Fertility…it’s a bit like driving a car with no wheel nuts…you have no control

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So yesterday I was back in hospital, I think they know me pretty well because, it’s about oh, I don’t know, the four hundred and seventeeth time I’ve been under general anaesthetic this year (okay, so maybe not quite that many but sure is a real lot). And it’s no secret how much I love needles. Almost as much as I love pulling my toenails off with a pair of blunt pliers. But I do have a bloody funny story to tell you about being in the recovery ward which involves some intimate elective surgery and an 82-year-old.

But yes, I’m back to the start. Back to waiting. Back to needles, popping pills by the plenty and generally stuffing my body full of things that not only make me more cray cray than Sharon Osborne after a few chardy’s but has ensured that pratically every. single. thing. in my wardrobe doesn’t fit me anymore. And let me tell you sista’s, this Lady Mama G has a wardrobe that could rival Miranda Kerr on a bad day. Bit like being put in front of a giant bowl of M & M’s and told you can only look at them, thanks very much.

After my much loved needle treatment, it was time for egg retrieval. And you know the really awesome thing about Fertility (or lack thereof in this instance) is that absolutely nothing is in your control. Nothing. Around every corner there is a waiting game. You have to wait to see how many eggs they found in your baby boiler. Then you have to wait to see how many got injected. And then the real fun part, you get to wait each day for around five days (in my case) to see if said eggies have hatched into some little embies – and those are the jackpot. You need embryos to last that long so they’ve got a much better chance at making it to home base…which of course is being up the knock.

For some reason, this time I only got a third the amount of eggs as last time which means our chances of getting some good little growers is somewhat slimmer. I’d be lying like Bill Clinton if I didn’t say that didn’t hit me hard. Now it’s all in the control of the gods, the scientists, or someone anyone but me. I must sit and wait for my daily phone call to see how my little hatchlings are growing.

Every shitful bit about this infertility process is ups and downs. Ups are good and downs, well they’re about as low as scooping up a half-used cigarette butt from the gutter. And then smoking it.

But I did promise you one good story didn’t I? Sitting in recovery in my white fluffy dressing gown (standard issue) to the opposite of me was a dear old 82-year-old lady who had been in for back surgery. Beside her sat two young twenty-something girls with plastic surgeon bags beside them. After dear old Mrs Love finished telling us about her operation, she turned to the young girl beside her and asked what she’d been in for. ‘Oh labioplasty,’ came her reply. Mrs Love thought she didn’t hear right. ‘Pardon,’ she asked. ‘What’s that?’. Young twenty-something was then left to explain to the woman beside her – who no doubt had seen a lot in her time – but nothing quite like that. I’m pretty sure she will never ask another young patient what she’s in for. Ever. Again.

If you caught Mary Costa’s interview on 60 Minutes last weekend, like me, you would probably have been bawling. Her journey has been one of hardship, heartache and total and utter turmoil but – and even though it took 10 years – she finally has some good news. There is nothing easy or simple about going down the long and windy road to fertility but at least at the end of it you get something you will cherish more than life its very self.

Right now I’m crossing everything I have and mustering up all my courage just to make it through this week of waiting. Cook little hatchlings, cook good. Love n’ hugs, Lady MamaG xox

Will he still love me…?

Unbreakable bond...

Unbreakable bond…

So the other day, 9 y o has obviously got to thinking. He’s so excited about the prospect there may be a sibling coming his way that sometimes I think he’ll actually burst. His only concern is whether the little person will be a boy or…a boy. Girls don’t really get a mention because apparently you ‘can’t pass all your old ‘boys stuff on to a girl’. He has few concerns apart from once his mummy does eventually have a baby in her tummy, how long it will take to actually come out…but the other day he stonkered me with a blindsider.

