Closing my eyes for long enough, the splintered visions are there.
Glimpses of warmth: they seem teasingly real. The fleeting images are exquisite in their beauty. Simple images of soft baby skin and a grown manâ€™s joy. All too quickly, they disappear. The dream is an illusion. My reality becomes the nightmare.
Our second baby was due sometime in April. The precise date escaped my memory. Maybe it fled to the place where my assorted hopes and unrealised aspirations now hide?
IVF time is unforgiving. It is reluctant to give space over to those who attempt to transverse its often-rugged domain. Personal supplies of stamina and courage are routinely depleted while in ARTâ€™s grasp. Experience losses peripheral and additional to IVF and there may be no further reserves to be called upon.
The sense that all this must be happening â€˜for a reasonâ€™ has long faded into an uncomfortable acceptance that this experience has had no purpose or deeper meaning. There is nothing to be made sense of any longer. Confusion is present. Bitterness is hopefully â€“ I tell myself â€“ still some steps away.
Could we have managed things better? Did we not love well enough? Was everything just simply all too late?
Today I am tired.
I should be filled with joy for my many Cycle Sisters who have experienced success since I last blogged. I do believe that everyone I started out with has finally gone on to the Other Side and are now parents or looking soon to become parents. Every one but us, I say without irony. It is simply the truth.
A matter of days ago The Other Stuff largely concluded. I have been mostly comatose since. It is a long and ugly story. What I have witnessed has inexorably altered my perceptions about so much. It is all still too raw to make sense of just yet. The nadir for me came when shortly after our most recent miscarriage; legal papers written by Wobblesâ€™ own brother humiliated us over our loss.
Other Stuff has been about so many things, with Wobbles and I seemingly the scapegoats for events and circumstances that go far beyond our reach, influence and lifetimes even. Lasting for over a year and a half, it began to impact our IVF attempts in more ways than we could have anticipated. By the time we realised we should separate the two, they were already inexorably linked. It was only one of large collection of ridiculous comments, insinuations and claims made by a person we now know to be of dubious character, but it was the one with lasting impact for me.
Ours is just one little story from an infinite universe filled with infertility experiences. It matters to us. We sometimes share it with others, although largely anonymously through the Internet. Not having a child has consumed us for over five years now. We do not look for pity, but see no reason or excuse for ridicule. When our IVF clinic makes careless errors, it matters â€“ a lot. When a close family member would seek to hurt us over these circumstances, it leaves me several steps beyond my standard levels of despair.
I wonder how I can ever find a way to separate the wretched awfulness that is long-term ART failure and a future looking increasingly like one that is to be without a child from some of the worst things about family and human nature.
Is there any point in trying anymore?
It is becoming increasingly difficult to find any satisfactory responses to much these days.
Tonight I am reminded of the final line from The Wife of Martin Guerre:
â€¦when hate and love have together exhausted the soul,
the body seldom endures for long.