Friday, January 04, 2008

The Absent Blogger Returns

And here I return. No excuse really other than fear. Fear of success and hope. Fear of everything going right. Fear of the unknown. Just fear.

(Oh, and I forgot my blogger password, returned my school computer, didn't have another for a few weeks and needed to try and get my life and home organised in time).

And then, she arrived. Early, but not too early. Early enough to surprise, but not enough to affect her health. She was small, but not tiny and she started to grow with the most amazing speed.

And now, she is 12 1/2 weeks old and she greets me with smiles every morning.

I want to post more, and I will when I get some time, although that is a commodity in extremely short supply now. It will be soon, but it has been too long already.

So here she is before it's even longer, my LittleStar ...

Monday, August 20, 2007


It's true. I've been avoiding. And I'm not sure I am even aware enough to say why.

The reality, whilst clearly evident, seems all too tenuous to feel confidence. And to to whinge seems ungrateful. To feel uncertain, unsure, scared and vulnerable all feel like I am not demonstrating appropriate respect or concern for those who aren't here yet.

But it's more than that.

I want to be able to be like all of those other untainted and unscarred pregnant women. I want to feel joy in my belly and confidence in my progress. I want to feel that I deserve this and that the time for worry and concern is behind me.

But it's more than that.

I know things are going well. Every check-up, every scan, every conversation with other pregnant women. Apart from the means of our beginnings, I have been the text-book case of the 'perfect' pregnancy. And that scares me. Why should I be so lucky now? When will the bubble burst and the fairy tale end? And if it doesn't, what did I do to deserve this? What have I done right?

And with everything going so well, what right do I have to be paranoid and worried? I have been in the place where heartbreaking worry lives and I feel like a traitor to my old self. From back there, I always thought that this is where I should feel safe. Free from the burdens of fear, pain and despair. But they have followed me. In a different form, yes, but they are still here.

Most of the time I have them squashed firmly down in a very small place in my mind. And denial has been working well. Which is probably why I have been avoiding. To write is always to bring up the deepest thoughts within sometimes the darkest places. It has been easier to pretend there are no dark places if I don't write about them. And I don't want to become repetitive and boring ... even to myself.

But, I think, I can't bury my head any longer. I know from past experience that my most effective resolutions have always come through writing - whether for myself or for an audience, it doesn't matter. I need to write. I want to feel the joy without the dark cloud threatening to obscure it. Time is passing and my goal will soon be reached. I need to find my peace.

So, I'm back. As I write I am now 30 weeks pregnant and my baby is stretching and kicking against the taught skin of my belly. At times, I develop a very lopsided bump, and AdventureBoy loves nothing more than to place his warm hand on the movement. It always calms both of us down - and I hope it has the same effect once the baby is born! I am feeling well and have put on a steady, but minimal amount of weight. I have had no sickness, cravings or aversions and have been eating pretty much as I normally would.

I have taken leave from my study from now until early next year - my mind has been full of too many other things too really give it my full focus. And I finish work in 6 weeks. That is actually something I'm really looking forward to, even though I have never felt that need before. I usually love my job and I am one the rare people who could say with absolute certainty that I am in the right career for me. But, after 14 years in the one place, a year away is sounding very appealing. And it will give me the opportunity to actually complete my study before I return. So I suppose, I'll be kind of working anyway.

And that's it, for the moment. I will need to do the rounds and visit all those I have neglected in my avoidance. Hopefully, there are more happy stories than sad ones.

See you soon ...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Infertile Lament

We are infertile, you and I,

With broken hearts and few choices left to try

We have been the patient etherised upon a table;

We have travelled, through certain half-deserted dreams,

Of devastating negatives

Of restless nights and fading positives

And hopeful starts with grating missives:

Conversations that follow like a tedious argument

Of increasingly tragic intent

To lead us to an overwhelming decision …

We do not need to ask, “What is it?”

We just go and make our visit.

In the room the scientists come and go

Talking of blastocysts, we know.

And indeed there will be time

For the fears and hopes that slide along the years,

Inflicting despair and determination in doses;

There will be time, there will be time

To prepare a treatment to match the bloods and scans;

There will be time to trigger and time to plan,

And time for all the injections and alarms of maybe

That allow yet another hope to penetrate our heart;

Time for you and time for me,

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,

And for a hundred visions and revisions,

Before the taking of a dose or three.

