Sunday, 30 May 2010

More positive news

I've been trying since Thursday to get in touch with the clinic and find out what my other levels were, as they only gave my FSH level in the message they left. I was told on Friday that someone would call me back, but Friday evening came and nobody had, so I resigned myself to waiting until Tuesday, since Monday is a bank holiday.

I'd forgotten that XXXX clinic is open seven days a week. Yesterday morning I was working on a little DIY project, and when I'd finished I decided to have a good long soak in the bath. After only five minutes in the bath, my mobile - which I'd left downstairs - rang. That ruined my bath, more so when I checked the message on the phone and it was the clinic that had rung. The message didn't give any information, but said they'd try me again today. I couldn't ring them back, because although the clinic is open at the weekend, the switchboard is not - they don't have enough staff working weekends to deal with non-urgent queries.

I swore and stamped around a little bit, then resigned myself to not knowing anything until today, and just hoped they wouldn't try to call while I was in church today.

But then in the afternoon, I was driving to the shops and as I sat waiting for a traffic light to turn green, my phone rang again - and it was the clinic again! Of course, I had to (illegally) answer it.

So, although my FSH is slightly up at 12.3, my oestradiol has actually gone down again, to 143 (its lowest level ever), LH is 6.8 and prolactin is within the normal range (she didn't give me a number). So all in all, those numbers are not too bad (for me), and certainly still better than last summer.

I mentioned that things had been a bit stressful recently and asked if this could affect my FSH level. The nurse said stress definitely had an adverse effect on FSH in many patients, and if things calmed down a bit this month I might well see a better result next month, though she also said it's not always easy to tell, since FSH levels fluctuate anyway from month to month.

After a pretty awful morning yesterday, I spent most of the day feeling as though I had a little ball of panic sitting on my chest. The call from the clinic didn't make it go away straight away, but it certainly helped.

Now all I need to do is keep calm over the next 22 days, and hope that makes the difference.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

My angel

My grandfather used to have a very powerful and rather vengeful guardian angel. If anyone ever upset my grandfather, they would often walk into a door, or drop something, or stub their toe, soon afterwards, and my grandfather would nod wisely and say, "That was my angel."

This morning, for reasons I won't go into, I was angrier than I have ever been with DH's sister. I was actually crying with rage and frustration at yet another example of her extreme selfishness and yet another weekend that was going to be ruined for me because of it.

Ten minutes after I got off the phone to DH (who stayed with his mother last night after visiting his father in hospital), I was typing up a storm, writing a really long ranting post about how angry I was, when I got a text from him to say that the situation had been somewhat resolved and SIL was going to keep her promise after all.

I think I must have inherited my grandfather's angel, and he's given her a bit of a nudge. It's nice to have a vengeful angel on your side from time to time...

Friday, 28 May 2010

No easy answers

The two major upheavals going on in my life continue to run in tandem.

On Wednesday, I received an offer of voluntary redundancy, which is valid for a period of one week only. I still don't know what roles might be on offer after the restructuring, what the likelihood is of me getting one, or whether we will succeed in persuading the firm to change its mind about some key elements of the new job descriptions that we're not happy with. I'm unlikely to have any more information to help me make that decision before the deadline has passed, so either I make a firm decision and leap into voluntary redundancy now, or I wait and see how the situation unfolds. For the moment, I'm waiting.

Also on Wednesday, my AF turned up. I didn't particularly want to go ahead with treatment this cycle - there's too much going on at work, my FIL's in hospital again, my sister's just had her baby, my US brother and his family are coming over next week and there's a family holiday planned... But once again, I didn't want to be forced to make an actual decision not to go ahead, just in case of this was our only opportunity.

I was at the hospital with MIL when XXX clinic called with the results of my CD 2 blood test yesterday, and I missed the call. So I don't know all my levels, and haven't had a chance to discuss it with them - I'm waiting for a nurse to call me back.

What I do know is that my FSH this month is 12.3, and they don't recommend going ahead with treatment. Which is what I wanted really - I couldn't have coped with treatment this cycle on top of everything else.

