Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Counting down

Next Sunday I will celebrate my 40th birthday, and embark on my fifth decade. Well actually, Saturday night at 8pm is when the celebrations are kicking off, with a barbeque in our house for family and friends. A few months back I decided that I wasn't going to go into a corner and sulk about turning 40, no matter what our situation was by then. I was of course hoping that I would be pregnant by the time the big milestone came along, but no such luck. Although I am currently on the two week wait, due to end on June 8th. So I might be, and not know it. Or I might not. I'm not going to tie myself in knots wondering about it, I'm just going to enjoy the party.

I was thinking back the other day on my thirties, and all the things that have happened to me over the past ten years. It was by far the best decade so far. I holidayed and travelled more than ever before, to Greece, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, France, Holland, Belgium, USA, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, and Cuba. I studied part time and gained a professional qualification in Management Accountancy. I learned to drive and passed my driving test finally at the age of 36 (hey, better late than never!) and bought myself a car. I got divorced and remarried. I bought my first house. All in all a very good decade.

So what's in store for my forties? Will life begin on Sunday? I'm finishing up in work at the end of this week, so that heralds a new chapter in life. I'm looking forward to taking time off over the Summer, but hoping that the break won't be too long. We finally booked our Italian trip, and we are flying to Bergamo on June 11th to spend seven days in Riva del Garda and three days in Bergamo, hopefully with some day trips thrown in like Verona and Milan. Neither of us have ever been to Italy before, so I am really looking forward to the holiday.

So here's to the next decade. Let the adventure begin!

Monday, May 18, 2009


This day two years ago, we found out that I had suffered my second miscarriage in six months. I was just over nine weeks along, the furthest I have gotten with any pregnancy. I'm not going to post all the details again, as I have told the story before.

As with my first pregnancy, I had a strong gut feeling as to the sex of this baby. I tend to have witch like tendancies when it comes to babies, in that at one stage, whenever I dreamed of a pregnancy in my family, it was pretty much always followed by a real life pregnancy announcement. During this pregnancy, I repeatedly dreamed about baby girls, so I was convinced that I was carrying a girl. I even tried the old wives tale test of hanging my wedding ring on a piece of thread and dangling it over my belly, just for the laugh. I swore it was going around in circles on its own (circles are supposed to be for a girl, back and over for a boy) although John was pretty sure that it was my hand rotating in circles, not the wedding ring :)

She would have been due on December 21st 2007, so I was pretty much resigned to spending Christmas in the maternity hospital. Sadly, we lost her seven months before that. As with my previous pregnancy, I decided to have her recorded at the Shrine of the Holy Innocents. When it came to naming her, we picked the name Nollaig, which is the Irish word for Christmas, and is the Irish translation of the name Noelle or Noel.

In our lives for a short time, but in our hearts forever. Our little Nollaig.

More condom conundrums

My post last week regarding our fertility clinic and their Catholic ethos and approach to collection of semen for analyis proved to be a bit of a jaw dropper. Xbox was saying that as far as he was aware, the Catholic Church had no issue with IUI, as it does not involve the discarding of fertilitised ova. I thought that they were averse to IUI, on the grounds that the collection of semen by means of "manual methods" constitutes an immoral act. I did a bit of googling to investigate further the Catholic Church's stance on IUI. Here's what I found.

Basically, the Catholic Church is ok with IUI, as long as the sperm is obtained through what they term "licit means", as in through an act of sexual intercourse between husband and wife, using a perforated condom as a collection device. From what I can gather, the condom has to be perforated in order to comply with the church's regulations as regards contraceptive devices. Which is laughable really, considering the fact that any couple pursuing fertility treatments are doing so because they cannot conceive without medical intervention. I very much doubt if any of them with Houdini like tendancies are going to make their way to the fallopian tubes if they couldn't manage it without the obstruction of a condom in their way.

