Category Archives: Getting your hopes up

The final countdown

And the roller coaster never ends. Monday we get given our C-section date and my blood pressure is high. Wednesday I have a Doppler scan to check the umbilical cord blood flow. Thursday we get the not so good news. And Friday I’m back in hospital. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning.

As mentioned in my last post, on Monday the 7th, we had an appointment with our obstetrician and he surprises us with our C-section date mere minutes before taking my blood pressure. It’s high which then puts us on pre-eclampsia symptom watch. Obviously this is not so fun, especially when my first cankles experience shows up later that night adding to the worry and nervousness around symptoms. Personally I think it’s just the timing of having my blood pressure taken and spending too much time on my feet that has caused the symptoms but after going through so much to get where we are I can’t help but worry.

Roll on Wednesday and the cankles have pretty much gone (I’ve been trying my best to rest and keep my feet up). I head in for my Doppler scan praying I have a different sonographer to last time. Alas, it seems that no one is listening to my prayers today as the same lady comes out and calls my name. Doh! She seems slightly more competent this time but still flusters at the beginning and just can’t seem to get her head around the simple fact that our twins have swapped places, so the one who is now our leading twin (the one nearest the birth canal) is actually titled “twin 2” while “twin 1” who USED to be leading has now taken a backseat. Again it takes a while to get what we need but at least we don’t have to do growth measurements this time. The Doppler readings look ok to me, and the amniotic fluid, although borderline for our leading twin, is acceptable so off I trundle home again.

Thursday. On getting back to my car after lunch with a friend there’s a voice message from our obstetrician on my phone. “Not too urgent but can you give me a call back.” Oh-o this can’t be good. I return his call and am transferred straight through to him. That never happens so now my heart is racing. Turns out it’s not so bad (I must have just caught him between patients) but it’s not good either. Apparently the Doppler scans show the blood flow to at least one baby is becoming compromised. While not urgent at the moment, this will require much closer monitoring so I’m booked in for twice-weekly visits to the Day Assessment Unit at the hospital. Not so convenient unfortunately as it’s 20 minutes drive away (rather than the 5 minutes to our usual scan place) AND I’ll have to pay for parking (exorbitant prices versus free). None of this matters though, as long as our boys are safe.

At each visit they’ll do a CTG to check out the boys heartbeats, a Doppler ultrasound to check blood flow, my Obs to keep an eye on blood pressure, and every fortnight (although realistically this probably means only one more) a growth scan ultrasound to measure the boys growth. Theoretically this should all fit into roughly an hour, yikes! Our obstetrician has booked me in at the Day Assessment Unit the following Tuesday (for CTG and fluid/blood flow check) and the next Friday (for CTG and a growth scan) – it’s all go and I cancel my pre-booked growth scan at our private radiology clinic (yay, no more useless sonographer!).

Friday. I’m not sure if it was the events of the previous day but one of our twins has decided not to really move for a good 24 hours. I’m sure everything is ok but it’s hard not to worry, especially with the ups and downs we’ve had lately, so eventually we call our obstetrician and head back to the Women’s Assessment Unit for some monitoring. I arrive pretty promptly and am hooked up to the CTG. Bee has still been quiet so I’m still stressing but of course within 10 minutes of the sensors going on he’s wriggling around like a fish. Typical. I feel bad for wasting everyone’s time but it’s better to be safe then sorry. My blood pressure etc. also look good so I’m out of there again just over an hour later. Talk about dramas!

The weekend is pretty uneventful and we truck through a few more of the things on the list in order to get the house ready. On Tuesday I head into the Day Assessment Unit for my first monitoring session. The fluid around each baby looks ok, still a little marginal for Bee but better than the scan we last had at our private clinic. The CTG is eventually fine too although it takes a while to find the two boys as the midwife (who I later find out is just helping out due to a busy day) is a bit hopeless…she actually blames her incompetence on me a little saying “it helps when the mother knows where the babies are” – um, you try having twins, especially ones who have already swapped places, and then let me know if you can tell me which way they’re lying! Anyway, the good midwife who usually runs the clinic manages to get the monitor to pick them up and after about 45 minutes (someone wouldn’t stop wriggling!) we have a reading. Although the scan report hasn’t come through yet I’m allowed to go knowing that our obstetrician will call later in the day with the results.

