Saturday, 29 December 2007

Different Town, Different Headspace

Thanks so so much for the comments left on my last post - feel SO much better just reading them!!
This computer keeps shutting down so I'll be quick ... things are better, I had a complete ceasefire with stepson and explained to him everything he was doing that wasn't ok, I cried and said I was having a pregnancy scare and please, please just be a bit mature.
Ever since then he has been great - and all of my festering resentment has been lifted. I nearly went home - if I had bled anymore I would have. I have had no more blood - it was just that one time. TMI alert - the blood looked old, and Mr TC and I had (ahem) relations the night before. Needless to say, I know exactly where each hospital is in every town we travel to, and Mr TC aint getting NO nooky till after the baby is born. I feel Monkey kicking every day - don't know what sex, but I have a feeling I'm having another boy. Which will be wonderful, I truly don't mind either way.
I can't wait to read up on how everyones holidays went, I really hope that everyone had a lovely time.
Today we are in Dunedin, it's amazing. We went to the Cadburys chocolate factory and then a swimming pool with big waterslides. (I didn't go on them ,,, just watched).
The driving is ok - Tiger is in his element, even though it's EXTREMELY hard sometimes, it's so lovely to see him play with his big bro and sis.
This morning I slept in - had my earplugs in and eyemask on, they all trooped in my room with hot donuts, coffee, and the newspaper ... yay!! Now that's what I call a holiday!!
xoxoxoxxo

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Merry Christmas!!!!


Here's a pic of our tree - I could have decorated it a bit better, oops!


I really hope everyone has/had a lovely Christmas. In point form, because I still need to pack and it's late ......



  • We had a pretty good Christmas Day - except I'm quite crabby and cranky from cooking and cleaning for everyone;

  • SS (stepson) is driving me a bit nuts already, disrespectful, arrogant, waking me up two nights in a row when he's going to bed NOISILY at 2am. I then stare at the ceiling for 2 hours, trying to get back to sleep;

  • For Christmas lunch I made a roast beef, garlic prawns, chicken and thyme lemon skewers (kebabs), mexican salad, herb pesto, and gravy YUM

  • We all watched Ace Ventura after lunch and laughed;

  • Very, very excited to go overseas tomorrow. I haven't been overseas for years - Mr TC never has! Duty free here we come! We've hired a car and driving around the South island of New Zealand, staying in about 6 different hotels in different towns. I can't go on the action adventures - but I can DEFINITELY go to the Cadburys Chocolate Factory in Dunedin;

  • I've been thinking a lot of those still in the IF trenches, and just wishing and willing you on.

I can't wait to catch up on everyone properly, I'll be haunting a skanky internet cafe very soon.


I had a dream that we were all on the plane and it was skidding out of control on the tarmac, we were about to die because it was going to burst into flames. Hopefully that won't come true - I also dreamt that Kevin Federline was teaching me dance moves, so far that hasn't happened!!


Stay safe and Happy Holidays xoxoxoxoxox

Friday, 21 December 2007

You had me at 'hello'.

I've always been such a morbid creature. Even as a child, I'd ponder my own mortality. After the two dead dads fiasco, my friends around me started unfortunately dropping like flies. Add the most negative mother in the world who would turn all of her children against each other ... and now I kind of always seemed to expect the worst. I think of the most awful and macabre scenarios. I've had DBT's* most days so far, in the past 18 weeks. Driving down to the big ultrasound this morning, I was working out :
a) Would Mr TC take the kids on his own to NZ if I got a refund on my ticket
b) Who would help me through it all if it has turned to shit
c) Was that dead kangaroo by the side of the freeway an omen of things to come.


Turns out, non of my contingency plans are needed; and the poor dead roo had nothing to do with me after all. From 4 cells to a f*cken superstar ..... here is Monkey -









Ummmm ....... I'm pregnant?!?!?!? The other shoe has not dropped - even after an HOUR of non-stop ultrasounding today. Monkey scooted and kicked, punched, yawned, flipped over and promptly went to sleep. Mindblowing.

I look at people and just marvel that anyone made it out through the whole gestating period alive, it seems so fraught with risk and danger at every turn. But babies do get born healthy every day ... why not my baby? It's just so surreal, after dreaming and wishing and pining for so many years. And thinking it would never happen. I can't believe my husband had sperm, freaks sake. My cluckiness has now gone into overdrive. I can feel kicking most days, tiny little tappity taps. I feel extremely blessed and just darn lucky.

You know how you have to have a full bladder for an ultrasound? Well, I was walking around before I got called in ..... farted, and pissed my pants. I half ran up the hospital corridor, furtively checking out the damage .... piss all over my denim shorts, visible to anyone who cared to look. How embarrassment.

xox

* DBTs - dead baby thoughts

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Blog Botox

In keeping with the plastic surgery theme of the last post, I decided to spruce my digs up a little bit, renovate before the New Year.

In news just in ..... are you f*cking serious?????? Just another example of how warped the world can be. For the best description of the fickleness of it all, check out this post by Sara.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Better than last year .....

Peace on Earth

Heaven on earth
We need it now.
I'm sick of all of this ..
hangin' around.

Sick of sorrow
Sick of the pain
Sick of hearing
Again and again

That there's gonna be
Peace on earth.

Where I grew up
There weren't many trees.
Where there was we'd tear them down
And use them on out enemies.

They say that what you mock
Will surely overtake you
And you become a monster
So the monster will not break you.

And it's already gone too far
You said that if you go in hard,
You won't get hurt.

Jesus can you take the time
To throw a drowning man a line
Peace on earth

We hear it every Christmas time
Where hope and history won't rhyme,
so what's it worth?

This peace on earth.

-Bono, U2


Three more sleeps till my 18 week scan - I'm a bit worried (no, really!!!) ... because since yesterday I have been getting really strong pains directly in my tummy, so strong that they have been taking my breath away. F*ck I hope everything is ok in there, I'm hoping it's just pains from my uterus growing, or something??

I asked Mr TC to buy some Christmas cards - he comes home with a pack of 24 cards, all with the same picture on it. It's santa flying on his sleigh, dressed in a black teddy with matching black stockings, suspenders, and stilettos saying "What the hell. No-one ever sees me." I sure did marry one classy guy, huh? (Obviously, I can't post them to ANYONE.) Tiger spied them, laughing and shouting out "Dad. DAD ... is Santa a girl???"

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Why I Love Thursdays, and the Gender Bender

Modem has now been installed, I am whole again. Thursday today, Monkey is 17 weeks old. Getting close to viability ... I can almost smell it. I seem to have stopped a lot of unecessary and unproductive worry, it's such a wasted emotion. Most of the things we worry about don't happen anyway, and if they do happen, all the worry in the world wouldn't have helped. So basically, I keep telling my head to shut the fuck up I am not listening.

It has been raining, raining, and raining here. I had our Christmas tree all set up next to the fireplace, with the usual tacky nativity setting complete with baby Jesus. This year, Shrek, Buddha, and Sonic the Hedgehog have all crowded around the manger too, which should make for interesting conversation in there. Anyway, it's so cold that I had to move everything off and move the tree so we could light the damn fire. I don't really enjoy the temperate weather up where I live. (I HATE the cold). Every year I count down until spring and then glorious summer. At the moment, I feel personally ripped off - it's freezing and the fire's on in the middle of December. I possibly could have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) ... ahhhhh, sorry. I'm pregnant, so shut the fuck up over a few clouds ....

Now. The gender of Monkey. With Tiger, I so, so hoped for a boy. I never said it out loud, because I didn't want Tiger to know or worry, (if he was a girl.) I have very, very strong feelings about gender disappointment .... my parents had 2 year old twin girls when I was in utero, my father was hanging for a boy. And told everyone so. In those days you couldn't find out. So, when I was finally born (I have heard so many times from my mother what an awful birth she had with me, I didn't want to come out, nearly died, etc etc.) My dad found out I was a girl and promptly went to the pub - for two days, what all good alcoholics do. He never visited me, and didn't want that much to do with me .... ummmm, ever.

My mother left him on my fourth birthday after he threw a typewriter at her, in one of his many violent displays of affection. Every single memory I have of him, he's either angry at me or indifferent. Right up to the last time I saw him alive, when I was 12. He loved his twins ... but me? Meh. Prick - seriously, he missed out on knowing me, I'm a lovely person, rah rah .... but it still hurts, knowing how much I let him down. Mum has often told me over the years "If you had been a boy, Topcat, you would have saved my marriage. Hic." What - the fucked up violent marriage? Irony is, I am his spitting image, even down to his posture. And - I bet I could've drank the c*nt under the table. (Not now, but in my good bad old days).

So, I guess, to admit that I wouldn't mind a girl is perhaps a bit hypocritical of me. I mean, I keep having dreams that Monkey is a girl. During one of my sisters spiritual healing sessions, they reckon it is a girl too. (Our childhood was so bad, we need spiritual healing! I'm laughing - why do I find that funny?) So, the other week, the doc who did my amnio printed off all these 3d images of Monkey. I swear I can see a penis. But, I can also see two little horns on the forehead too - and I KNOW I haven't fucked the prince of darkness lately. When I thought I saw a penis I was disappointed .... but then relieved! Because I don't care what anyone says - but girls are often more emotional and higher maintenance than boys. Plus, I know Tiger would ADORE a baby brother. Bottom line is, I truly do not mind what sex Monkey is, as long as he/she is healthy. The massive difference between me and my 'dad' is that I believe that children are a blessing, whatever they turn out to be. He really missed out, that guy - ended up dying alone in his bed and got found with dozens of empty vodka bottles in his pokey little flat, at the age of around 45.

