Another Year, Another Christmas, Still No Baby


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.

  • Hugzilla

    Just wanted to say that I’ve been here, and I know how it feels. I’m not going to offer unwanted advice or empty platitudes, because I know how little comfort they brought me. Kudos to you for being brave enough to share this, and hoping that everything works out x

    • Tamsin Howse

      Thank you so much xxx

    • Emily

      Okay, I wish I’d read this comment before I wrote mine. Ditto this well-worded version. x

  • Gary

    Just want to say I’m thinking of you Tamsin. I can feel how you feel when I read your words. I hope things happen as you want them to happen.

    • Tamsin Howse

      Thank you, Gary. Really appreciate your support this year xxx

  • Emily

    Reading this again. And again. Hugs to you. It sucks. I went through it both times. I don’t ovulate without help. And even then, there is no ‘cycle’. (Inverted commas totally necessary. I got so angry at that word.) So, for what little it’s worth, I know a little of how you feel. But it’s different for everyone, and knowing that others go through it doesn’t help. So. No idea what else to write. HUGS. LOVE. RAINBOWS. UNICORNS. Thinking of you x

    • Tamsin Howse

      Thank you my darling. It does suck. New Year’s Eve was hard and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. But 2016 could be the year. Will be the year. The endocrinologist is optimistic so I will be too… It’s just hard when you’ve thought it all before.

  • Erin

    Just want to let you know you’ve touched my heart. Thinking and praying for you. This is one of the hardest crosses to bear. And yes I’m passionate about being sensitive into women’s fertility, we should never ask.
    btw my lil sister (23) name is Tamsin, so extra hugs. xx