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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Intersecting Moments

When I was at work last week, I happened upon a conversation that two women were having in the kitchen. They were taking about how people are always commenting on how her kids look like her. Cut to a day later and I was at my osteopath's and his twins (natural) were there and they are the living image of him. At JBB's day care, they have a book that they ask family questions each day and then put it up around the centre. The question then other day was 'where does your child come from, what is their heritage?' - in my mind I thought 'this could take awhile'. I wrote, with only a small hesitation, donor: Thailand, Mother: England, Ireland, Father: Ireland. Cut to my house that night and I hear the same word over and over again, mainly because JBB loves to say it but also because it is who I am, Mummy.

My feelings when heard the women in the kitchen at work were mostly a mere observation, as in 'oh, that will never be me'. The feeling when I was talking to my osteopath about how his kids look the image of him was really detached, it was a world away from my reactions of when I first heard or had conversations like these. It was a kind of grieving at first, I felt a loss that I am not sure was an actual loss or the loss of being more 'normal'. I feel good that I can hear, see and participate in these conversations without any feelings of sadness or loss. I feel good that I can let people know his heritage without feeling like I am 'wrong' in some way.

And really why would I? When I go home at night, I have the moments that I treasure. When I pick JBB up from day care, he comes running to me screaming 'Mummy, Mummy, Mummy'. I'm the person he goes to for comfort, we also share jokes and laugh all day. He says 'Mummy' all the time and it doesn't matter how many times he says it, I love it evey time. Every. Single. Time. Implicit in this word is everything that I wanted for so long. It makes me smile, it warms my heart and I am always, always grateful that this little miracle came into our lives.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Getting up off the mat....

So, I have spent the last few months feeling sorry for myself. Sorry that JBB got sick, sorry that my Dad has melanoma, sorry that the past two cycles have been negative, sorry that I am so tired, sorry that fertility treatments has meant that we can't buy a bigger house.

It has taken me awhile but I once again realise how lucky I am. Lucky that I have had so many quality years with my Dad. The past few years have been tough but we had a great childhood. Especially for the fact that my Dad worked from home, he was always a very visible presence in our lives. I am lucky that he got to walk me down the aisle, 12 months after that, he was barely able to walk. I am lucky that he has met our darling JBB - they have a touching relationship and really, he is probably closest to JBB of all his grandchildren (5 others). I think that this is because he basically is a captive audience when JBB is around there.

I realise that we are very lucky that we caught JBB's Kawasaki disease in time and were able to get him treatment before his heart was damaged. We are lucky that we have an excellent GP. We are lucky that we have a wonderful children's hospital in our city. We are lucky to still have him happy and healthy in our lives. Still, the fear of something happening to him has been slow to leave me but even that has been helpful, we are eating better, exercising and going outdoors more and reiterated how important this little cheeky is to us. On Sunday, as a family, we are doing a '5km fun walk' (Run for the Kids) that raises money for the hospital that JBB was in - we are so thankful for their great care of JBB.

I'm sorry that the past two cycles have been negative but I am starting to pick myself up from there. I have struggled to find where we are lucky in this but I think our luck comes in the form that we are lucky that we can afford the cycles, very many would not be able to have a family because of the costs involved in these type of cycles. I am also thankful that it has made me critically look at the reasons that I was doing these cycles. I had never bothered previously to imagine a second child's face but since I found the elephant key rings and started to focus - I can see the baby everywhere, she is beautiful and I tell her 'hold on, sweetie, mummy is coming for you'.

As I say, it has been a hard few months but I am finally getting myself up off the mat. There are some things that have inspired me to (apart from JBB who brings smiles and happiness to every day!). Recently, a great Australian Rules footballer, Jim Stynes died. His death has touched me profoundly because his life was amazingly inspirational. He was the type of person that I would like to be. He was a successful footballer but an even more successful person. He started a foundation to help improve children's self esteem. He had a beautiful relationship with his wife and they have two lovely children. He was loved by our town, our country and his own country of Ireland. There was a documentary that was made after he had been diagnosed with cancer and it detailed the alternative therapies that he used to try to fight against the cancer - some of which were pretty full on and it reminded me of my exhaustive search to leave no stone unturned - it made me think that I am like him in some small way. He had a motto 'whatever it takes' and I have adopted that for myself at the moment. That was what I was like when trying for JBB and I need to bring back that tenaciousness, which I am starting to do.

