Category Archives: Exercise

Progress

22 weeks now and the morning sickness has nearly entirely gone. There are still certain foods and drinks that will set me off, and certain things I’m averse to eating (still no cravings yet), but on the whole I’m feeling a million times better than I was even two weeks ago.   I’ve started exercising again, with my first pregnancy yoga class (TOTALLY different to the yoga I’m used to doing) last week, and I’ve purchased a flutter/kick board so I can take up swimming too.

My belly has well and truly started to show now and seems to increase by the day, which is just awesome! The boys are also reasonably active and I’m absolutely loving feeling them move inside me. In fact, I can almost say I’m enjoying being pregnant at the moment. It’s amazing what getting rid of nausea and vomiting will do! Combined with the reassurance of a growing belly and movement of course. If I could just kick the last of the food/drink issues this would be fantastic!

After four years of TTC failure I’m still battling with the emotional side of being pregnant. I’m almost constantly terrified things will go wrong, and still get upset by other people’s ease of conception…don’t even get me started on pregnancy announcements. It’s not that I’m not happy for others, and I’m certainly grateful for the position we’re currently in, but the wounds of infertility run deep and it will take a long long time to get to the point where my scar tissue is thick enough to withstand the pain of witnessing something that theoretically should have come easily for us.

I’ve started actively listening to music again and after months of not singing at all, I’ve resumed my habit of singing along to songs (mostly as I drive around). I’ve been playing a fair few songs off my ‘infertility soundtrack’ and funnily enough they still make me cry – like I said, the wounds run deep. What has surprised me is that other songs (such as Netsky’s remix of Skream’s ‘Anticipate’), which I thought would make me smile, now also make me cry. Bloody whoremones.

On the home front we’ve started getting things organised (albeit very slowly) for the boys arrival. Clearing out cupboards and other storage areas to make room for the copious amounts of baby paraphernalia that seems to accompany having children, and sorting other household things into more logical areas to not only make more space but to get a head start on making the house safer for young children – yes, I know we’re a wee way off having to worry about that but I figure we won’t have a lot of time on our hands once the boys arrive.

We’ve 95% decided on first names. They both start with the same letter, which was something we were trying to avoid, but after completing the name battle (writing all our name options down, selecting two names at random out of a hat, and each voicing an opinion on the name we liked better – if we both agreed the losing name was thrown out, if we disagreed the names went back into the hat to do battle with another name) these were the two names we both liked best. Even better, they’re still our preference nearly a month down the track – as someone who gets bored easily, finding names we’d continue to like was always a worry…hopefully they keep on lasting!

We’ve joined the local Multiples Club, attended a new parents evening to learn what they do, and been matched with a ‘multiples buddy’ (another member of the club with older twins who can help support us through both pregnancy and the early days) through them. It was on our buddies advice to “get that nursery ready!” that we’ve started buying some more of the things we’ll need for our bubbas arrival. We’ve got two cots (friends are lending us Moses baskets for the early days), a change table, a double stroller, and various other bits and pieces.

We’ve opted for a mixture of new and second hand, and have HEAPS of hand-me-downs from friends and family too. After test-driving a friend’s in San Diego, I’d decided on our stroller before we’d even got pregnant, so that was the one thing I didn’t want to compromise on. Unfortunately for us you can’t get them in New Zealand so after a bit of plotting, planning and some well timed luck in the form of a work conference in Australia, I managed to get one delivered to our office in Sydney and collected it when I went over for work. After trying to wrestle three large boxes from the storage area to the lifts, I eventually admitted defeat, set the thing up in the middle of the office, then commenced my “crazy lady” act by wheeling an empty stroller through half a kilometre of Sydney’s CBD to my hotel.

Another thing we did was sign up and go along to a workshop on sustainable parenting, which was absolutely fantastic! The environment and sustainability are things we give a shit about and, although we’re not total greenies, we do try to do our bit (reusing, recycling, composting etc.) to help out. Anyway, this workshop was right up my alley. The first half focused on cloth nappies, something I’m determined to try and use at least a little bit despite most of the people I know laughing at and attempting to discourage me. Even if I just use a few a week it’s still less disposables that end up in a landfill.

