a long overdue catch up

Molly had her first official “I went to the hairdressers” hair cut on Saturday and with it went the final vestiges of my little baby. She is a real honest to goodness little girl now. In saying that she still loves cuddling up to me and giving me the sweetest kisses and hugs. Molly does this gorgeous thing where she will stand next to you if you are sitting down and sling her arm over your shoulders and pulls you in for a hug. My heart melts every.single.time. She also likes to have good conversations with you, she also likes to tell you what to do and a number of sentences start with “i neeeeeed”. Lately she has been choosing her own clothes and been very insistent about what she will and will not wear. On weekends we are wearing knickers more often than not and having less accidents and I just need a good few days to go hardcore on the toilet training and she will be out of nappies. We are delaying the transition to a big girl bed but it’s more for us than her. She could go in one but somehow I just need to hold onto something that is stopping her from being completely toddler not a baby.

Her growing up so quickly is leaving me with so many mixed feelings. Although I long for another child I am slowly coming to terms with the fact it may never happen. With that comes less anxiety – it means other anxiety in other areas of my life such as what I do for work – do I go full time again and if I go full time do I find a new job? The last few months of no IVF and treatments and not trying at all (I mean I haven’t even bothered) have made for a much happier me. I haven’t even been taking my vitamins even though I was told that eggs need three months to become healthy. The IVF treatments really affect me emotionally. Whether it be through the medication or just the mental turmoil I find my ability to deal with situation as it continues is becoming worse. When the cycle didn’t work in February it really threw me. Having had a number of babies born this month when I would have been due has been incredibly hard. I am not going to lie I have wanted to avoid all baby talk and I hate being that person. I am also struggling with the sheer number of people who are not struggling for number 2. Somehow they seem to fall naturally or fall after one treatment cycle. It hurts me that I am not that person.

A friend had the exact phrase that relates to this year for me. I am sprinting towards December 31 as the finish line and just looking forward to it being over. It’s not that there haven’t been some amazing highlights in this year it hasn’t been all bad it is that there have been a number of significant horrible things that have definitely weighed it more towards the this year sucks end.

Mum starts radiation treatment on Wednesday. It goes for 6 weeks and is every day. At the end of it she should be cancer free. The double mastectomy really messed with her and has put her in a dark place. I feel she is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel but is struggling to get there. I know it is a matter of time and she needs to heal and it could take another year but I have really selfishly missed my mum this year. I haven’t really had her to talk about TTC2 as she has had her own battles and I have missed that support and understanding. I can’t wait for her to be cancer free which should be in 6 weeks time.

Work has been really hard this year. I am trying to pinpoint at what point it happened but for whatever reason my boss seems to dislike me. It makes for a difficult workplace and I often find myself emotional before I have to come to work. I am doubting myself in what I do and feeling as if I don’t know what I am doing at all. I am not an anxious person yet I have become so with this job and it isn’t even a high stressed job (from the deadlines and corporate perspective). I think a huge part of it is because I am part time and a belief that this role isn’t being done to it’s full potential. A point I dispute but you can’t make an old leopard change it’s spots. Which is why I wonder if I go FT do I find a new job. It is not easy to find a new job where I live. It is not a job seekers market. Quite the opposite. It truly is a conundrum. And I really do like most of the people I work with.

Molly is still being attacked by mozzies and they really affect her. The venom in the bite leaves huge welts and she is a picker which drives me insane. We have a few scars which I am promised will eventually disappear but when you see blemishes on what was perfect olive skin it really upsets me. We have a whole “make up” routine and use a lot of vitamin e oil and creams to get the skin back to normal.

On a positive note and the best thing to happen this year (apart from a kick arse husband and cool dude daughter – oh yeah and pretty awesome friends) is that the house is really taking shape. The back yard is looking terrific and I can’t wait to have Christmas at our house. Fingers crossed for awesome weather so we can go in the swimming pool. Y’all can have you snowy white Christmas but for me a nice 30c + day, backyard cricket, swimming and drinks in the sun is what. Christmas is always about :). There is still so much to do and we can only do so much on weekends but we are super happy with the way it is taking shape. This weekend we are addressing the fire pit area and the final garden bed and then we start down the side of the house.

