The good news is that I’ve been feeling really happy, calm and sane right throughout this first round of IVF. The bad news is that it didn’t help. Or perhaps it did help, but we still don’t have the result we were hoping for. Things started looking dicey just after I wrote yesterday’s post, when an innocent trip to the bathroom changed everything. I knew instantly the signs were very bad. Now, I never saw myself as the weeping-on-the-toilet-bowl kind of girl, but you find out all sorts of surprising things as time goes on. I let myself cry. Then I called Llew, and when I opened my mouth to leave a message, discovered I couldn’t speak without dissolving into choking tears, the sort that constrict your breathing and make you feel like you’re going to be sick. Next I called the nurses at IVF Australia. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how one looks at it, this too went straight through to voicemail, and I left a long, strangled message for whichever hapless nurse had the misfortune to receive it. I think I probably ruined more than my own day yesterday, diligently dispensing this piece of bad news about town like DeLillo’s slow-moving airborne toxic event.
I called Llew again; this time he answered, and I had the awful task of beginning to snuff out his hopes too. I couldn’t and can’t stop apologising. Being sorry and being at fault are two different things, but it’s true I can’t help feeling somehow to blame. This is natural, so I’m told, and I can confirm that among the range of feelings lurks the unpleasant sting of guilt. I feel responsible even though I know – and I do know – this is not my fault. And yet the sense of failure and of owning that failure is acute.
But it’s early days, and I’m not going to try to reign in irrational feelings. I’m giving myself permission to move through them all, everything my heart throws at me, at whatever pace I see fit. I have no desire to pretend things are any better or worse than they are: this is where I find myself. And at present I am waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for IVF Australia to call and confirm from this morning’s blood test what I already know. I know because my body has given me incontrovertible evidence, and plenty of it. For this first round of IVF, there is no hope left.
Trying to stop what had already started, yesterday I retreated to the bedroom, crawling under a blanket armed with my billowing self-pity, a cup of tea, a pen, my IVF diary and Wolf Hall. Cookies were introduced into the mix a short time later. I calmed down, pulled myself together, and waited it out. Llew came home and, sad and anxious himself, spent the night taking excellent care of me. We went into the clinic together this morning, and we’ll go back together, and we will try again. Together.
Better luck next time, or the time after that, or the time after that, or the time after that. Onwards. Round two, here we come!
POSTSCRIPT: I’ve also just been notified that my DoctorDi submission wasn’t accepted into an anthology of Australian blog writing. 2010 may be a handsome new year, but some weeks still stink.
And… I’ve had the call. I think my email to the Darklings just now sums up my thoughts:
You know, I thought a positive result would be surreal; instead, this is, knowing it’s no good, that this round is over and aside from a big financial hole we have nothing to show for it. I think the strangeness reveals to me how much I had hoped it would work, because I keep having to catch up to these new facts, and I find them, for a long sombre second, bewildering.