Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Out to lunch

I'm on a roll with relaxing and spending more time away from the internet, every time I am tempted to look on websites and blogs I find myself stumbling over things I hadn't even known I needed to worry about and ruining my happy state, so I'm having another internet holiday and I've even deactivated my FB account temporarily....scary. So, we shall see, back to the days of mobile phones and a daily email check. I wonder how many invitations I'll miss?! There's always the chance of a google search, so that comes down to will power. I'll look in again in a week or two but I'm off for now...Doctor's orders! (it really is).

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Since talking to the therapist I feel I have more perspective again and am less upset at other peoples pregnancies (most of the time), I'm not jumping for joy with happiness, it's still hard but I'm loosing the 'it should be me' aspect. I've never really envied other peoples lives or relationships so it was something I wanted to tackle...other peoples babies.

I still feel it, IVF, post miscarriage or easy, effortless first timers.... it all hurts ...but once the child is grown up and no longer a baby, I find it easier for one reason or another. Before I started IVF I reserved those gut wrenching feelings for pregnancies following an effortless conception but the moment I started injecting myself to get my ovaries working overtime I got 'fertility report' envy on the BC website and others...why do other people have more follicles/eggs collected/top grade embryos than us? And ever since my failed cycle I find IVF success stories just as painful. It took me by surprise really. Anyway I'm working on it all and feeling 10 times happier.

This is not a comparison, just one of the many things that amazes me when I think back to my old job, it involved children, babies and bereavement so I don't talk about it much. I spoke to one Mum whose son had died, so I could say good bye and hand over to the person in line for my job before I left for South America. She told me she had had a bad weekend, her sister had announced she was pregnant. I almost jumped in with my own assumptions but kept a professional head and said it sounded hard, what was the hardest part about it? The Mother told me, it's not the pregnancy, it's that I wanted to shout with happiness and tell my son but he's gone, he will never meet this child, his cousin and the worst part his cousin will never meet him. Everyone thinks I am upset by the pregnancy but it's not my child, it will never be and so I feel no envy at all.

I'll keep working on it, it's a natural feeling , envy, so I'm trying to forgive myself and I find that helps and focus on what it is that's really bothering me and then the envy dissipates and I don't dwell for so long on FB updates. I think it will always be a little hard...

New approach

I'm using all I learnt from the last cycle to manage this one when it begins. I'm not reporting every stage on the blog but talking to N and a close friend or two. I'm being vague about dates so no one will know if and when I am post transfer. That way I don't have any pressure to report bad news (embryos didn't survive thaw or another another failed cycle) and others don't feel anxious about how to support me. I will let people know outcomes, good or bad, as I need to.

I must say that had the first cycle worked I would probably swear by my methods, blogging every step, I almost believed it would make it work, like an imaginary being controlling my fate would see my words and say 'gosh, this has to result in a pregnancy, all this work and emotional toil'. The negative outcome showed the blog for all it was and the fact that I had neglected other areas of my life to draw strength from. So anyway, it's good to have this blog and it's readers, it's one area of my life and it helps in a small way. I would not have learned all I have learned these past 2 months about myself, infertility treatment and what helps and what doesn't. Not that it's a consolation, just that I have made the most of a difficult situation and learned from it.

I've not talked much about IVF with my therapist but all that has come up has impacted on everything else and I feel prepared for these next 2 tries, when ever they may be, I feel I am (we are) doing all we can.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What took you so long?

No one has ever asked me why I am 35 and having fertility treatment yet I have been with my lovely N for 6 years. I have been interrogated in other ways. I have asked myself this question recently and found it useful to remember why it took me so long to the stage we are at.

I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted children, I always arrived at a 'yes' because I felt there would be more regrets not having a family than having one but I'm certain that both options involve huge sacrifices. I hit the snooze button on my biological clock at regular intervals during my 20's, along side some very unhealthy relationships, a lot of hard work and study and some healing with from very damaging experiences in my childhood. I was (still am) terrified about the incredible influence a parent can have on their child.

