Monthly Archives: December 2012

On a happier note

I feel like there have been a few not-so-positive posts lately. I wouldn’t say that’s a sign of my mental state but more how my posts have naturally evolved from one another. This ride is a massive rollercoaster hour by hour, day by day so while I may seem overly down in recent times I can assure you there have been some ups in there also. So. Time for a more positive post, a shout-out to the many wonderful people in my life who are helping us survive this journey. Over the last 21 months I have slowly accumulated a rather large and rather fantastic support network and it never ceases to amaze me how truly caring these people are.

First up my ‘old girls’…CB, CI, and PD. There from the beginning, these girls have held my hand, put up with my whinging, my tears, and my fears. They’ve talked me through procedures, given me advice, and given me hope.

  • CB: your caring nature never ceases to amaze me. Even when going through so much yourself you never hesitate to pick up the phone and call or text to make sure I’m ok. I can’t even begin to describe how much your support through everything means to me, you’re amazing.
  • CI: your knowledge and experience has been invaluable. You give me constant reassurance that everything will work out ok. I’m so happy you’re not walking this path again.
  • PD: It’s been so nice to know that you’re there, and you care. Your positive attitude sends sparkles through the dullest of days.

We’ve been through so much together over the last 20 years and I feel so blessed that I still have you in my life after all this time. You girls are gold.

From my old friends to my ‘new’, or ‘not so new’ as the case may be with many of you. Whether there from the beginning or a recent addition to ‘the fold’ these lovely ladies have kept me going and really helped me to focus on the positive, as rare as those positives might seem at times.

  • CH: Oh god, I can’t even put into words how much you mean to me. You truly are a godsend. To think of all the shit you’ve had to deal with even in the relatively short time I’ve known you and yet you rarely stop smiling, laughing and helping others. Thank you so much for all your advice, for your positive energy, for all the hot chocolates, the hugs, and the drying of tears. I could probably write a whole blog post just on you, you have been that amazing. I love you to pieces.
  • NC and JB: While we may not get to catch up as often as we used to, when I do get to see you you are both like a breath of fresh air into this Groundhog Day of a journey. Thanks for riding this rollercoaster with me.
  • LR: What kind of a boss gives up precious time in her day to come along with you to your fertility appointment?!? The kind that I have, one who’s not only your boss, colleague, and mentor, but also your friend. I’m so lucky to have such an amazing woman in my life. Thank you so much.
  • My new online buddies. It’s so nice to know there are people out there walking this same path, who offer up endless support to near-strangers, and inspire me on a daily basis to keep going.
  • And to the many many more of you, not mentioned by ‘name’. You know who you are and each of you have helped me in your own individual way. Just knowing that you know, and that you’re there if I need you means a lot. The advice, tips, laughs, and distractions are priceless.

Lastly my family. Some of you have known a while and some of you have recently found out about our troubles but every one of you has helped us along the road, perhaps without even knowing it. You’ve kept me sane (mostly), been there when I’ve needed you, and given me hope that things will work out in the end.

  • Mum, you’ve always been there for me and this is no different. Knowing you’re by my side and that you care is a massive help. I love you to bits and one day I will give you the grandbumble you’re hoping for.
  • Dad & P, D & C: I was a bit afraid to tell you for so long but I’m so glad that you now know. Your reactions have been so positive and I don’t know why I was so scared of telling you. I am so lucky to have you guys as family.
  • My Aunty and Uncle. I know you’ve walked this path yourselves and it’s so lovely to have your support. V, your first text bought tears to my eyes and meant so so much. Your experience with J has given me so much hope (although I hope it doesn’t take us that long!)
  • And lastly my darling husband. Obviously I couldn’t do this without you (haha), but seriously without you I would be a mental wreck. Your love through my meltdowns, stressing, and all the rest has been invaluable. I love the way you’re always so positive and how you somehow just know that one day we’ll have a Bumble. I love you so so much.

Thanks so much to everyone, you’ve all been amazing. Hopefully one day you’ll be able to meet Bumble and everything will have been worth it. Just need to remember that “everything will be ok in the end, if it’s not ok, it’s not the end”


“Reality destroys our dreams”

I used to love Christmas. It was a happy time, a build-up of excitement right through December finally culminating on Xmas Day, a day of joy.  The family would all get together, there’d be laughter, stories, eating, drinking, presents, and fun.  Long summer afternoons.  Little by little the joy of Christmas has been whittled away and the absence of Bumble seems to make that worse.

Looking back I think the disappearance of Christmas began with the death of my grandmother.  It was at her house the family used to congregate each year.  The loss of a loved one always puts a damper on celebrations regardless of when that loss occurred and Christmas is no exception.  However, those of us in the family who get on well still manage to get together most years so I guess my Nana’s death was just the chip that started the crack in Christmas.

Work hasn’t helped fortify Christmas either as my job is now so busy in the lead up to Christmas that it’s hard to get into the holiday spirit.  I forced myself to stop what I was doing the other day and put some tinsel up around the office to make it feel mildly festive.  Rushing from one thing to another does nothing at all for making it feel like a special time of year….But most of us need to work (and overall I work for a great company) so my jobs contribution to the downfall of Christmas is only minor.