Mr TC's Clueless Example No. 2756:
Today I received a phonecall giving me the final ok from the doctors about the whole UNECESSARY amnio procedure I had. They fastrack results in one day, but still grow the cells over two weeks to identify any rogue chromosomes.
Me: "Hey hon, we got the all clear from the results."
Mr TC: "Oh right. So what did you end up doing? Did you donate them all?"
Me: Collapsed with laughter, realising that my preoccupied husband honestly thought I was talking about our frozen embryos.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Crazy

Ahh! I'm sitting in a skanky little internet cafe with eleven minutes left to post. I need to wash my hands as soon as I get out of here. Mr TC has broken our modem, so I have been computerless for days. The agony! It's like being back in the "olden days", as my stepson would say. So, here's a few ramblings ...

I have been worried again this week, just didn't 'feel' pregnant anymore and nearly had to take myself to a doctor to at least hear the heartbeat and placate my neurotica. But I pulled myself together, built a bridge, and got over it. I rang my sister and said "The baby's back again!" And Monkey is! I can feel - movement in there, I swear. Systematic kicking, actually. Next scan is Friday week, can't wait.

I have the mother of all posts coming up. About ... my mother. I've purposely not mentioned her that much, but the dam seems to have burst and I suddenly have a lot to say. I apologise for the torrent in advance.

Ummmm, five minutes left ..... let's see, I have back fat and armfat, thanks to all of the cravings I have given in to. Food. Tastes. So. Good. Mr TC is a well built guy - but he goes "Hon!! You're eating more than me!!" (That is SERIOUSLY saying something) I looked up from my second hotdog loaded with tomato sauce and mustard and remind him that food is my new porn. (As opposed to my old porn, which was just ... well, porn, but that's what crashed my computer last year and isn't it funny what comes up when you write stream of conscious!!!)

Cannot WAIT for Christmas, we are so excited to see stepson and stepdaughter. A big family do, than Chrissie day just us, then fly to New Zealand on Boxing Day ... for 2 weeks!! I really need to write a will - if we die in a plane crash, at least we'll all die together and won't leave anyone orphans. See what I do? I have an amazing holiday coming up and I've already pre-empted the plane crash. Bearing in mind, I've already thought that if the scan is not good next week I will be cancelling Christmas and going NOWHERE. Sometimes my glass isn't half empty ... it's actually a few drops of piss being held in a paper cup with holes in it, so the piss is dribbling all over my new shoes.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Topcat & Tiger

Tiger turned six on the weekend. Six! I remember three months before he was born, sitting mesmerized and horrified watching the towers falling in NY, scared about the world he was going to be born into. And scared about how I would handle becoming a mother, after so many years out in the wilderness.
Tiger has taught me so, so much. Corny as it sounds, he has made me want to change into a better person. Wherever he is, I am Home. He is proof that Love has the power to conquer all, even addictions and depression and demons. I wrote a piece on him after he was born, and called it "This New Fierce Love." I love him with such a ferocity - I tell him I love him every day. He is such a warm, smart, sensitive and caring little boy. He has traits that are just his - not from us, but he has developed himself. He is most excited about the baby. He says random things like "When the baby is born, it will need a shower because it will stink. It hasn't had a shower for nine months." My favourite was when he walked up to me and asked me to open my mouth. I did - I had to leave my mouth open while he talked to the baby, so the baby could hear what he was saying. Tiger read out his soccer trophy, and said to the baby that maybe it would play soccer too. Such a wise little man - "Mum, we don't know if the baby is a boy or a girl. But the BABY knows what it is, doesn't it?" (I'm sure that's true!)
I haven't been a perfect mother; impossible. I acknowledge my faults, and say sorry if I have been unfair or cranky. I like to talk about our feelings, to teach him to be aware of the world around him, not take things for granted.
I wish every single mother-in-waiting the chance to realise their dream of having children.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Where do all of the Embryos Go?

The surplus ones; the ones that didn't get chosen to be transferred so now they wait, forlornly in the freezer. I must admit, I really didn't think this particular scenario through. In all of my Ivfs-R-Us literature, there's NOTHING that talks about different options for all of the .... spare babies. I'm guessing there's three.

1) Donate them to science for research
2) Give them up for adoption
3) Destroy them

I cannot bear the thought of destroying them. Isn't that, ummm, kind of like having a termination, except the only difference being they're not actually in your body? How slippery is this dangerous territory that I'm on, talking about such things?

Thing is, due to recents events aka "The Hope that this pregnancy won't all end tits up", well, I have been thinking. This baby is definitely it for us - Mr Topcat is MOST definitely done. We have eight frozen embryos. Eight genetic variations on Mr TC and myself. Eight potential children, frozen in time. The thought of people doing stem cell research on them makes me feel a bit weird. I don't know that much about it. How long do they grow them for? Past a beating heart? I don't know that I would agree to that.

Which leads me to embryo adoption. The only thing I know about it is watching an American documentary on it last year at my sisters house .... and every single woman who gave up her embryos had regret. I remember remarking on how they all seem to have made a mistake in giving them up. But - I read so many heartbreaking blogs. So many whose struggle to reproduce have led to them looking at different avenues. Sometimes, I'll be reading one and just think "If they don't get pregnant soon, I might offer them one of my embies." Then I realise that those children would be full-blood relatives of my .... children. That's a big call.

What if one of the frozen embies is a red haired girl, the spitting image of me and I get sent a photo of her and see myself, and regret that decision forever? But what's the alternative? Mr TC thinks to adopt them to infertile couples who have no eggs/sperm. Of course he does - everything is black and white in Mr TC world. Quite simple, really.

I just don't know. I came across a blog the other day of a Christian woman who urged people to remember that a fertilised egg is a human being, that she made the choice to transfer ALL of any embryos she and her husband made. They made 10. The first 2 didn't end in pregnancy, but the 3rd did. The next four didn't - the last time, she had 3 embryos transferred. One of them split into twins, and she had quads. She believes that this was Gods plan. I'm not saying it wasn't - or was. It was her choice, though. And she definitely had courage in her convictions.

I don't think there's anything Divine in me making 9 good quality embies, and another person making none. Some things you can't blame on God - just luck, or nature, I don't know. I would love to know what other people think about this, and I really hope I haven't offended anyone.

Now, as for the amnio aftermath ... well, let's just say that this blog is in danger. Of turning into a sickening, mind-numbing display of positivity and true happiness. (But no babydust - I promise.) I'm just so grateful that I get to still be pregnant. So glad that everything is ok. I feel like I've turned a corner - physically and emotionally. I feel like I have 'earnt' this pregnancy now .... I have abandoned most of my worry and fear. Fuck it feels good. My belly is growing - because there's a thriving baby in there, who I swear I felt kick yesterday. I'm still quite pissed, that the whole test was unnecessary. I was willing to not have the nuchal test, but got talked into it by a midwife "because of my age". But again, the whole thing has shifted something in me to finally enjoy, believe, and have faith in being pregnant. Just like a normal woman. HA.

A cockroach just CRAWLED OUT OF MY KEYBOARD, THEN DARTED BACK IN AGAIN. I freakin HATE bugs. I need to stop writing now.

Thanks for your support recently - I needed it so bad. I love (bug-free) blogging. xoxo

Saturday, 1 December 2007

The post I was praying I would get to write .....

MY BABY IS HEALTHY!!!!!

Never before have I cried from relief. I am just shedding psychic layers of fear right now .... feels like the most enormous weight has been lifted from me.

Oh my gosh. I'm having a baby in May!

That's it - I'm done with worry ... except ... I am a little freaked out with some pains in my belly that keep coming, I think from the amnio because I've never felt them before. REALLY wish the doctor hadn't told me that "infection can set in, and miscarriage could take up to two weeks after the amnio." Seriously wish I didn't know that. I keep holding my tummy when I get the pains, and tell Monkey to hang in there and to keep growing, to stay safe. Does anyone know if pains after amnio is normal?

I feel quite cranky too - wish I hadn't had the nuchal in the first place, it was all unnecessary. Except, I feel profoundly grateful. To have even made it this far; yes it's been a rocky few weeks but I know full well that a lot of women out there have suffered much greater things than this.
But to compare pain is fruitless really.

I have started to have faith in this pregnancy and this baby; which feels wonderful. I went to the newborn section at Kmart, and had a few tears in my eyes. I bought a size 000 onesie. In yellow - didn't find out Monkeys sex. Ha. I bet someone googling 'Monkey sex' just landed on my blog.

A big, massive thank you for all of your comments, prayers, and support. The power of positive thought is an amazing thing, thanks so so much for caring. I'm in the process of updating my blogroll, so if you'd like to be added please post a comment or email
lifeoftopcat at gmail dot com

I keep leaving comments to people but blogger eats them (the comments, not the people). Stacie, I read every single one of your posts and I've prayed for your beautiful boys to get strong soon. My heart goes out to you - you are one STRONG woman!!! You too Gemini Girl, your girls are just gorgeous, their names really suit them. I hope that you get to take them home soon.

