A birthday, and a goodbye.

My baby is one year old and my heart is full. A balloon of joy swells up in my chest and bursts. Not every so often, but constantly, always. When I am with her, when I thinking of her, when I am talking about her, when I am watching her sleeping …

My life is full, too. Mr Bun and I are racing, racing – juggling and tap dancing through a weekly circus of two very demanding jobs, the insanity of this property market, our marriage, our families, ourselves. It is all going by so, so fast. We are breathless. But we are happy.

Today is my daughter’s first birthday. It’s my 100th blog post. It is time to say goodbye.

I have squeezed so much pleasure out of this blog, which is wondrous considering it was borne from a place of pain. Infertility hollowed me out. It was a physical battle, but the scars are emotional. While driving last week I happened to looked right instead of left – and out popped a memory. A curve of road, a traffic light: there I had been, wailing at the steering wheel as I left behind another negative beta. Oh, that pain. The pain of wanting something so very badly. I remember every aching minute.

I am not a closed person, and have been open about what we went through … but no-one knew, no-one knew like you did. I have relished the luxury of not having to explain anything. But equally, you listened to the detail I sometimes felt compelled to go into. This place allowed me to open up all of that.

Thank you. For your support, and your curiosity, your advice … your humour! This age that we live in is truly miraculous, allowing us to build these extraordinary communities from all around the world.

When I first discovered the world of infertility blogs, I fell upon page after page, seeking out stories that mirrored mine. Some sites I found were years old, many had stopped writing altogether. Most, though, had stuck around long enough to reveal that they had finally become mothers. This gave me hope like nothing else. I like to think that maybe I’ve done that for someone out there.

I will miss this space, particularly as a kick-up-the-bum to write – because I don’t get to do that so much any more. I dunno, I may drop back and regale you with more minutiae … or maybe create somewhere new? But for now I think it’s a good time to sign off.

Life is a matter of contrast, and I’m sure there will be dark days ahead … but there will be light ones as well.

Right now?

Now – my baby is one year old and my heart is full.

Sending you all love, and luck, and happiness so pure that it makes you float.

x

Um, What!?

This is pretty old now, but it caught my eye.

“A Canadian radio station sponsoring a “Win a baby!” contest has chosen the five lucky couples who will each receive $35,000 worth of IVF treatments, but not before telling them that only one couple would win.” Um, what!?

Make sure you read the full article here.

The reason this article is so fascinating, is the comments below it. Make sure you hit ‘All’ to see every one. I love that a bunch of articulate, educated, independent, feisty women band together to TAKE DOWN those few ignoramuses who dare drag out the old, ‘Why don’t infertile women just adopt/foster!?”

Cheered me immensely to read them.

The Fear and the Ecstasy

Wow. Well, that’s been a big few weeks. Want to know what intensity is? Have your in-laws arrive after 18 months and 12,000 miles, on the day you have your entirely unexpected and very wanted pregnancy confirmed.

Then, go on a trip with them and your husband. One house. One bathroom. Four people. Spend the entire time spotting and cramping.

And, yeah – try and remain C.A.L.M.

Excuse my French – but, fuck me.

This week, two things happened: they headed home, and Mr Bun and I saw a heartbeat.

At six weeks and five days, a feathery, flickery heartbeat. I didn’t cry – I haven’t cried at all since this happened. I think I’m still in shock. I was happy, yes – but it feels like a measured, superstitious relief. It’s been so long, with so many months of so much bad news. I just can’t quite come to terms with it.

And that’s probably the theme of Me right now. While I have Dr D’s words of reassurance in my head, that a heartbeat at six weeks means the chance of miscarriage is much lower, I am still very frightened. My symptoms of mild queasiness and dizziness have disappeared over the past few days, and I find myself fretting that that’s a bad sign.

We have only told immediate family, and every happy announcement is followed by a sombre warning, ‘It is very early days … please don’t get too excited.’ It’s like I am compulsive in sharing my pessimism, hoping that to multiply it is to create a fortress around us that can defend from bad juju.

I feel a tad ridiculous now I’m writing this down. Especially when I know there are other women out there at this stage who are happily shouting the news from the proverbial rooftops, full of joy and baby catalogues. Why do I have to be so neurotic!?

