Wednesday, 15 May 2013

All choked up

I just got to write the first birthday card in my life that I signed off "Happy Birthday, love, Mum".

I honestly never thought, two years ago, that I'd ever get this far.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

The rage

I remember, years ago, before even my first ectopic, my sister told me about her boss' PMT. Apparently it was really, really bad, and everyone else in the office had to tiptoe round her. They knew it was PMT not just because of the mood, but because her boss would put a bag full of sanitary towels and so on in one of the cubicles at work, and my sister was glowered at when she came out of the cubicle and found her boss waiting.

My sister's theory was that her boss had particularly bad PMT because she'd never had kids. At the time, in my late teens, I thought of the horror of being a childless woman with bad PMT, devoting her life to her career but ending up with underlings resenting her for it.

Utter pish. I can confidently report that my PMT is fucking awful, awful, at the moment. Apart from being bad tempered, really bad tempered towards my husband and all work projects ever, I've felt irrational stabs of rage at the following:

  • There's a bit of plaster on the windowsill of the shared staircase in our block. It looks like a cast of a turd. Why is it there? I was fighting the urge to hurl it out the window.
  • Whoever decided that delicate, white, lacey cardigans were in this season. It's not that I don't like them, it's that I'm angry that if I get one, I know it will end up being covered with banana, Ella's Kitchen, general black dirt, or similar. Why is fashion so stupid?
  • The fucking self service tills at Tesco. I actually swore out loud at one today, when it came out with its "unexpected item in bagging area" line. The shop assistant was standing right behind me and I felt a bit embarrassed. But mainly angry.
  • Baby boomers. They're an irritating generation. Madly entitled, spending everywhere and reaping the benefits of... well, a generous benefit system. Fucking up the economy. Not passing anything they had on. But being all surprised at people my age not having a better standard of living.
  • My parents' incredibly annoying habit of turning up really, really early to things. The last example was when they were having a city break close to us, and parked their car at our house - they insisted this required us to have the keys for their car, which neither of us is insured to drive. They said they'd be back to pick it up at 10am on the Sunday. Instead, they turned up at 9am, when I was in the shower, my husband was changing the Boy, and, because neither of us could let them in, they let themselves in, got the keys, then made a big show of waving at us from the pavement (Who turns up that early on a Sunday? Really?). They're coming over soon for lunch, and I think I might actually implode with rage if they pull this stunt again. To be fair, they also leave ludicrously early too; they particularly seem to revel in spending the maximum time they can waiting for public transport.
And breathe.

I know I will feel better soon. I will feel weepy and upset, then tired when my period starts, then normal.

I seem to vaguely remember, during IVF, reading that sticking parsley up your fanjo encourages menstruation. And I would, only I would get angry at the parsley, too.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

It isn't the first that matters

The Boy is becoming slightly more challenging as he gets bigger. Not just bigger, but more able to:

  1. Hurl food
  2. Attempt to go AWOL at baby singing rather than waiting for his go at the mat/drum/whatever else. He recently rugby tackled a slightly older and bigger child to the ground, much to my horror (a Dad of an older toddler, who he took out of the same class because he thought she got too much to handle, said sagely "aaah, you notice more when it's yours.").
  3. Have fights with the cat; the cat sometimes puts up with him, sometimes doesn't - but she always wins
  4. Fight sleep at odd times. It is comforting to know that sleep wins eventually, but a bit trying at 5am when he's been up for 2 hours already, and any ignoring, trying to settle, gently stroking his nose and any other bollocks just isn't making him want to sleep.
The first three of these have met with many responses of "no". "No, don't throw food", "No, you need to share", "No, please don't do that to the cat, if you touch her gently like this, it'll be fine".

 But then, he does surprising things to. During the recent 3.30 - 5.30 unexpected partytime, I kept trying to give him a bottle of milk. Milk usually gets him to sleep, and I was really hoping that if he accepted a bottle, he'd nod off.

Instead, after becoming exasperated on my 3rd or 4th attempt, he shouted "Nuuuuuuu!" and chucked the bottle at me like I'd been about to pull the cat's tail.

So I think "no" might be his first word.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Cleaning out the closet

We need to do up our flat to sell, and my first task is to go through all the crap I have amassed in the last five years and get rid of some of it.

When I moved house in my early 20s, which I did fairly often, I was almost a bit sad at how little stuff I had. Everything fitted into a couple of bin bags. But now, I am weighed down with ballast; camping equipment, baby stuff, books, DVDs, furniture.

But anyway, I've been finding all sorts of things relating to the IF years. And sometimes, it's difficult to know what to keep and what to go.

