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, April 24, 2007

Sugar & Spice

It seems to be a big thing here whether you find out gender or not.

Almost everyone we know hasn’t found out – but those that do – will more often than not announce a name at the same time.

Mr. S and I just always thought we would. Maybe we figured since we started out with the help of modern science, we continue? Who knows, but I’ve always thought that the labour and delivery will be enough of a surprise for me in one go.

I keep calling it intuition, but quite unexpectedly as my pregnancy progressed I became more and more certain I was carrying a girl. The day we got a positive result was the first time I thought so and it didn’t go away, once I started feeling movement, I became convinced. I stayed convinced, when my chiropractor told me I was having a boy.

‘But I just feel like I’m having a girl’ I kept saying.

So much so that at a wedding a couple of weeks ago, when another couple asked us if we would find out – I told them confidently we were having a girl. Of course Mr. S guffawed at the time and said that people always thought they knew and were always wrong. NOW ... he says I had a 50% chance of being right, so the odds were in my favour.

So we decided we would find out and just tell people we were keeping it to ourselves. We’ll see how long we hold out.

As for names, we have around 10, and they’re more or less just thoughts.

In the nearly five years since we first started trying to have a baby, most of our favourites have been taken.

It’s a kind of WIP research project. A friend suggested if she was having a girl, she’d investigate French names.

‘That’s a good idea, why don’t you do that?’ enthused Mr. S.
‘Yeah okay, it’ll be just like when I investigated donor eggs won’t it?’ I suggested somewhat sarcastically.

The problem is, Mr. S. will err on the side of conservative, and I don’t want to.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I want to do something idiotic, but I just don’t get the ‘but they’ll get teased at school’ line.

EVERYONE gets teased at school – every Julie.Smith or Karen.Jones – got a nickname.

BTW, I told Star, and she said she’d thought I’d be having a girl too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I always wondered what it would feel like once the baby would start moving. I wondered if it would be a strange feeling, not entirely pleasant that you put up with. I think it was one of those things I was kind of scared about.

In fact, the opposite is true.

It’s a lovely feeling.

In fact it’s made me think about a little person. A little person turning around and around, and stretching in its bed. Already, with its own little personality.

Yesterday we had our 19 week scan.

By now we were able to rule out 75% of abnormalities – including cleft palate, spina bifida, club feet and any heart abnormalities. We saw the brain had developed to the right stage – I think we were told the ‘figure 8’ was responsible for current growth and movement. We switched colour on and off to check blood flow from the heart, and the umbilical cord confirming all was good and that we had a 3-strand cord. We even saw little kidneys. Waist, head, limbs and spine measurements taken.

Our baby was v.naughty, did not stop moving the entire time - even when asked by the sonographer. At times I could feel the movement while watching it! Hid its head under my belly button, and pushed its legs down so low it took ages to check for feet. Hands moving the entire time – at one point both hands in front of face – peek-a-boo style. It made it difficult to check.

‘See there, that’s one hand, see the 4 fingers?’
‘Yeah I do ... when does the 5th finger grow?’
‘Oh, it’s around the other side, there – the thumb’

We were unable to get a decent head profile, or a frontal face image – as I’ve seen in other peoples scan pictures. Our best shot – baby lying almost in a complete circle – feet nearly touching head!

This is a great outcome. As good as it could be. Unfortunately an IF veteran will always worry about the ‘unknown’ 25%. Hate to think what that includes.

We were spot on in growth – 19 weeks. Ha! So I am ‘normal’ even though I’m not showing that much.

An official zucchini (or courgette if you prefer).

Oh yeah, my intuition has been correct, we’re having a girl. But we’re going to keep it to ourselves for a while.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I remember reading a feature written by a journalist where he was bemoaning the predicament he had found himself in at social gatherings since having a baby.
He would find that the host would inevitably say ‘Oh meet so-and-so, they’ve got a baby too’. He found himself wedged in the company of people he had nothing in common with – except that they were both fathers.

I think it starts even earlier than that.