It’s been interesting all the people who have poo-pooed the idea of us using cloth nappies, especially with twins. I’m under no delusions, I know it will be tricky at times and will require extra washing etc. but you know what? If people actually read the instructions of disposable nappies they’d realised they’re supposed to empty out their contents before throwing them away (yes, you’re supposed to flush that poop down the toilet before those nappies go in the bin, because honestly, human excrement in a rubbish bin? Would you take a dump in your trash can?!?). And if you’re going to do that then there’s not much difference between chucking the diapers in your garbage and popping them in a bucket for one extra load in the washing machine.

Anyway, we learned all about landfills and how they work (and funnily enough it’s not the pretty 1970’s idea of the dump that most people have in theirs head – you know, where it’s safe to stroll around and drop stuff off, or maybe pick stuff up if you’re that way inclined. Real landfills are toxic wastelands where nothing ever discomposes). We were then taught about the different types of cloth nappy there are, how they evolved, and the pros and cons of each. And finally, the last half of the seminar focused on the various ways we can reduce our waste production and packaging consumption, and a few different products that are available to help us do that.

The nice thing was that the workshop wasn’t sponsored by anyone (other than our local council – supporting their goal to be waste free by 2040) so there was no pushing of products or brands, it was just a display of, and interaction with, the things that the presenter (The Nappy Lady) had come across in her day-to-day life that had personally helped her reduce waste. And on top of all the stuff we learned, we were given packs of cloth nappies (three different types) to keep. It was a great session and I’d recommend it to anyone who has a chance to go, parents or otherwise. You can check the sessions out at www.thenappylady.co.nz.

Waste reduction, organisation, connections, decisions, and expansions. 22 weeks now and things are looking up. 2 weeks left until “viability”. Hang in there boys, we got this.

 

A snippet of the ‘Anticipate’ lyrics that have been making me cry recently:

I can’t wait to meet you
And I know and I know
I’ll have to learn how to teach you
I need to let the fool in me go
I’m gonna work like crazy
Give you everything you need
Build the world that you will see
I will see you soon
I will be waiting at the other end
Take your time coming through
You will never have to do this again
I will show you all
Lessons I´ve learned will have to guide
I’ll come running when you call
But for now, just stay inside

 

 

 

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Another long wait (written 4th March 2015)

The longest wait is nearly over, it’s scan day tomorrow, a day I thought would never arrive. I haven’t blogged much as 1) I’ve not been sleeping properly and have been really tired, and 2) I can’t concentrate for very long, so stringing more than a few sentences together has been really challenging.

My clinic here in NZ have been really supportive, not only putting up with my panicked email (spotting) but also scheduling me in for weekly blood tests to reassure me that my HCG is steadily climbing. At our first (sneaky) beta my HCG comes in at 369…our favourite nurse bets me that we’re having twins (eek). By our official test date on Monday the 16th that number has jumped to 1733. We’re sitting in the 75th percentile, things are looking good.

Of course, having the mind of an infertile, I’m analysing every little twinge my body throws my way. Nervous that this could all go wrong, excited that it could all go right. In the week between the 1733 result and our next beta, I don’t notice too much out of the ordinary. I’m still cramping a bit, which I’ve done pretty much since transfer. They feel pretty much like period pains although there are some slightly lighter pangs, and almost a burn-like feeling sometimes as well. The only other thing of note this week is that my nipples are all tingly. Not really sore, they’re more itchy, like tiny ripples of the most minor electric shock you could imagine. I’m feeling tired too but I put that down to the lack of sleep as I wake up nearly every night worrying.

Finally the 23rd arrives and it’s time for our third blood test. I’m super nervous again but luckily don’t have to wait as long this time (I think our favourite nurse is being nice again and bumping us up the call schedule). The result comes in around lunchtime and again it’s looking good at 22279. I’ve printed a graph off the internet and plot my last three results along it. It follows the curve perfectly, still sitting in the 75th percentile. Phew. Only a week and a half til scan, I can do this!

Over the next week my symptoms come and go, making me feel either somewhat hopeful or plunging me into a fit of panic that everything’s over. I’m still cramping, still tired and not sleeping, my boobs still tingle but I also get a bit more general breast pain which I hope means they’re being to grow (I’m an A cup at best, say no more). I have a couple of days where I have bouts of nausea and dizziness but again these are easily written off to lack of sleep as I often feel this way when I’m not sleeping. It’s not until the end of the week that I begin to feel something might actually be happening inside me. By Thursday/Friday I’m starting to have food aversions and have almost totally lost my appetite. I have to basically force-feed myself as I know I need to eat.