Having a child seemed to be such an overwhelming commitment and change in life style, I wished I could squeeze another decade between 20 and 30. All I ever heard were people complaining about motherhood. After a hard day at work, I would go out with friends and eat and drink and laugh and I pitied the women going home to their kids. They would occasionally make it to a leaving do or Xmas party but they looked older than their years and frumpy. They all seemed to have husbands who would end up in the pub with us while they were putting the kids to bed whilst wearing a quilted dressing gown. They were happy to take a dull job to 'fit round the kids'.

For the first few unproductive months I was relieved at times to be able to carry on drinking white wine, enjoy going out with friends and continue with my life as it was. A friend of mine, L, once went to visit a couple with a new born, L was newly married and her and her husband went for lunch and had to 'ooh and ahh' at the baby. The new Mum told L she hadn't been out for 10 months, she was too exhausted and had to walk with a cane as the sciatica that started during pregnancy had not gone away. L said the poor, new Mum looked horrendous and later, on the way home in the car, L burst into tears and said 'I can't do it...ever...I don't want their life'. Well of course babies aren't babies forever and L has since had enough positive examples of Motherhood to change her mind. As I have. I can see the bigger picture now.

Before even deciding to try for a baby I had more worries, there were all the potential problems at birth, disabilities, autism or a healthy child who starts school and suddenly has a headache and dies a week later from a brain tumour (usually with an unpronounceable name). I've watched people deal with all of these heart breaking situations in my career, as a Nurse and later as a Therapist. 'Don't have children, spare yourself the pain' said one parent. But most were so inspiring it helped me make my mind up and after lots of soul searching, I decided to prove Philip Larkin wrong, or try at least...http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/show/6538-Philip-Larkin-This-Be-The-Verse

The latest taboo

To continue the theme from my other post, I have been thinking about all the bad examples of Parenthood I have had in my life. I've quickly forgotten these since struggling to conceive, as that has become a bigger worry and hence the idea of Motherhood is now a fantasy in soft focus. For the Mum's I know,  all negative comments are ignored and dismissed as ungrateful and all beaming smiles and bumps and bundles marked as smug as I dream of swapping places.

I wonder how other people imagine their life to be if they already had a child. Do people focus on babies and baby related activities. Family scenes or pivotal events; first smile, first words, first day at school, wedding day...all of the above, I'm sure. The longer I am unsuccessful in this journey, the more I focus on the happy ideals.
But I wonder how, those of us who don't have a child and are still waiting to get pregnant, imagine our lives would look if we had become pregnant...........say...3 months after starting to try and conceive. How would it look right now?

If there was a way to measure happiness and such a tool existed, would today be any better with a child? When I saw my therapist last I explained my strange existence since starting to try for a baby. From that first month, June 2009 (well May in fact but I was a week post ovulation and blissfully unaware that month didn't count) I felt my life separated into two parallel worlds, one with a growing pregnancy and one without (the reality). The childless existence seemed dark and empty and the imaginary life was perfect. Feeding my baby in a high chair while N leaves for work, whistling a merry tune and wiping away some mashed baby food that has found it's way onto his suit. Radio in the background and some sort of baby activity with friends planned in the afternoon.

I feel I am now on a mission for the ideals we see on FB and TV and seemingly perfect moments with friends kids. I want this treatment to work soon so I can begin my imaginary, perfect life. So I started weighing up the pros and cons again, regardless of the fact my choice has been (almost) removed.

I typed 'Do you regret having children' into google and managed to find the thread on mumsnet that sparked so many news articles and topics for chat shows around the time I left the UK. The more the thread developes, the more honest people become. This is how a lot of Mum's really feel; lost, fed up, depressed and unappreciated. I know it won't last forever and it hasn't put me off but it's another insight into a world I have no first hand experience of. It just helped me put things in perspective.

I love the comment from one woman on mumsnet who feels a gut wrenching jealous pang when she sees pictures of friends out and about, seemingly carefree, on FB while she is stuck at home and wondering if her relationship will survive the stresses and strains of having a small child. It's incredible to think some people would actually not have children if they had a time machine. As one woman says it's a taboo subject, to admit your life isn't great, even when you are lucky enough to be fertile.

I have a lot more perspective now, generally. I am not wishing my childless/childfree days away but treasuring them. I want to get pregnant, I really hope it happens soon and N and I are blessed with a healthy child. Until then, I'm enjoying my life, I'm learning so much and accepting things are the way they are and viewing them in a more positive slant.