Sunday, June 25, 2006

End of Term

I feel like Alice's White Rabbit ... no time, no time ... and the pace has been dizzying.

As a coordinator at my school, not only have I been writing my own reports, I have also been checking reports for all of Year 7 (those written by every teacher for every student) and believe me, some of them have been BAD. For educated people who have spent at least 4 years in university study, some of these people just don't don't know to putting a couple of meaningful sentences together. On top of that, I have spent 3 evenings at school for various events and trying to actually be a somehow decent teacher for my students amongst it all.

No wonder I haven't had time to write.

But I can see the end is near. Our students broke up on Friday and this week we have a training day of Monday and then 2 days of parent-teacher interviews. I am running one session of the training day (and so that is the focus of today's computer work) and thankfully, don't have full days of interviews as I don't have as many classes due to my coordinator allowance.

And then, at 7pm on Wednesday, I will be on holidays!

For a short term, it's been a long one, starting with my miscarriage in Week 1 and trundling fairly steadily downhill from there. I am sooooo looking forward to this break. I start Provera on Thursday and injections on the following Monday. It's shame that the real business end of this cycle will happen after I have gone back to school, but I have about 800 hours sick leave accumulated, so I have a great pool to draw upon. I am also planning to apply for leave for the last 5 weeks of this term so that I can either take it easy if it works, or gear up for my next cycle if it doesn't. I might even get some of my thesis written as well.

The sun is shining today and my study window looks out over the park next door. It is late afternoon and the western light has spread a beautiful, warm glow throughout the room. It has even penetrated into my heart and I feel like smiling for no apparent reason. For the first time in a long time, I feel happy and even content. Still busy, still empty, still wishing on that star, but smiling the shyest of smiles at Hope. I think she might be looking my way.

Monday, June 19, 2006


That is, Other People's Kids.

As much as I have difficulty with Mrs Precious (and assorted other pregnant women) I have some to the conclusion that I have absolutely no problem with spending time with the babies and children of other people. Whilst my own personal pain is always there, kids are fun. They make me laugh and they awe me with the very fact of their existence. They way they think, learn and grow is amazing to watch and to interact with them reminds me of exactly why I want one of my own.

This weekend, we had a 2 year old over to our place on Saturday night (with her parents, of course) and went for lunch on Sunday with a 4 year old (and her parents - more about them later). Their litle minds are hilarious and I can't help but love the way they draw everyone around them into their little worlds. Everyone is potentially their friend and the honesty of their behaviours and emotions is effortless.

AdventureBoy is also an official kid magnet, so any which we find in our vicinity are immediately drawn into his orbit and the games abound. He tickles and clowns and has all the time and energy for them they they could possibly demand. He even pulls silly faces at kids in the supermarket, at the bank, anywhere. It doesn't matter if he doesn't actually know them, if it's a child, it's there for fun. In many ways he is like a big kid himself. He is the life of the party where any kids are involved and he is the favourite 'Uncle Monkey' of his many nephews.

I hadn't actually noticed that I was OK with children until this weekend. Last week, I started thinking about the approaching kid visits and started worrying about how I would be. If I would be OK. If it would be too hard. If I would think only of myself. And then, I wasn't. I didn't realise that none of those things had happened, not until the end of the weekend had arrived. In fact, I had fun and enjoyed their company and marvelled at how much they knew and how much their presence warmed my heart.

It's the pregnant women that bother me most. It's where I want to be right now. Of course, the children are what I want too, but perhaps they seem just so far away that I can't even get upset about something that is that much into the future. It's the apparently abstract concept of pregnancy (that I had but the tiniest taste) that hurts me the most. And even then, only particular people's pregnancies.

Especially Mrs Precious.

I phoned her this afternoon. I was proud of myself. I managed the keep my emotions deep inside and successfully deflected all comments relating to her pregnancy and her consistent references to her 'pregnancy brain' to justify something she might have done which was stupid, forgetful or just plain nasty. I really just didn't want to know about it.

Was I being completely selfish? Probably.
Did I have to? Absolutely.

I'm not sure how long it will need to be like this. In all reality (and complete honesty) it will probably only genuinely end when I am pregnant myself. I hope with all I have that it happens before she has hers. I know I'll have to deal with it if I'm not ... and many have trodden that path before me ... but it will be a hard one to follow.

And now I'm off for a bit of 'trying' in the quaint and old-fashioned way.

It can't hurt to try.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Who gets it?