‘Mummy,’ he said, a little quietly. ‘Will The Vet still love me as much when the new baby comes along…?’ Now, obviously he doesn’t call him The Vet, and would very much like to call him Daddy (yes, that debate still seems to rear it’s uncomfortable little head from time-to-time) but as the members of my family possibly wish to remain nameless for the purposes of this here blog, we’ll stick to calling him The Vet. ‘Oh yes of course he will love you, maybe even more. You see, when people become parents they grow so much love in their hearts and with each new baby that comes, there comes a whole nother lot of love to go round…’

Nine y o ponders my answer for a short while and then comes back with, ‘but he wasn’t there when I was born so will he still have as much love?’ he asks, with the ever developing and inquisitive mind that lies inside the head of a boy his age. ‘Yes, he will, that I promise you,’ I tell him. ‘Have I known The Vet longer than I knew my Dad?’ he asks. ‘Well, almost, yes I guess you have,’ comes my reply. ‘Well he is really like my Dad now, aye,’ he decides. ‘Yes, you are very lucky to have two Dads that love you very much.’

Sometimes it’s not just about the needles you have to punch into your belly two times a day for a week (until you feel like a voodoo doll). And sometimes it’s not just about the emotional battle you’re facing of waiting, waiting, waiting…And sometimes it’s not just about the hormones that are raging a war inside your body and will release upon any unsuspecting victim – in my case it was the garden workman who decided it was a good idea to leer at me and yell ‘G’day darlin’ as I biked past him in my short shorts and bikini top…little did he know I was hiked up on hormones like some kind of Cowboy Fertility Junkie. He survived, fortunately for him, as I only shot him a death stare. Had he said another word, he might have copped a large tin bicycle bell up his rectum.

You see, sometimes it’s not just about your own battle…but about the other people in your life too…who so far have managed to escape relatively unscathed (though if you ask them, possibly not so much).

To all my fellow battlers – IVF or otherwise – peace, love and fluffy tickles…Love, as always, Lady Mama G xox

 

And then it really sucked…why fertility is like a great big pile of poo

through the grey murky haze...

through the grey murky haze…there is love

You know how they say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…sometimes the former isn’t actually easier.

Going it tough does make you stronger but only because you are flung headfirst into it. Not because God hand-plucked you out of the crowd because he reckoned you had a hefty set of shoulders on you built to carry the emotional weight of a truck. If I had a buck or 10 for every time someone has told me, since losing my first husband, they could ‘never have gone through what I did’ – as if there were some sort of choice in the matter – let me tell you I’d be so rich I’d be bathing in some sort of liquid gold milk right now with hand maidens wiping my sweaty brow. Like there was an option. Like you could choose as though you were downloading an app.

Fertility is a bit like that. There are so many well-wishers just telling you to stop thinking about getting up the knock and you will fall. Try this weird and crazy diet, it’ll definitely work. Or, a friend they know – who had been trying for six years all but gave up and then what do you know, once they stopped trying it happened. Except it doesn’t. It doesn’t just happen much like death and losing someone doesn’t just happen, it isn’t just ‘a choice’ you take. It is one of life’s cruelest lessons.

Today when I got my 8 y o back home after he’d been on a week’s holiday up north do you know I held on to him so tight I think his head nearly popped off his shoulders. He just thought I was being weird and went about polishing off the lolly jar which hadn’t been touched since he left. If I knew, if each of us stopped to think exactly how much of a miracle our babies, toddlers, children and even teens (when they’re not hormonal or broody) are do you think we’d bother complaining when they don’t clean up their room or forget to bring their drink bottle home after school? Miracles. That’s what they are…every single one of them.

Today Dr Babies gave us some not-so-good news. Seems that the pipes were once working just fine but now have pretty much all given up on me. They’ve staged a protest outside my uterus and are flat out refusing to let anyone through as though it were the White House under bomb threat. Seems this impatient Scorpian and rather tetchy Lady Mama G had the right kind of gut feeling all along. (See Good Lady Doctor, I wasn’t just pulling your middle finger…)

The good news is we no longer live in the ’50s and there is such a thing, praise be, as IVF. However it is entirely possible that I am about to go all kinds of crazy, Kathy Bates crazy even, so watch the hell out family and close loved ones… I fear for your safey (and my sanity!).

But you know what? For all the grey murky haze that is blocking my head from thinking any kind of straight, there is a lot of bright breaking through. I have a husband who loves me very much and a beautiful almost 9 y o boy. I’m also not planning a funeral instead of my Christmas dinner. However bad things might be, there’s always someone for which it is worse. Much, much worse.

