpo.

Strangely, ovulation only happened on CD20 of this cycle, so it was actually already CD34. The ovulation date diagnosis was maybe a bit iffy, as it was based on characteristic ovulation pain and one ovulation prediction stick that had already expired in 2009.

So rewinding two weeks, back to CD20: I saw that LH surge on the OPK rather late in the evening on the 14th of June. So I walked over to DH, swaying my hips as seductively as I could manage at the time. I was actually quite exhausted and feeling very much not in the mood, as our gorgeous little girl was still happily doing stay-awake-training for parents at night, as had been the case for some time, actually. (And as is still the case, although we finally started countering this week with sleep training for little ones..)

Anyway, I mentioned to DH that there was a ‘target’ for him to shoot at. I said it was either that, or I was making up the target story to get ‘some’. Either way, he wasn’t going to get away! And as always, my awesome DH happily and grandly rose to the occasion. We rather hurriedly ‘made a plan’ not that long before midnight on the bunk bed in the nursery – as LO was asleep (for a change) in the cot in our romantic (hahaha – little joke here) bedroom.

So zooming back to 14 dpo: I went back into the bedroom and rummaged through my cupboard. Luckily I found an HPT that managed to escape the POAS-fest that followed after my previous BFP (at which time I was armed with enough fresh HPTs to test every woman in a small African country).

I went into the bathroom, did the deed and got back into bed to read my baby girl a story. I waved the HPT stick in DH’s direction and said that the test was of course negative, but he had to remember that we’d need patience due to my age, his age, my endo, our IF history, etc., etc., blah, blah..

DH took the stick from me, looked at it and became quiet. “Let me turn up the down lighters for you so you can have a closer look”, he said as he handed the stick back to me.

This time I looked. And there it was. Clear as day. A second line.

Today my thoughts keep skipping back to this day last year.

As I left the FS’s office a year ago, those monthly disappointments were suddenly no longer just bad luck. It was called IF. I could no longer make myself believe that nothing was wrong. The FS’s scan and (invasive) exam gave away the endometrioma and other nodules that were most likely severe endo.

I went home to pack my hospital bag as we had scheduled the lap two days later. (In the hope of avoiding another horrible episode of ovarian torsion.) Would my hope of someday holding our baby remain a dream? There was no way of knowing.

Today I wonder whether I would have reached this current happy space if I started popping babies the moment I first thought I felt ready? Or what would have happened if I could have peeked at the happy ending of the chapter rather than having had to battle through those fears and the feelings of failure and loss?

Would I have been as grateful for the little blessing growing, kicking and hiccupping in my tummy? Would I have appreciated my wonderful DH as much? Would I have been as amazed at the wonder and fragility of a tiny new life?

Or would I (like my mom, I guess) possibly have viewed pregnancy and childbearing as little more than divine punishment for Eve’s mistakes?

I believe that there are journeys and nightmares in this life that could never make sense to us while we’re on this earth. Yet today, as I look back, I know that things have worked together for good – for me, my DH and my little ‘meisiekind’. I have such a grateful and humble heart.

As I look back at IF from the ‘other side’, one immense sadness remains: knowledge and understanding (at least to some extent, since I’ve ‘only’ had to walk the ttc road for 18 months) of the pain of those who are still waiting..

A dear IF friend sent me a message today to say that her 7w scan did not go well: an empty sac, since the baby didn’t grow.

How painful it is to mourn for a little darling who has giggled and cooed only in your dreams. How heartbreaking to mourn for all those lost years of a life not yet lived, with so many stories untold, summers untasted.

Dear friend, I know that the fleeting life of your little angel made an eternal imprint on your heart. I pray that you’ll remember not only the tears and devastation of loss, but also manage to hang onto the happy memories that this LO brought you in the past weeks. May you retain the special memories, magic and wonder of your first ever preggie Christmas.

I’m so sorry, my dear friend. You and your DH are in my and my DH’s thoughts and prayers.

I saw that you updated your signature on the forum to show that this month’s ZIFT ended in a BFN.

Driving to work in the Cape of Storms this morning, I pictured how you’d have received that result in a sunny, warm Durban. And I thought to myself how terribly unfair it was.

Firstly, it should of course have been BFP. Secondly, when you received that BFN, then at the very least the wind should have been howling and raging – like it is now outside my office window in Cape Town. The skies should have been weeping, soft drizzle and torrents of rain in turn.

Yet, I know that if a star fell from the sky for every BFN or AF’s visit that’s ever shattered a woman’s hope, then the night sky would be dark and empty. So we make the most of everything we still have, while fighting the darkness and emptiness that’s stuck inside.

You’re such an strong woman, dear friend. Your ability to hang onto hope and continue soldiering on always amazes me.

Take care of yourself, your DH and the hope that I know still lives in your heart.

I’m so sorry it didn’t happen for you this month.

I think something that often helped me to be successful in life (meaning as relatively successful/unsuccessful as I’m now), is my ability to focus on what’s important.

This has helped me lots in my studies and at work. I had good grades and my superiors tend to be very happy with me. If you know the comic strip Calvin and Hobbs, you’ll understand that it’s sad that I can relate to the life of Suzie Derkins!

The problem is that what’s important to me now, is to try and get that BFP! One could say I’ve completely lost my focus, but I think it has just shifted to this very elusive goal.

Today, I can’t think of anything but tomorrow’s first IUI. After that, the 2ww is unlikely to help me snap out of it for another 14 days. If I do get a BFP, well.. I can only imagine what the 9mw would be like!

I’m going to have to put some serious effort into getting some momentum going at work and in my studies!

I wonder whether this is the reason why girls are generally less successful at their careers?! Especially once that friggin’ biological clock starts ticking like a time bomb?

