Thursday, August 28, 2008

All time clangers...

Or what not to say to somebody who has suffered a miscarriage.

OK, this one has been festering in my head for some time, so here goes:

Don't say:

1) Nothing. A miscarriage is a bereavement, albeit a silent one for many. If a friend or colleague lost any other family member would you fail to offer your sympathies? So why say nothing when they have lost a child?

2) At least you can get pregnant, or at least you can try again. One some levels this might seem like a comfort, but babies are not objects. It's not like I broke my favourite vase and I'm going to pop to the shop and replace it. It's not like my goldfish died and I can just go and pop another one in the tank and forget about the first one. This is a particularly hollow comfort to someone who has miscarried a number of times. It's one thing being able to get pregnant relatively easily, but when you repeatedly lose your babies in the first trimester, you're no closer to taking home a live baby than any other infertile person.

3) Same for At least you're fertile. Women who recurrently miscarry are a sub group of the infertility club, end of.

4) For someone who miscarries early: at seven weeks that was hardly even there, it's not worth getting upset about. A family member actually said this to us. What's more this came from the type of person who would ordinarily be in the pro-life camp. I'm not going to get into a pro-life/pro choice debate here, but we saw our baby's heart beating on a scan and it was very definitely there, and very definitely worth getting upset about when it was no longer there. Nobody should tell another that they have no right to grieve.

5) It wasn't a real baby. Similar to point 4 above. It was very real to the parents who suffered the loss. That loss represents so much more, the loss of dreams about the future.

6) You just have to forget about it and move on. If anyone lost a child after they were born would they be told to forget about it and move on? I don't think so.

7) You have an angel in heaven now. Ok, I do refer to my lost babies as my little angels sometimes, but saying this to someone who has just miscarried is just twee and of little comfort. I'd prefer a baby on earth, thanks.

8) Your troubles are small really, or at least you have your health. Relative to someone having a terminal disease, yes, a miscarriage or two might seem minor in the great scale of things, but relative to mass genocide then one person with a terminal illness seems like a small tragedy. It's all relative, and to trivialise someone else's grief really isn't helpful.

What you can say is

I'm sorry for your loss (or as one of my friends texted me when I told her by text about our third miscarriage, God Jane, that's really shit. Yes it is, and thanks for having the guts to say it in those terms).

How are you?

I'm here if you need to talk.

Other gestures I appreciated were people coming around to my house, bringing food, sending flowers, cards and plants to sow in the garden. These things I will always remember and appreciate greatly.

It was good to get that out of my system. Rant over.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Still here

First of all, a thank you to Xbox for the shout out last week. Now that he has proclaimed this blog to be humerous, I feel like I'm all under pressure to give my readers some laughs. Well I'm not promising anything, ok? I'm a crabby ould wagon pushing forty, so don't expect too much.

Well I'm back in the land of the living after my little "procedure" last Friday. It wasn't really all that bad in the end. Probably the worst part of it was the prep the day before. I was told that because the surgery might involve a bit of shufftying around the bowel (lovely!) looking for endometriosis, I had to make sure said bowel was empty. So cue the consumption of 4 litres of Klean Prep. To make it marginally more palatable, I added some blackcurrant cordial (Miwadi, for the benefit of my fellow Irish readers). Suffice to say, I never want to taste blackcurrant Miwadi again for a very long time.

About an hour after I started on this, a friend of mine called over. She had been away travelling for the last month, so it was a catch up visit. Luckily, she is a nurse, and is fully au fait with the effects of strong laxatives, so she didn't bat an eyelid when every three to five minutes I jumped up out of my chair to pop to the loo. Hey, what are friends for but to listen to your volcanic bathroom eruptions. Anyone else I would have been morto, but as I said, she's a nurse, and has seen it all many times before.

