Thursday, 30 October 2008

Europhile

When I was being upbeat about my enforced three month respite from trying to conceive I
listed being able to visit my mates on the continent (without worrying I would be missing an impregnation opportunity), as a good thing.

And tomorrow my womb-mate and I will hop on a eurostar and make our way to Bruxelles. We'll meet up with our two continent inhabiting friends for a girlie weekend.

But its not all roses. That same list about the positives also declared that with no dates with the dildo-cam I could embrace the retro muff.

So what have we got planned for the weekend? A nudist spa in Germany (of course its in Germany, those krauts can't keep their clothes on).

RRRRRIIIIIIPPPPPP!!!

Ouchy.

Do you think Locks of Love want a donation?

******

And quick update. I have finished my A to Z of the kind of advice (I believe the correct internet term is assvice) that anyone who is trying to get pregnant will get from well-meaning , but ultimately infuriating, folk.

But it is a fluid list so feel free to keep suggesting stuff and I'll update the best ones.



Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Eau De Vie

Yesterday one of my closest friends gave birth to a little boy. (I say little, but at 9lbs 5 he wasn't exactly a tiddler).

I was worried how I would react to the news. When she told me that she was pregnant I had ju
st had my first set of tests back from the Doctor and had got the all clear, I'd ovulated when the pee stick told me I had and the husband's sperm were 'normal'. (Howzat for an accolade?!)

That was back in February.

I kept hoping that by the time she had the baby I would be pregnant. As the weeks and months went past I kept having to mentally re-adjust the age difference between our children. Until I had to concede it wasn't going to happen this time.

But, when I got the email yesterday I felt nothing but delight and relief that they are
both safe and well. Ok I was little upset that there wasn't a picture included (Frog, if you are reading this wack one over pronto - Oh, and congratulations, almost forgot that).

It is something I've remarked
on before (but hey, I'm running out of material here until I can get back on the ttc wagon), strangers babies are much more likely to make me feel jealous and broody than those of my friends. My friends ones are allocated, strangers seem to have been come by so easily.

And why the title? It literally translates as water of life. And is apt because the new boy’s initials are ODV (say it out loud, it'll make sense).



Sunday, 26 October 2008

I'm coming out

No, not like that. Although the husband is still convinced that I have more tales from my teenage years in a girls' boarding school that I have yet to share with him.

(I don't.)

Back to the topic. A discussion that is often raised in the blogosphere is 'should we tell folk we are having problems conceiving?'. (I still find it near impossible to use the word infertile - it sounds far too final.)

But why the dilemma? It is something that I have struggled with. I'm not ashamed. It is not my fault. It happens. No one is going to judge me and actually telling people might even illicit some good advice or sympathy.

And that is the problem.

We all know the kind of advice we would receive, usually backed up with a concrete example of "a friend of a friend's cousin did X and now she has 6 children".

Or the sympathy, at best, might leave me a blubbering wreck and the giver of said shoulder to cry on wondering if it would be heartless to forward the dry-cleaning bill. At worst the sympathy will take the form of pointing out people who are worse off. I know there are people worse off, I feel for them, I hope everyone's dreams come true but telling me about them isn't going to make me slap my hand to my forehead declare how blind I have been and start seeing the world through rose-coloured spectacles.

But, just to contradict what I have said above I have started to tell people. Initially just my closest mates but more recently other people who I suspect may be having similar problems or who I see often enough that I don't want them to start nudging each other should I not drink. Or those I fear will one day casually raise the "So when are you two going to have children?" topic. I'm pre-empting. And so far, its been positive.

The responses I have had have generally been supportive without seeing it as a green light for intrusive questions and it has felt like a weight off my mind. Turns out I should credit the folk I know with a bit more tact, and empathy.

One person I told recently was my Dad. Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will know that a) I have been teetering on the edge of talking to him about this for ages and b) my Mum died when I was 15 so he has to deal with the emotional baggage of his three daughters as well as the more conventional DIY-expert/ plumber/ electrician Dad role.

