To our unborn baby…a letter of hope

babyfeetwings

For the unborn baby we might not ever get the chance to meet…there isn’t enough words in the google dictionary to tell you how very hugely desperately we want you. For almost three years we have waited and waited and waited for you to come into our lives. We have hoped, prayed and done a fertility handstand in the hope we might one day be able to grow you inside my belly. Your daddy has thought of all the things he wants to teach you and all the soccer games he can watch you play. We’ve wondered whether you’ll have his beautiful eyes and your mama’s lips. If you’ll be just like your brother and light up the whole room wherever you go…

Your big brother has been praying on the brightest stars in the night sky that you’ll come really soon. He’s getting sick of waiting too. He can’t wait to teach you how to ride a skateboard and cast a fishing line. He can’t wait till the time he gets to say he has a baby brother…and yes, even a baby sister. He says you’ll be the best thing ever and he’ll always stick up for you no matter what, cos that’s what big brothers do.

I’ve thought of names, even nicknames for fun. I’ve thought of all the books I’d like to read you while you’re growing inside me so you know my voice just as soon as you come out. I’ve thought of how much I’ll try not to be as scared as I was with your brother that you might stop breathing in your cot…I’ve promised I won’t keep putting my hand on your belly to check it’s still rising. And I know to live each precious moment because they’re gone far too quick. I’ve come up with colour schemes for your room and wondered which soft toys will become your faves when you sleep.

We’ve thought of how much you will complete our little family of four. How even though there’s going to be a big gap, you will be more cherished than the Pope at the Vatican. There’s been times when we’ve thought it was time, inched ever so close that it’s like I can actually see you, hear your soft cries and feel your silky skin. Every now and then you’ve made your way into my dreams, maybe you’re trying to remind me that one day you will be here. I’ve tried so hard to get keep you coming back night after night but you’re gone before I get the chance…disappeared into the night.

So wherever you are out there in the universe and whenever it is that you come into our lives we’ll be right here waiting with the widest most open arms, hearts so full they could burst like water balloons and smiles so big our faces might crack….but that day comes when our skies are lit up with rainbows, and we meet you little unborn baby…know, just know you’ll be cherished and loved beyond words. Love n’hugs, Lady MamaG xox

The last time…

all you need is love...

all you need is love…

Walking through the shops the other day, 10 y o asks me, ‘What do you want for your birthday this year?’. He was probably expecting me to say a new clutch (that’s of the handbag variety, I haven’t driven a manual since the ’90s.) Or maybe a new bracelet and if you’re reading men in my life, these will be greatly appreciated. But no, my answer was simple and relatively costless…that is if you don’t count the years of IVF, pain, emotions, mood swings, needles, anesthetics, nausea, aches, disappointment, grief and excessive weight gain (my thighs don’t normally touch, thanks quietly).

‘I’d like a baby,’ I tell him quietly. ‘I’m sorry I can’t give you what you want,’ he says with all the heart and love you could possibly ask for. ‘But I’ll wish and pray and do everything so that next time it works and we can have a baby.’ Yes, tissues may have been required around this time. ‘But you know what buddy, I’m still the luckiest girl in the world cos I’ve got you and The Vet,’ I tell him. I love the ‘we’ he uses. It’s not just me, it’s not just us, it’s WE. When The Vet and I got married, 10 y o kept saying it was ‘our wedding’. Everything we do is about our family and yes I want a baby, hells shit I want a baby but I can’t lose track of what I’m really lucky to have…some people don’t even get it ever and I’ve got it in bundles. Love, love, love is all you need.

Next month we go for our last round of IVF. When I say last, I mean last. I mean no more after that. Not even a Cold Chisel reunion tour. Not even a Star Wars Episode Fifty. End of. Shit just got real. It’s time to jump off this crazycoaster and go back to our Life Before Infertility…not that I’m even sure I know what that is it was so far ago. We will need every bit of the love, luck and wonder we’ve been getting from our friends and family. I’ll need all my strength to end the Chapter. Close my book and move on. I don’t want to say it got the better of me, because as you know I really hate losing. BIG time. How about we meet in the middle and call it a Conscious Uncoupling between Me & IVF or something?