Anyway, Friday dawned, I was fasting from midnight the previous night, and we headed off for the hospital bright and early. I stocked up on trashy mags along the way (my big guilty pleasure) and we got there at 8.40, which was great as we weren't due to check in until 9, so we beat the rush for once. I got checked in, blood pressure taken, a million and one questions about allergies and false teeth (I have a bridge which I had to repeatedly point out to people). Then I got taken into the day ward, put on my gown, disposable granny knickers and settled in. I was taken up to theatre around 10am. Then they left me waiting outside in my little day bed for around 15 or 20 minutes, and they handed me another stash of trashy mags to flick through while I was waiting. This seemed just a little surreal, it's not like I was waiting for my usual cut n' colour after all. Well cut maybe, but definitely not colour.

Anyway, I was taken in to theatre, put in a drip, all the usual. As I have had 2 D&C's and a colonoscopy in the past two years, I'm a bit of a veteran of operating theatres, so even though lying on the operating table still gives me a bit of the heebee geebees, overall I was fairly calm. I woke up in the recovery area with a sore throat, feeling sore in the abdomen and a little woozy. Then I began to feel really cold, so the nurse tucked me up with a heated foil blanket, and I was snug as a bug in no time. Then she got an old saline bottle, filled it with hot water, wrapped it in tissue paper, and tucked it into the bed with me as a hot water bottle. I was really impressed with this. Anyway, I was wheeled back down to the day ward, and told I had to sleep for three hours, otherwise I would be very weak when it came to going home time.

So they ran John and all other visitors, dimmed the lights, closed the door and turned off the tv, so we could all sleep. I was drifting in and out of really strange dreams all afternoon. In one I was painting the outside of our house bright fuschia pink. I put that one down to the morphine. Man......the colours........

It was after 6pm by the time the gynecologist came down to tell us what he had found. We were told that I had mild endometriosis either side of my cervix, which is no more, since the good doctor lasered it off. Also, my left ovary had been stuck to my abdominal wall, so he unstuck it. I know he said something about ligaments, but I was still fairly groggy, so I can't really remember what it was exactly. So I was left with three stitches, one in my belly button, one directly below that, just above the herbaceous borders, and one to the left (presumably to get at that sticky left ovary).

So since then I have been milking my week long sick note for what it's worth. I've been living in my PJs and John has been waiting on me hand and foot. He went to the video shop and got me the first two season box sets of Desper@ate Housewives on DVD which I have been watching back to back all week. Again, total trash, but entertaining trash at the same time. So that's the update for now. I'm now counting the days until I have my next round of hcg injections, and then it's back to the blood tests. I'm going to try and get a bit calmer about the whole situation, go back to yoga classes, do acupuncture, and just try and get myself out of this miserable rut that I've been in for the past couple of months. Being away from work for a while has been good, but I know I will have to get out there and face the fertile pregnant world again soon.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Off to Lapland

Well sort of, but I thought it would make for a snappy title. I'm having my laparoscopy and hysteroscopy done on Friday. As J pointed out, I'll make sure whoever is writing up the chart spells the second procedure correctly or we could really end up in shit street!

Anyway, I'm off to my friendly local pharmacist, with whom I am now on first name terms, to purchase 4 sachets of the soluble powdered delight that is klean prep. I feel a song coming on....

Good news and bad news

I heard from a few different friends yesterday, some good news and some bad. A very good friend of mine who miscarried at 13 weeks earlier this year, is now 13 weeks pregnant. I suspected that there might be an announcement in the offing, as she has disappeared off the face of the earth for the past six weeks. I have to say that I am over the moon for her and her husband, and usually when I hear that kind of news I always feel the stab of jealousy. But not for her, she has been through the mill. I rang her yesterday and had a big long chat. She has been absolutely petrified ever since she found out, and she was convinced that there would be no heartbeat when she had her first scan. I can totally identify with what she was going through. On my third pregnancy, the one that lasted longest, I went through 5 weeks of sheer heart in the mouth fear. Pregnancy after pregnancy loss is stressful beyond belief, and no amount of people telling you to relax is going to help. Anyway, she has had her first scan, is pretty much out of the woods at this stage and is beginning to calm down. I really wish her all the best.

