"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life" Proverbs 13:12

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The numbers game

Today I went in for my second blood-test. The room was packed, I was in there for over an hour waiting, and was very thankful I wasn't having an ultra-sound as well, or I would have been out of there an hour later than I was.

There was a lady there with her two other kids. They were beautiful. The little boy had a buzz-light year toy and so every so often my magazine reading was interrupted by a "To infinity and beyond". I assumed she was there to have her third child, and I was happy for her.

But it got me thinking again.

When Thumper came along, for the first time in years, Earl and I were positive about numbers of kids again. He was the first embryo out of a batch (hate that word!!!!) of 4, so it looked good that we might get more than one kid from this cycle (and we were praying for four). We had always talked about, if we had a kid, but suddenly we were talking about when we had "our kids". Earl and I have never discussed if we would do another stimulated cycle for a second or third child. We would love lots of kids, but at the moment it's hard enough not having one, so we try not to think beyond that.

I still recall doing the sums when we were working out when to start trying. First baby at 27, second at 29, third at 31, fourth at 33, and if we are up for it, fifth at 35. Seems so ridiculous and presumptuous, but at the time, with my Mum's mega-fertile sisters and mother in mind, I thought it was how things would go.

I was wrong.

Even though I would be happy, happy, happy with one. Thrilled with one. Would throw a huge party for one.

My heart longs for kids. Plural.

Lady Grey

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It begins again

I left the house at the beautiful morning moment where every second it seems to get lighter. In the ten minutes it took to get to the medical centre it went from night to morning.

Technically the centre is not open until 7am. But the security guard lets me in anyway? 'IVF' he asks, before buzzing me up to the 4th Floor. In a weeks time he will recognise my face and not need to ask. He is lovely, kindly allowing us to wait in the warm, carpeted waiting room rather than on the street.

As I leave the elevator it hits me that last time I was in the centre, was the last time I saw Thumper alive. It is a strange, wonderful, hard, crazy thought. I push down thoughts of might-have-beens, and enter the room.

I write my name on the blood test list, and pick up a magazine.

The nurse calls out my name and I enter the room. I'm waiting for her to say the words that she has said before. She takes her time, busy filling in paper-work and preparing the equipment. But she gets there.

'Don't take this the wrong way, but I was really hoping I wouldn't see you again'

I gave a sad smile 'We made it to 9 weeks last time'. She turns around and gives me the most loving look. 'You poor thing. I've been there, done that. You don't know how hard it is until you've experienced. And after trying so long!'.

I tell her Thumper's story, the story of a different medical centre and the horrible truth it revealed. She takes my blood, I barely notice. I've had so many blood tests.

By the time I get out the sun is well and truly up, though the sky is still a pale blue. And then my day begins, and I pretend that nothing extraordinary is going on.

It begins again...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Struggling to pray

Really, really, really struggling today.

I'm not sure why it was really only today that it hit me.

On Monday I got my period. It made me happy at first. Happy because it meant that I probably did ovulate, and so am likely to again next month. And happy because it gave me a little excuse for the biggest fight I've ever had with Earl, the night before. It wasn't all hormones, but they definitely played their part.

Anyway, I sat down and did the calculations.

If I ovulate on day 14- transfer goes ahead.
If I ovulate on day 15-No transfer
If I ovulate on day 16- no transfer
If I ovulate on day 17- transfer goes ahead.

This last month I most likely ovulated on day 17. So if it is exactly the same it will be okay. But if it's not...

Ever since the miscarriage I've been struggling with the feeling that God actually wants bad things for us. That he deliberately answers our prayers in the opposite way to what we pray. I know that is terribly unjust and untrue, and I thought I was out of that way of thinking. But it feels like this cycle is yet another opportunity for the worst case scenario to happen.