Hells to the yes it’s been a rough couple of years. But it’s all the lovely phone calls from both the friends who’ve only recently come into our lives and friends who’ve been in my life since I was the same age as my son, younger even. Friends who know me almost better than I know myself…who even though the Tasman sea separates us, keep me in their hearts daily. They tell me I’m strong, and they should know, they know I’ve been through bigger, tougher, harder stuff than this and I’ll get through it. There have been times I haven’t wanted to answer my phone, gone into radio silence as a close friend likes to call it. But still they care. And it’s all those messages, the flowers, the support, the hugs, the calls and the love of all the beautifully incredible people in my life – especially The Vet – that remind me how lucky as a camel with two humps I really am.

We go into this last round with every single droplet of that love and hope and most of all a lot of my own that this might just be our moment… Oh, aThe nd thank you to the friend who offered me her fertility slate, blessed by the Buddhist monks of Nepal for luck. Let’s hope it works miracles, baby! Lov n hugs, LadyMamaG xox

Patience…

In the words of the great poet, Axle Rose, ‘all you need is just a little patience…’

And a whole lot of optimism. An army truck size load of it. Apparently eight is a lucky number in the Chinese horoscope. I’m hoping their little luck shines down on me like one of those little brass cats you see on the bench of Chinese restaurant with the waving arm. Things have been a little different in camp fertility on our eighth round. Dr Babies has tried a different protocol using something called Menopur, an older style IVF drug they bring out when women don’t respond to newer age drugs like Gonal F (of which I’m well-acquainted).

I rather like Menopur, she hasn’t caused me much bloating and even the crazies have managed to stay at bay…for a touch at least. I still get a daily (actually two) needles stabbed into my belly every morning and if you’re especially lucky and dehydrated it feels a hundred million times worse, bit like a cat claw ripping into your skin. After eight or nine days with my lovely new friend Menopur, I’m off for my scan. The specialist says he likes what he sees. I think even the word ‘wow!’ might have escaped his lips. When your fertility specialist starts to dance a merry jig around you, things might just be looking up. My oestrogen levels have tripled, he says, looking at my blood results. This is a good thing. Could be the naturopathy, could be the break, could be my stress levels, could be luck could be just that the flippin’ sky is blue…whatever it is this is a good thing, right?

He scribbles in his illegible doctor scrawl on a sheet on his desk and books me in for egg retrieval in three days’ time. There are 13 nice little follicles making themselves cosy in my ovaries, he says. Some on the left. Some on the right. I am so high on my happy news right now my smile’s bigger than Pharrell Williams’. Yes, 13, that’s like huge. Massive numbers. My surgery is booked for 7.30 in the morning on Wednesday.

Hospitals are the shittiest places. Their colour schemes, their staff uniforms, nothing says happy. They’re just drab, colourless pits of fear. They lay you on a gurney with your arm stuck out onto a vinyl strip that reminds me of those rooms where they do final executions on death row inmates. When the anaesthetist sticks his great big hulking needle into my hand he says I might feel a bit of pain. Is he fucking kidding? If they didn’t have a gas mask over my face I would have ripped that thing out of my hand and walloped him one right across his cheek. Shit it hurt, all up my left arm not to mention the hole in my hand where the electrical wire sized catheter has gone in. Five, four, three two…and she’s gone.

I wake up in recovery an hour or so later and the nice nurse in her blue scrubs is chatting away animatedly in my ear. She’s got an earring in her eyebrow and her hair tied up high on her head. For a minute I forget where I am. I want to open my eyes but it’s hard. I’m pretty sure someone has glued them shut. I look down at my hand and see the number 6 written on it in biro. That’s what they do when you have an egg collection, they write the number of eggs they fished out on your hand. Six? What? I thought there were 13? Bugger me! Well there’s as good a reason as any not to count your damn follicles before they hatch. Six eggs. My belly is swollen to the size of an NBA level basketball and the pain is like someone has taken a blender to your insides. I take six panadol when I get home and still the pain is hanging round like a Beverly Hills housewife at a restaurant opening.