Woo-hoo!! Elation, thy name is Topcat. xoxo

Thursday, 29 November 2007

The Day That I Can't Wait to be Over


That was as putrid as I expected. There's something so, so wrong about having a needle puncture the amniotic sac. Thank Christ it's done. I feel relieved already. I paid $125 to get my results fastracked, which takes 2 days. Of course, they don't work weekends so I'll find out on Monday. Mr TC has seriously pissed me off today - he couldn't come with me, so my friend came. Which I didn't mind, because she had her amnio done last year by the same doctor. I squeezed her hand so tightly. When the needle was put in, I freaked and held my breath; she was so soothing saying "Breathe mate, remember to breathe." He took a few goes to get the fluid, so he dug around a bit. I was just praying, please please let this be over with soon. Finally he got the 30ml, and it was over.


I have a few twinges and slight cramps, but they said to expect that. I looked at the vials - looks exactly like piss. Which is exactly what it is! I just need to take it easy for the next few days, especially the rest of today. I tried to call Mr TC straight after it - and he didn't answer his phone! When I finally got through, he was driving so sounded distracted and couldn't talk properly! Sometimes he just has no idea. Wanker. He is now under NO illusion of exactly how unhappy I am with him.


So now, I'm praying that I don't miscarry. I just want that little needle hole to seal off. It was AMAZING seeing the baby on the screen today. I still, fifteen weeks exactly, can't believe there's a baby in there. My husband had sperm! The baby was punching and kicking like crazy! The doc gave me 3d images too, I'll scan them in tomorrow.


I just want to be pregnant and ENJOY it. The past two weeks have taken so much from me. I pray to God that I get the all clear on Monday too. I can't fathom the thought of making that terrible decision at this late stage if there's something wrong. My lovely big sisters are bloody brilliant at supporting me through this whole thing. Rex actually had a high risk nuchal result and had an amnio 2 years ago, so she knows exactly what it's been like. Except she had to wait 6 weeks!


Lastly, I have finally decided to give the baby a nickname. It's funny - I could easily put tickers up when it was barely a bunch of cells, but thought I would be jinxing myself to name it. Well, I don't want to keep calling it "it", and we are trying not to find out the sex. (But - do you think it's bad if I found out and didn't tell anyone - not even Mr TC? He has a big mouth). For now, I'll call the bub Monkey. I'm hoping with my whole heart that I get to meet Monkey sometime next May.


I'm off. I made pumpkin soup (this morning) for dinner, to be followed by a massive block of chocolate. Which I will share with Tiger, but hide from Mr TC when he gets home.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Running to Stand Still

I drove down for my embryo transfer by myself, on the 1st September. When I got back, Mr TC had gone to the nursery and bought a beautiful spring blossom. Here he is planting it on that day, he told me that "It can implant, the same day you can," or something equally romantic. Such a lovely gesture - I love him so, so much. He has no idea of the existence of this blog.

I only have one prayer to Universe lately - that my baby doesn't miscarry from the amnio. I've always been freaked about amnios. Here I sit, nearing the end of a torturous two-week wait of a different kind, counting down the sleeps to go. (2). Just bring it on already. I have made myself quite comfortable in my bed of fear, grown used to feeling the panic and worry rise in me every morning I get up. That's all very familiar to me, from when I lived my different life many moons ago, but it's interesting to see how easy it is living with shit feelings all the time again.

I saw a new, improved, different doctor yesterday, for a routine appointment at the maternity clinic. He was really lovely, and actually listened to me talk. He told me to try not to worry so much; that the stats for m/c after amnio are much lower now; that there really is a small chance that something may be wrong. He booked me in to see him in three weeks, and was so certain about it that I felt certain too. Until I looked at my yellow appointment card later, to see he had written HIGH RISK TRISONOMY 21 in big, big letters right at the top of it. I am planning on scribbling that out next week, once I get the all clear. But, we can plan on many things, can't we?

Thing about stats is, someone has to be on the wrong side of them. I don't think it will be me - but why not me? Why anyone? I wish I had never done the nuchal scan. There's something to be said for having too much information. Because now I am faced with such big decisions. And is it not selfish of me to put my baby at risk, just to put my fears to rest? Just so I know? I feel like running into the woods and living there for the next 6 months, and giving birth alone in the forest (a VBAC, no less!!) with only the wild animals baying at the moon to keep me company. I feel like shouting at all of the male dickheads in the medical profession I have met so far "Pregnancy is not a disease to be treated!!" I feel like jumping up and down and getting people to realise how much stress and worry false positive results can be. If men gave birth, I bet a whole lot of tests and statistics would be upgraded - or non-existent.

During a freakout moment, Mr TC was *trying* to make me feel better, dismissing all of my fears as bullshit. I wasn't cranky - I just said "Ok hon, let's see. I wonder how you would feel if you had all the hormones swirling around? If it was your body this was happening to? If you went through all the crap of IVF, only to be labelled high risk just after the first trimester when you were feeling great for the first time in ages? How do you think you would feel?"

Next week I'm going to see the film "The Business of Being Born", which I think Rikki Lake made. Even though it will have an American perspective, I'm sure Aussies down here can relate to a lot of things. I still can't quite believe that my local hospital don't do VBACs, and if I chose to try to deliver a VBAC I'd have to travel to a hospital over an hour away. Where they would "allow" me to labour for 3 hours - and then perform a caesar anyway! All this intervention - but then again, isn't IVF the biggest intervention of all?


Phew. I will post again after the amnio. (Ohhh - deja vu!) Let's hope this time they actually do the freakin procedure this time and don't tell me to come back again next week.

See you on the other side xoxoxxo

Thursday, 22 November 2007

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Well. No amnio today; the baby is measuring at 14w 2d, and the doctor doesn't do amnios before 14w 5d. This happened because the different doctor who did my nuchal scan last week measured the baby one week ahead, which I got all excited about, changed my tickers, etc.

Other wonderful tidbits I found out today:

  • My blood results alone give a 1:30 chance of chromosomal abnormality.
  • Learnt, in minor detail, exactly why and how a miscarriage occurs after an amnio
  • Mr TC and I don't think we will carry to full term if there is something wrong, making me feel dreadful that the baby has to grow a bit more so I can have the test to see if I'm going to ..... not have it
  • I can cry myself into a migraine
  • If a father figure doctor with a Scottish accent consoles me when I am crying, and calls me "Lass" in a very tender voice, I will stop crying about the worry of my baby and start crying that my real dad who was Scottish and died many years ago will never console me and call me "Lass" when I am crying. Then everything just turns turns into a jumbled mess of crying and I start thinking that I should never have tempted fate and done IVF in the first place; maybe I just wasn't meant to have another baby
  • I love this baby already - my tears aren't for me but for it. I pray that my heavily increased stress and worry doesn't impact on it in some way
  • Men are so completely different to women. As I was trying to make it out of the hospital without sobbing, Mr TC decided he was hungry so we went to the cafeteria for a bacon and egg roll. I sat there as he ate, using all my worldly powers to not start the heaving crying. He flicked through the newspaper, trying to find the sport section so he could see if Mike Tyson went to jail. Mr TC said later that he is 100% not worried that there is anything wrong with the baby, or that anything bad will happen. I wish I was more like him
  • Amnio Take Two is booked for next Thursday - one more week away

So. That's where I'm at. I thank you so much for all, all of your comments. Imy thank you for checking in - I read every one of your posts but don't often comment because I feel guilty that I got preggo straight away from transfer no#1. I can't wait till you get a BFP - and you will, I'm just sorry it's such a tough road. And thank you Miss Geohde for your wonderful medical (and personal) advice all the time, even when you're still "trudging the weary path to destiny". as we say in AA.

I have a routine appointment at the hospital on Monday, to meet the doctor that will hopefully be performing my caesar in May next year. (My local hospital doesn't do VBACs). Don't I have a lot to catch him up on! I hope he's nice. Todays Dead Dad Doppelganger Doctor, whilst caring, was abrupt, kept cutting me off, and likened the amnio procedure to "spearing fish in a bucket. There's a very slim chance you actually hurt the baby with the needle." And I've run out of steam to write about the putrid, revolting pathologist who took my blood yesterday. Sleazy Sleazebag from Sleazeville. My sister reckons I should sue him for sexual harrasment.

It's all fun and games from my part of the world. I'm going to hide under a rock for a while; try to calm down and get through this next week. The only way through it is through it. Bugger.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

I'm Frightened, Aunty Em

Actually, frightened was last week. I am FURIOUS today. Which beats being scared - I much prefer anger to fear. It gives me some semblence of control. I have been on pause, ever since the serious doctor rang with the serious high risk news last week. I cannot wait to have Thursday over and done with. Mr TC is taking me down - the first scan he sees will be the amniocentesis scan they do, right before they stick the freaking needle in. Gah. I'm just so mad that after all the years of pining and yearning, then we get a BFP, and before I even get a chance to feel happy and settled, there might be something wrong. It plain sucks.

If there IS a chromosomal abnormality - well, it's hard to say what we would do, or decide. I don't think Mr TC would be quite keen on looking after a child with special needs - but then again, who is? I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but I need to think these sorts of things ... just in case. That's if I don't miscarry from the amnio. Oh, the joys of an active imagination!