So back in September (I know its taken a while to blog about it) I had a work meeting in a town near my Dad's so I took the opportunity to stay with him the night before. His wife was staying with a friend so it was the first time in years there have just been the two of us, no partners, no siblings.

He took me out for dinner and, in a very calm, unemotional way, I told him exactly what was going on; what tests I'd had; what the results were; our next steps. And my dears, this is the phenomenal bit, I managed to have the whole conversation without even alluding the the fact that I have sex with my husband, there are somethings a father never needs to confront.

He was brilliant. Only one blip when he suggested that maybe if I "didn't worry so much about it, it would happen". Deep breath. Explain how I have had irregular periods all of my life (I gloss over the period I was on the pill, see above, he doesn't need to know), so there is clearly something 'up', and anyway I wasn't worried at the start.

Now he asks how things are going with the "baby thing", but doesn't push it, and will frequently hand the phone over to my step-mother to dig for more graphic details.

I suppose the point of the post is to say on the whole talking to people in real life has generally been really positive and helpful. I'm not about to walk into a party with an opening gambit, "Hi! I'm infertile, what about you?" and, other than on a need to know basis, folk at work will remain oblivious. But I am less wary about talking to friends and family. These are people who care a lot about me, and they want to share the bad stuff as well as the good, and appreciate the trust that I have shown in them by telling them.




Thursday, 23 October 2008

Yoga

Those of you with exceptional memories may recall that my big push for an autumn/ winter conception included some life changing decisions (kinda). Well thanks to the provera I'm not going to get knocked up this side of Christmas, but that doesn't mean I can't make like a boy scout and be prepared.

So a quick revisit of the resolutions reveals something that curiously I haven't blogged about. Yoda Yogi Yoga

Now you need a bit of back story. Whilst at university I was a demon yogie. I was supple, dedicated, and so big an advocate for it that I managed to pursuade my Dad to take it up.

Fast forward ten years, not so. My dad however, my 62 year old ex-army officer dad, he's still doing his weekly practice - though hasn't taken up the spliffs or hippy lifestyle (as far as I know).

The problem is, my first teacher was brilliant. I left town and had never found a teacher that I clicked with. I tried yoga that involved hitting yourself in the chest whilst humming, yoga in saunas, yoga under duvets, Iyenga, Astanga, yoga in gyms, yoga in people houses. But no one was as good as Claudia. Gradually I stopped looking.

But with the new resolve I had to get back to it. With the dog timings were hard. Most classes round me start at 6 which even if I leave work bang on time doesn't give me time to get home, walk the dog and make it to class.

But then I found a 7pm class at a local dance school. It was like coming home. I found myself grinning throughout the class. This was yoga as I knew it. I was back, I was once again going to be a yoga-goddess. At the end of the class the tutor announced that was his last session.

Arse.

So last week I found another class. Time not quite so good, location a bit further away, and you had to sign up for 6 sessions up front. I had reservations but this was my 'last' chance.

Oh dear.

It took a while to get over the nausea induced by the copious amount of incense burning. By then we were into the practice it seemed to consist simply of rubbing ourselves. We rubbed our hands together, we rubbed our faces with said hands, we ran our hands seductively down our body, down our legs, up our inner thighs.

By the end of it all I could think of was my ex-flatmate explanation for why he stopped coming to yoga: "With all those fit women in the class, I just knew that one day I'd be standing in Vrksasana with an enormous erection."

I didn't find it so exciting. But maybe it'll get better next week.



Sunday, 19 October 2008

Spot the difference

I was right! My body is really trying to soldier on and ignore the fact that I am taking provera and have a period that confounds medical science. Meanwhile the drugs are acting like the little boy who stuck his finger in the dyke (that could go so many ways but keep it clean and in context dear reader), and preventing a full-on flow, but still there is a drip, drip, drip. I believe the technical term is spotting.


