So here it is…..

It has been sent to the printers so it’s all out of my hands now. Yikes! The launch will take place on Tuesday 22nd April at 6.30pm in the Dublin Bookshop on Grafton St. You are all very welcome, in fact I would LOVE to meet you. I will send you an official invite closer to the time.

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “Is it new material or is it taken from the blog?”. It is all new material and has very little to do with the blog, apart from the fact that it is written by me and I talk a lot about my own experiences in relation to the issue being discussed. Basically, it’s a guide book to TTC which starts at the beginning, taking readers from the stage of recognising fertility signs and timing intercourse, through to looking for help, finding a fertility clinic, right through to IVF and beyond. It’s full of facts and figures, advice on websites, where to buy HPTs etc, what to expect from medical professionals, how to choose a fertility clinic, how to cope with infertility, IVF, miscarriage, other people etc. I’ve offered my opinion where I thought it might be helpful and there are personal accounts and opinions from loads of other women (and one man!) who have experienced the topic in question.

It is opinionated, as I am, but I think anyone who has had to battle infertility while at the same time having to battle with the medical profession and the general public will agree that these things need to be said. I hope the book will be of some help to those that read it and I hope you like it! (Runs and hides.)

You just have to wish really hard…

I am gobsmacked at JLo’s recent People magazine article, via Julie.

Despite trying to conceive for several years, “I knew there was nothing wrong with me. I knew that I could. Deep down, I really wanted it badly…”

Unlike the rest of us who only want it a bit, Jenny’s faith, determination and general all-round perfection won the day. Despite trying for several years, she never once thought there was something “wrong” with her, it never entered her head that it wouldn’t happen. Well, if you weren’t convinced before that she is completely loola, here is all the evidence you need.

Hubby Marc Anthony’s reasoning for the twin pregnancy is even funnier than the “twins run in the family” excuse – he says that twins were inevitable because everything his wife touches turns to gold! Has he ever seen Gigli?!?

There is something wrong with JLo and MAnt. They tried unsuccessfully to conceive for several years. They are infertile. If their twins were conceived naturally, then they were dealt a really big slice of good luck, and not just because they wished really hard for it. A spontaneous pregnancy after 3 years TTC has about a 1% chance of happening each cycle. Of course it is possible but most people would describe in terms of a “miracle” and a “blessing”, as opposed to an inalienable right due to their own perfection.

And there’s the crux of the matter. Infertility is perceived in the media as an imperfection, in Jenny’s own words, something “wrong with me”. It makes her look old, weakened, more like us. Unlike the shot of “Jennifer and Marc clowning around with their $3,000 prams”. See, Jenny’s not like us, only good things happen to her. That is why she has $3,000 prams and we don’t.

I am going to preempt the “You can’t judge her, she has a right to her privacy” comments with this:

BOLLOX!!!! She has paraded her newborn twins in public for a reported $6m fee. She has put them on show, people are bound to ask questions about them because she has put them out there. Live by the media, die by the media.

I’ve been tagged!

By Peep. I must post six random things about myself. As I’ve said previously, I don’t like talking about myself much, so let’s see…

1. I love quizzes, any sort really – the harder and faster the questions, the better. So does DH – we are very competitive.

2. I have an extra-strong sense of smell. Not really an asset.

3. Although I don’t make a big deal of it, bad spelling and punctuation really annoy me, to the point that they might actually affect my opinion of the writer as a person! And yes, if you find any typos on my blog, you may apply appropriate punishment.

4. I suffer from repetitive strain injury (RSI), although it is a lot more manageable now than when I was a full-time nerd.

5. A chain of events that just happened led me to think of point number 4, and it is a measure of my current state of calmness and serenity that I have decided to let it lie and not post about it. So point number 5 is – I am very calm and serene these days.

6. I’m a big Man Utd fan. Since 1975. That’s the season they spent in the old 2nd Division. If I had been a glory-seeker, I would have chosen Derby County. Not that I regularly find myself in the position of having to be defensive about my choice or anything.

I tag LoTwan and John.

The Rules:
1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules.
3) Share six non-important things / habits / quirks about yourself.
4) Tag at least two people.
5) Make sure the people you tagged KNOW you tagged them by commenting what you did.

Oh, I’ve just read the rules. Number 6 is actually a very important thing but I can’t be bothered thinking of anything else so it stays.

Anything you can do…..

I didn’t win at the Irish Blog Awards……..but my very clever and talented husband did!!!

It was great to meet up with some of my virtual friends and put a few faces to names. Big congrats to Grandad and Grannymar, who were joint winners in my category, Best Personal Blog. Also to Sinead and Twenty Major, who both made it three in a row – a pleasure to meet both of them too. Biggest congrats of all to Damien, who must have special powers to stretch time to be able to fit so much work into one man’s life.

But what has fannying about at awards ceremonies got to do with infertility and babies? Not a lot, so it was back to business today. I spoke on East Coast FM on the subject of women having babies later in life. I was pitted against Dr James Clinch, a former Master of the Coombe hospital, who maintained that women should have babies between the ages of 20 and 25. I wasn’t really sure what my role was to be until the discussion started, but it seemed like I was there to be the “older woman” who had had difficulties because of this. Never one to shy away from a debate on fertility, I found myself fighting the corner of the 30-something woman who is having or trying to have her first child. Gosh, we do get a lot of stick sometimes. It’s all those hard-nosed career women, who selfishly put off having babies until their 40s cos they can just do IVF and create designer babies out of all the donor sperm and eggs available, that give the rest of us a bad name.

