I haven’t slept. Besides the all night menstrual flushes and cramps, I have a bad cold and feel like hell. I arrive at the clinic at 6:45 am for my Day 2 scan with Dr H. My Specialist is on holiday. That doesn’t preclude him from being involved in every aspect of the process from the other end of a telephone. Fertility patients, I am told, are special.
Dr H is nice. He checks my uterus and ovaries in the black and white screen and gives me the go ahead. The first hurdle cleared. I had cysts on both ovaries at my last scan in March, and had to have one surgically removed two years ago. I really hadn’t been sure there wouldn’t be more.
The truth is that I still don’t believe I will get pregnant. Here I am in the Ampath Lab having my blood drawn to test my FSH levels (the second hurdle I have to clear today) and I confide this to the young nurse who shares back that she and her husband have just unsuccessfully completed a round of fertility treatment and are considering a second.
Here I am, going through these IVF steps, and despite all the money and all the appointments and all the tests, I still won’t let myself believe that there will be a baby at the end of it. Because nothing has gone my way for such a long time that I don’t believe in anything anymore.
I go back to bed after that. It’s 8am. My results seem to take an age. When I finally get the call to come back in its 11:33am. It’s a green light. We can go ahead this cycle.
Sister pulls out a brown paper bag with my medication and shows me how to administer the injections. She explains I have a fairly high dosage because of my age and because I have a low egg count and then sends me home to refrigerate it all. I had things to do today but I have underestimated how sick I am and go back to bed.
This is really happening. For the first time I allow myself to acknowledge that I have taken the first real step on this journey and I start to cry and I can’t stop.
The depth of my sadness surprises even me. I cry because this is not the way it was supposed to be. I cry because you should have had a father who loves you. I cry because we will never be the family I wish I could give you. I cry because you will never know your grandparents. I cry because my father just died and the first real conversation we ever had was the day I told him about how much I wanted you and he supported my decision in spite of all the odds stacked against me, but now he will never get to hold the baby I told him about.
I cry for my broken heart. I cry for all the disappointment in my life. All the tears I have stored up inside of me and refused to cry the past eighteen months since my heart got shattered come flowing out of me in a torrent of anguish and despair but I am relieved they are finally here because when the rain stops the sun starts to shine again.
Outside the weather storms in harmony with my emotions and that afternoon I stand on my balcony and a rainbow stretches across the ocean in front of my village and I realise I don’t remember the last time I saw one.