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.

7 comments:

Mo and Will said...

Oh my gosh! Just catching up! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!

Mo

womb for improvement said...

But, you've come out the other side. Enjoy it.

Shinejil said...

It's amazing what can set off the powerful, miserable associations.

So glad you're home, healing, and enjoying your daughter.

annacyclopedia said...

I've had some unexpected moments where things all come back to me since being pregnant and I've found them to be very unsettling. I guess because in some way I am expecting it all to be over now, and yet it's not. And I worry about how it will never be over at the same time as I am full of hope and happiness at what may lie ahead, and there is something so lovely and yet so bleak about that.

Glad you are home and healing, too, and wishing you many such quiet moments to reflect on your journey so far and your future with your daughter.

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Your ability to reflect, to empathise and importantly remember marks out why you are such an eloquent writer on these issues. But never let that stop you from being able to enjoy the moments. Healing does not have to mean forgetting or negating but understanding that these feelings and memories are part of who you are and maintain your connection with the community of those who shared experiences with you.

Coming2Terms said...

it's remarkable how deeply the infertile experience cuts...

so glad those needles aren't around to torture me any longer.

the Babychaser: said...

Miss Heathen is beautiful. And this comment really touched me. I'll think about it as I start stabbing myself again soon.