Debrief (verb): To carefully review upon completion
I didn’t intend to write a post-surgery update blog, I just wanted to say a quick “all went well, roll on 2021” but here I am, as it did and didn’t go as expected. And I don’t know how I feel, except that I’m feeling so angry at myself, that I need to write.
The Pros: The procedure is complete. They removed all the adhesions and I have a brand ‘new’, obstruction-free womb.
The Cons: When I went in for surgery yesterday morning, I was told the recovery/rest time for the procedure would be 6-8 weeks. So I said to the consultant “let’s make it six weeks please, that will take me through to the 1st January 2021. That’s a perfect date to be allowed to start trying again”. I was so set on it being a six week wait. It just felt like a fresh start, a really good omen. Bad news though: post-surgery I have now been advised to wait 3 months before we can start trying again. This is because of how much of the lining they had to remove, which they want to see replenished over a few cycles.
The Pros: Summer was undoubtedly with me. I picked up a new book to read while I was waiting: The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett, and there was Summer’s name at the bottom of Page 10. This continues my ‘summer’ streak, I’ve seen the word in every book I’ve read since she died. This one makes it the 38th book in a row. I didn’t get much further than that, I contentedly shut the book and spent the rest of the time chatting away with the other ladies due in for surgical procedures that day.
The Cons: Having to wait 3 months before we can try to conceive again means that I won’t be pregnant again by Summer’s birthday and I won’t be able to have a healthy full-term baby aged 35 now (even though I’m still 34!). We always wanted to have all our children by age 37 (when additional risk factors kick-in), but that’s just impossible now. It’s just a huge blow.
The Pros: The staff were all absolutely incredible. Just so brilliant. Every day for months and months now, my friend C has asked me to list my joys for the day; she sends me hers too. When the nurse came dancing in, lovely and upbeat, ready to collect me for surgery, she said “My name’s Joy! Are you ready to go? Are you feeling joyful with me?” I smiled and replied “you can be Joy, I will be hope. I hear they go well together”.
The Cons: As you can tell, I was just starting to feel hopeful and positive, so the setback feels like such a slap in the face, like I’m being laughed at. Every time I dare to hope, I get knocked back to reality, of course it was too good to be true.
The Pros: I am extremely lucky to have been able to have the procedure in such a timely manner, given all of the COVID delays, waiting lists and rescheduling going on. (Remember my plan to watch the clock? The clock was broken in the operating theatre, but thankfully the registrar was able to give me the exact time from his phone: 10.37am. I woke up looking at a working clock: 11.40am. I also hit a new personal low with the resting heart beat: 49 beats per minute?!)
The Cons: The consultants do think that the adhesions were in my womb prior to Summer being conceived, which is likely what went wrong with the pregnancy. I just can’t shake that I sacrificed a baby. I trusted them, I stupidly went along with their arbitrary “3 consecutive losses” rule and Summer paid the price. I should have investigated sooner. That is something I have to come to terms with. This part is my fault. It is.
The Pros: I should feel grateful, we have still made progress. Although it feels like one step forwards, one step back to now stand still again, so many people are still waiting on their appointments. Others have it much worse. So much worse. What am I complaining for?
The Cons: All of my/James’ blood tests came back normal. This isn’t really good news. This means that if we get pregnant again, we’re not doing anything differently. That’s the definition of insanity. At least if we found something wrong, it would give us something to fix, something to perhaps explain all three losses. The waiting, testing, delays – it all feels so futile. Normal, normal, normal. Except, I don’t feel normal.
The Pros: I know some women who have had babies at 40. I know one woman who had her first child at 40, so there is still time. I probably still have some good eggs left too, seeing as I’ve always had highly irregular cycles and so have had far fewer periods than most.
The Cons: I am so angry and actually, disgusted, at myself for being so woe-is-me and for so long now. Look how many positives there are, yet all I can do is focus on the negatives and feel sorry for myself. For a whole year? It’s tiring for all concerned.
Except, it’s been a crappy year. It’s been a crappy few years on the fertility front. When you lose a baby, you do hope you’ll be pregnant again for the milestones. I’m just tired of going through them, without anything hopeful to carry me through. When My Baby died in April 2019, I was certain I’d be pregnant again by the due date in October. I wasn’t. And when we lost Summer, I did think we’d have made significant progress one year on. We won’t have. And when I turn 35 next month, I can’t even hope for a baby aged 35, when I’ve been hoping for one since just before I turned 32.
I had three losses, they were supposed to help me. If we’d stuck to the NHS timeline (instead of seeking help privately), they wouldn’t have found the adhesions until February 2021 at the earliest: I’m even angry about something that never came to pass. Where’s the sense in that?
I’m never happy. Nothing is ever good enough, is it? What’s wrong with me? Am I overreacting? A 6 week wait, or a 3 month wait, what’s the big deal? But it is to me. Another 3 month wait, when it is already approaching a 9 month wait since my baby died. I just can’t bear the lack of control. I really hope it’s only a 12 week wait, not 3 months – as both December and January have 31 days, making it a longer delay. I’m going to push for ‘just’ 12 weeks, because I am insane and it matters to ME.
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