One, two…nothing…hope lost

For those who know me, you’d be well aware this girl right here don’t raise her eyelids for nothing before the hours of 7am…there really is no need.

Except last week, I was awake at five every morning. I knew the lab would be calling each morning – obviously not at 5am, but that’s what time my body clock seemed to think would be a good enough warning to prepare me – with the update on our only two embryos that had managed to fertilise. Day one, we have two embryos. Day two they are growing. Day three, still growing. Day four, they’re still looking good. By day five, the lab says, if you don’t hear from us, expect your transfer to go ahead tomorrow morning. We’ll call you if there’s bad news. My body must have had some sixth sense the news wasn’t going to be good, hence the bolt upright Saturday morning to check my phone. It’s 5.03am, go back to sleep. But there’ll be nothing of the sort.

By 9am, I’m happy enough we haven’t heard from the lab, so it must be great news. I drag the 12 y o along in place of The Vet who’s tied up at work but once we get to the clinic it’s not as good as I thought. ‘The doctor will have a word,’ the nurse tells me. Oh shitsticks that can’t be good. He says while the embryo’s haven’t completely disintegrated, they also haven’t reached blastocyst stage which is required for a viable transfer. ‘We will wait till tomorrow and see if they can’t grow overnight,’ he says. ‘If you don’t get a call, we’ll see you at 9’. The 12 y o grabs my hand in a firm grip.

Another night of waiting. Torture. Except that isn’t a descriptive enough word. Every single ounce of our hope is pinned on this working. Four years of my body not belonging to myself. My sex life revolving around stupid fucking cervical mucus and ovulatory preparation. Being one step away from batshit-motherfucking-crazy-hanging-on-the-edge day in day out. My family having to put up with said mood swings for a large part of that four years. The bloating, the pain, the injections, the anesthetics, the hair loss, the weight gain, the depression, the disappointment, the unwelcome changes in every part of my body…the want to tell The Vet he’d be quite within his rights to ask for a refund on his utterly defective wife who can’t fulfill the one hope they all dream of, who could easily pick himself up a much younger, working model with pipes that are not just there for decoration…

Sunday morning. Five am again. Fuck me, who even needs to be up at this hour, apart from the birds? By seven, I think it’s looking positive. Seven thirty comes and hope is filling up to my ears. Yes, yes, yesssss little Hugo and Evie are ready and waiting to be planted into mama’s uterus and grow into beautiful teeny foetuses! Not ten minutes later and the number I really don’t want to see appears on the screen. I exchange my vitals with the scientist to ensure she’s not talking to some random woman answering my phone pretending to be me and about to get the worst news in the world. ‘I’m sorry,’ she says. ‘The embryos have not developed further, in fact they’ve gone backwards.’ One, two…nothing. Bye bye little Hugo & Evie, it wasn’t meant to be…

This was meant to be the one. The one we’d waited for. The one that would work. Everything was hanging on this. I’ve been a very good girl for six months. Weekly needles, swigging every herbal remedy known to womankind, quit drinking, eating too much gluten and flung my legs in the air in the name of Pilates for six fucking months…and all for what…? Blown close to the cost of a small house, tested my stress levels and heartache to breaking point over 1460 days…to end up here. Nothing. Nudda. Your eggs are shit. You’re defective. Infertile Barbie, the one noone wants to take home.

Tears shed. Hearts shattered into a million pieces. Everything we’ve been trying for, all that’s consumed our lives…gone up in a puff of shitassing smoke. It has engulfed me for the best part of four years. Every day I wake up thinking about it. Every night I close my eyes hoping for a miracle. But no, not today, not tomorrow and unless I happen to fall in the five percent of women aged 41 who can conceive naturally, there will never be.

johnggflynnxmas11It was never my intention to stay this long in firm clutches of IVF but like a gambling addiction…you can’t help but think ‘the next one could be the ONE…’ Call it stubbornness, optimism or plain stupidity I’ve never let the numbers dictate when we stop but when you’re only plucking three measily shitful eggs from a possible nine follicles that left your insides feeling as though they’d been through a mincing machine, it’s probably time to give up. And we said we would. This was our last round trying to use my eggies, trying to have a little me and him. A sibling for the 12 y o with some of his own genetics. Now it’s time to hand it over to someone else. To ask the universe if there’s someone kind enough, generous enough, young enough (under 32) and willing enough to put her body through a shitful round of injections, hospitalisation and a few days of internal pain to help our dream come true…to add to what is already the most loving, kind and beautiful two blokes to ever set foot on this earth.

I sure hope she’s out there…and she can make this happy little family even more perfect…lov’n’hugs, Lady MamaGxox

 

 

 

One last bit of hope…

In recovery theatre this morning I woke up to the sound of crying. I wasn’t sure if it was me or not. I’m so dosed up on all kinds of shit to make me stop spewing my ring piece out that it’s very difficult to decipher. It’s like a really shitful trip. You hear voices, sounds and are very uncertain where they’re coming from. 

Turns out that no. The tears are not mine. Though when I look at my hand and see the number 3 they might as well be. Three fucking shitful measly little eggs. What the fuck? There were nine follicles. Anyway, in this our last round ever, we only ended up with three. Could be triplets. Could be nothing. I’d gone into this round with trepidation because after this I’m giving up. It has beat me and we can’t fight this shitassing battle anymore. INFertility has won. 

