Lots of emotion

It’s now (almost) Tuesday, nearly three weeks since my operation. I’m going back to work on Thursday, and I’ll be glad to get back into a normal routine.

I’ve had plenty of ups and downs recently. I spent a good few days feeling extremely anxious about any possible social engagements over the Christmas period. The ever-present social anxiety coupled with the decision to drink or not drink at events; all of which feels even more unsettling when I think about it through the filter of our infertility struggle, which is the biggest thing going on in my life right now.

Last week my friend came to visit me – the one with the two year old. She didn’t bring her along though – I just wanted to have some time for the two of us together. I had been pulling away because I was finding it very hard to relate. I was focusing on our differences rather than our similarities, and last weekend I decided I needed to try and put that aside, and spend some quality time. She is my oldest friend, after all! So we had a lovely afternoon. I did feel uneasy and lost when she had been talking about playgroups and potty training and waiting lists for schools for a while – a kind of sinking, ‘oh my god this might never be my reality‘ sort of sadness. But it was OK, we moved on to talking about other things. I’m really happy it went so well 🙂

On Thursday I went to collect my sicknote from the GP, and as I was pulling out onto the main road, I passed my Dad, who was walking to the chemist. I won’t go into all the details but it’s impossible to stop there, and he had more or less reached the chemist, so I went on my way. But he wasn’t wearing a coat! I flicked the indicator stalk button thingy and it told me the temperature outside was 7 degrees. Now, Dad had lost his coat and hat somewhere a week or two ago, but he went shopping with my sister, mum, aunt and cousin to buy a new coat. He is suffering from short term memory loss and it makes me so sad. I find myself wanting to protect him. I popped in to my parents house on my way home from the GP. Mum was busy in the garden and I said to Dad, ‘where’s your new coat, Dad? It’s 7 degrees out there and I saw you walking to the village with no coat on!’. He kind of said ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I should put it on, I don’t want to upset you’, and he gave me a hug. I just dissolved into tears…Lots of emotion.

He sat me down at the kitchen table and made me a cup of tea. Mum came in from sorting the chickens and we talked about stuff. Dad showed me the new coat, plus an anorak with a fleecy liner (that mum doesn’t like). He felt the new one should be for best only, as it cost a lot of money. But I explained it was to replace the lost coat, which was for everyday. I made sure he didn’t just think it wouldn’t go with his casual clothes. So hopefully that’s all sorted, he’ll definitely be wearing a coat from now on!!

I also told Mum about Mr W having come home from the pub a couple of weeks previously, and having a huge argument with me. A few days after the operation, and he started the argument by blaming me for the state of the kitchen! Which was in a mess, but I’d already decided I would clean it up the next day. Well, he was even talking – not in so many words – about divorce. I didn’t know what to do. I really thought that might have been it. The argument changed to the subject of IVF. Apparently I had been ‘ramming it down his throat’ for far too long and he’d had enough. A little while after that, he burst into tears and said he just wished we could do it naturally. He’s worried and afraid what will happen if it doesn’t work. I really needed to get all that off my chest, but I’m so glad I waited until everything had well and truly blown over before I said anything to Mum.

So yes, a bit of a rough ride so far. But I think I’m settling down again, emotionally. I’ve got a lot to write about in future posts, as various thoughts have been floating through my mind. I somehow have an urge to understand much more about endometriosis – about what causes it and how to minimise it’s effects, if that is possible. I feel like it is a part of me, it’s just something that my body is doing, and rather than somehow blank it out of my thoughts I need to know it better.

I’m also trying to let go of the idea that I know what my future should look like, and let go of trying to control the outcome at every stage. I do know what I would like to happen, and sometimes that does get the better of me and I worry about how I will cope if things don’t turn out the way I want them to. But I know I need to be open to all possibilities, otherwise I risk not seeing the good things in my life – the things that might not match my hopes and dreams but are blessings nonetheless.

 

Baby Raspberry Post #4 Post Op

It’s a week and a half since I had the operation. Luckily they managed to do what needed to be done through laparoscopy, rather than laparotomy, so I am recovering very well. I did stay in hospital overnight, as the op was mid afternoon. I was grateful for the overnight stay really, apart from the fact that the nurses were VERY loud and I didn’t sleep much until they gave me some morphine syrup(?) half way through the night.

