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Sunday, May 30, 2010

JourneyMan in the house.

While waiting to start my new job, I was watching a episode of '16 and pregnant'. As JG has mentioned, I'm pretty low key and I don't feel much anticipation of coming events. JG would have liked me to have been more active in eagerly anticipating JBB's arrival. I did find, while watching a 16 y.o. attending to her newborn son, that I felt a rush of adrenalin and was quite excited about the arrival of my son in the next few months.

I know I will be an interested parent because my youngest sister was born when I was 10, so I was around little ones early. I've baby sat for my two friends, that each have multiple daughter's. Also my exposure to this, tells me that I will e wrestnjoy his company and be able to look after him.

While looking at baby car seats the other day with JG, I discovered some tops with motorbike/rockstar/cars on them, so once he's born I think I will buy him some cool clothes to roll around in.

I am looking forward to playing games with JBB like peek-a-boo and soft toy wrestling. I am hoping that I can soothe him when he is grumpy by playing some guitar or with some other types of music.

It will be really cute when he's wearing little jumpsuits and swaddling rugs. Once he's older, I'm looking forward to playing ball games and running with him. Most of all I'm looking forward to the multiplication of fun and love between our little family.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Great News!!

Firstly, let me say to all of you - thank you for your comments about my last post about the baby shower - it really helped. So also did having a vent to my mum and then working through the options with my bestie again. Basically I have now vented all of my anger and angst over the whole thing and I am almost finished getting the list of names and addresses together, I am then going to have a break about thinking it and then enjoy the day!! I have realised that my aunt is throwing the shower for me out of the goodness of her heart and whilst there are people coming who I probably wouldn't have invited, I now think - whatever! So, thank you all to allowing me to vent out this prob and to my bestie, who is the best bestie in the world, thanks for always being there - you are fabulous!
In other news, JourneyMan got himself a job - whoo hooo!! SOOOOOOO very happy, relieved and excited!! It sounds like a pretty good one too which is great. I think that it will be a really good development role for him. We went out to dinner tonight to celebrate. It was also 5 years since we met today and it is also 8 years since I have been sober. The 25th of May is a really good day for us!!
Just to catch you up on the news from last week's scan. JourneyMan and my mum came along to this one and all was great until they measured the cervix, which they measured at 29mm, this was 4mm down from last week and only 4mm away from the trouble zone. JourneyMan and I started freaking (my Mum was pretty oblivious because she has trouble hearing and couldn't hear what was going on). The sonographer went and got the doctor and he said that there was a part of the cervix that was hidden that she hadn't measured, so it ended up being 35mm which was a little bit higher than last week so we breathed a huge sigh of relief.
In other news, we have started the ball rolling on getting our kitchen done. This is such great news because we have a kitchen that was done in the 70's and is completely not functional. We will be getting a dishwasher - a hugely coveted item of JourneyMan's and mine - we are very, very excited. We are also looking to get a decking put out in our backyard and getting the floorboards polished all before our little JourneyBabyBoy comes along - it is going to be a busy few months but very rewarding!!
I am SOOOO happy right now - I feel like a huge weight has lifted off me with JourneyMan getting his job (I think that he feels the same way as well). I feel like I can now really enjoy the next few months which is a great relief!!
Thanks again for all of your support, gang!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Baby Shower Blues....

