I kind of have this slight love affair with the stars. Stars are amazing and its not been a new love, I remember when I was younger star gazing was one of my favourite activities to do with my best friend.
I remember we were on holiday and it was a clear night and so we got all the blankets out, wrapped up with ALL the layers we could physically wear (kind of like a Joey from friends situation) and went out and laid on the soggy grass to look up at the stars and just chat and dream.
You see, for me stars are a hope. These God placed, God breathed balls of gas give me hope. To me they symbolise beauty in the darkest of situations. Many people fear darkness, many people fear the night but for me there is comfort because it is never truly dark, the night is never truly pitch black because if you look up there is a wealth of stars (unless your in the UK and then you may just have a wealth of clouds) but things on this Earth come and go, things change, situations get better and worse but one thing that won’t change are the stars.
I absolutely adore this line of a poem from ‘The Old Astronomer To His Pupil’ by Sarah Williams
You see the stars are a bit like God. Things on earth are ever changing, situations come and go but the one constant thing that will never change is God and it is all through the scriptures, it has been documented all through time about God and people have their own opinions on what God is, just like stars. Although I have never met anyone who denies stars exist!
No matter what’s happening on the earth and no matter what changes or what disaster happens the one thing we know for certain is that when the natural light starts to get low this is when the stars come out. When darkness starts to consume the earth the stars are there, burning away and giving some light. Darkness can consume the majority of things but it can’t consume stars. It can’t consume hope, faith and grace. It can’t consume God but believe me it has a flipping good attempt and sometimes those stars are really hard to see.
I remember it was a Friday and I was at work and we had a quiet spell as it had gone past the cut of point for people to come and we just had to get through those that were there. They were all waiting for other members of the team to see them, and so I decided to call and get my blood results for that really expensive blood test that measures the ovarian reserve and basically measures fertility. I was a little bit excited but was also confident that it would be fine because we had been told that if that is good then it makes everything easier and it is normally fine for someone my age in the majority of circumstances, I had a good feeling.
I could just imagine it, the results would be fine, there was nothing wrong with me and it was just a timing thing. The results are going to be ok, maybe a little low but OK!!
So I called up and gave my details. It was only when they kept asking me for my name and date of birth about 3 times as well as getting me to confirm my age that something within me just didn’t feel right.
“Umm, Ok Mrs …, I can call you that or would you prefer your first name? Ok, so for someone your age, 27, your levels should be between 17-54, that’s the normal levels for a 27 year old roughly. OK? and yours is 3.03. That is low even for a menopausal women let alone someone who is 27. We will discuss it with you more at your next appointment which I can see is in 2 and a half months time”
I simply thanked her and hung up. I had a split second when I didn’t know what to do, someone walked into the bay I was in and took one look at me and I quickly made an exit into the staff room, tears started burning my face. You know how some people say that they got some news that made them feel physically sick? Well I was always like “aww I’m so sorry that must of felt awful” but I never really knew how awful it would feel, I just imagined it not really being a feeling until that moment. That’s when I knew what it felt like, it isn’t just awful its horrid and one of the worse feelings going! Even to this day, when I think of that and even now as I type I can feel it. A deep routed feeling of dread and your stomach turns and It’s something you can’t really explain, I just hope the majority of people never experience it.
3.03…Is a number I hate, its a number that fills me with absolute dread even to this day. This was the one thing I was banking on being ok. After my other blood tests and learning my progesterone was under 1, I was hoping my AMH wouldn’t let me down.
I was sent home from work as I looked awful and I remember calling up my mum and sobbing on the way home. She apologised so much, told me she wished things were different for me but I just sobbed. Nothing apart from the number 3.03 was going through my head and the thought that I was going to throw up at any time.
I cried and I cried and I lost hope and I felt absolutely devastated. I was scared, I was doubting God, I didn’t understand. It’s then that it all really sunk in, it was an internal disaster.
I felt like my world crumbled around me.
I wanted to be able to have children with no medical intervention. I wanted a much welcomed ‘surprise’ after a weekend away or maybe a little too much to drink. I always imagined peeing on that stick because I didn’t feel right and it being positive and putting my plans into action to let him know he was going to be a daddy. To phone my best friend and be so excited because I was pregnant and make baby shower plans and go a little over the top with her and be like this is how I am going to tell him.
