A top night out for a great cause

I am delighted that my friend Caroline and her husband Paddy are soon to adopt a child from the Saratov orphanages in Russia.  They are organising a fundraiser in aid of the orphanages – if you are in or around Dublin on the 18th of September then I recommend it will be a great night out.  And I will be there!  There is more info on Facebook .

Almost there

I have been meaning to write this post for a long time.  My previous two pregnancies have been well documented, Anna’s on here and James’ on  a pregnancy diary I wrote for www.rollercoaster.ie (my diary doesn’t seem to be online any more). So I want to mark this little one’s transition into the world too.

He (it’s a boy!) has been the most active little fella from the start. I was able to feel something (a niggle) from implantation – an ultrasound at 6 weeks confirmed him to be in the same place as the niggle. From 10 weeks, I have felt some sort of movement, a flutter or a wiggle, and a few weeks after that, he started dancing and hasn’t stopped yet. He has kept me awake at night so many times, stretching and wriggling, unaware of the intimacy of the moment. I love those shared moments, the only downside being when it stops. Baby has to sleep sometime and, rare occurrence thought it is, his occasional refusal to respond to a few nudges and pokes is a reminder of that alternative universe.

He has saved me. From that alternative universe, from the envy, the isolation, the prejudices (mine, not theirs). Anna rescued me when I was drowning, she ensured that I was a survivor. But this pregnancy has been a whole other healing process for me. I never, ever thought I would be this lucky. It’s what I hoped for and it’s what I was prepared to fight for but I always knew that it was unlikely to happen at all or certainly unlikely to be as successful as it has been so far. I know this is a shit, horrible thing to read for those that are still struggling to have one baby, to be told that your second (successful) pregnancy after infertility is an even greater cure than the first. I am sorry if I’ve upset or annoyed you and if so, please feel free to unsubscribe.

He has a name. It’s a family name, chosen by John. There were some intense negotiations along the way but in the end I relinquished control on the basis that I was the one who wanted another baby enough to steer the ship back in the direction of Infertility Island, so if John was prepared to do that for me, he could have the honour of choosing his son’s name.

He will be here soon. He is due on the 23rd but if I am favourable, I can be induced any time from Friday. As I was induced at 13 days and 10 days over previously, there is a very good chance my body won’t be interested in getting things started this time either. So an induction may be inevitable regardless of how long I wait. So the big question is – which is better, before or after Christmas? I think a birthday in the run-up to Christmas is infinitely preferable to one in the wind-down afterwards so I am preparing myself for Friday. What do you think?

This time last year…

My beautiful, clever, adventurous, happy girl is one today. Best year of my life.


She is almost walking unaided, says a few words – mama, dada, baba, hiya, peekaboo, ball (ba), bottle (bobo), bear (beh), feed me (nom nom), has eventually started to grow some gorgeous blonde curls, loves music and dancing, loves books, gives big hugs and wet kisses, giggles constantly with her big brother and smiles nearly all the time. Best little girl ever.

I’m an infertile, get me out of here…..

God, this is not easy. Or maybe I’m just no good at it. Never was.

A heartbeat at 6 weeks does not mean that panic won’t set in sometime later. Morning sickness has been adequately awful, but what happens when it is not quite so bad one day? The fear. Still feeling ok the next day? Meltdown.

It was only a 2 day respite but enough for me to question everything I’ve learned in my 9 pregnancies. So I was almost shaking at today’s 9 week scan. All fine. Baby is measuring a couple of days behind but all completely normal according to obs. Heart is beating, growth is good since last scan. And yet I’m still thinking about the 2 days and what if it loses another 2 days by the next scan.

Maybe it’s just the tiredness and the sickness and the feeling that I couldn’t possibly be this lucky again. And the thought that I could be this lucky, it is so exciting and wonderful and I suppose it might really happen!

Moving on up

Every night for the past five and a bit years, I have checked on James before going to bed, to make sure he is still breathing.  Every night I feel the usual relief, give him a kiss and off I go.  Then I check on Anna (still in our room).  Once again I feel relief when I see her chest rising and falling but then something else happens.  I feel a little thrill of excitement and then I get giddy.  Sometimes I giggle, sometimes I jump up and down.  Every night I get this rush of…..I’m not sure what – happiness?  joy?  innocence?  She is still here, yes, there is definitely a beautiful, breathing, live baby in my room.  We did it!!!  Seven months on and I still get a buzz every time I think of that.

She is chatting (mama (this was her first word, at five months), dada, baba, anna, nana (technically the same word as anna)), sitting, not rolling or crawling, obsessed with remote controls, smiling and laughing almost all the time (the only time she complains is when there is a remote control out of reach) and generally behaving very well indeed.  She doesn’t sleep through the night (wakes 2 or 3 times for a breastfeed) but she does eat everything she can get her hands on (brussel sprouts, yum yum!).  I am used to the painful process of mealtime with a fussy eater so am overjoyed to have a food-compliant baby.

I’m not going to lie (I was going to but decided not to!), I do think constantly about trying again.  I think about how far I could go, how much I could put my family through and to what extent it would be worth it.  I also think about the fact that I probably won’t have another child and I think I could come to accept that.  Not when I hear pregnancy announcements obviously – I still get in a strop about those and probably always will!  But they belong to other people’s hopes and dreams.  I have mine already.

As for me, I am a normal person now.  Really.  I look forward to social events, meeting friends, making plans, hanging out, going shopping, eating out, staying in.  I’m cleaning up and I’m moving on, going straight and choosing life.  I’m going to be just like you: the job, the family, the fucking big television, the washing machine, the car, the compact disc and electrical tin opener, good health, low cholesterol, dental insurance, mortgage, starter home, leisurewear, luggage, three-piece suite, DIY, game shows, junk food, children, walks in the park, nine to five, good at golf, washing the car, choice of sweaters, family Christmas, indexed pension, tax exemption, clearing the gutters, getting by, looking ahead, to the day you die.


I have wanted to write about Anna for a long time now but for various reasons, it has not happened.  I may post about her, and about the reasons I no longer post much, in the new year.  For now, here are some of the highlights of her first six months.

9 weeks9 weeksJohn and Anna (3 months)Anna (4 months) and Mum5 months
4 months6 monthsJames and Anna (6 months)

Tomorrow we officially welcome her into the world.  For the first time in ages (about six months probably), I am weepy as I think about what we went through to make her and how darn wonderful our lives have been since she arrived.  Not a moment goes by that I don’t consider how much she (and my boys) means to me and how lucky I am to know her.

I wish a peaceful Christmas and a fertile new year to all.

Deno – how are you?

How to speak

I got embroiled in a heated online discussion recently.  The gist of it was whether or not people should turn off pregnancy tickers when posting on an infertility message board – I’m sure you’ve seen it all before.  One of the comments stated that I was a hypocrite trying to speak for infertiles when I have two children.  I get that.  I really do.  No matter what I have been through, I have made it.  And making it is what it is all about, it is what alienates one group from the other.

Since I have had Anna, I have realised even more how awful my life would have been never to have had her.  And then some days I find it hard to remember exactly how painful it was before, how much of a struggle it was to get through the days.

So, should an infertile survivor have any role to play in the infertility community?  In the general public as an infertility commenter?  I’m not looking for supportive comments saying “After what you’ve been through…” etc, I am really just interested in people’s views from both sides of the divide as to how they perceive those who have had children.

I should add that I have spoken to this commenter and completely understand where she is coming from – not everyone will know my history (why should they?) and will see someone with two children talking about how awful it is not to be able to have children.