I have been away from ICLW for a couple of months and it is great to be back in amongst it. Sorry all, I am not doing an ICLW post this month but welcome aboard and I hope that you stay and read a few posts to see where this blog is at. Sorry, this was not my ideal ICLW post but I really need to get this out.
**Disclaimer: Firstly, I just want to let you know that I am extremely grateful to be in the position of being able to plan a baby shower. I know I am having a whinge but I want you to know that I absolutely realise that there are many of you out there who are at various stages of TTC and running the gauntlet of friends and families baby showers - with your hearts yearning to have your own. My heart is with you gals as I do understand the difficult situation a baby shower is for the IF woman. I am begging you to forgive the self indulgence of the following vent.
Now, I need to have a bit of a vent because being an IF survivor, the baby shower has been very fraught for me over the years. I cannot count how many I have gone to and sobbed all the way home or felt physically sick trying to make myself get ready to go. So, when I found out that I was pregnant, after awhile I started to dream about my own shower and how lovely it would be. To be the one who was having the shower, who was having the baby, who was cooing over tiny little clothes and preparing for a baby to enter my life. It is a beautiful dream.
A couple of months ago, my Aunty very kindly asked if she could throw the baby shower for me and considering the situation that my mum is in at the moment, I thought that this would be a really good thing. After awhile (making sure that everything was going well) I picked out a date and left it at that.
In the meantime, I realised that there was a little issue with my friends. It seems that assimilation back into my group of friends was going to be harder than I thought and why did I need to assimiliate? Of course because of the journey through IF - as my journey progressed, I withdrew further and further into myself - I found it very hard to be in any social situations. The upshot being that because I didn't go to many gatherings last year, I was left off the list of invitees. Very disappointing and certainly of my own making. I have spoken about this before that I thought that once I was pregnant, I would go back to being myself. This was not really the case. I continued to worry all through the pregnancy and I still found it hard to be in social groups, though I did catch up with quite a few friends one on one.
The fact that I was being left off the list of invitees to any social gathering made me throw a bit of a childish tantrum - "I'm not having a baby shower" - mainly because deep down I was afraid that noone would come. I also must mention here - I am not a giver of parties, I have never been, I really don't like them and I do find them stressful, I find I am good with people one on one but a group scares the hell out of me basically. Anyway, I got over that and then last week, I started to think about the guest list. I realised that if I invited children to the shower it would be 26 adults and 28 children coming. Now, call me a selfish, diva, princess but I did not want my baby shower to be a children's party. This guest list was gotten to by thinking - if I ask this person, then this one has to be invited and even though I am not close to this person, I will invite them so that I won't hurt this person - in itself, just getting the list together was an arduous task because I don't want to hurt or offend anyone.
My Aunt had told me that her best friend was coming (I have met this woman about twice) and my MIL is inviting her best friend and I knew my mum would want to invite a couple of her friends. My aunt had said that her best friend wanted to do the invitations for me and honestly, I am not an invitation person, I was just going to send around an email. It seemed to me that more and more, the shower was becoming less about me and more about everyone else.
I discussed my dilemma with my bestie last week end and after a couple of hours of tossing the situation around with all sorts of different options, we hit on a plan of having 2 events, one at my Aunt's place with only close family (including my two nieces and my 3 nephews if my sister wanted to bring the boys) and then go to a cafe with my girlfriends on another day. It wasn't a perfect solution but I felt bad about asking people not to bring their kids.
I then had lunch with my older sister during the week. She has 3 boys and I thought she would be able to give some good advice about how offended people would be if I asked them not to bring their kids. She was excellent and provided wonderful advice. She basically said that 'it's my party and I can ask who the hell I want to'. That made me feel better, better that is until last night.
I went to the footy with my Aunty as usual last night and I was telling her the whole story about how I didn't want it to become a kids party and she was agreeing and everything (I am sure a lot because she didn't really want her house over run with kids), she also seemed a bit put out when I told that there would be about 28 people coming, to which I said no worries because Mum had said that she would have it if there were any problems. Now that was all fine but then she told me she had invited her son's fiance and two granddaughters and honestly I was floored. Mainly because this would mean that I am telling all of my friends and some family not to bring kids but there will be kids there which I think is not fair to them. It also means that I am being unfair to my aunt on the other side of the family and now have to invite my cousin's wife so as not to hurt my aunt. Honestly, I could have screamed (and poor old JourneyMan got vented on a treat when I got home - he has been extremely supportive in this and has not tried to make me feel guilty about inviting or not inviting anyone on his side of the family - he just let me choose).
The fact of the matter is now the shower has the gloss taken off it. It just does not seem to be about me anymore and the intimate, fun shower that I had imagined now will be filled with people who I barely know and me worrying that people are resenting me for being inconsistent on my invitation policy. I don't necessarily think that everything should be about me but I thought that this was one thing that pretty much should be. Now I don't even know for what purpose I would even be having it. My original purpose was just to celebrate quietly becoming a mum but at last count there are more than 30 people coming so it is certainly not intimate anymore. I am tasked with getting all the snail mail addresses of people and honestly, I can't be bothered, I feel like I have enough on my plate at the moment. I never wanted it to be a big deal, just an afternoon tea chatting with my mates.
Now I wonder if I cancel the shower altogether, would I regret it? Or should I just deal with the situation, grit my teeth and endure what the shower has become? I seem to change my mind in every minute. I barely slept last night and I am absolutely exhausted today. I know that there are so many other hardships in the world, I know that many of you girls are going through horrors that I cannot even imagine and I realise that this is not a huge problem. It is just annoying and disappointing because my dream of what my shower was supposed to be is not to be. In a fit of venting last night I said to JourneyMan that I might take my bestie out to a cafe for lunch and call it the baby shower. Maybe that's what I will do.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ceasarean Birth Class - Yikes!