Last week, I spent 2 hours with a midwife, booking in to the hospital. SO many weird and wonderful questions!

Midwife: "Does your mother and father have any mental health issues?"

Me: "Well, my dad killed himself. Would you call that a mental health issue?"

We both laughed.

Actually, what's been REALLY funny - my latest craving ... has been for a glass of dry white wine!! First time in my life I have wanted to drink alcohol for the TASTE, and not the effect. Who knew?? (Of course, I'm not following through with this particular craving).

So. That's where I'm at. I will post after the dreaded amnio on Thursday - I would really appreciate a few prayers or positive thoughts. Yuck. Bring it on, get it over with, stupid mofo high risk my arse.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Laughing in the Face of High Risk ..... a Belly Shot!!

So. What do you do when told of stupid high risk, and you're faced with an amnio? Post your first ever belly pic, google prams, and book in for an 18 weeks ultrasound! Yes. The future is here and it's name is Happy. I will be happy, damn it - through gritted teeth, I am not sinking down to the ground like the melting Wicked Witch, wailing and crying. I'm going to stay as positive as my 27 pee sticks were, back in August. Take that, scaremongering doctor!!


I really do feel ok today - debating whether to even have the amnio. But, alas, I know me too well. I am more scared of the amnio than having a positive trisonomy result! Here's a great idea, doctors - DEVELOP A BETTER NUCHAL SCAN, to lower the chance of a false positive. When the doc was actually doing the u/s the other day, he measured the fold (I actually forget what the number was, d'oh!) - and he said "Ok, that's totally within normal range. And there are no variations on normal." Ha - apparently there is!


Anyway - thanks for the bloody fantastic comments. Below is a belly shot that I took yesterday morning - my face looks crap because I had just stopped crying. Can you believe how big I am? It's weird - I thought I would stride down the street and be out and proud, but I feel a bit protective and always cover it up. (I only wear that dress at home, not out!) Strange too - lucky bitch that I was falling preggo on the first go of IVF, my belly is actually getting smaller as time goes on, because of the case of the mutantly massive follicles. Did you know they burst of their own accord? Ewwww!


Much love to everyone - to Mony, Maya, Stacie and Angie, who have all had their precious bubs! Well done, I am hoping and praying for you, especially to those little ones still in hospital. Godspeed. xoxoxo

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Holy crap! I think I'm a bit pregnant!


Wednesday, 14 November 2007

What the Hell's a Nuchal Fold Anyway?

Finally, I realised why I have gone so quiet. Not just here on my blog, but IRL too ..... it's because, if I'm really, really still, then nothing bad can happen. Maybe I'm doing what I used to do in my early years, hearing my dad beat up my mum ..... make myself small, and quiet, then nobody will notice me and no harm can come.

Well, I have been still and quiet for a while now; however, my high risk nuchal result has succeeded in blowing my theory right out of the water. I feel like I have been found out - busted, just when I was starting to feel safe. I'm pissed off and angry. I have 1 in 163 chance of the baby having Downs, and now have to decide whether to do an amnio. For Chrissake - you know, I really think that all will probably end up fine anyway, hopefully. It's just this freaking worry and fear in the meantime. I'm angry at myself - for almost feeling bloody comfortable that now I really have something real to worry about. Stupid dumb familiar worry.

But - a teensy part of me wonders if all the worry I have had so far is because there actually really IS something wrong with the baby. Back and forth, back and forth. Ahhhh!!

Before the shitty phonecall from the doctor this afternoon, I had a great day. Spent 2 hours at the maternity ward, booking in to the midwife clinic at the local hospital. Got me a showbag of goodies and a heartful of excitement. Then I read the paper in my favourite cafe, ordering a burger at 11am. Walked to the travel agent to pay off some $$ for our big holiday to New Zealand at Christmas. Mr TC has never been overseas before! And, we're taking my 10 and 15 year old stepkids as well as Tiger. I am going to hold the bags and take photos while they're all on the fast jetboats and bungies, etc .... because I will be too pregnant to go on anything. Well, hopefully - that's the plan, anyway.

Mr TC reckons it will all be fine. So do my lovely sisters, who are so wise and hilarious at the same time. Watching Tiger do the air guitar with his penis in the shower tonight certainly made me smile.

Amnio is booked in for next Thursday. I have personally never heard of or met anyone who miscarried after an amnio, but it's still scary. Ugh.

What a self-absorbed post, sorry. I have been reading up on everyone, just not commenting much.

xo

Friday, 9 November 2007

A Guest Blog Entry. Brought to you by the lovely people at the Great Blog Cross-Pollination!



Ooh! Slammed by the International Date Line! I got an e-mail first thing this morning from TopCat, reminding me that while it may be 7 AM on the 8th of November where I sit and drink my coffee, it's November 9th in Australia where she is, and thus it's Geohde's Inaugural Blog Cross-Pollination Day! She also sent me her blog post for the day, for me to post on my blog. The ball is clearly in my court. Where's my post?


I've been putting off writing something for the cross-pollination, because I have had a big, serious post brewing on my own list of partially completed entries for some time now. And so, with apologies for the perhaps less than uplifting nature of my thoughts, I thought I'd put this out there now, before I lose my nerve and write something lighter in nature about where I'm at with my current pregnancy. And so, here it is.
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After being an avid reader of infertility blogs for the last year or two, I have begun to notice the same themes cropping up over and over again. Different people of course have different perspectives on these themes, all colored by their own individual experiences, but out of the jumble, I have recently noticed how often I see similar ideas popping up all over the place.
One of these is the idea of things being fair. As in, someone pointing out that they've now had four losses so now they must really deserve a pregnancy that goes to term. Or that their sister-in-law is completely oblivious to other people's feelings and that they cannot believe she is pregnant again without even trying. Or that they've been trying to conceive for so many years now that it surely must be their turn.


I also see bits of the other side of this particular coin. The women who have barely begun their blogs about their infertility experience only to discover they're unexpectedly pregnant. They continue to blog throughout the first trimester, and then the inevitable post appears in which they ponder whether or not they should continue, and in which they explore their feelings of guilt about setting off down the pregnancy path when so many others have been trying for so much longer, or have experienced more losses. They always apologize and hope they're not offending anyone by being thrilled to be pregnant.


And always, you see a comparison of pain. A miscarriage brings the question-- how early was it? There's the thought that early losses (or even chemical pregnancies, which are still miscarriages in their own right) are less painful than later losses. Or that a woman who gets pregnant but then miscarries is luckier somehow than a woman who can't conceive at all. At least *she* got to see the two lines...


I think about these things a lot, both inside the infertility world and outside. Living in Southern California, we're all recovering from the recent fires that burned down so many homes. We evacuated for a day and a half and came home safely to a house that was still standing, though covered in ash. Others weren't so lucky. How do I be grateful for our luck without being disrespectful to those who lost their homes?


It's this last thought that nags at me as I read my blogs every day.


I've been writing mine for just over a year, but I already had my daughter when I started it. I have PCOS, but I don't have much trouble getting pregnant. I've had two miscarriages, but both were very early. I spent twelve weeks on hospital bed rest, but I took home a healthy baby at the end of it. I'm nearly 30 weeks into a high-risk pregnancy, but I'm becoming more confident by the day that I will again bring home the sought-after child at the end, and that our family will be complete.


So many others whose innermost private thoughts I read on a daily basis have been so much less lucky than I have. I have been silent on my blog for the past few weeks as I wonder where I go from here. I don't want to stop writing, and yet I'm running out of things to say that don't compromise my anonymity. I also don't want to leave the infertile/repeat loss community, which has brought me a huge amount of much-needed support and a sense of belonging, but what do I write about once we stop trying to have children? Do I give in, and become the dreaded "Mommy Blogger"?


The irony of this whole post is that I'm sure there are at least five others out there that are very similar. I don't think I'm going to go anywhere, but it may take me a while to find my new perspective. I hope you're willing to hang in there while I figure a few things out.
Part of the cross-pollination game is that you're supposed to comment below if you can guess who I am. Then, you can find my blog here.


And finally, here's your token bit of inappropriate humor for the day:
Having misspelled "evacuate," my spell-checker kindly suggests I replace it with "ejaculate." Even my laptop has a dirty mind.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

New and Improved


As if on cue, entering the second trimester today has brought relief and happiness. My sister rang and actually asked if I have bi-polar, I sounded so positive. Doing constructive, healthy things has certainly helped. I feel like I have exorcised the demon. As Ace Ventura would say, "This house is clear now."


Yesterday I went to the gym for the first time since I started sniffing Syneral! Writing articles again, keeping on top of the housework, and doing meetings are all saving my arse. The spirit of terror has gone - I banished it, and I will never complain again!! (Ha).


Nuchal Translucency scan is next week - everyone I know who's had it done have all got 'high risk' results, had an amnio, and everything was fine. So I figure if I just expect that for me too, then I won't freak out.


Yesterday, Tiger asked me to open my mouth. He stood there in front of me, talking into my mouth "so the baby could hear". I believe he has inherited my general fruitiness; I love it.