In the room the nurses come and go

Talking of HCG, we know.

And indeed there will be time

To wonder, “Do we dare?” and, “Do we care?”

Time to turn back and cry in despair,

With a fear born of the possibility so rare —

[They will say: “It’s real, the journey has now begun”]

Our disbelief, followed swiftly by a mood so glum,

Now what do we do, that we have a race to run—

[They will say: “Just be happy, relax!”]

Do we dare

Disturb this universe?

That we have known so well

For results and positives that could so easily reverse.

For we have known them all already, known them all:—

Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,

We have measured out our cycles with syringe platoons;

We might be lucky and hear those fateful words

Beneath the thumping heartbeat sweating in our phone.

But can a positive ever heal this wound?

Because we are infertile, you and I,

A growing belly might stem the flow,

But our heart will always hold this stone.

That success will only partially hold

Cradled safe in the hand of hope.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What happened to April??!!

You know, I think I actually slept through most of it! I finished school on the 5th and have been on leave since. Great in one way, but also allowing me to wantonly indulge in my sedentarism (I know, I'm inventing words here). I haven't been getting out of bed until around 10am each day and the uni work I was planning hasn't had even a chance of a look-in yet.

But I have been well. Apart from almost complete exhaustion and a lot of pain in my lower back, I have continued to have almost no symptoms throughout the whole pregnancy - and I'm 14 1/2 weeks now. From everything I read, it seems that if I was going to have them they would have appeared by now. So I count myself lucky (in more ways than one).

My apprehension and anxiety have diminished somewhat, although it's always lurking in the background ready to pounce, particularly the moment I tell someone else the reason why I haven't been drinking alcohol, can't eat certain foods, am tired all the time, need bigger clothes etc etc.

In fact, that's been one of the hardest things to deal with - actually telling people. AB and I have even had numerous arguments about it - he wants to tell the world, and has done so since the beginning, especially since the NT scan which came back and a very low risk. Meanwhile, I am quite happy to keep it quiet until it becomes too apparent to hide anymore. I don't really know why I feel so strongly like this, but I really have agonised over each and every announcement. Perhaps it has something to do with how protective I have been prior to this, containing my feelings and thoughts and actions and disappointments, even from my own family. I guess 4 IVF cycles would do that to you (or to me, at least). And now that it's out there, I feel like I have lost all control of the process (not that I really had any in the first place) but at least it was my information to control.

I know I just need to relax a little about it. It's ABs information as well, and I know he is so excited. It's just been hard to let go.

But, as Dr Challenge says, this one seems to be stuck. I have had as many scans as I have needed and little Nova was sucking it's thumb last week. All of the measurements have been spot on and my belly is starting to look distinctly rounded in the past couple of weeks. All seems to be going ahead as it should be and I really am happy. But it's way past my bedtime and I really must post. For those who are interested, here's a pic of our perfect headed little human (you know, it really was touch and go between that or a prawn at the first scan).

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I think I might be ...

I haven't been posting much lately - mainly because I don't want to give into the self-indulgent and ultimately boring and depressive whinging about how I'm feeling so uncertain. I know that before now, those posts from newly pregnant bloggers would hurt - not them, but me. That they were in a place I so desperately wanted to be and all they could do was complain.

And now I now how they feel. From analysing and obsessing over every single aspect of our infertile state, it is only natural to simply transfer that obsession and over-analysis to the new pregnancy. It's impossible to just sit back and be content and confident - and you can triple that if you have already had something go wrong previously.

So, to anyone I may have inadvertently upset, I'm sorry. I totally understand if you need to leave or can't possibly leave a comment just to reassure me ... again! I hope to limit how often I give into this, but I know it will surface at some times or others. Feel free to tell me when I've been ranting for a bit too long as well ... I don't want to end up shitting myself throughout this process.

But I do want my blog to hold a record of my journey, so some of it will inevitably be in a trough. For today, however, I think I am on a peak.

Last night, I was feeling so miserable about my continuing lack of symptoms that I finally quelled AB's annoying optimism with my certainty that it was over. I have never been able to budge that before and that sent my spiralling even further down. If he had lost hope, then surely there was none. And I sat with Dr Google for hours, listening to his horror stories and worst-case scenarios.