For someone who eats pretty much anything and loves a good meal, it’s so weird to suddenly feel ill at the thought/sight/smell of food I would normally crave. It starts with water. I’m not a huge water drinker but I have the odd glass throughout the day and absolutely love green tea or a hot water with lemon. Overnight water becomes abhorrent. I can’t stand the sight of it, and the thought of drinking it in any form (hot, cold, tea, even juice!) disgusts me! I worry as to what I am going to drink to stay hydrated, until my husband suggests chocolate milk. I used to love chocolate milk as a child but as an adult rarely drink it, and hardly ever manage a full glass/bottle when I do indulge. Until now. It is now the best thing in the world and I consume 2 litres of chocolate milk (standard milk & Nesquik) over the following two days.

Next come veges. I am a vege nut and am constantly pestering my husband to include more vegetables in our dinners. Roast vege salad you say? Mmmmmm, yes please…..that is until now. It starts with just a few, no eggplant, no kumara (sweet potato) then wham! It’s nearly all veges I can’t stand. The smell of them cooking, bleurgh. I can’t even handle looking at them on the counter as I eat my breakfast and have to turn away. It’s so strange (even reading the word ‘veges’ as I read over this makes me want to puke).

Various other foods, in fact most other foods lose their appeal and I find myself living off chocolate milk and bread over the weekend. If anything I feel like sweet food which, although would have summed me up perfectly as a child, is almost the opposite of what I am normally like as an adult, preferring savoury food to anything sweet.

The next thing to increase is the nausea. It comes in waves, generally hitting worst when I first wake up and easing a little after I have breakfast. By Monday morning I have to get my husband to make me toast in bed before I get up as I feel so queasy. It comes and goes throughout the day, easing more if I nibble frequently and less if I stick to the main meals only. I feel constantly full despite not eating a huge amount and start to keep a bread roll or hot cross bun next to the bed at night to allow me to graze throughout the wee small hours. I find this helps a lot with the early-morning nausea. I haven’t vomited (yet) but have felt quite close to it at times.

All these symptoms are helping to keep the anxiety at bay a bit but nonetheless I have another beta on the Monday morning (2nd March). I miss the call from the clinic by a measly one ring and wait another hour and a half for them to call back. The tone in the nurse voice has me worried and it feels like a long wait (in reality it’s about 20 seconds) before telling me it’s all ok. I’m up to 81755, still sitting in the perfect curve on my graph.

Another couple of days of nausea and struggling to find things to eat and drink, and that brings us to now. Scan day tomorrow. In the last two weeks I’ve lost half a centimetre around my waist, my belly has remained the same size, and I’ve gained 2cm in the bust (woohoo!). In the five and a half weeks since we left for San Diego I’ve lost 4kgs (I suspect mostly muscle mass from giving up weights at the gym) but have gained back about half a kilo over the last few days. I’m absolutely terrified that it will all come to an end tomorrow, unbelievably nervous that we won’t see anything on the scan. I’m trying not to think about that too much though, the signs are looking good, I just hope they’re not largely in my head.


The dreaded two week wait

I’m struggling. This two week wait is a million times harder than the last one I went through and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because last time we were a little naïve and it was easier to believe everything would work out. Maybe it’s because last time our embryo was of such poor quality there was little hope so it was easier to believe ‘whatever will be will be’. Or maybe it’s because last time didn’t feel like our last chance for this to ever happen. Whatever the reason, this time I’m struggling.

The first week felt like 5 years. By Wednesday I was sure we were already a week ahead, I just couldn’t believe it had only been 3 days. Time moved so slowly. But at least I was doing everything right, no regrets. I’d rested, I was eating the right food, I began some light exercise again. Off to the gym for a 30 minute walk on the treadmill. And that’s where it went downhill, fast.

I walked into the gym absolutely fine. I began my workout. With 10 minutes to go I realised the little fan on the treadmill wasn’t on – you know how they have those little ones built into some machines? I press the button to turn it on and it blows a wave of dust and crap into my face. I quickly turn it off again (ick) but suddenly get this weird feeling right through my body that that wasn’t good and something really bad is about to happen. One of those sixth sense type feelings you get sometimes. Now I know it’s really stupid because rationally I understand that that gust of dust couldn’t have caused what was to come, but it somehow fore-warned of it none-the-less. I leave the gym with a sore throat.