Having a more major impact on the destruction of the merry Christmas is our trouble conceiving Bumble.  At nearly 2 years of trying this will be our second Christmas with no Bumble in sight.  While that may not seem like much to many of you, when you understand that each month seems like a year to a TTCer, 2 years (and 2 Christmas’) is a very long time.  So “alone into a cold new year” (thanks The Cure), we push through another Christmas being constantly reminded of what we’re missing, and the hole left in our life.  Oh yeah, and some more pregnancy announcements just before Christmas, yay.  Thanks guys, what a fantastic time to announce your awesome news.

Lastly, the in-laws.  Things have been slowly deteriorating with my in-laws for a number of years. Not just from my perspective but also from my husbands.  Neither of us can quite put our finger on what it is that has caused the issues, perhaps just the culmination of things left unspoken (or spoken too much) over a period of many years.  In short, the impact on Christmas is this.  Tantrums.  Tantrums seem to be a regular part of our relationship with the in-laws and two years ago a tantrum was thrown over the Christmas present we gave them, apparently we hadn’t put enough thought into it.  Never mind the fact that we agonised over their gift for months and probably put more thought into their present than all others combined.  Bear in mind these are people who can easily buy something if they want it, so no easy task getting pressies for them!  Anyway, not at all happy (really quite hurt) that this is their reaction, and extremely displeased that a tantrum was how it was dealt with.  We were all away for a long weekend and me, my husband, and my little sister were not spoken to, other than grunted answers, for 2 days straight.  Big blow up over that, family chat, supposedly all resolved.  I tell my husband if this happens again that’s it, I’ve had enough.  Guess what, it happens again about 7 months later.  I pull the pin on the relationship and we don’t talk (me and his parents) for about 9 months.  Nothing like some added stress to stop a Bumble!  So last Christmas was a sour affair where we spent some time with my family, then my husband left to spend time with his….not before a nice argument with me thrown in there to make Christmas day super special.  That’s two Christmas’ ruined by this drama.

Well, not wanting to ruin the pattern we’re currently working through the destruction of Christmas number three.  I thought we had Christmas sorted.  My family had decided to hold Christmas at my Aunty and Uncles house 600 odd kilometres from where we live.  I plan to go as it’s been a long time since we’ve spent Christmas at their house, and tell my husband I completely understand if he wants to stay home and spend Christmas with his folks.  He decides to come.  At least half a dozen times I ask him if he’s sure this is what he wants.  He says “yes”.  We book tickets and eventually he tells his parents, look out here comes World War Three.  Yet another tantrum ensues, placing enormous pressure on my husband.  Trying to be supportive I tell him it’s up to him what he wants to do.  Cue another week of agonising then the eventual decision to spend Christmas with his family.  This is fine, as long as that’s what he wants to do then cool.  The thing that really pisses me off is that I’d double checked with him countless times before booking tickets and only post tantrum does he change his mind.  From my perspective it looks like throwing tantrums is the way to get what I want.  Funny, I thought I was taught the opposite when I was a kid.  Anyway, my husband is now coming with me until Christmas Eve before flying back home for Christmas Day, at significant extra cost to us.  To me this is almost worse as I’ll have to ‘give him up’ right on Christmas and struggle through another Bumbleless Christmas alone.  Never mind, at least he’ll be happy.

So as you can see, Christmas is becoming more and more a troubled affair.  I’m just so thankful I’ll be spending Christmas Day with my wonderful, loving and supportive family who will hopefully distract me from the sour side of Christmas and I can once again feel the Christmas cheer slowly lost over the last 4 years.

Playing at cards

I guess the next point to address is how to cope with this mental trauma.  How do you deal with the outbursts, the meltdowns, the hurt, the anger?  It’s a question that doesn’t really have an answer.  Or maybe it has too many answers to be of any real use.  Personally I have become a bit of a recluse.  I’m not sure if everyone goes through this or if I’m some strange oddity.  Is this it for good or is it just a phase?  I’ve never really been a ‘life of the party’ type person but do like a good night out and I love hanging out with my mates eating, drinking and gossiping.  It seems though, the longer we progress along this road of infertility, the harder and harder these sessions get.  I have less to say (especially now the talk revolves more and more around pregnancy, babies and kids), less to contribute and, while not necessarily true, less in common.  I feel like an outsider, a guest in this group of fabulous people with fabulous lives.  Don’t get me wrong, I know many of this group have had struggles of their own, not necessarily with pregnancy or kids, but they have definitely had things happen in their lives that I would not wish on anyone.  I guess the one thing many of my friends have in common is their kids, so naturally that’s where the conversation gravitates.

I find birthday parties the worst.  I have to go to them and I WANT to go to them, I love my friends and I love their kids, but a few hours with a selection of beautiful toddlers and children serves as a constant reminder of what we’re missing out on, and of what we may potentially never have.  I struggle to hold a conversation and often hole myself up in a corner watching the world move on around me, eventually making a dash for the door when it all gets too much.  It sounds pathetic I know, and I should just make an effort, involve myself, distract myself, but the longer we go on Bumbleless the more it hurts and the harder it is to pretend everything’s fine.