A couple of weeks back I was looking on a school reunion type website, and I noticed a profile update from an old school friend of mine with whom I have sporadic contact. The gist of it was that she had got married a couple of years back and in her words "sprog due in September". When I read it, I thought there's another one beating me to it, as she hadn't even met her husband when we were booking our wedding. Anyway, the nicer person in me (as opposed to my bitter alter ego!) dropped her a note to say congrats on the wedding and impending arrival, and I just told her what has been happening with us. I didn't hear from her for a couple of weeks, so the thought crossed my mind that maybe something was up. My hunch was right. Got a mail from her last night saying that the baby had arrived six weeks early, weighing in at 4.5lb, but that she was home now and doing well. Not only that, but they had gone through one miscarriage, clomid, ovarian hyperstimulation and IUI to have her. Justs goes to show, you can't take it for granted that there hasn't been a struggle behind somebody's good news.

Onto the bad news. Someone else close to me rang last night. Her younger brother, who is in his early 30's, recently married and due to become a father for the first time later this year, has been diagnosed with MS. He isn't showing much symptoms of having any kind of degenerative form of the disease at the moment, but who knows what the future holds. I remember when I heard of his wife's pregnancy getting that old familiar stab of jealousy that accompanies pregnancy announcements from newly weds. It just really puts all of this in perspective. Now all I can think is God help them.

Friday, August 15, 2008

By this time next year...

I'm very lucky in that I am married to an eternal optimist. J is the most positive person I have ever met in my life. It's probably one of the biggest reasons I married him, along with his innate kindness and sense of fun. (And he's quite easy on the eye too!) Every time I have got to the end of my tether in this whole baby quest, he just says "Just think, this time next year, we could have a baby". At first I used to agree with him, but now I'm beginning to lose that hope.

When we first started trying to conceive, it was just after his 40th birthday. We were both sure it would happen quickly. I think the terror of pregnancy which had been drummed into me all during my teenage years made me think that one incidence of unprotected sex would be all it would take. So, at the age of almost 37 years old, I had unprotected sex for the very first time. And guess what? I didn't get pregnant!! Life WTF was I obsessing about for the previous fifteen or so years? At the end of that month, the night before our first wedding anniversary, I went to Galway to meet a close friend of mine who was setting off on her travels around the world with her boyfriend for two years. As I waved them goodbye, I remember thinking that the next time I would see them would be 2008, and we would definately have a baby by then.

When I got pregnant and miscarried that November, Christmas turned from being the dream Christmas to the nightmare. We had moved into our own house in the Spring of 2006, and after spending almost 18 years renting and paying other peoples' mortgages, I was finally at long last paying my own. We were so looking forward to having our first Christmas in our own house. We had to dig our heels in to get J's parents to accept our invitation to Christmas dinner. I think the dynamic in a lot of Irish families when it comes to hosting Christmas is that you are the children until you have children of your own. As in unless you have children, you are expected to pack up and go "home" to Mammy and Daddy for the holidays. Well I wasn't having any of that, I had waited long enough, and we were having Christmas under our own roof and that was that. Then I became pregnant, and the way the dates were working, I would have been 13 weeks gone around Christmas Day, which made for the perfect time to share our news with J's parents.

Then it all went to shit. I found out on November 14th that I had had a missed miscarriage, and a week later I had a D&C. As far as I was concerned, Christmas was cancelled, only nobody told the rest of the world. So we went through the motions, bought the presents, cooked the turkey, and got through it. Everyone told me that it would all be different in a year's time, and I tried to believe them.

Then the following April, I found out I was pregnant, due on the 21st December. So Christmas 2007 was going to be The Best Christmas Ever Ever. Only it didn't turn out that way, I lost the baby in May. In October, I found out I was pregnant again, with pretty much the same timing as the previous year. I would have been 12 weeks gone on Christmas Day (do you see a pattern developing here?) And same as the previous year, it was not to be. When everyone said "Just think, this time next year it will all be different", I just couldn't put on my happy face and agree. All I could think was "Yeah right, that's what you said last year". If I thought Christmas 2006 was grim, it was nothing compared to Christmas 2007. All I could think was that I could not wait to see the back of 2007, which had turned into the year from hell.

