I worried about sharing this post. Last week was Fertility Week, and it seemed insensitive to talk about my threatened fertility, when nothing had been confirmed and I have two beautiful children already.
I was worried I’d appear ungrateful for what I’ve already got, when my heart breaks at the thought of not having any more.
Last week I finally stopped bleeding after 35 days. I don’t have answers but I do have doctor’s appointments.
We had plans to start trying for a baby next month, but those plans are now on a hold and big question mark looms over whether there will be any more babies in our future.
I feel like I’m not allowed to be sad at this news, because I already have a family.
The on-call gynaecologist told me that even if everything was okay, I probably wouldn’t be able to carry a baby for a few months because the lining of my womb was likely to be so badly depleted. That was on day 23 of the bleed, I doubt the further 12 days of bleeding will have helped the situation.
In the early days I thought it was cancer. I’ve been poked and prodded and told it’s unlikely.
Despite this hint of good news disrupting the fog of anaemia, discomfort and bloodied sheets, I don’t feel any sense of relief. There are too many maybes, and not enough certainties. Nothing has been confirmed and no one seems prepared to guess.
Stories about early menopause keep finding their way into my newsfeeds and I read every single one. Maybe it’s the universe trying to tell me something, maybe Facebook’s spying bots are crueler than I ever knew.
Insomnia. Anxiety. Irregular bleeding. Low moods. Irritability.
The symptoms of peri-menopause describe me perfectly. I feel like I’m watching my fertility slip away from me, one heavy-flow sanitary product at a time.
Every few days I get a surge of hope. Maybe it’s just the bleeding that makes me feel this way.
Wouldn’t you be depressed and irritable if you’d bled for 35 days straight? You’d probably be anxious too if you didn’t know the cause, and that is surely likely to keep you up at night?
I lay awake in the middle of the night, swallowed by an Instagram rabbit-hole of squishy babies in gorgeous knitwear. I flip flop between pain and hope. Maybe a baby is in my future/maybe I’m already infertile.
After a brief six-day reprieve, I’m bleeding once again. I’m doubled up with painful cramps and reaching for the co-codamol every four hours. Maybe this is a real period. Maybe I’m getting this because I ovulated and the egg wasn’t fertilised. Maybe in a few months I will see a positive line on a pregnancy test.
I’m 31, I should have many more years of fertility ahead of me, but the fear that I don’t is eating me up. I feel as though people will think the family I already have should be enough.
It is enough, but it’s not complete.
There is a (subtle) difference but because I have children already, I don’t know where I fit in the conversation on fertility.