But... that FSH level seems to be creeping up again. It's still not as high as it was last summer, but it's higher than last month, which was higher than on my monitoring cycle in March. And I actually did a bit of I-know-I-shouldn't-but-I-will-anyway Googling last night, and found something that suggested that if anything, stress actually LOWERS FSH, rather than raising it as I had thought.

So I'm happy to be going on the family holiday, and not to be turning into a pincushion for another month, but now I'm nervous about whether my levels will be suitable next month. And XXXX clinic seems to operate a 'three strikes and you're out' policy, so if my FSH is still high next month, that might be the end of the road with them.

I'm nervous. In a month's time, I could be forced to take a job that combines all the worst elements of my existing job and takes away all the fun parts, at the same time as facing another rejection from Mr Miracle Worker. Or I could have a redundancy cheque, the prospect of a summer off and an orange to practise my injections on.

The one thing I'm clinging onto is that my next AF is due on 21 or 22 June. And that means that if my FSH is OK next cycle, then egg collection, embryo transfer and beta testing would all be in July. And who could ever have predicted that...?

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The way things work

On our way back from my sister's on Sunday evening, DH and I talked about what a mad month this has been, and how difficult it would have been to get through it if I'd been six or seven months pregnant.

There's been all the uncertainty over the redundancy - OK, pregnancy might have protected me, because there are all sorts of extra employment law rights you get once you're pregnant, but I would have been facing at the very least a huge change in my working conditions and the loss of several valued colleagues.

Then this weekend I basically spent the whole weekend helping to look after my nieces - my mother had cleared her diary for a fortnight, but having stayed with my sister and helped with the older children for all that time, she had to leave the day after #4 was born. My BIL is lovely, but childcare isn't really his thing, so I took #1-3 to the park, changed nappies, wiped bottoms, did bathtime and bedtime, and in between all that, rocked #4 to sleep, passed her to my sister for feeding when she woke up, took her back and burped her, and did all the other million and one things that need to be done when you have a newborn, a 1-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old in the house.

And today my FIL is having an operation, so I'll be going backwards and forwards again this week to take my MIL to the hospital to visit him.

And all of that is on top of just generally being very busy with normal everyday stuff.

I said to DH that it now made sense that IVF #1 and #2 didn't work out, because I was clearly needed over these couple of weeks to help a lot of other people out.

But then I said that I hope it'll be our turn now. My sister's not going to have another baby - certainly not in the next few months, and I'm pretty sure she's hoping #4 will be the last. DH is making progress with his driving, and hopefully if his parents need this level of help again, DH will be able to do the driving, or at least share it. And I'm pretty certain that in a month's time I will be unemployed and all my current work worries will be gone.

Perhaps the universe is finally clearing its diary for us now...

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Wonderful family

Honestly, I couldn't wish for a better family than I have.

We went to meet our new niece on Thursday evening, and my sister and BIL asked my DH to be her godfather. He is absolutely chuffed to bits, and keeps proudly telling everyone he meets that he has a goddaughter.

My parents both made a point of asking me on the phone during the day if I was OK, and gave me huge long hugs when I arrived at the house in the evening.

When I arrived, #4 was demonstrating the impressive power of her lungs, and she was passed from person to person and happened to fall asleep when I was holding her. I made a comment about how lucky I was that I was the one holding her when she happened to cry herself out, and my sister said, "Don't be silly - we all know that you know what you're doing with babies." Somehow that made me feel really good.

Then in a quiet moment while my parents and other sister were bathing the older children, my sister and BIL asked DH and me how the IVF was going and just took time to show their concern - within 12 hours of my sister giving birth, and after a sleepless night. Their selflessness and generosity just overwhelms me. They also talked about how they agonised over how to tell us about this pregnancy, the discussions they had over it with each other and with my parents, and how hard they tried to find the time and way to tell me that would make it least painful for me.

Jeannie, as you all know from her comments, is wonderful.

And US SIL would be devastated if she knew how her recent e-mails have hurt me, but we haven't seen the US family since all this started, and having sailed through seven problem-free pregnancies (most of which were unplanned), what we're going through is just completely outside her realm of experience.