I had an appointment with Dr Challenge this morning. I could barely drag myself to his office and when I followed him into the scan room, my heart was thumping in my throat and my stomach was tied in nervous knots. I lay on the table, almost in tears before he inserted the probe. And I saw it, although it had been there before, and I couldn't be sure if it was any different or bigger than last time. I was still holding my breath.

Until he pointed out the heartbeat. I could barely see it because I forgot to bring my glasses (again!), but he tried another angle and it all became clear. He measured it and asked, "when's the due date?"
25th October.
"Spot on," he said and pointed to the bottom of the screen, where it said in luminous green letters, 25th October.
And then it moved. It jumped, in fact and waved it's little arms at us and I really couldn't say a word. I was just so stunned that all of that was still going on inside me and I was feeling absolutely none of it!

So today I'm 9weeks 3days. The heartbeat was 179bpm and it waved. I haven't been sick. My boobs haven't hurt. I have been tired but I'm anaemic. I have been constipated but it's gone. I have been peeing a lot, but it's now reduced as well. My pants are tight but I've put on no weight. I have had so very few of the symptoms that I have ready about in all of the books and sites I have been consulting that I have been certain that it can't possibly be real.

But, I think, I might finally be able to say ... I'm pregnant.


I am on holidays in 1 more week and I have also taken 3 extra weeks of long service leave to work on my PhD. I now have extra incentive to get it finished as soon as possible. 40 had always been my deadline, but I'm thinking 25th October is looking good now. So, that will be 5 weeks of focussed study and writing. Lucky, really, that I have not been feeling so bad after all.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

This random game of chance

I went to see my GP yesterday to update my referral to my fertility doctor who has now magically become my obstetrician. Apart from reassuring me a little, she sent me for some full bloodwork and a pee in a cup test. She also gave me 4 undated blood forms which I can use whenever I need to. Just knowing they are there gives me a greater feeling of control.

I really think that's a large part of the issue. In every part of my life, I have mostly been in control. At home, at work, in my study and, when I choose to, with my body. If I have wanted anything in my life, I have generally been able to work hard and get it. Achievements haven't always come easily, but they have come. My stubborness has assured that I don't give up.

But this is so different. I have tried and worked and persisted and searched. And there has been nothing I have been able to do to change the outcomes. It all seems to be so random and all I can do is just keep rolling the dice, waiting for those lucky numbers to show up.

I got my HCG result this afternoon and it was 79,451. Are those numbers lucky? Maybe. They seem to be heading in the right direction and I guess my negativity the day before would have assured me they would be nowhere. Last year, at the same stage, it was only 4000, so obviously a lot better than that.

This helps a bit today - I'm possibly feeling a little more relaxed (although believe me, it's only a little). And now I keep waiting. Hopefully I'll still feel this way tomorrow, but who knows?

All I can do is keep rolling the dice.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I just want to enjoy this

I keep thinking about everything that can still go wrong. Dr Google has been showing me so many examples of a healthy heartbeat at 6 1/2 weeks, then nothing. I still have almost no symptoms and I keep thinking it is all over already.

Every time I squeeze my boobs - are they smaller? Are they sore?
Did I get up fewer times to pee last night - it was 5 the night before?
I'm not as tired this afternoon - I should be worried?
I've only felt queasy for one morning - are my hormones not high enough?
My abdomen is quite bloated, but maybe I'm just fat?

I so much thought that seeing the heartbeat would help me become a little calmer for a while. That I might relax and enjoy this pregnancy, but I have been certain for so long that it has been out of my reach that I still can't believe it will finally happen. And the thing that makes it worse is that it still could turn out that way. After getting this far, there is still a long way to go.

Why should I be so lucky now?

I know I'm further than I've ever been before and I shouldn't be ungrateful. But I want the end as well - I don't think that's too much to ask.

I wish my body would speak to me and tell me what's going on. I have so little to go by - I know the scan was great - right size and strong heartbeat - but it's no guarantee. Does anyone know the percentages or success? Not that it will probably alleviate my worry though ...

AB doesn't understand why I keep doing this to myself. He thinks I should stay positive and believe it will happen. I know he's right, but it's just not that easy.

Sorry for the whine ... maybe it's the hormones????