Love n hugs, Lady Mama Gxox

Casper the (not so) friendly ghost baby…buzz OFF, you hear!

Casper…the not so welcome friendly ghost baby

I wish I could tell you there were not 10 thousand loads of washing sitting on my laundry bench waiting to be folded. I also wish I could tell you there is not dog hair all over my (black) lounge room carpet. I’d love to tell you that there is not a load of (clean) dishes still in the back dishwasher waiting to be unpacked. But alas, people, this 30 Mama is all out of her compulsive cleaning disorder and the need to tidy up after myself, my two-year-old (did I mention heavily malting) golden retriever, my 8 y 0 son who likes to wear things for an hour and then chuck them in the washing pile rather than fold them and my ever-hard-working husband – the latter, both of which seem to have contributed to a rather large portion of the 18 loads of washing on my laundry floor I mean bench.

I’ve decided that rather than be chained to my laundry I will hide out in here on my computer until it does itself – or I find an app that can do it for me, or even better still…invent an app that will make me tonnes of money so I won’t have to do it ever again. After this is done then I’m off to catch a few rays while the glorious sun is beating out of the bright blue sky. Such melancholy.

Well it would be if it were not for the fact I am: No.1 a Scorpian (for those of you who regularly drink here, you will know this fact) No.2 a Control Freakazoid who hates mess and No.3 someone who really really really wants a cleaner. I have toyed with the idea of hiring one on the sly so The Vet doesn’t know but that would be a) mean because you should never lie to your spouse and b) completely and utterly ridiculous seeing as it is that I don’t have a job, or a newborn, or a small business, or even a nation to run and then the guilt would get to me so much that there would be pretty much no use whatsoever to have the cleaner who I do most of the cleaning for before she comes anyway.

So aside from mountains of laundry wreaking havoc with my stress levels there is also the fact that Casper the friendly little ghost baby is back inhabiting my womb again. He’s always hanging around week two or three of every month, you know just to drop by and tickle my uterus with cramps so I think it could be an actual small person or peanut instead of Casper who is really beginning to yank my chain right now. Casper, let’s get this straight, if you are not indeed a real baby then why do you tease and torment me in such a way that every time I get a slight tickle, sore wams, or increase in hormonal nuttiness that make me believe you’re not a ghost but an actual real live tiny person?

Before you started annoying me I was actually considering Casper as one of my names, now you’ve just totally ruined everything and I’ve had to resort back to Waterman or Albert, my other two favourite names – you’ve become THAT bloody annoying.

But not all hope is lost, there is still the ever all-warm-inside feeling I get from the 8 y o who constantly declares ‘when the baby comes’ rather than ‘if’. He’s all over it like Lilo at a bachelor party every day coming up with new names. None of them feature Casper but he has expressed his like for Cody, Tennyson (after a cartoon character, so very 2012 don’t you know) and shows constant distaste for his mum’s choice in baby names though none such as much as when he used my bathroom the other night. ‘What’s this?’ he asked, holding up my basal thermometer (yes, tucked safely in its plastic case) in his little paw. ‘Oh that’s for taking mummy’s temperature’ I told him. He wasn’t convinced because the only one he’s seen is the type that goes in your ear and is shaped completely different to the one in his hand. ‘Well it’s for measuring your inside temperature’ I tell him. ‘But where does it go?’ he keeps pushing. ‘Well it goes in mummy’s private parts’  I tell him reluctantly. You know that look you get when you really wish someone hadn’t just told you something and you want to hit delete on your mind but can’t? Well, I’m pretty sure that’s where 8 y o was about that point. That’ll teach him to be Mr Nosey Parker then won’t it!

Till next time…keep your ovaries happy, mamas!

Love n hugs, Lady Mama G xox

 

How OLD is too old…?

That’s a bonny lot…Adele’s a mum at 24…

When my mum had the bonny lass she firstly named Fionna, then Rachel before finally settling on Lady Mama G, she would have been 25. And I was her second. When I had beautiful lil’ peanut that is now my big 8 y o boy, I was 28. The other day, singer Adele had a baby boy and she’s 24. Reese Witherspoon had her third little pinata at 37. Do you see where I’m going with this? Aussie fash designer Collette Dinnigan is about to pop out her second at 47. And, if you really want to get trivial, the oldest woman to have a baby was an American lassie named Frieda who was 65. And she had twins. Booya! You’re welcome, I aim to please with my clever collection of useless facts like a fart in a lift.