And so I'm really struggling to pray.
Lady Grey

After finishing my crazy day at work, and relaxing this evening, I am feeling better than when I wrote this post. I even prayed with Earl about it. We came to the conclusion that God does give us good things, because we have each other, don't we. I love that man!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hard relationships

In this process, some relationships are hard.

I have a friend, who since I've started trying, has started dating a guy, married him, and is now expecting her second child. Two weeks after Thumper was due.

We meet up regularly to pray.

It is really hard.

Hard because my feeling about her are so warped now. And as it's always been a relationship where I have mainly been the one caring for her, it's just hard to know how to relate now that I'm the one struggling.

We used to be so close, and I was so excited about her moving to the same town as me. I thought it would be so good.

And she always leaves me feeling raw and a little bit angry at God. That he would give this to her and not to me. That after everything I've been through, she would be the one to get the baby for Christmas. It just seems like a slap in the face!

The strange thing is, I'm not jealous of her. She is someone who is pessimistic and negative and sad most of the time. That's just her bent on life. When I talk to her, I feel like I'm the happier one and I'm the one who has been trying for four years and who lost a baby while she is the one with the gorgeous toddler and the gender checking ultra-sound today!

And I'm so torn because I want to be there for her. And she wants to be there for me. She prays for me everyday. She cries for me. I see her guilt with every look, and every time I'm silent and I won't look her in the eye I can see that it hurts her.

I love her, and I want our friendship to go back where it was.

When the baby is born it will be better. It's so much easier to resent a bump than a baby I can see. When I look at her gorgeous girl, all the horribleness goes away, and I just see one more child that God has given me to love.

But I want my own.
Lady Grey

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Doing the math/s for this cycle

Drs appointment was alright, nothing new, nothing special, just confirmation of what we knew already. He was reserved about our chances this time, which I suspose is sensible, but it left me a bit flat.

But I've become obsessed with Mathematics. Because with the natural cycle there is only one day to do the transfer, and if it happens on the weekend then they will put it off to the next cycle as my public clinic doesn't do weekend transfers :(

My first full day of the last period was the 19th of Feb. This Saturday is 28 days later. Though based on the signs I think I ovulated around day 16, which would give me a period this Monday.

I count forward 14 days from when I get my period to when I probably ovulate. Then I add 5 days onto that to calculate the transfer day, that makes it a Friday, which means that one day later and it could be a Saturday, which means that we will have to wait until my next period to try again.

But then, if this period comes on day 29, that means I probably ovulated on day 15, which means that I might ovulate later again, which would push the date forward to a Sunday- which still isn't good.

(confused yet?)

And if I did actual ovulate day 16, and this is a pattern rather than just a once off, then I should ovulate the Thursday and do the transfer on a Monday which would be okay. But if it is a fluk then we are back to the Saturday/Sunday scenario again.

Added to all this my cousins wedding in our home town is on THAT Saturday so until we know the transfer date we can't book any flights as we might have bloodtest/ultra sounds on the morning of the weeding, or have to be back on the Monday for the transfer!

I would appreciate pray that we can transfer this month and that the God who is in charge of Maths, and my pesky cycles will bless us with not only a transfer but a baby.

Lady Grey

Monday, March 14, 2011

A new/old feeling

I've been overwhelmed with a new/old feeling. Love. Incredible, heart-felt love for Thumper.

It's not that I ever stopped loving him. It's just that to even think about it brought me so undone that I was forced not to dwell on him much.

But I'm slowly getting to a point where I can think of him and love, rather than pain or anger, is the predominant feeling.

I love him. And I even feel a little happy for him. I know he is in God's hands, and that brings me joy as well as jealousy.

I was talking to Earl about it, but he isn't there yet, the pain is still too raw.

Last night I had a big cry about how much I missed him. Letting the overwhelming mother-love back into the mix doesn't come without pain or heartache.

But it's given me a window to the future. A future where I will think of him without so much pain. A future where I might be able to tell my kids that they had an older sibling. A little baby that we named Thumper, because he had such a beautiful little heart that kept beating even when he was so small that they didn't think he was going to make it. A little baby who went to be with God. A little baby that we will always love.