I will leave you with two pictures. One before hair cut and one after. Granted I haven’t got one of the back of her hair but she no longer looks like a little hobo ragamuffin and more like a normal child.

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Life

Six weeks ago I lost a friend to suicide.

Given my cup half full mentality I have been struggling to understand why.

The fact is there are no answers.

She had battled demons her whole life and was very open about it. Frankly told me that you can’t fix these problems but you can be a friend and be there and listen. That being a friend was more important than trying to solve it, it being mental illness.

A song can trigger emotions and make me well up. Grief as we know has no time limit. I miss her. I don’t think she realised how much she would be really truly and honestly missed.  By us all. Especially her family. They just miss her so damn much. I miss her cheekiness, her humour, her outlandish ways. Her total extremes of personality. Her outfits. Her sarcastic comments. Her hugs.

There was so much pain. So much. I would hate to have known that pain. I hate that she couldn’t see how much pleasure she gave people. I wonder if she had known would it cancel out the pain?

The worst thing was you could see it coming. I didn’t think it would be that she would be gone forever but in the weeks leading up to it you could sense she was on the precipice that if the trigger was cocked the meltdown was imminent. It blurred the edges of her. The manic thoughts. The veering between sane and crazy ideas. She couldn’t seem to work through it. There was so much uncertainty. I still didn’t think it would be this big. I thought with her family and friends we could get her through it. We couldn’t. We just couldn’t.

Mental illness, for all the press and attention it is given these days is still so woefully misunderstood. After it happened so many people were angry, people that didn’t truly know her. They were angry at the way she chose to take her life.  They thought it was selfish. I know now that she thought she was being kind to people by leaving their life, it wasn’t selfishness it was desperation and sadness and fear and every single negative emotion you can feel that cancelled out anything good in her life. The black dog barked at her door and she couldn’t hear anything else.

I miss her. We all miss her. I wish we didn’t have to say goodbye so soon.

am

Dreams

The last three months in the days before my period arrives I have had vivid, real and intense dreams of being heavily pregnant and about to give birth.

I wake up and I try desperately to recapture those last moments of sleep before I wake up and feel my smooth flat stomach.

It is somewhat cruel and horrible that this happens before another month is classified as over.

I would like to see it as a sign but the reality is that the subconscious is a powerful beast.

Infertility still sucks

My mind and my heart have been better the last few weeks. Not having the medication in my system makes me clearer and definitely less hormonal and emotional. I am not as sad.

The pain however hasn’t gone away. I am still grieving.

I wish that I was reconciled on this path to a single child family. I am not though. It still breaks my heart that I can’t create a family in a normal way. I am very scared of doing IVF again. Yet I know that without it we are done.

Some days are just bad days. This is one of those.

Infertility, parenting, life

This is going to be bullet points and probably not that interesting to anyone ;)

infertility

- I had my third opinion with a different FS. She didn’t offer much more in the way of treatment except she did say my AMH wasn’t that bad – it is low and not awesome but it isn’t in the THIS IS ALMOST OVER PHASE.

- but responding seems to be an issue. She prescribed a new stimulating drug which I already knew and had researched (with a little help!) and I had predicted she would recommend this because I was seeing her based on the recommendation of a friend with a similar fertility history. This drug is called Elonva and you essentially inject just the once rather than every day and then top up after 7 days. She recommended a daily injection of the LH drug menopur in conjunction with the Elonva as well which I had already been taking with the puregon.

- definitely an antagonist cycle – BUT I did already know that after last cycles horrendous outcome.

- a day 2 hormone test as she said you can tell a lot about how you will respond (this was different)

- also wanted me to test my thyroid and something else (can’t remember)

- in regards to treating NK cells she was not against the whole idea of them but tended to do the low dose steroid treatment rather than intrallipd (little bit scared of this)

- I left the appointment feeling a little underwhelmed. My friend had been really impressed about how she was read up on her history before she went in so I dutifully copied over my medical records and wrote a summary about my treatment over the past six years and none of this was read. I basically repeated my history AGAIN. It is annoying but not unexpected. I guess I was hoping for a “don’t worry I have this shit covered, I will get you pregnant” and I didn’t which leaves me very nervous about doing this again.