Mrs Precious sent me an email this week. She wants to renew the friendship, but her overtures still completely missed the mark. It was all still viewed completely in terms of her, with comments like "you haven't tried to talk to me about this", "I feel you are punishing me" and "I know that you would be happy for me after all I have been though". Lip service to "I know how you feel", but essentially all about her.

I replied, but I found it so hard. Yes, a big part of it is the fact that before, both of us were pregnat and now, only one of us is. But the biggest part for me is the selfishness and superficiality she displayed while we were away. Even if the friendship renews, it will never be the same again. I really don't want to have to live every moment of her pregnancy as she would rarely stop to think that it would be hard for me to hear all about it. Her world is only her and it is that side of her that I can't reconcile with the thought of continuing friendship.

And then, maybe I'm the selfish one. I should be happy for her, but I'm resentful. She hurt me and made me angry and I don't know how I want this now to be. I will call her tomorrow because we are both going to the same engagement party tomorrow night. How do I cope with everyone oohing and aahing over her news? To stay away from her would be obvious. To be with her will be painful. No win really. Hopefully tomorrow's conversation will be a bit of a buffer. And AdventureBoy's presence.

And in absolute and stark contrast is my fabulous next door neighbour whose new son is 4 weeks old now. They came in for dinner a couple of weekends ago. The boys were out by the fire and she and I sat inside and I told her everything (including the Mrs Precious bits). She was empathetic in the right bits and warm and encouraging where appropriate as well. When I told her that they had both implanted, her first comment was "that's so good - so encouraging". I wanted to kiss her, but thought that might be a bit beyond the bounds of our normal interactions.

Later that week, I came home to find a bottle of wine and a card on my front doorstep. A message of sympathy, encouragement and hope and an invitation to visit and share a glass or two whenever I needed to talk. She absolutely and totally 'got it'. Why, without ever having been there, with two healthy kids, did she get it so well? I know there is a difference in the depth of knowledge from each, but I am still 100% sure that she would always say it right while Mrs Precious would always say it wrong.

I know I'm not the first to say, think or feel this but I think it's one of the hardest things of this whole process. Being infertile is one of the most isolating experiences. The world inside my computer the one that most reassures me that I'm not alone.

My kit arrives from Saint Meagan on Monday. I start Provera on the 29th. I am not going to wait another month. This one will be that month. We'll try our little butts off next week (and maybe even enjoy this time) and if no success, then we're all geared up and ready to go. The waiting month would kill me - I want this to happen and I need to make it happen. As Dr Challenge said, it all about numbers. The more times we try the odds move closer towards that chance of success.

And now I'm back to school for an Art Exhibition opening. I'd really rather stay here and write some more ... maybe tomorrow.

Monday, June 12, 2006


I don't know whether it's because of the herbs I've been taking, the hormones through the IVF cycle or the brief pregnancy, but my period came yesterday and I had absolutely no idea that it was about to start. Usually, I have cramping, spotting, bloating and general a general feeling of 'blah' for about 3 or 4 days before it actually starts. This time, none of that. Not even a grumpy scowl at AdventureBoy or advanced chocolate cravings. I just woke up yesterday morning and there it was when I went to the toilet. Started. Completely. And this has been the least amount of pain I have had for a period since, well, ever!

Apart from the lack of warning and subsequent mess, it was brilliant. I only needed to take 2 painkillers (and believe me - that NEVER happens) and I could even actually function and do things. Amazing. It makes me feel like I am possibly normal. I am sure this is what it is supposed to be like - maybe my hormones are happy. Maybe I will have a chance for it to happen naturally with this cycle (well now you're just getting carried away).

All I can do is try.

And if not, at least I know I am ready to be back on again. I'll phone Saint Anne tomorrow.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Boots and Sex

Not that they go together necessarily, but they are the two themes of my stories tonight.

Today, I bought a fabulous pair of boots. I went to my favourite shoe shop in the early hours of this afternoon. I had been to the butcher to buy AdventureBoy his meat for the weekend (I don't actually eat meat, so it really is a great public service that I even walk into a butcher shop for him!) and really needed to go and look at some shoes.

That urge doesn't actually hit me too often, so I decided to go (knowing that the meat would be safe today in my car on this 13 degree C day. I was, of course, looking for something in black but came upon the most gorgeous pair of knee-high brown (red-brown really) leather boots with a lace-up back. As I have quite narrow calves, most of this style of boot looks fairly ridiculous on me - like I've been playing dress-ups in my mother's wardrobe. But the laces on these ones allowed me to pull them in nice and tight and they looked fabulous. I couldn't help myself. Especially when they told me that their 30% off sale was starting that moment in the store! So I got $125 off the original price and stressed only momentarily about how I was going to explain to AdventureBoy that I had bought brown boots instead of black.