Back at home I’m relaxed. I’ve got a sore lump in my throat but I’m sure it will be gone by morning. I’ve had the same feeling before, after a walk in the cold or a night out in a loud bar, so I assume it’s nothing and head to bed. Thursday morning and it’s still there. Not overpowering but a constant niggle throughout the day. After reading on Twitter that a sore throat can sometimes signal an immunity flare I put a call into the clinic just to be sure. They almost laugh and reassure me I’m just sick. I never get sick but I am mostly inclined to agree with them. I make it through work and venture home for an early night.

By Friday I feel rubbish. Now I know this is a proper cold and it’s not going anywhere fast. After a quick trip to my GP to make sure it’s nothing more than a cold I take the rest of the day off work to rest. I have a craving for chicken satay and convince my husband to order us Thai takeout for dinner. Little do I know this is going to be my last proper meal for three days because Friday night/Saturday morning all hell breaks loose. It’s not just a cold.

I was in agony. I can’t even put into words how awful it was. I have never been so sick in all my life. NEVER. Because I am now (hopefully) carrying Bumble the only thing I can take to ease the pain is paracetamol. Tow lousy Panadol tablets every four hours but no more than eight in 24 hours, are you shitting me?! The Panadol eases the pain – to the point where I’m not moaning but definitely not to the point where I’m comfortable or not in pain – for an hour max. Then it’s back to full blown pain again with a three hour wait for the next dose. My left tonsils and glands are so swollen I can’t swallow. Only the left side though, my right side is normal and I have no other symptoms, not even a runny nose. If I look in the mirror my right side looks normal whereas the left side of my neck looks like I have elephantiasis, it’s so swollen it looks like I have a basketball rammed into that half of my mouth.

If I thought the days were going slowly before, they’ve almost totally stopped progressing now. Time is measured in the seconds until more pain relief. My head is buried in my pillow trying not to scream in pain, a towel wedged beneath my head to catch the drool. I actually can’t swallow without my whole body tensing in agony and a moan or scream passing my lips…and I pride myself on a reasonably high pain tolerance. It’s so bad that by Saturday night my hubby wants to take me to A&E. I’m screaming, tears rolling down my face, but the thought of having to move like this scares the shit out of me. I can’t physically get myself out of bed, into a car, and into an A&E waiting room without feeling like I’ll pass out. Instead I have more pain relief and try to sleep.

Sleep comes in small doses. Again, an hour, or if I’m lucky two, until the Panadol wears off and I’m woken by the pain. Then I wait, clenching my teeth and trying not to wake my husband. What’s worse is when I exceed my 8 in 24 hours dose of medication and have an 8 hour wait for the next lot.   This is close to hell. The upside of all this is that, other than worrying about whether I’m harming Bumble and taking my temperature a few times to make sure I don’t have a fever, I don’t stress much about whether this cycle will work or not. I’ve too busy surviving it.

I feel dramatic writing this all down, like I’m being a big baby and need to harden up, but reading back through it, my words don’t even seem to give a glimpse at how excruciating it was. By Monday I’m exhausted. I’ve hardly slept, I haven’t eaten, I’ve hardly had anything to drink. I’m so dehydrated that my breath smells disgusting and my saliva begins to taste like faeces. I’m dry retching, nauseous from the lack of food and water but with nothing to bring up. I’m so tired I can hardly move. I can’t even open my mouth more than a centimetre. I do however feel like I’ve been through the worst.

My lifesaver of a husband phones his mum (a GP) for advice – not for the first time over the last 72 hours – and rushes home from work with some ice-blocks (mmm a Pineapple Fruju and a lemonade Popsicle) and instructions to make me sip water through a straw, just enough to coat the inside of my mouth. It works. Until now there was no way I could have even put that ice-block into my mouth, too painful, but it seems I’ve recovered just enough to be able to squeeze it in and take small sucks. I’m in heaven (although I still dream of being able to gulp down a massive glass of water).