He does eventually call, the scan report took AGES to come through, and the rollercoaster hits a dip again. The fluid is marginal as we knew but it’s also looking like the blood flow to the babies might be becoming further compromised. I’m advised to skip breakfast on Friday and take my hospital bag in with me when I attend Friday’s monitoring session, just in case they need to do an emergency caesarian on Friday afternoon. Oh my god I’m not ready! I mean my hospital bag is pretty much ready to go but mentally I’m not prepared for the boys to arrive that early. At 35 weeks on that day I know they’ll be in reasonable shape but I have my heart set on getting them just a little bit further.

Turns out I needn’t have worried as Friday’s scan and CTG results are great. The boys are still measuring a little small for their gestational age, with one at approximately 1800g and the other around the 2kg mark (3lb 15oz and 4lb 6oz) instead of the recommended 2250g (4lb 15oz) but they’re not too far off. I ask our OB about the weight difference between the two but he’s not concerned. They only worry about a difference of 20% or more and that’s ours is only 10% so we’re ok. The fluid looks good – the boys have moved a bit allowing better fluid measurement (Bumble, although not the leading twin anymore, is head down, and Bee is breach, bum first) – and the blood flow looks fine too. The CTG takes only 15 minutes, it seems everyone is behaving today, and my obs are fine too. All in all a great result and a good day! Up goes the rollercoaster again.

And then it plummets once more when on Saturday evening I notice some tinting when I go to the bathroom and by Sunday morning I’m spotting again. Will this drama never end?!? It’s old looking and there’s not too much of it but my hubby suggests we call our obstetrician just in case, so we do. He’s not too concerned and thinks it’s probably just left-over from my last bleed 5 weeks ago. He’s happy for me to stay at home and keep an eye on it, especially given our latest monitoring results were good. I’m happy with that, I’ve spent enough time in that hospital lately and it won’t be too much longer before I’m back in there for the big event with just over two weeks to go until our scheduled c-section.

It turns out that time is actually much shorter than we anticipated.   We have friends around for a Sunday afternoon tea and my husband’s phone goes with “No caller ID” displayed on the screen. He silences the call and goes to put the phone back in his pocket. “It might be N” (our obstetrician) I say so he ends up taking the call. I hear our obstetrician on the other end of the line confirming that it’s indeed him but then I hear no more. It’s torture to only hear half the conversation and I feel my skin prickle and my hands and feet sweat with nervousness. Our poor friends having to sit through me anxiously waiting to see what he has to say, I feel a bit rude but I can’t think straight until I know what’s up.

My hubby gets off the line and says “Friday.” My heart races. WTH?!? Apparently our OB has been reviewing our notes and with the spotting occurring this weekend he thinks it’s a good idea to pull our c-section forward to the next available elective slot this coming Friday. While I think that’s true I also think it has something to do with him being out of town on holiday the following week, secretly wanting to be the one to deliver our children (seeing as we’re his freakishly young USA donor egg patients – he’s never had anyone like us before) and not wanting to chance me needing a c-section from one of his off-siders while he’s away. He’s going to be on holiday the following week too but being back in the city was going to pop in to do our caesar on the 5th….see what I mean by I think he wants to deliver our babies!

Oh my gosh, I’m seriously sweating now and have gone into shock. Our friends think it’s funny and I guess it is. All that comes our of my mouth for the next wee while is “Oh my god” and various swear words, before I finally pull it together enough to return to a normal conversation. Our mates depart and I return to my panic. There’s still so much I want to get done before the boys arrive…not much that HAS to be done but definitely things I wanted to have crossed off my list purely for my piece of mind and satisfaction.