For the motion:
1. It is certainly easier for 20-25 year old women to conceive and carry a child.

Against the motion:
1. Most women are not “waiting” to have children, many simply don’t meet their partners until later in life.
2. Try convincing 20-25 year old men to have children.
3. Our increased life expectancy has changed where we see ourselves in the ageing process and many 20-25 year olds are no longer socially, culturally or emotionally ready to have children.
4. There is little social or economic support for younger women who have children.
5. Male-factor infertility, which is not particularly age-related, accounts for as many cases as female-factor, so this affects couples of all ages.
6. 20-25 year olds are all a shower of irresponsible piss-heads who wouldn’t know one end of a baby from the other [may be a gross generalisation].

Waiting for the man

The Irish Blog Awards are on tomorrow night. I will be wearing my new dress if the postman brings it today. If not, I will be giving my old dress one last outing. That’s how I operate – I buy new clothes, I wear them all the time until I get to go shopping again. Then my former new clothes become old clothes and are laid to rest. It means I don’t have to think much about what I wear, yet I usually look like I’ve made an effort. And because I work from home, people don’t tend to notice that I wear the same clothes most of the time. However, I did wear my old dress to the last blog-related do so I could get caught out this time. Come on postie, come on!!!

I will also be talking about blogging with John Williams of McAWilliams on RTE Radio 1’s This Week programme on Sunday afternoon.

No ordinary girl

Did I say I was ordinary? Nope, still an angry aul cow. It’s those women, happily parading their pregnant bellies in front of me every time I visit my obs’ office. Who do they think they are??!?!?

Now, I KNOW that I don’t know what they’ve been through or what they’re going through. However, STATISTICALLY, they probably just had to have sex a few times and haven’t had much grief since. Yes, I should be happy for them that they have not had to suffer. And yet their carefree, jolly pregnancy banter does not make me happy. Hmmmm. Maybe us soldiers should wear an identifying wristband or something. Just so I don’t go shooting accusing looks at some poor veteran, just because she had the nerve to smile whilst rubbing her bump.

In other news obs office news, obs is talking about a 39 week induction. I asked what method was most likely to get baby out alive. Because of my history, I have a slightly higher chance of placental problems and stillbirth if I go past my due date so this is the safest method. I was hoping to avoid another induction after my last experience but this is a different team, a different hospital and word of mouth and Internet feedback is very positive. So I may never have the “Honey, I think it’s time” moment but that is last on my list of priorities at the moment. And I’m secretly excited that I may get to meet baby a week or two early!

What do you think? Did you have a history of infertility and/or miscarriage and choose a different option?

Ordinary day

I have a blogging problem. I don’t really like talking about myself. I have no problem talking about infertility – that is a sort of separate entity I was landed with. Infertility tells a good story, can be a cliffhanger at times. But I am much more ordinary. I am glad, I strived to be ordinary for a very long time. Now I am just an ordinary woman with an ordinary pregnancy, even if it did have dramatic beginnings.

I could talk about my husband, but he can do that for himself. I could tell you about my beautiful son, he is much more extraordinary than me. But that is not my story to tell. And he is already getting good at the Internet (he can navigate his way around YouTube) and starting to read, so it could come back to haunt me in a few short years!

Instead I will leave you with some photos of my best boy:

james2
james1
james4
james3

By the way, I am not signing off! I need you to listen to my whinging for at least another three months!!!

This post is all about pregnancy

25w4d today. Past the 24 week viability mark. Although those in the know suggest that 26 weeks marks the point at which hospitals make a reasonable effort at viability. Almost there. Of course baby must be born alive first.

I have been blessed with a trouble-free pregnancy. That is, if you discount my ten weeks of vomiting hell, and the fact that I have spent the entire pregnancy making sure baby is still alive and trying to work out my chances of keeping her that way.

My obstetric care has been great and I am looking forward to a birth with a team that I trust. However, this is only because we have paid for it. All pregnancy-related care is available on the public health service (i.e. free) in Ireland. However, I just couldn’t face telling my history to a different consultant on each visit, constantly reminding medical staff of the cocktail of drugs needed, begging for early scans, recovering on a maternity ward after a D&C. Mind you, private care doesn’t always guarantee that staff actually read my file. A nurse recently told me that my obs must have delivered a baby for me in the past. I said, no, I was certain she hadn’t. The nurse inquired as to why my file was so big. I guess six miscarriages trumps a live birth in terms of column inches.

My little baby is doing fine and so am I. I think I am functioning as a normal human being again. It helps that I don’t have to hide from the past – my book is out soon so talking about that means talking about the last three years. We have not reached the finishing line yet but we have to act as if we will. The alternative does not bear thinking about.

What did she say?!?!??

A very odd thing happened yesterday. First of all I got some free, last minute tickets for the Digital Media Awards, for which I was nominated in the Best in Blogging category. That was quite odd in itself as there’s supposed to be no such thing as a free lunch (or dinner, as in this case). I got to meet Deborah, the Humble Housewife, Grandad and K8 the Gr8, which was cool.

And then, the oddness. I, eh, won. What?!?!??