So, tomorrow is Geohde's Cross-Blog Pollination. A mystery blogger will post - I wonder if you can try and guess who it is? I will post on their blog too. It's all fun, and I love how Geohde has gotten so many people involved - even when in the midst of her IVF battle.
Copulator xoxox

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

F.E.A.R.

So far, this pregnancy is wasted on me. Nothing but overwhelming worry, panic, and depression. Badly. I could write about how terrified I've been lately ... the blackness has gotten a hold of me and dragged me down. Or, when Mr TC talks about the "baby", I think geez, you're hopeful. How disgusted I am at my own pessimistic and bleak outlook. How irrational my fears have become, overblown like the freakin' Goodyear blimp. I started getting paranoid that something would happen to Tiger, or Mr TC would die, bloody everything.

I've spent the past two days frozen, crying uncontrollably. I'm annoyed at myself - I know it's normal to worry in the first trimester, but fuck this shit so badly. I'm officially over it, and will now do anything I can to get myself out of this hole. I heard that song the other day, with the lyrics:

"But the only soldier now is me, I'm fighting things I cannot see. I think it's called my destiny that I am changing ..."

I have SO been fighting things I cannot see. My biggest, worst enemy on this earth is my own head. I may have got the monkey off my back, but the circus is still in town, people!! I subscribe to an online Alcoholics Anonymous newsletter, and this week it said "Worrying is praying for things that you don't want to happen."

That's it. I'm done. I'm going to a meeting tonight, and will be sharing honestly about where I have been at lately. I have organised to have dinner with my two sisters Tee and Rex down in Sydney this Friday. I will be the designated driver, we shall eat dinner and play pool and behave badly. I can't wait. I'm going to start exercising again - I stopped after embryo transfer, too scared something would happen. But I can do it gently - even if it's just swimming. I will pitch articles, to all the editors in all the land, and they shall know my name is Topcat and that I am not afraid!!! I'm so sick of being afraid. It's like a trick - there's nothing to fear but fear itself. I have been feeling fear by the truckload up here. In hab, I learnt that fear was False Events Appearing Real. Or Fuck Everything And Run. The opposite to fear is faith.

I prayed some big prayers yesterday - to God and to my nan. I don't know who or what God is - I was brought up Catholic, so I still call him God. (And him, apparently!) .... After many years of everything, God and I have come to a certain understanding. Sometimes, I have given him the finger and told him he's a prick. But, usually, we get on pretty well. I will know all the answers when I die - until then, I just trust that there is a force up there that looks after all of us, if only we let it.

Last night, I dreamt I was at my nans house. I had made such, such a mess. Donuts, Camembert cheese - it was dreadful. But I was cleaning it up, slowly. And feeling so much better. I woke up so renewed - I love how sleep can help. I used to have the most dark, violent, despicable dreams. Towards the end of my using, I dreamt I was a rotting carcass tied to the bottom of a car, getting dragged along the road. Nice. My favourite dreams are when I'm flying - I'm so free.

Whew!

So, in conclusion, henceforth, I am conducting a Shock and Awe campaign on my fear. I will start to enjoy this pregnancy, dammit. Just a little bit would be nice.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Knock Knock. Who's there? Topcat. Topcat who?



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What the hell are all these overgrown weeds doing on my blog? Is that a moth I see, flying out from the 'post' button? (Straight from Geohde's undies). Where the hell have I been? I thought once I got pregnant the heavens would open up to the sound of Angel choirs and trumpets; a life of pure bliss and joy would await; that I would magically walk around in a zen-like state, having achieved all of my goals; revelling in unadulturated contentment, forevermore. No? What do you mean no??


It's hard to do stuff. This year, my job was to get pregnant. Everything else, everything, has fallen by the wayside. I'm even finding it hard to chase up invoice payments to me - hardly earning any money at the moment as it is!! Lethargy? Depression? Fuck knows. The twin powers of fear and hope have made their home in my heart, and are, as Marcello Wallace from Pulp Fiction would say, "Fuckin' witchu". I'm void, numb, and so absolutely frozen it's not funny. I'm actually not complaining - just telling it as it is. Trying to adopt a Buddhist "not good not bad just is" mindset.


It's my birthday today. Not my belly button birthday, but my clean and sober birthday. Seven mofo years, since ..... *shudder*. Since the proper, real life rock bottom that often gets talked about by publicity-hungry starlets, but let me tell you, aint nothing glamorous about shitting your pants in public, vomiting on strangers (and then getting cranky at them like it was their fault), waking up next to a complete stranger in a city you don't know. Ewwwwwwwww. I have decided to be sociable for the first time all year, and am having a BBQ on Sunday. Actually, a spit roast with legs of pork and lamb (YUM YUM YUM FOOD FOOD FOOD). I just need to explain to a five year old why his mummy is turning seven. I will probably tell him that it has been seven years since I started a brand-new life being happy, and we're having a party to celebrate. I will tell him everything (within reason) when he's older, as I refuse to have secrets. The truth does definitely set you free - it's just finding the path to it that's the hard part.


Welcome to the world, little Cooper! May you grow big and strong and get to go home soon, sweet one!! xox






Thursday, 18 October 2007

The Arse That Peanut Butter Built ***UPDATED***


Off to the GP today. In one hour ... and counting. Haven't seen him since I got a referral to IVFs-R-Us. I will be asking/begging/crying for an ultrasound. I've had a few weird pains, a bit crampy, so of course I'm a little freaked. La la la, trying not to think about it too much. Hmm hmm hmm. I so hope I'm concerned over nothing. I hope I get to update later with a pic of a healthy, 9-week fetus.
(Apparantly it's a fetus now). I was reading a pregnancy development site yesterday, and halfway through it perkily said "And .... your baby will be growing its anus this week!!" I have nearly finished off a whole jar of peanut butter in less than a week, when Mr TC questioned me I said "Well, I am growing an arse you know." Actually, my arse looks a bit bigger too .... I wonder why!?


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Everything's cool. My GP is so lovely, freely admitting to knowing next to nothing about IVF procedures, but so thrilled and amazed for me. Got me a scan straight away. The sonographer was beautiful, reassuring and just a really nice person. Straight away she found the embie/fetus/baby, in all it's glory. It's trapped actually - underneath a massive, freaky pile of discarded follicles. Like a junkyard in there man *shudder* My follies are all still so large, she said no wonder I have had pain, and they will take a while to go down.

So, I've not worried all afternoon. But, as I was waiting in line at the store to buy a new jar of peanut butter, it suddenly dawned on me. I am an irrational worrier - about all things. Always. I worry Mr TC will die in a fiery car crash. Or Tiger will be abducted by a stranger. Or I'll suddenly develop an inoperable tumour. Our house will burn down in a bushfire; my teeth will fall out; our plane will crash at Christmas time and kill us all and we haven't written wills. Etc.

It's natural to worry in the first trimester, and even more so if it's an IVF pregnancy. I'm sure I will not magically stop worrying at 12 weeks. But hopefully I can start managing my worry a bit better, so it's not so crippling.
Today, I was gratefully given 9 weeks, 188bpm worth of non-worry.


Monday, 15 October 2007

A Bit Better. And Bitter.

Last night, we went out to dinner with some friends. They have two kids and she is pregnant with her third - conceived on the pill. She rubbed her belly the whole night, which shocked me .... by how much it pissed me off. Also .... I joined a "Belly Buddy Due Date" forum thread - I tried, I really did. But I couldn't stand the "oh my God, my hubbie sneezed and now I'm 1 day pregnant, let's all share baby names! Like, wow, totally!!" Ummm - not for me. Part of that is due to my character - I'm quite a prickly pear IRL anyway. But, interesting to note my sadness/bitterness at wanting to fall pregnant for three years is still there, even with a tiny embryo on board.

My morning sickness is an office worker - clocks on at 9am, then works all day till knock off time at 5pm. Usually it does overtime too. I'm not complaining in the slightest, actually I love it. Every time it goes away I worry it won't come back again and something bad has happened. And food - my God, food never, ever has tasted so good. So. Good. Spicy, salty, greasy. It's all just bloody beautiful.

My beautiful sister Rex has offered me some baby furniture and clothes .... plus, her Baby Whisperer skills in the sleep department. She has been so sure of this ... I first told her I was thinking of IVF earlier this year and she was just so positive and supportive. Every time I talk to her I feel reassured by her certainty. I think that's her biggest gift.

The weekend was great - I was so freaking lazy. My MIL was good - except when I first walked in the door, she cornered me with the questions. The first, strangely enough, was "How long have you known?" Mr TC only told her earlier that day - and didn't bother to explain the whole getting-around-the-vasectomy scenario. So he left me with the lovely job of telling his mother this has been planned all year, IVF, etc. I was trying to escape - she kept firing "So, natural birth this time?" Ummm, are you freaking shitting me? I said I don't know, I had read stats on ruptured scars with VBACs that freaked me out. Plus, I wouldn't want what happened with Tiger to happen again. She bahed me, said there was no reason why I couldn't have it naturally. Thanks for that. Then she asked did I want a boy or girl. I should have told her the truth - at this stage, I'm just hoping everything's going ok in there and it's still alive. I just said I didn't mind. She made up for it though - cooked every meal and didn't let me clean up. We went to see The Kingdom at the movies, it was really good.