When I went to visit The Good Lady Doctor this week to do all besides donate my left kidney for a referral to see a specialist, we got to talking about age. Well, when I say we got to talking I actually mean I chewed her ear off for a good half an hour with all my paranoia that my eggs have shriveled into tiny caper berries, that I’m almost as old as the Sisteen Chapel itself and I’m not even sure if my ovaries are still firing on all cylinders.  I can’t say whether the Good Lady Doctor is altogether convinced I am sane. I’m also not entirely sure she’s convinced that I am remotely coherent.

She tells me I need to stop thinking about it and is especially concerned when she looks at my hands that are by now wringing nervously on my lap. ‘Look at your hands, you’ve got to stop being so anxious’ she says, almost cross at me. ‘Oh that?’ I tell her. ‘No, I’m always doing this, it’s a…uhh…Pilates type of hand movement that works on tensing up your wrist muscles, I’ve heard it’s….good for carrying heavy shopping bags and…hmm…blood circulation I think,’ I attempt to blind side her. She doesn’t buy it but I’m damned if I’m going to let it affect my chances of getting a referral.

She peers over her specs and asks me how long it was again since I’ve been trying to pee two lines on a stick. ‘I think at least six months, yep definitely, certainly,’ I tell her. She knows I’m a little out in my calculations but really, what’s a month or two between friends?

‘Very well,’ she says and types out my referral letter. Yesssss! I’m like one of Willy Wonka’s lucky golden ticket winners. I skip out of that office like one of the Von Trapp children and before I’ve even crossed the road into the carpark, I’ve added the specialist to my speed dial and have made an appointment for two weeks’ time.

In the mean time, I’m back to counting days and inserting thermometres into places you really don’t want to know…

Hugs, Lady Mama Gxo

It will happen when it happens…the second most patronising saying in THE WORLD

flamingos…a little less menacing than plovers

It’s funny how when you want things the most, they don’t happen but yet at the worst time possible they do. When my 8 y o was born (obviously he wasn’t eight when he was born but he was a bonny 8pd 3oz), we were in the process of moving house, moving jobs and moving countries. Faarrrrk it was shitballs. Excellent planning there by us. I can’t tell you how abso-darn-lutely it was the worst time ever to have a baby. I literally had a six-week old strapped to my chest and a mountain of suitcases. Fun times.

Looking back now I think I ought to have won me one of those Australian of the Year awards (ignore the small issue that I’m not Australian) because by hell I was living right up the top of stress street for the first six weeks of my baby’s life. I’m surprised I survived. I’m surprised he even survived and wasn’t left on the doorstep of the nearest orphanage with a note saying ‘have me’ and a week’s supply of formula tucked under his blanket.

I was talking about this with a girlfriend the other day (not giving my child to an orphanage, but having babies at inopportune times). She had been trying for over eight months to get pregnant and then, once she booked a four-week trip to the States (plus a whole lotta shopping and drinking) with her hubby whaddaya know it…she’s up the knock. It could be true what they say, when you least expect (or want) a baby, it will come. They have a funny little habit of interrupting your life those selfish little people. But while it might have worked for my stunning (did I mention younger) and perhaps considerably more fertile bodied friend, I’m not so convinced it will work for me because it IS ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT.

As I write this I am in great danger of being dive-bombed by an overprotective plover bird who is squawking mercilessly at my window as her tiny fluffy babies wobble over the lawn on their spindly legs. I tried to tell the mum I don’t want her babies, I’m actually after having one of my own but she won’t have it. She is actually trying to kill me by pecking. Through the window. 8 y o thinks it’s a wonderful lesson in nature. ‘I think we should leave our whole lawn for them,’ he says generously. ‘And if they want to swim in our pool, we should let them’. Thanks son that’s especially considerate of you when you are not the one who has to clean the pool of bird poop. ‘When will we have one of our own babies?’ he asks. Well, I reply, maybe when we plan an overseas trip or a move to outer-Mongolia. My words are lost on him of course because he can’t quite understand what traveling or moving to a country whose name he can’t even pronounce have to do with babies.