So, JourneyMan and I went to the Ceasarean birth class yesterday and it really brought everything clearly into focus. I am not allowed to drive for 6 weeks. I can't lift anything over 4-5kg's for 12 weeks (yikes!). Recovery is going to take a while. They went through the whole day of surgery plus the next 48 hours and whilst is scared the hell out of me, it also allowed me to visualise how and when I will see JBB for the first time and what will happen from then on. JourneyMan takes it all his stride, nothing seems to phase him though I do note that he is not the one who will be having major abdominal surgery. I have had operations before but this will be the most major and with the longest recovery time but thankfully I will have little JBB to take care of and take the focus!!
I think I mainly felt scared because I am not prepared yet. The house has not been finished, the house hasn't been baby proofed, we haven't bought hardly anything and what we have been given, I am not sure of whether it complies with Australian standards. I sat down today and started making some lists, so now I feel a little better though there is a lot to do and only a little bit of time left, we are going to need to get our skates on!!
I heard JourneyMan talking on the phone to a prospective employer yesterday (before the class!) and he was talking about what time he would need to take off for the birth of the baby and said one day - holy moly, I said I would need him home for at least a week - I think that he realised that though after the class. Luckily, my mum only lives around the corner and my MIL is not too far away either and both of them have offered their help (which I am sure I will be availing myself of!). I had lunch with my older sister today (who has 3 boys) and she has advised me that if anyone asks if they can do anything to help, let them!! I think that is good advice but it will also take some practice I believe.
Every day I get more excited (and nervous) - time seems to have sped up like you wouldn't believe - so much to do, so little time!!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Over the past week I have realised that I don't have much longer of work left. This has left me excited, worried and a little non-plussed. How it came about was from the OB appointment last week. All was good and I asked when we would most likely be booking in for the ceasarean - which he responded would be the second or third week of August - and of course, being the counter that I am, I realised that is only 12-13 weeks away - holy moly!! I am hoping to have about a month off before the birth to relax and get ready which put me at 8-9 weeks of work left!! That threw me quite a bit. It also threw one of my bosses when I mentioned it today as I have a second tier project that he was saying he thought we should get done by end of July - I said to him that if he wanted me to manage it, it would need to be a go live date of mid-July because I was likely going to be finishing around then. He had a bit of a small heart attack then I think - though I did say it was negotiable. They have been really good about me working from home so much during the pregnancy and being very flexible that I may help them out with some work from home in the 4 weeks if they really need it. Plus if JourneyMan doesn't get a job soon, we will most likely need the money.
I haven't had the heart to tell my other manager as yet - the project I am working on for him will most likely happen whilst I am not available so he is going to be in a bit of trouble. I did show him a lot of the planning that I have been doing for him that will hopefully help him out enormously whilst I am away.
The hard thing is that I don't know if they are going to want me back and I don't know how long I want to take off or anything like that. I am going to have to think of a proposal for them to see if there are ways for me to help them out and in turn they can save some work for me for when I am ready to get back. I really like working for them all (I do work for 3 people and they are all fabulous to work for) and they are really flexible and in turn, I try to make their lives as easy as possible. Anyway, I am going to trust that it is all going to work out. JourneyMan has some prospects that I am hoping are pretty solid and if he can get in to a good role, we will be in a really good position.
JourneyBabyBoy update: Well, this little man is kicking like crazy lately and I am just loving it!! He is measuring well and his heartbeat was perfect last week - big yay!! The scan on Friday was lovely. My MIL came with me to the scan and we had breakfast together and a good chat, it was really lovely - she was very excited to see little JBB. She is very happy right now because she has her first two grandchildren on the way and she is offering all sorts of help and support - she is absolutely wonderful - I am very lucky to have such a wonderful MIL. The scan also went well with my cervix only reducing a small amount however, I asked the OB about it last week and also the ultrasonographer and they both said that it is well within normal limits - a huge relief!!
Belly update: The past couple of weeks has seen a huge amount of growth in the belly stakes. I am absolutely loving it and am checking myself out in the mirror lots. I have got a few pairs of good maternity pants (I prefer the over the belly style) and went and bought some large size long sleeve t-shirts that I wear with thick cardigans which is my main uniform. The weather has been cool but sunny this past week which I am still loving and an update on the central heating - it is divine!!
Symptoms update: I had a really busy day on Friday without my normal afternoon sleep and had a pretty late night so Saturday and Sunday the cramps came back with a vengeance - I have to remember not to push things too far. So, symptoms wise, I am still having the cramps and am really tired - that's about it so that's pretty good. Oh - I forgot, I have had a couple of dizzy spells as well - one on Friday and one at work today. Pretty good overall though.
Well that's about it from me - I have some serious catching up of reading to do - My reader runneth over. Have a great week everybody!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Dad

