Monday, November 21, 2011

ILCW number 98 and my 100th post

Thank you for visiting my blog this month if you're here for the 1st's a bit about me.
  • I'm 35 (for a few more weeks) and living with my, also English, husband in South America. It's been 2 years and we fly to the UK just once every 12 months.
  • My due date is less than 6 weeks away and for the first time I'm starting to feel less guilty about my pregnancy. Until now anyone I've shared my pregnancy with has been informed that there was a long wait for this baby and usually followed up with an apology and an attempt to change the subject. 
  • I think about number 2 and wish I was just a year or two it possible to this lucky twice in a life time? We have 2 embryos left, grade B when frozen. I'm mentally and practically prepared for my next fresh cycle and stopping breast feeding earlier than recommended to try to get the FET before turning 37 and if possible/necessary get going on stimulating those follicles before time slips away.
  • I have a Dr who works as a gynaecologist-fertility specialist-obstetrician-midwife which means that he has been around for the last 18 months... from ordering tests, to recommending a fertility clinic, demonstrating the Gonal F pen, collecting my eggs, transferring 2 fresh embryos, confirming a BFN and breaking news I'd need a polypectomy under a GA thanks to injectables, encouraging me to find a little positivity before the FET, confirming a BFP, showing me a tiny black and white blob when bleeding started which later had a heart beat and grew just as it should, been available on his mobile 7 days a week and 'on-call' for the delivery at the end of December. So different to the UK.
  • I gave up my career, counselling/psychotherapy/non-clinical nursing for the NHS to move abroad and I reluctantly trained to teach English as a foreign language after my first failed cycle but have surprised myself by enjoying teaching adults (who want to learn). It was a last resort but I'm actually going to miss it in December.
  • I haven't joined any mum-to-be/parent groups as my Spanish is not strong enough and the English speaking expats tend to be earning $ and £ and have nurseries, cars and birth plans in the same 3 hospitals in the city. Watching people I meet recoil in horror that we don't have a washing machine or a doula just taps into my insecurities about becoming a parent for the first time. I've compared my journey from the TTC stage to the UK and it can feel very lonely so I'm trying to go with the flow.
  • Before this pregnancy my fantasies about becoming a mother all involved a daughter, there are no baby boys in our family but since becoming pregnant I felt I was carrying a boy and it is a boy. The idea of a son to me feels like a blank canvas, less expectations somehow and I feel a bond since finding out the sex. 
  • I was sexually abused as a child by my Dad which, in my personal experience, remains more taboo, uncomfortable, painful then my IF experience but there are lots of parallels, both are isolating, complicated and exhausting to explain. I really want to breast feed but worry I will find it unbearable.
  • I'm learning that nothing is perfect, there's more than one way of doing things. I am never going to stop worrying. Most importantly, after struggling with childlessness I feel lucky now to have the dilemmas I have towards the end of this pregnancy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm far too sensitive...

I looked on a BC spreadsheet today, I haven't logged on for months. People were listing EDD and treatment history, at a glance it seems about 80% got a BFP the first time around. Then there were several people who got lucky on their 4th try but not much in between. I didn't add myself but I would have stood alone as 2nd time lucky (total of 4 embryos transferred) and I have a friend who is now 12 weeks pregnant, 3rd time lucky (total of 7 embryos transferred). Such a numbers game but if someone else stumbled on this it would give a false impression that doesn't match the stats we all know.

Anyway there was a thread about TTC #2 and I realised how some people's plans took for granted that there was another BFP in their batch of frozen embryos after getting pregnant the first time around. I returned to a private FB group which is the only site I routinely check now, it's 19 women from BC with EDD in December/January and this week the same post arrived. People were talking about sibling age gap preferences and getting their figure back and career issues. I was the only one who seemed keen to give the two frozen stragglers we have a chance at life ASAP and who felt it was a long shot to be so lucky, more than once in a life time.

A second post on the FB group was a rant about one of the posts in 'IVF' on BC. How dare some woman complain and cut herself off from family because a sister-in-law had BFP?...or similar. How could this woman not be happy for her sister in law? This was followed by two other women agreeing saying they never felt jealous or resentful about other people's pregnancies whilst dealing with infertility. Honestly, I can't understand how these women can't even muster up a little empathy even if they can't put themselves in this ladies angry, hurt shoes for a moment. If anyone should understand...

Is it because they got a BFP from the 1st attempt at IVF? Is it because at least 2 of these women are planning on saving their frozen embryos to try naturally for a BFP next time around as they have unexplained IF? I feel miles apart from these people.  One woman said 'I've never felt bitter about other peoples pregnancies as it's not my baby, why would I feel jealous?'.

For me, it's the role of Mother I want and always wanted, not the baby. After considering donor sperm and adoption I realise there's more to it all than just passing on genes. I felt envious and bitter about 'failing' to become a Mother. Like I'd worked harder than most to apply for the job yet other's fell into the role, accidentally, without research, effortlessly and were then promoted to Mum-of-two/three/four.

Sometimes I feel I've had more sensitivity from my friends who haven't faced IF than this group of 19. A lot of the women are on my FB too and they are posting twice a day at times, complaining about symptoms and delayed Mothercare deliveries. Maybe I'm too sensitive but I would never feel comfortable doing that or changing my profile picture to a bump photo or scan, it seems too in-yer-face. I'm dreaming of the day I can post a photo of me and my baby for friends and family to see, I'll put them in an album so people can look or not look. I won't change my profile picture to just a baby photo either without including myself in it, who wants to chat to a baby online when they really are only chatting to me?

I know I can't protect everyone from feeling hurt and my pregnancy will affect others no matter what but there are little things I can do or not do that will make a difference. I'm going to do another (second) ILCW this month and reckon if I describe my blog as 'pregnant after treatment' that it will be clear to those who are at a different stage in all this where I am and they can choose to read or not. I'm quite lonely in my expat life so I fancy returning to do a bit of blogging on here.