Last March, J's youngest brother told us that his wife was expecting their first baby in September. We were of course happy for them, but sad for ourselves at the same time. J kept saying to me "don't worry, by the end of the summer, you'll be pregnant too". Well it's hurtling towards the end of August, their baby is due in a month's time, and we're still not even allowed to try again. And my friends who went on the two year around the world trip? Well they came back from their trip of a lifetime last April, and they are getting married in two weeks time, and here we still are. When they announced their impending nuptuals, my first thought was "I might be pregnant by then". Then I thought "Or I might not, don't get your hopes up". At least I get to wear this little number to their wedding, stretchy enough to accomodate my post op stitches after the lap on Friday.

The next "I might be pregnant by then" milestone is of course Christmas. I have decided that if it's not happening by then, I'm booking us on a flight to somewhere sunny. We have a family member moving to Dubai, with ample spare rooms and a swimming pool so that seems like the perfect antidote to the not pregnant blues. The next milestone after that is my 40th birthday next May. Since I didn't get pregnant this month, it's now official that I will not be having babies in my 30's. That was a tough one to accept, and I think that was the crunch point for starting this blog. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be looking down the barrel of 40 years old and still childless. So if it's not happening by then, I honestly don't know what I will do. I certainly won't feel like throwing a birthday party, that's for sure.

Off Topic - Remembering Omagh

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the single worst actrocity in the history of Northern Ireland. 31 people, including a pair of unborn twin girls, were murdered in a car bomb attack in the centre of Omagh town on a busy Saturday.

Elblogador posts a full list of the victims in this post today.

May they rest in peace.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A fistful of clomid

We went back to the fertility clinic yesterday for a review appointment. Not much to report, really. This month was my second round of clomid. The first round was 50mg for five days. It was hard going to say the least. I'm not usually much of a PMT sufferer, but I was transformed into the anti-Christ for at least a week while on it. Poor old J was furtively checking for the "666" behind my ear when I was asleep. At the end of it all, bloods were taken and both oestrogen and progesterone were down on the previous month. Not going according to plan at all.

I phoned the consultant, and she said it was time to double the dose. So last month I took 100mg for four days. This time I took at last thing at night rather than first thing in the morning. All went ok until the last night, when I didn't sleep well, and again I was like a demon all weekend as a result. So yesterday, when the consultant said she was putting me on 100mg for seven days, J and I exchanged glances of dread. J started miming the shower scene from Psycho when the doctor's back was turned, and I have to admit it did make me crack a smile. If you didn't laugh you'd cry.

So this weekend, it's clomid time once more. Added to that, we have visitors. Pregnant ones. Well I mean the wife is pregnant, eight months at that. So although they are not ones to bring up the pregnancy and shove it in our faces, you can't really ignore the elephant in the room (no offense sister in law, I wasn't talking about you!) So it'll be a tough one.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

In praise of my Mother

For an Irish woman in her late 70's, whose biggest family planning issue in her early married life was trying to figure out how not to get pregnant, my mother totally gets what I'm going through. Professionally, her background is in nursing, and even though she gave up her career fifty years ago when she got married, her understanding and caring nature still shines through. She always asks how we're getting on, and how the treatment is going, and if there is something she doesn't understand, she will ask an intelligent question. It was actually her who first told me about the clinic we are now attending. Her friend's daughter had two miscarriages before she went to the people we are with, and she has since had I think two children. Mam's friend mentioned it to her, and she passed on the details to me.

When I had my first miscarriage, I rang her up, bawling crying down the phone. Once I calmed down enough to tell her what was wrong (I must have given her the fright of her life), she displayed such an incredible sense of empathy towards me. She too had suffered a miscarriage, on her fifth pregnancy, in the mid 1960's. The way she talked about the baby she lost, and the grief she went through, made it seem like it was still so fresh in her memory. She offered no platitudes, no dismissing statements of the "you just have to forget about it" variety, only words of comfort, because she had never forgotten her lost little one, and never will.

