And so, as you might reasonably have expected, and as I might have slightly given away in my last post, given how contrarily these things go, the fact that I was so convinced it wasn’t going to work meant that when, on the morning we were going away for the weekend, and I did a precautionary First Response test, it showed the faintest of faint – but still very definitely there – lines.
Or, as I put it to B when I walked back into the bedroom “Well I’m not ‘Not Pregnant’.” But I wasn’t going to get too excited. It was early. It could be a chemical pregnancy. It wasn’t a thing until it was a thing.
But then, when I did another test 48 hours later, that line was definitely darker. And 48 hours after that, the blood test confirmed that, that day at least, I was pregnant. Because that was how I thought of it. That’s how I’ve continued to think about it. On those fertility forums I despise, I’ve seen women talk about being “PUPO” – Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise, but after the miscarriage, after everything we’ve been through, I feel quite the opposite. I feel like “that day I know I was definitely pregnant but until the next blood test / scan, I can’t assume I still am.”
But once bitten, twice shy and all that. We said yes to the agency, we signed paperwork, we paid sums of money for treatment, but I felt very detached from it all. I just didn’t really engage with it. It was all taking ages, there were tests for her, tests for me, tests for B – the tests went on and on, the weeks and months went by. The process of getting our donor to the point where she could actually donate, that we’d been told would take three months, dragged on and on — if this were a film or TV programme, this is the point at which you’d see the leaves on the trees changing colour from autumn to winter to spring to denote the passing of time.
Back sometime before the last Ice Age, we’d made the decision that we were going to try to conceive with donor eggs. OK, maybe it wasn’t that long ago, but it was pre-pandemic, pre-accidental-natural-unexpected pregnancy, pre-totally-predictable miscarriage, and so as a result it does feel like aeons ago. Even if it was only just over a year ago. Because since then we found (or rather the agency found us) the Mary Poppins donor who wasn’t, and the Mary Poppins replacement that didn’t fill us with joy. And then two days after I’d had it confirmed that I’d definitely miscarried, the agency got in touch with a suggestion of someone else.
I once wrote during my first ever two week wait that “nothing means anything” – it was basically about the idea that you couldn’t deduce anything from a single symptom, that a headache, no headache, bleeding, absence of bleeding, cramps, absence of cramps — all of it seemed as likely to be an indicator that you were pregnant as you weren’t. Never had that felt more true.
It was John Lennon who apparently said that “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” and Woody Allen’s credited with saying “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans” — even though my suspicion is that Jewish grandmothers have been saying it for millennia. Undoubtedly there’s a bunch of other quotes from various wise civilisations that say pretty much the same thing. The bottom line is that you can do everything in your power to create a certain outcome, but it turns out that “everything in your power” is pretty much the square root of fuck all.
I know these things aren’t karmic. I know this by now. I know that when it comes to fertility, you don’t somehow suddenly get a smooth ride because it’s been bumpy so far. I know all this. But finding this Mary Poppins of a donor (she was practically perfect in every way) felt like we’d turned a corner, like it was the start of something brand new and positive. Like I said, I knew there were a load of hoops we still had to jump through, if this were a game of snakes and ladders, we had a lot more ladders to climb before we won that baby. But this was a pretty long ladder.
I’ve not written since July, and what I wrote in July was months out of date, so as you can imagine, what I’m writing now is even more out of date. But I want it written down. Partly because I feel some sense of duty to you, if you’re still following… because I’ve followed blogs and then they’ve tailed off and I’ve felt a bit, well, cheated, it’s like reading a book that someone never finished writing, or getting a library book and finding someone has ripped the last chapters out so you don’t know how it ends.
As I mentioned in my last blog (all those months ago), you can’t run away forever, so I got back from running away, and made a decision that I probably wouldn’t have made if I were on my own. I decided to try to find an egg donor.
When I was single and doing this alone, I had pretty much decided that I wasn’t OK with the idea of trying to become a parent of a child that I had no genetic relationship to. I had said — to myself as much as anything — that I might feel differently if I were in a relationship with someone else but that idea was so abstract, I didn’t have to think about Continue reading
It’s been a while (August, last year, I can’t believe it’s been that long.)
I feel like you’re entitled to an update. (Thank you to those of you who emailed to ask how I was.) But the news is that there is no real news. At least no news about eggs, or IVF, or pregnancy. I’ve taken a break. Sorry, we’ve taken a break.
That pronoun has taken a bit of getting used to. That realisation that it’s not just me dealing with this big stuff on my own any more. Because that’s the news. The good news. He’s still here, we’re still here, and it’s great. And almost impossible to Continue reading
Let’s get one thing straight, you don’t become the second biggest selling newspaper in England and the most-read news site in the world by publishing stuff that everyone agrees with. You do it by publishing stuff with provocative headlines that make people angry, or upset, or want to voice an opinion. I know how this works. You know how this works, but that doesn’t stop us from having those reactions – it’s a gut reaction.
So even though I know all that, I couldn’t help but feel a bit “oh fuck”ish when I read the headline:
“How would YOU feel to find you are a sperm donor’s child? These women say it shattered their lives” on the Daily Mail website today.
Because although I know that the Daily Mail Continue reading