Maybe I need to think about planning a big ol’ trip to the US with lots of drinking, partying and shopping for expensive clothes that can only fit a non-pregnant girl. Or maybe I need to sell up, move jobs, home and country…

If you’ve got your own badly timed addition, feel free to share with the group, we won’t tell anyone…

Hugs, Lady MamaG xo

 

Time it’s a tickin’: When days turn into weeks, turn into…this is taking forever…

Promise, doesn’t hurt a bit…

I’m back at The Lovely Lady Doctor’s office and this time she wants to take some tests – ‘pre pregnancy screening’ she calls them. Just the usual: HIV, Hepatitis and all kinds of other delightful diseases as well as iron levels, and vitamin deficiencies. Charming. Not only can I not seem to successfully grow a little person in my tummy but it might be because I have unknowingly contracted some mosquito-infected disease too.

Oh and while we’re at it, she says, we’d better do a pap smear. It’s my lucky day! There ain’t no getting past this Sergeant Major…who seems to have uncovered it’s been well and truly over three years (I know, I know, slap my chops) since a speculum last saw the insides of my lady parts. She tells me I need to come back in another three weeks, once my results come through. “Uhh couldn’t we get them sooner, like maybe rush them through since this is sort of urgent?” I plead, convinced I am in my own state of emergency. I’m not sure she understands just how much I hate waiting.

I think of explaining to her that not only am I Scorpian, and we Scorpians don’t believe in waiting, but I’m also a 36-about-to-be-37 impatient Scorpian who really really wants a baby. Like now.

Lady Doctor doesn’t seem all that enthused by my impatience and goes right ahead and books an appointment for three weeks’ time. ‘Right. So I guess I’ll see you in a couple of weeks then, who knows what might’ve happened by then,’ I smile at her. She looks at me weirdly and is probably glad to see the back of this deranged hormonally-crazy girl.

When we next meet, I am hopeful. “Your tests all appear normal,” she starts. “Your iron is low” (note to self: stop in and buy the biggest steak outside of Texas on the way home). “But your vitamin D is up,” she counters. Yes! A win. Knew my tan was good for something! “So,” she says, looking over her specs at me again (so reminds me of my third-form English teacher) “Now you just need to relax and let nature take its course…so to speak…” I did think I would have to physically remove the eyeballs of the next person who said those words but seeing as Lovely Lady Doctor is here to help, I stop short and simply nod. “There is one other thing you can try…have you had acupuncture before?” she asks. “Nope,” I reply, possibly a little too eagerly and at more octaves than is appropriate inside a doctor’s room. “I know of a good acupuncturist who might be able to assist.” Well book the lim-ou-sine…I’ll be your little Voodoo if it means one of my lil’ egglings might hatch.

When I first meet Mr Needles he starts with a list of questions – some I believe to be completely irrelevant to the inner workings of my reproductive system but as he is the trained professional, I play along with his game. Turns out he knows his stuff and upon reading my body language (or my mind) decides I need to be ’emotionally cleaned out before my body can conceive’. He concludes that I am internally cold…which doesn’t mean I’m Cruella De Ville and collect spotty puppies but rather that I always have cold feet and explains my constant need to have too-hot-to-sit-in baths.

For anyone who is a needle-virgin, acupuncture does not hurt. Not one little pinprick (trust me, my needle phobia stretches well past the normal fear limit of a sane human being) and works on certain pressure points in your body, manipulating or releasing the muscles with needles. I particularly like that I don’t have a six-month wait to see Mr Needles.

Once question time is over, he asks me to lie up on the bed and begins placing tiny needles into my pressure points. He also runs a cord that spans from my hands to my feet to ‘bypass my inners and get my system working properly again’ of which he lights each end. There’s a slight warming sensation and then I lie there for about fifteen minutes.

After our little prickling session, he hands me some Chinese herbal tablets that I must take (by the handfuls) every day. I will need to see Mr Needles for a six-course duration, by which time he hopes everything will be in perfect working order once again. That makes two of us.
Wish me luck, my little munchkins! Hugs, Lady Mama G x