As a woman with a career built over my 20’s and 30’s I wasn’t surprised to find myself childless in my mid 30’s. I thought I had plenty of time. But of course I hadn’t factored in beast cancer. Who does?!
So it was that post treatment and in remission I started to wonder if I would ever be able to have a baby.
The ethics alone took me ages to think through but I always knew that I was a big fan of life, and in my secular objective brain there was this powerful primal urge to pass on my energy to a new life. All that is to say yes my man and I so wanted to have a baby.
I spoke to my oncologist and she was supportive of a ‘tamoxifen holiday’ (BYO piña coladas!) of up to a year and if I hadn’t conceived by then to return to medication. This included a three month cleansing period for the drug to clear my system. The clock was ticking. Fast!!!
IVF seemed the best option. We entered it with a clear head and heart not realizing the emotional morass that is IVF and the dark times ahead.
We had a successful cycle of egg collection and of 6 viable eggs 3 embryos survived.
First embro transfer ended in the sadness of the baby not surviving.
With the second, a little heart broken, I clutched my phone as the fertility nurse apologised to me. I broke a little till I realised she was apologizing for calling too late in the day… to tell me I was pregnant!
My entire pregnancy was marked by joy and its twin, sorrow. Joy for the miracle of life, the sweet promise Snd the absolute pure wonder of life blossimg inside my once chemo ravaged body. And sorrow for my other baby, for the ebbing life and loss in my body and the possibility of more loss.
The sheer joy of birth is hard to describe but our beautiful boy was born in magnificent beauty. And seven months on I am still surprised to find this happy hilarious little being is my son. I love him dearly and am still in awe of what my body achieved despite everything I’ve been through.