The long goodbye

Just the other day, I went through the contents of my bedside drawers.

It’s a simple Muji chest of drawers. The topmost drawer contains my toiletries like a box of tissue, lip balm and assortment of body lotions. The one below it holds my essential oils. The third one holds odds and ends like light bulbs and power plugs.

It is the last drawer that I have not had the – for a lack of a better word – guts to clear out. This last drawer had once held my hopes and dream, and was also the home to my pain. It contained my Puregon injection pen, the remaining needles, cartridges, syringes and alcohol swabs. They were neatly stored in a little bag, left untouched since I discovered that I was expecting Aidan. My books on fertility and IVF were also housed there.

I never threw them out. I suppose at the back of my mind, I always thought that I would have to rely on them once again. You can say that even though I left infertility behind me as I embarked on the journey of becoming a mum, infertility has never left me.

Even when we were hoping to add to the family, my subconscious was preparing me for the jabs and hormonal lows all over again. We went through blood tests again. I didn’t dare to go through the drawer or put them into the bin because I believed that I would most likely be using them again. I was being pessimistic and pragmatic at the same time, let’s just say, and I didn’t want to have to go through the whole cycle of trying and hoping and then having my dreams fall flat on me all over again.

And then Two came along, unexpectedly. Which left us as gobsmacked as when we first discovered that Aidan was conceived.

And yet it has taken me 36 weeks to finally clear out that drawer and throw everything out.

Like I said, infertility has never left me and I don’t think it ever will.

Because, you see, every time I look at Aidan, I marvel at the child that he has become, the blessing that he has been, the bonus that we have never expected to receive. Things could have gone oh so differently indeed, we never take that fact for granted.

Even with Two, I feel exactly the same way. Look, pregnancy is physically hard for most of us. But I also know that being pregnant is a privilege, something that many women long for but may not attain. So I always remind myself that I have no business complaining about how tough it is when there are others who would literally die to be in my shoes.

We remember. All the time.

There are still so many of us struggling out there. And every time I hear their stories, my heart breaks a little. Because I have been there, I know what it’s like and I know how fucking painful it can be. I remember crying in the bathroom, crying in my sleep, crying when watching TV. I remember not wanting to go near a pregnant woman because I hated that they are glowing and that I was so bitter. I remember how I could only confide in a few girlfriends because they were going through the same journey as I was and they were the only ones who truly, truly understood.

Nothing like infertility to bind you together, really.

I don’t know if anyone is still reading this blog, since I got pregnant and became all bright and shiny (HA HA HA). But if you are someone who chanced upon this place while goggling “infertility Singapore”, know that there is someone who is thinking of you and praying that you will get your happily ever after – no matter what form it takes.

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