Oh well.

Boys will never understand the lure of fabulous shoes.

Or boots for that matter.

Due to aforementioned skinny calves, this is the first pair of knee-highs I've ever owned (except for a pair when I was about 8). As you might be able to tell, I'm very excited.

Which (kind of) leads to the second part of tonight's story. Sex. When I showed my boots to AdventureBoy while he was scrubbing potatoes for tonight's dinner, he decided that they were almost CFM boots (a fairly crass acronym, if you're unfamiliar with it) and then hugged me, thanking me for what had happened last night.

Just for an aside, I told him that they were definitely NOT CFM boots as they had completely flat heels.

Last night, for the first time since the beginning of March ... and for the first time in 1 1/2 years that it hasn't has any other motive ... we had sex. I had almost forgotten how beautiful it could be. We haven't kissed like that for so long and to feel so loved and held, not pressured and anxious, was almost too hard. It was more than sex. It was that old cliche of love. And afterwards, we held each other and cried.

Tears of sorrow and love and remembering and future. Tears of hope and peace and fear and maybe. They were tears that spoke of forever and we fell asleep wrapped in each others arms.

We have not done that for years.

I am sure I have said that I love this boy. Tonight we were reliving some of his adventures - the ones that make him AdventureBoy - and he tried to remember how to say funny things to me in French. He lived and skied and worked for 6 years every winter in France (a big thing for an Aussie boy) and travelled and waterskied and sailed and played during the summers.

Sometimes, I am really envious of those times. That life he had before he even knew me. When he was young and free and never knew (or cared) about his future.

Tonight: can we go and live there for a year?

Him: sure!
Always up for adventure.

He lived in a small resort town called Meribel. We went there for our honeymoon and it was such a fabulous experience to be welcomed into the heart of this place - oh, you're AdventureBoy's wife. Come and have a drink and we'll tell you some of his stories. He'd told me most of them, of course, but it was still great to hear them again. He took me to show me where he had climbed treacherous mountains and broken his back on a jump. We went to his favourite restaurant (which was still there) and drank the local drink. I, of course, preferred the champagne, but I humoured him. I lost so much weight that week, just following him around the mountains, revisiting his past.

And then he was ready to settle. When we returned home he was ready. And I was restless.

But I gave it away and decided on this future.

I'm still waiting.

I would have been so ready then to stay there. To keep travelling and exploring and having adventures of my own. To make up for my lost years - the years of my 20s when I was married to the wrong one and focused on study and then my job to keep me fulfilled. It never really worked and it all ended when I was 30.

I am glad that it ended because I would have never met my AdventureBoy. I am glad I listened to him because I would have kept waiting thinking everything would be fine. That my fertility would wait for me. That I could decide that I looked young, therefore everything else was young as well. I could have been much further into more adventures before I even started to look.

I suppose this is all kind of like a bit of an adventure. Not like the kind which you usually associate with fun and excitement, but an adventure nonetheless. I certainly experiencing and learning new things.

I am waiting for my period. I think I have had myself a bit fooled this week, thinking that it was coming. I don't feel like it this weekend at all. My temperatures seemed to indicate that it was on its way - but nothing. I just want it to come so I can feel like everything is back on track again.

But I said I wouldn't go there tonight.

So I won't. I have finished my reports and I have a long weekend. It's raining and cold (which I love by the way) and I have fabulous new boots. And an AdventureBoy who loves me and hope in my heart.

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


I think I have made up my mind today.

But there you go ... I couldn't keep going then and haven't written another word for 10 minutes. So perhaps I don't know. No .. no .. I do .. I have .. I don't think I can wait .. (mmm - did you notice it - that word 'think'?).

Fucking uncertainty!

I think one reason I have been wanting to wait is that I wan't to get my body back in shape again to avoid a complete blowout with the next round of jabbing and tabbing. I so don't f
eel like myself and I can't afford to buy a whole new wardrobe at the moment. But then, if it works, I'll have to buy new clothes anyway. And I won't have my body back again for a long time in that scenario either. Do I need it?

OK - I've even got the shits with myself now.

Just say you're going to do it!!

Yes, yes. I know. I'll do it.

Because I'll feel like I'm wasting an opportunity if I don't. And I want it to work. And I know my chances are slim for a natural conception. And my body won't change that much in a month anyway.