She told me about my brother who never made it. She was three months pregnant when she miscarried. She told me he was the only baby whose name they had picked that far in advance. She had the gut feeling that she was having another boy, her fifth, and she called him Hugh. She found out afterwards that she had indeed miscarried a perfect baby boy. She recounted the grief she felt, her mother's appalling lack of sensitivity towards her loss. Apparently Granny wrote her a stinker of a letter berating her for getting pregnant again, and told her to put Dad in the spare room. Where she thought they were going to conjure up this spare room when they already had 4 kids in a small house is anyone's guess. She told me that Hugh always had his place in our family, and always will. He would have been around 44 years old if he had lived. She remembered him on the days when he should have been starting school, making his first communion, confirmation, starting secondary school, doing his leaving cert, all the milestones that the rest of us went through in life.

Last week we were chatting on the phone and she was asking me how I had gotten on at my last hospital appointment. I told her I had been given a date for my laparoscopy and told her briefly what it entailed. The following evening, she rang me back, asking me was it this week I was going in for the surgery, she couldn't remember the date and she just wanted to make sure. I told her it wasn't until the end of the month, but that I was heading out to the nurse to get my monthly blood test, so fingers crossed. She said "ok then, your Dad and I will say the rosary especially for you and your blood test results tonight". How sweet is that? I remember her doing the same thing the night before my divorce court hearing. I just laughed and told her she wasn't allowed to pray for an easy divorce, but she reckoned God wouldn't mind. She must have been on a direct line to the Man above that night, because the hearing went off hitch free.

I don't know if I will ever tell her about this blog, or even if I did, she would hardly know how to turn on the pc, never mind get on d'internet, but whether or not she ever reads this, I just want to say, thanks Mammy, for being you.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I've been tagged!

Thanks to Womb for improvement for tagging me and making me feel like a real proper grown up blogger. So I have to come up with six random things about myself and tag six others. I don't know that many bloggers yet who haven't already been tagged on this one, so I might pass on the tagging others, if that's ok.

Hmmmmm....let me think.

1) I have an extremely unusual surname. There are only two families of us in Ireland that we know of, and the other one is about to die out. I have no cousins or extended family of the same name. So I could be the only Jane G******* on planet earth. In fact I think I'd be a bit miffed if I found someone else with the same name as me. It's mine, all mine!! For this reason I did not change my name when I married.

2) Although I am the youngest of a family of seven, my mother tells me that I was one of the few planned pregnancies (cheers Mammy, nice to know!) She grew up with brothers and no sisters, so she when she had one daughter she wanted her to have a sister. So they went one last time and they got lil old me.

3) I am now an accountant, but in a previous academic venture I gained a degree in Geology. Don't ask, it's a long story. When I left my previous job in a commercial bank, my former boss wrote on my leaving card that I was by far the best geologist they had ever employed. I'll have to take his word for it on that.

4) I was the first of my immediate family, and I think the first of my extended family to get divorced. Probably because it was only legalised here in the mid 1990's. I am also the first and only member of my immediate family to go down the road of fertility treatment. Bummer, huh?

5) I was called after an Aunt who was a missionary nun in Latin America at the time of my birth. She subsequently left and married an ex priest whom she met over there. So my name is probably mud in Peru. Only joking, she did wonderful work over there and her name is revered there (just in case any of my relatives stumble across this, no offense intended!)

6) I'm obviously something of a late achiever in life, as I was 35 years old when I bought my first car, and 36 when I passed my driving test.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Close but no cigar.

Well the bloods results are in.

Progesterone good - 70.7
Oestradiol bad - 296

Which is pretty much where we were two months ago. This is really beginning to feel like Groundhog Day. Just going around in circles and getting nowhere.

We're back to the clinic on Wednesday, so we will see where we go from there.

Fuck it anyway.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

And did she have kids?

Familyoftwo98 told a beautiful story of an honorary family member who never had children, but who will always be remembered by her loved ones. It reminded me of someone who touched my life for a short few years, but whose memory will always live on. This is probably one of the most heart wrenching infertility stories I have ever come across in my life, but it’s a story that I think deserves to be told. It’s the story of my beautiful sister-in-law, who died at the age of 36.

Noreen was one of those people who would just light up a room. She was tall, slim, with long curly brown hair and a megawatt smile. If you think of Andie McDowell in Green Card, that’s what she looked like. She was always in good form, and would always put you in good form. She always gave you a huge smile and a big welcome when she opened her front door. She was smart, witty, kind and extremely talented. She won prizes for dress design. She made her own wedding dress, her three bridesmaids’ dresses and her mother’s wedding outfit. And she made it sound so easy. She decorated her house to jaw dropping standards. She was a primary school teacher, specialising in remedial teaching of children with learning difficulties, and she adored kids. Her mother says she never met anyone who longed for children as much as Noreen did.

