Interview questions

I read with interest Max’s mommy’s response to an online interview and figured joining in would help to pass the time at some point once our cycle began.

Max’s mommy scoured my (pretty new!) blog for some inspiration and this is what she came up with.

(1) It seems that you moved to DE fairly naturally once you realized that egg quality was an issue. What concerns did you have (if any) about DE? And why do you feel it was the right choice for you (versus, say, adoption)?

I’m someone who deals in numbers for a living, so I became more and more aware not only that the stats were against me TTC naturally, but that the odds with IVF, even with PGD, made it a long shot. I was resigned to just trying until in the end, I stopped getting pregnant or couldn’t take it any more. Adoption has never appealed, partly because our flat is small and we’d probably need another bedroom, partly because DS is just 4, and that’s the sort of age we’d probably be offered, and partly because Mr DG is a social worker and has dealt with adoption and fostering and as a result has quite a negative view of the sort of challenge it would represent.

For me, my connection with children has always been a little arm’s length. For me with little DG, the experience of pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, the intimacy of babyhood… those are the areas where I found some confidence in my mothering skills. I’m still at a bit of a loss if ever handed a baby. If it cries and I can’t breastfeed it, I’m not sure what else to do!

The idea of DE IVF just popped into my head. After miscarriage number 6 we booked a holiday on my credit card, and had a brilliant time. It was like the fog lifted for a few days, and I realised that there were other options, if we were prepared to borrow some money, namely DE IVF, and the odds were much more realistic than with my eggs.

At first I looked at Spain and Russia, but had hardly got very far when I mentioned it to KF, and she offered her eggs.

I have no doubts at all that if it works, it will be right for us. I have no great interest in the genetic link to me, perhaps because I have such confidence that growing a baby from just a few cells, bearing it, nurturing it, make it so much a part of you. And I realise that your child grows to be like you, not because of genetics, but because of your shared life together.

The concerns I have about DE IVF are around the medicalisation of the whole thing, as I have such a dislike of hospitals (this is partly alleviated since we chose a very small clinic) and I suppose, a niggling fear that I will conceive a baby that is chromosomally normal, only to miscarry it due to my clotting problems.

(2) You include poetry on your blog quite often. Who are some of your favorite poets and why do they speak to you?

I’m not sure I am into poetry so much as words. For me it’s the way that a song lyric or a piece of writing can capture an emotion and express it so far better than I can myself. I was a mournful teenager and so I had the obligatory passion for Joy Division, the Cure … and Sylvia Plath. Ironic that so many years later, I found her poem, Tulips, written after her miscarriage.

If I was to pick some bits of writing that mean a lot to me, the list would include:

Sean Nos Nua, by Sinead O’Connor – beautiful singing and the combative Óró, Sé Do Bheatha ‘Bhaile (You Are Welcome Home) about the warrior woman Grainne O’ Malley is one I’ve belted out the words to with tears streaming down my face. If I ever have a daughter, Grainne would be one name I’d consider. Also on this album is Molly Malone, which I sing to my son, rather untunefully, though he has somehow got the idea that she was “killed by a beaver” which makes me giggle. Sinead’s album also has a lovely version of the Parting Glass, which I’d like sung at my funeral.

Oh, all the money e’er I had, I spent it in good company.  And
all the harm that ever I’ve done, alas it was to none but me.
And all I’ve done for want of wit to mem’ry now I can’t recall; So
fill to me the parting glass, Good night and joy be with you all.

Oh, all the comrades e’er I had, they’re sorry for my going away. And
all the sweethearts e’er I had, they’d wished me one more day to stay.
But since it falls unto my lot, that I should rise and you should not, I
gently rise and softly call, Goodnight and joy be with you all.

A Forest by the Cure is also sort of prophetic:

Come closer and see
See into the trees
Find the girl
If you can
Come closer and see
See into the dark
Just follow your eyes
Just follow your eyes

I hear her voice
Calling my name
The sound is deep
In the dark
I hear her voice
And start to run
Into the trees
Into the trees
Into the trees

Suddenly I stop
But I know it’s too late
I’m lost in a forest
All alone
The girl was never there
It’s always the same
I’m running towards nothing
Again and again and again and again

(3)  The drawing of a woman on your blog is quite striking – is that a piece drawn by you or of you?  Or both?

Neither.  It’s a sort of in joke, I suppose. It’s a picture of the original drowned girl – Fuchsia Groan, from Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, subject of another beautiful lyric by the Cure:

She stands twelve feet above the flood
She stares
Across the water

The loneliness grows and slowly
Fills her frozen body
Sliding downwards

One by one her senses die
The memories fade
And leave her eyes
Still seeing worlds that never were
And one by one the bright birds leave her…

Starting at the violent sound
She tries to turn
But final

Slips and strikes her soft dark head
The water bows

Receives her
And drowns her at its ease…
I would have left the world all bleeding
Could I only help you love
The fleeting shapes
So many years ago
So young and beautiful and brave
Everything was true
It couldn’t be a story…
I wish it was all true
I wish it couldn’t be a story
The words all left me
Breathing like the drowning man

Oh Fuschia!
You leave me
Breathing like the drowning man
Breathing like the drowning man

(4)  If DE does not work will you “find peace” and “find happiness in the here and now” (as you mentioned in your March 23rd post, “Acceptance”), or will you search for another way of increasing your family?

I’m almost at the end of the road. It’s hard to be certain I won’t start floundering around if it fails, but I know in my heart that it’s this IVF, maybe a FET if we had any embryos, and then it’s time to look to the future, to the life I have already, with my son. I’ve wasted too much of the last few years getting pregnant, miscarrying and grieving. I have a lot of unresolved sadness at the loss of my mother, who was never entirely there for me, and died when I was just 22, leaving me to take care of my younger brother and my sister, and my niece who was a baby. My therapist feels that I don’t accept the finality of death, and my recurrent miscarriages reflect that.  I think this realisation is a step forward. I can’t keep reliving my losses. Of course I hope that this one will be “the one” but if it’s not, the time is near to accept and move on.

(5) Is there a question that I didn’t ask, but you wished I had asked, as you think it would greatly illuminate your personal approach to infertility? Have there been any benefits to what’s happened to me? Perhaps in the end, I’ll finally come to accept that some things can’t be changed. To learn to accept loss. To appreciate the good things I have. To allow others to help me. And of course, I’ve gained some insight and empathy into the sadness of others.

~ by drownedgirl on May 6, 2007.

3 Responses to “Interview questions”

  1. If anybody would like me to tag them with 5 interview questions, let me know!

  2. Thank you so much for taking time to answer my questions, DG. You are an amazing, and amazingly strong, woman.

  3. […] Sinead O’Connor song I played over and over belting up and down the motorway to Hobbesy’s each day during the […]

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