It is not all the time I get to talk to someone who works with TTC women, in a capacity where she helps them but not as a doctor. I recently had the opportunity to interact with a nurse, and I asked what she liked most about her job.
She said it was her patients and the different sides she sees in them. Like most people, she has favourites even among these patients. There are the sunshine patients, the patients who always see a reason to smile, no matter what the results for that visit have been. It doesn’t matter if these women had just been called and told a lot of hurtful outcomes about an investigation they had gone through. These women still found something to smile about.
One of them is Ella, a young lady in her 20s, who found herself TTC. She had been a fresh-faced bride, who waited for one whole year before seeking medical attention. When she started, she had been innocent and willing to try whatever it was her doctor suggested.
She had this mien that brought out the protective instincts in people, so the nurses and her doctor took special interest in her. They desperately wanted to see her carry her own baby. She was diagnosed with PCOS, after two cycles of Clomid that did not work. She was even asked to make some lifestyle changes.
She had to go through regular scans, just so the doctor could monitor her body and hormone levels. The interesting part was she never lost her optimism. It didn’t matter if the doctor had just told her her hormone levels were low, she always found the silver lining for that day and that was what she focused on.
On the day she was told, her follicles hadn’t grown at the expected rate, she talked about how her endometrial lining was now top notch. When they told her she wasn’t producing enough eggs, Ella thanked God that she was producing eggs in the first place. It was a long journey for her, but she was a faithful patient. She came regularly for her appointments, with a serene look on her face. She asked lots of questions, but her frustration, which she must surely have felt, was never pronounced and that endeared her more to people at the clinic.
When she finally got her BFP, you would think it was the first time they were getting a BFP at the clinic. On her test day, both the doctor and nurses called to remind her to take the test (as if she needed to be reminded). While she took the test, everyone was on tenterhooks, waiting for her call and praying fervently that it was a positive.
It will not be too much to say almost all staff members listened in on her conversation, when she called and told them she had tested and had gotten a positive report. After several rounds of confirming when she would come in for the blood work and loving staff members firing off congratulatory text messages to her, the whole clinic was in party mood. People smiled more that day and there was a spring in their footsteps…all because of that rainbow woman.
Another TTC woman who made this list, Toyosi, had an even more traumatic experience. She got pregnant alright, made it to six weeks, however, when a scan was done, it showed only a gestational sac and no pole. She knew what it meant. She had been there before twice.
She knew she was going to miscarry in a few days’ time but she was also responsible for psyching other people up. She was a motivational coach; she was going to be seeing people who were going through worse, even as she lived her nightmare.
So, in the end, she would pull herself up, ‘pancake’ her face, find something flattering to wear and keep it moving. Toyosi, in her capacity as a coach, was a student of optimism, so she would banter with the doctor about how some people wanted to even get pregnant for a few weeks but weren’t able to achieve that, yet here she was, able to have had multiple pregnancies, even though none had been more than a few weeks.
It’s might sound like a sad way to console one self, after all, there are millions of women out there who get pregnant and carry their babies successfully for nine months, but hey, that was not Toyosi’s reality.
When she miscarried yet again, she had moved on as much as was possible to do. She had moved on from the bleeding, to the scan to ensure her uterus was cleared of any remnant of her dead foetus.
The nursing staff had thought she was going to break down, in fact they did not know what to expect, but she had smiled and chatted with them, so much that they the nurses were the ones feeling the pain on her behalf.
My newest friend noted how the doctor had told Toyosi that it was alright if she cried, and how she need not bottle anything up, and that they understand, because her sanguinity was making them uneasy. Toyosi was the one comforting the doctor and reassuring him she was fine and would seek them out if she needed to cry or talk about it.
While Toyosi is yet to have a living baby, her attitude has remained sweet and uncowed, so much that she inspire the nurses to share her story anonymously, with other patients who are going through a rough time.
Even though people function differently under different circumstances; some laugh, some grit their teeth through it all, some even float mindlessly through the whole process, not wanting to connect, not wanting to feel, it does not remove the fact that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. We only have to find what that “light” means to us.
Toyosi might never become a mom by carrying her own baby, she might need surrogacy, donor services or adoption, but she needs to come to that end of the tunnel herself and find the path that has lit up for her.
I will leave you with this biblical quote, which says, “Though sorrow may last for a night, joy comes in the morning”
So, keep your focus on the coming morning and watch it light up your world.
Babydust to you all!
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