Monday, 18 May 2009

A sharp reminder

I returned home from hospital with a new-born baby... and my very own sharps bin. Because I had a Caesarean section, I had to have daily injections of an anti-clotting agent for a week after giving birth. Before I could be discharged from hospital, the midwife looking after me insisted that I be shown how to administer these injections myself. Confidently, I hitched up my nightdress. 'I've been through two cycles of IVF,' I explained. 'I know what I'm doing in that respect.' But as I sat there, roll of thigh in one hand, syringe in the other, poised to inject myself, the full gamut of emotions associated with those two failed cycles came flooding back. I remembered the hope and the fear, the mounting sense of despair I felt as each attempt seemed to lead me further and further away from ever having a child of my own. And as I gave myself those daily shots, I thought of all the other women who were, at that very same moment, but for very different reasons, also psyching themselves up to inject themselves. I thought of the mixture of optimism and steely determination that had led them down this path. I thought of the boundless strength and courage of so many of my friends here in the blogosphere, who have been through more than I can imagine. And, once again, I thought of how lucky I am to have been given this chance at motherhood.

As I lay in bed this morning, nursing my daughter and watching the sky turn from darkest navy to palest blue, I wondered whether having a baby can be considered a 'cure' for infertility. It can, I think, go some way towards healing some of the emotional rawness. And yet it does not entirely negate all I went through to get to this point. Just as I carry the physical scars from both a laparoscopy and, now, a c-section so too do I carry with me the emotional scars associated with a six-year struggle to conceive and carry to term a child.