I start to work through the plan for the rest of the week and we let our parents and siblings know what’s going on. We decide not to tell our friends for the moment (other than the ones who were there when the news broke obviously, as there was no avoiding that), partially because it’s not guaranteed that the operation will go ahead on Friday – it depends on whether my scans continue to look good, on whether all the necessary staff line up, and whether there are spare beds for the boys in the hospital nursery (all things that will be confirmed later in the week), and partially because we want it to be a surprise for them. There hasn’t been much we’ve been able to surprise them with over this journey so it will be nice to be able to make the phone call/texts/emails that other ‘normal’ new parents get to make after the boys arrival.

Keeping it secret proves harder than I thought. Honesty is a value I hold dearly so feeling like I’m lying to my friends really grates me. I make a point of not outright lying to anyone as I just couldn’t handle that, but more skirt the tricky questions and answer in more general terms. “Next monitoring session on Friday?” gets a reply of “The Day Assessment Units monitoring days are Tuesday and Friday”, “Any chance they’d let you go longer if things are still really good a week from now?” gets “No, not a chance, our OB doesn’t want to risk anything.”, “Want to catch up next week?” = “Sure!” (I just won’t tell you it will be a catch up in hospital! I still feel bad doing this but for some reason I just need this to be a surprise.

I guess it’s a little to do with wanting to feel ‘normal’ and a little to do with buying ourselves some extra time to bond with the boys. I know how excited everyone is, how desperately many of them want to meet the twins, and understanding this (as well as being excited for them to meet the boys too) I know I would be hopeless at trying to delay people coming in. It’s a momentous occasion that hubby and I need to fully experience and accept without anyone else around. We’ve waited years for this.

The monitoring session on Tuesday goes well again; even more fluid around the boys (they’re obviously moving around), good blood flow, and a great CTG; and I think our obstetrician is slightly second guessing his decision to pull the c-section forward. In the end he decides it’s still the right call, we’re trading off a little extra prematurity (not too much at 36 weeks) for the boys arriving safely, and I tend to agree. The spotting isn’t really letting up, although it isn’t getting worse either, and I don’t want to risk anything going wrong at this late stage.

Following the monitoring session I’m booked into a pre-op admission session at the hospital across town so make the mad dash there for that. I meet with a nurse who measures my blood pressure (a little high from my dash across town), weight and height, and takes me through what I need to do the evening before and morning of my operation. Take a Ranitidine tablet (to reduce stomach acid) Thursday evening, nothing to eat after midnight, another Ranitidine on Friday morning, water only until I arrive at hospital, and be at the hospital day surgery unit (ORDA) at 8:30am. I can handle that.

Next I see the anesthetist. She’s not the one who will be there for my c-section but she performs all the checks and writes copious notes for the one who will be there on the day. She’s really lovely and walks me step-by-step through the operation including the people who will be there, how and when they’ll administer the anesthetic, what to expect in the operating theatre, and what will happen afterwards. She demonstrates how they find the correct place for the epidural/spinal and makes me feel better by commenting on how good my back is for finding the right spot.   She details post-op pain relief, possible side effects, and likely length of hospital stay, and I leave feeling pretty comfortable about everything.

Blood tests on Thursday to check that I’m ready to go and to identify the details they’ll need should I require a blood transfusion in theatre, and all that’s left is to await the confirmation call from my obstetrician to let us know that it’s full steam ahead. My husband and I head out for a nice yum cha lunch (probably our last for a while) and to check out a part of our local museum that they’re closing down and was always my favourite when I was a child (on a sidenote for Aucklanders – can you believe they’re actually closing the Colonial Auckland exhibit?!? Especially after all these years!)

The call from our OB comes around 2:45pm and we’re still all up in the air. There’s one spare bed in the nursery but not two. This could of course change overnight, for better or for worse, so he’s going to call again tomorrow and give me an update then. So the ideal plan is no food after midnight and it all goes ahead as we hope but, failing that, he’ll admit me to hospital for daily monitoring and we’ll take the first slot we can once beds are free. Plan B is far from ideal but I guess it’s a matter of whatever’s best for the boys (lucky we didn’t tell everyone it was tomorrow!). I’m disappointed. I like the 25th of September as a date, and I’d really like our OB to deliver the boys before he goes on holiday, but whatever will be will be and I just have to roll with it. The rollercoaster’s not quite done with us yet.