- I wont be starting any treatment until after Christmas if we do decide to do this again

- I really don’t know where I stand with another IVF. My heart is not dealing with it very well these days and I don’t seem to have the sheer stubbornness that is integral to get through IVF. I am also liking not being on the drugs. They really do impact me and make me anxious and emotional and fuzzy headed. They also seriously impact my sex drive which upsets my husband.

- I am in two minds about leaving my current FS. I don’t know what to do. Do I present the other information? Do I just cut the cord? I don’t dislike my FS I like him I am just upset with the way things are gone. I am scared about the monetary aspect. I am scared about the change.

parenting

MOLLY DID HER FIRST WEE WEE ON THE TOILET.

It was up there in the top five awesome parenting moments.  I mean I was as proud as shit guys. I did the wee wee dance and I of course took the celebratory photo.

However. OH MY GOD TWO YEAR OLDS WERE PUT ON THIS EARTH TO CHALLENGE US.

yeah. On Wednesday I walked in the door and she pointed at me and said “go away”. She has picked up a nasty spitting habit (WTF?) which has been treated with a bar of soap in her mouth. Once was enough I show that bad boy and so far so good and lastly how the hell is time out supposed to work when you say threateningly 1,2 and she says 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. Hmmm. I don’t like using bedtime as a threat as that is already a song and dance to get her there.

Oh yeah one more.

Why?

Molly come clean your teeth – why

Come eat your dinner – why

Let’s get you dressed – why

You get the picture. My response is currently

because I am the boss.

She really is a cracker though.

life

- our house is great. I absolutely love being there. It makes the IF stuff seem not so bad. The swimming pool was all cleaned out so it is ready for summer, we are slowly getting the landscaping done and getting new furniture for the inside.

- Mum had her last chemo and is booked in for her double mastectomy on 7th October. This last round has kicked her butt but she is looking forward to hopefully (she will she will) becoming cancer free. She has done so well and I continue to be incredibly proud of her. It still feels very surreal. I am hoping it will be all over very soon.

- hens day shenanigans: we have our Great Gatsby themed hens day in just over a month. Did I tell you we have a flash dance organised and that the bridesmaids are part of it. Probably not. We had a dance lesson on the weekend and it was so much fun I nearly wet my pants. Am I great dancer – no. Will it be terrifying – yes. But I will have a few drinks and be ready and raring to go ;)

- work. Meh. I don’t know what to do at the moment. Keep on keeping on I guess and try keep my head above water.

A sense of community

I am not sure about everyone else but these days it just feels we live so isolated from each other. Kids don’t play out in the street like they used to for fear of being hit by a car; or worse being kidnapped. The second one is for me my fear which is crazy really because I don’t think childnapping has increased more or less over the years but we seem to be so much more aware of it. People also don’t really talk like we used to. We drive into our homes and we enter our homes so for many of us we don’t really know our neighbours. We might wave in the car as we pass but no one really talks.

Consequently the whole concept of a village disappears. We rely on each other and when we don’t have family close by it can get quite difficult. We haven’t started kinder or school yet so I don’t really know a lot of other mums in my area and my best friends live at a minimum 35 minutes away so it is also hard to call on someone when you need them.

Chippie loves a chat. Don’t get me wrong I do to but I am not as approachable as he is. Over the past 12 months of building our house he was outside every weekend so he has met nearly everyone in the street and he always says hello. I am crediting him with building a little community in our street. We have the lovely Connie down the road who bought him coffee and afternoon tea every weekend when we were building. We have the neighbours across the road who came over for a drink when we finished and last weekend we had a BBQ with weekend neighbours who we met through Connie and have a little boy who is three weeks younger than Molly.

It feels good. It feels so nice and I wonder why we don’t try harder to build this sense of community and belonging. Why we feel we can’t talk anymore.

Last weekend I needed a baby sitter and I didn’t know who to ask. Enter Connie. Not only did she bring over soup and her amazing home made pasta sauce she watched Molly in our house. This has never happened we always have to go out of our way to get Molly babysat. We don’t usually mind but it made our life so much easier!  Molly went to bed and we came home and she was there and there was none of this rushing around. Chippie walked her home. It was nice.