I'm waiting for IVF's-R-Us to call me back - Mr TC still has a sore penis. (Heh heh - penis). From the PESA he had over a month ago. He said it feels like there's a lump there too. I really hope it's just slow at healing.

I have an appointment on Friday with my GP, to see what care I will get from here. Plus, I'd really like another scan - as soon as I can.

The little embie should be looking more and more like a baby, which is exciting, nervewracking, amazing, unbelievable. I hope everything is in the right place. I hope it stays and grows. It feels like too much to ask.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Snap the F*k Out of It

Thelma and Louise's mum has tagged me. Hoorah - I don't know why I can't post lately. Actually, I can't much do ANYTHING. I'm a little down - my kilter is off. I even could possibly be ... a little depressed. Much as I hate that word, but there it is. I just want to go to sleep for a few months. Hopefully I will feel better soon - I'm pregnant, for fucks sake, so shut the f*k up! What do I have to complain about!! I'm sure I'll get over it. I always do.

Check out what happened to this poor woman. Can you imagine?

Here, in no particular order, are 8 random facts about me:

1. I spoke to my mother last night for the first time in 6 months. It was nice to hear her voice. There has been some serious rifts in my family this year ... it's a loooooong story. I told my mum I did IVF and was preggers, she was very happy happy for me. Maybe I'll see her soon - I stopped letting her have power over me many moons ago, so the whole dynamics are changed. I will never forget how dreadful she was to me when I was growing up - but I also don't want to be fuelled on hatred and bitterness. So we'll see ...

2. My real name is the name of Adam and Eve's garden.

3. It cost AUD$750 for my IVF cycle. Australia is one of (if not the most) cheapest countries in the world for IVF. Our government has a cashback scheme that is beyond belief. I'm incredibly lucky.

4. Tiger said to me the other day "People don't know you have a baby in your tummy. They just think you're fat." That's my boy!

5. I do at least one AA or NA meeting a week. It keeps me grounded. Sitting in a room full of people and sharing honestly about how you live your life is immensely therapeutic.

6. I had a caesarean with Tiger. I remember looking at my scar, thinking ... "Wow. Guess I'll never be a porn star now." How strange is that!

7. Hawkeye from M.A.S.H. is one of my most favourite tv characters.

8. I'm scared of dying.

I tag ... the lovely Evil Stepmonster

Buh Bye for now. I am off to my MIL's house for the weekend. Mmmmmm - eat and sleep. Repeat. Just what the doctor ordered. xoxo

Monday, 8 October 2007

7 WEKS!!!!!

I am a spelling FREAK. So it is with great irony that I am the proud owner of an ultrasound photo with "7 WEKS" splashed across it. The sonographer realised her mistake after she had printed it off ... if that was me, I would have done another one. But, guess what - I don't really care!! She can spell it in Aramaic if she likes, for today I saw a mofo heartbeat! 162 bpm! Hoorah! Holy Crap!

And, guess who has OHSS?? No wonder people are already asking have I got a name picked out. My follicles are massively ginormous - aint no hiding my bulging belly under any baggy hoodie. But I don't really care!! And, how's this for drama ... one of my ovaries looks like it could hemorrhage!! But I don't care - hopefully I won't be needing that fucker again anyway!

THERE IS WHAT SUSPICIOUSLY LOOKS LIKE THE MAKINGS OF A GROWING BABY IN MY UTERUS. I AM IN SHOCK.

Driving down there this morning, I suddenly realised that if I got bad news, I was all by myself. Why - why do I find it so hard to ask my friends for help?? I'm so stubbornly proud sometimes, I annoy myself immensely. Later on tonight, Mr TC will finally be back from 10 days away. Thank GOD. I morph into a bachelor when he's gone - don't clean up for days, eat cereal for dinner, generally just slob around. He rang me after my scan - and he was SO happy to hear it was good news!! It made me happier!!

The fertility nurse told me that's it - goodbye and goodluck, they won't be seeing me again. Told me to book into a hospital. WTF!! My next 'official' scan is supposed to be in 5 weeks - but fuck that. I'll be shamelessly faking sore ovary pain before then, to get one earlier. Actually, the ovary-that-might-explode is a teensy bit of a worry - if I bleed or have bad pain, I need to see someone asap.

I asked the nurse about sex. Actually, my exact words were "Well, I was thinking - she had the scan up there, so surely he can put his .. you-know up there?" Regaining her composure, she said we can have 'gentle' sex. I thought - gentle? Lady, this is my husband we're talking about ....

My sister Tee and her kids come up last week which was great. She's crocheting the most divine blanket for her new niece/nephew. Unreal. This is all unreal - so unreal, that it's surreal. I sat in the waiting room after my scan, waiting to see the nurse - and a lady there was going through her file. Man, it was a big, heavy mothafucka file. I prayed it was because she already had a few babies - and if she didn't, that she would soon. I thanked The Heavens for my luck.

There's a tiny beating being in my tummy. Wow. I will (try to) stop worrying ......... now.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

The Waiting Place



In one of my most favourite books in the world, philosopher Dr Seuss talks of many places you will journey to in your life - and how to deal with them. "Oh, the Places You'll Go" was the last book he wrote and illustrated, and I often give it to people who are moving, or changing jobs, or leaving school. (Or, starting out in life).

This year, I have often thought about a particular part of the book.

Here's an excerpt .... for those of us in the world of IF/IVF world, it's especially poignant. If you're waiting to POAS, or waiting to get the green light to start treatment. If you're waiting for AF, your doctors appointment, or an FET. Waiting to miscarry. Waiting to try again after a loss. Waiting for your husband, partner. Waiting for your first scan, with everything you've got riding on seeing the heartbeat. Waiting to stop worrying. Waiting to feel normal again. Waiting to feel something. Waiting to get off this rollercoaster. Waiting to finally meet your baby. Waiting your turn, as everyone around you is getting BFPs. Waiting. Waiting for the green light. Waiting to become a mother. Waiting for the pain to stop ....
... this is for you. I wish you Boom Bands.



"You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind

Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place ...

The Waiting Place ...
... for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That's not for you!
Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky!"

(Two more sleeps until I can stop waiting for my first scan.)

Psssst - have you heard Vons WONDERFUL NEWS????

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Excuses, McNuggets, and the Telling of Tiger

My goodness, what a long time between drinks ... HA!! Sorry I have been remiss in the posting arena - a) my internet has been dodgy b) school holidays and c) a dog ate my homework. Actually, I've been thinking a lot of my previous post, and how it all just came bursting out. Thanks to you who left such warm, accepting and uplifting comments. It helps me stay true to myself and not be so ashamed of my past.

I notice this is my sixty-ninth post. 69 heh heh. Poor Mr TC has had no action in that department since my follicles were ripe and juicy and ready for the plucking. Parched indeed!

Apparently, I still have the tiny embie on board. 5 more sleeps until my scan, the sweet, glorious scan of enlightenment. I cannot WAIT. But wait I must. I have symptoms - on and off. I've felt brief periods of nausea. My new favourite meal is from McD0nalds (or, as Tiger would say, McDomino's) ...... consisting of a six pack of nuggets laid neatly sandwiched inside a quarter pounder. Thank God the nearest outlet is 40 minutes away, or I'd eat it every day. Also, I've laid right off the chocolate and am going for anything salty and tasty. Hormones have kicked in too ...... poor, poor Mr TC. He's away for 10 days at the moment (RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!) I always blamed my intense feelings of anger during my time carrying Tiger on the fact that I was oly 4 months clean & sober. That seems not to be the case at all. I am an angry, moody psycho. Must maintain an exercise regime. Maybe meditation. Maybe a locked cupboard.

Of course, every morning I wake up and do NOT feel preggers in the slightest. Trying not to get upset or worried so much. Mr TC rang this morning from his African drumming camp - I told him my concerns. In his wonderfully blunt way, he said "Look hon, you're past the point of am I, aren't I. You definitely are - and if there's something wrong and the baby is deformed, well, we wouldn't want it born anyway so it's all for the best".

It appears I strangely felt better after that.

I finally have told Tiger. We were swimming at a pool, no-one else was there so I thought it was a good a time as any. He couldn't believe it, he was so, so excited. "Can I name it? I know - let's call it ... ummm .... ummmm," looking around at the pool and spa "Let's call it swimmer!" Considering the state of his fathers very own swimmers ... it was quite apt indeed. He thinks he can feel it kicking already, and kisses it hello in the mornings. He wants it to be a boy so he can put it's hat on backwards and teach it to "Peace Out, Y'all".

LOTS of people now know. I'm uneasy about it - but I'm seriously showing so much! I think that's a good sign, it's already making it's presence known in the world. I desperately hope that I don't have to untell people. I've made a pact with myself that if I see the beating heart next week, that's it. No more ridiculous, unhealthy, obsessive worrying about if it's still alive.

I'm still shocked and surprised by this - I can picture myself turning to hubby during it's Bridal Waltz, saying "I can't BELIEVE you had sperm!!!"

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

A Most Incredible Adventure ...

Once upon a time, a red-haired girl was having a dreadful childhood. When she turned 16, her stepfather of eleven years killed himself. This happened four years after her "real" father had died of his alcoholism. So, it's fair to say that family life at that time was dreadful. The love she had for her younger brother kept her going - never before had she felt so black. Finally she was growing closer to her two older sisters, but they packed up their pain and grief and took it to the big smoke. The mother was a violent, nasty, self-obsessed bullying alcoholic.

