Hitting pause

 

What keeps me going is this constant thought at the back of my mind that we’ll look back on this one day and remember it as pre-baby.

What keeps me going is excitement and hope for all those milestones and firsts; for all those special moments as a family.

But what happens if it’s something that never comes to be? I’m always trying to reconcile that and cushion myself for that blow in case it’s our reality. But right now I can’t accept that as a possibility. I have to keep hoping.

What is life without our family when it’s been a life goal for both of us for so long? What other plans do we make? We’re not big partiers, we barely drink, we’ve done so much travel and accomplished so many things in our lives. We’re so ready and so passionate.

Adoption in New Zealand is extremely difficult, near impossible. Surrogacy is a possibility but there’s no reason why I can’t carry our babies, that I know of. We just need one to stick. But time after time it’s just out of reach.

The conditions have been right but we still don’t make progress. We follow every rule but it still won’t happen. We hope and pray and support and love our friends and family and make good choices and yet we can’t get these stars to align.

It’s out of our hands and seems to be luck more than anything. And it’s hard knowing we’ve reached $20,000 spent and are still childless.

I’ve never felt such lack of control over anything in my life. It’s tougher all the time and some days I struggle to put a positive face on. But maybe you can help. Please keep hope for us. Maybe collectively hoping will send more positivity our way.

I am so hopeful for all of you, too.

I will keep trying to write here, but for now we’re focusing on our home and getting a pup, and maybe in 2018 we’ll have better luck. Because it seems to be mostly about luck. And for now we’re all out.

 

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Plans

Tomorrow it will be July, and we’re taking a break.

We’ve been in treatment for basically 6 months now, and I’ve always wondered how much to share here. Only a few close friends/some family have ever known exactly what stage we’re at, and for our privacy/to save us questions we’ve kept it that way. But an update for you: we have no good news. Nothing but bad news, I’m afraid.

To keep myself sane and for the sake of my body we’re giving it a rest. We’ve got some tough decisions coming up and the last thing I need is to go right back on hormones and carry on when so much is riding on it. We’d love the world to pause as well – it’s hard knowing so many have started trying, successfully conceived and given birth all in the time we’ve been trying. Many friends are on their 2nd or 3rd kid. We’ve spent half of our savings and are no closer to our first. IVF is the reason we don’t have a house deposit.

I feel like my brain has not thought about anything else for so many years now, that I don’t know how to rewire it back. I don’t know how to see the world without this lense of infertility over it.

It’s hard not knowing whether there is something else wrong that we just can’t see, or whether it’s just luck of the draw. What if we just keep doing this over and over and failing and have no idea why? My husband has wonderful endless optimism: he is sure it’ll work soon. I don’t know anymore. I have good days and bad days. I’ve seen infertile buddies have success and I’ve seen a few give up, no hope in sight, having to reconcile their dreams as something that will never happen. How could I just put this to one side? It’s so much of me.

So, we have plans. The rest of the year will fly by I’m sure, and we’ll be carrying on with treatment. But for July, I’m going back to Hot Yoga. I’ve got a trial to a local studio for 2 weeks, then I’ll probably buy a 10 pass to see me through til mid-August.

We’re looking at puppies. A dog has always been in the plans and on the radar, and as we joked last night, even an expensive dog is cheaper than an embryo transfer. We’d ideally be getting one in September, as hopefully the house will be done by then.

We’re hoping to move into the house in August, but we’ll see how it goes. We’ve made so much progress – the insulation and new wiring is in, and once the drywall goes back up, we’ll be able to have the electricians back to add our new switches, etc. The kitchen will hopefully go in this month, though the counter tops will take longer. The wardrobe in the front bedroom has been opened up so it’ll be quite large, which is great (I probably have more clothing than anyone you’ve ever met). The floors need a sand and polish, but the Mr hopefully will be able to do that himself. Hopefully we can find a plasterer to sort the gib and then we can decorate. I’m dying to unpack. D is going to start building some of our furniture, too.

