Apologies and Goodbyes

Wow.  I didn’t realise how much I had neglected this blog until now.  And in doing so, neglecting the people who chose to follow me, and I them.  I’m sorry.  I can’t even feign that I’ve been too busy to blog.  I admit it:  I’ve been cheating on WordPress……with Instagram, which is a better place for micro-blogging plus easier to ad a visual aide and edit the post.  And I don’t have to approve comments.  And…

Anyway, I cheated, and I’m sorry.  Sorry I haven’t been around to read your posts and comment or commiserate.  I just…….well I just didn’t feel like coming here.    It’s too depressing, and quite frankly I don’t need to visit this depressing place to be depressed.  I’m already there at any given time.

my journey to motherhood is over.  And so there’s no need for me to continue to blog here.  There is nothing left to say. It’s over. But I’m not deleting it.  I’m going to leave it, in case any small part of it comes in handy for someone.  I can’t imagine it will.  But you never know.  Plus, I think my holiday TTC carols are kinda funny.

For those of you who followed, I thank you.  For those who contacted me and offered support, I thank you.  It didn’t go unnoticed and it didn’t go unappreciated, no matter how it may have seemed.

Wishing you all the best on your journey, whatever stage you are in.  Xx

 

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I guess I should update on where we’re at in all this

Back before I decided to launch my songwriting career (ha!) I think I may have mentioned that I was undergoing some testing to find out why on earth I can’t get even a perfect tip top quality donor egg embryo to implant and make a baby.

Well, as it turns out, I have a generalised immune imbalance, fairly decently elevated natural killer cells in my uterus (mildly elevated in my bloodstream), as well as lactose intolerance and non-Celiac gluten intolerance.  After speaking to both my fertility specialist (whom I haven’t switched – it’s just too much trouble to switch and start over) as well as a reproductive immunologist in Sydney, I have a treatment protocol for when we go back to Zlin.

As I suspected, the RI is more aggressive in his approach than my FS.

My FS has suggested in addition to the standard medication protocol (basically HRT):

  • 10mg prednisolone daily, starting one week prior to transfer, and for two weeks post transfer
  • Clexane (heparin) injection daily (I forget the dose)- a blood clot preventer 1 week prior to transfer, and for two weeks post transfer
  • Intralipid infusion – one week prior to transfer, and another one week post positive beta (which is 10 days post transfer)

MY RI has suggested similar but more aggressive:

  • 15 mg dexamethsone daily, 10 days prior to transfer
  • Clexane injection daily (same dose as what FS recommended), 10 days prior to transfer and for 12 (yes TWELVE) weeks post positive beta
  • Intralipid infusion – one infusion one week prior to transfer, and one every two weeks post positive beta, for eight weeks (4 infusions)

Naturally, I’m going with my RI’s recommendations.  He’s got a specific interest in RI where’s my FS has only “believed” in NKC’s for about a year.

At this stage, we are looking at going over in April 2016.  Which feels like ages away, but is really not.  We’re hoping to be able to coordinate another stimmed cycle with our previous donor to bank embryo’s, in case it doesn’t work…..or in the case that it does, and if we want more kids, they will all be full siblings.  I really want that for them.  It’s very important to me.

We’re trying to coordinate the whole thing with BAUMA, which is a huge construction/civil/forestry/and mining expo held every 2 years in Munich, Germany.  If we go to BAUMA, we can claim the flights as a tax deduction.  Well, we get basically nothing for our tax dollars, so damnit, I’m going to avoid paying anything I can!

So there is a lot to organise, and save up for.  That’s the biggest drama, money.  Always money.  But where there’s a will there’s a way.  😉

The 12 Months of TTC:  An Infertile Carol

xmasCarols_1548206c

Right.  So.  I’m trying really hard to be in a better head space.  And a better mood.  Get back some Christmas spirit (because infertility has, over the years, chipped and chunked away at it, like a prisoner with a sledge hammer sentenced to hard labour in a quarry, and my Christmas spirit is a  boulder of, I don’t know, chalk.  To say my spirit is in smithereens would be generous), I’m attempting to find humorous, or at least ironic (and sarcastic, because that’s my second language!) POVs about being infertile during the holidays.