One thing I didn’t cope with very well was overhearing plenty of conversations between the nurses about pregnancies. I won’t go into detail, but one of them was expecting, and what was happening to another patient in a separate room provoked a discussion between the nurses about all things relating to the announcement of pregnancies etc. Now, I had already felt upset and alone after the consultant had spoken to me the day before. He basically said he thought I had a frozen pelvis and didn’t know if he could carry out the procedure successfully. Then, there was the pregnancy test and the cheery, relieved way that the nurse told me it was negative. And now this. I lay there on my own, listening to the nurses talk about pregnancy and babies, wondering what the surgeon had found when he operated, wondering if I will ever be able to carry a child, even, will I ever be a mother?

I was given a card to fill in about my experience of the hospital, and there was a box on the back for comments. I filled it in with something like what I’ve just said above. I’m not going to stay silent, I thought. Not that I wanted to blame anyone, it was just that I wanted my perspective to be known. I gave it back to the sister and then a short while later she came to me and closed the curtains. I thought at first that she was going to have a go at me! But no, she said ‘I’ve just read your comment card, and I can only apologise’. She was lovely to me. I was so grateful. She told me she’d had her little girl through IVF so she was fully aware of all the doubts and fears around infertility. I felt better, I felt less alone.

The overnight stay also meant that I got to see the consultant on the rounds the next morning. Firstly, the registrar who was in the operation, and a consultant who wasn’t, came over with my file. I averted my eyes from the photographs! The consultant said they had removed the fallopian tubes and some cysts from the ovaries. Also the endometrial polyp was removed from the uterus. Scar tissue was successfully removed, so that the uterus was now moving freely. So far so good. The thing is, the cysts will keep coming back on the ovaries. It seems there will be no let-up. More bad news…the ovaries are stuck to the posterior of the uterus. Hmm. So will I have to use donor eggs for IVF, I asked? (I know these are not IVF specialists I’m talking to, but at this point I want any scrap of information or opinion I can get hold of!). The consultant (who wasn’t in the operating theatre, bear in mind) was very jolly and said ‘Oh, you are young, you should definitely try using your own eggs!’. And the registrar (who was in the op) had a very serious expression and didn’t say a word. Now, we all know I’m not young in reproduction terms – I’m 37. And my ovaries…stuck, and with cysts. That didn’t sound too great to me, but nevertheless; I let myself feel good about the possibility of using my own eggs.

Those two ladies left, and a bit later Mr D, the consultant who did operate came over, No file or anything, I think he wanted to just come and see me before I went home. I was dressed and waiting to be collected at this point, so we sat side by side on the bed. He said it wasn’t as bad as he thought it was going to be in there (!) But he warned me not to wait – to go straight to the private clinic to start IVF as soon as we can. No argument from me there. In fact I’m glad he said it, in a way, because I was able to tell my husband, who would otherwise be thinking that there’s no point going until after Christmas. He doesn’t know that reproductive hormones wait for no man (or woman). About the ovaries…could I use my own eggs? He said its really a problem of being able to physically get at the eggs, considering the position of the ovaries, and the recurrence of the cysts. I’m thinking maybe another ultrasound at the private clinic might be a good idea, just so we know what we’re dealing with.

So I’m home. All sorts of things have been going through my mind, as you can imagine. One thing I do know, and I am trying to do something about, is the fact that I need to be prepared for the possibility that none of this will work out, and perhaps I wont end up being a mother at all. It’s a bit scary. But I think that part of the way to deal with that – and something that I need to be doing anyway – is to really look at my self-esteem. It has never been that great, but now more than ever I want to actively try to improve it, to believe that I am a worthy person, that I’m loved and loving, and I need to recognise that this life of mine, well it’s the only one I’ve got. I’m all I’ve got, and I don’t want to waste anything by wishing I was different. I’m so fed up of feeling I’m on the outside of life looking in whilst everyone else has it all figured out.

If anyone has any tips as to what has worked for them in terms of improving self-esteem, please share – I would be most grateful 🙂