Secondary Infertility Network Group (SING)

I was so happy to receive details of this support group recently – would have loved to have been part of something similar over the past few years.  It’s specifically for those suffering from secondary infertility, who may feel that they don’t quite fit in elsewhere.

The first meeting will take place on Tuesday 23 September in Dublin 3 and will be facilitated by infertility counsellor, Kay Duff.  There is more info on the forum or you can contact Caroline Byrne on 085 7133130.

Once an addict, always an addict

I peed on a stick today.  Why?  Because it was there.  No, that’s not strictly true.  Because I wanted to see what would happen.  Because I wanted to see how I would feel as the pee moved across the stick, as the control line appeared, as I waited for a hint of colour in the test line.  Nothing.  Not a jot.  Just a damned evaporation line.  It was an OPK.  I am breastfeeding exclusively.  I was disappointed.  Some things stay with you.


Ahhhh, peace and quiet at last.  So where was I?

Anna is wonderful.  Here are the edited highlights of her first five weeks:

Ate and slept for about two weeks.  We smugly thought we were in for an easy ride.  So were hit quite hard by the fortnight that followed: crying, eating, crying, sleeping, crying, eating, crying, eating etc. After being advised by everyone she came into contact with that she had reflux/colic/wind/tummy pain etc (she didn’t seem to have any of them), I had her checked out.  Diagnosis: crying baby.

And then it stopped.  Just like that.  So now we can enjoy the little smiles, the half laughs,  the eye contact and the communicative gurgles.  And of course, the peace and quiet.

Claire Gingerpixel took some photos of her recently – I can’t wait to see them, will post one or two when I get them.

Huge congrats to DD on the birth of Hazel Anne – a wonderful end to a very difficult journey.

The eleventh hour

I had another sweep at obs appt yesterday.  I was quite excited to find a lot of blood when I went to the toilet afterwards – my previous two sweeps had not caused any change in the status quo.  I was a bit surprised to see bright red flowing blood as opposed to the blood-tinged mucous I had expected so I asked the midwife if it was normal.  She said yes and so off I went, hoping for some pains to follow.  No pains but the bleeding did continue, becoming more mucousy and period-like as time went by.  It still hadn’t eased off by about 10pm so I called the hospital and was told not to worry unless it became bright red.

This morning there was still a lot of bloody discharge but it was dark red and brown so I assumed it had been left over from last night.  It continued, becoming reddish and then bright red.  I called the hospital and was told to come in immediately.  I lay down to feel baby moving (she usually never stops), just to put my mind at rest before we set off.  She didn’t move.  I started sobbing and couldn’t stop.  I completely freaked out DH as I could barely stop crying to tell him what was going on.

So we made the dreaded but all-too-familiar, post-bleed trip to the hospital.  Baby moved en route so I calmed down.  Midwife did a trace, baby is fine.  I had to pee in front of her so she could see how much blood I passed/wiped.  Not much.  She was happy to let me go.  Bleeding has eased off now and I am not to worry unless it becomes bright red again.

I have really had it easy this pregnancy.  This was my first bleed since implantation.  It has been almost a year since we have had to face up to the thoughts of baby loss.  And yet it only took seconds for me to be right back there.

I am less excited about labour now than I am anxious to get baby out alive.  Less than two days to go.

Still here!

40+6 today and nothing stirring.  Obs did a sweep on Tues, cervix was already 2-3cm open and ready to go.  Had a bit of a show later that night but was probably just due to the sweep.  But still no pains at all.  Am booked in to have waters broken on Monday morning and am sort of resigned to that now – seems my body is bad at getting babies in and out.  So for those of you that are tired checking in on me, I will definitely have baby by Tues!

Two is a magic number

We had a bit of excitement yesterday, my due date.  My acupuncturist reckoned I would have a baby by the end of the night so when I started having pains around 8pm, we got very excited and emotional.  I was also scared – not of labour and birth, that was actually the exciting part.  I thought about it and realised I was scared of never being pregnant again.  Of having to watch everyone else go through pregnancy as many times as they wished.  But most of all, of never getting to experience this amazing feeling ever again.

I have talked myself round to how great it will be to have two children.  It’s not what we planned but it is more than we ever imagined just a year ago.  Two means we can give each one more attention, more financial support, we can give each other more time and devotion and our careers will take less of a hit.  It also means that I will never again have to put my family through infertility.

I don’t want to spend the first few years of my baby’s life fighting another losing battle.  I’m not sure I even want to sideline her to pregnancy.  And yet, the decision never to try again is so immense, I can’t contemplate it.  I don’t even know what it’s like to have a menstrual cycle that doesn’t dictate day-to-day life.  But it may well be out of our hands, we will just have to wait and see.

Many rivers to cross first.

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.