I’m hoping like crazy I can get my act together at work soon! Judging from my boss’s comments, I’ve still got some credits in my ‘productivity account’ at the moment due to having often worked hard and long hours here over the past two odd years – but for how long?

My previous corporate job made me feel like I’ve run away from home and joined the circus. So before starting ttc, I took a salary cut, got myself a job with a wonderful boss and a much nicer work environment.

In my previous job, I barely got round to seeing a dentist, leave alone an FS. My previous (male) boss used to say, “Just promise me you’re not going to fall pregnant anytime soon..” My new (female) boss has told me before, “I can’t wait for you to have kiddies, because I’m so curious to see whether they’d be more like you or more like your DH..” Yes, I’m sooo lucky – I just need those kiddies now!

I try not to think about this (especially in the 2ww), but all of this means that if I never get to have a LO, I’d be without much of a career and without LOs. Guess I’d better try to make sure I’d still be working for my really nice boss if (God forbid) that were happen.. So I’m really trying to get my scatter-brained thoughts a bit more together this week!

I’m testing on the 30th and writing an exam on the 4th Nov. So if I get that BFP, that will be one of my and the MaybeBaby’s first bonding experiences! Too bad my chances of having the LO by then is most likely a lot less than I’m going to have for that stupid exam..

About 3 weeks ago, my mother called to discuss the Christmas family dinner menu. Coming from a huge family, Christmas is always filled with commotion, family celebrations and traditions. In other words, it’s a time of joy and festivities and I usually love it.

But last week I told DH that we should considering ‘skipping’ Christmas for the first time ever by going somewhere on our own. That way I could escape the awkward questions and looks of pity when I play with my adorable little nephews.

I think about this often, as every IF probably do.

I’ve always loved kids, taught Sunday school to 6-year olds for years and became a paediatric occupational therapist – mostly because I figured it was the most valuable course a prospective mother could take at university. As an oldest sister with 4 siblings, I helped raised and totally adored my 2 little brothers – I was an awestruck 6-year old at the time of the birth of the oldest of the 2.

If things went according to plan (as it does for many non-IFs), I’d have been married and raising a truck load of kids before I knew it.

But working with kids as OT in the UK was traumatic. Disabled kids, retarded kids, dying kids, inherited diseases wiping out all kids in a lovely family.. Playing with the kids was great and I considered myself very lucky for getting paid to do this. But, it also got boring to every day watch kids struggle with the most simple tasks. It’s not very intellectually stimulating.

Furthermore, Prince Charming took his time. By 27, I made a career change (into IT) and could now to keep food on my table in sunny SA. Next thing I knew, I was a single career woman going places while many of friends were looking after terribly obnoxious LOs!

I know the following:

  • If I could choose, I’d rather not have kids than watch a disabled kiddie struggle through a possibly short and painful life. But we don’t get to choose.
  • Hearing my mother complain about pregnancy and childbirth for most of my young life, I’ve always been absolutely terrified of that experience. I wish I could have kids without going through that crap.
  • I’ve always hated AF and all the cramping and would have liked a hysterectomy at 15 if only I could somehow still have had my own genetic kids despite that.
  • I still absolutely love playing with kids and adore my little nephews.

I’ve only qualified as ‘IF’ in July and instantly plunged into major depression. How unfair! I’ve spent most of my life wishing, planning and preparing for this!

However, having carefully considered all, I’ve decided not to miss the joy that can be found today! Remember, there is no guarantee that we’d be happy once we have those kiddies.

So yes: I still want to have kids and I’ll mourn over IF my whole life if I never have kids. But, maybe being 35 years young(!) in our modern society, being healthy, having a wonderful DH and a fantastic luxurious life (by many standards) is actually as good as it gets?

I hate to admit that lately I can’t snap out of being a constant cry baby. I have slept very little in the past month, lost a worrisome amount of weight (actually dropped my BMI below 16) and worst of all, can’t seem to stop crying. All of a sudden, the weight of the world is totally wearing me down and I’m wondering whether I’d even cope with having a kid.

Fortunately I have a job where I sit in an office all day doing IT stuff, so it will thankfully take a bit of time before my co-workers figure out I’ve possibly lost all my marbles. My poor husband must unfortunately know this by now following several erratic outbursts over nonsense.

Sure, I’m still reeling from the formal diagnosis of IF and severe endo (only 4 weeks ago). I’m still cramping a lot after the extensive lap, which is not conducive to a good night’s sleep or a healthy appetite. Besides, maybe it’s nothing a BFP might not cure?

Yet I have a horrible family history of severe depression, so I can’t afford too much nonchalance.

If anti-depressants are no option while you’re ttc, I don’t want to mention any of this to my FS – or preferably anyone, actually. I’m too embarrassed and am used to being much more together than this. Maybe more thoughts of ponies and rainbows, a few 30 minutes walks per week and (hope I’m this lucky) some restful sleep will do the trick?

Since getting the dx of IF and severe endo three weeks ago, I’ve been awake every night for about 3 or 4 hours somewhere between 1 am and 6 am. I first thought it was only because of the pain after the laparoscopy, but it’s no longer that.

So I’m lying in the gloomy darkness every night trying to think ‘rainbows, ponies and happiness’ while some bleak scenarios of IF and endo race through my mind.

Statistically, my chances of taking a baby home someday seems (according to the studies of severe endo and combined with my age factor) much much less than I ever had for a test or exam, yet all of a sudden this is the only ‘test’ that matters to me now. I so hope to be one of those lucky statistics!

Guess I’m kinda depro and struggling to deal with this new hand I’ve been dealt. I’m permanently on the brink of tears, which is the main reason I can’t get myself to tell my friends of my IF – I’m terrified I’ll start sobbing like a 2- year old, which is so not me.

Ai, this really is lonely road.


August 2020