That night, as I rode home, I had just about had enough. I was fed up of it all! My body was numb, and I couldn’t mentally process anything…not the gravity of the disappointment of the negative pregnancy test result, nor any possible way forward. I had simply had enough of this whole TTC business! Enough was enough!
My neighbour, who worked in a bank near my office, and who hitched a ride home with me daily, tried to make small talk, but I was too mentally drained to even pretend to be interested. Her office shenanigans were of the least interest to me. Soon she stopped talking, and I could feel her staring at me…and I could feel the pity in that stare…and I almost resented her for it. She meant no harm, I knew that, and she was obviously worried about my uncharacteristic foul mood. But that was the very least of my problems. Soon, she gave up the small talk, and I sat staring out the window, all the way home. A drive lengthened by the typical Lagos traffic, worsened that day by the rain, and the Christmas shoppers at the bustling Apongbon area of the ever busy Balogun market. But that night, 2 hours in traffic were just like 2 seconds…a grey, mindless blur.
I don’t think I responded to my husband’s greeting when I eventually got home. I kicked off my shoes, went to our bedroom, and lay on the bed, fully clothed, staring up at the ceiling. Cycle 22 had just ended in yet another epic fail. The fact that this cycle had been our most monitored one yet, only poured pepper, raw and hot, over the deep, seeping wound. The Clomid, the vaginal scans, and that awfully painful progesterone injection, had all been for nothing! The only fair ending fate could throw at me was the emotionless doctor delivering the “Not pregnant” verdict to me…and my period starting almost as soon as I stepped out of that horrible clinic. I had endured the ride back to the office…a bleeding mess…and the first sight that greeted me back at work was the full, gorgeous bump of a much younger colleague…who wasn’t even married! It was like she immediately sensed my mood, and the elevator ride up to the 10th floor of our office, which normally would have been chatty, was in perfect silence…and that was exactly how I’d wanted it!
As I lay on the bed, I heard my husband’s voice somewhere in the far distance. I could vaguely make out that he was asking if I wanted to eat anything, and if I wouldn’t prefer to get out of my work clothes. But he could have been speaking Greek, for all I cared. At that point in time, I was physically and emotionally spent! I just didn’t want to do it anymore!
I didn’t want to count any more cycle days! I didn’t want to swallow any more pills that had the possibility of giving me cancer in the future! I didn’t want to have my body invaded by that horrible transvaginal wand of a scan! I didn’t want to endure that nerve-wracking 2-week wait ever again! I didn’t want to ever have to endure another pregnancy test! I didn’t want to have to hear another patronising word of encouragement from practically everyone around me! I didn’t want to hear another “It is well!”. No, it most surely was not well!
I didn’t want to have get dressed to leave my house, every day, worrying about how many pregnant women would cross my path that day! I didn’t want to have paste a smile on my face, and make small talk with the ones who did! I didn’t want to have to reassure yet another one of them, or my other extremely fertile family, friends, and acquaintances, that I was okay…and that no, they didn’t have to walk on egg shells around me!
I didn’t want to have to entertain the thought of deleting my social media accounts, because of the pregnancy mania on all of them! Why did I have to be the one to delete my Facebook account?!! Why couldn’t there be a policy or law prohibiting people from uploading unnecessary pregnancy and baby related updates?! And why wouldn’t it be okay for me to block the next person who asked if I had a baby bump, every time I shared any pictures of my own?! Come to think of it, there was nothing stopping me from doing just that…
I didn’t want to have to hear about yet another doctor, or clinic, I just had to try! I didn’t want to hear about this drug, or herb, that was surely guaranteed to work! I didn’t want to be continuously tempted by the dodgy fertility related pop-ups that appeared on my internet browser! And I sure as heck didn’t want to keep entertaining thoughts of travelling to all sorts of places, with friends who kept badgering me about this wonder-working fertility specialising herbal practitioner! I didn’t want to do it anymore!
I’m not sure if I slept that night…I probably did, because the next thing I felt was sunshine on my face. I managed to drag myself to the bathroom, for a shower, and immediately fell right back into bed. I didn’t care that it was a Thursday. At that very moment, I didn’t care about anything.
I could sense my husband hovering over me, but I kept my eyes firmly shut. I heard him call my colleague to let her know I was under the weather, and I felt him kiss me on the forehead, before he left for work. And that was where I lay…the whole day…with the blinds drawn…getting up only for toilet breaks. I lay there…and mourned, and cried, and lamented.
By the time it was evening, as the sun set and the room grew darker, I knew then that, even though I indeed had good cause to be sick and tired of the whole TTC roller coaster, even though it had pushed me well beyond what I knew to be my elastic limit, I still wanted a baby desperately! And I was going to fight for the chance to have one! Lying on the bed, with my sheets over my face, was not going to get me any closer to my baby dream.
So, I found the strength to pull myself out of bed…and drag myself to the bathroom for a shower, after which hunger pangs hit me for the first time that day. By the time my husband got home an hour later, he was pleasantly surprised to find me fully dressed and made up, and tinkering away in the kitchen. Later that night, we talked extensively about our journey, and that was when we fully decided it was time to try IVF.
2 cycles of IVF later, we got our beautiful blessings from God…our beautiful daughters, Carmen and Claire! And even now, as I type this, I am so grateful to God for giving me the strength to still forge ahead…even when I was fed up!
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