Saturday, April 26, 2008

Where Do I Fit?

We've just come back from friends' wedding reception - a very relaxed do in their flat and its garden (the wedding was last weekend and we missed it, sadly). The party's going on all day and I think we arrived in a lull, so there were just our friends and two other couples. All three couples had kids under three. There was much talk of working part-time, nurseries, nappies etc, etc. Our friends were talking about how their day was likely to progress. It sounds like the evening will be full of the voluntary childless folk - out for a good time, bit of dancing, a small drink etc, etc.

As we left, I was painfully aware that we don't "fit". It was lovely to see my friends (and one half of one of the other couples, who is someone I like enormously and hadn't seen since she'd had her wee boy) and I care about them very much. I'm genuinely interested in how their life is going and what their wee one is up to. But, naturally, their life revolves around their child.

Then there's the evening crowd. That used to be me! I used to like a good party - meeting people, getting a bit merry, listening to some good music (not so big on the dancing), staying out late, chatting with friends. And, apart from work, that used to be my life. But now, I have to stay sober and I'm getting a little elderly for the late nights and the loud music - and I just don't want that life all the time anymore.

Now . . . I know where I want to fit, where I would fit, where I would be happy to fit. But the problem is, you need a passport to get there, and I don't have that small, pink, loud, lovely passport. It's not like applying for a job or passing an exam - it doesn't matter how much you want it and how hard you work for it. If fate has decided against you - you can't have it! You can go through all the treatments under the sun, eat brazil nuts till you puke, treat your body like a temple, hang upside down from the lightshade after inter.course (if you're still having any!), bankrupt yourself and lose all your friends due to your obsession . . . but you still won't necessarily get that baby. 

And please - "just adopt"? Anyone who thinks there are perfect little babies piled up somewhere waiting just to be handed out to the next deserving couple that comes along and asks politely shouldn't be reading a blog like this. The adoption process makes the IVF process, with all the hormones and needles up the hooha and the shocking success rates and vast amounts of money, look like a walk in the park. We consider adoption roughly once a week, but there's only so many times a couple can pull themselves together and be strong again before they have to consider the damage they're doing to themselves and those around them. But I feel that's another post.

The only place I feel I do fit is with other infertiles/miscarriers. The relief of spending some time with another person who is going through the same kind of stuff as me is enormous. I have laughed and cried with girls I wouldn't have known under other circumstances. But it's transient - so many of these people will have their babies - so many of them have and that is as it should be - and then . . . 

 . . . where do I fit?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Bit of Teacher Blogging

The scene - In church for the school Easter service. Sitting with my class at the front of the church waiting for the service to begin.

Small Boy: Why is there a cross on the lightshade?

Me: Well, that's kind of why we're here today. Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross at Easter, so it's a special sign to remember Jesus.

SB: Why did Jesus die on the cross?

Me: [starting to wonder where this is going and whether my theology is up to it] The rulers of the land where Jesus lived were worried that he was getting more powerful than them and they were jealous, so they put him on the cross to die.

SB: [thoughtfully] Hmmm. I suppose they didn't know about the other Jesus then.

Me: [silence and frantic thought, followed by] Um . . . the other Jesus?

SB: [in slightly exasperated tones] Yes - you know! The baby Jesus that came at Christmas.

Think we need a timeline lesson. And I'm getting worried about the upcoming stuff on birth ceremonies - we'll maybe stick to the girls' naming ceremony for Judaism.

Oh - and a good one today - 

Another small boy: [on spotting me as he comes out of after-school art club] Hi Mrs S.

Me: Hi there. What are you doing in art club today?

ASB: Art.

I had to ask!

Monday, April 21, 2008

So - Bad luck Only Comes In Threes, Does It?

Our IUI cycle is progressing. 

Our luck during the cycle has been appalling - we've been stuck in several two hour + long traffic jams getting to and from the clinic, turning a journey that should take just under an hour into a three or four hour marathon (and that's without the appointment and the other end of the journey). 

I've had a horrible time at work - far, far too much of it and a child who has decided to choose now to spend half the morning screaming (every day!). 

I managed to break the saline ampule for my first HCG jab and ended up at the local hospital at half past midnight on a Sunday night to get more. 

I think my single enormous follicle decided to pop early so we had a mad rush to the clinic a day early just in case. 

