Well it feels a little as though we have come full circle. We are back to where we started from. The test result on Tuesday (not Monday – we ended up having to wait an additional excruciating 24 hours…) was negative. No baby or babies this year.
I have been through a range of feelings over the past few days. Initially it was raw grief and despair. It felt as though all the unfairness and sadness and loss was flooding back into my life and I couldn’t stop it. I had wanted this so much and knew just how perfect it could have been for all of us. My son was in bed fast asleep when we received the news; I was glad. The last thing he had said before going to bed was that he had wanted to find out The Result. In the morning I told him. He was crestfallen. He asked whether perhaps the seeds we had used had been too small to work and would they now have to be taken back out of Nazni’s tummy? It was innocent logic….he had so wanted this to work. As I dropped him off at kindergarten it seemed that every other mother there had a baby in their arms – the younger siblings of my son’s school friends. As we walked to the gate my little boy said he felt sad but would try to hide it at school. I told him he didn’t have to hide it, but he had decided he would try to keep it secret. Later on he said he had told one girl that it hadn’t worked and he felt better; he was amazing (I can’t say that I did so well myself at work that first day…). I hoped I hadn’t burdened him with too much sorrow, but he has been so strong and has asked me how I am feeling every hour or so for the last few days now. He knows we are very sad but he also knows that I am a very lucky mummy to have such a special boy, because I tell him all the time. He knows that ‘love is the most important thing mumma’ and when I told him never to forget that he assured me he would ‘spin it into his head’ so it would always be there.
I have also felt angry, but not as much as I expected I might. We are back to where we started – with one little boy – and this was something I had accepted over the past 4 years already. I had already been angry and sad about our situation, and hadn’t seen any way around it, so had lived with it. My dreams were shattered 4 and a half years ago, so of course re-awakening them to have them shattered all over again is painful. It may not have been a fresh wound, but old angry wounds reopened are just as raw. But we were happy this time last year and there is now no real difference in our daily lives.
But there is one huge difference: we have all experienced something incredible which will stay with us forever, and that is the overwhelming goodness and generosity of other people, and strangers. When we set out on this journey it was for one goal: to complete our family. We never imagined the friendships we would make, the warmth of spirit experienced, the selfless generosity, well wishes, positive support and love from so many amazing people. This has been the incredible and unexpected part that we can never regret discovering. Thank you to everyone who has given us encouragement and fortitude, in India, at home and all over the world. I have not felt deserving of quite so much goodness and care coming our way. In the grand scheme of things, we have not experienced anything like the sadness that so many other people have done. In the surrogacy community I have met people who have tried IVF for many years without success, who have then turned to surrogacy and again tried many times without success. I know people who have been overjoyed by a positive pregnancy only to be shattered later on when the pregnancy is lost. There are many others who have held babies for just a few hours or days only to have lost them also. We are only at the very tip of these people’s experiences, but just as selflessly they have turned to offer their support to us also, and they understand too that even this small failure can still be hugely painful and heartbreaking.
And Nazni: although I do not expect that she will ever read this blog, I feel that the sentiment of its contents will reach her in some way or another. We are so sorry that this has ended where it began. We know how much you were willing it to happen also. We have heard that you are very disappointed and dejected also, but you know that you have nothing to feel sorry for. You have undergone so much for us and we will be forever indebted to you for that. These things happen.
And what next? I do not know. Emotionally we do not yet feel ready to give up. If money were no issue there would be no bars, but as everybody knows money is always an issue! We are back to square one, but now even worse off than before, and still so much ahead. It is a scary prospect knowing how much future success might end up costing, especially when you don’t have any financial reserves. I will once again berate Medicare for being completely prejudicially unsupportive of those people who want a child as much as the next person, and praise those amazing women who are doing so much to campaign for one simple change towards fairness and equality. But I am working through several options in my head at once, mentally going down every possible pathway and combination and trying to come up with a Plan B. Since getting our negative result, I have celebrated the news with others of two positive pregnancies through surrogacy – one in Thailand and the other here in Australia, and also the birth of one beautiful little baby girl in India who as I write is starting the long process of coming home with her family to Australia. These stories remind me that you can change your life story, but it might take a little more strength and resolve to achieve it.
Nazni wearing her lucky gold bangle on the day of her pregnancy blood test.