There was a definite see-sawing of emotions going on when Adrian and I were trying for a baby. At first, I was casual but hopeful about it. Then as each month passed, I began trying different things to see if they would help. I took Folic Acid and vitamins, gave up coffee, and stopped eating peanuts. Someone said citrus fruit could hinder fertility, so that was cut from my diet. I was advised to lie down for half an hour after intercourse with my bottom raised, and to try having intercourse in different positions. It seems there is nothing sacred when it comes to the advice people will give you if you’re struggling to conceive – and they don’t think twice about sharing it either!
I even took my temperature diligently each morning, making a careful note in my ‘fertility’ diary from Boots so that I could figure out when the optimal time for trying was. Sex was no longer a loving, romantic part of our marriage – it was a drill exercise to be done on command. It certainly wasn’t fun anymore. And if for any reason we failed to take advantage of that crucial twenty four hour window, I stressed about it big time. I mean, you only have twelve opportunities in a year, don’t you? If you miss one, that really knocks your chances. And I was getting older all the time….
There was also the increasingly crushing disappointment every month as I’d realise that we’d failed again.
It was a tough time emotionally: putting on a strong front so that people didn’t suspect I might be getting upset about not becoming pregnant, trying to protect myself against continual heartache and disappointment by not allowing myself to be too hopeful, and pleading with God to bless us with a baby. If I was even one day late, my emotions were instantly tied up with the tiny life I hoped against hope was inside me…. only to find out there was emptiness. Again.
After a few years of trying, of me constantly burying my natural desires to be a mother and a lot of prayer, we visited the doctor for tests to see why it wasn’t happening for us. We made an important agreement before making that decision, and that was that no matter what (if anything) showed up on the tests, we would not blame each other, nor would we share such intimate information with anyone else. If you’re in a similar position, don’t feel pressured to share what’s wrong with anyone other than your partner – it’s no one else’s business, and it’s okay to keep it just between the two of you.
We received the results of our tests the day after my dad died, and they confirmed that it was, humanly-speaking, impossible for us to conceive naturally. We were placed on the waiting list for IVF. More about that in another post.