  So back to the tears. They weren’t mine but there was only two of us out of theatre this morning. I can hear the nurse consoling her, the girl on the gurney next to me. Her tears keep coming. Hormones will do that to a girl.

Once we’re up and dressed they move us into a communal recovery room and sit us down in particularly ugly orange vinyl chairs. I wait for the lady to finish having her heart pressure measured and ask if she’s okay. She’s still choking back the tears. Yes she’s been in for egg collection. But she only got 11 eggs. She’s 33. Wow, I tell her that’s fucking fantastic, superb numbers. No, she says. Last time she had 15 and still got only one embryo. Oh honey, I tell her as non condescendingly as I can. I’m pretty sure 11 is a really lucky number I say, astrology or something. The last (and only) time I got 11 we had 4 embryos to chuck in the fridge. ‘But this is my last time,’ she says. ‘My husband is dead’. My heart sinks. Here is a woman who is braving this fuckstick battle all on her own. She hadn’t even told her family she was doing it. It was her choice. And her husband’s. He had died in April of an illness only diagnosed in September. And left behind this poor girl and her four-year-old boy. 

Oh darling girl. Life is so damn cruel, I tell her, knowing full well her pain will never ever subside. A few minutes later her friend arrives to take her home. I wish her the best and send her all my own strength. Her battle far worse than mine right now. 

See that’s the thing. There’s always someone worse off in the world, or even in the hospital, than you. Someone whose pain is far greater. Whose battle great chasms wider and longer. And I tell that to the 12 y o all the time. It’s what keeps us grounded. No matter how shit we feel, we are lucky. 

Except that’s hard when it feels like life is a battle of shitsticks at 12 years old. I’d really hate to be a teen right now. Even though I’m sure our own parents had their fears, today’s obsession with social media means our kids are exposed to so much more than their mental capacity can handle. 

Last week the 12 y o got tackled from behind and took a big hit to his jaw. The game had already been over but this kid decided he’d go in and get him anyway. Attacking from behind is cowardly no matter what. First I hear is a call from the school. He’s been in an incident and has retaliated by throwing a punch. Something we’ve told him to do because every other option has thus far failed. You’d think it would end there. No. 

It seems one of his mates didn’t agree with the punishment and decided to mercilessly meter out his own battle on him – both in person and via social media the entire week.

Mid week he calls me from school where he’s locked himself in the toilets at lunchtime in floods of tears. ‘Please come and get me, mummy I don’t want to be here’. He’s been teased about being gay for idolising his favourite supercar driver on the anniversary of his daddy’s death. Jealousy I suspect. He’s been told everyone hates him (untrue of course he has plenty of mates). He’s been told he’s ugly, called sperm head (apparently because of his blonde hair). Told he’s useless and excluded. All at the hands of a kid he adores and thought was his mate but we’ve long suspected otherwise. Boys can banter about, give each other shit but this goes far deeper. 

Next comes a text no mother ever wants to receive. ‘Sometimes I don’t want to be alive’

What’s the highest rate of young deaths in this nation…? Is it car accidents? Drugs perhaps? Accidental death?  No it’s suicide. And the most at risk group? Male youths aged 15-24. 

We are doing all we can to make him feel better. I’ve been to the school – whose policy on bullying seems to be rather non existent being as its the third time this year I’ve picked up my son from school either with a black eye, a bruised jaw or a damaged self. We remind him there are so many people who adore him and he has a list of incredible male mentors in his life who’ve got his back. Especially The Vet. 

This week is a new week, I tell him. Life can be a giant bucket of shit sometimes and you have to learn to kick it over and jump the puddle to get out of it. All it takes is strength. There is always someone far worse off than you and at least you are loved. So very loved. 

He’s one of the most caring, beautiful natured kids in the world. And I’m proud to call him my son. For those sad little buggers who want to bring him down I just feel sorry for them. Like I tell him, in ten years time he will be amazingly successful and this school shit and the people in it will be not thing but a blur. 

The only way we make it through life’s shitful battles is with strength and love. I’ve no idea how this week will unfold. Maybe we’ll have an embie to transfer on Saturday…maybe we won’t. The outcome is not mine to choose but the recovery is. 

To the men in my life who make every day on this earth a blessing, the 12 y o and The Vet, I hope beyond my wildest dreams this is our time. I love you to the moon, a hundred times around it and back again, lov’n hugs Lady MamaG xox

Let Me Go…

This has to be one of the shittiest birth weeks I’ve had in a good while. With tomorrow’s turnover of year peeking its way around the corner, it’ll take more than a gentle tug to pull a smile over this birthday girl’s face by the morning. It’s that bad I haven’t even deliberately left a trail of new handbag selections open on my ipad’s search history. Yes, that bad. As a true Scorpian, I usually like nothing more than to bask in all my day of birth glory for at least a week but the good folk of Gore (if you’ve no idea where that is, you’re not alone but it happens to be the place this bouncing 8 pd 5oz big fat bald ugly bub made her debut) will be somewhat displeased to know I have not spent this week celebrating my birth in usual fashion. I have not celebrated a single fucking thing.