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Two week wait craziness (written 10th February 2015)

This two week wait is absolutely killing me. And I blame hope. On the two previous times we’ve made it to transfer we’ve been warned in advance that things weren’t looking so good, so we went into transfer and the two week wait totally prepared for things not to work.   This time however we’ve got a good chance, with decent quality (and multiple) embryos, and that’s sparked that bitch they call hope in me again. I feel like there’s so much riding on this that if it doesn’t work I don’t know what we’ll do. Well, I suppose I do, we’ll save up some money and head back to San Diego to give it another shot with some of our frosties.

So it’s Tuesday and my second day back at work. I thought being back at work might actually help with the two week wait as I’d have something to distract me, but in fact it’s made it worse. I don’t want to be there, I can’t concentrate, I can’t focus. Monday wasn’t so bad, everyone came over to chat and catch up on our trip, so the day was somewhat light-hearted, although I may not have got as much work done as I should have. The hours still dragged though and I was left thinking that this was going to be the longest week of my entire life.

And then Tuesday rolls round and things get worse (is that possible?!?). I’ve hardly slept, due in part to jet-lag and in a larger part to worrying, so I start the day at less-than-optimal. Hubby’s not feeling great either, we’re just both so stressed about this not working. He’s worrying about work also and has a mini-meltdown in the car on the way into the office, which isn’t helped by me losing the plot and getting angry at him. I feel bad about it but I’m barely holding myself together, I just don’t have the capacity to hold him together too. It’s ok, we make up over hot drinks in the café not long after we get to work, but we’re both obviously at our wits end already and it’s only 5 days after transfer….there’s still a week to go until our test day!

I struggle through the morning, it’s like each second takes a full hour to tick by. I’m so close to tears I can barely talk to anyone and even tell one of the girls I work with it’s better to pretend I’m not there today. I honestly think I’m going crazy. I don’t know how people do this! I don’t know how I can keep this up for another week! Luckily my colleagues and bosses are really understanding and are supportive in my wobbliest day so far.

By 11am I can’t take it any more and, after a whinge on Twitter followed by further encouragement to test from one of the girls there, I decide to do just that. It’s still early enough that I can write off a negative result as “too early” and if it’s positive then it will hopefully ease my anxiety a little. I’d been researching online last night and there have been plenty of people who have had a positive result at 5 days past 6 day transfer (5dp6dt) so it’s not out of the question.

I grab my bag and wander out of the office without talking to anyone. There’s a pharmacy just down the road so I walked quickly down there, praying that no one would see me and put two & two together. I was hoping the pharmacy would have early test kits, thinking that these would have a better response what with me being so early in my two week wait. They didn’t, but after agonising for a while over which test to choose I grabbed a Clear Blue and headed to the counter. I’m sure the salesperson thought I was hoping for a negative result, he gave me that kind of quiet sorrowful look that people sometimes give young mothers (not that I’m young but I do still get ID’d occasionally). I made sure to pay with my personal credit card so that if the result was negative I wouldn’t have to divulge my moment of weakness to my hubby….not that he’d mind but I guess I didn’t want him to feel down if the result wasn’t what we’re hoping for.

Back to the work loos and I’m fumbling the test as I try to unwrap it, ever so conscious of the other person in the cubicles. What must they be thinking! I’m nervous as I pee on the little white stick and nearly forget to start the timer on my phone to time the two minutes. I watch anxiously, praying for a quick positive result….it doesn’t come.

What does come is a very slow fading in of a very faint second line to form a +. It seems so light I don’t dare hope that it’s a positive result. I think it is but I’m not totally sure. I snap a quick photo of it, tuck it into my bag with all it’s packaging and head back to my desk (stopping in a quiet room on the way to snap another couple of pics).