I was talking to my mother on the phone this morning, and she said she thought I had been very brave over the last few days. I don't feel brave, but I do feel wonderfully supported and cared about by my family and friends - including all of you, so thank you so much for all your lovely caring comments.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Eleven days

Well, the baby didn't arrive on Sunday - or the next day, or the next. My sister went in to be induced yesterday, and UK Niece #4 finally appeared shortly before 2:00 this morning. She was 11 days late, and those 11 days (plus the previous week, after my sister was told the baby was fully engaged and could arrive at any time) have been Baby Central in this family, with daily updates emanating from my sister's neck of the woods and regular e-mails from my US SIL about what a special time this is, what a miracle it is to know that you're carrying a life within you, how great my sister is, how exciting it all is.

And don't get me wrong - it is exciting, my sister is great, and I can't wait to meet #4. I'll be going shopping for some cute little outfit during my lunch break today and hopefully meeting her after work. Happiness and excitement will be all around.

But am I remembering that after #3 was born while we were on our honeymoon, DH and I smiled at each other as we toasted her with champagne and said, "We'll be next"?

Am I remembering that if IVF #1 had been successful, I'd be pretty close to giving birth myself?

Has every one of US SIL's recent e-mails inadvertently pierced me to the heart as they emphasise exactly what I'm missing out on?

Did I turn again to DH after I put the phone down and say once again, "It's our turn next"?

And did I lie awake for an hour after that, thinking about the new baby, thanking God for the new life, but also aching to hold my own baby in my arms, before creeping downstairs to get a glass of milk and my laptop and try to quell the thoughts racing round my tired mind?

Yes to all of the above...

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Celebration of life

Five years ago today, my sister went into hospital for a fairly routine operation. It was to be keyhole surgery, and the recovery time was going to be short. My mother was staying at my sister's house to look after my 13-month-old niece.

That evening, I dialled my sister's number. It was my father who answered the phone, and I didn't immediately twig that this was unusual - he was still working full-time at that time, and should have been back at home after a full day's work.

Cheerfully, I said, "Hello Daddy! Is my little sister all right?"

There was a pause, and then the bottom fell out of my world as he replied, "No, I'm afraid she's not." Replaying that conversation in my head, I can still feel the emptiness that settled in the pit of my stomach on hearing those words.

The surgery had gone disastrously wrong, and she was in intensive care. The next 24 hours would be critical. Nobody knew whether she would live, and if she did live, there was a strong chance that the massive blood loss could have caused brain damage. The damage couldn't be assessed until she woke up.

We were talking about that day last weekend. My father asked my sister when she first realised that something had gone horribly wrong, and she replied, "When I woke up and saw you there." Obviously she was quicker on the uptake than I had been!

My father talked about how after the initial shock was over, we started to worry about whether her brain had been damaged. My SIL, who married my youngest brother last year and was hearing many parts of this story for the first time, lightened the mood by asking, "And was it?"

Since those awful days, my sister has had two more children and she and her children have continued to bring love and happiness to the whole family. Today she is a week past her due date with another baby - tired, fed up, anxious for it to come out and meet the world.

What a marvellous celebration of life it would be if the baby arrived today, on this anniversary of the day we almost lost its mother.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

The clunking hand of fate

Sometimes, the universe is really heavy-handed in the messages it sends out to us.

While I was working myself into a state of nervous exhaustion over all the uncertainties in my life, Sonja was facing even greater uncertainties with not just the question of a little bit of job uncertainty at stake, but true matters of life and death - and she is facing them, as she has the whole of her very difficult and scary high-risk pregnancy, with such grace and courage.

While I was grumbling that my employers didn't appreciate me, Myndi was dealing with a heartbreaking family crisis.

And while I was weeping on the phone to my mother and telling her that the firm's proposals represented the worst possible scenario, one of my friends was searching an ultrasound monitor in desperate hope of finding a sign that her own worst fears had not been realised.

I had a text last night from this friend, who had recently got her first ever BFP from her fourth fresh IVF cycle. At six weeks, she had the joy of hearing a heartbeat. This week, at a little over 10 weeks, she went for a scan. The baby was small, silent and still. There was no heartbeat. Her body was still clinging on to her precious baby, but the baby had lost its fragile grip on life - another little life over before it had ever really begun.