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I so wasn’t kidding when I said I was big, fat, bald and ugly…(and wore blue more than a baby girl ever should)

In fact I’ve spent most of it in tears. Angry, deflated and generally like a big steaming pile of layered shit cake. Last month’s OI cycle, the one where I thought it would work, the one where I’ve argued with myself that ‘oh it’s so worked, I think it might even be twins’ only to be beaten back with the counter argument coming from the other side of my head ‘don’t be so fucking stupid your womb feels emptier than Hillary Clinton’s ballot box and you know it.’ Argue, argue argue…it’s all my petulant brain seems capable of these days.

But no, despite the pig fat (intralipid) delivered via one gigantic mother of a catheter through my vein last week, and despite the steroids, the pilates, the weight loss, the lack of drinking, the healthy eating, the weekly acupuncture, the naturopath and all handfuls of Chinese herbs I knock back like a crack whore…Yet. Another. Shitballing. Failure.

We had teeny slither of hope if you could call it that. All the herbs I’ve been insisting The Vet gulp back have made a difference. A huge one. But still our odds stack against us faster than we can say Jenga.

This one I took super hard. I really thought because it was my birth week, we’d get a surprise pressie from the Universe. A positive after so many fucking assing years of negatives. I liked the idea of a July baby. Given the 12 y o is a Sagitarian and has to wait the entire year then gets all his loot in one hit, a winter bub would be just perfect. But any month will do. January to December, I’m up for whatever it’ll give us.

Because every month for four years has been nothing but a shitful battle. Even when I don’t want to think about it, I still do. The hopes go up, the signals are there and then they’re wiped with the click of your fingers. Or the piss on a stick.

To give up, believe it or not has actually been a world harder than keeping on fighting but now I’ve finally reached breaking point. I’m tired. So tired. Tired of arguing with my body, of continually looking for answers we’ll never get. It’s time to say the end is the end. Having tested every bit of my courage, my strength and my tenacity as a person, Fertility it’s time to let me go.

I want this more than the air in my lungs. I want the final piece in our family puzzle. I want it for me, for the 12 y o who told me just this week with a gentle pat on my shoulder,  ‘I’m so sorry mummy. I really wanted a baby brother or sister to look after…’ Because children are the best teachers, the best healers and the greatest gift. I want it for all our beautiful friends and family who prop me up week in week out with their support. And of course…most of all I want it for him, The Vet who deserves and wants this as much as any Dad walking the earth. Who has loved me, encouraged me and picked me up these past four years of motherfucking pain. We all want it.

So, even though we pinky swore and poked needles into our eyes that we never ever would again like everrrrrrr…but because Dr Babies said so, we are giving IVF one last Blaze of Glory. By fuck it had better work. Tomorrow the only thing I’ll be unwrapping is the end of a needle before it gets stabbed into my belly. You’d better hope like fuck it does. Love, hugs n’ birthday wishes to any other Scorps, Lady MamaG xoxo

 

 

Always and forever…

Today I’m allowed to feel like shit. I can scream and cry and laugh all at once. And so can he. 

Last week when the 12 y o came home from his wonderweek of being spoilt, loved and generally worshipped in our homeland he was different. The usual casualness was gone. His carefree nonchalance normally visible when he gets off the plane was replaced with a teary-eyed hug. ‘I miss him. I really do,’ he choked through tears. ‘I wish I could have known him.’ 

  Earlier that morning he’d been out to visit his daddy at the cemetery which he’s done countless times before. But he’s older now. Wiser. More aware of his loss. 

He’d spent the week immersed in memories and laddish stories of his dad without any filter. Felt like he was there. He was finally getting to know the man he never will. 

It’s okay to be angry, sad and helpless whenever you feel it, I tell him. All those feelings will always be there for the rest of your life. But we are so lucky your daddy found us the perfect guy to fill his shoes, take care of his wife and his boy exactly like he would have. It isn’t fair his only memories are the ones garnered by me and all his friends and family, nothing of his own to laugh over and reminisce. 

  Tomorrow he’ll crest the hill sitting in the back of a car with one his favourite drivers, the spirit of his daddy proudly watching on. It will be another step closer to the man he so wishes he did…but never got the chance to know. 

  To the memory of our Didley, who 3650 days ago, was taken from our lives but who will always always be in our hearts…lov’n’hugs Lady MamagG xox

A decade of Love, Loss, Pain & Healing…

It’s a muggy October afternoon in 2006. My phone rings and the voice on the other end is quiet, anxious even, as if the words themselves will cut like knives. Time will stand still. Words will come out. Words that will burn deep into my soul. Fear starts to flood through my body in gigantic waves, stripping away the ability to be rational…I’m lost in a blur of screams, of bewilderment, of disbelief…this can’t be happening.

Five hours later we’re in a room outside the doors of the ICU unit in Sydney…scared as all fuck of what lies behind them. We decide it’s better for him if our toddler is left behind with a friend nine hours away in an entirely different state from where I now stand. But I want to hug him. He should have come too. My head starts to question the choice to leave him. No. It’s too much, he’s too little.