So, a friend of this girl offered her a ticket to go and see a band that were playing at Sydney's Entertainment Centre. She went, not too excited, but glad to get out of the house and do something different. The band was called U2. The red-haired girl went with her friends and her cousin, sat in the second back row ..... and was absolutely blown away. Something happened - Grace, maybe. Her soul was filled to the brim of Power, Love, Faith. U2 have a world-wide reputation for touching their audience extremely intimately, and that night in 1989, this girl got given an outpouring of Hope injected into her soul. She will never forget it. Bono's voice cut through all the black, giving her a glimpse of light.

Now, this girl was itching to finish school and get the hell out of the hell that was home. She left her poor bro, and didn't look back. Finally - she could start taking drugs and drinking EVERY NIGHT, just the way she wanted to. Now she could be happy! The highs were so high! She was funny, pretty, with the longest, reddest, wild red hair you will ever see. She was also angry, bitter, dark, and melancholy. The lows didn't take long. The comedowns, regrets - she quickly grew out of control. Through all of these wild years, she always went to see U2 when they came to town. Always drunk and high - they still reached her. She had all of their albums, knew all of the words. How did they manage to write songs especially for her? (Please, Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car, Stay Faraway So Close).

By now, the girl was living in a wasteland. Gaunt and empty and broken, she started doing the detox and rehab shuffle. Once, she got locked up in a psych ward for trying to kill herself. She knew she had problems - but what was the cause? The unforgiving start to her life, or the booze and drugs? She would drink and drink and drink and pop pills - but one day discovered that just one shot of junk would take her exactly where she wanted to go - complete oblivion. She was a mess, a lost cause, a basket case. She was the person you would look at on the street and quickly avert your eyes from. But there was always the U2 songs - Bono would sing to her, lull her to sleep, give her hope.

Finally, after many, many years out in the wilderness, she knew she had do something. She entered rehab - for the last time. On that same day, U2 released an album full of amazingly hopeful songs of renewal, and grace. (All That You Can't Leave Behind). She ran to buy it before she went in to rehab (again!) and would listen to every track every night under the covers at bedtime, crying and praying. Her boyfriend of eight months (Mr TC) promised he would wait for her. She hoped and wished for her poor head and heart to get better. Songs like Walk on and Grace helped her immeasurably.

Well, what happened when she got out of rehab? She accidently fell pregnant! Everyone around her was aghast - EVERYONE - but, she knew, for the first time in her life, that she was ok. This will be ok, she would tell herself, as her belly swelled. But, she was worried. What if she was only staying clean while she was pregnant? What if - what if. Her stepson came to live with them too - suddenly, she had her own family. It was so important to stop thinking of herself and her own pain, and start taking care of others. She grew - spiritually, emotionally. She talked to like-minded people of her experiences. She became honest. She was so clean, so fragile. The baby came. She was saved by a power of a love she had never known before. Holding him close, breathing his breath. Grace.

A U2 concert was announced! But then cancelled. The girl became a woman. Respected, loved. She started writing - she always wanted to be a writer when she grew up - not a junkie! Finally, U2 were definitely coming. She was having a particularly dreadful year - her husband was very sick, her marriage in a bit of strife. And all she could think about, was the ache in her soul for another baby. She hadn't felt such sadness for years.

The day of the concert - she got to the stadium at 6.30am. There was only a few people there. Feeling a bit self-conscious - she was a grown woman! A mother! She quickly made friends, and waited the whole day in the blazing heat to get as close to the Best Band in the World as possible. Finally, they opened the gates. She ran, and ran, and ran. FRONT OF THE STAGE!!! At the end of the catwalk!!! Giddy, and high, and excited - she waited.

Now, the start-up song came on, lights went down. Behind her, were 60,ooo people. Never, ever, had she felt so elated, so triumphant, and so awestruck. And - not a drink or drug in sight!!! Bono walked on stage - walked, walked - when she realised that he was so close she could reach out and touch him, she cried and cried. Words cannot describe the concert that night. Every lyric, every song, every heartbeat. Every rotten thing that had happened, every miracle, every tear. It was all there and all accounted for. A celebration of life! Her soul was in a Rapture.

Halfway through the concert, Bono was walking slowly up to me. (Yes - this story is true and about me. Did you guess? Ha!) He stopped in front of me, knelt down, and gently took my hand. The crowd crushed me from behind. He was singing a song called "Love and Peace or Else". He stayed there, kneeling, looking deeply into my startled soul for about twenty seconds. It seemed like an eternity. We stared at each other. I was smiling (serenely, I got told later); thanking him with my eyes.

This was no accident. It was like my reward. I could feel Angels, whispering. The birth of my son was the most life-changing, love-giving moment. But that night was just ..... indescribable. Powerful, affirming, intense .... it took me a whole lifetime to get there.

If Bono can stop a concert to kneel down and hold my hand ..... ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, in this crazy, scary, amazing, mysterious world. Anything.


** Wow - that was a bit long, and I had to stop a few times to cry. Must be the hormones! I feel so grateful and amazed for where I am at in my life right now. I can't believe it, truly. Tomorrow I will be 6 weeks pregnant. I'm still shocked that this has actually happened. I can be such a morbid thing - for many years, I would wonder what stage of decomposition my fathers body was in as it lay in his coffin beneath the earth. I'm used to being negative about things - I want this pregnancy to work out so much, the thought of a miscarriage or a blighted ovum or downs .... frankly, is scaring the hell outta me. So different when I had Tiger - I pissed on a stick and wondered what pram to buy!! Oh, how I'd love some of that sunny optimism now!!!

Whew - well done on making it through this whole post, thank you. It's dedicated to anyone who has overcome, or is still experiencing adversity in their lives. Infertility is a bit like drug addiction - hell to go through, can either make you or break you. Makes you a stronger, deeper, and less-judgemental person. Maybe infertility is worse - a drug addict can give up at any time. (Plus, at least you get high!!)



To a fellow U2-lover, Von, who has the joy of being in her 2WW. Go Thelma and Louise!!





Here are some pics .....





Ok - see the big manhand that Bono is about to grab? That. Is. My. Hand.





Jubilant, but a bit ugly! Can't believe I was so close!





All the people behind me.



I took this photo







Me and my Beloved Tiger

Monday, 24 September 2007

Topcat's Top Ten Highlights of IVF


10. After much deliberation, explaining, chemo, and crying .... Mr TC agreeing to IVF. Never has someone shown their love for me like he has; I love him so much right back.

9. Tiger turning to me a few months ago, completely unprompted says "If you want a baby, you have to go to church and ask God."

8. Falling in love with my Gonal-F pen. The egg-multiplying master. Quite strange, shooting up again after all these years. I can't bring myself to throw it away.

7. Introducing myself to the world of TTC blogs - learning and laughing so much with you all. Priceless.


6. Driving with Mr TC in his ute, carrying sackfuls of horseshit and a gutful of ripe follicles. On a bumpy, windy, dirt road - it was SO uncomfortable. After a few "Watch it"s, and "Be careful!"s ..... I finally roared at him - "HON! BE CAREFUL OF MY FUCKING FOLLICLES!THEY ARE FUCKING HURTING!" He got the message ...


5. Suppression? Check. Stimulation? Check. Retrieval? Check. Fertilisation and transfer? Check. Going through all the green lights - getting to move forward, feeling the hope grow at every step. Overwhelming gratitude for that.


4. You can take the junk outta the junkie ..... realising old "habits" die hard. As SOON as I opened my eyes after egg retrieval .... ummmm, asking for more pain killers. I don't actually think I was even in pain. Ahem..




2. After my first ever experience with Mr Wandmonkey, I got home and was telling my husband about it. He turns to me, with a LEER and says, "So ... didja like it??" He. Wasn't. Joking.


drumroll ......


1. The funniest, most unforgettable moment in my IVF experience to date - was when my five-year-old Tiger came running down the stairs, jiggling something in his hand. He started chucking it up in the air, catching it. To my horror, I realised it was my used syringe container; all the dirty needles flying around in there. He starts shouting "LEGO!!! WHO BOUGHT THE NEW LEGO??"

Friday, 21 September 2007

Tick Tock

To combat my fears, I have added a ticker. A bold move? Definitely. A bit early? Probably. (The pic just before it was "a bunch of cells!!") I just need a bit of positivity right now.

Hey - anything to get you through, right? I'm already working on my next post, entitled "Topcat's Top Ten Highlights of IVF", which promises to be quite a read. Have a lovely weekend. xo

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Whistling in the Dark


Thing is, I had to wait until I felt better before I could post. Finally, I feel better. So, before I quickly turn crap again .. hi!! I got another beta yesterday -


12dp2dt - 66

17dp2dt - 454


So, hooray, right? I should feel happy, right? I checked those figures, and they are quite respectable indeed. However, these past few days have been overwhelming with intense feelings of terror and anxiety, that something is wrong, that I'm about to miscarry. I have no valid reason to feel like this - yesterday I just cried and cried, paralysed with fear and impending doom. Perhaps it's that everything - the weight of these past months - have all hit me. Mr TC couldn't be more disinterested if he tried. I have let most of my work fall by the wayside, concentrating soley on TTC. I now know too much about what can go wrong in pregnancy, and it's scaring me so much! I can't stay in this place for much longer - it's just not healthy. I had dreadful anxiety and depression years ago, thought I had seen the last of those beasts!