Naturally, that is what I want and what I pray for, natural.
At my next appointment the results were discussed and due to the results the consultant informed me that more than likely we are looking at IVF and also time is very important and we need to get all other things sorted for the best outcome. This would also involve me needing a procedure to look in my womb because there were concerns that the lining was getting thicker despite me bleeding and having awful periods but there was a high risk due to my medical history and also due to how think the lining was and so he could only refer me to one person and she may not be able to do it. He was doing all he could to avoid me needing another surgery.
I walked out of that room feeling numb. I knew I had things to do like loose weight to get my BMI down to a particular level for treatment but I felt numb.
This is the best way to explain it, as I wrote in my journal at that time…
“To be totally honest, this place I find myself in- it’s not very starry but it is a clear night. You can see your breath in the air as your body and soul yearn to know who’s taken the stars but above all your gripped. You can’t see who or what is gripping you but it’s flipping terrifying. There are so many people around you but you feel alone and the grip doesn’t ease. it’s scary and the only reason you know it’s real is because you can see your breath, you have a pulse. They are the only two things that make you know, let you know that you and this situation are undoubtedly REAL”
I had the appointment for the hysteroscopy but it was too high risk as my womb was full of adhesions that looked like thick cobwebs and also it was really painful and there was a massive risk of perforation which would require emergency surgery, so she stopped it there and then but did manage to get a biopsy. Surgery was my next step and I wasn’t too thrilled about it.
I had my next appointment which I was basically told all I knew and I need surgery and he is listing me as urgent and also that I needed another scan and endometrial biopsy which he did there and then. I had the surgery within about 3 weeks in which they did a D&C (where they scrape away the lining), another biopsy and also some polyps removed and now I am just waiting for my next appointment at the end of October.
To be totally honest this experience so far has broken me, It has torn me apart and I have had to battle so hard to not let it destroy my faith, tear my marriage apart and also some friendships. I have chosen to be very selective who I tell what is happening and keep them updated on the progress of things and also very selective who I tell my innermost thoughts to and that has affected a few of my friendships.
The worse thing about this whole journey is you begin to despise yourself. You hate yourself for not being able to bear children for your husband when you know that is his biggest want in all the world, you hate yourself when you see him playing with other peoples children.
I must say we are so blessed to have friends who trust us so much with their children, and it does in the strangest way make the journey a little bit easier at times. Knowing you have these little treasures you can pour your energy into at that time but then at other times you just long for your own.
I remember being at a conference in London and holding my friend’s sleeping baby and just begging God to give me my own, as much as I loved the child in my arms the yearning for my own child was unbearable and I was literally begging God in that time of worship. Although my arms were full with something so, so very precious, my heart was empty and aching. It’s a pain that never truly goes away.
You long for sleepness nights, you long for a human to need you so badly that without you they would ceast to exist. You long for a little human that is yours, your pride and joy and one that you can nurture and love until the end of days.
It’s an ongoing battle and at times I just don’t know, I have little panic times when I know it’s going to get even tougher and I just don’t know if I can do it- if I have the strength to do it, I cry a heck of a lot- never ever used to be a crier and I go into a bubble which just contains me and I don’t want anyone else in my bubble. I also hide, I hide my thoughts, my feelings, my pain and my sadness until I can’t contain it anymore.
I feel broken, I feel inadequate, I feel like a failure, I don’t feel like me- I miss how I used to be at times and I hate the fact that I’ve let something destroy a part of me but one thing I know for sure is that this is just me. It’s just how I see myself and not how others see me and not how God sees me but when you feel like that, it is so hard to believe the truth and it is something I find impossible to do at times.
My comfort is in worship songs, my comfort is in my journal, my comfort is in my husband although I don’t always show it because that’s a tough thing to do at times and my comfort is in the night because I know, no matter what’s happened, I can always find a star, just like I can always catch a glimpse of God even if it is just a lyric that sounds louder then the others- I know in my heart of hearts he is there although my head tells me otherwise and when I’m crying into my pillow and when I’m worried it may just be us for ever and when my world is really, really dark something within me whispers that “a certain darkness is needed to see the stars“.