Sunday, May 30, 2010


I expected to plunge into grief after the failure of our last IVF, but actually I just sat around feeling kind of numb.

I was feeling oppressed by a general sense of reproductive disaster, for myself and my friends. Our dead embryos and crap eggs, John and Sapphira's beautiful baby daughter, then the news that young Mary has deteriorated further since she left our house, and has been having several epileptic-style fits per day. At the age of two and a half, she has been diagnosed as having the development of an 18 month old and a suspected autism spectrum disorder.

I was exhausted and sad and broke and sorry for myself and my friends and our children, but I had expected to hurtle into depression, and I didn't. I paused for a while, waited to feel worse, steeled myself for it, but it didn't really happen. I just stayed numb.

Suddenly a job offer came through that I had pretty much given up on. A promotion of sorts, in the form of a little bit of extra pay and quite a lot more responsibility. I must be a rather shallow person, because actually this cheered me up quite a lot.

The truth is that I am secretly more competitive than I generally reveal to other people. I have been quietly mourning for a long time the effect of motherhood and fertility treatment on my career, and I was surprised by the surge of genuine enthusiasm and ambition I felt.

It's been tricky. It's meant I had to go back to work full time and that has been a big adjustment for all of us in the last few weeks. The Little Dude, after years of being so relaxed about my work hours that he barely looked up to wave goodbye on work mornings, was clingy and crying some mornings at first, which was awful.

But on the whole, the new job has been a good thing. It's given me something positive to think about, something to work towards, something that is challenging but is NOT about fertility, children with heartbreaking disabilities, dead babies, mental illness or any of the other depresssing themes of 2010 so far.

I need that. I desperately need that.

As a result, I am actually kind of confused by my own feelings. So much sadness followed by one small cause for satisfaction and pride and I basically feel... discombobulated.