Where did the year go?
In 2013 I wore a black maxi dress to Danish Christmas. I thought, as I pulled it on, this will be the last Christmas I can wear a dress like this – by next Christmas I will be pregnant and then I will have a baby, a toddler, a child. I won’t be able to wear a dress that doesn’t forgive belly bumps or leaning down to fix a shoe.
I pulled it over my head, adjusted it, admired the view in the mirror. “You look great,” I thought, “But you’ll look better with a baby bump… Next year”.
I was wrong.
In a few short weeks it will be Christmas again. And still no news. No bump. No baby announcement.
Last Christmas I was asked, in front of everyone, “When do you think you’ll start IVF?”
I hadn’t even said we were trying.
“Not yet” I responded. I could say the same again.
People don’t know what they’re asking, you see. Not if they haven’t done it. It seems so simple a solution – no baby, IVF! At least that’s what the ads would have you believe. Don’t wait, don’t keep trying, don’t sit around waiting for something to happen naturally. Not when medical science can intervene and all your heartache can be over in a matter of moments.
But it’s not that simple.
It never is.
IVF isn’t just a turkey baster and good timing. For someone like me, where timing isn’t even known, it’s a lot more complicated than that. IVF would see multiple daily injections in my own stomach, a feat for someone with an incredible phobia of needles. IVF would see me pumped full of hormones, resulting in further compromise to (my already not amazing) mental state. That’s all before we start the extremely invasive procedure of harvesting eggs. Which by all accounts is about as pleasant as it sounds.
There’s the cost. The time off work. The heartbreak each time the procedure doesn’t take. The raising of your hopes, only to discover IVF actually only has about a 20-45% success rate.
So I’m hesitant. I don’t believe every option has been exhausted yet.
But it doesn’t make it any easier.
It doesn’t make it hurt any less when others are able to fall pregnant easily, or when people ask how you’re going when you’re already on the verge of tears.
It doesn’t mean that I find it any easier to answer “What do you want for Christmas?” When all I really want is the one thing they can’t give me.
This Christmas, just don’t ask.
I’ll tell you when I’m ready.