That afternoon the scientist from the lab calls and lets me know they’ve fertilised five eggs. They’ll call again in two days time to let me know if they’ve survived and then by day five, if we have enough, two lil’ fighting embies will start renovating my uterus to make their nice new home inside for nine months. And for extra good measure, Dr Babies has decided he’ll also give me a Pregnyl injection when we go for the embryo transfer which will hopefully act like a bit of Spidey’s good stuff and make it stick like glue to the sides of my uterus.

I’m thinking if we have a girl, we might name her Hope. Not because I watch Young & the Restless but because hope really is all you have when you’re spun out of control down the path of fertility. Hope, patience and fear mixed with a tiny bit of strength.

While I wait for my belly to stop looking like one of those poor starving children, all distended and swollen, we also wait for our two little bubsicles to grow nice and strong so they can last the distance…maybe if we have twins we’ll name them Hope and Faith… Love n hugs, Lady MamaG xox Here’s a little ’80s rock to brighten your day. You’re welcome.

 

 

 

Being a mum…hands down the hardest job in the world…

I'll walk to the ends of the earth to take his pains away...

I’ll walk to the ends of the earth to take his pain away…

I can tell you the single moment I learned being a mum is the toughest job in the whole wide world. It was a Spring morning in October eight years ago. I watched my not-quite-three-year-old little boy sleep in the bed beside me. His beautiful lashes with the blonde tips on the ends, firmly closed. I still tell him to this day those lashes were kissed by the angels when he was born. I leave him to sleep a little longer. I want him to stay in peace for as long as he can. When he finally stirs I look into his blue blue eyes  and I do the single most hardest thing I’ve ever had to do as a mum. I tell him today is a special day. Today we will say goodbye to his daddy. ‘Daddy is gone to heaven and he’s never coming back,’ I tell him. Even though we lost him five days before that morning I didn’t want him to be scared. I tried and tried to protect him from reality but the time had come and it was my job to shatter his tiny heart into a trillion little pieces.

He tells me ‘No, no!’ in a big voice for an only-just-woken toddler. ‘Daddy’s not dead. He’s at the racecars.’ I am his mum and I can’t lie. I tell him his daddy had an accident in his racecar and he has gone. I will tell him this over and over until his little face bursts into floods of tears, hot red cheeks steaming from his anger, frustration and disbelief. He puts his head back on his pillow as if he’s trying to go back to sleep, to step in reverse from the words he’s just heard from his mummy’s mouth. His mummy, how could she be telling him such horrible horrible things, she’s meant to keep away the pain not stab it in.

That morning I would have rather been anywhere but in that bedroom telling my little boy those words. I would have taken all his pain, his fear and his loss. Syphoned it out with my heart and poured it into my own body so he didn’t have to suffer. That’s what you do when you’re a Mum. You take their pain away…when they’re sick, when they’re scared, when they’re sore and when they’re hurt by the most horrific loss of grief.

It’s the hardest job in the world. It just is. The next time you hear yourself say ‘I’m just a mum’ or ‘She’s just a mum’. Or the next time you think you’re not doing enough. Or the next time you beat yourself up because you’re doing too much…holding down a job, raising kids, keeping a house, just remember there is nothing you can ever do, no job in your life that even comes close to the role of Mum. For those of us who have had to be both a mum and a dad, for those who have taken on other mum’s kids, for those who have spent months and even years trying to become a mum and for those who haven’t got their own mums anymore you probably know this already.

Tomorrow, it’s hospital time once again for this here thirtysomething mama as I try to become a mum to another precious little person. It’ll be our eight time on IVF and I’m more hell bent on beating this asshole affliction than Kim K was to be a Vogue covergirl. I’m lucky enough to already know what it’s like to be a mum and that’s why I’ll never give up trying. Love n’hugs, LadyMamaG xox

 

 

 

 

Heads up: you may get a lump in your throat…

I've got your back, mama...

