Losing a sense of oneself

I met with someone the other day, who is still firmly in the trenches of infertility and, talking about her experiences, forced me to go back to a place that I don’t often go back to these days, because it’s still too painful.

Talking about all the things that we women go through when trying for a baby and I am not even talking about the physical rigours, but rather the emotional ones, made me think:  Can we really remain the same person we were at the beginning of the journey, when eventually we make it out the other side, all emotionally fucked and 15kgs heavier? The answer is easy….HELL NO WE CAN’T!

Now, although I quite like the person I am today, it has led me to wonder what kind of a person I would be without my infertility journey.

  1. Would I be less cynical? I am sure that I would be  and more naive about the horrors that are out there in this life. It is the one time in life when ignorance really would be bliss.
  2. Would I be slimmer? I was always slim growing up. Then I went to the UK and ate all the pies but, I was still at least 20kg less when I met my husband, than what I am today. Be it the drugs we pump into ourselves, or the comfort food we turn to when we are faced with yet another failed cycle, myself and some of my IF friends, look like we ate the people we were prior to IF!!
  3. Would I be happier with myself? Slimmer automatically equals happier with yourself so, ja, you do the math!
  4. Would I be as in love with my husband? I loved him madly before IF but, what we went through really cemented our relationship. I see friends going through horrible divorces, for some of the most arbitrary reasons and I know that that will never happen to D and I. Our bond deepened over the loss of Eloise and, once you get past something like that, nothing will tear you apart.
  5. Would I be as empathetic to others? I have always had a soft spot for animals and rescue case humans but, again, I think I have much more patience and willingness to help than I did before. Perhaps I could call it, being less selfish.

Apart from the cynicism and being a fatso, I guess I have changed for the better. Would I like to be a skinny and more positive chick? Of course yes but, then I would also lose all that I have gained too: My empathy, my loyalty, my need to give back and to help make others’ journeys not quite as tough (through IFAASA ) and, most importantly, my deep bond with my wonderful Hubby.

I guess that is why I have a good group of infertile friends. We each recognise a bit of ourselves in each other. The slightly broken and forever changed part.

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To My Secret Santa…

This year I decided to join in the Secret Santa for Bloggers, run by the fabulous Cup Cake Mummy. As my blog has been somewhat down over the past 12 months, I wanted to quickly log on, in case my secret Santa is stalking me, just to put a few things straight…

Even though the past 12 months have been tough and the next seem like they wont be any easier (our beloved 5 year old spaniel has lymphoma and we dont know how much longer he has 😦 ), I am generally a cheerful and happy person. I love my family (sister and Mom sometimes my aside 😉 ) and view my friends as the family that I chose for myself. I am fiercely loyal, I love my dogs and all things animal…I am one of those annoying peeps who share the doggies on death row on fb and who drags you to comedy nights, when it is for a good cause. 

My house is neutral and turquoise, so anything those colours will fit in perfectly, I am not very creative but I love when others are and I buy bright pics and nik naks from markets often.

My fave SA bands are Prime Circle and The Parletones but my music loves range from Bon Jovi ( FAVE BAND EVER!) to Indie music like Mumford and Sons etc. 

I also love Christmas and would welcome any deccies to put up around the house, especially this year as Ashton will be one and will love sparkly things to look at.

Anyhoo, that is all for now, hope you have a fabby week! I am turning 35 tomorrow…GAH and it is the first birthday that I am not stupid excited for…getting old does SUCK!!

Bok x

Message received loud and clear…

Some regular readers may remember a year or so ago, when one of my BFF’s excluded us from her child’s birthday party for the age old reason “because you don’t have children”.

Well, it took a long time, but I eventually let her back into the fold. It was around the time we got pregnant with Eloise and so I didn’t want any negativity around me. I explained why what she did hurt so much and she said she understood and didnt do it deliberately and was sorry blah blah blah….

Fast forward to March and the day I finally got given our Court date. Hubby was away in USA and I wanted to tell SOMEONE, you all know what it’s like when you get great news, you just want to shout it out from the rooftops!! So, the date was the 10th April and we had already decided that we were going to hold off on having our adoption party/baby shower until the 90 days had passed AND we had signed everything at court. I wasn’t going to wait a second longer than I needed to though and so I immediately sent out a “Save the Date” email to family and friends.

We have a large family and so we decided to split the 2 parties… family first on the 13th April and then friends on the 20th.

My “BFF” immediately emailed me back saying that she would have to get back to me, as it was her birthday and she was planning a party. I knew it was her birthday but, as she hadn’t mentioned anything about a party, I thought she would be very happy to celebrate with our special boy….WRONG!!!! So, I offered to postpone to the 27th and heard NOTHING.