I used to have an ally at these events, someone who had been trying longer than us, with whom I could chat about the difficulty of the situation and the stage we were at.  She’s now six months pregnant and we’re officially the ones who have been trying the longest.  I was so happy for her the day I found out, it gave me so much hope to know that someone who had been trying longer than us had defeated infertility, maybe we had a chance!  It affected my husband in the opposite way.  He who had been so strong through every other announcement, through every other birth, was suddenly visibly upset and dejected.  While this was an awful moment for him, it was nice for me to know that he’s feeling the same way I am.  He’s always been so good at looking on the bright side of things and finding the positive that you never really see the emotions, thoughts, and feelings that are hiding underneath.

So I’m a recluse.  As well as the fact that I can’t step outside my door without bumping into a bump, a stroller, a toddler or child, I’m also trying not to drink as according to both acupuncturist and naturopath this is not going to aid our attempts.  In a culture which prides itself on having a drink with mates it’s awfully difficult to venture out for a night without getting a hundred and one questions.  I spent a night out with work colleagues recently and not 10 minutes went by without one of them questioning me about why I wasn’t drinking or trying to bully me into having something.  I’ve got a pretty thick skin when it comes to that kind of thing and can be extremely stubborn but even so, I was ready to go after a couple of hours and ended up home in bed by 10pm.  Even on enjoyable nights out with friends I still feel odd.  Out recently, sober driving, I watched the group get more and more chaotic around me.    I had a great time but again left early as I felt so out of place.  It was like I was on a different planet.  As my husband points out I’m just in “a different life phase”.  Nothing like getting old and changing priorities to make you feel like a leper!  But I guess this is my life for the next wee while.

Bumps, babies, booze, and bullying, it’s enough to make one stay indoors!

What did I do to deserve this

One of the hardest parts of this journey is dealing with the mental torment created by the struggle to conceive.  A huge part of this is the fact that it’s not just one thought or series of thoughts that you have to deal with but multiple bombardments of different things from completely different and often unexpected angles.  Coupled with the unfathomable desire to torture yourself further by needing to know details of others experiences, this mental anguish can become an overwhelming beast that threatens your day-to-day life and sanity.

The longer you try, the more frustrated you become with those who have conceived easily, who completely take that for granted and/or make some comment that shows how they really don’t understand what you’re going through.  I hate to admit it but there have been times when I have wished this experience upon them, which is so SO wrong as in reality I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.  There are times when you don’t want to leave the house because it seems the entire world is either pregnant or pushing strollers.  There are the moments when you burst into tears because so-and-so’s brother-in-law’s cousin twice removed has just announced they’re pregnant…and don’t even start me on those announcements that occur closer to home.  The worst is when you discover these announcements while at work.  At least at home you can curl up in bed and bawl your eyes out with no one, except maybe your other half or your pet, to look sideways at you.

I’ve had a couple of melt downs at work so far (not bad for coming up two years TTC!).  The first very was early on in the process when not many people knew we were trying.  My boss was one of those who knew and a month or so into the process he and his new wife started trying also.  We joked about it…”race ya”…all very light hearted, “any news?” we’d ask each other each week, “no”, “no, not yet”.  Well, two and a half months later and his “no” was a bit different.  A slight hesitation before the “no” and a quick glance to his computer screen said it all.  When you work with someone so closely you learn to read them almost as well as you can read your own partner.  Turns out his wife is 6 weeks pregnant “but don’t tell anyone cause it’s early days yet”.  Off he goes to a meeting and I lose the plot.  Bawled my eyes out at my desk for a good hour or so.  Lucky no one else was around that day and I had the place to myself.  His wee girl is now eight months old…and we’re still trying.

The second time I really lost the plot at work was a few months later.  Sitting at my desk working away and I get a text.  My sister’s pregnant, first try.  Of course I’m super happy for them don’t get me wrong, but it also hits home how defective we are at doing the same thing.  This time there are people around and I stare at my computer screen crying silently, tears streaming down my face.  All fine, no one’s noticing, until my buddy next to me asks me a question and I choke to answer.  The cat’s out of the bag.  I can’t even talk to tell her why I’m crying so show her the text.  Lucky for me my buddy is one of the ‘rocks’ in our road to Bumbledom.  She has been one of the most supportive, understanding, and truly caring people thus far and there’s no way in hell I would have got this far without her.  Of course it helps that she’s walked this path herself (and then some!) so knows exactly what it’s like…my advice – if you can find yourself a person like this, hold tight and don’t let go.

Those are my two major work episodes but there have been plenty more outside of the workplace, believe me!  The thing I’ve found is that you find ways of coping which make the meltdowns less frequent, the trouble is they become much more random.  I used to cry when I found out someone I knew was pregnant.  Now I can fake a smile through that but I burst into tears for no reason.  I went to my brothers for dinner one night and had lovely evening.  Got home and for absolutely no reason at all fell to pieces, balled my eyes out for 30 plus minutes just inside my door.  I guess sometimes all the little things add up and it just takes one tiny thought to push you over the edge. I’d love to say it gets easier but it doesn’t, it just gets different.


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