Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Feeling virtuous....

I had a very healthy weekend. I decided this month to not drink any alcohol whatsoever while I'm on Clomid and see if that helps its effectiveness. It was a bank holiday weekend here in Ireland and I'm pleased to say not one drop of the demon drink did pass my lips.

I also got out for a 3 mile walk on Sunday morning. One good thing about the town we live in is that there are plenty of walking paths. One of the more popular ones passes near to our house, so every so often I take a walk there. Part of the walk is lined with some really beautiful trees, mainly horse chestnut, so it's particularly pretty this time of the year.

I also started my Christmas shopping yesterday. I don't normally start this early, but I was in a shopping centre and saw something I thought one of my in laws might like, so I bought it. I also got the ingredients for my annual attempt at baking. I appointed myself as Christmas cake supplier to my parents in law a few years back, and now that I've established this tradition I feel like there's no backing out on the job. John's sister used always make a Christmas cake for their mother, and since she passed away I have taken up the baton. I love the smell of baking around the house, but I wouldn't bake a Christmas cake just for John and I as we would eat the whole thing ourselves in the space of a few days. So I make a cake for my in laws, and I usually end up bringing a quarter of it home to our house. I just have to get myself into the mood for baking.

I finished the clomid last night, and am happy to report that I haven't morphed into a wailing banshee so far. Note the so far, this may be subject to change. I did have one or two tetchy moments on Sunday when we were wrestling with the grating blade on my food processor, but apart from that I've been ok I think. Felt a bit "yuck, I don't want to go to work today" this morning, but I'd say that's a natural reaction to Tuesday morning after a bank holiday.

I'm starting accupuncture this evening, and after that I'm off to the gym to start my new fitness programme. I had a fitness assessment on Friday evening (yes, I went to the gym on a Friday, wonders will never cease!) and I actually registered better results in lung capacity, resting heart rate and flexibility than I did the previous time I had one done last February. Mind you my weight was exactly the same as last time, but at least I haven't gained anything. So all in all I felt pretty happy with that. I'll report back on the accupuncture tomorrow.

I'm still gasping for a nice chilled glass of sauvignon blanc though.....

Friday, October 24, 2008

I'm bringin' sexah back

There must be something in the air in the IF blogosphere in the last few days, since some of us have taken to exercise all of a sudden. May is extolling the benefits of walking (albeit reluctant extolling, and walking with "a face like a bulldog licking piss of a nettle" (love it!), while Womb for improvement has come over all zen like and gone back to yoga. The health kick buzz has also descended upon Chez Jane & John here in the arse end of Midlands Ireland.

To tell the truth, we've been members of the leisure centre in the one decent hotel in town since we moved here around four and a half years ago. When we joined, we were a year away from our wedding, so our mantra was "We are not going to look like fat skobies (chavs, trailer trash, whatever) in our wedding photos". So four nights a week we were down at the pool, swimming away to beat the band. I was determined to get into a size 12 Audrey Hepburn style little number for our wedding, which I managed to do after much pain and sweat.

I was trying to lose the weight gained while spent backpacking around Australia for 3 months the previous winter. I've started reading "Eat, pray, love" by Elizabeth Gilbert this week. It's about a 34 year old divorcee who embarks on a year of solo travel in 2003 in search of her inner self. Which is a little bit of a coincidence, since in 2003 I became a divorcee, and later that year, at the age of 34, I chucked in my permanent pensionable job at the bank, got out my Jesus sandals and rucksack, and hightailed it off down under for 3 months on my own. If I was to write a book about my adventures and travels, it would be a lot less spiritual, and more likely to be entitled "Eat, eat, drink". I literally lived on beer, nasty deep fried food and ice cream for three months. When I returned to my soon to be fiancé, there was an extra stone and a half of me to love (that's 21 pounds for my readers across the Atlantic). And I wasn't exactly a stick insect to begin with.

Anyway, I digress...Since our wedding both of us have battled with a yo-yo-ing weight issue. We both gained at least seven pounds on our two week honeymoon. That's what you get for going all inclusive. There's this inner voice telling you "F*ck it, we've paid for this, let's get our value for money" which results in you gorging yourself on food and drink. I went on a health kick in the month leading up to John's brother's wedding the following year, but once that was over I fell off the wagon with a resounding thump once more. That Autumn, I became pregnant for the first time, and was barely keeping my eyes open with the tiredness, let alone getting out for a walk. With the result that the pounds started to pile on. Then I miscarried, which kicked off a comfort eating frenzy that continued for at least 3 months. By that stage I had reached my heaviest ever, tipping over 12 stone on the scales, and for the first time ever in my life I was clinically overweight. Eeeeekkk!! This is the girl who used to be known as Twiggy for all of her childhood and teenage years, or just Skinny Bitch to my sister. I used to wear size 8 jeans when I was 16 for God's sake! Now I was reaching for size 16!

