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.

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.

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.

Why wait for babies when you can fast-track with IVF?

According to today’s Guardian, couples with no fertility problems may be opting for IVF to cut out the time and hassle of babymaking. One of these couples may be Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt who, apparently, didn’t have the time or patience to try the usual way. It is possible that this trend may be encouraged by fertility clinics that aim to improve their success rates by treating fertile young couples instead of infertile old crocs.  This may be happening at a clinic near you, “although no one can put a figure on this phenomenon”.

What I would like to know is, where are these magical clinics where you can get an instant appointment and then get pregnant, almost guaranteed it seems, on your first go?

Catchup

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.

Still here

Just a quick note to say that I am still here, willing, wanting and waiting to write.  It’s just every time I think of it someone is crying or whinging and stopping me in my tracks.  I need 100% peace and quiet and lots of time to write.  So see you soon.  Hopefully.

Anna’s arrival

Here is my short and sweet (and illustrated!) birth story….

Despite being told I was ready to go at any time from my due date, baby was not in any hurry so I was scheduled for an induction at ten days over. My waters were broken at 9am in the hope that that would kickstart labour without the need for any further intervention.

Image

We were left to wander around the hospital grounds for a few hours.

Image

By 12pm I wasn’t the least bit uncomfortable so I was started on the oxytocin drip. It was done in small increments so the pains were completely manageable. By about 2pm I was breathing through the contractions no problem and was surprised when the midwife suggested getting the epidural. She said (and DH wholeheartedly agreed) that there was no point in waiting until I had to get it and I would have to get it eventually – she wanted to crank up the oxytocin and really get things moving. But about two minutes after the epidural went in, I started to have serious contractions in my bum! The midwife examined me and I was fully dilated. Almost instantly I felt the urge to push. She told me to wait two minutes while she got her tray together and called my obs. I panted obediently and as soon as she got back, I had to push. This stage was hard as I had only been given a little bit of epidural and it hadn’t really kicked in yet. But I pushed and I pushed and I pushed and within no time at all a little head popped out. One more push and there she was – the little girl we’d waited over three years to meet.

Image

She weighed 8 lbs 2 oz.

Image

Mum and dad were very proud.

Image

Image

And big brother couldn’t contain his excitement – he arrived while I was still in the labour room!

Image

All in all, a fantastic induction and birth experience. Would do it all again in a heartbeat if I could. Can’t believe I have two children now!

Image

And here she is now – Anna Elizabeth, the sweetest little girl in the world:

Image

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.