She and her husband were in their mid to late twenties when they got married. I don’t know how long they were trying to conceive when they were given the diagnosis of infertility. It was found that she suffered from severe endometriosis, among other complications. Their only option was IVF, and on their second attempt, she became pregnant with twins. It was a dream come true for her and her husband. Tragically, the dream was shattered very quickly. Out of nowhere, Noreen suffered an epileptic fit and miscarried both her babies. She was taken to hospital, where a brain scan gave the diagnosis of a brain tumour. They were told that it was inoperable; it sat on the speech and memory areas of her brain.

I met her around a year after her diagnosis. She remained fiercely optimistic. This was not going to beat her. She went on a macrobiotic diet and stuck to it rigidly. It looked as though the tumour was not growing, so we all held our breadth and hoped and prayed for a miracle. She continued to renovate their house, finishing a room per year. She had just completed the last room when the final stages of her illness began. In the spring of 2000, she started to get severe headaches. She was admitted to hospital, where they found fluid on her brain. She spent the summer of 2000 in hospital receiving radiotherapy. There were days when she didn’t remember members of her family visiting, and she would continually ask the same questions over and over again, because her memory was being bombarded with radiotherapy on a daily basis.

In the Autumn, she was discharged from hospital and returned home. The smiles, the wit and the big welcome was back, even though physically her appearance was changed dramatically due to the steroid treatment she had undergone. I remember chatting to her one day and her saying that when she was cured, they might think about adoption. She never gave up the dream of becoming a mother.

In December, her brother was getting married abroad. As she was too ill for the long haul flight, and her parents were afraid to travel in case her condition deteriorated while they were away, her brother and his bride to be had a blessing in the local church and Noreen and her husband offered their house as the venue for the afterwards party. All the extended family came to celebrate, as well as neighbours and friends. There were musicians among the crowd who brought guitars, fiddle, accordions and a clarinet. We drank champagne, toasted the soon to be married couple and sang and played music until the early hours of the morning. Noreen sang and partied until 3am. Although none of us admitted it to each other, we all knew she was facing her last Christmas, and the party was really her send off.

She passed away just over two months later, leaving behind a 35 year old heartbroken widower, and a grieving mother, father, sister and brothers. On the day of her funeral, the priest officiating said “I have been a priest for over twenty years now, and all I can say today is, I just do not have all the answers. I have no idea how or why God could let this happen”. We both gained such respect for that priest that day, that when it was time for us to marry, we knew he was the one we wanted to officiate at our wedding.

John and I have found a common interest in gardening since we set up house together. Nasturtiums remind me of my beloved Granny, dahlias, my mother. Noreen’s flower is the sunflower. It’s tall, strong, bright, cheerful, beautiful and fun. When I tell people about her, the first thing they usually ask is “Was she married?” Yes. “And did she have kids?” No, but does that make her illness and death any less of a tragedy? If anything, it’s all the more, because it was the end of an amazing gene line. We have decided if we ever have a girl, we will name her Norah, which was her christened name, and we will tell her all about her wonderful namesake who touched so many peoples’ lives. Her mother told me that when she visits her grave, she still meets past pupils of hers. One girl told her of how she struggled with reading difficulties as a young child, and how Noreen gave her so much time and patience and helped her enormously. So her legacy lives on in her students’ successes in life. And her memory will live on in her family and friends.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The great fertility myth

Like most Irish people of my generation, I was educated in a school with a strong Catholic ethos. The school I attended, although co-educational, was run by an order of nuns, but there were a large number of lay teachers on the staff, all Catholic. So as you can imagine, there was a particular slant to the sex education we received. I remember in second year, we were all hauled into the home economics room for “the talk” from a couple from the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council, the man was aptly named Willie, and the woman’s name was Mary. My older brother told me he remembered getting the Willie and Mary lecture, with Willie giving it the fire and brimstone approach, warning 14 year olds that “if you get VD you’ll die roarin’!”. By the time I was fourteen, AIDs was the STD du jour, so they must have figured that VD was the mild end of the scale at that stage.

