I want to share my journey with you because I am hoping that I can hear from others who are in a similar position to me
At the moment I am flipping between complete panic at the thought that I will never become a mother, and then in the next heartbeat, hope, that my next (and my 4th) round of IVF might actually work.
I feel embarrassed to say this, (but I know you won’t judge me), but over time, I have lost the ability to embrace other women with children, and let me tell you, that for me, in my job, this is very very difficult – as I am a nursery school teacher.
I am surrounded by other people’s children all day
I care for every beautiful child in my class, and their wellbeing means everything to me, but as I wave them off at the end of the day, watching the beaming faces of parents, excited to hear all about their child’s day, I can literally feel my heart break in two.
I am desperately trying to remain professional, but I can feel the bitterness setting in hard and I don’t even know how much longer I can carry on doing my job. I find myself getting cross by stupid things, like when parents consistently turn up late to collect their children. I think to myself “do you not care? How can you do that to your child? I would never do that to my child!”.
Then, when I see mums coming to collect their children with either a pregnancy bump or another child in a pushchair, I just want to burst into tears. I can’t even have one! I would be happy with just one! I would make sure I was ALWAYS on time to pick up muy baby. I would pack the most nourishing lunches for my child, not like some of the lunches these children are bringing into school. I would make sure my child never had an unwiped runny nose, I would make sure my child never came to school with dirty clothes. I would make sure my child knew he/she was the centre of my world. Why have I not been given this chance? Why can’t I have my own child? Life is so damn hard.
My treatment has failed 3 times now
The amazing headteacher at my school has been so very very kind to me. She allowed me the time off to go to appointments and gave me time and space after each failed round. We both agreed that for some, work is a great distraction, but for me being a nursery teacher, surrounded by young kids – it just wasn’t a great way to heal. For me, the children are just a reminder of what I have lost and what I might never have.
I think I have it in me to do only one more round of IVF. Financially, it has stripped us of everything other than the bare essentials. We have used every single spare penny we have. So, if this round doesn’t work, we will walk away from treatment. I am not quite sure if I can return to teaching such young children either, so it might mean a career change. The weight of the pressure is intense.
So much hangs on this final round
I have found the entire process so utterly challenging and draining. I feel like after each round I am learning more, which frustrates me because I wish I had known things from the beginning – like “don’t waste time on IUI if your partner’s sperm is lazy!!”. And certainly don’t have IUI twice if it didn’t work the first time around!!!!! My final round will be ICSI. I am hoping, that because they actually inject the sperm into the egg, that I might actually make an embryo this time. Send me good vibes won’t you?
I suppose the reason I want to reach out, is to gain comfort from other people who might be struggling like me
I know that sounds mean, but knowing you aren’t alone is so important. Does anyone else work with children? How do you cope? How do you face the parents without wanting to burst into tears? How do you stop yourself wanting to scream “is your child really the centre of your universe? If so, why are you always late when you pick him up?!” How do you stay calm and professional when you are broken on the inside?
I would also love to know if anyone has stopped treatment for good, but found a way to heal mentally and still continue working as a teacher?
Thank you for listening to me.
Thank you so much to Jennifer for being so open and honest about the way she is feeling. If her story resonates with you, please do drop us a line. We would love to hear from you, firstname.lastname@example.org