I swear there’s alcohol in 0.0% non alcoholic beer.
Because I’m sat here on a Saturday night, home alone – bar the sausage dog – indulging in a Thai takeaway and said ‘beer’ and I’m all a bit…thinky.
I don’t even like beer?
The catalyst for the deep thoughts, aside from the ‘beer’ and the transition of them in to this here blog post, was a private message I just found in my Instagram inbox from a complete stranger who shall remain nameless, but who has also recently suffered a pregnancy loss.
The message from her included the line ‘…I stumbled upon your Insta and blog and wanted you to know that reading your story has been good for my heart’.
This came through moments before I received another impromptu private message, this time from someone I do know who had sent me a link to the blog of Kimberley who is on her emotional IVF journey, because she’d been thinking of me and thought that maybe it might help in some small way.
Two days ago, another lady I used to work with private messaged me telling me of her fertility problems despite now having a little boy who is proof that you’ve, in her words, ‘got to keep going’, followed by ‘sending you all the positive vibes in the world’.
Another new Insta friend is a lady who was also going through an ectopic pregnancy at around the very same time as I. We were messaging on her first day back to work last week which was a bit of an emotional challenge for her, understandably, and we’ve been checking in on eachother regularly since, comparing pains and advice.
A gem from work, earlier this week, sent me the following after sharing that her own sister had battled infertility…’How are you doing my lovely? I hope you are being kind to yourself. I love your ring. What a wonderful gesture. These symbols help us to remember and heal.’
From another stranger on Instagram who is yet to start IVF…’I’m so sorry you lost your precious little bud. I can’t begin to imagine how that feels. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story. We all try so hard to keep fertility struggles to ourself, it helps when others share to know we are not alone. I hope we both get our longed for babies soon.’
Let’s not forget the lady who visited me last week who I mentioned in my previous post. The one who had been chalked up as a ‘lost cause’ who is now a mother to 3 kiddies. Even years on, I could still see the pain in her eyes as she recalled her time as a ‘completely infertile’ woman.
And this really is just a mere scratch of the surface of the messages I’ve received and continue to receive. Even now, 3 weeks on. Strangers and non. From the ones I depend upon the most and consider lifelong friends to the ones I’ve never met. Those who have fertility issues to those who don’t.
I’m blown away, truly. Especially actually, when receiving messages from others who are facing challenges in trying to conceive too. I feel like I’ve uncovered a chest of precious women with trapped feelings and fears and stories and truths, from some who are currently battling their own fertility demons, to those who ended their battles victorious.
Ladies, I just didn’t know how much I needed you all until I spoke up about my ectopic and my story so far.
I was so tired of pretending I was ok, even prior to this latest hurdle. Batting away the regular fertility related questions with a withered smile. Masking excruciating body pains, sometimes mid conversation with people. Dealing with countless medical concerns. Curveballs. Setbacks. Juggling work and social lives with the all consuming fertility life.
And there you all were. In hiding, mostly. Some coming forward to me now with the understanding that I, this static face on Instagram or a blog, stranger to many of you will keep safe your vulnerable secrets.
Because I get it. As you do too.
I am so grateful to you all. I sort of want to meet some of you. Shall we? I’ll bring the…’beers’. I absolutely won’t. They’re fucking disgusting.
Flip reversing it, I too am pausing, breathing and wholeheartedly thinking of some other ladies at the moment. In particular, I’m going to single out Elle who has the blog ‘Feathering the Empty Nest‘ which in name alone makes me want to weep.
Elle, over the last week, has summoned the rather insurmountable strength to celebrate her only babies first birthday. Teddy. Why the summoning of the strength? A first birthday party sounds like a lovely little do.
Well, Teddy wasn’t there.
3 days after giving birth to him a year ago, Elle and her husband tucked him in at hospital, read him a story and somehow said goodbye to their cherished little newborn.
Teddy had a incurable condition that was unknown until he was born. Elle now has an incurable hole in her heart. But what a woman. I’ve followed her stories and blogs since being introduced to her by another Instagrammer Rebecca – @RVK_loves – recently. She’s open and honest about her experience and has somehow turned an unthinkable, an utterly harrowing life tragedy into good. Not least by both raising money and offering compassion to others who largely haven’t come anywhere close to experiencing what she has. Myself included. She has a gentle grace about her yet the pain she must feel is anything but gentle and asks of her on a daily basis presumably, to DEAL WITH THIS. Why oh why did something so horrific happen to someone with such…kind eyes? (I don’t know Elle so I’m just going on what I see. She has really kind eyes ok? My mum used to say that our eyes are the windows to our soul…)
Anyhoo. My thoughts are with Elle daily.
Instagram keeps doing algorithmy things to me now. I guess because I’ve started using #infertility and #ectopicpregnancy I am now seeing more accounts of people going through similar things. I also did a lot of clicking on similar hashtags when I was in hospital, to find others like me. To meander through their feed to find their – fingers crossed – happy endings.
(I also see a lot of annoyingly targeted baby related ads too that I SLAM my thumb on and delete and report out of my life forevermore).
Back to the ladies like me. Because that really is the key here. There are loads of ladies like me. Tons. So when I see one and I feel a pang of I UNDERSTAND YOU, I wander into their lives and do the very same as those above have done for me. I message them. Because that way they’re definitely not alone. Even for just that very moment. Maybe they’re alone in their house or in the loo at work crying when my message pings them. Maybe it goes unread. Who knows.
The point of this post? I guess just to underline how I’ve realised how much we need eachother and how I believe we can be really good for one another. If only we can find the courage to share. Perhaps not via public Insta posts or blogs, but brave little secret messages to one another. They’re a pleasure to receive and a privilege to send.
In an age where parasite ridden media outlets encourage women to buy mags and watch shows with massive bright arrows pointing at cellulite, imaginary baby bumps, wrinkles, muffin tops, exposed pubic hair and more can we all just take a second to realise that WE ARE ALL WOMEN. The fairer sex? And together we are great, we can rise. When we rip eachother apart, we collapse.
Before I published my blog about my cervical ectopic pregnancy, my mind was dashing around about how I would cope. Who I would tell what version of the story too – you know, maybe work would get the ‘I’m so fine, really. It was just one of those things, now let’s talk numbers’ version. My bestie would get the warts and all version. The one where I feel pointless at times and doubt any kind of happy ending. A friend with a newborn might get the heavily diluted version so as not to make them feel uncomfortable for achieving what I long for.
But once I hit publish, the only version was available. The truth.
And I’m finding that in sharing the truth and tapping into others truths, we cope much better. We thrive.
While we’re at it, what’s my truth right this minute? I’m in pain. Down below, naturally. It’s got all the telltale signs of a horrible endometriosis period about to join me. My first period in a while given the pregnancy thing. Or is it still just things straightening out in there? Or is it ovulation pain? Or ovulation in vain pain as I’m calling it for the next 2 months while we’re not allowed to get pregnant.
It’s a constant creeping pain. The backpain feels similar to the very very start of the sorry ordeal 3 weeks ago. Accompanied by pin pricks (pricks indeed) round the front.
Sharing is caring and all that. And so, for now atleast, I promise to continue to message the other ones like me and hope they continue to do the same for me.
(I’ve rambled. It’s the ‘beer’)