More words fill the still air…cardiac arrest, spinal injury, critical care

Even 10 years later I can still see the woman in the RPA Hospital, the one on TV with critical care patients being rushed out of an ambulance on a gurney down the corridors to intensive care. She’s hunched over, the heavy fear for what lies behind those doors dragging down on her shoulders. Fifteen years. That’s how long we’d been together before that long October day. Half our lives. Jesus Christ, we were only kids when we met. I don’t even recognise my own voice it’s filled with so much desperation pleading with them to please do all you can to save his life. I want the doctors to understand. I have a son, I tell them, he needs his daddy. You have to do everything you can, everything.

It’s three more hours before we’re let in to see him. Hours of twisting my hands inside out of fear painting all kinds of fucked up visuals in my head. Doctors say something about stabilising him…they’re doing all they can. You just need to wait…we’re sorry.

Each word spoken in quiet hushed tones.

Critical care. Nothing about those words is comforting. I’m aware there is very little possibility of a positive outcome and it becomes a one-sided waiting game and we’re stuck staring down the barrel of all the ammunition facing us at once. It’s a time suspension, the outcome in the hands of the doctors doing every fucking thing they can, they put tubes into him, monitors are hooked up, a tiny patch is shaved into the side of his head, some of the nation’s best specialists gathered shoulder-to-shoulder in that unit fighting for him…we’re all fighting for him but only fate will decide what happens next.

Seventy-two hours in ICU will pass like mother fucking weeks.

Sitting beside his hospital bed, my own needs pale into insignificance. I won’t eat. I don’t want to sleep, I can’t leave him alone in that ward, my hands tightly wrapped around his reminding him of everything we’d been through and all we had ahead of us. Hoping beyond hope his eyelids would flicker and beautiful blue eyes would open and look at me. Please don’t go. Don’t leave us.

For three days doctors will come and go from the room, mostly looking down when they exit as if making eye contact will make it all the more real. A group of our closest friends and family have flown in and we’re all holding each other helplessly in a room just outside the ward. I’m not sure I knew the true purpose of friendship before that day when each of them dropped everything in their own lives and flew to be by his side, by my side, trying to hold me together as the seams began to split. They did it then and for all the years after. The very same friends who, to this day, keep true to their promise made to his dad as he lay silent on a gurney to keep watch over his boy. No gesture can ever repay them for our survival.

How can life be so fucking cruel…? One minute he’s there laughing with your son, standing right in front of you living, laughing, breathing…the next they’re telling you he can no longer breathe on his own, his heart no longer beats by itself. There is nothing more they can do.

It’s Sunday, 5.45pm…the last time I’ll ever see his face, touch his skin. We’re sorry. We’ve done all we can…

 

Before then October 8 was like any other day. It was a Monday, a Tuesday, a sunny day, a cloudy day, a shitty day, a fucking fantastic day…a normal day. Now it’s a reminder of loss and grief and just how fragile life is. The day my life and that of all our family, friends and so very devastatingly my boy, changed forever. Grief doesn’t let go when you lose someone you love so tragically, you’ll carry it around with you in a pocket inside your heart and even though you want to so bad, you can’t seem to let it go. A stray dog that keeps coming back scrounging around for a little bit more of you, your heart, your head always hiding in the shadows.

There will never be normal again. Before I could control my fear, with no more fear than a mum would for her son, or any person would have for their partner. Now it’s impossible to let go of the cloud of fear over my heart when The Vet is late home from a ride, or work. When the 12 y o travels on his own. When he tells me he wants to do exactly what his dad did. Fear’s a constant companion all because of that day. The day that not only took my husband, his daddy, but the day that took my normal.

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things get better, so much better…

If I could go back to the doors of the Intensive Care Unit and talk to the broken woman standing before the greatest fear of her life, gently slip my hand inside hers and tell her it’s all beyond her control, nothing she can do will change what’s about to happen. The decisions she’s about to make will rock her to the core and haunt her until her own very last breath, that everything she’s about to do, every choice she makes will shape the lives of everyone she holds close…but they will all be the right one. It’s out of your control.

The weeks and months after that day were the loneliest of my life. A shitload of firsts were about to hit us. Telling  your son his dad has gone forever. Burying the person you were meant to grow old with. Keeping all his clothes in the wardrobe just so you can remind yourself of what he smelled like. Sneaking your sleeping toddler into bed with you because the cold side of the bed is too much loneliness to cope with. Saving his voicemail message just so you can pretend he’s still there. Rebuilding your life. Selling your house and letting go of dreams. Opening mail that’s still addressed to him two years later.

Time has given way to pain and hurt leaving space to learn from loss. Keeping the people I love close and thanking them every day for being the blood pumping through my veins. It’s shown me everything eventually does get better and we all can heal with time…but mostly, with love. That someone can come and pick your life up and put it back together, show you it’s possible to heal, to love again. Who has the biggest heart of anyone you’ve ever met but who has an incredible humility to still let you honour someone who had been in your heart before him. A man who not just loves you but loves your baby like his own, who will make your heart burst when he tells him he loves him and never differentiates between blood and heart.

A decade on and the same tiny whispy-haired boy who climbed up and lovingly placed a hand on his daddy’s casket as it was loaded into the hearse is two just months away from being a teenager. He never got the chance to know his daddy who adored his tiny boy in every way possible, who said nothing would ever take him away from the best thing that ever happened to us. Next weekend the 12 y o will travel to the place I never can. He’ll visit the mountain, smell the octane, feel the throat of engines reverberate through his little frame. He’ll watch as the cars crest the hill where tragedy struck but without the fear in the pit of his stomach I have. It will be about tracing his steps, loving what he loved and living what he lived.