I also read this post by Silver at Hope for the Best. It was all about finding five good things in her life which made me consider five good things in mine - here they are:

1. My beautiful family - JourneyMan, JBB and JourneyDog O Wool

2. My supportive family - Mum, Dad, sisters, brothers, aunty, good in-laws

3. The best best friend in the world - noone could be more supportive

4. My job and JourneyMan's job cos it allows us to save up for cycles (plus hopefully JourneyMan will qualify for a trip to Hawaii as a reward for exceeding his targets - oh yeah and JBB and I get to go as well - whoo hooo, a holiday with no cycle, yayers!)

5. Our house that has been renovated and despite the fact it is pretty small, it is comfortable

Thanks, Silver for such an inspirational idea - I like it very much.

Okay, so I have rambled on for long enough - long story short, I am getting my positivity back - yay!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Plan

So, you may have noticed that I have added a couple of tickers to the blog.

Firstly, another countdown to when I leave to go to Thailand for the next cycle. I have been booked in for awhile but I have wanted to keep it under wraps for a bit because of a ‘time limit’ issue that I have been working through. In short, I have been feeling very pressured because I have constantly had time limits ie. I not only need to lose weight, I need to lose it in a certain time, we need to get ourselves back together financially but also within a certain time. Time limits had previously been a huge motivating factor for me but it seem that the rebellious side of me had been rebelling against them for a bit. Now I am a bit more on track. These few sentences do not convey the pressure that I feel that I am constantly working to a time frame - I have been trying to write a post on it for about a month and I think I am going to have to give up trying to express this and just say 'it's a lot of pressure'.

It has been a very fine balance working out when to next go to Thailand for a cycle. Once again, I will be going without my darlings JourneyMan and JBB but I am hoping that my bestie will be able to make the trip with me – that will be a lot nicer than going on my own! The balance comes where I want to give myself enough time to make a difference to my weight, our financial status, state of mind as well as our house but not too far in advance that I feel that it will never be over. I am not sure if I have said this on the blog before but we have decided our end time. We have decided that if the next frozen cycle does not work, we will have one more fresh cycle (with a new donor) and then try with any embryo’s frozen. I figure that we would be finished by the end of 2013 – which seems pretty far off but at least there is an end date now.

Secondly, I am in need of losing a great deal of weight, so that is the other ticker. I am hoping that this will motivate me towards my goal of weight loss. I had been kidding myself on the last two cycles that my weight didn’t matter and honestly, maybe it doesn’t but I am not willing to go into another cycle with doubt. This is one part that I can control so I am going to help myself out here. I need it for the health reasons anyway. I have surprised myself again by letting my weight get away from me - seriously, am I learning impaired?

Anyway - the weight loss is only one goal that I am going for in the 150 days until I embark on another cycle in Thailand. Here are my overall goals for the next 5 months:


My physical self needs some work. I am still very exhausted though a trip to the naturopath has me taking magnesium, vitamin d and iron which I noticed has helped out a little (it doesn't help with tiredness derived from a little cheeky man getting up at 3am a few days in a row but nevertheless, there has been a little increase in energy). I am focusing on detoxification, losing weight, strengthen my body through exercise, nourishing it with high quality foods and making our lives as chemical free as possible. At the end of the day, when we went to Thailand for the cycle that we got JBB, I felt good about myself - I wasn't in my healthy weight range but I felt healthy and strong and at the end of the day, all of the below goals are to help me to feel healthy and strong for the next cycle (and also for myself, I would definitely like to feel healthy and strong again).

On top of the measures listed below - I also visit an acupuncturist once a week and have the chinese herbs twice a day. I also see a naturopath to ensure that my vitamin and mineral intake is good and I see an osteopath to make sure that my back is behaving (which it hasn't been lately). This makes for a lot of appointments but I am hoping that the osteopath and naturopath will go to a once a month type situation shortly as it will be more maintenance.

Chemical Free:
  • No caffeine as of 16th April (I'm allowing myself 1 coffee a day until 130 days before I go)
  • No pain killers / anti inflammatories / medications as of 16th April (I am having trouble with my back and I am hoping it will be alot better by this time)
  • Remove chemical cleaners from the house & use natural ones - Kitchen cleaners removed and bathroom cleared of items by the end of Easter
  • Use no-chemical make up and personal products - have started this one already
  • Eat organic or hormone free, free range foods - have started this already

In the pursuit of being chemical free - I have also got organic cotton pj's and sheets. We have bought an air purifier and have some indoor plants so that we are breathing nice air. I am also working on having a daily homegrown wheatgrass juice and I say working on it because I have all of the stuff but haven't worked out how to do it yet!! I am constantly seeking out ways to eliminate toxins from our lives. I am now looking at only using our stainless steel cookware.