Okay, so the past few weeks have been very stressful as you know, with the cramping, the shortening of the cervix and the deterioration of my dad's dementia and hydrocephallus. My mum and dad went away last week which made the week that little bit more stressful because she has always been my rock. I think unfortunately it is their last trip away together. It is such a hard disease to cope with, he has changed so much over the past few years, he is hardly recognisable as my dad anymore. He is paranoid and agressive and in complete denial about everything. He used to be one of the funniest people that I know, always with a self depracating story and one of the things that I always respected about him was his ability to admit when he was wrong, he's not like that anymore.
One of the great things that happened though over Christmas is that he really held on to the pregnancy in his memory (it is his short term memory that is damaged), he always remembered JBB's name (yes, already picked out ready to go) and would ask how we were going all the time. Since they got back though, it seems like that has gone into the damaged part of his memory and now he doesn't ask anymore. I am hoping against hope that will change again.
One of the hardest things is facing the fact that JBB will not know his Pop the way I knew him, in fact JourneyMan didn't even meet the dad who I grew up with. It makes me very sad.
In my mind I have to separate out the person my dad used to be from the person that he is now because of the hurtful things that he can say and do, especially to my mum. I have to keep them separated because my image of how he was feels like it is being chipped away piece by piece. I have to remember the man who made me laugh, the one who took me to the footy every week, the man who never missed an opportunity to tell me that he is proud of me. I miss him and sometimes the small glimpses of what he used to be hurts even more so.
Fortunately and unfortunately for me, my mum confides in me a lot and even though most of the time now I have a handle on knowing she just needs to vent because her life is certainly not what she thought it woud be, sometimes I want to stick my head in the sand and not hear about what is happening. I won't do that though because she really needs the opportunity to vent - I have suggested that she see a counsellor so she doesn't have to hold back and she went once but never went back.
It is hard when someone you love is disappearing before your eyes. In my family, I am the mediator, the person everyone confides in, the strong one with lots of advice. At the moment, I don't feel strong, I don't have any advice and really, I miss my dad. I am having trouble dealing with the situation.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Better news!

Thank you all for your wonderful comments and support.
Okay, after a pretty horrible week of stress and worry, I got a little sunshine yesterday when the scan was all clear - JBB is going great guns and put on a show for my sister who came with me to the scan yesterday as he was moving around wriggling like no tomorrow. The cervix has also stayed the same - cue big sigh of relief!!
The cramps have been a little better yesterday and today which I am extremly thankful for and am hoping that they go further away again in the next couple of days. We are off to the OB again this week so I think I will discuss the cramps with him further to make sure that all is okay.
On the home front, we have just had gas ducted heating put in - hurrah!!! Last year we went through the whole winter without proper heating, all we had was a little electric heater and I had an electric throw rug that I had on me when on the couch though sometimes I was so cold, I hugged the little electric heater outright. Now, we don't really have very cold winters in Melbourne, it never snows here and compared to may places it is pretty mild but you do need heating so I am very, very happy to have the central heating in and ready for JBB - there was no way we could go without proper heating once his precious little bottom comes along!!
The weather has turned cooler now and I am definitely loving it, though poor old JourneyMan sat through the footy last night in the pouring rain. We love rain here in Melbourne - we have been in drought so long, we relish every drop that comes our way (though I don't think that there was much relishing last night for JM!!) - JourneyDog and I were tucked up on the couch in the toasty warmth of our new heater. It is absolutely perfect weather today, my favourite time of year, quite warm and sunny but cool at night, lovely.
I am trying very hard to focus on the positives right now!! Happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I am sure that you are all sick to death of the talk about the cramps but my goodness, they are pretty bad at the moment. I feel like I only really had a week or so of a reprieve when I started the progesterone and now they have come back with a vengeance, tonight is particularly bad. At last Friday's scan, my cervix had also shortened, not significantly (4mm - am hoping it is just the difference in the measuring by the sonographer) but enough to worry me. Cap that off with the fact that JourneyMan has finished his job and has not got a new one yet, I am in a bit of a hole of worry. I am hoping like hell that the cervix hangs in there because we need the money from my job right now - I am feeling quite alot of pressure. Don't get me wrong, JourneyMan is doing everything possible to get a job but I am feeling quite breathless with the crushing weight of responsibility right now.
My Dad also seems to be deteriorating quite rapidly. He had been in the hospital for 3 weeks but he got out just in time for him and Mum to go with some friends to Norfolk Island, I think it will be the last time he can go on holiday. The specialists have reiterated that there is nothing further that they can do about the hydrocephalus but they also said that he would deteriorate much quicker if he got any infections and he has had pneumonia which hasn't helped matters. It is such a tough situation because he cannot reason about the situation and is getting more agressive and paranoid as time goes on.
On the positive side of things, JBB has been moving around like crazy. JourneyMan has even felt it a couple of times and his face was fabulous when he felt him do a big kick.
I am trying to relax as much as possible but at the moment, I am finding it quite tough. I am hoping JBB is going well. I am hoping that the cervix is all good at this Friday's check. I am hoping JourneyMan gets a job really soon. I am hoping my Dad finds some peace within himself.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What IF?

