Those were the words my doctor uttered to me literally seconds after she’d shot me through the heart several times with her medical rifle. (That’s a metaphor, by the way, something I teach my pupils to use to make their writing sound more interesting and dramatic, and therefore entertain their audience)
To be honest, I don’t really care what Victoria Beckham has or doesn’t have, as there are literally no comparisons I can make between her life and mine… she may have PCOS, like me, but, unlike me, she’s a millionaire, and can afford all sorts of fancy treatments to enable her to carry and give birth to aforementioned 4 children. I understand what Doctor Victoria (no, not Beckham, that is the name of my actual doctor) was getting at, I really do, but it was of little comfort to 24 year old me who has been longing for a baby since what feels like the dawn of time. Actually, technically, that’s wrong… I’ve not been longing for a baby, I’ve been longing for a family, y’know, mummy, daddy, 2.4 kids (or whatever that weird statistic is) and a dog (2 bengal cats though, obviously, seeing as they already exist in my small world!) All of a sudden the fear of failing at the one thing I’m actually supposed to be good at has actually become a reality and, well, I just really don’t know what to do.
Obviously I’ve known for some time that there was something wrong with me, I’ve been begging doctors for the best part of two years to help me, but all I’d been met with up until the last 8 weeks had been “you’re young, your body will sort itself out” or “you’ve been pregnant before, there’s no reason why you won’t be again” and “we only really start to investigate after 3 miscarriages, less than that is normal” as well as “try this pill, that will regulate things for you… oh, I see, you actually want to get pregnant, there’s not much I can really help you with then, just follow the instructions in this pamphlet and it will happen.” I suppose I should be grateful (is grateful the right word? Can you be grateful when someone has given you news that you absolutely did not want to hear?) that somebody in the medical field finally listened to me and got to the bottom of why my body is so shit.
Anyway, I digress… I left the doctors, just as I’d gone in… alone. Not because my fiancé is an unsupportive douchébag… no, actually, he’s pretty damn supportive… but because I genuinely thought I’d be fine. I know, I know, rookie error. However, let me explain… 6 weeks ago I had an ultrasound… the technician told me everything looked fine and he couldn’t see any reason as to why I couldn’t conceive naturally. That was the first positive thing. Secondly, I had blood tests 2 weeks ago, just before the Easter bank holiday weekend. I rang the doctors, as instructed, at 1:30pm on the dot, on the Tuesday following Easter Monday. The receptionist, and I quote, when asked about my blood results, told me, “Everything came back clear so you’re absolutely fine. Just come to your normal checkup appointment next week.” Phew. Relief. Euphoria…
Or so I thought…
I shouldn’t really be blaming the poor receptionist. I mean, the doctor can’t exactly tell reception staff, “Well, the bloods aren’t clear and basically this woman is going to receive crushing, devastating, life changing news from me, but if you can just find a way to tell her that gently on the phone and reassure her that waiting over a week for her next appointment isn’t going to make a jot of difference, that would be great, love.”
So, I left the doctors, just as I’d gone in… alone. But this time I left alone with the sudden realisation that this was the start of a very long and unpleasant journey that I’d never ever wanted to take. I wasn’t given any pamphlets, any magical prescription to make things better, or even a number to call. Just, this is what you have, there is no cure, you’ll probably need help if you want to have children. Then… “best wishes for the wedding, as I probably won’t see you before then! Take care!” (Our wedding is 10 months and 2 days away)
10 months and 2 days… it’s strange looking at it written down like that, because, in theory, that’s time to carry and give birth to a small person. It looks so simple written in black and white. Yet it’s not that at all, is it? Simple? It’s far from it. Nothing in my life has ever been simple, but I figured this would be. I’m a woman. I’ve had periods since the age of eleven. I spent my entire teenage years paranoid, scared and desperately trying to avoid pregnancy. Now it’s all I want… and I can’t have it.
“There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child that never comes.”
“It’s hard to wait around for something you know might never happen; but it’s even harder to give up when you know it’s everything you want.”