Though to be honest there isn't much difference. The pains aren't quite so bad and the flow isn't quite as heavy. But I still had tender boobs leading up to it, I still felt unaccountably miserable then once it started everything fell into place, and I still have a craving for chocolate (Ok. Point taken. I still have a craving for chocolate, more than normal).

So I clearly did ovulate a couple of weeks ago, but by then I was just starting the provera so I purposefully didn't let myself test for it. I knew it would be a waste of time. But it appears this was the first time I ovulated on schedule for 6 months.

Rationally I know that my womb lining needs some serious tlc before it can play host to a wee baby (or two - is that greedy?). But I still sort of wish we had delayed the provera just for a couple of weeks and had one last try by ourselves. One chance at seeing whether the acupuncturist's "thrilling of my chi" had had some effect.

Oh well. Not to be. I suspect this post is just the hormones talking.



Friday, 17 October 2008

My boobs hurt!

No, don't worry this isn't going to be a big miserable post.

But for the past week or so I have had pretty tender lady-bits (top half). This is usually a sign that my period is on its way. Obviously because of the provera it hasn't appeared.

However. However, they started hurting just before I started the pills so I reckon had nature been allowed to progress I would have been regular for the first time since February it being (as of the 17 of October) day 29.

Which, dear Watson, which leads me to conclude. There is something to this acupuncture thing.

That, plus last night when I went to acupuncturist and told him I was having difficult sleeping of late he stuck some new pins in different parts of my anatomy and before I knew it I fell asleep right there on the operating table couch.

Right, the weekend starts here, so I'm off to the pub. Because I can.



Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Bought to you by the letters A to Z


Acupuncture - folk swear by it, sometimes lots of little pricks help the big one get to work properly.


Booze - stay well clear, I know red wine has anti-oxidents but on this occasion it is all bad.

Caffine - see above, turns out there is no fun to be had (I didn't mean to make this rhyme!)
Douche - I kid you not, I read: 'a helpful tip to become pregnant is to use a baking soda douche at least one hour before intercourse at the time of ovulation. This makes the vagina alkaline, which is ideal for the sperm.' I just can't help thinking that for the husband it'd just feel like soggy seconds. And that's not nice.

Egg whites - I have never. I will never. Will I?

Folic Acid - not strictly for to help you get pregnant, but vital for a healthy pregnancy.

Grinning - get use to it. As soon as you start trying to have a baby all of your friends will suddenly announce their knocked up state. And you will have to grin and bear it. Again, and again, and again. (Thanks Amber, Between the Lines)


Horny - people are more flirty and attractive to the opposite sex when they are ovulating. So if you are finding everybody unusually appealing and you feel like ripping the overalls off those builders down the road, then it's likely to be your most fertile time of the month! (Thanks Victoria)

Intervals - it is counterintuitive but lots and lots of sex isn't going to work any more than none. You need to let the little spermazoids recuperate, regroup and revive between each blast. Its usually recommended having sex every two to three days rather than every day. Unless you have several men on the go - we women don't need to hang around.

Just Adopt -
Apparently, if you adopt a child you are bound to fall pregnant! Like babies are contagious, or something. Arghhhh! (Word up to Secret Diary of an Infertile for this gem)

Kununurra Falls - Nicole reckons this is why she got up the duff, we're planning a ttc conference there, you in?


L
ake of the Pregnant Maiden in Langkawi, Malaysia. Apparently it's another one of those swimming spots that's good for getting women up the duff. (Thanks, Jane aka Lacking Expectations)

Missionary position - let gravity do the work for you, give the tadpoles a fighting chance.


