IF and the City

I used to feel sad when I watched the episodes with Charlotte failing over and over again while trying to get pregnant. Little did I know that my own attempts would lead me on the same sad journey. We've now passed 4 years in the trenches. 6 failed IVF/ICSI cycles = nothing. Time for something new - donor eggs. Success at last. Now for round 2.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Other Unexpected Reactions

I continue to be surprised by some of the reactions we’ve received.

In my last post I mentioned that we had had to let Mr. S. parents know our news via the phone due to an outbreak of shingles. This weekend we were able to go over and see them in person.

Once we’d settled down after the ‘wonderful news’ exclamations, I was surprised to hear that they themselves hadn’t told any of their friends or extended family.

‘We haven’t told anyone else yet’ the told us.
‘Well you can tell people, we’re 16 weeks now’.
‘Oh, we felt funny telling anyone’.

Later I asked Mr. S -
‘Why aren’t they telling anyone, we waited till we were really safe to tell them (14 weeks!), are they still worried that something could go wrong?’
‘Maybe, but maybe they’re also still getting used to the idea, like us’.

I’ll leave it alone, but I find it slightly disarming. It’s taken ME all this time, and I’m still scared, I still check the loo every time I go. If I’m at work, and other people are in there, I wait for them to leave to check – I’m scared that if I see blood I’ll scream.

But that’s me, I’m an IF veteran with a bloody awful history. I’m not sure if this is a form of neediness, but when I told my mother my fears, she assured me that as an obstetric nurse, once you make 16 weeks you’re safe.

Yes, there are awful things that can happen, and believe me, I’m aware of ALL those things. But at this point, a second trimester loss is a less than 1% chance, and (god help us) should it happen, I would expect it to be treated as an out-of-the-ordinary horrific event. It’s not something that I want people around me considering as a real possibility, I want them to be excited.

Maybe this is the first of my own expectations to be squashed – my expectations on how I anticipated ‘expectant’ grandparents to be?

I’ve also become aware of the desire for people to believe we are The Miracle Couple.

My mother for one, she told me that she reckons that though we needed fertility treatment to achieve this pregnancy, that we will easily fall pregnant with a second!

Mrs S. Senior told me that she expects that once she does start tell our news, that she’ll get the 20 questions ie ‘is it an IVF baby’.

‘Well we don’t mind, you can tell people that this is the result of fertility treatment’
‘I’ll tell them that it’s your business’ (and not theirs!)

Jeez, it’s not our intention to burst anyone’s bubble, but there is obviously still a need to want to believe that ‘we’re normal’.

Our intentions have always been to be completely open about using Star’s egg, this makes it hard.

‘Maybe you should just blurt it out to everyone and think ‘I don’t give a f*** what you think’! best friend Flossy advised. (More on Flossy later)
‘Yeah well, that approach might work in some cases, but this is not the right time to do that – particularly with my family.’

Apart from a difficult sister, things have progressed with my fathers’ illness. I don’t want to go into detail right now, but my sister has advised that she believes he is at the beginning of the ‘final phase’ of his illness. What we don’t know is how long that phase will last. Maybe six months, maybe nine at best. We haven’t been given the blunt assessment yet from the doctor.

But for now, he is overjoyed with our news, why would I want to challenge that?

Avacado – around 41/2 inches (11.4cm). From now we now enter a period of rapid growth. That should be interesting, because I’m still wearing all my own clothes and do not look pregnant. It doesn’t phase me, except for the fact that without yet feeling any kicking or movement, it kind of plays into the insecurities a little ...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


A week or so ago we started telling people our news – our families and some of our friends.

We decided we didn’t want to do the GRAND ANNOUNCEMENT email. We’d tell our family first then friends as we see them.

We’ve also decided that we’ll tell people the whole story when we’re ready, right now, we’re pregnant and that’s all we want to focus on. This is the short version – the truth is we will tell some people outright we’ve done a donor cycle (Mr. S parents), and others with what we’re referring to as ‘measured transparency’ that is when the time is right (my parents). For some, now is not the right time.

Mr. S mother currently has shingles, so our face-to-face announcement was shelved. In true Mr. S low-key style he slotted the news into the middle of his conversation on the phone. Something like ... ‘Umm, well since shingles is contagious, we won’t come over ... because Sparkle is pregnant ... anyway hope you’re not feeling too bad’. Consequently it took Mrs. S Senior a little while to register. Once she had, she was crying ‘tears of joy’. It’s a wonderful feeling to make other people so happy

My family got an email (since most don’t live in the same country as us), and (mostly) they are all very happy for us, my mother said it was the best news she’d had in months (my father is not well at the moment). Two of my sisters and my brother are equally happy. However ... one of my sisters ... you may remember her from either this post. We are estranged, we have been for some time, but in recent months we’ve reached the point of emails and had a couple of phone calls.

Two days after I’d sent my email – nothing – I asked my other sister what could be going on? ‘She’s jealous’ was the answer.