I’ve got your back, mama…

‘Yay I’m so excited! Will I get to see the baby moving around?’ This was 9 y o’s reaction when I told him he had to be chief support crew for our embryo transfer this morning because The Vet was being chained to his clinic by a hectic back-to-back appointment schedule. ‘Well, no buddy, when the embryo goes in it isn’t a baby yet, it’s only slightly smaller than a pinhead so all you’ll see is a little white light.’ He bounces out of bed and gets dressed. ‘We need to take Lucky with us,’ he says grabbing a little soft toy bear sent to us by some very dear friends from home. ‘He’s going to be our lucky bear,’ he tucks him under his arm.

I swig down the three glasses of water they make you have an hour before so your bladder swells up to an uncomfortable balloon-like shape and means they can see what they’re doing down there when little embie gets tunneled in. ‘I’m so excited when do we get to find out if we’ve got a baby?’ 9 y o asks in the waiting room. It’s clearly evident he has inherited his mother’s impatience for waiting any length of time whatsoever. For anything. Well, once it’s put in we have to wait for 11 more days until they take a blood test and tell us if it worked or not, I explain. ‘It’s going to work,’ he says triumphantly. God love his optimism, little champ.

We get to the doctor’s office and unfortunately for both me and my bulging bladder they’re running half an hour behind schedule which means those three glasses I told you about earlier are about to erupt out of my bladder at any given moment like Mt Vesuvius. I smile sweetly at the nurse when she says she won’t make me laugh. Yeah, it’s not funny, love. AT ALL.

We go into the doctor’s room and 9 y o takes the seat beside me while I climb up on the bed. He shakes the doctor’s hand like a grown up and sits down with Lucky in his hand. ‘This is our lucky bear,’ he tells the doctor. As the bed is lifted and the transfer begins 9 y o gently places Lucky on the pillow beside my head. ‘Here mummy, hold my hand,’ he says gently. I look up at the nurse and she’s got tears in her eyes. The last time he did that was when our wedding cars never turned up to take us to the church. He wraps his little fingers tightly around my hand and watches intently, but silently as they implant our little embie. A few stray tears trickle down my cheeks and I feel his soft fingers wipe them away. ‘It’s okay mummy, you’re being so brave,’ he tells me. I think the nurse and I are both about to lose it. Even the doctor has to swallow.

We’ve been through a whole lot, 9 y o and me. I’ve always known he was one helluva special little soul but it’s times like these that I’m reminded exactly how damn lucky I am to have him. We exit the clinic and to my great relief after a quick toilet stop, I’m able to actually talk without holding my breath. The kid tells me he can’t wait to meet our baby. ‘Can I come to the appointment when you get to find out?’ he asks. Sure I tell him. And may we be blessed with another one exactly like you. Only two-hundred and sixty-four hours to wait…and counting.

With all the love of your mama, daddy and your big brother who just can’t wait to meet you, grow little embie, grow…Lov n’hugs, Lady MamaGxox

It’s getting hot in here…

It won't hurt a bit...

It won’t hurt a bit…

Well butter my toast if I’m not flippin’ over school holidays already. Yes, yes I know I should be grateful that I’ve got a kid at all but it’s not actually mine I’m sick of it’s just other people’s. Case in point: Some little kid pushed in front of me in the line at the video kiosk (seriously how good are those green machines?) the other day and it took all my control not to grab him by his little rat’s tail and give him a good telling off. Respect these days. There’s none of it. I wondered if I shouldn’t have waved my tuckshop lady arm at him and told him I have the potential to turn little rude kids like him into piles of slime with the power of my eyes, but then he’s probably never read The Witches so therefore my rant would be wasted and he would just think I was loopy. Which possibly, I am. Temporarily of course.