New House -Maybe it is the change in Feng Shui or the fact that you have to christen every room when you move in (don't you?) but lots of fertiles will knowingly recommend this as a sure fire way to get pregnant. Credit crunch? Forget it.
(Thanks once again, Jane aka Lacking Expectations)

Orgasming whilst Ovulating - When climaxing the contraction of the muscles apparently helps suck the little swimmers up there all nice and deep, combine that with actually ovulating and you should be there .. should be. (Thanks to Paint it Black and Amber, of Between the Lines)

Pillow under your butt - see 'M', just twenty minutes of proping yourself up after each sexcapade, to allow gravity to help those swimmers on their way. (I calculate this is approximately four times longer than the actual event!)


Quit trying - Kinda on the lines of just relax. You see our problem is we just are so obsessed with getting pregnant we can't do it. So as soon as we stop trying it'll happen. Of course this presupposes that a) we continue having sex but manage to fool ourselves into believing we aren't trying and b) everything is hunk-dory in the baby making department. Ooooh it makes me angry!
(Once again, cheers Jane aka Lacking Expectations)

Relax - don't get me started on this one ... the most common bit of advice anyone'll give you.
It is incredibly infuriating, not least because as soon as anyone says it the last thing you are is relaxed.

Sex - almost goes without saying, but it is kinda important, unless you'd rather the ...


...Turkey baster.


Underpants - keep 'em loose and the spermazoids cool.


Vitex Agnus-Castus - apparently this is good for PMS and Polycystic, but I have to say I haven't tried it myself yet so this isn't an endorsement.


Womb for Improvement - I don't want to big myself up, of course, so only because Xbox4Nappyrash suggested it and I am but a martyr to my commentors. And, lets face it, there is no better place for erroneous advice and generally talking rubbish. (Except maybe X's blog himself).

X-rated - hmmm... gone are the days of adventurous sex, rather than swinging from the chandeliers you're more likely to be proffering a positive ovulation test and demanding satisfaction.
Yoga - deep breaths, downward facing dog and conceive.

Zinc
- mainly for him, good for the little swimmers, and therefore good for us. If only I could find a fool proof way to stop him forgetting to take them.

All done, thanks to all the commentors who waded in with their tuppence worth. I now have the definative list of how to get knocked up. Should be easy now.
Remember kids, this is just for fun! (And these aren't substantiated - anyone who tries to follow all these will become a quivering, infertile wreck, yeah, kinda like me).



Saturday, 11 October 2008

I Don't Need A Child

Don't get me wrong I WANT one but in terms of how my life would change in may ways I think the husband fills the void.

Here are a few examples of the kind of questions he asks:

"Will I need a jumper?"

"What should I pack?"

"Have I had a tetanus jab?"

"Is my Mum's birthday the 8th or 12th?"

"Do I have any clean pants?"

This is from an intelligent, successful, 32 year old man.

My answer is generally:

"I dunno, I'm not your mother"

What the hell am I going to do when I am? (Not his, that is sick, I mean a mother)?

If this post seems a little harsh then it is simply because he's got way too smug after this post and needs taken down a peg or two.



Thursday, 9 October 2008

Anyone got any Vera's? Luurvvvely*


I didn't tell you the whole story last week. (And warning, this is a pretty long boring post filed under the 'public information bulletin for those who might also be prescribed provera' rather than 'fun shinanigans relating to trying to procreate').

The reason I ending up seeing the doctor rather than just picking up my prescription and nipping off home to start popping pills was that I was confused.

When the doctor told me over the phone that I had to take provera for three months I thought she meant I should take it for 7 days or so, have a period, repeat for two more months. I thought this because I had taken provera before and this was the kind of dose I was taking. I didn't know it could be taken for an extended period (no pun intended) and to me three months sounds like three cycles.

In my defence. The phone call was taken on my mobile, with on a very bad line, at work, standing in the only private space I could find - the photocopier room. The doctor had just told me I had had an abnormal result, she had got back to me within a week rather than waiting until the next appointment I had booked in three weeks time. I'm stunned I could hear anything above the sound of alarm bells in my head.