The baby’s room will still be the baby’s room. The rocking chair will still be built, and our stuff will probably overflow into it for now, but it’s not going to be anything else. In our old place, I used the spare room to get ready in, and I may still do that on mornings that D is sleeping. But otherwise we’ll be collecting things and putting boxes in there, and eventually it’ll no longer be a sad room. We have plans for wall decals and to paint the walls like the sky. I want to put glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. We’re painting a blackboard wall somewhere, hopefully near the kitchen, for menu planning and little hands to draw on.

We’re also planning a trip. Hopefully in the summertime we’ll go down to Mackenzie Country and camp near Lake Tekapo and enjoy the best stargazing in the southern hemisphere. I’d also like a weekend away soon, but with the house that may not happen.

All is not lost, but we’re hitting pause. Hopefully it’ll be a really positive break.

Thanks as always for your love and support.

The ache

Pain doesn’t go away. It follows you. I didn’t think that moving home would fix things, but it certainly was going to be more positive, and it has been in many ways. But sometimes you have to sit with the pain, look it in the face, mention it (vaguely and without the right words) online, connect and share with people who get it and people who don’t, and stare it square in the face and carry on.

I’m so tired. I often think that I am done hoping and planning and that I am not strong enough for this. But somehow we face each new hurdle, ache, cry, and carry on. You have to carry on.

In some ways my faith has carried me. I struggle so much with it – why does my love and desire in every cell of my being not translate into this dream being fulfilled? Is it the timing, is it the season… it can’t be to make the end result sweeter because we are past that point. You know that pain and sadness have swallowed you whole when you find yourself sympathising and hurting for Serena Joy in The Handmaid’s Tale; rational thought goes out the window when something you so desperately want is denied you and yet you are surrounded by it, often by those who don’t realise that their disdain for parenting at times can feel like their hands are in your throat and stomach, squeezing, squeezing.

Sometimes the thoughts come that God has forgotten me and maybe I am a fool and all the atheists are right but then I come back. I always come back. It’s okay to be angry with God, to be sad that He isn’t here moving mountains and healing my pain but that’s not what (my) God is, that’s some idea of God that gets spread by those of different faith. God isn’t moving chess pieces and causing earthquakes and killing children with cancer. God is under the covers with me in each sob. God is hurting with me too.

It’s hard to see past the ache with a body full of hormones, too, and I always try to remember this. Sometimes the drugs are tough physically and other times I just want to throw things at the wall or sleep until Saturday comes. Sleep until the baby comes. Maybe it’ll never come.

We are focusing our efforts on our house just now, and progress is slowly being made. It feels like we’ll never get to move into it but 8 short months ago it felt like we’d never leave Scotland, so here we are. Time is moving so fast yet so slow. I am constantly reminded that good things take time and living in the future doesn’t make me happy. I need to find smiles today.

They say laughing is good for IVF/implantation rates. I find solace in yoga, meditation, crying, YouTube marathons, and my husband. And the fluffy dog here helps too.

 

 

And winter sunrises. 5 minutes a day I see the above and things feel peaceful and okay.

I hope you are okay. I will be.

Progress and anxiety

Pals, I need to quit Google.

We’re getting close to making progress on the next steps in our treatment and I just can’t. stop. looking. up. shit.

I thought I’d be excited and looking forward to it all but I’m more anxious than anything. I have written a list of questions for the clinic, and looked at possible dates for protocols. We’ve decided I may not work until we’re through with this first cycle of IVF – we’re putting a lot of money and time and energy on the line to try and make this self-funded cycle successful and decided that a few more weeks without me earning a salary is not going to bankrupt us. We are so lucky to be in this position. I never thought I’d be able to afford to not work for a few months, let alone pay for a cycle of IVF. We’re so grateful, and we need to throw everything we can at this cycle.

So do I have an update? Not really. It has been a strange transition back to life here. I feel like we never left in a way, but in other moments I feel so lost and foreign back here. I don’t know where anything is, I don’t understand some of the systems in place, and we’re grown adults living upstairs at my folks’ place. It’s weird.

We’ve been up north for a week or so having time with family, but we’re heading back to our family home soon. We’ve started looking at the job listings, made a few plans for our home that we move into in April, and set up bank accounts for D and a new phone number for me. Progress.