Project IF is a joint project between the fabulous Mel of the Stirrup Queens and Resolve to create awareness for Infertility. You can find out more about Project IF here. If you have a chance, read through the live and growing list of 'What IF's' from bloggers here - it is extremely moving. Here is a link to Keiko Zoll's video - I watched it with JourneyMan yesterday and my heart hurt with the plain truth of this video. I read your blog stories every day and I am constantly moved by the unfairness that some people's journey takes but am also blown away by the courage that you women show - you are all amazing in my book.

So here is my What IF submission:

What IF a part of me still grieves for the golden hair genetic child that should have been mine?

What IF the walls that I built around myself on my IF journey never come down again?

What IF I can't forgive my friends and family for telling me that I just need to get over it?

What IF my unicornuate uterus cannot sustain this pregnancy to term?

What IF my son cannot forgive me for seeking an anonymous donor?

What IF I had given up without trying every avenue to have a child of my own?

What IF I am not a good mother?

What IF I forget the journey and take for granted my hard fought family?

What IF our families treat our son differently because he is not genetically mine?

The IF journey is a hard one. I don't think it matters if you have been trying for 6 months or 6 years, the What IF questions that we ask ourselves are generally the same. They unite us despite where we live geographically or our life circumstances.

Our journey has been a tough one. I have had 2 laparoscopies to clean out endo and diagnose my unicornuate uterus. I was born with only one kidney and I have a blood clotting disorder. My husband has had a vasectomy and a vasectomy reversal that was not completely successful. We had 5 cycles of IVF/ICSI before travelling to Thailand for a donor cycle which happily has been successful. I have cried many tears, the depth of the despair that I have felt cannot be easily described but I have also felt the cautious joy of success. I say cautious because even when I had the positive test, I was happy but didn't let myself be too happy because What IF it all went wrong? I have had cautious happiness each time I have reached a new milestone and I am hoping that unbridled joy will be mine once again at some point in the future - perhaps at the birth of JourneyBabyBoy?

In my country (Australia), the government took away much funding in January for IF services putting the cost out of reach for most average Australians. Generally, we had been lucky enough to be one of the best countries for funding IVF but now that declining every day. They also imposed new rules, one of which is police checks that must be completed before treatment commences which has increased the cost, increased time delays and has further alienated the IF community from every day Australians. JourneyMan and I chose to travel to Thailand to seek an egg donor because it is illegal to pay for egg / sperm donations in Australia - there are some very generous souls who do it out of the goodness of their heart but the waiting lists are, at minimum, 2-3 years. In my home state, you cannot advertise for a donor without submitting the advertisement to the government for approval. What IF we actually made it easier for infertile couples to receive treatment?

The What IF quesitons are not all bad ones - there are so many there that have hope. Hope was something that had become somewhat of an enemy but I am now gently holding it in my heart like a precious, fragile jewel. I am afraid to embrace it entirely but it is there nonetheless and growing every day.

What IF my son is brought up in a loving and attentive family and changes the world simply by his presence?

What IF we appreciate every moment of our journey for the rest of our lives?

What IF I hadn't been on this journey and didn't appreciate the preciousness of the life growing inside of me?

What IF I let unbridled joy back into my life?

For more information about infertility - please visit Resolve's Infertility 101
For the list of bloggers who answer the questions 'What IF' please click here.