I feel that I have made huge progress with the EMDR sessions – I am now acknowledging my grief, and physically I feel a lot better for the most part.
The third EMDR session wasn’t as emotionally draining as the previous session, but I think that is because there is a mental block I just can’t get past: that my body is my enemy.
My body continued a pregnancy, even though the baby had stopped developing. I had weeks of developing hyperemesis, identical to how it developed with my two children. The only positive thing about the hyperemesis with my previous pregnancies was that I always knew – or so I thought – that the babies were growing. They were taking way too much from me, sure, but they were OK. To discover that this didn’t have to be the case – that my body could behave in that way but that my baby wouldn’t be OK – was a massive shock.
It makes me terrified of future pregnancies because the only way to know that a baby is in there is to wait for an early scan. But that means waiting, and being sick, for 5 weeks. That’s a long time in limbo. And after that scan? I will never be assured, never be able to trust blood tests, and only be able to be reassured whenever I have a scan, which won’t be often. That’s not the best frame of mind to have during a pregnancy.
I feel so strongly that my body is a liar. That it deceived me. That it is cruel and divisive. It sabotaged my pregnancy. It let me down. It is my enemy.
I feel that I need to somehow get it to look the other way during implantation – for it not to realise what is going on until it’s far too late and my pregnancy is firmly established and it has no choice except to support my pregnancy.
Rationally, I could look at my body and say that it has given me two healthy babies, and that it was just trying really hard to sustain one baby, and the other embryo we had implanted last month that just didn’t stick around.
I know that it isn’t my enemy – but I don’t believe or feel that.
I don’t even know where that comes from, and I was really trying to work that out in the session. I had a difficult relationship with my mother, and haven’t been in contact with my parents since I was 22 (the right decision for me). She told me I wouldn’t make a good mother. I am a brilliant mother. If she’s still in my head somewhere, affecting this, I struggle to make a real connection about it. And if she is – jeez, I wish she’d go away.
I have been working very hard since the EMDR – thinking, thinking, thinking – and visualising my internal body – the parts I can’t see that do all the fertility work – and trying to see it for the good things it’s done, to try and de-personify it but I am currently getting nowhere.
We put the IVF on hold for me to go through EMDR, partly because we recognised that I needed to deal with my grief and that IVF wouldn’t help (seems obvious now, wasn’t at the time) and to try and get myself in the best possible mental shape. It’s also recommended that EMDR isn’t done during the first trimester.
While I’d like to think that a person’s mental state doesn’t affect fertility, I have to accept that there is a chance it might (and probably, really does). And as long as I continue to feel at war with myself – see myself as two different people, one who is maliciously intent on giving me the cruellest blow ever – that my body is pregnant but there isn’t a healthy baby, there is another barrier to a successful pregnancy that don’t need.
I wish I could stop this internal warfare. At the moment though, it’s still beyond my control.