So where are we now? It’s Thursday and after some ups and downs over the week I’m nearly right. My throat is still a little sore and I get tired easily but we’re getting there. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to work from home, and that my bosses have ordered me off work entirely (from home or otherwise) for the rest of the week. But now the worry and stress about Bumble comes to the forefront again. Last night I was in tears (yes again) over what would happen if this didn’t work. I’m not sure I can handle another “I’m sorry, it’s not the news you were hoping for”. I worry about how I will continue to interact with our friends, nearly all of whom have, or are on their way, to having families, infertility issues or not. I worry about how I will turn up to work and continue with my job without breaking down.

Over the last two weeks I’ve had moments, sometimes even days, where I’ve been convinced this has worked, it’s just felt right. Then there have been other times where I’ve felt the complete opposite and have struggled to hold it together, scared (this week) that I’ve somehow hampered our chances with my dehydration and illness. There’s just no way to know.

I’ve had next to no symptoms (although I can’t say I was paying any real attention between Friday and Tuesday) other than some cramping reminiscent of my period. They say that can be a good sign but I can’t help but think it’s just that time of the month – the years of endometriosis have drilled that into my brain. I’ve had a couple of weird cramps in the same spot, kind of a concentrated pain (once a drilling spiralling pain) which made me think “ooo implantation?” then “ooo, ectopic?”. But who the hell knows.

I’ve been tempted to take some home pregnancy tests but have so far held off. General consensus is they wouldn’t be that reliable this early on anyway. My clinic seems to test quite early compared to others so there’s only one more day until we know the outcome. Tomorrow, Friday, 12 days past a day 2 transfer, we will know. Will we celebrate with joy? Or will our world fall apart yet again? Only time will tell.

 


The next instalment

So my Friday blood test has come back perfect and we’re awaiting our donor’s day one. Sunday night we receive a text “Day 1 tomorrow!!” That soon?!? I knew it was approaching that week but could it really happen quite so rapidly? Why yes, it seems it can! Day one is indeed the Monday and the clinic call me at work to tell me to start on Progynova, my estradiol valerate tablets, to encourage my uterine lining to grow. I’m buzzing. I hang up the call to the clinic and am incredibly nervous, nauseous, and excited all at once. I can’t believe this is finally happening. I’m shaking, clammy, and suddenly can’t concentrate on my job. This is it.

I’m actually more anxious than I thought I’d be and it takes me a while to calm down and relax. I should be happy and excited at the prospect of things falling into place, and I am, but after a few weeks of largely feeling positive about this I’m suddenly incredibly worried. Worried that this might not work, that my friend might react badly to the drugs or be uncomfortable, worried that I might be putting her through needless pain/discomfort/hassle for nothing, worried that my body may let us down once again. And after so many disappointments, one IVF cycle that ended in a marginal embryo and one where we didn’t even make it to transfer, it’s hard to believe that an IVF could actually go right, despite changing the one variable that’s previously held us up. I actually can’t imagine that we could end up with healthy mature eggs, that those eggs could fertilise normally into healthy embryos, and that those embryos could develop to a point that they’re worth transferring. I just can’t fathom it.

So my donor starts her stimulation injections and I start on my estradiol. That’s the physical stuff sorted, now to get my mind in shape. I’m a reasonably strong believer in the power of the mind. For years I’ve said “I don’t do sick” at even the slightest hint of illness and on the whole I’m healthy – it’s pretty rare that I even get a cold. So, despite my go-to negative view on fertility I’m determined to think positively about this, and use my mind to will my body to function. I invested in the Circle and Bloom audio relaxation sessions specifically designed for donor egg IVF long before our cycle started and, while being pretty slack at listening to the suppression sessions (I listened to them four times out of the fourteen days I was supposed to), I’ve really made an effort to listen to the estrogen sessions so far. I certainly still flip-flop between nervous anxiety and feeling positive but I can definitely say the sessions have helped. I totally recommend them for anyone else going through this.

As well as getting my mind in order I’ve also been trying to make sure my body is in the best possible shape to receive this embryo we desperately hope to have. Many of you know that I’ve been off the booze and coffee for a while now, but over the last few weeks I’ve been making an effort in other areas too. I’ve been doing a weekly yoga session for a few months and have made sure not to miss a class unless absolutely necessary. I’ve also added regular walking into my routine and have started back at the gym doing cardio and weights multiple times a week (three times a week if my schedule allows but with exercise on acupuncture days a bit of a no-no, this is sometimes difficult given I do acupuncture three times a week!). I’ve been listening to my body too and if it feels too exhausted to work out I don’t push it, luckily that hasn’t happened often.

