Always being a positive person and equally always believing that I would have children, I never really focused on the negatives.
However, despite all of that, the 5 days wait to hear about the progress of our second lot of eggs seemed like a lifetime. We’d come home and were waiting to book our flights back out for our transfer. Given the timescales and short notice, Chris and I had made the decision that I would travel back alone. My boss was now in the loop, Chris’s weren’t so it seemed crazy and unrealistic for him to ask for time off only a week after our return from holiday. On this basis, we didn’t book any flights or hotels, we were going to wait for the phone call from the clinic to confirm the details.
That phone call came, it was the Saturday and it was a call that I had never prepared myself for, in that one call, my life felt like it had fallen apart. I was upstairs and we’d asked for the call to go to Chris, me forever worried about work didn’t want it to come and catch me out during my working hours. When I say catch me out, you never quite know what news was going to come and so I didn’t want to get bad news at work and not be able to manage my feelings.
I heard Chris’s phone ring and I just knew, I heard him answer but couldn’t hear the conversation. Mid way through that call our doorbell rang and it was Chris’s eldest son Harry. We hadn’t shared our journey with his boys, terrified of their reaction and of course if it didn’t work, then we would’ve upset the apple cart for no reason.
Chris let Harry in and finished the call, all within seconds of each other. He led Harry into our kitchen and then came back to the bottom of the stairs, I was leaning over the bannister desperate yet terrified to hear the news. His look told me everything or so I thought it had, our eggs had failed, none had made it. I still remember to this day, despite having my beautiful babies now, the overwhelming pain and despair. Within what was a millisecond I pulled my self together, and I mouthed over the bannister so that Harry couldn’t hear, that we still had our frosties.
I couldn’t read the look on Chris’s face, I couldn’t hear him as he mouthed the next words, he was whispering so that we couldn’t be heard. I came down a few steps so that I could hear him. Our frosties had died during the thawing process.
As I write this article to you now, I cry , at that moment I went into our bedroom and I sobbed and I sobbed, my world fell apart. I remember curling up into a ball, Chris had no choice but to stay downstairs with Harry, he knew he couldn’t just come up for a second or two and he too was helpless. How could this be, I had healthy embies when they went into the freezer, in hindsight, they weren’t healthy enough for whatever reason. The rest of that day was a blur, Chris came up to me as soon as he could, by then I had retreated into my own world of coping. As it was on many occasions during this process, when the bad news was dealt, I would retreat and close all doors, it was my way of dealing with it.
Again, work became my escape, my boss was amazing, only ever enquiring from time to time if I was ok. She never asked any questions or looked at me for updates and equally she never looked at me with pity.
I’d say it took nearly a week for me to come out of my shell and to properly engage with Chris again, never really exploring his feelings, I was selfishly in too much pain myself. I absolutely never held it against him, but he had 2 great boys, he was only having more children because that’s what I wanted, so I gathered his pain was not as great as mine.
I guess what I never understood at the time, was his pain seeing me go through it all and being helpless to help me or make it better.
For a period of time I was broken, I hurt like I’ve never hurt before, my dreams came closing in on me and I was out of fight. I couldn’t think about was what next, what would happen after all of my IVF eggs had died. I couldn’t consider my options because potentially then I was faced with a very painful outcome of not ever having a baby.