Lose weight / nourishment:

Many of you know that I have a lap band which I have had pretty loose since the pregnancy because I hadn't reconciled myself to have to lose weight. I have finally done that now and I will be utilising the band as a tool to reduce my calorie intake. As usual, it is hugely important to eat exceedingly well to ensure that I am getting enough vitamins and minerals whilst I am restricting my calories - it is not only about weight loss, I am wanting to be as healthy as I can possibly be as well. Here are a few of my goals:

  • Eat high quality, nourishing foods
  • Take daily vitamins and minerals as prescribed by naturopath
  • Track calorie intake through Body Media FIT program
  • Take chinese herbs twice daily


I really like how I feel when I am fit and strong and I haven't really been that since we went to Thailand to get JBB. I ran a 10km a couple of months before we made the first trip to Thailand to get JBB so I am aiming to be fit enough to do another 10km before I go in August. My sister in law is going to do the 5km and 10km races that we have picked out - we have run together before and we have a really fun time doing it so that will make it a bit easier!!

  • Run 5km - I am aiming for a 5km fun run on 29 April (I have quite a bit of work to do for this one!!)
  • Run 10km - I am aiming for a 10km fun run on 15 July
  • Yoga daily - I have a 4 week rotating program of 4 moves a day (plus breathing exercises and a relaxation at the end)
  • Weights program at the gym 3 times per week - I have my program, I just need to do it to get my strength up
  • Walk at lunch times and as much as possible at any other time - it is nice walking with my bestie at work, we get to chat but also have a nice time walking as well!!


As well as stopping chemicals from going in, I want to get rid of as many from my body as possible and to that end, I have a range of activities that I want to do each week to help the detoxification along - here are those that I want to do:

  • Skin brushing daily
  • Clay bath once a week
  • Castor oil pack twice a week
  • Clay foot bath once a week
  • Naturopath liver detox powder twice daily

Mind / Body Connection:

I really believe that I need to be prepared in the mind and as you may have noticed from my recent posts, I have not been travelling that well mentally. To that end, I am seeing a psychologist every fortnight to work through some issues - it is pretty helpful and certainly the ACT techniques that she has taught me has been really helpful in dealing with the overwhelming emotions that I have running around at the moment. I also have some good books and cd's on creating 'fertile' images in my mind and I have some hypnosis and subliminal recordings that I like very much so I will continue to pursue them.

  • See psychologist - fortnightly
  • Use ACT techniques to defuse emotions - whenever necessary
  • Schedule time in each day / week to relax - I am having a little trouble with this though I do have a bath most days which is generally relaxing (except for when JBB barges in and starts throwing things in the bath - that's not so that relaxing - though it is nice when he comes in to give me a kiss)
  • Imaging - I have done a small amount of this but need to get more consistent
  • Mind Map - I had one for a variety of things when we went to get JBB, need to get a new one done!
  • Subliminals - I just need to transfer these to my new phone (I am a destroyer of iPhones - I have submerged 2 in liquid and last week dropped one onto concrete and shattered the screen - der!!)
  • Hypnosis - I have some really nice ones that I use and so I will continue with those (though of course, have to transfer them to the new phone)
  • Make myself ready for another baby - this is a big one. I have identified in the two negative cycles last year that I was more focussed on 'getting the whole ivf thing behind us' rather than the chance to have another baby, I hadn't even imagined what it would be like to have another one - I have now - I am really focussed on thinking about the actual reason that I am doing this. JourneyMan recently found a bag of elephant keyrings that we got on one of our trips to Thailand (maybe even the honeymoon!!) that we were supposed to give out to people but hadn't. I have put it on my keyring now and every time I look at it, I think of having another baby - it is very motivating! I have also passed them out to the important people in our lives and have asked them to send positive thoughts for the cycle when they look at it. I like the idea of a river of positive thoughts flowing through till I go to Thailand - I am hoping that the river becomes a flood by then!
  • Meditation - I have always rebelled against meditation, I find it very hard to quiet my mind but I am thinking that even if I just start small (like a couple of minutes or so) that I might be able to build up to a bit longer over time.