I’ve also started watching what I’m eating more and have increased my fruit and vegetable intake. We bought a slow-juicer recently and a nice glass of fruit and veggie juice in the mornings has been helping with this. I’ve cut out nearly all junk food – not that I was having a lot before anyway – and have been trying to ensure I eat a wide range of healthy food options. I’ve not only been feeling better but I also know I’m giving it my all for Bumble, no regrets. And hey, if this cycle doesn’t work, there’s the added bonus of having a mint bikini body for summer!

And that’s where I’m at. A ball of nervous yet excited energy, attempting to think positively, and giving it my all for Bumble. Our first scans (for both our donor and I) are tomorrow so we’ll see just how well my lining is coming along and how many follicles our donor is nurturing. Fingers crossed it’s good news for all of us.


Baby Steps

It’s currently a long time between posts as I really just don’t feel like writing.  I don’t know what it is, whether I’m just too busy or too stressed; or because there’s not really much going on in our fertility process at the moment, just more waiting; or maybe my emotions are just so jumbled right now I don’t really know what to write about.  Whatever is it is, I’ve got a writing block.  I have half a dozen blog posts that I’ve started and written a paragraph or two before stopping, filing them away, and never finishing or posting them.  I’ve made a promise to myself that I will sit down one day soon and finish those posts but for now this is what’s making it to the site.

As mentioned my emotions are all over the show.  One minute I’m fine, the next I’m overwhelmed and in tears (“stop the ride I want to get off!”), the next I’m fine again.  There’s just so much to work through moving into this DEIVF process, it’s going to take some time. Of course I still feel the usual infertility emotions – that life is passing me by, that I’m missing out, that every man and his (or her) dog is pregnant or with children except for us, that each new pregnancy or birth announcement will bring both happiness for others and a reminder of our ‘loss’.  Now on top of this is the sorrow that we’ll never have a child that is both genetically mine and my husbands, and the guilt that this is all my fault.  I know that, should we be lucky enough to have a child using donor eggs, I will feel like the child is my own and the fact that they’re not genetically mine won’t matter, but for now it is an emotion that needs working through and a loss that needs dealing with.  I need to grieve the child that will never be and lay them to rest.  I also need to work through the guilt.  It seems so silly as I know my husband didn’t marry me for my ability to provide offspring, I just can’t help but feel sometimes that he married the wrong woman, that if he’d only married someone else he would have a child now and wouldn’t be feeling all this pain now.  And I hate making him hurt.  I feel like I’ve let him down.

So basically, despite my determination to learn to dance in the rain this year, I’ve been feeling shit….sometimes.  A lot of the time.  I need to give myself some space to allow me to process these emotions and get back to my happy place, the only problem is there just doesn’t seem to be any time.  Work’s insanely busy, home is insanely busy, the weekends seem to flash by in the blink of an eye – trying to catch up with all the people we’ve neglected to see during the week.  At the moment I don’t feel like I can fit everything in let alone allocate time to sorting out my complicated mind.  Something’s got to give.

As I lay in acupuncture today, unable to move with those tiny little needles sticking out of my body, I thought of all the things I’d like to do to prepare myself for the ride ahead.  I need to de-stress and uncomplicate my life, easier said than done right?!  I want to start relaxing, properly.  I want to start yoga again, eat more healthily, exercise more, start back on folic acid; give my body the best possible chance of a successful pregnancy.  It is hard to do this not knowing when our cycle will be (it’s difficult to keep ALL of this stuff up long term) or even if we’ll be able to go ahead with our potential donor as all the tests are yet to be completed, but I’ll do my best.  Baby steps.

This week I’ve started by purchasing a 3-day juice cleanse to kick-start my healthy eating.  I’ve never done a cleanse or detox of any sort before and I have to say I am a little nervous about it.  Excited, but nervous, especially since the first two days of the cleanse will be during work hours.  Nevertheless, I’m willing to give it a try.  The people I know who have done it rate it so it can’t be all bad.  It basically consists of consuming nothing but six juices a day for three days.  There are 4 different types of juices, each one scheduled for a particular time of the day, and supposedly at the end of it all my body will have had a good clean out (ew!), I’ll have more energy, generally feel better and will be less hung up on ‘naughty’ food.  Here’s hoping!