So OK universe, I get it. I was selfish, overdramatic, and my priorities were temporarily skewed.

Now can we please all have some good news?

Friday, 14 May 2010

An alternative 2WW

Wednesday saw the end of a two week wait of a different kind as I heard a bit more about my employer's proposals for redundancies in my department.

On first hearing, it was the news I had been dreading - several redundancies in the department, but the possibility that I would be required to stay on, possibly with reduced pay, possibly with reduced hours, and certainly with a very different job description. This led to the thought that I wouldn't be able to bear to do that job and would end up resigning, leaving me with no redundancy payoff and no job - as I said when I heard the news, the worst of all possible worlds.

24 hours, various discussions with my boss and a day of teaching one of my favourite groups gave me a different perspective. How could I say that continuing to be paid a pretty decent salary to do a job that will still have elements I enjoy is the worst of all possible worlds? There are people who are losing their homes, losing their savings, struggling to keep their families fed and clothed, and here I am complaining that I might be forced to keep my job.

Yes, it'll be a change. Yes, they're dumping something that I've worked for almost five years to build up from nothing. Yes, I feel hurt and disappointed that these decisions have been made.

But either I'll get a redundancy payout and get the summer off, or I'll still have a job. If I get a reduced hours job, I'll still have decent pay but will have more spare time. And if I get a full time job, I'll be able to save more and perhaps retire earlier, or make plans to do something different, or - and this would be the real dream - take paid maternity leave in a few months' time and then have more choices available to me in terms of how much time I can then spend at home with my child(ren).

On Wednesday I was furious about the stress that I'd been put through and would continue to be put through.

Today I feel tired, a little drained after the drama of the week, desperately in need of a weekend, but also calm and hopeful. There are three options - each of them has its advantages and disadvantages, and I'm beginning once again to be able to focus on the advantages.

I now have a fairly major role to play in the consultation, and at the same time I need to keep my stress levels as low as possible, because high stress means high FSH. I need to take one day at a time and not think about all the ifs, buts and maybes of the next few weeks and months.

It's time to chill and let things happen...

Thursday, 13 May 2010

One problem he can solve

When I had my little meltdown the other day, one of the more minor things I told DH I was worried about was this weekend.

We're due to spend Saturday night with DH's oldest friend and drinking buddy, who we haven't seen for a few months. He and his wife don't have children, and don't like children very much (although I do wonder which came first, because I also understand that she had some sort of fertility issues). And every time we've spent the night with them in the past, it's turned into a massive drinking session.

I've raised it a couple of times and said that of course DH can have a couple of drinks, but asked him to exercise moderation. He's laughed it off, and he made a comment to a friend last Sunday that we would be away this Saturday "and a lot of alcohol will be consumed".

I mentioned my concern to him, and he instantly looked contrite and said, "I should have told you earlier and not made jokes about it."

And what he thought he should have told me is that he had already decided that he wouldn't have even the one or two drinks we had talked about, because drinking a limited amount would make his friend suspicious anyway. So he had decided to come clean, tell them that we're not drinking, and explain why. He hasn't yet decided whether to tell them about the two failed IVFs we've already had, but he is going to tell them about the regime we're on at the moment, and that we're preparing for IVF.

I have no idea how the conversation will go on Saturday - whether his friend will be sympathetic or hostile towards the idea, given that he and his wife decided that they didn't want children and would not pursue any sort of fertility treatment; whether his friend will make jokes about DH 'firing blanks' (a distinct possibility, since his friend has rather an off-colour sense of humour); whether they'll accept that we're not drinking or try to persuade him to have 'just one or two' (since he always ends up drinking more than he intended with this friend).

But I'm so grateful that DH has finally hoisted on board how important this is, and is even willing to go further than I would ever have asked him to go in this respect.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Understanding more

One of the things that DH said about that article was that he thought the author was exaggerating when he talked about his wife avoiding places where babies might be - because he's not aware that I've selectively avoided some of my more smug friends who have babies and small children, and we've continued to spend a lot of time with my sister and her children.

It was a real eye-opener for him when I explained that this was not an exaggeration at all. I reminded him of a comment a friend of ours made at a party a couple of weeks ago - she was talking to another friend about two couples who were mutual friends of theirs and said that they don't speak to each other any more. When asked why, she responded sotto voce, "It's because A's pregnant and S and H can't."