A few days later another friend mentioned that T had had a bitch to her about the fact that I obviously had forgotten her birthday…so I sent T another email explaining that I hadn’t forgotten and, if she was dead set against celebrating together with A, then we would postpone, but she must just let me know….NOTHING came back, so I left it.

Fast forward a few weeks and another friend rang me to let me know that the email invite to T’s birthday party ON THE 20TH, had gone out…..to all the same peeps we had sent the save the date to. WELL, I have never seen red so much as I did then!! How bloody dare she!!

Luckily I was with my stunning friend S at the time and she talked me off the ledge a bit but I just couldn’t help saying something to her…so I mailed her a single line:

“message received loud and clear”

A few hours later, I received a mail back saying something along the lines of “excuse me, but I am allowed to celebrate my life too”. Shoooo weeeee, you could see the smoke coming out my ears!!! I explained to her as nicely as I could that I had OFFERED to postpone and had heard nothing and now, by doing this, she is making everyone choose and, not between her and me BUT between her and Ashton, which I thought was disgusting!

What did she come back with? Well, some utter tripe about me using A as a pawn and I should be celebrating him now and not waiting for a piece of paper etc etc etc.

Suffice to say, she is fully REMOVED from my Christmas card list, never to be reinstated again!

Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice…

 

Why I am more of an emotional wreck than usual…

Ok, so I thought that I owed you a bit of an explanation regarding my less than stable emotional state recently…

At the beginning of the month we made the decision that, in June, we will commence our 3rd and final ICSI cycle (as chatted about in a previous post). We are going balls to the wall with this one and are doing a ZIFT, which is a pretty hectic procedure, meaning that the embryo’s are transferred via a laparoscopy, into my tubes, the day after they fertilise. This is because, when the issue is with the sperm, the embies seem to do better when they are put back in their natural habitat quicker. It is a big procedure and means that I will be going under general anaesthetic the day after being sedated for egg retrieval BUT, I have survived a laparoscopy before and I want to look back and know that we did EVERYTHING that we could, to get our BFP.

So, there is a lot riding on this one, which automatically makes it more emotionally draining than the first 2 cycles that we did. In fact, for the first one, we were so young (27!) and naive, that it didn’t enter our heads that the cycle would fail….I mean, why would it? We were young and everybody said it would work…!! One BFN later and we were a bit older and wiser about the dark world of Infertility and so we waited 2 years before having cycle no 2. That time we had 2 seemingly perfect blastocysts transferred and left the clinic with the Fertility Specialists words ringing in our ears “the worst outcome will be that it is twins”!!! One heartbreaking and soul destroying BFN later, we took another 3 years to pick up the pieces enough, to enable us to be in the right place both emotionally and financially, to try again.

So, yes, if I am a bit of a whinger and a bitcher over the next few weeks, I apologise in advance. I know that that is the reason I reacted so badly to the recent “kid’s party saga”, there is no way if I was in my right mind, that I would’ve let it hurt me quite so much…

Because you don’t have children…

…have to be the most hurtful words that an infertile can hear or the most hurtful reason that anyone can give an infertile, for not including them in something, or inviting them somewhere.

Despite the pain those words cause, I hear them quite often and, as you can probably guess, they were the words I heard in relation to my missing invite to my bff’s kids’ party. My other bff confronted her and those were the very words she used… one of my closest friends, one of the only people in the world who know what we are going through/have been through and she used the very words that hurt more than any others.

I’m hurting so much at the moment… I really hope our friendship survives this. I know there is no way she could know the pain those words bring, no one who hasn’t been down this path knows that pain, but I can’t help the way that I am feeling either.

Guess we’ll all have to watch this space, to see how things pan out…

Maybe….just maybe!

Posted by me on Friday, on http://www.fertilicare.org:

“You know how, when you’re on the list, your SW’s don’t tell you each and every time someone looks at your profile?? Well, today, we found out that, at 2pm, someone would be viewing our profile….

