So I’ve had yet another meltdown. To be fair this is only the second one since our IVF round two fail and the second since we learned my eggs are fucked so I think I’m doing pretty well. I don’t melt down terribly often and so far my husband has always been there by my side. The further we progress in this journey though the more I worry whether our marriage can handle the turmoil created by this battle. I used to think we could get through anything, we’ve been together 15 & a half years and while we’ve been through a lot, we’ve always managed to work our way past whatever issue was plaguing us and stand united as a team. However I am beginning to wonder if this infertility might be just a little too big for us. Deep down I know we can survive it but that doesn’t stop me worrying about what could happen in the meantime and what we’ll have to endure to get there. I’d love to know what my husband thinks and feels about all of this but he’s a man, he doesn’t talk about it. Does he even think about it?
The latest meltdown had the unfortunate timing of occurring at our friends wedding. We’d gotten up early (bear in mind I am not a morning person at all!) and driven the 3 & a half hours home from our holiday. A quick shower and change then another hours drive out to the wedding location. Friends had rented a house and we were to stay for the weekend. I was a little apprehensive about it as I knew one of these friends to be pregnant and was nervous about how I would cope with that so soon after such a devastating cycle fail. Soldier on I tell myself, you can do it. We pull up to the house and it turns out both of the women we are staying with have pronounced baby bumps, gee, thanks for the warning. It hits hard. Both these women are older than me and have had no trouble at all in conceiving. I shed a few tears outside then off we head to the ceremony. From there it never stops. 99% of all the child-bearing-aged women there are either pregnant or are sporting young children. The cries and gurgles of infants ring through the surroundings as the afternoon progresses. There are endless remarks from the preggos lamenting the fact that they can’t drink, “not being able to drink really sucks.” I’m tempted to reply with “yes, and hearing pregnant people complain about being pregnant feels like a stab in the guts but at least you’ll be able to have a drink in a few months time so I guess one of us won’t be suffering forever”, but I hold my tongue.
The ceremony is lovely and I’m genuinely happy for the married couple, even though the entire time my head is telling me they’ll be next on the baby-train. I attempt to cheer up and chat, then the baby talk starts. Not being able to stand it I wander off to the other end of the party with my husband but alas we can’t get away from it. You’d think I would have realised that impossibility with the 99% right?!? The sounds and words build and build, surround me. It’s like in the movies where someone’s going crazy and all those voices and faces swirl around their head until it all gets too much, only it’s not imaginary voices and faces swirling around my head but the very real sounds of babies and pregnancy talk. I break. Tears stream down my face and I can’t stop them, I struggle to breathe, it’s just all too much. I need to get out of there and eventually it’s decided I should go home. I know it’s bad form to leave but I can’t help it, I’m a mess. Cue the awkward moment with M. as he tries to play the nice guy while all the while hinting that he should stay behind. “You should go home. I can drive you home. Or you can drive home and I can stay here”. I know he desperately wants to stay (ever the FOMO sufferer) but I so desperately need him. I can’t force him to come with me, I need him to make that decision himself, to decide I’m more important. But as expected I’m heading off alone yet again. I wander back along the beach to the house and spend an hour on the lawn in hysterical sobs before finally pulling myself together enough to get in the car. I still cry all the way home.
I pull in the drive and no one’s here. This is both a blessing and a curse. I don’t want have to explain myself to my sister, who’s housesitting for us, but at the same time I need someone here, I need a hug. I’ve never felt so alone. Why does the party always have to come first? I realise my grief appeared at a completely inappropriate time but does that mean it’s better to ignore it and party on? I often feel like the emotional side of this struggle is all a little too much for my husband. That he doesn’t know how to deal with the mass of sadness that overflows from me at times. That he doesn’t understand how this journey has changed me. From my perspective I don’t understand how he can go on as normal. I know this hurts him too, how does he pretend it doesn’t, and I envy him of this skill to hide his emotion and be ‘part of the crowd’. I worry that this is what will destroy us. My inability to deal with this curse, and his inability to acknowledge it. I can see now how the fight for a child can annihilate a marriage. I can only hope we’re stronger than that.