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An immortal hero in our eyes…

I can’t change this past decade but it has taught me about love, completely emptied my life with loss but it’s reminded me about the importance of living too. In a few days, his closest mates will come together to celebrate a man who left our lives too soon. The same group of guys who sank beers at his 21st, our wedding and his 30th. Who were there by his side as he took his last breath. Who have kept the memories alive for me and for the 12 y o. Who will honour a mate, a brother, uncle, son and husband…a man who still leaves a gaping hole in our lives, on October 8, and every other day after it too, I Will Remember You…forever and always. God Speed, good man, god speed. #10yearsinmyheart Lov n’hugs, Lady MamaG xox

Dear Donor…

We haven’t met yet but let me introduce myself. Don’t let the name fool you, as my 12 y o likes to point out, I am no longer thirty-something but rather just tipped over the other side of thirty, the grey side shall we say. I am a fertility junkie who is constantly looking for my next fix. I’ve spent the better part of half a decade…1465 days to be precise, trying to do my very best not to think about getting pregnant. And failing. Almost as much as my body has failed. I have heard the words from every person I know, and some I don’t, that ‘if I just take a holiday, stop thinking about it, quit everything, relax, drink, stop drinking, cut gluten, eat less, eat more, chart my cycles, stop charting, take herbs, prick needles in myself and meditate’…that it will work.

It hasn’t. Well not this far anyway.

I’ve pricked, prodded, bled and bruised my way through nine, yes n-i-n-e failed IVF cycles. We’ve thrown more money into trying to get pregnant than most would on a small house. I’ve sat in my specialist’s office and gazed wantingly at the soft pastel-hued birth announcements with tiny smushy faces of Luca, Imogen, Charlotte, Nate and countless others, hoping one day we’d be able to proudly nestle our own progeny’s welcome among those teeny little miracles.

But so far we haven’t.

I’ve woken up on a gurney so many more times than I’d like. I’ve verbally abused strangers from behind the wheel of my car for such a simple mistake as not indicating. My family has suffered more than they’d like. I’ve felt like the most useless woman on the planet. I’ve plucked at every godforsaken feather of hope and still zlichity zero has worked. Odds you see, are not in my favour.

I didn’t intentionally wait to have another child. Tragedy took that chance from me. But lucky for me, Lady Fate delivered me a second chance in the most divine human that is my better half (The Vet) and we’ve been trying to create a tiny piece of us ever since.

Every time I’ve thought, ‘this is it’ we’ve waited for the call only to be left deflated and broken. Baron is not just a high-faluting dude in tights with loads of dosh, it’s a motherfucking curse.

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this is us before…before we knew there might not ever be one more face in this pic…

There’s no need to bore you with my list of ailments – but I will say they are far reaching. As are the medications I’ve been prescribed to treat them. The first time I heard our specialist Dr Babies mention those blasphemous words ‘donor eggs’ I wanted to punch something. He knew from the start there’d be a high chance I would need to use the eggs from a much healthier, younger donor. I deftly ignored him. I, you see, have a biological child and that’s where shit gets real.

There’s the little mole we both have on our chest that we like to affectionately refer to as the cocoa pop due to its resemblance of the chocolate cereal. My mum has one in the exact same place. It’s our identifiable mark, I used to tell him. If we get lost, we know who you belong to, just need to look for the mole. Except I no longer have mine. A skin clinic offered to whip it off for me for free a few years ago and I obliged. It gets in the way of a bikini anyway.

There’s the fact he has my dad’s ears and slight build. That we have the same smile and our faces are the same shape. He has a big head circumference too, poor bugger. And yes, I know what you’re thinking…fortunately for me, heads are super pliable during the birthing process.

Mostly, there’s the fact he’s mine. I grew him from a miniscule itty bitty egg all of my own.

If I’m honest with you, yes it’s been hard, fucking hard to accept I might never be able to do that again. And I want it, we want it, more than anything in the world. Me, my beautiful, caring loving amazingly wonderful bloke, The Vet – who deserves to be a dad from the start more than anyone I’ve ever known, he’s been poked and prodded, and copped a beating as he’s rollercoastered through far too much hope and devastation. Then there’s our incredibly loving and kind-hearted 12 y o, who has so much to give as a big brother…

And that’s where you come in, Ms Donor.

Maybe you’ll look nothing like me. Maybe you won’t be 5 foot 10, blonde, love handbags, shoes, chocolate almond clusters and KFC skin. Perhaps there won’t be any identifiable features in the both of us. Maybe you’ll be everything I’m not and I think I’m okay with that. I’ve got friends with the most beautiful kids who don’t share their genetics or even their race, yet they are the most incredibly tight-knit family you could ever meet.

But what you will be is kind. I know this much. Because it’s quite simply one of the most generous things one girl could do for another. For me, like the other one-in-five at my clinic who are anxiously awaiting the loving generosity of someone like you, kindness is what we’re counting on. It’s all we have left.