A few weeks ago, we picked up our profile, to update it (we have rescued a dog from the SPCA and thought he should be in it),but you know how time goes and we still haven’t gotten round to doing it (incidentally we said this morning that we’d do it tonight and get it back to her tomorrow). So, we have a bit of a stressful morning this morning (our gardener decided it would be a great idea to take our dogs out for a walk…on one of the biggest main roads around and hubby spotted him!!!) and, when I eventually got back to my desk, I had a message from our SW’s maid reminding me to bring the album back. I rang her and apologised and said that we would bring it tomorrow…she said that Monday would prob be better, as she will be in all day to let me in. Something then told me to message Zoe (SW) and so I sent her one apologising for taking so long. So, she replied to say that it is ok, she just didn’t want us to miss out!!! So, I said that, if she ever needs our profile back, I could get it to her in 20 mins…to which she replied…BRING IT NOW!!!! So, I cancelled my afternoon appointments and zoomed home, picked up the profile, plus the loose pics that we had ready to put in and a glue stick and drove like the wind, the 20kms to her house. I got there at 13:22pm. Veronica (maid) came out and said that she is sorry that she couldn’t tell me to bring it today, but she was glad I contacted Zoe. I asked what time they/she/he (no idea on details) were coming and she said 2pm!! So, I glued the pics in outside her house, gave our profile a good luck kiss and zoomed away!!!”

Posted by me now, continuing the story…

“So, when I left Zoe’s house, I went and sat round the corner, at a lovely dog walking spot that I knew and made a few phone calls, asking for lots of prayers and good vibes to be sent at 2pm. I group messaged my closest friends who were all beyond excited for me and I phoned my Mom and Sister. Then I sat with tears streaming down my face, remembering that my Gran had said to me during that psychic session, that we would be happy in May and again in September….could this be the reason that we would be happy in May?? COULD THIS BE OUR TIME??

I prayed alot and spoke to my Gran, asking for a sign that this would be it. Then, when I couldn’t sit still any longer, I went to the supermarket nearby (so I would be in close enough proximity to still send my own good vibes) and proceeded see a bunch of boy children, ranging from 2 months-5yrs old (my Gran “said” we were going to have 2 boys), which is not unusual for a supermarket in the middle of the day but, how I encountered them was a bit bizarre… One was abandoned in his push chair, blocking the aisle to the till (I thought to myself that, if his Mom only knew a fraction of the emotional and vulnerable state that I was in, there is no way that she would’ve left her son unattended!!) I stood behind him frozen to the spot for a full 30 seconds, before his 3 year old brother came and moved him. Then there was a boy riding on the trolley with his Mom, who waved at me and watched me very intently, his eyes following me the whole way to my car and another that I encountered in the parking loft who gave me a big grin and a chuckle (kids don’t usually pay me any attention)…could those have been the signs? COULD THIS BE OUR TIME??

So, as you can imagine, when I got home that evening I was a bit of a gibbering idiot!! I asked my hubby if I should pester Zoe (SW) and ask her for feedback and he agreed that I should. So, I messaged her and said that, although I know that we aren’t supposed to know that our profile was being viewed but, as we do know, we would love some feedback… she replied by saying that it was very early days with this birth mom, BUT and, here’s the biggy, “we have several BM’s who may look at profiles over next few weeks, so I didn’t want you to miss out”!!! OMG, we go from “hardly any white birth mom’s are out there”, to “several birth mom’s”!!! so, as well as a few others out there who are waiting (im)patiently on the list, maybe this really is OUR TIME!!! 🙂

 

 

My new worry… how will the dynamics change?

So, lets say that the past 6 years had panned out as they should have…. we would have 2 kids, one of 6 and one of 4. My 2 closest friends from primary and high school have 2 kids of those ages and, since we have been back in SA, we have reconnected and become close once again (my hubby has also befriended their hubbies and so we are now a group rather than a 3some), so in this scenario, our kids would all be good pals too and we would continue having our weekends at the Vaal and hanging out together for the next 10-20 years.

Now, lets skip to the life that we are actually living….at the moment we are a strong group, we go away for weekends together, the kids love us and all is hunky dory. What happens when we get the call (from my lips to God’s ears)? Or, if what my Gran said, comes true and we have a successful final cycle and it ends up being twins (please, please, please!)…. how will it all work then??

I sat at the Vaal Dam with them all this past Easter weekend and we were discussing what our favourite age has been so far 20’s, 30’s or 40’s (for Kel’s Mom who was there) and my 2 buds agreed that def their 30’s (we’re 33), as all the baby stuff was behind them and now they have got their lives back and that they always wanted to have had their babies by the time they turned 30. It was quite hard to listen to, not because I will mind wiping bums and clearing up puke when it happens BUT because I had also planned that I’d be done with it all by now….

Anyway, I guess time will tell whether our friendship will change….but it is kind of inevitable, no matter how many times they say that it’s cool because the elder kiddies love playing dolly and they will do nappies etc…I need to be a realist and get my head around the fact that, the minute we get that call, or a + sign on a pee stick….the dynamics will shift and when that does eventually happen and 6 years of TTC comes to an end, I doubt that I will want it any other way!