Having been so sure that not getting pregnant on the IUI was only going to be a blip on my radar after all that has gone before, I was actually pretty upset about it. And call me stupid but, for the first time in our more-than-5-year-marathon of trying to conceive, it occurred to me that finding out that you're not pregnant when you get your period and your hormones are making you feel miserable anyway is a little inconvenient. So I spent about a week in a seriously bad mood, swinging between wanting to cry and wanting to snap someone's head off. A fun time for all! And the move back into "trying to conceive" after about a year and a half of enforced time out has brought back a lot of my sadness and jealousies about my inability to join my friends in the Mum Club.
After the negative result, I'd called the clinic to see where we were at with the donor situation and heard that things had "dried up" a bit on that front. In an attempt not to spend too much time wallowing in the failure and the lack of anything to follow it up with, I threw myself into work and committed myself to even more than I had already. Keeping busy and being around people are my best defences against depression and anxiety - and there's nowhere better for keeping busy and being around people than a school - and sometimes nowhere worse ;-). I've put my career on hold for more than 5 years - not that I'm hugely ambitious, but progress of some kind is good. I'm not after serious promotion, but there's a couple of things I'd like to try and I kept putting them off because it would be too hard to do them while pregnant (ha!) or having treatment. The extra responsibilities I've had this term have helped me to make some decisions about my future in teaching and have made me feel a bit more useful about the place.
So it was ironic that I then got a call from the clinic telling me that they had a donor and that, if we went for it, everything would be happening at exactly the busiest and most inconvenient time of the term. After a bit of discussion and soul-searching with CM, I had to say no. I can imagine there are people who would think I'm nuts for deciding that way, but what it came down to was this: saying no to the donor just means we don't get this donor - another one will come along and we will get our chance - but taking time off work and having to offload my responsibilities onto others, just when they are also at their busiest, would guarantee that I'd blown that chance and it wouldn't come again.
So much of what I have tried has failed over the last few years. This term's responsibilities aren't necessarily what I want for the rest of my life and I haven't necessarily shone in everything I've done - but if I make it to the end of this term then I won't have failed in them. And that is so important to my self-image right now. As I've said before, I could do every treatment under the sun and still not have a baby and at the end of all of this, regardless of baby or no baby, there will still be me. Whether I become a mother or not, my state of mind is everything to how I deal with what comes next.
The day after I said no to the donor cycle, a friend told me that a new genetic screening method had just become available at a clinic I'd had contact with in the past. It's a treatment that would give us answers, which is something I want almost as much as a baby. If our embryos didn't make it to testing or all tested abnormal, then we'd know that this was our problem. If we got a normal one or two, we'd shove them back and if it didn't work, we could draw some conclusions about my ability to create a proper environment for successful pregnancy and decide whether surrogacy might be a good idea. Oh, I know that normal embryos don't always implant even in "normal" women, but we'd still know that we could create normal embryos. If we got a normal one and I got and stayed pregnant - well, we'd thank our lucky stars and probably never go near a fertility clinic ever again. So we have an appointment with them at the beginning of July.
At the time of hearing about the genetic thing, I thought it was fate - I'd get a chance to see if we could produce our own genetic child before trying donor eggs. However, after a bit of time, I realise that it doesn't matter which opportunity comes up first - I'd go for either of them. Basically, I want to be someone's mum and I want CM to be a dad. And after all this time and loss and failure, I find that I'm not too fussy over how that happens. So hopefully we'll be doing something soon. There's the small matter of an ankle that needs an MRI and a bowel that needs checking for IBD, but both consultants have given me the green light to plough on with fertility treatment regardless and I'm not going to argue with them!
But I still feel flat and old insecurities are creeping back in. I find myself again: watching for signs that friends are pregnant; worrying about social gatherings and whether there'll be kids, or an announcement or whether all anyone will be talking about is their kids; being sensitive about comments made by my nearest and dearest about their kids; feeling resentful about what others have that I don't; wondering if people are leaving me out of things; wondering if friends are bored of / embarrassed about / irritated by our ongoing sadness; etc, etc, etc. And to top it all, I'm planning my 40th birthday. OK, it's not till February next year, but when I started out on all this it was "babies before 35" (and had number 1 worked, I'd have managed that), then it was "babies before 38", and then "babies before 40". Well, I'd have to get pregnant NOW to do that, and since I'm on day 3, that won't be happening.
So the sun may be shining outside, but it ain't doing it for me.