Hurting

I  am not doing great. It is Friday and I should be happy for the upcoming weekend, for the summer warmth and for the chance to simply hang out with my husband. To enjoy the garden, cuddle the cats, keep writing, keep working on that embroidery too that I’m so proud of.

 

Instead I just hurt. I cry. I do my job but without pleasure, with every minute stretching out to last an hour.

 

By necessity I am trying to face and accept the possibility that we won’t ever have a child. Wondering when to say stop, when to give up, when to decide that it won’t happen. But that acceptance does not come easy. The questions hover over me like a dark cloud, blocking out the sun.

 

I’m not doing great. It hurts, badly.

Still here, still waiting

I woke up in the darkness of night with a funny feeling. A funny wet feeling. SHIT, I thought, I’ve started bleeding.

So I hopped up to the bathroom to check. No blood. The wetness, I don’t know what that was, something clear/white. Perhaps remnants of the pills I shove up there three times a day, hormone stuff to make things uh, better? I really don’t know what it does. The clinic never really said. They just gave pills and said here, use these. And I’m a good girl who does as she is told, at least in this context.

My lower abdomen aches as it so often does right before I start menstruating.

I don’t think I’m pregnant this time either.

 

 

On a brighter note, remember the blade I mentioned buying? I held a little ceremony last night to symbolically tie it to myself, make it mine and only mine. Even beforehand I felt energy rising, and once it was time I was just in the right mindset.

It wasn’t dramatic. But it was beautiful. Even though I was a little clumsy in certain aspects of the procedure, it went well and left me with a feeling of calm certainty and strength.

It also made it clear to me how much I have to learn. Not through books and articles, but through doing. I learn the most there, at the shrine or during meditation and ritual. Not merely trial and error in a practical sense, but in a spiritual one too. Each experience allowing for a step forward. I  am curious to see where it will lead.

Six Three One

Six eggs they took out of me on monday.

Three managed to get fertilized.

One got put back inside me.

 

It is time for the devastating waiting game again. June 11th is when I am to take a pregnancy test. Time again to try and not get my hopes up, while not succumbing to hopelessness. It’s not easy, it really is not easy. I cried like a baby today, so certain that it would not work. Somehow my mood lifted a little when seeing the little blob through a microscope, seeing it still alive. I’ll try not to cry any more now, it does no one any good. One might be enough.

Warning: Self-Pity

spruta.jpg

 

I’ll start you off with a picture of this morning’s needle. Day three of IVF attempt 2,  woop woop!

 

But now, today’s topic is not actually IVF. Last time I promised I’d write something more proper on the topic of period cramps, so here we go. Let me take you through a little story.

 

*

At the age of ten I had my first taste of this hell. I was in class when all of a sudden it felt as though lightning struck in my lower belly. I folded forward and gasped for breath, utterly terrified. With tears streaming down my face I went up to the teacher.

“Have you started having your period yet?” she whispered kindly.

I shook my head and mouthed a no. The pain was still so intense I couldn’t even stand up straight. Period cramps? No I thought, this is too bad. It can’t be it. Something must be wrong I thought, seriously wrong.

The teacher was kind. “Don’t worry,” she said. “You’re probably just getting your period.”

 

I had my first period within weeks of my eleventh birthday. The bleeding wasn’t a problem, of course it was icky and uncomfortable but still not a problem. The pain however was hell. Unable to rise or stand up straight I would just lay down, slowly rocking my hips back and forward in a desperate attempt at relieving the pain. Painkillers could take the edge off but not enough, there would be pain until I could fall asleep and escape into nothing.

 

“Don’t worry,” my mom would say. “I had these terrible cramps too. It gets much better after you have a baby.”

Somehow hearing that is no relief, not when you are a twelve year old biting into  a pencil to avoid screaming. (No, not really when you are an adult having tried to get pregnant for seven years either!)

 

Several times it got so bad that my family took me to the emergency. Gynecologists examined me over and over, and every time the result was the same. Just period cramps, some get them bad, sorry. I got stronger painkillers but they knocked me out, had me sleeping all day, so I eventually stopped taking them. I couldn’t function either way.

 

In school I was always at the top of my class. I was the study horse, only I didn’t really need to study until highschool when I attended the International Baccalaureate and studies suddenly got real. But before that? It was too simple, I could ace most tests without any work. So yes, I had good grades! But there was one thing that made the teachers unhappy – my attendance. One or two days a month I was just gone, my mom having called me in as sick, leaving me with far higher amount of sickleave than the other kids. Now this may sound silly, but you try being a 14-year old trying to explain to your male teacher that no, you’re not skipping school. You’re just curled up in a ball of pain due to cramps. They accepted it eventually but the skepticism still hurts, to this day. Of course they thought I was exaggerating.

 

This continued as a young adult. Every workplace eventually sees the awkward talk with the boss where I have to discuss menstruation. There is always skepticism. Can’t you take pills? Yes, but if they are strong enough to kill the pain they are strong enough to put me to sleep. I’ve tried, repeatedly. What does the doctor say? They say it’s just period cramps, they can’t help. Of course it sounds strange, almost every woman has period cramps after all and most work just fine. What kind of special snowflake is this girl who tries to claim she can’t work due to period cramps?

 

During the last few years the question of endometriosis has come up. It could explain the pain, if that’s what I have. There might even be treatment! I still haven’t had it checked. Am I stupid?

Yes probably. But do you know why I haven’t made the doctors look into it? I have mentioned the possibility to every gynecologist I’ve seen the past few years but they’ve always just brushed it off, but surely I could press on?

The simple explanation is I am afraid. I am afraid of hearing yet again that no sorry, it’s just period cramps. Of getting a pat on the head and being sent off feeling like a fool, like every other time I’ve gone to the hospital with hellish cramps.

Feeling like a fool is no reason to not seek medical help, I know. But this is humiliation I’ve lived with since the age of eleven, and at thirty-two it is pretty damn deeply rooted. I just know it won’t be endometriosis. I’ll get a sympathetic shake of the head and a shrug, I’m sure. As always.

 

This blog post is probably one of the worst I’ve written. So full of self-pity and stupid moaning that I am tempted to simply delete it. But no, I think I’ll leave it. Self pity and all, I’ll just put it out there. I’ll just press “publish” now before I change my mind. ARGH. Yes. Here it goes.