Yesterday I experienced the second most frightening thing that has ever happened to me. I had a panic attack, alone in a train carriage. For those who have never experienced one, you may think "so what?". Trust me, it's scary.
So now I am left to process, "why did that happen?" And looking back I realize I should not be suprised. My anxiety has been building for a while now. I am terrified. Terrified of what the future holds, or doesn't hold. I thought that finally getting some help with fertility treatment would help me. It hasn't- quite the opposite. There's now so much riding on each month. Will it work this time? Will I have to move on to more aggressive treatments/how long is it all going to take?.....
It isn't just that. I know it seems from my posts lately that all I am thinking of now is trying for another baby. It's true, that is pretty all-consuming. (show me a woman who's been trying this long for whom it isn't, and I will salute her) But that doesn't mean I have forgotten Bertie, or that I'm done with my grief. He is still my first and last thought. And several in between. I still stand at his grave, looking at his name and thinking "how can this have happened" whilst silent tears run down my face until I can't read the words anymore through the waterfall. I am still transported back to that day, watching strangers lower my son into the ground. I am throwing the first handful of soil, I am wishing I could get in there with him.
It's a delicate balance, the two major players in the game of my mind. Grief and infertility. No wonder I had a meltdown. But how can I change it? Reminders are everywhere I go, everywhere I look. I can't "put it to the back of my mind" since I can't escape from things that bring one or the other back to the front.
Walking through town. At work. With my friends. On social media. Babies. Pregnant women. Happy families with toddlers Bertie's age and another on the way. All reminding me both of what I lost, and what I still don't have, 22 months on. I may not run away now, but it still hurts just as much. It still gives me the same, now familiar stab in the gut.
Chester mystery plays are being held this week. It's quite a production. Written to bring bible stories to the people, they are put on every five years. This year they told the whole bible from Genesis to Revelations in one hit. And hit it did. During the incredible crucifixion scenes, I was not watching Jesus. I was transfixed on Mary. The actress portrayed the mother's grief so strongly, I couldn't take my eyes off her. I cried with her. I remembered my own pain, my constant companion.
And yes, I am afraid. I am so afraid. Of two possible outcomes. That I won't ever get pregnant again, or that I will, but I will lose the baby again. These fears are so ingrained that as I sat, literally paralysed in two hands and one foot during my panic attack, my first thought was "what's happening to me, am I having a fit?"....and the second: "Oh God, will this mean I can't have another baby".
I simply can't convey to you in words how much it means to me to be a mother. I simply cannot make you understand how worthless my life feels without it.