I have dug deep into my bag of tricks (about the size of a zip lock baggy).  And I have found some leftover remnants of clever brilliance (don’t laugh, I knew these scraps would come in handy for SOMETHING).  With it, I have created a masterpiece that is going to earn me a Grammy.  Or at the very least a pie in the face.  (Make it pumpkin, please.  I like pumpkin pie.)

To the tune and (approximate) tempo of that time honoured holiday classic, The 12 Days of Christmas, I give you

The 12 Months of TTC

In the first month of TTC, I remember this was me…
I stopped taking my BCPs!

In the second month of TTC, I remember this was me…
I modified my diet
Oh, and I’m still not taking BCPs!

In the third month of TTC, I remember this was me…
I started temperature charting
Remodified my diet
Yes, I’m sure I stopped taking BCPs

In the fourth month of TTC, I remember this was me…
Tracking cervical mucous
Still temperature charting
Re-remodified my diet
NO, I’m not taking BCPs

In the fifth month of TTC, I remember this was me…
Reeeeeee-la-ax-ingggggggg!!!!
Still tracking cervical mucous
Faithfully temperature charting
Re-re-remodified my diet
I wonder if it’s because I took BCPs?

In the sixth month of TTC, I remember this was me…
Added acupuncture
I’m re-la-ax-ingggggggg!!!! 🙂
Still tracking cervical mucous
Still temperature charting
Tried a whole new diet
I’m sure it was those BCPs…..

In the seventh month of TTC, I remember this was me…
Went and had some blood work
Enjoying acupuncture
I am re-la-ax-ingggggggg!!!! 😐
Tracking cervical mucous
Still temperature charting
Blew my stupid my diet
I’m not taking anymore BCPs

In the eighth month of TTC, I remember this was me…
Got a script for Clomid
Went and had more blood work
Look forward to acupuncture
I AM re-la-ax-ingggggggg!!!! :/
Added Pre-seed to cervical mucous
Stuff the temperature charting!
Back on the stupid diet
I’m blaming years of BCPs!

In the ninth month of TTC, I remember this was me…
Had a hysteroscopy
Higher dose of Clomid
Did a ton of blood work
Losing faith in acupuncture
Stop suggesting re-la-ax-ingggggggg!!!!
Hostile cervical mucous
Gave up temperature charting
Sick of this damn diet!
Might as well be back on BCPs!!

In the tenth month of TTC, I remember this was me…
Got sent to a Repro Endo
Had a hysterosalpinogram
Prescribed some new fert drugs
Went and had MORE blood work
Gave up on acupuncture
YOU TRY re-la-ax-ingggggggg!!!!
Don’t bother tracking cervical mucous
Laugh at temperature charting
Totally blew my diet
Oh, and I’m back on the BCPs!

In the eleventh month of TTC, I remember this was me…
IVF cycle busted
Went back to Repro Endo
Had a laparoscopy
Changed up all my fert drugs
That’s right, more blood work
I miss my acupuncture
It actually was re-la-ax-ingggggggg!!!!
Producing NO cervical mucous
Deleted app for temp charting
Diet?  Diet schmiet…..
Can’t believe I’m TTC on the BCPs……

In the twelfth month of TTC, I remember this was me…
Diagnosed infertile
IVF cycle 2 busted
Repro Endo baffled
Counselling recommended
Take a break from fert drugs
Honestly…..more blood work?
Went back to acupuncture
It’s sooooooo re-la-ax-ingggggggg!!!!
Where’s my cervical mucous???
Temperature?  No, a hot flush
Really need to diet
What’s the point of taking BCPs?

Obviously, this isn’t QUITE how it went for me.  It took me years to get a fertility specialist to do anything beyond advise me to lose weight.  I mean, I’ve been at this for 12 years, not months.  But the above comprises the endless headscratching and beard stroking that one does when TTC after a year, when you’re TTC as an infertile.