Since I have ‘come out’ at work, I now find myself inundated with other people’s baby photo’s.

‘Oh you’re having a baby, I’ll have to send you the photo’s of my daughter’s Easter Parade(!)’

And she did – six photo’s emailed to me within 10 minutes. I gave them a polite cursory glance, then deleted them, then thought, what now? Do I have to rush over breathlessly and gush?

That’s the second time it happened in one day. The other time, I was handed photo’s to look at while the doting father looked on proudly.

Because I’m having a baby, am I now expected to become a certain ‘mumsie’ kind of person?

The seeming contradictory thing with me and my struggles with infertility are that though I’ve been absolutely driven in my goal to have a family, I’ve never been the desperate clucky type. Before my struggles, I never goo-gooed or ga-gaed around babies, and it would seem that gene hasn’t kicked in since.

I loathe all the predictable baby ravings.

I think its part of the reason I took so long to tell people at work – I wanted to hold back the wave of baby-mania for as long as possible.

I mean clearly I am not anti-baby – just all the bull**** that seems to come with it.

I realise it’s fruitless to fight against what now has become the norm – the total worshipping of babies/children – but do I have to subvert my entire identity to become a mother?

We all wonder how profoundly we have been affected by IF, and how we will differ from the regular fertile mothers, but in my case this isn’t a sign of any lingering bitter attitude towards the fertile, it’s just the way I’ve always been. I wonder if I’ll have to keep a lid on my natural cynicism in order to deflect any accusations of ‘oh she was infertile, that’s why she is the way she is’. Maybe all that play-acting at being normal along the way will have to continue way, way into the future?

I guess it’s just as well I became good at it.

We would most definitely seem to have hit vegetables – Week 18 – large sweet potato.
I’m not entirely sure, but I 'think' I may have started feeling the first signs of movement – last night - a weird fluttery, bubbly feeling – low down – just above my pubic bone. Then again toay. At first I thought it was the gross daily intrusion of gas, then I realised it was in the wrong spot. I’m chuckling to myself – I still don’t look pregnant and I can feel movement!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

You're Having A Baby?!

So I finally told work my news.

I didn’t get the predicted response. I had been told to expect that most people would say they suspected as much.

Quite the opposite in my case.

‘Are you serious?’
‘I had no idea’
‘4 months, you’re kidding!’
‘I sit next to you, and I haven’t noticed anything’

Interesting isn’t it?

‘Maybe because you’ve been through so much IVF, you’re used to the tiredness and dealing with it at work, you didn’t seem any different’ Good friend Flossy said.

Well maybe.

Of course now, 2 days later, EVERYONE is telling me that they can now tell!

‘What are you going to do, are you going to come back or not?' my boss asked.
‘Sorry to be vague, but the truth is, I really don’t know, at the very least I’ll be taking 6 months off ... the very least’.
My work entitlements mean that I get paid 3 months + my leave entitlements, and my job will be held for me for a year. A contractor will be found for this time.
My boss is okay with this, his wife was a driven career woman, once she had her first child she decided she wanted to stay home.

It’s not something I can really think about right now, I just don’t know how I’ll feel. Economics may mean I have to go back. Deciding that we want to try for another baby may also determine what I do. How is it that some women know exactly what they’re going to do, maybe everything else has gone to plan in their lives?

Today was also the day of my second visit to my Ob. I got a shock. I’ve put on over 2 kilos since my last visit.

I was shocked because I still fit all my usual clothes.

My appointment was after lunch, so I had downed a huge fruit smoothie on my way, and in fact was dying to go to the loo. I’m hoping there was a lot of water weight.

‘Try not to put too much weight on in the first 20 weeks’ my Ob advised.
He also advised that he wasn’t worried about me at this point since when women put on too much weight it goes mainly on thighs and backside and since I’m still easily fitting my jeans that hasn’t happened.

Next visit is first thing in the morning AND I’m taking my shoes off.

Other than that shock, it was great to hear the heartbeat again – found straight away this time.

Weird size comparison this week (17) a large onion!

Morphology scan has been booked for the 16th April.