By JODI MCALARY
For me, being told that I could not have children was something I couldn’t believe. I remember driving away from the doctor’s surgery along Military Road barely able to see where I was going for the flood of tears. I always assumed that I would be a mother and the news that I would never be made me feel worthless and unwanted, a waste. What was the point of being a woman? I really felt as though I had let down my partner.
It wasn’t only motherhood that was eluding me, it was womanhood. The private and individual feelings of the loss of a child in any form cannot be described and I am sure is a certain pain that cannot be shared.
Talk of donor eggs came immediately and easily for my doctor who thought this was a simple solution as I had two younger sisters. This simply wasn’t an option I wanted to consider or impose on my sisters. How could I ask that of either of my sisters who were so much younger than me and had no children of their own? What if they never ended up having their own children later in life? Would my child be theirs or mine? What about the missing magic that occurs when you create a child with the person you love? What about that unexplainable feeling of pride you get when you watch your child grow and develop the same traits as their Mum and Dad – only in a mini version?
Despite my feelings regarding donor eggs, which I now recognise were borne from an inability to accept the reality of the situation, we booked in to see a specialist to get the ball rolling for IVF treatment. This was the same specialist that my GP had consulted with to diagnose me with premature ovarian failure (or premature menopause). We were told “it would be a miracle” if I fell pregnant and we should stop using contraception.
Fast-forward two months – I’m not sure what prompted me to use the home pregnancy test. I hadn’t even told my partner I was going to use it. When it showed a positive result I thought for certain it was faulty or that perhaps my imbalanced hormones were playing havoc with the result. I told my partner and myself a million times that it was a mistake and went to work that day as normal to wait for a chemist to open so I could get another test. Upon seeing another positive result I went and saw my GP that day who told me that yes, I was most likely pregnant but an ultrasound would be needed to confirm. A five week scan indicated that I was pregnant but nothing else. There was no heartbeat.
It was a very nervous three weeks waiting for the scan to check for a heartbeat. The paranoia was overwhelming. I could only half believe that I was actually pregnant and thought for certain that something horrible was going to happen. I didn’t allow myself to get excited as I was so nervous with feelings that my potential first and last chance at motherhood wouldn’t eventuate.