Sunday, 26 September 2010

Moving in the right direction

I realised recently that at times it's taken me a bit longer to get to where I’m supposed to be in life, compared to the average person. So I suppose it didn’t surprise me when I didn’t get pregnant straight away.

I put it down to the fact that The Husband and I needed more time on our own together as we didn’t meet until we were in our mid-30s. Plus, we wanted to move out of our small, cold, noisy, rented flat and buy our first home.

I thought maybe that was meant to come first so we were settled for when I got pregnant. But a bunch of things have worked against us - the recession, a crap housing market, a tight budget, the house we were about to buy falling through at the last minute...

And while we’ve tried to be philosophical about things and leave it up to fate, it’s starting to really get us down now. We’re both feeling tired, in every way.

I’m not sure what happened to getting married, buying a home, having kids and living happily ever after but I feel naive for ever thinking that’s how it would be. We just want to move on with our lives now and if we’re going move on, it looks like we have to take control and make things happen.

This week’s appointment with the fertility specialist really helped us to see this and has put us on the road to making some big decisions.

First up, as far as fertility – or the apparent lack of it – is concerned, it’s between IUI or IVF. As I’m ovulating naturally, the doc didn’t think Clomid would have any significant impact on our chances and would just waste valuable time.

I have another choice, which is to carry on trying naturally but as the specialist put it, “If you were ten or even five years younger, I’d tell you to go away and try naturally for another year. But at 38 and having tried to get pregnant for over a year, I’d recommend doing something now.”

Well, it was blunt but I appreciated the fact he was honest with me. And I think I needed to hear it.

It’s a bit upsetting - to think age is against us, to think that if we did have the luxury of time we may just get pregnant naturally, to know what I’m about to put my body through. But the bottom line is it takes us one step closer to having our baby. And that’s what this is all about.

So we’re going to look into it, find out as much as we can and work out what’s best for us. And I'm so grateful we're doing it together. I know not everyone has someone to go through this kind of stuff with.

And as for where we live – all the signs have pointed to the fact that it’s not the right time for us to buy a house. But neither of us believes we’re supposed to stay where we are. So we’re going to meet the universe halfway and rent a house for a while. It will hopefully make the process a lot simpler and quicker and take a huge amount of pressure off us.

So that’s where we are.

Apprehensive but hopefully moving in the right direction.

Until next time.


Sunday, 19 September 2010

Big fat f*cking waste of time

It’s been a frustrating week.

I was determined to be positive and constructive after I got my period last Friday. It was once again gutting but I spent the weekend focusing on making an appointment with the fertility doctor, so I could talk through my options and decide what to do next.

I would really love to get pregnant naturally (who wouldn’t?) but after a year of trying, I’ve finally arrived at the point where I’ve realised it’s more important to have a baby than to worry about how it got made. And I don’t want to waste any more time.

So on Monday I called Scan Man and told him I’d got my period. “Oh, errum, I am sorry. Well, you’d better make an, errum, appointment to come in and see me in the next couple of, errum, days. We’ll chat through your monitored cycle and go through all the, errum, facts. Then you can make an, errum, appointment with Mr Fertility Doctor and get things moving in the, errum, right direction.”

Ok, so far so good. So I made the, errum, appointment for the next day and psyched myself up in the meantime as I wanted to feel strong and level-headed when we talked through everything.

But as I walked into his office, before I’d even sat down, he started telling me he hadn’t expected to see me so soon and that the file with ALL my information was at his other clinic. What??! But you told me to come in and see you in the next couple of, errum, days! What was so unexpected??

He said he could remember all the relevant details but as the session progressed, it transpired he couldn’t and I had to keep reminding and correcting him. The only thing he could confirm was that I have low progesterone and a short luteal phase - something I’ve known all along.

Basically, it was a big, fat f*cking waste of time.