From there on a cycle of half hearted health kick, lose 3 lbs, get pregnant, put on more weight, miscarry, comfort eat carried on. I tried during the Summer to get on the wagon once more, but I just couldn't get myself in the frame of mind. My hormones were all over the place with Clomid, injections, disappointing blood tests, resulting downer, blah de blah de blah, that I just couldn't get off my arse and do anything about it. The past few weekends we have been saying "Ok, starting Monday, we are going back to the gym", but we've always found excuses not to. So last weekend I went down town, purchased a pair of shiny white trainers and some tracky bottoms which cover my ample bottom in as flattering a manner as possible, and we bit the bullet and went back. You always feel sheepish walking in there when you haven't been in over six months. Especially when you have been paying €45 a month not to use the facilities. Making donations if you will.

But this time I'm determined.
Because I am sick of having a muffin top in my favourite jeans.
Because I have a wardrobe full of relatively expensive clothes (Coast dresses, bustiers and the like) that don't fit me anymore.
Because I'm sicking of seeing myself in photos with three chins and a face like a full moon in a fog.
Because I'm sick of going shopping and struggling to find clothes that look halfway decent on me.
Because I'm sick of (to paraphrase Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy) the fact that my arse is the size of a small country.
Because this weight makes me look every bit of my 39 years, and I am vain and like to think that I don't look a day over 34.
Because I want to start my next pregnancy (and there will be a next one, God willing) a stone lighter, so that when I gain baby weight I will not end up 16 stone post pregnancy.

So here goes, **gets up on the stepper machine without having a coronary in the process**.....I'm bringin' sexah back.....do do do....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pulling out all the stops

This month's blood test results were extremely disappointing, so this month we are bringing in the big guns. My fertility specialist has prescibed 150mg clomid for 5 days. This I am dreading, because by day 5 I am guaranteed to be a weeping gibbering basket case. But hopefully I will be able to time that with the upcoming bank holiday weekend, and if so I am just going to have an extended duvet day. A duvet weekend if you will. I'm not going to issue any invitations to potential visitors and will just chill out and enjoy some books and films at home.

I've also decided to give accupunture a try. I have tried it before for back pain, fatigue and post miscarriage recovery, and found it good for all three, so I'm going to see if it's any good for kicking my hormones up the arse. So tomorrow week I'm going in for my first session. Ironically, my accupuncturist is back from maternity leave after having her fifth child. What's more she's younger than me. She's an incredibly chilled out lady, but I suppose you'd have to be really!

I'm also going to take my non dairy diet seriously for a change. I had food intolerance testing done a few months back on the advice of my fertility clinic. I suffer from IBS and have done for years, so it seemed like a good idea to get checked out. It turned out that I have major intolerance for cow's milk. Since then, I have weaned myself off cow's milk, cut back on cheese, but I have found it very difficult to sever my love affair with Ben & Jerrys. I never realised how much dairy crops up on menus until I tried to give it up. Try ordering a non dairy desert in a restaurant. I have yet to find one that doesn't involve cream, ice cream, soft cheese or some form of milk product. The other day my fertility specialist told me I have to stick to the non dairy diet rigidly, as this can have a hugely adverse effect on hormone levels. I had been using goat's milk and associated products as a substitute, but I have been told that these are a no-no also. So as of this month, I can haz no cheezeburger. Sob! How am I going survive the infertility blues if I can't dive face first into a vat of caramel chew chew? It's going to be a tough month...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Groundhog Day

Just got my blood test results for this month.

Worse than last month.

Progesterone - 35.9 (needs to be 60-100)
Oestradiol - 332 (needs to be 400-800)

I am so shit sick of all this.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pregnancy and infant loss awareness day

Tomorrow Wednesday Oct 15th is international pregnancy and infant loss awareness day. Those who have a lost babies either through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death are invited to light a candle in their homes for an hour at 7pm. This will result in a global wave of light around the world for 24 hours, in memory of our lost little ones. It's a lovely idea and we will be lighting a candle in our house.

I'm still waiting on my blood test results for this months. Keeping fingers and toes crossed that we might get the all clear to be allowed to ttc next month. There's only so much waiting we can bear.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I is down wit de kids

I've just come back from Mayo, where John and I went to my second oldest nephew's 18th birthday last night. I was still in Uni when him and his older brother were born, and my mother was their child minder for their pre school years. As a result, I spent a huge amount of time with them when they were little guys, and along with my two beautiful god daughters, they are the siblings' kids with whom I would have the closest bond.

What I love about them these days is that the actually seek out our company socially. They're both talking about coming down here for a weekend on the raz, which I am really looking forward to. The funny thing is that I could see them fitting right in with any of our friends down here, since most of our mates are in their twenties.

When we moved here over four years ago, we found there was a culture of locals versus blow ins. The locals were far too absorbed with their own lives and family circles to have any interest in making new friends. The blow ins however were the most inclusive bunch of people I have ever had the good fortune to meet. They were in the early twenties to early thirties age group, and always willing to make the effort to draw new people into the social fold. This made life so much easier for us, moving to a town where we knew nobody. Before we knew it, we were being dragged to Christmas parties, barbecues, bouncy castle parties, St Patrick's Day brunches, boozy Sunday afternoon lunches, weddings, christenings and leaving dos. As a result, when John turned 40 two years ago, the average age of party punter at his 40th was late twenties.