Keh? Jealous? She has two children and everything else she wants in the world.
‘She doesn’t want you to have what she has’
‘Well that’s way too complicated for me’.

The weekend passed. Nothing. Monday morning at work I check my email – 10pm the night before an email had been sent. I read it, took a deep breath and read it again.
How strange, it was a ‘copy and paste’ of my email congratulations to her on her last pregnancy (now a baby boy).

There is something quite unnerving about having your own words emailed back to you – it’s a weird feeling – because ‘our’ words are us – kind of an alphabetical fingerprint. We all talk and write with our own style – mine happens to be mostly bereft of ‘flowery sentiment’. My sisters’ isn’t. Her email pregnancy announcements were giddy – ‘over-the-moon’, ‘ecstatic’, ‘overjoyed’ – you know the types of verbs. Mine, on the other-hand: ‘very happy’. Full stop. That’s just who I am, I find it embarrassing expressing - or more accurately – too ego-centric to be expressing such over-the-top emotions.

Mr. S decided there were three possible explanations (once he’d stopped laughing) 1. It was a complete coincidence – we decided that was around a 1% chance; 2. She didn’t like my congratulatory note at the time, and decided to send it back – a taste of my own medicine or 3. There’s something going on that we don’t know about – she’s angry about something and we’re not aware of it.

Either way, this level of immaturity astounds me. It is also something I can’t be bothered with, you know we’re estranged for a reason. She has grown into a selfish woman, her natural competitiveness with her siblings has slowly poisoned her and developed into something horrific, she has lost her ability to feel happy for people.

I’ve toyed with the idea of emailing back something smart like ‘these words look familiar’ or in fact phoning and ignoring the email and having a chat. I’ve decided that to do anything is to get back involved with this ridiculous behaviour either by questioning it or validating it by ringing up and never mentioning it.

Once I used to keep these things private (in real life), I had a warped sense of loyalty and protecting her dignity, now I tell my friends, in part because I need to be told – this is strange behaviour.
My friends believe she has become psychotic ... so does Mr. S.

Infertility has taught me to walk away from toxic relationships ...

I’ve raved on longer than I thought on this, so I’ll save my post on ‘my best friend has a big mouth’ for next time.

15 weeks – not sure what the fruit is – just a measurement – 4 inches – that’s 11cm for those in the world who converted to metrics in the 70’s(!)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Not Hiding

Gawd how awful, I feel like a cliché.

My recent absence from blogging doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that I’ve had a successful cycle, but more to do with the fact that ‘The City just had a week at ‘The Beach, and on returning home, found that our internet had been cut off.

In the intervening weeks – we have progressed – strangely in my opinion – from a ‘jumbo shrimp’ – to a lemon. Maybe I just haven’t seen a jumbo shrimp, since we have what we call King Prawns around here, and that’s a strange turn in development in my view.

So we’ve arrived at a lemon. A very well hidden lemon in fact, since I look ... well ... kind of normal and not pregnant

In turns out that the women in my family only really start showing around 5 months. Goody I thought, maybe I won’t have to tell people till then ... people like ‘work’.

Last week I had my first meeting with our Obstetrician. I liked him, just my kind of doctor – older, experienced and very steady.

‘I’m currently seeing 5 other women pregnant through donor eggs’ he told me.

Great, now I like him even more.

He took my family history, weighed me, then got out the ‘doppler’ ... yikes.
Of course we didn’t hear anything straight away, that would be what happens to normal women.

‘It takes a little while to find it, because you’re still small’
Then amid the swishing watery sounds ... we heard the steady and regular ‘Chooo ... Chooo ... Chooo ‘
‘We have a baby!’
[Phew I thought, it’s been two weeks since my last ultrasound]

‘So this’ he said showing me a folded cardboard form ‘is what you carry around everywhere, this is your pregnancy log, you bring it with you everytime you come here, and take it if you ever go to the doctor’
‘Right’ [goodness it’s an official document]

So I checked in on a couple of other things – hospital (taken care of when I get to 20 weeks), did Mr. S need to come (yes, he’d like to meet him, but not to nag him to come to every appointment). Then I mentioned that I wasn’t a woman with a birth plan. I was abit scared.

‘I don’t have a misty-eyed dream of how I want this birth to be, my goal is to have a live and healthy baby’ (I’ve been wondering if this is bad, EVERYONE has a birth plan).
‘This is a precious baby, it’s taken you lots of work to get here, we’ll be taking everything steady-as-we-go and planning on having the most boring pregnancy possible.’

Ooooh goodness me, that's just what I want too.

As I left the nurse made my next three appointments, and handed me a plastic container 'you'll need to bring a urine sample everytime you come'.

I have a couple of other posts in my head - not just pregnancy updates. Things directly to do with being a donor egg pregnancy and how we're dealing with telling people. Or how we're not.

I also don't know how to do a ticker thing.