So, I have forced myself to have a productive day, I went to a really good AA meeting last night which really helped ground me, today I have been getting my groove back with writing articles ... I just feel so much better. It's easy to tell myself that worrying won't change anything - but feels like I'm just whistling in the dark. Terrified, yet pretending I'm not.


I want to start telling people soon. I need for this to become real - I feel so detached and strange. I can't WAIT for my scan - it's on the 8th of October, nineteen sleeps away. I just want to see a beating heart. But first, I must be patient and wait for that heart to form!


I really need to buy some bigger pants - my gut is popping out all over the place, which is a good sign. Other symptoms - pissing at 5am every morning, extreme tiredness after extreme eating, flashes of anger (I think I preferred my hormones turned OFF, thank you very much!) and slight, tugging feelings in my ute. Today I felt a sharp, stabbing pain just behind my belly button, and thought "That's it. It just died. Great." But then a while later I felt the gentle tugging, which was reasurring.


Out of everyone - I can't wait to tell Tiger the most. I'm sure he is going to be so, so excited. The only people who know are me, Mr TC, my two sisters, and one of Mr TCs friends. I fantasize about having a big belly, and feeling happier about it all. I just need to build a bridge and get over myself. Ha!


Check this out, seriously, WTF!!!!!


Also, please go visit Evil Stepmonster and say hi. She's not even evil, I promise!! Plus, Megan at the Unexplained Years just had her egg retrieval and got a great result!

Sunday, 16 September 2007

This Aint No Disco

In typical Pisces fashion, I seem to have completely tuned out. Everything is surreal, like I'm walking around in a fog.

"You had me at the spoof"... seriously, my head is STILL trying to wrap around the fact that Mr TC had viable sperm. The whole way through this delightful IVF process, the defeatist in me was imagining waking up after ER, with the doctor sadly shaking his head, telling me I went through it all for nil, as there were no post-chemo/vasectomy swimmers left. Then the fert report - then the freakin TRANSFER. Man, the transfer!! Beam me up Scottie - the sight of my four-celled wonder on that screen is ingrained in my brain forever. Then watching gobsmacked as it got shot into my uterine galaxy.

Now apparently the fucker has decided to STICK!! Ummm, I keep walking around looking at people - anyone, thinking, "Wow, you were once some cells floating around and then you implanted and grew, and all your blood and flesh and bones formed, and you became a baby and then entered the world!! Amazing!!" Telling my lovely sister Tee how AMAZING the process was (I may have been rabbiting on for a while) ..... she laughingly said "Uh, yeah - it was called Year 8 Biology, remember?"

I feel - shocked. This shit actually WORKS. I'm blown away - and already showing. Yes, I seriously look three months preggers already - leading to someone already guessing!! I need to creatively hold things in front of me, or something, Because even though I want to shout it from the rooftops, it's waaaayyyy too early. It's so fragile - anything could happen at this point. I haven't peed on a stick for DAYS, thankfully. I want to wait a bit, so that hopefully the next time the second line will come up straight away.

As for IVFs-R-Us - they rang me to tell me I'm "officially pregnant". I was a bit worried about the beta of 66, but she said she "graphed it and everything looks fine" .... and I don't need another beta, she will see me in three weeks for a scan. I don't think I can wait that long - even though I'm eating like a horse, already showing, and pissing like a demon, I will still get another beta soon. Just to appease. I think it's quite normal to be anxious at this stage - and I am. But damn ... I'm determined to start enjoying it. Because it might actually work out. Chances get bigger every step of the way. IVF is like Snakes and Ladders from hell. Thus far, I have avoided landing on a snake head. We shall see - it will unfold as it will. All the worry in the world will not make the slightest bit of difference.

Interesting that I have found myself thanking God lately - does this mean I would have been cursing God, if things hadn't gone to plan? Is this divine, or luck? Isn't THAT a bloody loaded question around these parts. I have been to drug rehabs frequently inhabited by women with neglected kids - or 8 months pregnant women who suddenly realise they'd better "get clean now, before the baby comes". And now, my heart aching for the would-be-WONDERFUL mothers with the BFNs, M/C's, the repeated cycles. I like to think I understand a lot in the world - but I don't understand that, truly.

I'm purposely not letting my mind get too ahead of itself ... too freaky. But I know ... somewhere, deep down inside my psyche, I am doing the Cheesiest Most Delirious Happy Dance in All of the Land. Just don't tell anyone.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Clickety Click


Well, at 12dp2dt and 14 days past ER, my beta is 66. I was a bit worried, but have since googled, and realise that it's quite a respectable number. As long as its doubling, then it's all good in the hood. My "official" beta is next Wednesday, so I shall just have to be patient and not worry. All the worrying in the world isn't going to change anything!! My tummy is so big and bloated, plus I have AF-type cramps. If you need me for the next few days, you will find me here.

The most amazing thing in the world happened today with the nurse at my local pathology lab up here. She read my form, and started asking me about IVF - what was it like, how many tries have I had, etc. I was RAVING on, telling her everything .... suddenly she blurts out "Well, I'm looking into starting it soon!" She looked so relieved to tell someone. She has PCOS, and it took her three years to conceive her first child. She has been trying again now for a year, and says she needs help. She told me how hard it was for her to take pregnant womens blood, she has thought of quitting her job because of it. And she started crying!! I just gave her a massive hug, told her to just do it, it's ok - it's hard, but not impossible. She was so grateful, and told me that I was 'meant' to come in and see her today!! By the time we came out she had so many people waiting to get their bloods taken. She's even going to the same clinic as me. I might even go back and give her my number, she was so lovely. We're everywhere, girls! Doesn't it go to show how common IF is?
********** Ummm, it's now an hour after my Beta Googlefest ...... 66 sux.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

The Cat's Outta the Bag

"You cannot truly know a persons happiness .... until you know their unhappiness."

I believe that the blow of infertility is softened if you already have a child. It's been a very difficult, emotional, scary year this year - for me and most of the wonderful women I have read. But I'm lucky - I already have a son. Who was even conceived naturally, unplanned ... when I was smoking, and 5 months sober for Chrissake.

As I was driving to all the appointments, and doing all of the invasive things we do during IVF, I kept thinking "Wow, I'm really serious about this". And I am. I tried accepting Mr TC's vasectomy as my lot in life, but no matter how much I tried, I just couldn't. I tried to accept that I would just have one child, and be content with that - but I just couldn't.

I realised yesterday why this was so, so big for me. I'm realising that, due to being born into such a SERIOUSLY dreadful family, I didn't experience love - ummmm, at all! (Except from my nan. She knew, and she loved me fiercely).

I am a loving, giving, warm, funny person. I deserved more. I know that now. I also know, that the love I have for my son cut through all of my sorrow and addiction and pain. It's how I wished my parents - my mother, should have loved me. Rarely - but it still happens, I have mini-meltdowns, and know that something is dreadfully wrong inside, all the crap comes back to haunt me. But I move through it.

I guess, in light of Farahs thought-provoking posts recently .. well, I just can't enter into a "My pain is bigger than your pain". Life has put me through the wringer - the roads I ended up walking down were so hideously black that I should be dead. But I'm not - I'm here. And I'm so grateful for people who have reached out and supported me through this year - while they have been TTC - their first, longer and with more heartache than I will ever know. That's not fair. I believe in the power of positive thought, and I will be cheering anyone on who needs it. I know there are people who have chosen not to comment and converse with me - because I'm not a "True" IFer. That is so ok, and I respect that, truly. But hey - maybe someone who is about to start IVF, is a recovering addict with PTSD from their childhood, who is married to a guy with a vasectomy, maybe they will stumble across my blog and not feel so alone.

I'm a freelance writer, and I have no doubt I will write an article on TTC via IVF soon for a mag or newspaper. I want more people to be better informed, more mindful, more thankful for what they have. I will never, ever again ask someone if they have children. My eyes have been opened to a world that previously, I had the luxury of being completely fucking ignorant about.

As for how I am today ... I'm waiting on my clinic to call me back - their policy is to only be on Crinone for 2 weeks after egg retrieval!! So I'm due to finish in 2 days, which is pretty scary. Plus, I want a bloodtest ... STAT!!!

I did a test with Mr TC this morning - positive. He was shocked - but so lovely. I told him that I will never, ever again doubt his love for me. He said he's so happy for me - but the thought of prams and nappies and strollers make him shudder. And, he reckons he's too old. (41). I said to him - "But you're free!!! You are a free man! Freedom! You can do whatever you want to do!"

This will either end in a healthy baby - or not. I could have a low beta. Or miscarry, or the baby could have birth defects. Or be stillborn. Or die of cotdeath. A meteor could hit us. We might go broke and have to live in a caravan. There is absolutely nothing I can do about it! So I may as well enjoy it while it lasts. I intend to enjoy it - and keep writing about it, hopefully with not too much guilt. (I already have enough guilt to start my own religion).

Today I'm Queen of the Positive Pee Stick - and the luckiest bitch in the world. xoxo