Plus, when I said I wanted to see Mr Fertility Doctor asap so I could do something with my next cycle, Scan Man said casually, “Oh, Mr FD is, errum, away this week, he’s not back until next week so you won’t be able to do anything with the, errum, next cycle.”

Great. Thanks for waiting until now to tell me. I’ve had issues with this clinic before (see earlier blogs) and this was the last straw. So after all the psyching up about making decisions and moving on, I felt like I was back to square one – confused, disappointed and not sure what to do next.

So I did the only thing I could think of. Called Gorgeous Handsome Dreamy Gynaecologist – the one who did my recent hysteroscopy – and asked him to recommend someone (my logic being that if he is gorgeous, handsome, dreamy, charming and lovely, anyone he recommends will be as well).

His secretary (let’s call her Lucky Bitch) told me he was in the office that day and she’d get back to me later with an answer. The day went on and I heard nothing. I called LB again the next morning and she said he’d had to rush off after I called and wasn’t back in the office until Monday (tomorrow). Aaarrggh!!

I think the most frustrating thing about all this is not feeling in control - of my own body and its ability to make a baby, and being so bloody reliant on other people to even have a chance of making that baby.

Anyway, I’ll chase LB again tomorrow and if I don’t get any joy, will check out another couple of recommendations I’ve had. But as time is ticking on I’ve had to accept I can’t do anything more with this cycle except try naturally again.

What I have done, though, is book my very first appointment with an acupuncturist/Chinese herbalist. He’s meant to have good results with hormone imbalance and infertility so I thought it was worth a shot while I’m figuring out what to do next.

Until next time.


Sunday, 12 September 2010

I’m not pregnant thanks, how are you?

Very occasionally, when someone enquires casually after my wellbeing, I want to reply “Not pregnant thanks, and how are you?”

It would mean I’ve pretty much summed things up in a few short words, they’d know the score and we can move on. It would explain why, at the age of 38 and having been married for well over a year, I’m still drinking alcohol and eating soft cheese, I often avoid social arrangements, I frequently look sad, I get grumpy on a regular basis (every 22-25 days if we’re going to be pedantic) and I look like I’m about to self-implode when asked if I’m going to have children soon.

But I’m one of life’s private people – it’s why I could never reveal my identity on here and why, conversely, I relish the freedom the anonymity brings me in being able to release some of the deeper, harder-to-reach thoughts, feelings and emotions that come with this journey.

So there are very few people who know with certainty I’m having trouble getting pregnant (I’m sure there are quite a few who have started to suspect by now). And there are times I wish even they didn’t know, that I could go somewhere far, far away with The Husband (preferably Bali), and stay there until we’re pregnant.

But I can’t. This is my life. I have to face it, go with it and believe not only there’s a reason for it but that I’ll be a stronger, happier, better person for it in the long run.

So tomorrow I’ll call Scan Man and tell him I got my period on Friday. And he’ll add that piece of information to my notes. And then I’ll make an appointment to see Fertility Doctor. And I’ll go through all my options with him and decide on a plan of action that’s going to get me a baby.

Until next time.


Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Hey Jude, don’t make me sad...

“Errum, I’d say everything looks as it, errum, should. No major cause for, errum, concern at this stage. So fingers crossed for, errum, a good outcome this cycle.”

Ah, thank you kindly funny speaking Scan Man.

In a nutshell the three scans I’ve had during this monitored cycle (CDs 7, 12 & 20) have all shown things in my lady bits are as they should be. Frustrating in an ‘unexplained fertility’ way but good news in an ‘I have to be grateful nothing major is wrong’ way.

So now, at 8 DPO , I just need to carry on waiting. Again. For the 14th time.

I’m doing ok to be honest, I’ve really tried to stick to thinking positively over the last few days. Actually it’s probably more accurate to say I’ve been trying not to think at all. Well, not about getting pregnant anyway.

The only blip I had was two nights ago. I’d spoken to my sister in the morning and she told me she’d gone to visit an old friend of hers who got married a week after I did, 14 months ago. We spoke about her for a bit and then I asked: “Is she thinking of trying for a baby?” There was a brief pause and my sister replied: “She had a baby three months ago.”