I have given this everything I have. It has almost beaten me and if the odds are to be believed, you are our only hope.

To ask for your help is not easy. It’s letting go of one dream. But maybe too, it’s holding on to another…so here I am, just a girl with a wish hoping you can grant it…

With love, hope and the gentle wave of a Chinese brass cat (apparently lucky), Lady Mama Gxox

 

It’s time…

Maybe it’s a little bit ironic that one of my true ’80s loves Jon Bon Jovi would throatily beam through my car speakers to ‘Keep the Faith’ as I drove to my appointment with Dr Babies yesterday. I wasn’t scheduled to see him for another week but the clinic phoned and said he had ‘a free slot come up this afternoon, if  I could make it’. I wanted another week. A bit of time to gather my shit together enough to face my real true fears. Like bungy jumping without the cord. It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen the only other man who is allowed to insert giant phallic-shaped probes into my lady bits and it’s taken almost that long to recover from what was our last ditch attempt at a viable pregnancy. By shit, I’m trying JBJ…but believe you me like trying to separate an egg yolk, that faith be slipping further from my grip by the fucking second.

Dr Babies doesn’t bullshit. He’s good like that. Doesn’t puff wind up my bum by telling me that if I keep on trying, hoping, praying like Tara Reid of a career resurrection, one day it will happen. He says I’ve/we’ve given it our absolute best shot. We’ve thrown everything we possibly could at it but just can’t seem to hit the bull’s eye. My poor wee eggies were in such a hurry to shrivel up and disappear it’s a bit like an apocolypse had hit my ovaries. says he hasn’t seen such a rapid decline in egg reserve. And that ain’t any stats to be proud of in any kind of sing-songy voice. What that means is there is not really a lot of hope…and sweet fuck all faith left.

Dr Babies knows I’m not up to any more general anesthetics or massive loads of hormones being pumped through my body. He says I am one of those who hasn’t responded well to copious amounts of medications. My body says no. Fuck off.

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Instead it’s time to think of other options. We can try ovulation induction and IUI which are far less invasive and require zilch catheters to be inserted into my wrist. Totally up for that. We can keep going on the herbal remedies, the needles and the pilates. Which if nothing else, at least have me fitting all my old clothes again (major fucking bonnnnnus!). We can try and be healthy little vegemites and stupidly (or is that naively) optimistic. Whatever we do and however long we give it…reality will be the one to determine if we ever get to hold a tiny baby of our own.

There are so many fun facts I’ve learned this past four years. I have a massive brain explosion of shit I didn’t really need, much less want, to know. The biggest piece of shit I  is the statistics, mostly my own. It’s disparaging to know that your body will let you down. The body you thought could help you and your incredibly beautiful husband create this tiny piece of you and him. The body who has done it before, changed your life and rewarded you with the world’s most amazingly fantastic mini human. The body that is meant to do what women’s bodies all around the world since the beginning of the human race are supposed to do. Procreate.

And fuck me, this is the hardest thing to ever admit to both myself and The Vet but it be getting far too close to the time to accept as much as I’ve thrown every ounce of my being into trying to make a baby of my own, that is part him and part me…there is now very little chance of that ever happening. My body has let me down. I am not the woman I thought I was. Our hopes are slipping too fast to catch. The times when my body would work like clockwork and created one of the most incredible mini humans on the planet, have gone. The dreams I’ve had of growing a little piece of us are just that. Dreams. Hopes and Faith. But those alone don’t make a baby. Eggs, viable ones do. I have jack shit of them. In the words of a 12 y o, fail…epic fail.

Now it’s time to accept the words I’ve tried so fucking hard to block. The reality that is so searingly painful it scorches my heart to even consider it…but if we want to hold a baby in our arms, it won’t be using my own eggs. And that hurts like all shit.

Having given birth to my own creation. Having loved him with all my soul and seen how incredible it is to identify yourself in someone else. Having wanted to give him, me and The Vet another person in the world that shares the same blood, the same genes, the same traits…a tiny human to link us all, the finishing touch on our own little nucleus of a family. To accept I can’t do what I want to do with every drop of blood inside me has stripped me bare.

No amount of wishing, hoping, wanting will change it.

So we are on the search. We are looking for donor eggs. I will join the one-in-five women in my fertility clinic for which using their own eggs is not a chance.

Sometimes, life can be a real fucker.

 

Mr Superdad…

A few days ago I was saying goodnight to the 12 y o and something he said flummoxed me. ‘I don’t feel like I’ve got any of my dad in me, I’m worried that I’m not really like him that much…’ Oh child, I said. ‘Every teeny drop of blood in your body is so much the same as him. All your best bits – your beautiful personality, your kind heart, your generous nature and loving spirit, your cheeky chops and quick wit are all because of your dad. Every bit of you is good, but there are especially good bits inside you and those, they come from the man who made half of you.’

It’s true there is so much of his daddy’s blood running through his veins that keeps me both on my toes (due to his mean negotiating skills that never EVER give up), his ability to open a fresh bottle of milk when there’s a perfectly good half-full one beside it and his addiction to shoes (loads and loads of bloody shoes and they all look the same), but it makes me warm in my heart too when his beautiful loving soul comes out.

