The Biological Clock at the First Station

I turned thirty-one last Sunday. I am no longer a newbie on the thirty train, I just passed the first station and while some people got off, other people got on. I was supposed to be thirty-six weeks along if my first pregnancy had not been lost and we would have our baby about a month from now. Back in March and April, I remember how I thought about my next birthday and how I would have a belly that was so big, it would look like a balloon that was about to burst. I imagined myself awkwardly walking along, grabbing my back and huffing and puffing, yelling obscenities to everyone to make them slow down. I vividly imagined myself as an almost due character in The Sims. But I would feel so proud. And I could not get my mind off celebrating Christmas while nursing our baby. Sitting next to the decorated tree and marvel at the beautiful being we had created. But he/she will not be there.

We celebrated my birthday on the 20th. We met my close family–grand mum, dad, mum, sister and partner–went to shop and had a nice dinner together. I even got my own name and sparklers on the chocolate cake my husband organized. I love sparklers. It was a great time, but I had this strong feeling of sadness. I did not want my family to see me cry, so I cannot count the times I had to fight back the tears that afternoon and evening. I walked around and shopped as if I was just a spectator, watching myself go into all the shops, feeling like the arm that stretched out to have a closer look at a dress was not mine… I was noticing pregnant women and maternity clothes everywhere. I was seeing young mums push around prams that had tiny hands and feet sticking out. I felt like nothing could get worse, if it already was this bad. Except when I tried to fit myself into some clothes. I would look at myself in the mirror and feel disgusted. I would see my stomach and my tummy and feel super-sized. I would stare at my pimple-ridden face and wonder why in Dickens’ name that acne kept popping up. I would notice the blue veins on my breasts that have been there since August and lose all hope for the validity of any future pregnancy symptoms. I would look deep into my own eyes and think: ‘What a waste!’ And I felt sorry for myself.

I stumbled upon a post written by Sunny from Cease and Decyst and agreed totally. The worst advice you can give someone with infertility problems is ‘try and not to think about it.’ I know my grand mum, my mum and my sister, who all dealt with miscarriage themselves, are just trying to help and be nice about it—The one month I did not think about it at all, is the month I fell pregnant—but in all honesty, it makes things worse for me. How can I not think about it, when it is the one thing I really want? When I put it over career opportunities? When, when people ask me what I would like for my birthday, the only thing that comes to mind is a sticky bean? And when I would not care if they would take everything I own away from me if I could just have a healthy baby. When it is haunting my every being? Every moment of the day. Every single second.

The problem with me, I think, is that the people close to me do not see it as an infertility problem. I fall pregnant every single try, so how can it be infertility related? The other day, I got very upset with my dad, who is a male nurse, when we were instant messaging and he wrote: ‘I think you should just continue to try to conceive for about a year. If you are not pregnant by then, you could get help.’ And later on he added: ‘Maybe they might find something. APS or a blood clotting disorder. Or maybe you are just ‘too fertile.” Too fertile? My body does not make a difference between low- and high-quality embryos and is very good at letting everything implant? Well, that is some consolation!

I am too fertile? Really?

Those Waking Moments

Do you know that moment after you went to lay down in bed and steer your mind to fantasise about the things you want most—when thoughts meander off completely and aimlessly and you suddenly, but very thinly threaded, realise on that last waking moment that you are at peace and things will turn out just fine? Why do we experience it when it feels like nothing will ever be perfect during all the other times of a day? Is it because maybe it eventually will, but we simply do not know yet? And, is that because we need to go through suffering, pain and misery before we can appreciate true happiness?

You fall asleep—even if it is only for a few hours, after which you start tossing and turning. You dwell gloomily and are fed up with yourself for not being able to let go, resulting in insomnia. And just before you are meant to get up and start the day, you slip into the most vivid dream of the night. But are you really sleeping? Or are you once again in that waking moment, which now seems to last much longer and does not give you any peace at all. You find it hard to see the difference between what has been your unconsciousness self through dreams and what have been figments of your conscious imagination.

I get up, have a healthy breakfast and smiling broadly, think: ‘Today is going to be a new start and so much different from the other days.’ I am already contemplating exercising routines and drinking and eating healthy. I am thinking about spending my time doing something productive and as a reward feeling like I accomplished something at the end of the day. But my husband did not even leave the street for work and it becomes very evident that things will just be thought about and not be done. I find comfort in sweets and soft drinks, I sit down all day watching the computer or television screen and sometimes burst out crying. Then I pick myself up and do a chore to convince everyone but me that the day was not completely useless. I throw myself into the couch and think: ‘It’s alright. Today I can wallow. Tomorrow is the new start.’

In the evening I go to bed and I try to manipulate my thoughts to envision better times. I try to talk some sense into myself, ask myself to please try harder. I think about making a difference, I think about our future children. And my busy mind wanders off to things I do not remember the next day, but just before I drift off to crazy dreams that would probably make some people very rich one day, it seeps in: ‘Everything will be alright.’