Thats right…I pretended to be pregnant for a day – well, the morning really. But before you jump to the conclusion that I am a fool, let me give you some context
I have been trying to get pregnant for 5 years now – 5 long, heartbreaking years. I feel utterly worn down and isolated from womankind. I look at other women and then back at mine and I see a body that doesn’t work. I see a body that currently has no purpose. I get periods each month yet I don’t ovulate. Why?! What are they for? I don’t feel like the other women I see – the woman who are flourishing with fertility and happiness. I see a broken woman.
I can’t get pregnant and it hurts so damn much.
Battling infertility whilst being a working woman is hard. I live and work in London and life is busy. I commute in to work every day and get the tube during the worst hours of the day – rush hour. It is a horrible time of day. Commuters squash themselves onto tube carriages to within an inch of their lives, crushed and crumpled, trapped up against bodies of strangers, whilst obviously not making eye contact. It is like this every morning and every evening. It is horrible, and even more so when you are tired and sad, and boy am I sad.
So, it was at the end of a very long day, at the end of what was one of the most heartbreaking weeks when I made the decision to give myself a break….
It was the week what I found out that my fourth round of IVF had not worked. Despite my aching heart I took myself to work, because when you have spent as much money on IVF as I have, you have to keep working. As I squashed myself on to the busy carriage, a miracle happened. The old woman in the priority seat nearest the door got up to get off the tube. I couldn’t believe my luck. I felt as though my guardian angel had stepped in and wrapped her arms around me. As I threw myself into the empty seat I wanted to cry. My body felt so weak and the angry stares from the other commuters who were envious of my seat all felt too much. I closed my eyes and let my mind wander over the tragedy of yet another failed round.
I just want to be a mother. I will be an amazing mother. Why didn’t it work..again? When will I be a mother? Will I ever be a mother? What happens if I don’t ever become a mother? What is the point of living if I can’t be a mother?
My thoughts became faster and hurt deeper with each one. I kept my eyes shut tightly as I knew I would cry out if I were to open them.
Until someone poked me in a really aggressive way.
“You need to let this woman sit down” Said the woman stood in front of me, gesturing to the woman next to her proudly wearing her Baby on Board badge. She looked at me with such disappointment and disgust.
The pregnant woman stroked her stomach (there wasn’t a bump yet) and waited for me to stand up. I can’t even begin to tell you how I could have dropped to the floor right there and then . I felt weak, sick, dizzy, hurt, angry, desperate and sad. In honesty, I think I needed the seat more than the pregnant lady, but I stood up and let her rest her perfectly working body with it’s perfectly growing baby. For the remainder of the journey I had to stand in front of her as there was no room to move. I felt numb.
When I finally got off the tube and back in to the safety of my own home, I sobbed and sobbed. And then I did something that might sound odd…I got online and ordered myself my very own ‘baby on board” badge.
A few days later, my badge arrived. I held it in my hands and stared at it. “Today, I will feel what it is going to be like when I do finally become pregnant” I said to myself.
I know this sounds like the actions of a crazy woman, but I needed to give myself some hope – after all they say visualise to materialise right? Well this was my act of visualisation. So, I proudly pinned my badge to my coat and walked to the tube station and told myself I was pregnant. It felt incredible. I felt incredible.
As usual, the platform was rammed. As the doors opened, everyone poured on to the carriage. This time though, I was different – To everyone else I was a beautiful pregnant woman. Within 30 seconds, the young man in the priority seat got up and gave me his seat with a lovely smile. It was a wonderful feeling.
I didn’t feel like an imposter before you ask. It felt amazing, and in that moment, my hope came flooding back. I could see the future. I could see myself becoming a mother. I started to think about what my cravings would be, and how I should buy some bio oil to ensure I didn’t get any stretch marks. It was a great feeling, like I was planning what was about to happen.
I only wore my badge on the tube to work that morning, but that is all I needed. I have put it on my shelf in the kitchen, ready for when it’s my turn, when I can wear it every day for 9 months, and I I know my time is coming.
This was a one off coping tool for me and it helped, so that is all that matters. If you have your own bizarre coping tools but they work, then embrace them. Battling infertility is hardcore, so we have to look after ourselves and do what makes us feel better.
To all of my TTC warriors, I am sending you love.
If you have ever felt this way, or would like to share your coping tools, do drop us a line to email@example.com, we would love to hear from you.