And when we tried to get away for a nice weekend with relatives (and with the second lot of HCG on a cold block in my bag), we missed our flight because the airline we were meant to fly with won't give you the option of checking in online if you're carrying sharps but then they have no method for allowing folk on earlier flights priority over those on later ones if you have to check in at the airport and then the folk in front of us in security had decided to pack their bags full of liquids and not declare them (including a tin of SOUP - I ask you!). So we got our car back from the long-stay car park and drove there, praying that the drugs would last out (think they were OK). 

The weekend was a change rather than a rest, and on the way back CM took a wrong turn and then, in trying to get back, we suddenly found the road ahead of us closed (with no warning at all ten miles back when we turned on to the road). I think we'll be staying off the roads for a bit - which is just as well, since there may soon be a petrol shortage here in Scotland.

SO I'm on to the second week of the 2ww - except, with the second HCG I think it might be closer to a 3ww. Must call clinic. Not feeling optimistic. Friends have said that I'm using up all my bad luck with the other stuff so that, come the decisive pee-stick, all the good luck will have been saved up for a BFP. 

Well, my IVF cycle (now almost 3 years ago) went similarly. I overstimulated and nearly got cancelled - got that happy news on the Friday just before my parents' 4oth wedding anniversary celebrations. Had to wait till the Monday to hear that we could go ahead. Then the family dog was knocked down on the day of egg collection (she survived, thank goodness). I was wheeled into the surgery fretting about the poor dog, oblivious to the fact that they were about to stick a huge needle up my hoo-ha! 

On the day of embryo transfer we discovered that CM had left the car in the wrong place and it had been towed and we had to run (ouch!) to my folks house to catch a lift to the hospital (nurses greeting us with enquiries after the health of the dog). We discovered that, despite having 13 embryos, on day 2 we only had one grade 2 (and it was a 2 cell) and one grade 3, 4 cell to transfer - and none to freeze. 

In my 2ww, I got caught outside all day in major heat without enough water and my car broke down at a friends flat and I had to climb the 5 flights of stairs 6 times between the car and the phone. Since this is an IF/miscarriage blog and not a TTC no 2 blog, you'll be able to work out how the IVF cycle ended. Since I've had 3 more miscarriages since then, am three years older and IUI only has a 10-15% chance at the best of times, I'm not holding my breath.

BUT - that's OK with me. I'd rather have this pessimism (realism?) than the optimism I had 3 years ago that led to real misery when there was no BFP at the end. Our hopes (such as they are) rest with donor eggs. 

On a final note: 3 comments on my last post - a record for me! That cheered me up no end :-). I've got myself onto the Stirrup Queens etc list and I'm going to get out there and read more blogs and make more comments. Thanks girls!

Friday, April 11, 2008

What Might Have Been

As part of some additional responsibilities I've acquired in my job this term, I went up to visit our school's nursery to talk about their pre-school year kids' transition to Primary 1 in August. What a mixture they are - some looking WAY too young to be coming to "big school" next year and some that would fit right in with my Primary 1 class already. When I arrived, they were having their story to settle them before home time. When it finished, the nursery nurse said "Shall we let the mummies in?" and the children started smiling and shouting "yes!". The mums came in and children rushed forward to greet them. The nursery teacher introduced a couple of them to me and they asked me some questions about how things would be for their wee ones when they start school. Once they were all gone, we had our meeting.

All the way through the meeting, and on the drive back to school, and now and again since then, I was fighting tears. Because, in the words of Jessica (who I blogged about before), "It should have been me, it should have been me". Five years ago we lost a baby who would have been starting school this year. It was the first of the 6 losses and the only one for which we had a due date - the 4th of December . That baby would be four and a half now and would be starting school in August. Instead of progressing my career and visiting nurseries to talk about other people's children, I would have been enrolling my own child at our local school - the same one I went to myself. I would have been looking at the children I teach in Primary 1 this year and wondering how my own baby would deal with "big school" - if I was working - if I wasn't on maternity leave or a career break with another baby - one of the five "what if's" that followed the first one. But instead, I'm doing an IUI, waiting for donor eggs and filling up my life with ambitions that aren't really me.

You see, I wasn't meant to be the career girl that I seem to be turning into. All I ever wanted was to be someone's mummy.