Thursday 23rd July official test date (OTD) or as it’s less formally titled, today. I’m writing this post from a really emotional place so I apologise for any spelling mistakes, grammatical errors or if it just doesn’t read well!
Today at 7AM my bladder woke me up screaming about being ready to burst if I didn’t get up at that very moment to pee. I shook my husband awake, grabbed our Clearblue digital test (as we were instructed to buy by our clinic) and ran to the toilet. I consider myself an expert in home pregnancy tests (HPTs) now due to having done so bloody many of them over the years, but I was excited to use my first ever digital test! Yes, my life is that sad! I thought how great it was that you watch blocks on the screen counting down waiting time rather than watching a bit of paper turn pink. Finally after 3 minutes of waiting our result flashed up. Not Pregnant. We both sat for a minute in silence trying to take the result in. I watched my husband’s face crumble as he whispered “I’m so gutted”. That was it, that tipped me over the edge from one silent lonely tear down my cheek to uncontrollable sobbing for 20 minutes. Everytime I composed myself something else hit me. All the symptoms of a positive were lies. Sob. I knew it was too good to be true. Sob. We won’t get to paint a nursery in our new home. Sob. I knew it had all been too easy. Sob. I wasn’t ever going to meet Shortcake. Huge sob. My husband held me tight as I cried and cried. Only stopping to breathe, blow my nose and apologise. E told me that if I didn’t stop apologising he would have to tell me off. It wasn’t my fault and I had nothing to apologise for. Yet I felt, or rather feel, I do.
The thing that is the hardest about the two week wait is that you know everything is beyond your control. That being said it doesn’t stop you feeling responsible for your embryo. After all it is in your body. It is in your womb. It doesn’t matter how many people tell you, you still feel any result is due to your actions. I tried telling myself that if it’s going to happen it will happen. That helped for the first half of the two week wait but for the second half I just wouldn’t listen. When people asked how I felt, I confided in them about having cramps in first half of the wait, sore boobs, brown spotting for a few days and being overwhelmingly tired for the last half of the wait. The majority of people told me how good their signs were. I don’t want to be cruel but they can all be symptoms of the Progesterone pessaries too which is what messes with your head. One part of me thought I was going to get my first ever big fat positive (BFP), all the signs were there or so I thought. There was also the other part of me that whenever I tried to visualise our OTD all I would see is a big fat negative (BFN) because that’s all we have ever seen. Testing early did not help me. In fact I think it confirmed to my subconscious what it already knew. I’m not pregnant and Shortcake hasn’t stuck around.
I think after a BFN especially after going through an IVF cycles many women pick apart what they did. What they could have done differently. It’s 8:49, I tested at 7:00 and I’ve already thought of all the things I did wrong. I walked too much. Carried too many shopping bags. Had a house viewing. Worried we wouldn’t get the house. Got the house but had to scramble around filling in forms and gathering documentation. I didn’t eat well enough. I have a stupid body. And finally I blamed my Epilepsy. My horrible, horrible Epilepsy and the huge amount of medication I have to take. My neurologist told me I am on the best and safest medication you can be on whilst trying to conceive. He told me a fair number of his patients have been through IVF with no increase in seizures and have had healthy babies born. Now I did some research and there are no clinical trials surrounding women with epilepsy who are doing IVF. No one has researched it or at least not just us as a target group. It’s easy to blame my Epilepsy and the medications because realistically who knows if it interferes? When we first started IVF I tried to reach out to find other women with Epilepsy going through IVF. I didn’t find anyone. I found ladies who were in my position 20years ago but the whole process and epilepsy medications have changed since then. I found women with partners with Epilepsy but no one going through what I was. Many people are ashamed of having to have IVF and combined with Epilepsy you’re talking stigma central! But how can that change if no one is willing to speak up?
I’m speaking up. This BFN is the most heartbreaking thing to happen to me and my husband. We have dealt with so much over the last two years eg me having to leave work, having to move out of our flat, uncontrolled seizures, mental health issues, my engagement ring being stolen whilst I had a seizure, living in a crappy damp house, countless BFNs etc. This BFN hurts more than all of that. For the first time we had an embryo on board there was something there. Our little Shortcake. My husband is going to call the clinic to let them know the result. I can’t face it, I’m still crying now and that’s ok. I’m going to allow myself time to grieve because IVF really takes it out of you. I’m sorry Shortcake, for you, for me and for your dad.
Blog Soon x