When I get back to my desk there’s a message from my husband, asking if I want to go for a walk to clear my head and hopefully make us both feel better about the day. “Sure” I say (I know exactly what I can do to make him feel better!). We meet at the main stairwell and wander off to the park near to our work. It feels good to get some fresh air but my legs are shaking as we head down the small hill to the park. I’m still not believing this could even be remotely real.

We sit down on one of the benches just inside the park and chit-chat about this and that trying to brighten the day. I last about a minute before I pull a little black box out of my bag and tell my hubby I have a present for him which will hopefully make him feel a bit better. He has no clue what I’m about to drop on him.

Now this little black box comes with a story. Four years ago, in our first month of trying to conceive and sooooo sure it would happen just like that, I bought a little newborn baby onesie and wrapped it up in a box ready to give to my husband as I announced we were pregnant. Well, that little black box has sat in my cupboard at work for all of the last four years, surviving both a role change AND an office move, waiting waiting waiting for the chance to come out and surprise him, and today it got that chance.

He slowly unwrapped the box and pulled out the little suit. He turned to me with a confused look on his face. “I caved and tested,” I said “and it came up with a faint positive.” I wish so much that I could’ve captured the look on his face as his confusion turned to absolute delight before he grabbed my face and gave me possibly the most excited kiss he ever has (ok, maybe not really the most excited kiss ever, but it was pretty amazing. TMI?).

I pulled out the test to show him (knowing that it was past the 10 minute time limit, but given the test looked the same as just after I’d tested I figured it was ok). “There’s a definite line there” he comments, and we’re both buzzing. We sit and chat and exclaim a few minutes longer, try to capture some better photos of the test to prove it’s real, then head back to the office. Shit, I think, I now have to get through the rest of the day without telling anyone.

The anxiety eases a fair bit, I’m a little euphoric with the idea that for the first time ever I may have just got a BFP on a pregnancy test, but then, as the minutes creep by the unease builds again. What if I did the test wrong? What if that’s not actually a second line on the test? What if it’s a positive but it disappears over the next few days? I’m nervous again. I’m going to have to test tomorrow, and every day between now and my official test day (OTD).

I make it through the remainder of the day, actually managing to concentrate on some more menial tasks I have to do, and buy a couple more pregnancy tests (First Response brand this time) from the supermarket on our way home in order to test for the next two consecutive days. Hubs thinks I’m a little nuts as I ask him whether we shouldn’t grab one more and retest today just to make sure, and puts his foot down, “NO”. Well we’re barely inside the door to our house when he’s changed his mind…..admittedly I bought it up, but he agreed! We retest and this time there’s no mistaking it. There’s a very clear and well-defined second line. OMG, we’re pregnant.


The workings of my brain

Let me try and give you some insight into how the infertile mind works, or at least how my infertile mind works.  Infertility sucks your soul.  Any confidence you may have once had (and I can’t say I had a lot to begin with) is sapped from you as your body lets you down again and again every step of the way.  As your body fails your mind begins to falter too.  “What’s wrong with me? What did I do to deserve this?  Why am I not normal like everyone else?” You begin to question everything about your life.  It feels like nothing ever goes right.  You pull away from friends and wonder why they still want to be friends with you.  You don’t feel like you fit in…..anywhere.  You don’t fit in with the fertile crowd – everyone you know has children.  You don’t fit in with the childless by choice – they chose this life while you were forced into it.  Half the time you don’t even fit in with the other infertiles – we all have different problems and a great many go on to have children which makes you feel left out even more.  You don’t understand the workings of people any more, you can’t function in social situations, you don’t know how to be happy.  You plaster on a smile and pretend everything’s ok.  You don’t expect anything to go right, you end up just not expecting anything.  So when someone says “I’ll be your egg donor” it’s on par with winning the lottery, only better, it feels like a dream and you can’t quite believe it’s real.  Could something actually be going right for once?!?  Do people actually care that much?  Are people really that generous?  We still cry but this time it’s tears of happiness rather than tears of despair, and we let that little bitch hope sneak back into our lives once more.  Things might work out, and they might not, but just knowing the offer is there is enough to brighten my day.