It has really highlighted how much I miss this and how sad I am that technology and lifestyle choices are changing the way we interact with each other and how important it is to maintain those human contact links.  It is so nice to know that you have some people there that you can rely on but more importantly trust. When I was a kid growing up I spent more time playing next door or with the kids across the road than I did inside. We never watched TV unless it was raining. We talk a lot about what we miss as kids but somehow when it comes to our own parenting we are so scared about letting them do the things we did.

It is so sad how our lives have become so much more complicated than they used to be.

This weekend was a lovely reminder of how nice community is and how great it can be. I really have to thank Chippie for that and his fabulously welcoming personality. If it had of been me we wouldn’t know anyone and it is a pleasant reminder to get out there and immerse yourself in it and try to meet other people.

Today I am getting a bottle of wine as a thank you for the BBQ and a bunch of flowers to say thanks to Connie. Old school hospitality is never really old school! It’s just good manners.

Beaten to the punch again

Seems ole Katie Middleton has beaten me to the punch again.

Of course I was born a few years after her so I was too old for the Prince so she stole my lovely idea of attending his university to nab myself the heir.

And she got great legs.

Then she got married and reshaped the way brides dress (lace anyone)? Although I still stand that her eye makeup is way too much and needs a steadier hand.

Anyway.

Then she got pregnant.

Had the first born son and heir who is ridiculously gorgeous. 

Now she is pregnant again with the perfect age gap.

Meanwhile. I have fat calves, pretty much no chance of ever getting pregnant again and wont ever give my husband a son.

However I am pretty damn happy with my prince and my eye make up is way better than hers.

Bitch ;)

I hate it when I can’t think of a witty or appropriate title

I had a good weekend. Busy, productive, fun and spent with friends and family. Exactly what I needed.

I am still really hurting and struggling. Struggling to accept that this could be it. Hurting and a bit teary in odd moments.

A lot of you have said I am strong and I am. But I am also tired and a broke and weary of spending lots of money for not enough gain. I am so sad and feeling sorry for myself that I don’t get to be an urban legend or even an IVF fertile person. I just seem to be overall completely shit at this falling pregnant game. Even though the IUI was significantly cheaper than an IVF cycle with all the extra stuff I have to do to try and get my eggs in good shape I was still about $2.5k out of pocket. That’s a lot of coin. To be frank right now I feel really selfish as well and I hate spending that money with no result.

I have set up my FS appointment with Dr Cowboy and the week after I have kept my final opinion appointment with Dr Baby Lady. She is the last doctor who I think can help me with my more out of left field issues. My girlfriend who is pregnant with twins saw her as her last ditch effort and has an AMH of < 3 and ended up with 12 eggs, two embryos implanted and three (?) frozen. That was her best effort ever and I need to get some results like that. If I had gotten better egg results I wouldn’t feel so deflated. I do think the protocol was completely wrong for me. I will discuss that with my current doctor.

However for the next couple of weeks I will be not thinking of infertility and I will be enjoying myself as we embark on a much needed family holiday to Port Douglas. Two weeks in the sun, escaping winter and all the crappiness of the last few months. I feel better as well as my mum is getting on top of her cancer and only has two more chemo treatments and the tumor is definitely shrinking and her prognosis is still good. i spent all day with her yesterday and I feel she has turned a corner. My sister and I were very worried there as she was falling into, what I would call situational depression and had some very dark thoughts. The latest chemo has been modified with different side effects which seem to be more manageable even though it is a stronger dose.  I am used to seeing her lovely bald head now and I tell her every day that she still is the most beautiful lady I know (in and out).

I have also signed up (and inspired by Courtney!) for the Arthurs Seat fun run. I definitely need to train as it is 6.8km of an uphill run. We are raising money for cancer research and support and I needed a distraction that coincided with losing excess IVF bloat and toning up for my best friends wedding. Exercise is really one of the greatest natural medicines in the world and after going for my first run in weeks I felt fantastic, albeit sore on Sunday and clearer in my head and heart.

That’s all really. Just a life catch up. xox