And then, while talking generally about the redundancy, IVF and everything else that's crappy in my life at the moment, he revealed how he's been feeling.

As a teenager, he experienced two major upheavals in his life - when he was about 13 or 14, his father had a nervous breakdown, and then a few years later, his brother died. He talked more than he ever has before to me about how he felt on those two occasions, and said that after those two cataclysmic events, the ups and downs of life had never been able to bother him in the same way.

And then he added, "Except the IVF."

He'd never really talked about how he felt, although I was aware that he had high hopes for IVF #1 and was fairly crushed when it failed. But to hear that he ranked that first failure as one of the three cataclysmic events of his life shook me a bit - and also reassured me. He wants this as badly as I do, and not just because he doesn't want me to be upset. But as a man, he's better able to compartmentalise things and push it to the back of his mind when we're not actually going through treatment.

So now each of us understands the other a bit better, and understands how much this means, how much is at stake. And I think I understand why he keeps saying, "This doesn't have to be the last try. If it doesn't work, we can try again."

It's not just for me - he wants it too. And somehow, that makes it all feel so much easier, as if there are two of us carrying this burden, and not - as it has often felt - just me.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Sonja's quads are here!

Many many congratulations to Sonja and her husband on the safe arrival of Sophie, Ethan, Liam and Jude. All four are now in NICU, so I'm hoping and praying that their stay there will be brief and uneventful, that Sonja recovers quickly from her emergency c-section and that the whole family will soon be united at home.


I had a mini-meltdown last night - I think I managed to hide it from DH when he made me cry on Sunday, but there was no hiding this one.

I just feel so overwhelmed with uncertainty at the moment.

The biggest question, of course, is will we ever be parents? And that question subdivides into questions like will my FSH be right next month, or the month after? When will our next IVF actually happen? Will I even get the chance to go ahead with IVF at this clinic?

And those questions lead into the question of my brother's visit from the US with his family at the beginning of next month - will we have to fit our treatment round it? Will we be able to go on the seaside family holiday, or will we need to stay in London for daily appointments at the clinic? This matters to me, because I love my American family and don't see them nearly often enough.

And if it doesn't happen next month, will the following month be better? Will I still have a job? Whether I'm made redundant or not, I know we'll cope, but it's the strain of going for two weeks (and counting) having been told I'm at risk of redundancy but having been given no idea of what the firm's proposals are or what the probability is of losing my job that makes it impossible to plan anything. I've obviously managed to put a positive spin on this to my family, because the only comment I got from US SIL was delight at what an exciting time this is for me, but I don't feel excited right now - as I said to DH, at the moment I just feel utterly defeated.

If I do keep my job, will it be changed beyond recognition, so that I'm no longer doing the work that I enjoy?

If I don't keep my job, will I be able to earn enough to make the necessary contribution to the household pot by working freelance? And how am I going to build up the freelance work?

And whether I keep my job or not, the situations that I'm thinking of only make sense if I'm going to get pregnant. As I said to DH last night, if I don't get pregnant, all I am is an unemployed woman who can't have children (or a woman in a job she hates who can't have children, because even if I keep my job, everything is changing, and not in a good way).

And then there are the day-to-day uncertainties - is the course I'm teaching this week going to be the last course ever on this programme that I designed, wrote, and built up from nothing? If so, how much work do I put into updating it, knowing it's never going to be used again?

I discovered yesterday that a colleague had gone behind my back to do something which was the complete opposite of what we had agreed - do I confront him, or does it ultimately not matter because we're both going to lose our jobs anyway?

Even my country seems to be conspiring to keep me in a state of nervous uncertainty, with no parliament formed several days after the general election and the increasing likelihood that an unelected minority is going to ignore the will of the people and seize power, just because they can. And because they'll need the support of the Scottish and Welsh nationalists to form any sort of majority, and because England is solidly Tory and has no devolved parliament, you can bet that any Lib-Lab coalition is going to be better for Scotland and Wales than it is for England. And what worries me about an unstable government is the risk of increased inflation, with the result that our savings won't stretch as far as they would in a stable economy.