Right. Decision made. My period will start this weekend and I'll phone Saint Anne and Meagan and I'll be back in the Big Top again.


And I promise next post - no more indecision. I might even talk about something other than infertility for a change.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Back at the Big Top again

Dr Challenge phoned today. The results of my karyotype tests have come back. And I'm not sure what they tell me. He said all that could be determined was that what they tested was female and normal. And that it could have been me. Or at least bits of me rather than bits of the two sacs which were removed during the D&C.

So, essentially, nothing.

I don't know whether I'm dissapointed or OK. I keep wondering if my two embryos were girls. I have always wanted a little girl. A little girl with my brown eyes and long dark hair and AdventureBoy's beautiful fingers and long lean legs. With my love of words and his love of action. With my skills with the visual and his skills of empathy. With my genes and his, irrevocably united for the entirety of her life. I miss her already. I know her like she is me and I want her to come home. I can see her learning to walk against the legs of my old chairs and learning to read in the sunlight by the back door. Dressing herself and stomping when she is angry. Running to greet AdventureBoy when he arrives home from work. Helping me plant seedlings and painting on the deck. I love her.

And don't get me started on her little brother.

I mourn what I thought I would have had by now. That doesn't preclude my hope for it happening sometime, but I really thought it would be now. I don't know if Dr Challenge's report helps or it doesn't. It certainly doesn't get us any closer to understanding why they didn't make it. I don't know if I needed it. I just need to keep going.

Which brings me to another dilemma I have been having for a few weeks now. Should I start again on the very next cycle ... or give it another month to give my body a chance to get back to feeling like itself again? The hormones have made such a huge impact on my shape and health that perhaps another month would help detox them out a bit more. But I'm getting further into 38 with each passing month and I'm kind of impatient to get started straight away. And backflipping again there's the somewhat naive hope that we might actually become pregnant naturally if we give ourselves a chance.

My life (my mind) has become a perpetual see-saw of conflicting emotions, thoughts, ideas and actions. I just wish I could know the outcome in advance - it would make decision-making so much easier.

So I'm standing outside the Big Top again. I know where the secret entrance is now but I don't know if I should go in. I have been practising and the roar of the crowd beckons me. But I'm scared. What if I fall again? The tight-rope is so high and end gets so tantalisingly close.

Maybe I should try again on the line I have set up at home? I have the skills, I know the moves, AdventureBoy is there, but I have no safety net. Can I fall as hard from a lesser height?

Or am I just wasting time?

I think I'll just sleep on it.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

A new normal

It's been exam week at school as the term is nearing it's end. I am frantically collecting tasks, marking and writing reports, as well as supervising my team doing the same. I have barely had time to do anything, let alone write. Strangely, I have been feeling like a part of me has been neglected as a result.

And that another part of me has returned to some kind of normal as well.

(If I was marking this as a written assignment, I would have circled the 'and' in my special pink marking pen and written beside it "Don't start a sentence with 'and'" - of course my own writing is happy to flaunt those particular rules!!)

So back to the normal me ... I think that I have settled back into some kind of pattern of normality (somewhat anyway). I am still (of course) intently reading and researching everything I can to better plan and understand my next cycle, however, I am able to function a little more effectively at work now. That can only be a good thing as I've been so mentally absent that I am sure I must have seemed completely incompetent and useless lately.

My brain is feeling switched back to on again and I can think about actually being motivated about my tasks and obligations. Even my classes are benefiting from my increased focus. Lucky for them because I'm writing their reports this week!

But it's a different kind of normal. A new normal. A slightly cynical and definitely less naive and innocent normal. Not that I was particularly naive but I had no idea of how little I knew. I have an encyclopaedia of infertility inside my head now but I am sure there is still plenty I don't know. I can't know. I don't want to know. I am sure there are still plenty of experiences yet to be had. Hopefully they'll be weighted further to the side of good than sad.

My breasts have been starting to hurt again this weekend - this fits with my feelings that I am due for my period next weekend. It's been kind of hard to tell where my cycle's been at since the D&C but I'm quite sure I ovulated last weekend. Hopefully it will happen according to my projection and then I can phone Saint Anne and begin the jabbing, stabbing and tabbing in the next month.

Thank goodness I'll have all of the busy stuff of school out of the way before I start the next cycle and even a couple of weeks of school holidays thrown in there as well. I really can't wait until the end of this term ... it's been one of the toughest I've ever had. But luckily I've had AdventureBoy by my side the whole way. Optimism and all, I really couldn't do without him.