This wee soul-searching revelation is due, in large part, to incessant bullying that’s been plaguing his school year so far in his debut into high school. It’s all about fitting in and finding out who you are but what if you’re not entirely sure who that is? The little shit who is making his life at times unbearable clearly is also struggling to find his place in life and therefore finds the 12 y o the perfect target because he’s a good kid. He’s kind, generous, clever but he’s not cocky, conceited or conniving. There’s no meanness inside his soul which is why I tell him not to let the hurt in. Those other shits will get their own. Just stand back and give it time.

When I first became a solo mum I read a book written by Steve Bidulph, called Raising Boys. I’m not much into guide books for parenting, I believe you have to trust your instincts but when you’re flying solo, sometimes a bit of help doesn’t hurt. He says boys will need their mums until the age of about 4-6. After that they’ll begin seeking out a male role model for which to base their own life on. That male would usually be their dad. Except his was present only in spirit form.

myboysBlood is a strong bond. The strongest. It’s what makes us who we are. But it can come in another form that doesn’t involve blood or biology…one that’s compiled entirely of love.

On Sunday night, The Vet came home from being away for five days. He’d been on a course about poking needles into animals and the 12 y o leapt up off the sofa where he’d been watching a movie, flinging himself into his chest full force. They hugged hard and he was so excited to see the man who has been the most exceptional role model in his life he could hardly get the words out fast enough, launching into a five-minute tirade of basketball facts, fishing tales and his shiny new kicks we bought.

I’m not sure if I tell him often enough but there is something entirely incredible about The Vet’s role in our son’s life that makes my heart do little flick flacks inside.

It might not be the blood pumping through their veins that binds the two of them but in every other way they are father and son. He loves him, provides for him, protects him and cherishes him. Even after the longest shittiest day at work, he still finds time to shoot hoops, help with his homework, give him advice and laugh over their stupid boy jokes that involve bulldozers falling out of trees. No I don’t think it’s funny either. Totally a boy thing. And generally be the most important person in his life. I love the shit out of watching the two of them do stuff together. Even if it means they both take each other’s side pretty much most of the time.

It’s entirely possible to love someone you didn’t genetically help create but that you came into their life when they needed you most.

You are more than an every day ordinary hero in his eyes, and in mine.

I love that you want to take him on a special lads trip on some African safari when he turns 18. That all you do and have in your heart always includes not just me, but him too. Equally. I love that you love him because he’s mine and a part of me but has now become a part of you too.

There’s not a human on this earth as wonderful and kind and beautiful and loving as you…well except for the one you’ve got a hand in raising.

Sometimes blood isn’t thicker than water…and I love you all the more for it my Superbloke. Lov’n’hugs, Lady MamaG xox

 

 

 

Why we can’t shame blame…

It’s her fault. She should’ve done something. Stopped him. Grabbed him. Why wasn’t she watching? How did he climb up and fall in? Poor parenting. Blame blame blame. Hate mail. Death threats. Blame blame blame. Online abuse. Protests. Blood boiling anger. More blame.

We are all devastated by the horrific and tragic ending that saw the death of beautiful Harambe, a 17-year-old western lowland endangered gorilla being shot at Cincinnati zoo this week. This majestical beast should still be alive. It should never have happened. But it did.

We are mourning the loss of this incredible species and everyone is an animal behaviourislist/zoologist/parenting expert/ zoo keeper with their vitriolic 10c worth to add to the shitstorm that’s brewing on social media like a southern hurricane.

Why didn’t they tranquilise him? He was protecting the child, not harming him. He wouldn’t hurt the child….ahh, hindsight its so much easier from the heights of an ivory tower isn’t it? I mean we know better right? Of course we do. Perfect, every single one of us.

Animal experts are there for a reason. What might seem like a simple solution to us could have held more harrowing results.

Yes, it was his habitat. Yes the child fell into it. Could they have risked a ‘wait and see what he does’ attitude. No. Unfortunately for Harambe, the risk to human life was greater than his own.

We want answers. Want someone to blame. To pay with their guilt…but really is a witch hunt for the head of the woman whose child was being flung like a rag doll by this beautiful primate the answer?

If the internet trolls are anything to go by, then yes. People want their blood. There are petitions for the little boy’s mother to have her child removed from her care. She’s a terrible parent. I mean she has to be, right?

Shit if it were any of us there’s no way in hell we’d ever let our kid out of our sight long enough to climb up into the enclosure of a 220kg wild gorilla. Not a shitshow. Fuck no, eyes in the back of our head, at all times.

The mother of this little boy should have been watching her kid. No question.  He should never have been able to climb up there in the first place, this is true. But really…this much hate? Judgement? Persecution? Imagine if it was your child in there, his tiny body being tossed around. Would you want to ‘consider the options’? I suspect not. They had to act quickly. They did. The aftermath was catastrophic but was the only outcome to a tragic course of events.

She has suffered death threats, been stalked, harassed, abused – even her workplace has had to shut down their accounts due to a meltdown of tirades from angry revenge seekers. And look out if you share the same name as this woman, cos hell for leather you’re in the firing line too.

At times we get so bloody caught up in the clutches of a social media furore ‘damn them, they must suffer’ mentality you’d be forgiven for thinking we were back in the times of public stonings.