I picked up the prescription and asked the nurse for clarification.
"Three months, no I don't know, I've never seen anyone take provera for three months ask the doctor, go on knock on her door now".

Note on the prescription it said:
Drug: Provera
Dose: 5mg
Frequency: lots (yes, I kid you not, 'lots' what kind of dose is that)
No of days supply: 3/12 (which I assume is actually number of months supply out of the maximum number of months you can have in a year).

I managed to ask what this meant. Response:
"You take it every day for 3 months"
"EVERY DAY?"
"Yes I told you this on the phone"
(Deep breath don't argue just get this clear then you can get out and go have a cry)"OK so just to clarify I take a pill starting tomorrow [which was the 1st of October] until the 31 of December."
"Yes, one dose a day"

Now I took that to mean I took one pill a day.

So when I got my prescription and it said 3 a day on the packet I was confused. I assumed that was the 'normal' dose that was put on the label as a default measure. Particularly as last time I took 2 a day and that was only for seven days.

But I thought I'd better check. So I called. I don't know how it is is elsewhere but the gate keepers at the NHS are such that you don't get to talk to the doctor. You get to leave an answerphone message and then, if you are lucky, a nurse will call you back.

So I was clear and unambiguous in my message: I just want clarification of whether I take one pill a day or three, please call me back ...

The doctor's secretary called back.

"Dr S. want you to come in for an appointment at 10am next Thursday"
"Ok, but really all I need to know if how many pills I should be taking"
"Dr S. want you to come in for an appointment at 10am next Thursday"
"Great, ok then, do you know how many, just so I can start taking them?"
"Dr S. want you to come in for an appointment at 10am next Thursday"
"Right. Bye then."

So today. A very short appointment. I AM supposed to be taking three pills (15mg) , which is one dose - apparently. I felt like I was wasting her time - although to be fair she didn't make me feel like that, and at least I got to ask more questions about the hysteroscopy.

I should call when I have finished my pills, call when I have finished what should be an epic bleed, and then I'll get the hysteroscopy. (Another area of confusion as I thought as she wanted a nice thick womb lining I was supposed to have it between finishing the pills and the bleed - but no).

And it won't be under general anaesthetic, which is a relief.

So I'm pill popping until January and then see what'll happen.

*And yes, I know the Shamen weren't referring to provera but it works a whole lot better than slang for rolling papers.



Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Always the Godparent


Never the God.

Er ... I mean parent.

I've got three Godkids. Which is quite impressive for someone who is more likely to lead children astray than keep them on the straight and narrow path to a life of virtue and chastity.

My first is fifteen now (I know, I don't look old enough, people think we are godsisters). She is a brilliant, scholarship pupil, sporty, musical and pretty. One of my proudest moments was when she added me as a friend on facebook - Oh yeah I am, like, so, like, down wit da kidz man, innit. (Since then I have had to change my settings, not so she can't see what I'm doing but I don't want to know what she gets up to.)

The next wee mischief maker is a one year old minx. Incredibly cute, willful and, although I'm a little concerned she might turn out ginger (or as her Mum always described her own hair - titian), she's still pretty cool.

And the husband and I are due to be joint Godparents to a little boy soon. His mum was the husbands flat-mate (platonic) at University, so the three of us have know each other for 14ish years. She married two weeks after us, a date arranged so we'd be back from honeymoon and not miss it. Her son was conceived a few months later, he is just shy of one now. She doesn't know we are trying, she's oblivious to the fact that her son is a physical reminder of what we should have. She has even said that she wished she could have waited a bit longer, like us, but because her husband is a fair few years older than us, and she already has a daughter from a previous relationship, they felt she should crack on. However, on the positive side it is a testament to our marriage that she has asked us to be joint Godparents - she said she wouldn't have done it if she didn't think we had an incredibly strong marriage. Which is nice.

Those three, plus my sister, who doesn't want to go through the christening malarky has left me her son in her will. Or I'm his default guardian - or whatever the legal term is.