I gave a nervous sort of laugh and asked what she had (a boy) and what they’d called him (Jude - I love that name), and then she changed the subject and we moved on to other things.

But I had an uncomfortable feeling. It wasn’t jealousy or bitterness. I know a few people far closer to me who’ve had babies within a year of getting married recently and I’ve been able to accept it and be happy for them. I can’t even explain it, I think I just felt a bit stupid for asking the question like that, when I could have asked ‘Is she pregnant yet?’ or ‘Has she had a baby yet?’ Or maybe it was just the stark reality of it, the fact that the answer felt a bit like a slap in the face, I don’t know.

Anyway, after I put the phone down, I put the conversation to the back of my mind and I carried on with my day.

But for some reason, when I went to bed that night, I started to think about this conversation again and I just felt sad. Probably sad for the three-month old I could have had by now. Sad for feeling stupid for asking that question. Sad for this whole crappy situation. I shed a few tears, letting the sadness trickle down my cheeks for a while. Then I wiped the tears away, took a few deep breaths and went back to not thinking.

Until next time.


Sunday, 5 September 2010

The pond, the tortoise and the invaluable lesson

I‘ve said this before about my reflexologist (who I'll call Mrs R) but she’s a complete hoot and I thoroughly enjoy the hour I spend in her company each month.

She often says the most randomly eccentric things with a straight face, making me giggle to distract me during the painful bits. For instance, this week she told me she’d asked her husband to get her a pond for their 22nd wedding anniversary – but then she changed her mind when she realised her tortoise might drown in it.

But she also inadvertently comes out with really valuable nuggets of wisdom. I was talking to her this week about our struggle to find a house and how it’s-really-getting-us-down-because-where-we-live-at-the-moment-was-only-meant-to-be-temporary-but-it’s-been-two-years-now-and-it’s-small-and-cramped-and-drafty-and-we-have-noisy-neighbours-and-a-second-bedroom-full-of-boxes-and-even-if-I-did-get-pregnant-how-would-we-fit-in-a-baby-and... At that point Mrs R stopped me with a loud ‘Hold on a second missy!’ which was probably just as well as I’d forgotten to breathe for a while.

She then sternly told me that I must NEVER have anything in my head that could possibly be a reason for not getting pregnant. Instead, she told me to mentally remove those boxes from the second bedroom, give it a jolly good theoretical clean-out, and then start visualising how I’d decorate it as a nursery for my baby.

I know about visualising and thinking positively and I do try to do both but I have to admit, when it’s about me, I don’t find it particularly easy. I don’t have a huge amount of confidence in myself at the best of times, let alone when my body isn’t even able to do what should come most naturally.

But, somehow, what Mrs R said about the second bedroom really hit a nerve. There’s definitely a part of me that thinks that while we’re in this flat, we can’t possibly be ready to have a baby - that we’re still playing at being married and that until we move to our three-bed semi in suburbia with a through lounge and an apple tree in the garden, we’re not truly grown up enough to have a baby.

I thought about this a lot after the reflexology session and something dawned on me – home is where me and The Husband are. And if I’m lucky enough to get pregnant in the near future and we haven’t found our dream home, then clear out those boxes is what we’ll do. And we’ll make a bloody gorgeous nursery in that second bedroom and it will be home for our baby and we’ll be a grown-up family in a small, drafty, noisy two-bed flat - and we’ll be happy.

So now, every night before I go to sleep, I visualise transforming that second bedroom into the perfect nursery for our baby – it’s got a thick, warm carpet , a cosy little crib, shelves filled with Beatrix Potter books and teddy bears, and a comfy rocking chair where I’d cuddle my baby all day if I could.

And I now know that it’s all I’d need.

So thank you, Mrs R, for making me realise this – it was an unintentional but very valuable lesson.

Until next time.