Save the Bumble, save the world.

It’s fair to say that this has been one of the worst weekends of my entire life.  What started off as a great big ball of hope ended a mere 24 hours later in a spectacular fiery inferno.

Thursday evening and egg collection is scheduled for the following morning.  I’m excited yet nervous, hoping like crazy that all these extra drugs have paid off, that the side effects are worth it, and that we will get a decent haul from the follicles growing inside me.  At the last scan there looked like there were at least 11 follicles to harvest from, maybe more.  Egg collection is scheduled for 8am which is great as I’m really not good when I don’t have breakfast and an 8am collection means I can have my 6 hours of no food beforehand and still have breakfast at a somewhat normal time.

At the ungodly hour of 7:30am we rock up to the clinic and while I’m getting prepped, hubby stops off at the lab to do his bit, only to come back with an amused but slightly horrified look on his face,  “It’s quite an odd experience dropping your sperm off with S’s brother” he says.  Argh! I’d forgotten that our friend’s brother worked at our clinic, and it turns out he’s our embryologist for the day.  I doubt he’d recognise us, I think I’ve only met him twice, but when he walked into our prep room and started talking to us about my scans and the process for egg collection, it was like our friend was standing in front of us talking about our eggs and sperm – S and his brother are that similar.  It was so weird and slightly unsettling.  At least he’s not the doctor performing the collection though right!

Into theatre and it begins.  I remember slightly more from the procedure this time and am prepared for the drunk feeling afterwards.  What’s more, it’s a great result.  11 eggs!  Two more than last time, we can only hope they’re of a decent quality.  In slightly more discomfort than the last time we did this, we manage a quick shop for Christmas presents before heading home for a quiet afternoon and relaxing evening on the couch.

Saturday morning.  We’re both in a good mood and are hopeful but nervous.  I decide to make hubby breakfast – a treat for him as I don’t enjoy cooking.  Halfway through making eggs and my cellphone rings.  Butterflies explode in the pit of my stomach as I answer the call.  “It’s not good news I’m afraid” and my world dissolves.  Turns out the results are much the same as our first IVF, only worse.  It seems stupid now but it really hadn’t occurred to me that that was possible for us.  The classic ‘it won’t happen to me’.  Out of our 11 eggs, 8 of them are either abnormal or immature, and of the 3 mature eggs none of them have fertilised normally.  NONE.  The lab tell me there may be a glimmer of hope and that they’ll keep an eye on the 3 embryos throughout the day and will call in the afternoon with an update.

I hang up the phone and relay the news to hubs.  Shellshocked we sit in near silence eating our now well-overcooked eggs.  I shed a couple of tears, and so does he, but to be honest we’re both so shocked that we’re not really sure what to do.  The day is all a bit of a blur now, but we did head out somewhere because when the 2nd call from the lab comes we’re driving back towards home along the motorway.  One embryo had shown signs of fertilisation but for some reason only got halfway there.  The other two, nothing.  That’s it, it’s all over.  From excitement, hope, and joy to absolute devastation in little more than 24 hours.  How can this be happening to us?  Not only is this IVF cycle a bust but we both know, with a similar result to IVF1, that this is more than likely the end of the road of a biological baby for us.  I’m heartbroken.  It’s a strange feeling as although I’m perfectly fine with a non-biological child, it’s quite a shock to hear that your body is defective and can’t do what it’s supposed to, that it can’t do the one thing it’s evolutionarily supposed to do as a woman.  And, being mistaken for brother and sister more than once, my husband and I have always wondered what our children would look like – a combination of similar yet completely different genes….I guess that’s something we’ll never know.

The rest of the weekend is incredibly subdued.  We cry, we think, we analyse, we cry some more.  We start to tell people what’s happened – although not until near the end of the weekend so as not to put a downer on other people who, with the gorgeous weather across the country, should be having a marvellous break.  We start to focus on the next step.  And look forward to work to distract us.  And then more bad news hits – but that’s another post in itself.