Anyway, just a little humour and hopefully you found it mildly amusing.  🙂

Holiday Survival Advice

Amazingly enough, you will RARELY get such advice from someone still struggling with infertility.  I read this with great interest and the stirrings of……something.  Until I got to the bottom and saw the author has created her family via adoption and egg donation, and I immediately soured on it.  Because of course!  Of course she can dispense such advice!  She’s come out the other side.  Shes no longer struggling.  She’s got the one thing I need to bring peace, love, joy and hope back into my life.  She’s got a FAMILY.  But here at the Hopeful (hopeless?) Hearts? It’s just me and Mr Heart.  We’re a couple.  And a couple isn’t a family.  I’m sorry…..please don’t try to convince me otherwise.  I’ve been in a childless coupledom for over a decade now and I know there is no similarity in celebrating the holidays as a family for a couple. So I’m not as receptive to anything she has to say now.

Link to full article here  https://www.donoreggbankusa.com/news/blog/dont-just-survive-the-holidays…thrive
Here’s the thing:  I used to LOVE the holidays.  Loved them.  Everything.  The decor, the songs, the feeling of generosity and good will.  Now?  I hate the holidays.  Hate them.  With s purple passion.  While it’s not quite as bad here in Oz as it is in the US, from the time Halloween pops its head up until New Years Day has passed, the holidays are nothing more to me than a screaming-in-my-face reminder of what we’re missing:  a family of our own.   Infertility has broken me so badly that I’m not even sure if having a family could conjur up the good feelings I used to get.  Sometimes broken things really can’t be fixed.

We have family, yes.  All people with their own families.  And we’re always invited to spend holidays with them.  Pity invites.  Third wheels.  Hangers on.  Oddballs.  There……but not really part of it.   There…..separated by the haves and have nots.  Whether that’s accurate, or only how it feels to me, is irrelevant.  It IS how it feels to me.  That’s how it feels to me, because that’s my reality.

So, I loathe the holiday season and if the opportunity to be put into a 3 month long coma were available?  I’d snap it up, in a heartbeat.  As it is, all I can do is try to find ways to cope until it’s over for another year.  Every year it gets a little harder, so evey year I have to go to further lengths.  It’s getting to be very exhausting.

Eventually I am literally going to have to live under a rock.

I use bad language sometimes……

…….and when I’m feeling the worst of the worst……when the TTC struggle has got to me and more than I can bear…..I’m hateful.  I’m bitter.  I’m spiteful , and I say things that are just horrible, but that I don’t REALLY mean.  I give in to the Dark Side of The Force.  (Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.)

But I do it…..and I admit it and I acknowledge that it’s not the most mature or kind approach. I do and it’s not but…….I can’t really help it.  It’s the only way I can get the poison out.  The poison being the sadness, the fear, the depression, and the feeling like it’s a lost cause.  I say it’s poison because most days, it feels like it’s killing me.

It’s a little but not really but maybe a tad like (from personal accounts I’ve read) having Tourette’s Syndrome of the heartbroken soul.  The desperate NEED to say or do something and the inability to stop it.  I read once a story about a little girl who, when feeling overwhelmed, felt she HAD to make what she called “bullfrog faces”:  eyes and mouth wide open, over and over.  She’d get overwhelmed, the feeling would build, she’d be in public so would hold it in, barely…….then when she could find a “safe” place to do it (ie in private), she’d just let loose……until the need was satisfied.  Just bullfrog over and over…..until the need passed.

I’m like that, only with my nastiness.  I generally do not let Mean and Nasty Kristi out to play, except around people I trust implicitly (sometimes she escapes though not too often and then it’s like trying to heard wet, angry cats).  Because they know I don’t mean what I say, and they understand that, while it’s awful, I HAVE to say it.  The longer I go without letting off the extra pressure, in a manner of speaking, the worse it is when it comes out.  Like a pressure cooker with a poorly fitted lid and faulty pressure gauge.  Trust me…..it’s a mess.  Helping your grandmother scrape pressure cooked green beans off the ceiling makes an impression on you.

I have yet, in my 43 years, found a way to channel it in more constructive ways.  Nothing is as satisfying as a vitriolic raging rant.  With obscenities. Not just mildly profane but reeeeaaaaalllllly offensive ones.