So either our friends and family have recognised what awesome parents we will be, or the scheeming bia-tches have figured this is the best way for their kiddies to get their sticky little fingers on an inheritance should we die rich and childless. It's a high risk, long term strategy, so I'm going with the former.

Kelley from Magneto Bold Too asked us recently to post about how awesome we are - I reckon this is a pretty strong endorsement, no?



Friday, 3 October 2008

Always look on the bright side ...


Have I told you my womb mate is a psychologist?

This can be good and bad.

Bad. When she decided to try and cure my vertigo half-way up Gaudi's bell towers in Barcelona. "On a scale of one to ten how scared are you right now? Ten. Really? Ten is the most scared you have ever been in your whole life. Ever. OK I'll let you have seven. God! This is great I can't laugh at my patients but I can laugh at you." (Yes, I was on that tiny bridge between the towers at the time - and the safety barriers are about knee height).

Good. When she tells me strange little things she has read. Mainly about people with brain injuries that I won't go into now but one thing that stuck in my mind was research on lottery winners (I'm not really a woman obsessed, honest). Basically after the initial euphoria folk who were happy and content before remain happy and content, and those who use to think nothing ever went their way and were miserable bastards then they too revert to type. Same after a miserable experience after grief, pain etc people revert to where they were before.

And I am a happy person. I have always been happy. Builder's shout at my mate "Cheer up love, it might never happen." With me its "Hello smiler". Note I am not smiling at builders (I'm not that much of a hussy) but more I have a habit of walking down the street grinning inanly, yes, like a simpleton.

So despite the kinda bi-polar nature of my posts I remain optimistic, I might have blips - like the last couple of days but I still feel positive. I'm still a happy person. And I am really aware that I haven't had to cope with a miscarriage, anything that is difficult to cure, sperm donations, ivf etc it's only three months I've had those kind of break before with my never-ending cycles the difference is now I can prepare myself rather than constantly live with dashed hopes.

So maybe its a result of reading too much Pollyanna and Enid Blyton ("Buck up, old girl") as a kid but here are my reasons to be cheerful:
  • I will save a fortune on fud-plugs (tampons)
  • Whilst I've gone three months without a period before I will also be saving a fortune on pee sticks
  • I can buy myself a new pair of jeans without wondering whether to go a couple of sizes too big, just in case I get preggers
  • I can stop taking folic acid (not a massive issue for me but it is a bit of reclaiming my life, and I consume a massive about of marmite anyway so probably don't need supplements)
  • I can reconcile myself to not being pregnant at certain milestones now rather than get upset on the day; anniversary, Christmas, New Year, next Dentist appointment
  • I can plan booze-filled fun things to do at the above events (well maybes not the dentist, though actually a wee shot of vodka to numb the fear)
  • I won't have to worry that I'll be on a two week wait at my work Christmas do, so won't have to watch the nudges and raised eye brows if people notice I'm not drinking
  • I have three months to prepare my body for conception (hmmm, yeah, ignore all the booze references above obviously I won't be binge drinking every night ... probably)
  • I'm doing a management course over the next couple of months so will be able to concentrate a bit more on that. (Oh god I should be starting my assignment now)
  • I can go ahead with a visit to my mates who live on the continent without embarking on the eurostar clutching a warm cup of recently extracted spunk and a turkey baster just on the happen-chance that I ovulate whilst away from the husband
  • I can dye my hair without the guilt that the chemicals might swirl around my blood stream and damage a recently conceived embryo - because I am worth it
  • The husband and I can have a quickie without me having to factor in twenty minuets of post-coital lounging with pillow under hips to encourage the swimmers in the right direction
  • With no internals coming up, an end to any kind of bikini weather and the husband being grateful for what he can get I can relax my downstairs topiary routine and embrace the retro-muff look as featured by playboy models circa 1968 - 1979.
Any other good things you guys can think of?