 

 

I do miss our home. And then I remember that it’s not our home anymore. 8 years is a big chunk of your life and it feels like we left in such a blur of stress and sadness and activity. Our friends are only an internet link away, but it is confusing and unsettling. We want to be here, but we want to be there.

I guess that’s how it will always be.

I’ll write soon with further updates on how things are progressing, but there may not be too much detail for a while – some things we need to keep to ourselves. But I hope that I’ll still be able to make you feel you’re not alone – this infertility business cuts you to the bone and it’s all you can do some days to keep your head above water.

Keep swimming.

New year thoughts

Well here we are. 2017. The new year.

A year of change; a year of possibilities and hope.

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We’re in New Zealand now and it still feels surreal. It still feels like one of our usual visits, when we spend 3-4 weeks living in this house and then get on very long flights “home” again. I still catch myself calling Scotland home when I refer to it. I’ll need to change that.

This is home now.

In other developments, we are seeing the new RE/specialist at the end of the month, and we’ll also need to get a GP soon (we’re hoping to get into my old family practice). We’re not sure how quickly things will move forward, but it’s good to have a plan. If I’ve learned anything over the last year it’s that nothing in infertility happens in a hurry.

I’m hoping this will be our year. If nothing else progresses but we end up moving towards parenthood, then it’ll be a good one.

No resolutions this year. Just small changes and everything crossed.

Hope and twee

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It feels so long ago, but when we started this process, we had so many grand dreams and ideas.  It’s easy to get caught up in the joy of making a family and the excitement that it could happen at any time – bam! You’ll be pregnant and you’ll be counting down to bringing home a baby. What a life change. It’s really big and very exciting.

Last year I subscribed to a few accounts on Instagram/Twitter, picked up my parenting reading (because I have always been a parenting nerd), and of course, got the pregnancy apps. Oh the apps!

And what I’ve always done, and continued to do, was a lot of blog reading. I still do it now, but my reading has switched to infertility/IVF blogs. But back in those early days of trying, the blog posts I loved the most were the cheesiest ones.

I got excited by bump posts. Symptoms listed, things bought for baby, photos of nurseries. Pictures, maternity clothes…

I know, I know.  It’s considered cheesy, overdone, just so twee. But I got swept up in their excitement.  I got excited for them, because it meant that I was getting a bit excited for me too.

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I planned a baby book. I am a planner, so I wanted something very specific as a momento to give my child when they were older. When I couldn’t find anything (affordable) with the prompts I wanted, I made my own. I ruled pages into designs, sketched out ideas, wrote notes. I made something that I could write in and feel excited to use.

Of course, now it’s in a drawer.

But I still want the twee. I want to someday do the posts detailing and chronicling our journey. People may roll their eyes, but it’s a privilege often taken for granted by the fertile to be a bit silly in your excitement around your growing belly.

I’m often scared to do anything and possibly even think that I’ll get to do it, but I want to still have that excitement. I am pre-emptively excited about sharing our excitement.

At least today I am.

That’s the trouble with infertility. Some days it is just too crushing – you can’t read about anyone else’s joy, you hide from the world, you mute everything you can.  You spend a lot of time in your infertility groups discussing how to hide painful things/subjects on social media – we need to cushion yourselves.

On tough days you instead read the realistic stories and try and lift up your friends who are hurting when their cycles keep failing. Other days? You want the hope. You go in search of IVF success stories. Of smiling babies. Of excited mothers-to-be.

You want the twee.

(Mamas, I’m excited for you).

Limbo

So we’re still in limbo.  As I said in an earlier post, we’re waiting til we get home to proceed with anything.

It’s a weird place to be in, and coincides with being in limbo in so many areas of our lives. We can’t sell the house til the bathroom is fixed. We can’t plan when we leave the UK until I know what’s happening with my work.  We can’t have a baby until we pay to make one.

Life is weird, guys.

 

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It’s kinda nice to not be trying, though. We’re just relaxing and enjoying ourselves and that’s a good part of it. I do panic a bit that we’re not taking our vitamins reliably – it’s a help to both of us if we remember to do it, particularly as it takes 90 days to be truly effective and all that.

 

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In other news, autumn is basically here. It’s definitely getting cooler and the leaves are changing.

Life keeps changing, and I keep running to keep up.