On the blog, I get pissy……and I use language that is…..well, colourful to offensive.  I actually can maintain a professional and dignified persona IRL, but my blog?  An outlet.  A sounding board.  A whipping boy.  A cone of silence, without the silence.  ??  I don’t think I’m making sense (I’m hot, thirsty, and I need a bath.  That’s enough to make me scatterbrained.)

So I apologise if my language is abrasive.  If the use off the f word is offensive.  Please forgive.  But sometimes other words will not do.  Long term infertility is a bloody hard road.  Some whinging is just inevitable.  😉

Finally!  Something to be excited about! 😃

I have been under my overweighted doom and gloom blanket for so long now.  Now I finally have something that has perked me up.  

I registered to participate in a coffee mug exchange for those of us struggling to conceive.  Started and hosted by Chelsea at http://www.trialsbringjoy.com/, I believe it’s in its third(?) year, and has gone from about 30-odd participants, to over 800 hundred this year!  

I’ve just received my exchange buddies details, and I’m so excited to do this!  I’m working onsite with my hubby today but tonight?  I’ll be contacting my buddy, and putting my mug parcel together. 😀

It saddensmd to think that over 800 of us (well far more really…….think of the ladies who can’t or don’t want to participate!) are still trying to have our babies.  While it doesn’t change our situation it does let us know we’re not alone.  We’re not “freaks” or some kind of oddball.  There’s a lot of us.  Infertility is a real thing…….and it’s on the rise.  

Anyway, I’m totes excited about this, and I can’t wait to get this parcel in the post.  

#ttcmugexchange2015

Karmic debt? Divine justice? Or maybe just plain bad luck.

I keep asking why me?  What did I do?  What didn’t I do?

And people keep telling me I didn’t do or not do anything.  That I’m not being punished or paying a price, that there is no such thing.  And how do you know that?, I always want to ask.  Can you actually prove that?

I keep being told I’m just having bad luck.  Bad luck, you say?

I’m not so sure.  I don’t know if I believe in good or bad luck or not.  I mean the very idea that luck exists at all is as up for debate as karma and divine intervention.

So……if it’s bad luck I’m having, then surely I’ve done something to warrant it…..right?  I mean there are a million superstitions about it.  You can’t just have good or bad luck without earning it, it just doesn’t make any sense.  That there is good or bad luck and that either can befall anyone at any time implies there is something or someone that decides who gets what, and when.

Consider the following:

See a black cat cross your path?  Well my God…..there’s probably a billion black cats in South Gippsland alone, and I reckon I’ve seen most of them cross the road ahead of me on average once a week.  Not to mention that when we were in Zlin, we went out for a drive and twice, in different locations miles apart, black cats sauntered across the road ahead of us in that way that cats do…….casually and oblivious to the mayhem that will ensue in their wake.  Meaning I’m so screwed beyond screwed from black cat-ism that I may as well go ahead and have my entire reproductive system removed.

What about putting the good luck in my favour?

Walk under a ladder?  Never.  Not once in my life have I done that.  Who would?  Go around.  Simples. *Meerkat-like noise*

Broken a mirror?  Run over a china man?  Not that I can recall…..and definitely never, respectively.

To this day I have never again rocked an empty rocking chair since seeing in a movie that it’s “the worst kind of bad luck there is”.  (As per Mose, played by Danny Glover, Places in the Heart).  Who am I to test such things?  Seems just as possible as any other good/bad luck action.  I’m not taking any chances.

At 43 years old I habitually go back out the same door I came in through, and in STILL say “bread n butter” when I pass/go around a pole or column.  I can’t help myself.  It comes out without thinking.  Second nature.  And again, why take the chance?

Conversely, there are items that are meant to be things to bring you good luck:  horse shoes, angel charms, semi-precious stones, four leaf clovers.  Rabbits feet, numbers, colours, a jade plant outside your front door.  Rubbing Buddha’s ears or belly, touching the smiling, waving cat, touching statues on bridges in Prague.  I do, and did, all those things.