The past couple of years have been tough on the finances. I had 6 months off with JBB - we wanted to have more time but JourneyMan lost his job and our savings were used up fast. On top of that, we had the fresh cycle with all of us trekking over to Thailand and then another one at Christmas. All of this has left our finances in a pretty shabby state. We have some debt that needs to be sorted out, some tax obligations for the business that I need to get done (it is hard not to keep delaying when I am in 'cycle' mode). I don't know how much this affects my fertility but certainly I feel better and a lot less stressed if everything is sorted out and is all under control. I definitely need some focus in this area. I am also considering working an extra day in order to get out of debt and save more but this will be a wrench as it will be another day away from JBB. Here are some of my goals:

  • Bills paid on time each month - I have lost the run of myself with this one, I used to be very good about getting our budget done and bills paid on time so I need to get some focus back here
  • Taxes complete and up to date - I have an appointment with the accountant next Wednesday - it is going to be a mad scramble to get things everything ready but I have to do it to get it out to the way
  • Debt reducing weekly - I have set up a calendar appointment to get these paid off weekly - we should be able to make a dent in this pretty quickly
  • Stay within budget - We have been a bit loose with our budget - we really need to stay within so we can get ourselves back in order
  • Save money so that I can have 12 months off work with the new baby


One of the things that I identified that we did before we went to Thailand to get JBB was to get the house ready for a baby. Prior to that, the spare bedroom was basically a dumping ground and just had crap everywhere - no way a baby could go in there. Before Thailand, we made the controversial decision of making it into a nursery and putting baby items in there (that my sister had given us) before we even had a baby to go in there but we really got ready for success. So, one of the things that I realised over the past couple of months is that I didn't really know if we had enough room for a baby in our house (really a 2 bedroom unit) and I thought that I should at least know whether we could fit another baby in the house before we decided to have one!! Anyway, I did a big clean out of JBB's room and it has now become a room that JBB and the new baby can share. We definitely have enough room - we just need to get a bed in there with a new mattress - which I think we will do over Easter. I also feel that we need to get into good cleaning and cooking routines - we have been a bit haphazard with this, I just don't feel it is totally under control.

  • Room ready for new baby (almost there, just need the new bed and mattress)
  • Bedded down routines for the cleaning (if I do another day of work, we may investigate a cleaner)
  • Bedded down routines for the cooking (I'm pretty good with this but always need to have back up food in the freezer of casseroles and things)


As for any parent of a toddler, sleep is at a premium. I definitely am not getting enough sleep at the moment - JBB has been waking up in the middle of the night again (on Saturday night because he had vomited all over his bed poor thing) and the last couple of nights as well. JourneyMan is great because he is very good about getting up and getting him but I find that I always have trouble going back to sleep. Today, I have been up since 3am, though I did sneak in a 15min powernap in the carpark before I got to work. I am not really sure what to do about this because I also find that if I have a nap during the day, I find it hard to get to sleep at night. I am going to have to rethink how I do things to see if I can get some more 'catch up' sleep if I need it - am not really sure how that will happen at this point but I definitely know that I don't want to go to Thailand completely exhausted like I have the last 2 times.


I know that these expectations are very high. There is a lot to do with not much time to do it in (amongst taking care of JBB, cooking, cleaning & working). I am going to try my best and I am also going to not listen to 'Moaning Myrna - the Mean Hearted Beartch' who talks in my head and criticises everything that I do (silly cow). I just want to give us the best chance of having another baby (or babies - would love twins - speaking of being time poor!!). I want to feel like I have done everything possible for this cycle and whilst I may not live up to every minute little detail of this plan, I will feel good if I can get most of the way there to doing it.

Thanks for reading this far if you got there - I know that this was as really long post but I needed to get all of this out.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Question

There is a question that has been playing around the edges of my mind. It is one that I don't want to face and the thought of it scares the hell out of me. The past few weeks have been tough. I have gone underground because I don't really know how to express myself at the moment and then when the whole PAIL debacle happened and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I am exhausted. JBB has been very cranky lately and has taken to screaming, an ear piercing teeth hurting scream whenever he doesn't get his way, even over the smallest thing. I'm so emotional, I burst into tears myself at the smallest thing.

I feel wrong, just absolutely wrong. My motivation is super low, I have gone off the rails with my diet in a big way. I take offense to anything anyone says to me, even the most innocuous of comments. I even went to the endocrinologist to get tested for my thyroid because I felt that this was the reason that I felt like such utter crap. Nope, am healthy as a horse and I had a complete breakdown because I am healthy, yes, because I am healthy (well, apart from the excess weight, fertility issues, deformities inside and a blood disorder).