So our dream for a biological child seems over.  Of course, there’ll be no confirmation of that until our WTF appointment with our doctor in a week or so but we both know what he’s going to say, he prepped us for this after the result of our first IVF cycle.  It’s tough, real tough, but what can you do, that’s life right?  Save the Bumble, save the world.


Dear Me

Dear Me,

I know you have found this cycle a lot tougher than last time but you can do this.  You’re nearly there.  I also know you have been battling not to get your hopes up.  11 decent sized follicles on the scan doesn’t necessarily mean 11 eggs.  And even if you do get 11 eggs remember that they might not all be usable.  Out of your 9 eggs last cycle you only got two embryos, and even these weren’t of great quality, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t end up with many this time.  Some is better than none.  I realise it’s difficult to remain balanced but you’re doing great.  Hope for the best but prepared for the worst. It will all be ok.

Love Me.


“Try to swim to stay afloat”

I was planning on writing a blog post on giving up because that’s what I feel like doing right now.  I thought that last month could’ve been the month.  Again! Why do I do this to myself – I get myself into a good place full of acceptance and ready for wherever the battle takes us, and then I have a random cycle that throws a spanner in my works and makes me believe that this could be possible “naturally”, only to succumb to disappointment when the spotting shows up.  This month we timed things perfectly, then a few days post-ovulation my boobs got sore and I had random cramps but alas, it wasn’t to be, the spotting began and my body lets us down again.  I guess I need to pin my hopes on IVF #2, although I’m also wary of pinning any hopes on that as my body seems determined to have its own way no matter the cost.  Anyway, this isn’t a post on giving up, not any more.

The thing that changed my mind on what I would write about came about from a comment on this blog.  I love reading comments, I not only love to hear other peoples perspective on what I write but it also reminds me that I’m not alone in this, that people actually read my blog, that there are so many others out there like me and they are all so lovely and supportive.  The comment just happened to be so perfectly timed and succinctly worded that it reminded me I have to keep going.

The last couple of weeks have been particularly testing for me.  So many pregnancy announcements, new babies bought into work to visit, photos of the kids online.  It’s hard.  I like to think that I’ve coped pretty well.  I’ve congratulated whole-heartedly, I’ve cuddled babies so small they could drop through your arms, and I’ve commented on pictures online….and for the most part I have actually been really happy for everyone (especially you B).  But there have been moments where my confidence has wavered, where I’ve struggled to hold back the tears or the heartache and I haven’t really known what to do.  Until I remember the comment, and my resolve is restored.

I know there are a few people out there reading this blog who are in the same situation as me.  These are some of the strongest people you would ever meet but if you told them this I bet it would take the majority of them by surprise.  I’ve had a couple of people tell me over the last few years that I’m strong and I’ve never really believed them.  I certainly don’t feel strong, you just do what you have to do to survive, to open your eyes in the morning, put one foot in front of the other, and to make your way through life.  So this particular comment told me I was strong. To have this come from a virtual stranger (we read each other’s blogs but have never met) blew me away.  They also mentioned that I “provide so much support for other women”….which made me cry.  Hehehe, real strong huh!

As I’ve already mentioned in previous posts, I primarily started this blog for me, as a way to capture the process and as an outlet for my emotions.  I’ve also said that if writing this could help just one other person work their way through this hell then it would be an added bonus.  So to have someone state that my ramblings provide support to someone other than myself makes me feel so overwhelmed I can’t do anything else but cry.  I am amazed, and truly, truly grateful.  This one little sentence, and the fact that someone I barely know took the time out of their day to write it to me, gives me a massive reason to keep moving forward.  It gives me hope, and it gives me a great sense of camaraderie.  We’re all in this together, regardless of the outcomes, and we’ll help keep each other afloat.

So this isn’t a post on giving up, because we all know I won’t do that, no matter how much I may feel like it right now.  It’s a post about swimming, and about throwing the life-saver to anyone out there getting too tired to doggy-paddle.