So I melted down, and DH held me while I cried, and we talked about the fact that if IVF #1 had worked, I would now be in the situation that my sister is in, and how hard I find that thought, and how hard it is to be kept in limbo over the work situation, and how worried I am that we'll never have children. We talked about the IVF, and I now know that he's not just doing this for me, and I know exactly how much it means to him - that article helped, as he used it as a sort of jumping-off point to compare his thoughts and feelings with the guy who wrote the article.

I don't feel much better today, because all of the uncertainty still remains, and I feel that there's not a single area of my life at the moment which is under my control. But I do know that I'm incredibly lucky to be married to this wonderful, loving man, and I know that whatever happens, we're in it together.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Just another Sunday...

So, after I wrote my post yesterday, I went onto Facebook - and waded through all the 'Happy Mothers' Day' wishes (and it's not even Mothers' Day here!), good wishes to my sister after she updated her status saying that it was her due date, people either boasting or complaining about their children (though I have now hidden the worst offenders) and then came to... another pregnancy announcement.

Went to church, then decided I really must give DH some driving practice, so offered to let him drive to my sister's house. He was nervous, wanting to impress me, and didn't drive well. We managed two miles before he got frustrated with himself, took it out on me, told me it was all my fault that he hadn't been able to concentrate, and reduced me to tears. We've now agreed that although I would love to help him in any way I can, it's probably counterproductive and possibly relationship-damaging for me to take him out practising.

The day could only go up from there, and despite the cold, damp, miserable weather, it did.

We had a lovely time at my sister's - my parents and younger brother and his wife were also there. BIL cooked a superb lunch, we sat around the table chatting for hours, and the children were all on their usual good form.

In the evening, I went on Facebook again, and the friend who had posted her pregnancy announcement in the morning had posted another status update: "Praying today for all those whose dream of motherhood has not been fulfilled", and somehow that made me feel good - a bit less invisible.

And then I went to bed, thinking of Sonja and her four babies, and Egghunt, whose embryo transfer should be today, and hoping and praying that all is going well with both of them.

Sunday, 9 May 2010


When I was a little girl, I had blonde hair and big blue eyes - and three brothers. I used to kneel down every night and pray for a little sister. After my sister was born, my dad always said that I must be responsible for her existence, because how could God resist such heartfelt pleas from a little girl? (Obviously, I'm not cute and blonde any more - maybe that's where I'm going wrong...)

Anyway, my sister came along when I was 7, and from the moment she was born she has been one of my favourite people in the world. Five years ago, she came very close to death when she had an operation that went wrong, and during the long months of her recovery I spent a lot of time either at her house or at my parents' house, looking after her and my niece. She is the family member who lives closest to me, and if we go three weeks without seeing each other, that's a long time.

Today is the due date for her fourth child. I'm so happy that she's still here to be having a fourth child, and I know I'll love this baby as much as I love the other three. I also know she's going to need some help while the baby's very small, and I'm always happy to go to her house and help with bathtime and bedtime, or to have my nieces for a night at my house to give her a break. And since it looks as though I'll be unemployed in a couple of months, it'll be even easier to give her a hand while DH and my BIL are at work.

On Thursday of last week, she had an appointment with the doctor, who said that the baby was fully engaged and could arrive at any moment. As the other three were all at least a week late, she wasn't prepared for this news, and BIL hadn't got any of the baby stuff out of the loft yet. The one thing that concerned her was that she had nothing for the baby to wear if it was born - the cradle and car seat could be got down from the loft while she was in hospital, but as she said, hospitals do prefer babies not to be left naked after they've been born.

So on Thursday afternoon, I nipped out and scoured the shops for something for the baby to wear, just in case. I wanted a pack of babygros, but they were all either pink or blue, and we don't know yet what she's having. So I found a nice little yellow and white outfit, and took that over to her. I then stayed and helped put the children to bed, and told her that I would be available for babysitting duties at any time of the day or night if needed.

Then last weekend DH and I had the children overnight while my sister and BIL got everything down from the loft and sorted it all out, so that by the time they picked the children up the next day, everything was ready.

