There really is light at the end of the tunnel.

My own emotions tend to overwhelm me. It’s impossible to describe how good it feels to actually be myself again. The euphoria encompassing me is intense beyond measure. While you wouldn’t be foolish to presume that my elation is the result of my viable, ongoing pregnancy, truthfully, this is bigger than that. Of course, the little man growing inside me is my ultimate, but I found myself, or more aptly re-discovered myself before my pregnancy.

I spent too many years of my young life not appreciating the simple pleasures of living. How I pushed on in this way is unfathomable to me now. I literally cannot understand why I willingly sucked the joy out of my own life day in, day out. Negative habits have a way of doing that though don’t they? Dominating your mind and tricking you into believing that they’re normal.

Kicking back last night with music blaring out of my iPod dock, my mind switched into overdrive. It was this moment I pondered over how music (punk, hard-core, pop and indie) fills the goodie bags inside my soul. That food tastes amazing without self imposed restrictions. How sex is fantastic when I’m not fretting over every loose, bumpy bit on my body, and that if you let them, family and friends have the capacity to love you more than you will ever know. This is my definition of contentment. The kind of contentment that can be felt by every single body part. If you’re not used to this kind of satisfaction, the blissful sensations rippling through your body can become overpowering.

I’m not one who typically cries over happy emotions, however tonight was a massive exception. I was mid-process clearing my vision board to make room for my updated thoughts and ideas when tears started streaming down my face. Witnessing the so called ‘inspirational’ pieces I had tacked all over its body; the people I dreamt to be more like, the practices I bullied myself into regularly practicing all in the name of health, wellness and fertility, transported me back to my pain. Once again I was suffocating under the thick grey cloud that permeated my every day. Horrifically, I could feel that inescapable darkness which tore my heart into pieces, ate it up, then regurgitated it out as if it were food poisoning. I cried, my god I cried. I cried reflecting on the depressed sack of emptiness I was. I cried for the waste of good life. The present me was overcome by guilt, wishing that I could have been strong enough, as I am today, to fix me somehow. I wish I could have held out my hands and yanked myself out of my grief, but I couldn’t. Although I was the bravest of brave, alone I couldn’t’ manage the monsters inside my head.

As time rolls on, and I sit here now, happier than I ever could have imagined, I guess I want to say I forgive me for sinking so low, for disrespecting myself and selling me so short. Being the vibrantly alive woman I am today, I know I can let of the guilt over hurting myself so bad. I’m choosing to look back and feel nothing but gratitude. Honestly, I’m grateful for this ugly, low point in my life because now at the highest of highs I feel wealthier than BeyoncĂ©.


Share your pain.

Balancing hormones and achieving fertility in our messed up modern world is tough stuff. Even if you’ve manage to dodge the pill, eaten like a whole food goddess and lived a virtually stress free life, chances are your precious hormones have been bruised in one way or another.  For many, bashed up hormones present themselves as an easily repaired minor issue. However for us, the fertility challenged mob, it's more complex. 

When you crave pregnancy so immensely, it's too easy to  morph into a thirsty sponge desperately soaking up every drop of knowledge available. Irrespective of googles conflicting nature, not to mention your intelligent, rational mind, becoming fertile becomes all consuming. What at first felt empowering crosses into overwhelming, which leave you tired, sad and lost. I remember bullying myself into thinking that unless I could fix myself instantly my expiry date was fast approaching and that my loved ones would soon dispose of me as an out of date useless good. Ridiculously, I’d actually convinced myself that without a baby I’d live out my sad little life alone and unsatisfied. My confidence abated and I know longer felt like the strong, confident feminist I once was.  

It was a pity that at the time my intuition didn’t chime in to alert me of my depression. I remember thinking that it was everybody else’s fault, that no-one was listening to me and no one cared or truly understood the agonising assault of my own mind. Looking back retrospectively, I know family and friends weren't able to to throw me a lifeline because I’d built impenetrable walls around myself.

Unfortunately, the non fluffed over truth of the matter is you cannot expect others to understand your sadness unless you express to them that you are actually sad. It’s unfair to expect others without lived in experience to fully relate to your story or read your mind. This is why sharing your emotions is an infertility suffers’s non negotiable. Talking about your feelings will burn kilos of burdening weight off your shoulders. You cannot and should not tackle infertility on your own, EVER! Whether you seek support (read: support, not guidance or advice) from loved ones, professional counsellors or therapists or from strangers sharing hardships in an online forum, seek these people out and confide in them. Although they may not feel your pain exactly as you do, typically a pair of open ears accompanied by an empathetic heart is all you need.

As for me, I’ve found letting it all hang out, ugly bits and all is unquestionably therapeutic. Simply having someone acknowledge that my grief is valid enough to soothe my aching heart. 

Which brings me to grief…

Grief is immeasurable. One cannot compare their grief to that of another. Grief is defined as: “keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss.” (Macquarie Dictionary Publishers 2011, 2012 ed., 1983), yet it presents itself in many forms and disguises. Therefore darling, give yourself permission to grieve. As soon as you’re labelled infertile the grieving process begins. Initially you mourn for your ideal future and knowing that you won’t wakeup one morning after three months of trying feeling nauseas. The spontaneity is gone. You mourn for your baby way before you even knew you had wanted one. You mourn when your period comes. You mourn when your IVF embryo transfer didn’t implant and you fret over passing time. Considering that for many of us making a baby means laborious work and longer hours, some of us walk around with grief encircling our hearts for months, even years. It's a throbbing, disabling sort of pain that no woman should bear alone.

Now if you were to flip the switch, role reverse, if you’re friend was in your shoes wouldn’t you want to be there comforting them? You would? Then what makes you think they don’t want to do the same for you?


Swallow the pain down.

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Please don't take me in that room, please, please don't take me in that room. "Teggan Teggan B" the nurse called, emphasising an 'egg' sound instead of the accurate 'tea'. In my apprehensive state I couldn't find the energy required to correct her. Or maybe I didn't care because I knew she was taking me in that room. That room. The same room where I hideously miscarried my baby girl. The same room where my blood decorated the carpet. 

"Distract yourself Tegan", my heart cried, "don't look at the floor". "It's too soon, don't make yourself enviasge that ghastly moment." But I couldn't stop myself. Pregnancy hormones still coursing through my system allowed my emotions to get the better of me. And there it was, my baby, albeit reduced to an ugly stain on the dull grey floor. 

The recent bombarent of harrowing anguish, which has trampled my optimism and buoyant spirit has also inspired rumination in my analytical mind. I guess it's my hearts feeble attempt to rationalise, to question why I had to go through all of this.

Two months ago I was juggling upwards of three appointments per week, alongside deteriating energy reserves, thanks to the hormonal cocktail I was drowning in. But now, there's nothing. All symptoms abated, leaving no obvious traces besides the attainment of an unattractive pouch like belly. Physically, I'm beginning to feel fine. There's no pain tearing away at my insides, no more nausea. Yet mentally, I'm beyond tender. While I know that fatigue, pain and time constraints are certainly no excuse for a celebratory feast. For me, they made the uphill journey to babydom feel worthwhile, authentic, real. It was my reality, one I'd chosen to rapidly devour. 

Sadly, reality altered its recipe, offering up nothing more than naivety free, hard to stomach slices of pie. It's scary because I know it will poison my guts and make me vomit. It's painful because I know I'll never enjoy eating in the same way ever again. But I'm starving, so even though I don't want to eat the muck I've been served, I will. I'll force myself to chew down on my bitter, bitter truth until the sour taste leaves my mouth.  



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