(Sorry, I know I was supposed to ‘Sunshine Award’ from the comment but I’m hopeless)


Through the looking glass

Tomorrow marks two and half years of searching for Bumble.  What feels like a lifetime looks like nothing at all when written on a page.  Two and half years, roughly the gap between my younger brother and I. Two and a half years, a year less than the short time it took me to get a university degree.  Two and a half years, a third of the time I’ve been at my current place of employment.  It seems like nothing but it feels like forever.  The good thing about hitting this milestone is that I no longer have any expectations, I don’t really think (other than the occasional pang of unrealistic hope) that I’ll get pregnant.  I know it’s possible but it no longer seems like a definite and therefore I have no anticipation.  That certainly makes it easier dealing with the negative result month after month.  Of course it’s still disappointing but my hopes are only a fraction of what they once were so it’s a shorter distance to fall.  On the other hand, while the disappointment may be easier to handle, this acceptance opens up a whole raft of other issues by making me doubt and question myself.

Part of this questioning process has been a good thing, and part not so much.  I have started interrogating myself as to whether I truly want kids or is it just the happy family dream I’m fooling myself with.  Do I really want children or do I just think I do because that’s what many of my friends are doing?  It’s come up more and more lately, especially now that I’m feeling more like my old self and am beginning to enjoy life again.  Could I live with this being ‘it’ for the next 50 years?  The puzzle has played around and around in my head, chopping and changing to some degree or another, but I think it always boils down to the same thing.  Yes, I enjoy my life right now, I love my sleep-ins and my going out for dinner, and being able to do something at the drop of a hat, I could live like this for the rest of my days but in all honesty I would trade all that in in a heartbeat to be able to have a child.  I know this is the right answer, it’s continuously reinforced for me with the stab of pain that cuts through my body every time I see a woman pregnant, or a family with young kids.  This is what I want.  And let’s face it, I wouldn’t have to give up everything, not forever anyway.  I know many of my friends still manage a life somewhat resembling their pre-child one, you just have to make adjustments.  I’m not saying it’s easy by any means, just that it’s possible.

The other part of this soul-searching and self-doubt that seems to have appeared lately is the lack of faith in my ability to be the me I was before.  This is the not-so-good side of the coin.  I find it hard to engage in conversation, and having to talk to people I don’t know so well freaks me out, sometimes to the point of full-on anxiety.  It’s like I’ve regressed back into the shy pre-teen/early teenager who feels awkward and out of place.  My life has for so long revolved around this journey and hiding myself away from the world that reemerging from the chrysalis leaves me feeling new and vulnerable.  I don’t know what to talk about or how to be ‘normal’.  I’m always waiting for ‘those questions’, which of course I’m happy to answer as that’s about all I can talk about any more, but that wouldn’t be normal either.  I guess it’ll be a slow process and I just need to take baby steps back to sociability.  Trouble is I know I put a lot of pressure on myself to fit in and be liked.  I’ve spent too much of my life feeling like a nobody, being picked on as geeky, or not the same as everyone else.  Until my late teens I never really had that solid group of friends so I’m always feeling like people will judge me and turn away.  It’s that feeling that makes me so desperately want to be ‘normal’, trouble is I don’t know how to be that anymore.

Two and half years ago I was full of hope and expectation.  I went out, I had fun, I conversed, and I fitted in.  Two and half years of failing, of feeling like an outcast, of guilt and shame and doubt, and I’m a different me.  I’m a me with the same dreams but I’m a me who’s been broken and is mending. I’m a me slowly trying to reengage with the world wishing things were different.  But at least I know I still want kids.

“All my life
I’ve been fighting a war
I can’t talk to you or your friends
It’s not only you
My heart jumps around when I’m alluded to
This will not do

‘Cause I was raised up
To be admired, to be noticed
But when you’re withdrawn
It’s the closest thing to assault
When all eyes are on you
This will not do

I’m faking glory
Lick my lips, toss my hair
And turn the smile on
And the story’s brand new
But I can take it from here
I’ll find my own bravado”

– Lorde


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