Its not brought me any good luck.  My common sense tells me doing that stuff didn’t actually DO anything, good or bad.  My superstition and desperation tells me I clearly did them all wrong, or in the wrong order, and so I got bad luck.  And I know that’s bullshit too…..but I’m looking for a way to blame myself, since I can’t blame luck.  Or fate.  Or destiny.  Or whatever.

So that says to me, that my bad luck is either so strong, so stacked against me…….or luck, good or bad, doesn’t really exist.  I don’t know.  I think at this stage I’m talking in redundant circles.  But then that just reflects the reality of infertility, so who knows.

Either way it leaves me……well…..screwed, really.  What’s left?  Prayer? Seems a bit out of line and hypocritical, don’t you think?  To pray when you’re not sure you even believe anymore?  And if you do believe, that you kind of believe that rather than a loving God, that He’s actually just a big, fat, prick?  More akin to an ant bully with a magnifying glass, than some kind, loving being.  Or entity.  Or force.  Or whatever.

But I have been out of line…..and hypocritical.  I have prayed.  For success. For a baby.  For the science to work.  For answers and solutions.  I’ve also prayed for peace, of heart and mind.  The ability to find something else in life that could fulfil me.  For the longing to just go away.  For death, if that’s what it takes.  If He/She\it can’t or won’t give me a baby, to give me peace, or just fucking end my life.  People look at me like I’m crazy (and to be fair, the jury has been out on that one for a while now) when I tell them I pray for these things, in this order.  Baby, peace, death.  If I can’t have either of the first two……then I simply do not want to live.  I do not want to go on this way.  I don’t.  Period.  I’m sorry to tell people, but time actually doesn’t heal all.  In some instances, like mine, it makes it worse.

I wish….oh how I wish……I could find something.  Some hope, or……belief.  Faith.

But I’ve been wishing a long time too……and I’m pretty sure that like good and bad luck, wishing is just a thing humans made up.

Unworthy

I’m unworthy of motherhood.   It’s true.  It can’t be anything else.  

I’m not sure why.  I don’t know what it was I did wrong, or what I did to have such a blessing revoked, but clearly……at some point in this life……or another……I did or didn’t do something that resulted in me being found unworthy of motherhood. 

It must have been bad, what it did.  Really, really bad.  Or really, really bad that I didn’t do it.  

So many others seem to be blessed with motherhood……others that have done things I’ve never done……would never do.  Drugs.  Smoking.  I did drink a lot in my twenties, but that was short lived.  I’ve never committed a crime.  I’ve never been sexually promiscuous.  I’m married and faithful to my husband.  I pay my taxes.  Until this past April, and the first year I was in Australia, I’ve been gainfully employed continuously.  I’m not cruel to animals.  I am, for the most part, a nice person.  A decent person.  I’m not perfect.  But I’m a good person. 

Yet motherhood……the one thing I want more than anything in the world……remains elusive. 

Friends of ours have a daughter.  I think she’s 16……maybe 17 now, I’m not really sure.  Doesn’t matter.  She’s got the maturity of a 12 year old but not nearly as much common sense.  She’s quit high school.  Has no life skills, and she can’t hold down even a part time job, or keep an apprenticeship.  She lives in a semi-converted shed with her boyfriend, whom also is a high school drop out, no job, can’t keep one.  I hear they fight continuously, and are on again, off again more than she changes her underpants.  She’s got a piss poor attitude, a bad temper, anger management issues with a tendency toward violence, and like all teenagers, knows nothing but thinks she knows it all.  She also has some psychiatric issues that need to be addressed, but aren’t.  I suspect she’s bi-polar.  Definitely has oppositional defiant disorder.  I know her parents have called the cops to get her under control when she’s gone ballistic.  She’s essentially nothing more than an ungrateful fucking brat who needs her smart mouth mashed and her ass kicked.