As well as the juice cleanse I’ve also looked into the Circle & Bloom meditation sessions.  I’d downloaded one of their free ones a while back but never really got into it – mostly because the few times I tried to listen to it I could either hear the television blaring in the background or hubs kept interrupting to ask me questions.  Not this time though.  We’ve had a chat about it and we’re going to have 30 minutes or so of quiet time each evening where I can listen to the recordings, and try to relax.  I’ve never really been one for meditating or anything either but with more and more people talking to me about the mind-body connection I figure it’s about time I gave it a proper shot.  If it all goes well for the next few weeks I’ll look to invest in the ‘Egg + Embryo Donation for the Hopeful Parent’ program.

So what else….this week I’m going back to the gym after a couple of weeks off (again, too busy) and I figure if I can make it there a couple of times a week that will help with the exercise a little.  I’m going to start back on the folic acid tomorrow, just in case the donor process goes without a hitch and we can start treatment in three months. I’ve got the juice cleanse and the relaxation program – that’s probably enough for one week.  Next week I’ll look into a counselling appointment with the awesome psychologist we saw for DEIVF counselling so I can talk through my guilt and grief about my defective body.  And I’ll start hunting around for a yoga class that I can work into this crazy ride we call our lives.  Don’t stop the ride just yet, this baby-stepper isn’t quite ready to get off.


Happy New Year

And here we are in 2014.  It’s a sunny day and we’ve said goodbye to a devastating 2013 with tears and fireworks.  Good riddance.  I’d love to say the new year will be our year, that things can only improve, that it’s going to be better than the year just gone, but I said all that 12 months ago and look where that got us.  So 2014.  It’s a brand new year and whatever happens will happen.

I’ve had a few comments that this blog is sometimes a hard read, that it’s depressing, or negative, so I thought it time to write a post that somewhat addresses this.  My life is most definitely not a hard slog all the time, like nearly everyone else I have good times and bad.  However this blog is not a documentation of my life as a whole, although who knows, one day it might serve that purpose.  It is a documentation of our struggle to have a child, and that journey is hard, way harder than I ever thought it would be, so naturally (that is if I’m doing my job right) what you read upon this page is sometimes hard.

You sit down to a nice relaxing breakfast, I’m on my way to yet another early morning fertility appointment.  You take a sip of that delicious coffee (the one that I can’t drink due to its potential impact on my fertility), I’m on a hot date with dildocam.  Yep, dildocam, I’m sure you can imagine what that involves if you don’t already know.  Having a nice night out with friends? Check out the non-alcoholic drinks on that beverage list (the list of drinks us infertiles often have to stick to)…..9 out of 10 times there won’t be one.  Now think of the one thing in your life you’d really love to achieve but for reasons outside of your control can’t, and imagine everyone around you talking about how they’ve achieved that very thing, how easy it was, and how fantastic the results are.  Relaxing on a beach or in a park? Take note of how many families are there with their kids and imagine how you would feel if that was all you wanted but couldn’t have.  Feel good?

This journey is physically difficult.  During treatment it involves a hundred and one appointments with specialists, invasive (and sometimes painful) tests and ultrasounds, surgery, constant monitoring and blood draws, and piling multiple chemicals into your body – often accompanied by hideous side effects of some description or another.   And that’s just the beginning, for some of the more unlucky amongst us this voyage involves even more.  I, thankfully, have not had the experience of that ‘more’, and hopefully never will.

Outside of treatment time, we’re trying to give our bodies a fighting chance of being able to conceive.  That means trying to ensure your body is in the best possible condition fertility-wise.  Exercise (but not too much exertion – quite a hard balance to find), eating the right foods at the right times, taking a multitude of supplements, alternative medicines such as acupuncture, the list goes on.  It all may seem excessive to the fertile community reading this but when your body doesn’t perform as it’s supposed to you try everything to bring it back to ‘normal’, often on the recommendation from the medical community.  Now try fitting all of this in around your job and the rest of your day-to-day life.