What really made us laugh yesterday evening was when the birthday boy popped in to say hello shortly after we had arrived at my parents' house. He was explaining to us that the party theme for the night was rave. So it was white clothes, glow sticks and whistles all the way. This was in the local pub in Knock, Co Mayo. Xbox will understand the incongruity of this, it's a bit like throwing an orgy in Lourdes. Then the plan was that he had hired a bus to bring the revellers to the night club in the nearest town club five miles up the road. And he wanted us to come clubbing with them!! Can you honestly imagine a forty two year old engineer and his thirty nine year old accountant wife on a bus with a shower of tequila fuelled glow stick brandishing school kids? No, neither can I, but it's really nice that he couldn't see anything out of place with that picture. To say thanks, I bought himself and his brother a fat frog. Cos I is down wit de kids.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Food for thought

Xbox's post the other day, asking why do people want to have children, got me thinking. I was visiting a friend a few months back who is single and mad broody, and after necking several glasses of wine, we were having a right old boo-hoo session about our very loudly ticking biological clocks.

I was saying how it's so hard being the only one in a family of seven with no kids, and how hard it is rocking up to family events with no kiddies in tow. Then my friend said something to me that had never really occurred to me before. She is adopted, and for whatever reasons, doesn't think she will ever go down the road of tracing her birth parents. It could be a fear of rejection, or a feeling of loyalty towards her adoptive parents, I really don't know. She said that her most basic reason for wanting to have children is that she has no genetic link to anyone on this earth that she knows of. She's from a very happy family, her adoptive parents are lovely people and she couldn't have wished for a happier childhood, but she looks nothing like either of them, or like her adoptive sister. She has no nieces or nephews or cousins who look like her, and has never had anyone say "Wow, you're the image of your Mum/Dad/sister/cousin". If she never has children of her own, she will never have this link to loved ones that most of us take for granted. She sounded so sad as she told me this.

On the other hand, I grew up being told since I was knee high to a grasshopper that I am the image of my Dad. I resemble my sister and brothers and my Dad's sisters in different ways. Two of my nieces are my godchildren, and I've been told that both of them are very like me, the younger one is my eleven year old mini me. My younger godchild (the mini me) told me lately that she is thinking about taking the name Jane as her confirmation name next year. I was so chuffed when she told me that. So I don't have kids of my own, and who knows if I ever will or not, but I still get a good few "Oh my God! She's the image of you" moments, and I'm very lucky to have such great kids in my life, even if I don't have them full time. So all in all when I'm counting my blessings, I do have a lot to be thankful for.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bits and pieces

After last week's dramatic reminiscinces on the break up from hell, I'm back to thinking about more mundane issues. Such as, where's my sodding eggy white stuff? It's CD16 in the Big Brother House, and Jane is on regular cack watch. And there's not a sign of anything happening. Nothing, nada, zilch.

This month I was back on the clomid with a vengeance after a break for last month's lap cycle. My bloods were almost where they need to be last month (they need to be at 60-100 for progesterone and 400 -800 for oestradiol before we will be allowed to ttc) so as usual I had high hopes that clomid would do the job. My dose was cranked up to 100mg for six days, on day 2 to day 7. The first few days seemed ok, and I thought that maybe my system was getting used to this chemical bombardment. No such luck. By day 7 I was back to my usual basket case self. Crying at the drop of a hat for no apparant reason (other than the usual incessant pregnancy and baby chat among my colleagues) and finding it physically difficult to stop crying. Two evenings in a row I just came home from work and crashed out. Then on day 10 it was as if a cloud lifted and I felt fine again. I couldn't have cried if I tried. So it's obvious that clomid is having a very strong depressant effect on me. I thought that such strong symptoms would surely mean a whopping good quality ovulation this month. But so far nothing. Like WTF? I can usually see signs of something happening at this stage in my cycle. Weird.

In other news, John became an uncle for the fourth time while we were on holidays. She is his fourth niece, but baby number one for his youngest brother. And she is absolutely gorgeous. We called to see them at the weekend, laden down with nappies from the company shop and a seriously cute teddy bear among other things. John has been asked to be godfather, which is a first for him, and he's over the moon. Although I did get that little twinge of sadness when I held her, if anything it made us both all the more determined to keep on with this treatment. I find that I don't get as much of a jealousy feeling with newborns as I do with seeing pregnancy bumps. Maybe it's that when you see the actual baby, you know it's someone else's and you want your own baby, whereas when you see a woman with a bump it's a more generic image and more transferable to you. That's my theory anyway. I just hope to God that I'm not on clomid when the Christening comes around, if I am I don't know how I'll hold it together in front of all my in laws. Ouchy!