This time Dr Babies has ramped up my hormone injections to the same dose I was on last time which did produce more eggs but now we’re just waiting to see how many will grow into tiny little hatchlings. My belly is beginning to resemble something like those kids you see in the Save the Children ads because it’s all puffed up like I’ve swallowed an actual basketball from my egg collection on Monday. Oh fun times. Let’s just say if you’re bored one day and have nothing better to do, don’t go and fill your uterus with a whole lot of fluid and gas. It’s not as fun as you might think. It actually hurts to laugh. Or move, or walk. It’s got bruises from where the injections have gone in and even though I’ve asked The Vet very kindly to do it gently, sometimes I think he forgets I’m not one of his dogs who has the fortune of having thick fur to soften the needle prick. Don’t even get me started on hot flushes that feel as though someone’s plugged an electric blanket into your bum.

I had to stop myself from hyperventilating when Dr Babies told me he was taking his kids on holiday and wouldn’t be here to do both my egg collection and my transfer (how inconsiderate of him to take a day off in a year!) but calmed myself the hell down when I realised there’s bound to come a time when your doctor has to actually have a holiday. I’m not going to lie, I did wonder for a short time about offering to pay for his holiday to be taken at a time after my own treatments.

I decided to watch a video of how they do the egg collection last night and I wouldn’t advise it for Wednesday night viewing. An STD episode of Embarrassing Bodies would make you squirm less but you know what there really are a lot of people in the same boat as us. Infertility is spreading faster than a One Direction infection only it’s much much more emotional – I’m aware those of the female fourteen year-old-variety would disagree but with one in six, them numbers are not great.

So now it’s back to waiting by the phone. I feel a bit like Miley hoping desperately for Liam to take her back. Except I don’t have little horns on my head and have, thankfully kept my undies on and my tongue in my mouth…for this week at least, after another ten days on progesterone I can’t be certain. Lov n’hugs LadyMamaGxox

Hello old self, are you there?

Least I haven't reached this stage...yet

Mind out where you put that chain, lov, you’ll end up with a nasty yeast infection… Just saying…

Today I thought about doing some pilates. Which is better than yesterday when I didn’t even think about it at all. I still haven’t done it but the very thought of doing it, I believe, has awoken some very very lazy muscles in this here LadyMamaG. The reason I’m telling you about thinking about almost doing pilates is because I want to share with you how much fun it is to not feel like your real self anymore.

This morning I thought it might be a good idea to weigh myself, see what all them lovely lil’ fertility drugs been doing to this here 37 y o body. To my greatest relief the scales had gone flat. Thanks to the Gods who made that happen. It still doesn’t change the fact almost everything, no actually everything don’t fit no more. I used to love getting dressed in the morning. It was like a little fashion magazine shoot going on in my wardrobe every single day. Now I’m quite happy to mooch around the house in my pilates pants (let’s not judge me) until oh, at least before I have to do the school run. Sometimes I might even do the school run while still wearing them. To which 9 y o rather unsubtly reminds me, ‘why are you still wearing that mummy?’ when he jumps in the back seat. Thanks young man for making me feel like Britney post-shaven head. He also likes to ask why I haven’t got any makeup on. Kids are good at honesty, I’ll give ’em that.

So besides the fact I dress to do pilates but don’t actually do it. And that every single thing in my wardrobe no longer even wants to look at me it’s so disgusted, there is the other thing. What have I become? Am I the girl who is happy to let her armpit hair grow a couple of inches (stop screwing up your face, I haven’t reached that stage yet) while still trying to squeeze into a pair of shorts sans-IVF that are two sizes too small and therefore give me two bums? Lucky for you all, I have not assaulted your eyeballs with this visual though summer is just around the corner you’ll be glad to know. Have I become that girl whose vocabulary doesn’t stretch much further past progesterone, gonal-F, orgalutran, prednisolone, progynova and elevit – which besides the fact makes me sound like some really clever person who might be a doctor, when really I’m not – can be mighty boring. Especially to those who may just think I’ve rattled off the cities of some far away country.

Well at least I’m not swinging naked from a giant cement ball. Though if I did look like that, maybe I would…

Countdown is back on until my next round of friendly local neighbourhood needles. Fun times indeed. Lov n’hugs to y’all specially those with foam fingers, LadyMamaGxox