I realized today that I was upset that it wasn't a thyroid issue because at least that was easily treatable. Sadly, I have to face the fact that I am probably super stressed and maybe even the 'd' word (depression). I didn't want it to be that because I know that the remedy for stress is to 'relax' and we all know how fun that freaking word is. Seriously, I do know that being stressed is going to negatively effect the next cycle but how the Frick do I 'relax' without wanting to take to people with a bat?

So, really not in a good way but even worse is the question that I don't want to face: if I am so stressed and not coping with one child, how the hell do I think I'm going to cope with two? Is that why the past two cycles have not worked. It makes me sick just thinking about that.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Another brick in the wall....

It has been a crappy week. The past couple of weeks, I had tried to start getting myself back out into society. As usual with any cycles, I had turned inward and pretty much removed myself from any situations that would be stressful. I met up with a girlfriend a couple of weeks ago and that was a resounding success. After that success, I thought I would really put myself out there by offering to help my sister with her baby shower. I organized a catch up with her two best friends and we got together a list of questions to ask my sister so that she could decide what she wanted. One of the girls was going to see her on the Saturday and ask her all of the questions. I ended up seeing her on the Sunday and asked her about it. I realized pretty quickly that she was angry with me. This is not unusual but I was at a loss as to what I had done. I think I have now realized what she is angry about. I think that she wants her friends organising the baby shower and not me. It is definitely an assumption that I am making but I don't know what else she could be angry about. I feel pretty hurt by it actually, I was just hoping to make it a really special time for her. Our relationship has been very fraught over the past few years, and most of the time I find myself apologizing to her, treading on eggshells around her or being overly nice to her so that she would forgive me for something that I had done. Sometimes it is even for things that I had not done, one of which was that she thought I called her (current) boyfriend (they were broken up at the time) an arsehole but it wasn't me who said it, it was my older sister. I even brought that up with her recently and said it was my older sister and she said 'whatever, I don't want to talk about it'. So, I am stepping back from it. I will do anything that anyone asks me to do for it but I'm not going to take the lead on it.

Another incident occurred after I had my counseling session this week. This needs a bit of background. On Saturday night, I am going to my cousin's wife's 40th birthday. I am not really close to her or my cousin but she is a nice girl and I always was going to go, that was until I realized the Footy was on on Saturday night and my team was playing. The reason that this is a big deal is that I thought immediately that I would be able to watch it with my dad. That's my thing with Dad, we watch the Footy together, it is how I relate to him. I mentioned it when I was at the psychologist and we talked it through and talked about how I do a lot of things because that is what someone else wants and for me it was important to spend this time with my Dad because I don't know how many games that we have left that we can watch together. I talked to my Mum about it and I was shocked that she thought it was more important for me to go to the cousins wife's 40th. She was really mn about it too, basically saying that it was extremely rude and that she is going to feel bad because only me and maybe my younger sister are going. It really hurt me that she rates her desire not to look bad above me spending time with my Dad. It is really strange to me because she related to her own Dad over the Footy, I thought she would have understood. Needless to say, I am going to the cousins birthday instead of spending the night with my Dad but I have lost a lot of trust with my Mum. She has asked to come with me to take JBB for his final test and whilst I don't want her to come, I wil never use JBB as a pawn in a relationship with my mum. I will ensure that it is off limits to talk about Saturday night though, I will not be talking about that.

So, my foray out into society has come to a screeching halt, in fact, I am reversing at full speed. I am very tired, I am in a massively vulnerable place and I need some walls around me for protection. I am so sensitive to anything that people are saying to me, especially family that I am not going talk about anything of consequence. Here is my off limits list of conversations:

1. My Dad
2. Cycles, Thailand or pregnancy
3. My feelings about anything

I am stopping all outings that are going to put me in a position of spending time with my family, no more market on Saturdays, no more Reiki, no more trips to the shops with my Mum, I am in self protection mode now. I need to minimise the opportunities that i can get hurt. Looks like I will have some nice conversations about the weather, about JBB and about the Footy. That's fine cos in my fortress, I still have my great stalwarts of support, JourneyMan and my Bestie and of course you lovely readers of my blog. I'm fine, is going to become my new mantra to the world and really, maybe if I say it enough, I will be.

Thanks for reading if you made it down to this far.