Yet the physical is the easy part.  As well as being physically challenging, it’s also a complete mind-fuck.  You know when you buy a new car and then suddenly you start seeing that make and model everywhere you drive?  It’s like that with kids.  Everywhere you go there are children, babies, pregnant people, and when I say everywhere I mean EVERYWHERE.  It’s inescapable.  We took a walk to a waterfall miles from anywhere in the middle of the bush, there’s a pregnant lady there at the waterfall.  Out to the pub for New Years Eve, a pregnant woman…and what’s worse, she’s drinking, a lot, vodka and energy drink no less.  To a ‘normal’ person that’s horrifying – we’ve been conditioned to know this is bad for the baby – to an infertile it is heartbreaking.  Why is this woman who is abusing her baby before it’s even born allowed to conceive yet we, who would give that baby everything it could ever need, cannot.

You’ve just sat an exam, one that the rest of your life depends on, and you’re awaiting the results.  Now let’s say you can’t do many of the things you enjoy because they could potentially effect the results of this exam, and this exam is going to dictate whether you get to have the life that you want or whether you’re destined for the sidelines to watch from the outside.  You have two weeks to wait until you know what path your life will take, and all the while you’re surrounded by those who have already passed the exam and are living the high life while unintentionally bragging about it.  Welcome to the two week wait.  The torturous two weeks following treatment (or ovulation) in which you wait to find out if you’re pregnant or not.  You try to distract yourself but it always comes back to the same point, will I have the life I want for myself or will I need to heartbreakingly change my dreams.

For infertiles, everyday things become a challenge.  Meeting new people comes with questions of kids, time is measured by appointments or treatments rather than days of the week, even going to work comes with the constant reminder of what you don’t have – colleagues funny anecdotes about their children, or the thought of ‘if everything had gone to plan I’d be on maternity leave/planning a kids party too right now’.  Your mind is your worst enemy.  The smallest of things can trigger an emotional response, and sometimes it all gets too much.  I was negotiating a change to my job recently and things didn’t entirely go to plan.  Rather than my usual response of ‘take a step back and reassess’ I had a complete meltdown and cried for half a day.  Now on the surface this looks as though I’m an overemotional nutbar, overreacting to what is a seemingly normal job transaction but what the majority of people don’t see is that this job transaction comes at the tail end of another failed IVF cycle (one with atrocious side effects), a cycle that has ended the dream of a biological child for us, a cycle that cost us nearly $12,000 and, because of my defective body, we weren’t able to complete.  Imagine knowing this is all your body’s fault and not being able to change anything.  It’s like building a house of cards or a Jenga tower and slowly pulling out the foundations one by one.  The job hiccup was the last piece that caused the house/tower to come tumbling down.

I don’t know too many infertiles in the flesh but I sure know a plenty online, via Twitter and this blog, and they are some of the strongest and most resilient people I know.  They’re survivors.  So next time you feel like saying we’re a bit negative or the tales of our lives are hard to read, spare a thought for the people actually living this reality.  No, it’s not our entire life summed up in these pages, but the haunting reality of what’s written here has an impact on everything we do, and on who we are as people, good times or bad.  These words are merely our outlet, a way to cope


A message to you Body

Dear Body,

I just thought I’d write to thank you for letting me down once again.  I know there have been times when I haven’t been so nice to you.  I’ve partied a little too hard on occasions, have indulged in takeaways, and perhaps haven’t exercised quite as much as I should have but I like to think things are generally ok between us.  We’re somewhat fit (we DO exercise!), our BMI is normal, and on the whole we’ve been eating healthily so why the constant vendetta against me?  Maybe you think I’ve done something really bad in my life that you need to punish me for but honestly I don’t think there’s anything that I’ve done to deserve this.  I get that you like to throw tantrums but really, isn’t two and a bit years enough?  This latest stunt has cost us over ten grand, not to mention the week-by-week costs incurred over the last two years.  Was acupuncture really that bad?  If you could sort your shit out and stop all this nonsense it would be much appreciated. 

Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to rectify the wrongs between us.  You know, if you just behaved and accepted a baby then all these needles and procedures would cease.  OK, I know they’d be replaced by other procedures but they’d be for a limited amount of time.  Would it really be that bad?  Just have a think over what I’ve said and let me know if there’s any possibility that we could get on in the future.

Yours unhappily,

Mind.


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