It's all a bit bizarre really. They don't want fertile people to prevent themselves conceiving, and they don't want infertile people enlisting the help of medical professionals to enable them to conceive. No wonder people my generation are deserting the church in their droves. Thankfully we are now living in an Ireland which is not ruled by the church, and fertility treatments are widely available, albeit if you have the money to pay for them. It's about time that health insurance cover was available for fertility treatments in Ireland, but that's a whole other rant.

Monday, May 11, 2009

And so it continues....

I get the feeling that this blog is becoming somewhat repetitive.
Day 1 - Angst ridden rant.
Day 7 - I fucking hate clomid. Boo hoo, sob, sob.
CD 15 - Wooo hoo, let the horizontal tango commence.
8 DPO - Are these real symptoms or am I just pimping?
15 DPO - Oh fuck it I don't care anymore. But I might just do a sneaky test....BFN...fuck.
Day 1 - Angst ridden rant.

I kept the angst ridden rant short and sweet this month. To be honest, I wasn't really expecting to be pregnant. We were a wee bit hit and missing with our timings, mainly due to me being unusually busy at work and running around like a blue arsed fly entertaining my work guest. And let's face it, if the previous month's military campaign that is the SMEP plan didn't work, then this was hardly going to. So no major shock when I woke up early on Thursday morning and blearily went in search of painkillers. This does mean that with my birthday in less than three weeks, there will be no chance for a BFP before my 40th, which sucks.

I mentioned that we had a visit to the fertility clinic the week before last. The fertility clinic we are with have the objective of taking the more "natural" approach. So that excludes IUI or IVF. They do however prescribe clomid, pregnyl and all manner of fertility drugs, which in my book stretches the bounds of "natural" ferility treatment somewhat. Their ethos is very much a Catholic one. The manual we were given at our first appointment was full of quotes from scripture, papal encyclicals, and much denouncing the evil on society that is artificial contraception. Heavy stuff. But if it gets us a baby at the end of all this, then I'm prepared to suck it up (although that's probably on their list of banned acts, fnarrr fnarrr).

Anyway, this visit our good doctor suggested that we get John's side of it checked out, as in an SA. I was always wondering how they did this, since, shall we say manual handling of one's own wedding tackle is after all a mortal sin. It turns out they have a way around this. John was given on our way out of the clinic, a perforated condom and a collecting jar. The rationale she gave us for this was that pre-ejaculatory fluid contains mucho sperm, and this isn't collected properly when one bashes the bishop, so to speak (I'm so looking forward to reviewing my google analytics account after this post). So in keeping with the "Every sperm is sacred" ethos, we have to have sex using a perforated condom, then John has to quickly decant the resulting product into a jar, hose down his undercarriage, get his clothes on, and drive to the nearest lab which is approximately 40 minutes drive away in light traffic, and deposit the sample within one hour of production. Why do I suddenly have the theme to "Mission impossible" going around my brain? The doctor suggested that maybe we have a romantic night somewhere nearer the hospital. This is all well and good but the hospital is in Limerick, a city more famous for drive by shootings and stabbings than romantic getaways. It's just such never ending fun isn't it?

Other than that, the doctor decided to try me on a couple more supplements, since I'm clearly not shoving enough capsules, tablets and horse pills down my neck every day. So here's a run down on my chemical consumption for an average month:

Every day of cycle:
2 x fertility plus for women (seriously evil smelling and tasting capsules, shudder)
2 x pyrodoxine (Vit B6)
1 x probiotic capsule
1 x omega something fish oil
2 x glutamine (for better cervical mucous production)
1 x Vitamin D
1 x Calcium supplement
3 x Fertile CM supplement (same purpose as glutamine)
1 x Low dose Naltrexone

Days 3-7:
3 x 50 mg clomid

Day 12-19:
3 x mucodyne capsules

3, 5, 7 & 9 DPO:
1 x pregnyl injection

Natural fertility treatment indeed.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Here we go again.

I was awoken this morning around 5.45 with period pains. Ding ding, clomid round ten begins.