If I could say one thing to my younger self, I would say speak to a counsellor as you start your fertility journey. I didn’t, and here I am still struggling with the issues I was struggling with almost 3 years later, despite being a proud IVF warrior and mummy to my 3 year old daughter
I realised I was still struggling when I went out with some of the mums that I met recently at my daughter’s new nursery. It is the first time I have really hung out with other mums. If I am honest, I still pinch myself that I am now having coffee mornings with other mums, as I dreamt about this for years and years and years.
When I was trying to conceive, I used to have my own special coping tool when I saw groups of mums, just like the group I am in now – I would look at them and tell myself that they had all been through IVF and that it had taken them years to become mothers. The idea behind my warped thinking, was so that instead of me feeling immense sadness and jealousy, I would feel joy for them. I would say to myself, “it’s OK, one day I will be sat where they are, sipping coffee with the other mums, with my little baby on my lap”. I have to say, this only worked occasionally. Most of the time I would have to get away from groups of happy mothers and their precious babies as quick as I could before a panic attack set it.
So here I am, 3 years later. A proud mother, sitting with other mums, drinking coffee
So why, whilst sat with the mums the other day, did I feel the most overwhelming sense of sadness and jealousy rise up through my body? Let me tell you what happened…
So there we were, all sat together drinking large coffees after dropping off our little ones at nursery. After we had spoken about the pain of potty training, one of the mums announced that she was pregnant again.
“Wow” said one of the other mums. “Thats amazing”
“Well yes” replied the pregnant mum. “It’s just I wasn’t quite ready for another just yet”.
And that’s when then the buried emotional pain and jealousy started to rise in me
I was overcome with sadness for myself – sadness that I had to go through years of tests, ups, downs, scares, failures, disappointments and not to mention thousands and thousands of pounds. I was full of rage that there are women that are having babies, not even because they are trying, but because they wanted to have sex for PLEASURE and as a result mother nature did its thing and BANG – pregnant. How unfair is that?!
My school mum friend was pregnant following sex for pleasure with no intention of even trying for a baby!!!!!!!
I have heard these emotions of mine described as the unhealed scar of infertility
As I felt the emotions rising, I panicked. I could feel my body going in to flight mode like it always did whilst I was in the dark years of failed IVF treatment. I stood up from the table a little too quickly, spilling some of my coffee.
“I’m just nipping to the loo” I lied.
I locked the bathroom door and took a deep breath. It must seem so irrational for anyone reading this who has never struggled to to conceive, but I am telling you, the fear was real. You could almost describe it as PTSD and my friend’s “natural” pregnancy announcement was the trigger. I suddenly felt alienated from the group. I wasn’t one of them. They would never know how lucky they have been to conceive with such ease and romance.
I did eventually leave the bathroom and managed to finish my coffee. I congratulated my friend but whilst sat amongst the mums, knew that as soon as I got in, I would jump on instagram and send my love to some of the women I had made friends with in the incredible TTC community who knew just what it was like to not have it so easy.
So to anyone who has not yet looked in to counselling, can I urge you to at least look in to it. I am booked in for my first session for next week (3 years too late perhaps?!) and I can already feel a sense of ease.
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