My paranoia and hypochondria is balanced by Mr Bun’s quiet, steady optimism. He’s the rational one, and prefers to rely on the scan, heartbeat and Dr D’s pronouncements rather than my ‘feelings’ and ‘vibes’.

 

Smart bloke that one – lucky I married him.

I apologise if you’re having a tough IF time, and this sounds like the ungrateful bleatings of a woman who has what you want (I may be neurotic, but at least I’m self-aware). This blog has always been about honesty on the most self-centered of subjects: me. The support I have received (and hopefully will continue to receive) has been priceless and magical.

Whatever happens, I hope that remains, while I in turn can continue to provide it to others.

Plan B

So, my weekend away was pretty scrumptious, and included (in no particular order):

– a bubble bath with a glass of red

– a walk along my favourite bit of coastline, ever, in crackingly good late Winter weather

– a fabulous, memorable meal filled with local ingredients, some of which I’d never heard of (let alone tasted – sea blite, anyone?)

It was wonderful.

One of the best bits of the weekend was the conversation Mr Bun and I had over said meal. Of course, as it always does, talk turned to ‘our situation’. Not in a sad, ‘isn’t our life awful’ way. More in a, ‘this is what we’re dealing with now’ way.

Yet this time, the talk was different. Maybe it was the wine, or the out-of-this-world food – maybe it was because we’ve had a month off IVF and we’re starting to feel like normal people again. Whatever it was, it meant that we spoke about ‘Plan B’.

Plan B has nothing to do with fertility treatment, or surrogacy, or adoption. Plan B is life without kids.

I know. Heavy, huh?

Let me get something straight. I don’t think we’ll move to Plan B. I’m ‘only’ (hate when people say that) thirty. We’ve got a whole lotta years and strategies and things to try in our future.

But the Plan B we spoke about wove a magical parallel universe into reality. It had travel, and adventure, and beauty. It sounded fun, and exciting, and like something we could both fall in love with.

We’ve started to carve out ourselves a rabbit hole – an escape hatch – that didn’t exist before. Something I know in the coming months (or, god forbid, years) that I will return back to, and craft, finesse and add detail to.

I can’t believe it’s been three years and this is the first time we’ve ever spoken about it. Like I said, I don’t think that it will be our future – at least not intentionally. However, just talking about it has made me feel better. It’s given me a sense of control that I haven’t had before. And that can only be a good thing.

Stick Me Once, Stick Me Twice (6dp3dt)

So, today’s my official last day of baby-making leave. It’s a cracking winter’s day here – sun is shining for the first time in days and it feels GOOD.

I had my ‘implantation’ acupuncture session this morning. I’ve not done that before, but as I wasn’t at work I figured ‘why not’? It’s had an amazing effect.

I’ve been feeling increasingly more anxious and negative these past few days, and the 4am-wake-ups aren’t going away. In fact, they’re on the increase, and seemed to be filled with spiraling negativity along the lines of ‘what if it hasn’t worked – i bet it hasn’t worked – it will never work – self pity self pity …’ (repeat ad nauseaum bla bla yawn YAWN).

The acupuncturist noted my pulse was ‘fantastic’, which they’ve never said before – I’m always waaay too wound up for their liking. So, clearly some time off work has helped, even if I don’t feel very zen. The session was all about increasing blood flow to the uterus, and also keeping me calm. I can’t speak for the former, but I’ve spent the rest of the day floating a foot off the ground and feeling really POSITIVE. As in, stop-and-smell-the-roses, appreciate-what-you-have, understand-this-will-happen-one-day positive. It’s lovely.

Maybe that’s why I made it in and out of the chemist today without buying any HPTs. COME ON! V. proud of myself. I figure if I make it through this weekend I should be OK, as I’m back in the office next week and will have a lot less time for buying and and then weeing on expensive sticks. (she says)

On the symptoms front, the cramping’s completely stopped and the boobs are still just as sore – no more, no less. Make of that what you will. I have the varying range of diagnoses that I won’t share with you here – they’re typically schizophrenic and won’t do anyone any good.

Hooroo folks. Happy Friday! x

 

(image: thank you)