I read stories that pull my heart from my body.
I feel each mother's pain.
I feel my own pain. It will never leave me. I know this to be true.
I have carried 32 embryos in 16 IVF treatments. Some for only days. Some for a few weeks. Some for months. I have been a mother for 9 weeks, 10 weeks, 13 weeks, and for 15 weeks. I have have been pregnant 4 times. I have lost 7 babies.
I have put on my "happy face" and was a good friend to my good friends on the birth of their children.
My best friend has had 3 children through IVF.
She started IVF after I did. Her oldest is now 7. I was at her baby's christening 3 days after I lost our twins at 13 weeks. I thought if I didn't go I would never go.
I see children everyday. I see mothers everyday. I see mothers pregnant everyday. I teach young children everyday. And I am so excited for them and rejoice in their pregnancies and delight in their children's birth.
And I cry in secret everyday. Everyday.
I wonder if I should have stopped before number 16. But while there was hope......
I wonder if I should have done something differently but.......
I only ate organic food; I turned off the power at the box every night; I didn't have a bath for 6years; I took my many, many expensive vitamins every day; I only drank organic fresh vegetable juice I made; I only ate food I prepared; I didn't use the microwave; I didn't reheat food; I only used organic soap for cleaning; I eliminated all chemicals; I stopped using the computer; I walked everyday; I had acupuncture twice a week for 2 years; I continued at the gym, I cut back at the gym, I stopped the gym; I saw a psychologist and a Chinese herbalist and a counsellor and a NLP facilitator and a sala dancer instructor; I stopped drinking my 4 glasses of wine a week; I started drinking more than my 4 glasses of wine a week; I only ate organic fair trade chocolate; I burned essential oils; I read romance novels; I read pregnancy and childbirth books; I read "The Secret" 5 times and I watched the DVD more times than I can remember; I imagined I was pregnant and I! imagined I was a mother with a baby in my arms; I heard "What a Wonderful World" (that was played at my wedding) as I was under a anaesthetic having my eggs retrieved and I believed this was a sign; I believed there were no signs; I prayed; I chose not to believe; I willed myself fertile and pregnant; I listened to Oprah and I wrote in my gratitude journal every night; I surrounded myself with pregnant friends and those with children; I stayed away from pregnant friends and those with children; I followed every doctor's, naturopath's, counsellor's, psychologist's, Chinese herbalist's, clairvoyant's, friend's, acquaintance's, magazine's, TV celebrities' and old wives tales advice; I stopped trying to fall pregnant; I dedicated very essence of my being to falling pregnant; I decorated the baby's room; I didn't decorate the baby's room; I investigated egg donors here and overseas; I investigated adoption; I tried a natural fertility program for 2.5 years; I tried fertility drugs for 1 year; I put my life on hold; I lived my life as if there was no tomorrow; I laughed; I cried; I curled up in bed and didn't get up; I did more things than I can remember; I ate a high protein diet; I relaxed; I stressed out; I relaxed again; I stressed out even more; I was empty; I was consumed; I jumped out of bed and seized the day; I didn't buy clothes as I thought soon I wouldn't fit them; I bought clothes hoping soon I won't fit them; I embraced my family and friends; I isolated my family and friends; I loved; I hated; I was admitted to the maternity ward when I had my first miscarriage with the twins at 15 weeks; I cried; I tried not to cry; I prayed; I only told my mum once I was pregnant; I told my 2 best friends twice I was pregnant; I believed; I didn't believe: I tried to forget; can never forget; I thought I didn't deserve to have a baby; I thought I did something very bad in my life; I was positive; I was negative; I was positive again; I said affirmations; I searched my daily stars; I looked for more signs - even very small ones; I listened; I covered my ears and yelled to drown out the world; I knew I lived a good life; I lost my way; I found it again; I lost my way again; I loved myself more; I despised myself; I thought I was ok; I was the best wife; I was the worst wife; I was whatever I was told to be; I am now someone I don't know anymore........
I never gave up hope until there was no hope - ever.
I have had the support of my beautiful husband who has two children in their 30's. He's only 52 and I have only known him for 10 years.
I am not the person I was and I don't know who I am supposed to be anymore.
I wonder all the time. I had one natural pregnancy. Did I do the right thing continuing IVF ...16 times... 32 embryos...how do you really know when to give up hope? Should I have tried number 17? Should I have stopped at number 3? Should I try again.
I wonder if I will ever see my babies. I wonder if I caused their death. I wonder if I did something better would they be here with me today. I wonder if I was a mother. I wonder how I will keep going now we have decided to stop? I wonder what to do with my life? I wonder what is the meaning of my life? I think there is no meaning. I think too much.
Photo source: foxspain