And ten days after she was told the baby could arrive any minute, we're still waiting. My parents have now arrived and will be staying with her for the duration, so I'm off babysitting duty standby.

The last ten days have been Baby Fever Central - every e-mail mentions it, there's been another one from my SIL saying what a special and precious time this is for my sister, even my friends are now asking me if there's any news whenever I speak to them.

I never knew I could be so excited for someone else and so sad for myself all at the same time.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

He's learning...

As DH left the house this morning, he said, "Oh, by the way, I've got a banana and a cheese sandwich with me, so I won't be tempted to have crisps or junk food."

After all these months, he's finally taking responsibility for his own food choices! Perhaps he does listen to some of what I say after all.

(Or perhaps it's just because he made such unhealthy choices on Wednesday and my complaints are still fresh in his ears...)

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Lots of talking

I've been busy in the 'real' world the last few days - since Monday was a bank holiday, we were able to have the nieces overnight on Sunday night while my sister and BIL got the baby stuff out of the loft and prepared their house for the arrival of the new baby. We also went to a party on Saturday night, had people over for supper on Sunday, and work is busy this week (especially when I keep finding myself googling stuff about redundancy rights rather than getting on with the job that still needs to be done until the 'consultation' is over).

In between all that, there's been a lot of talking going on. DH read that article the first chance he had after I mentioned it to him. He was then the one who raised it with me, saying he had found it very interesting. I asked if he identified with what the author had said, and he talked about how hard he has found it to raise any of his own doubts or fears about what we've been going through. I think he was relieved to see some of his feelings put into words and to realise that he's not the only one feeling that way.

We also talked again about the Foresight regime - again, raised by DH. We had a wardrobe we wanted to get rid of, and some friends came and took it off our hands on Monday afternoon. DH and my friend's husband carried it downstairs and got it into the car. It then occurred to all of us that my friend wouldn't be able to carry it with her husband up two flights of stairs to their flat, so she stayed and had a cup of tea with me while DH went with the husband to deliver the wardrobe.

When he came back (remarkably quickly), he was very proud of himself and said he was amazed that he had been able to do all that heavy lifting without getting out of puff and working up a huge sweat. He attributed it entirely to the general improvement in his health and fitness since we started the Foresight regime - and I think he's right, as he's actually been going to the gym a lot less since he started learning to drive (and doesn't work particularly hard when he's at the gym anyway).

His general level of health is so much better, he has *ahem* more stamina in the bedroom department, he looks trimmer and fitter, and I'm really hoping that it's had as good an effect on his boys as it has on him. He's also being an awful lot better about keeping his alcohol intake down, although I am allowing him the occasional drink.

And of course, the other thing we've been talking about is how we're going to manage without my salary. This is quite a big deal, as I earn more than twice what he does. We now reckon that we can manage on his salary and my redundancy payout until the end of this year, and have agreed that the time is right for me to have a go at doing freelance work - which will be much less lucrative, but will give me more time and less stress, particularly in the early stages before I build up much of a portfolio of work. Because it can be done at home and is not tied to a particular time of day, it's also something I could continue if and when we have a baby.

And on the having a baby thing, we already have the money earmarked for this next round of IVF. But last night he said, "I don't want you to have the stress of thinking this is our last chance. If we need to have another go after this, I have some savings that we can use for it."

Of course, he's made absolutely no provision for his pension, and it doesn't look as though we'll be building up many more savings in the future, so I'd rather not touch his 'running-away fund'. But as with my dad's offer the other day, it's nice to know he cares that much.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The man's perspective

There was an article in the Times yesterday about infertility and IVF from a man's perspective. I found it interesting (though the comment at the end from the woman at Relate was a bit odd - 'self-service' is only banned for a couple of days leading up to egg collection, surely). I found the comments left by readers equally interesting - there was only one negative comment, and what I thought were some very good responses to it.

DH actually sounded very interested when I told him the article was there (in the print copy, in the Weekend section, this one was accompanied by three others, all talking about the man's perspective on IVF, but I can't see the other ones online). We had a busy day yesterday, but hopefully some time over the next few days he'll get a chance to read the whole feature.

I'll be interested to see what sort of reaction it sparks from him...