Lady Grey
PS Dr's appointment tomorrow. Please pray that it goes well and we can have the best possible advice going into this next cycle.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The blessing of eyes open

Today I spent most of my morning with Mrs L, someone who more and more is becoming one of my favourite people in the world, and the person who gets me more than anyone else but my darling Earl.

Mrs L and I shared the infertility journey for many years before she was blessed with her beautiful little boy.

But in our conversation today I realised that despite her beautiful blessing, infertility is not a journey that you suddenly stop when the baby comes.

This is something that comes out regularly in infertility blogs. But sitting there talking I think it hit me more and more that once you've had your eyes opened by infertility, you will always see the world differently.

Things she observed since having her baby:
-That the moment she had her baby alot of people in our circle who never gave her the time of day suddenly became keen to connect. This was something she resented, that people treated babies as an openning into an exclusive club.
-That now everyone always wants to talk about their kids and nothing else. She longs for a conversation about something deeper, but it's all about nappies and breast milk.
-I observed that I felt "left behind". She said that hasn't gone away, as even though she has a child they are all moving onto number two or toilet-training and she is still behind.
-That she thanks God everyday for her precious son, but her friends don't seem to share that same sense of being blessed
-That the people around her still think they can plan their lives, whereas she knows that this is not how things work.

I sometimes imagine my life without infertility. Me, in my world, but with a 3 year old and maybe a one year old too. And I look jealously at THAT version of me for a moment, and I wish I was her.

But do I?

I definately miss and long for all those little embryos that could have been our living children. And I do morn the dreams of a big family which slip away as each year passes. And I still occasionally ask God to take me back in time and give me Thumper, because I miss him so much.

But I don't regret my open eyes. I don't regret the lessons I've learnt and the strength that God has somehow provided through all the horribleness. I don't enjoy my life, but I am a better friend, a better wife, and better person because of it. I have a perspective that I value, hard-come-by though it was.

One day, I pray and hope that God will give me my little miricle. And God-willing, I will parent that child with open eyes.

Friday, March 4, 2011


This week, despite the fact that I have been a little bit sick, has actually been great. On Tuesday I called up the clinic and confirmed a few things about the coming cycle, which theoretically should start in two weeks, though with my cycles it could be a little bit longer.

We will be doing a "natural" cycle, which means they will monitor me to find out when I ovulate and to make sure the uterus lining is in a decent shape, then they will do the embryo transfer when my body is ready. At that point I will be taking one progesterone pessarie just to keep the lining strong. I will presumably take Clexane (blood thinners) as well, since it has been so successful in the last three cycles (I went from one biochem pregnancy in 5 transfers, to one slightly positive test and one BFP in three transfers).

We will also have a meeting with the lovely, wonderful Dr L, our favourite of all of the doctors in the clinic, just before the new cycle, which is really just a follow-up from the Misscarriage to see if he thinks there is anything we should know about the coming cycles and what his advice is for us going forward.

Being so close to "doing something" is returning me to my more cheerful self. It is always the way. I LOVE doing something. It just makes me feel like this baby thing is around the corner rather than a million years away. Strange that in the last few years, my happiest moments have been when I've been stabbing myself with neddles or lying down with Progesterone Pessaries!

Though when Earl and I went out for dinner two nights ago, I think it both hit us that this time is different. We voiced fears that neither of us had liked to think about. The BFN or even worse, another misscarriage.

This time we just don't know how we will face another failer. I am happy because I am believing that it is going to work. And if it doesn't...I don't exactly know what that will mean. I suspect it will definately mean something new. In the past, after a failed cycle I would grieve the evening away, and then go back to work, depressed but functional. I don't know if I will ever be able to do that again.

I am so scared and yet excited.
Please, please, please Father, let this next little Embryo be the one that stays!