I had two books which I found useful - one called Coping With Infertility, which was relentlessly depressing at first but I came to rely on as treatment progressed, and a book on IVF. I read both of them endlessly. However, when it came down to it, I don't need them now; I don't think I'll ever be as depressed about infertility as I was then, and the whole IVF process is so deeply etched into my brain that I don't think I'll ever forget the downregging, stimming, retrieval, transfer, 2ww sequence.

It felt rather like being disloyal to old friends, but I put them in the charity shop; hopefully they will find a home with someone else in need. Although we picked the religious charity shop near our house rather than the one I usually donate to, and my husband worried afterwards that the volunteers might disapprove of IVF. Too late, though.

I also found my ovulation monitor. I hate the fucking thing with a passion. I spent a fortune on it and on the pee sticks it uses. I must have used it for the best part of a year. Every month, I'd get excited when the three bars appeared. Every month, I'd be heartbroken when all the careful urinating, measuring, dutiful shagging and - if I was being particularly diligent - lying in bed afterwards, to give my husband's sperm a better chance to negotiate my innards.

Anyway, I'd have been as well spending the money on a really nice meal out, for all the good it did - all the monitoring and lying down in the world wouldn't fit my dodgy tube.

I'd have been really happy to throw the thing out. But it was expensive, and it feels a bit yucky to sell it ("only one careful owner"). So I'm keeping it in case we ever do another cycle and I want to check my ovaries are still functioning beforehand. Although I may revisit this - the thing usually turns up at the bottom of the wardrobe, or in my underwear drawer, when I don't expect it, and I always feel a little stab of rage in memory of its false promises.

I also found an embarrassing number of positive pregnancy tests.

 I remember holding the one from the miscarriage as it was the only solid proof I had that I had ever been pregnant, and feeling completely and utterly devastated. Feeling overjoyed at the ones that turned out to indicate another ectopic - but then feeling better when my last tube was taken out. And, conversely, being shit scared of the ones that indicated the pregnancy that ended in joy.

They used to be a big part of my world. But I'd actually forgotten they were there, now. It felt funny seeing them again. Just like the card I found that the people at work sent after the first miscarriage. I kept all of these things, although they make me sad I can't bear to part with them. They're all I have of those pregnancies.

Then there are the other things. Endless packets of aspirin and folic acid (I haven't had folic acid in nearly a year, now - I don't miss it). They've been unceremoniously binned. The sharps disposal container, that we must get round to handing in to the hospital.

So, some objects are gone, some stay. Little bits and pieces that remind me of the marks that the struggle to get and stay pregnant has left on me; I think I was a different person before I acquired these things.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

The ones that got away

Shopping is a tricky business. If you covet an item for long enough, the chances are that you'll be pretty chuffed when you buy it. The world is also full of things that you might buy on impulse and then regret it afterwards.

But then, sometimes you see things and resist the urge to impulse buy. And then you regret it, forever.

I didn't buy the following items. But I know that my life would have been enriched by them:

A purple leather jacket with the imagine of an elephant on the back - I was 15, and it would have blown my holiday budget until, well, the age I am now. But I still regret not doing it.

Platform trainers in the sale - I was roughly the same age as with the item above. They weren't very much. But for some reason, I didn't; leaving me to forever regret not taking the opportunity when the Spice Girls were cool and I was young enough to carry it off.

A bullwhip: Another holiday regret (although shopping that got away often is; it's not like you're going to be around tomorrow to rectify your mistake). The bullwhip wasn't going to be for me, but for my nephew. I convinced myself that being a cool auntie wouldn't be worth the havoc to my sister's household. I think I may have been wrong.

The worst rendition of the Last Supper known to humankind: This was in a street market in a small town near Port Elizabeth. Someone had decided to turn da Vinci's masterpiece into one of those hologram painting jobbies; if you tilted it, Christ and His disciples appeared to wave their arms. It had been done in super-garish colours. The piece de resistance was a small clock positioned in the top right hand corner. It was too big to carry around, too big to fit on the place. But, really, what are practical considerations compared to the talking point it would have been for the rest of my life?

Hitler alarm clock: This one, I have mixed feelings towards. It was a cheap, old fashioned alarm clock with bells and a hammer, on sale in a tacky resort in Bulgaria. What made it a standout item was the picture of Adolf doing a Nazi salute on the front. What you want to wake up to. Part of me wanted to buy it because of the outstanding bad taste it embodied. But then, I don't think any normal, sane person would want to sell Hitler alarm clocks, and I was worried that people getting them for ironic reasons would mean that more were produced, and more being produced would mean more people buying them who would be genuinely happy with the Fuhrer bidding them a Guten Morgen.

So, do you have anything you regret not buying?