She’s pregnant.  I’m surprised it took this long, to be honest.  I think she probably planned it, seeing as how it’s easier to live off the system in Australia than do anything constructive with your youth.  I can’t believe it, and yet the writing was on the wall ages ago.  Another little one born into unnecessarily unfortunate circumstances.  Another little one for us taxpayers to support because momma is a drop kick loser.  The baby will be fine.  No doubt her parents will end up raising it, because she’s a lost cause and if she doesn’t spend time in a mental ward or jail at some point I will be entirely surprised.

Still……planned……unplanned…….why?  Why has she been so blessed?  Why is a baby on its way into her life and her arms at age 16/17……..and yet here I am at 43+…….prepared…..ready….trying every expensive avenue known to man……and still waiting?  Longing?  Yearning and pining?  Dying.  Of a broken heart.  Of a grief that time does NOT heal. 

What did I do wrong?  What didn’t I do right?

Why is she worthy of such a blessing?  

And why am I not? 

Without family a house is not a home

house

I spent the better part of last week with our best friends and their girls, whom I adore above all other children.  I am closer to these girls than any other kids I know, nephews and nieces included.  These people are more than friends.  They’re family.  I’d take a bullet or step in front of a train for any of them.

As always, had a fabulous time with them.  With them I get to experience all things “family with kids”.  Teen histrionics.  The highs and lows of boyfriends and girl squabbles.  School awards.  The girls eye rolling at our adult uncoolness.  Me staying abreast of and eye rolling over the latest cool trends.  All things I’d love to experience with my own kids. (And yes…..I know that there’s a lot more to parenting than this.)   And sometimes it’s hard to sit by and watch and listen to the family dynamic at work, knowing the only way I’ll ever get to experience it is by observation.  But it’s fun while it’s happening and I spend a great deal of time laughing.

Eventually though, I have to leave…..and go home.  And common sense says that getting away from the reminder of what I really want the most but cannot have should make it easier.

It doesn’t.

It is when I get home that reality and the hand I’ve been dealt is the hardest to take.  When I leave their real home and come back to my pretend one.  The realisation sets in again:  they have a family home.  I have a house.

An empty, silent house.

The closer I get to my house, the more my heart hurts.  Heading down the driveway, it is evident a family does not live there.  No bikes or scooters litter the driveway.  No netball hoop or swing set stands in the garden.  There’s no cubby house or sandpit.  No backpacks and a scrambled pile of kids shoes sitting inside the backdoor.  No school notices or report cards on the fridge.  No permission slips on the bench to be signed.  No hats and jumpers slung over a chair.  No school clothes to be brought in off the line and hung up.  No lunch boxes to be packed or thermoses to be washed.  No toys scattered here and there.  Just the bits and pieces of a childless man and a woman.

There’s not much in the way of sound here either.  No laughing, squawking, or sibling bickering.  No one calling out for mum or dad.  No queries as to where this or that is….where did you last see it….I don’t know, I just can’t find it!  No children’s shows on the tele……no horrible music on the radio from the latest teen singing sensations.  I’m not threatening to gather up all the scattered toys and donate them to Vinnie’s if they don’t pick them up and put them away……

The house is just empty.  And not just of furnishings.  It won’t matter how much stuff I fill it with.  It won’t matter if I pay thousands and thousands for furnishings and décor, and it looks like something out of Home & Garden, or if I scrounge things from op shops and it looks very Frugal Uni Student Chic.  If every room of the house was wall to wall with stuff, top or bottom dollar, it would still be empty and echoing.  It would still lack life.  I want to get rid of this place.  I don’t want to reside here anymore.  It holds nothing but bad memories and the spectors of dead dreams.

My heart breaks at the sight of it….sitting high on the hill….a giant monument to the death of dreams I once had.  We built this house with a family in mind.  It’s huge.  Open planned.  Plenty of space for little ones to run around and grow up in.  Plenty of space for a family.  I chose it and once loved it because of those features.  Now I hate it.  I hate this house.  I hate it’s hugeness and it’s open planned living space.  It’s too big for just the two of us and it will never be a home.  I hate that there is nothing running around in all this space but two hairball-puking, fur-shedding cats.  That’s not quite the pitter-patter of little feet I had in mind.  It’s not the family I envisioned.

But it’s the only one I’m going to get.