The great pearl of wisdom I remember them imparting to us was “the best form of contraception is to say no”. Yes, very useful when you’re an adult on your wedding night and you don’t want to conceive just yet. Anyway, the thing that really stuck in my mind was that we were told it was frighteningly easy to get pregnant, and that it could happen on any day of your cycle. I think most teenagers were given the same misinformation. When we started on our ttc journey, I started to frequent a ttc message board on the internet. It’s amazing the amount of women on the board who keep saying the same thing, “I really wish we were educated about fertility at school, we were handed so much misinformation”. We were warned not to get pregnant, but none of us were told about the stats of one in six couples who experience problems trying to conceive. Basically, the policy was, keep your legs closed and your eyes open. End of.

I was talking to one of my in-laws (who is in her mid 30s) shortly after my first miscarriage, and she happened to ask me how we had enjoyed a weekend away in France three months before. I mentioned that that was the weekend we had conceived, joking that we would have to go back there to make another one. She asked with a slightly puzzled look “But how do you know when you conceived?” I didn’t want to go into the nitty gritty of it with her there and then, so I just mumbled something about “when you’ve been trying for a while you know”. The way she looked at me, I knew she hadn’t a clue what I meant, but I wasn’t going to explain that we were there for 3 nights, mid cycle, and I had a positive OPK and a rise in BBT while we were there, so let’s just say we made the most of the opportunity, the romance in the air, the champagne and the hot weather that puts you in the mood :o) I met her again a couple of months back, and she is now expecting her first baby. I reminded her of the conversation we had that night and she said “I know, it’s mad, I was always led to believe that you could pregnant any day of the month, I had no idea about ovulation times and fertile days or any of that”. Another recovering convent girl obviously!

The other weekend I had my oldest niece staying for an overnight visit. Like Xbox, I was hiding the ttc evidence that lay scattered all over the house. Two pregnancy books, a great big pack of HPTs, a book of baby names, and a book on preparing for birth with yoga, which I really must drop back to my osteopath. Not to mention the bumper pack of nappies still sitting in the under stairs cupboard (l know, but a girl’s got to keep hoping right?) It’s not so much her knowing that we might be trying to conceive (although it’s an image I’m sure she’d be grossed out to conjure up), but I didn’t want her seeing the evidence, and putting one and one together and coming up with two and a half i.e. another little cousin on the way. But afterwards I was thinking, she is probably being taught the same thing in school now that we were, it’s piss easy to get pregnant, and she’ll probably only realise the truth in maybe 15 years time or more. It’s not my place to tell her any different, I’m not her parent, but should this fertility myth continue to be perpetuated? Should all girls and women continue to be left in ignorance about the workings of their own bodies?

Those nuns have a lot to answer for!

PS I'm going for my monthly bloods this evening. If you have any "make the hormone levels good" dust to spare, please sprinkle it in my direction. Here's hoping the clomid is working it's magic this time.

Friday, August 1, 2008

My fur babies

Yes folks, I have to admit it, I'm a loopy old lady with cats. I just had to put a photo of them in. This is their baby photo, when they first adopted us. It's not very obvious, but they are litter mates. Same mother, different father. Obviously a pussy of questionable morals. But hey, we don't mind if their mother is a slut. They're three years old now, or 24 years old in cat years, so we have been through the teenage trantrums, the slamming doors and rolling eyes, and now they're young adults.

But it's about time they went out and got jobs and stop treating this house like a feckin hotel. Look at them, lying around on the sofa all day, when they should be earning their keep.

They hardly ever bring a mouse in, even. I'm
thinking of sending the fluffy lad up chimneys.
I'd bet he could earn a few bob for us. It'd be cash in paw too.

But like any parent, I'm concerned about the drug culture that pervades the youth of today. Especially all this rave culture. Here's one of the young fella taken at recent rave. Paws in the air, eed out of his little furry tits he is, look at him! What are we rearing at all, at all?