There’s no doubt about it this woman was fucking irresponsible and a beautiful animal died because of it. But deliberate it was not. She fucked up. No amount of public abuse and shaming from behind keyboards will bring him back to life. Time to stop blaming this mother who is only too glad her boy is safe and leave it well enough alone. Nobody wanted this outcome. Ever. #restinpeaceharambe

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The odds that will shit you…

One in six. Those are the stats. So before you’ve even pulled off your knickers, you’re already fucked (don’t worry, the fun part of that sentence packed its bags and left long ago). Which means if you count on two hands all the women you know, chances are at least one of ’em is about to discover, or even worse, knows already that her chances of having a baby are more slim that Em Rata’s waistline.

It would seem that for some of us, our uteruses (don’t say that with a stutter, you’ll need a brolly) and ovaries were not put in our bodies simply to reproduce…but rather just to sit there and observe the very lovely non-reproductive work they are doing by instead delivering something resembling a very severe form of internal Chinese torture every month.

And for one of those one-in-six chickadees, them stats won’t be the first to deliver a flat out upper cut to the face. No siree, that’s just the beginning. Fertility is all about numbers from the very outset. You’ll be given numbers and stats about your age, about your egg count, about your hormones, about your weight, about your ovarian reserve, about the odds of anything actually working, about the age of someone’s sister/friend/cousin who miraculously cured herself and got pregnant, about how many days it’ll take to fertilise, about how many cells you need for a viable embryo, about how many days you’ll have to wait to know if your embryo took (which your hormone-ravaged brain will neurotically divide into nanoseconds). About how long until you can have your first scan, about the odds of you having a chemical/non-viable pregnancy, about weeks until your second, third, fourth and fifteenth scan. About the likelihood of some sort of birth defect. About whether you’ll have multiple babies…numbers fucking numbers not even Count Dracula would like.

As I type this I can hear a gorgeous model who, when asked if she has any baby plans in the near future, has all the grace and complacency of a 28-year-old with all the time in the world. ‘No way, not for a long time,’ she quips. And why wouldn’t she? She’s got #life #goals before she even contemplates reproducing. Oh to afford that decadent nonchalance once again. Take me back to my mid-twenties when I conceitedly and perhaps ignorantly thought pregnancy and children were my woman’s right and would be there waiting for me whenever it would eventuate that I should need them. I’d like to share my more recent stats with her, or even those of women I know much younger than her who’ve battled with infertility for years, to share my Mr Miyagee-like wisdom that the simple fact of the matter is, one-in-six is some pretty fucked up odds. But I’ll keep my shit to myself. No one likes a know-it-all twat so pull your head in.

Right now I’m in the midst of some sort of (totally wanky) reboot. After what was the terrible awful most fucking pitiful failed IVF cycle ever I told myself that maybe if I stopped drinking and instead swapped it for two cups of dandelion root tea (yes it tastes as shit as it sounds – think ground up gravel with a hint of horsesweat), swore off shit food (all except chocolate, that’s just sacreligious) and took up pilates three times a week, this little health binge might kickstart my body into thinking it could possibly have the teensy ensiest slither of reproductive potential if we just meet in the middle somewhere, have a quiet coffee and talk about our feelings.

Or not.

Six months later and we’re still not talking.

There’s every chance that it won’t make a blind bit of difference but at the very least it’s seen me shed my ‘IVF kg’s’ that really weren’t welcome anyway so high bloody five to me (insert fairy clap here). And yes that is Drew in caramello you see dangling from my shoulder🙂

I’m still completely haunted by our last ditch at a ‘super cycle’ which turned out to be an even shittier comeback than Basic Instinct 2. The emaciated little group of eggs that were so dusty they couldn’t even get themselves together enough to make anything even close to an embie has given me the worst kind of stage fright ever.

We have every intention of doing Ovulation Induction but I’m even more scared of that than I was of our last cycle. Probably because I was naiivly (stupidly) more positive than Charlie Sheen that it would work. There is only so much disappointment two people can take and it tears huge fat gaping holes of fear all through my heart that it might not work either. I’ve been procrastinating with a whole bunch of bullshit excuses – which while some are completely vaildated – most are just really full of shit. There was the trip to Hawaii, there’s the fact we’re selling our house, and then building a new one. Then the fact The Vet is ridick busy, stressed off his face and exhausted. And I forgot to take my multivites for two weeks. I could bore your face right off and write an encyclopedia of excuses but most of them would come back to the same thing…fear.

I would love my identity back. No really. I’d love for almost every conversation that comes out of my mouth not to begin with the words, cycle, failed, embryo or ovulation. If the little teeny fertility people who live inside my head and occupy most of the space could kindly just fuck off and leave some room for creativity, kind thoughts and normality to move back into their old room, it’d be real swell.

For the one-in-six fertile-challenged who read this, or to anyone just going through their own sort of shit on any level, to those who are stuck inside a pit of pain with 10 metre high walls, to those who feel swept under the current of fear, loss, grief and panic who find on some level my crazy bloody ramblings give you any sort of comfort or sistahood like warm hug and a hot milo…I sure be humbled. Love, hugs and supercalifragilisticexpelia-fucking-docious luck, healing and strength to anyone with numbers of any sort hanging over their head. Lady MamaGxoxo