Sunday, 30 January 2011

Busy busy busy

I've been a bad blogger recently - partly because when you've had as many months as I have waiting around for AF to turn up and then being told that this isn't a good month for treatment, there isn't really a lot left to say; partly because I've been working hard on Operation Destress, which has involved quite a lot of trying to avoid thinking about anything that gets me stressed; and partly because work has suddenly turned really busy.

I'll say it cautiously, but it looks as though my dream of still being self-employed by the end of the year is one dream that will come true in 2011 - I won't make a fortune, but this month I made enough to cover the bills with a little bit left to tide me over the less profitable months. I've got enough work to keep me going flat out till the end of February, and several good leads for the coming months. That's quite an achievement after four months of self-employment, and I still love my new boss!

The other dream for 2011 is never far from my mind, and I'm on another huge health kick with the supplements, wheatgrass, healthy diet, no sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol, etc. Still going to reflexology and coaching sessions, trying to get more sleep at night, having some really good discussions with DH and feeling happy that we're so much more on the same page at the moment. Waiting for my latest niece to show up - her due date was on Friday.

I can't do more than I'm doing, and I'm hoping against hope that it's enough.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Control - again!

Once again, I'm hopping onto the computer briefly before dashing out again. Funny, I can't think why people keep accusing me of being stressed...

I saw the reflexologist this morning, for the first time since before Christmas. She said she can feel that I'm very stressed, and this is something that really needs to be dealt with. As she put it, if there's a blockage in a river, the water can't flow - and in my body, there's a blockage caused by stress which is stopping the hormones from flowing the way they should.

So she said I should stop worrying about trying to pick up the pieces after everyone else and solve all their problems, and concentrate on what I need. (Funny, it's exactly the sort of thing my coach says as well.)

The thing is, it's easy to say. In fact, DH and I both have trouble relaxing, and we have this thing where one of us will notice the other is getting a bit too stressy about something and scrunch all our muscles up really tightly, making our hands into tight little fists, as we say, "RE-E-E-E-L-A-A-A-A-A-X". It makes us laugh, but doesn't resolve any of the issues.

Last week, it was money I was worrying about. On Thursday, I talked about this with my coach. By the end of the day, two things had happened. The first is that a nice big chunk of work landed on my lap, which will comfortably pay this month's bills (and now I just have to worry about finding the time to get it all done without dropping any of my other balls).

The second is that I broached the subject with DH, and he said he had always found it hard to understand why I was so insistent on paying my own way, and that as soon as I said the word, he would be happy to sit down and talk about rearranging the family finances so that I didn't have to contribute as much until I was earning more. He also reiterated that as far as he's concerned, my number one priority at the moment shouldn't be to earn money and pay bills, but to relax and do whatever I feel I need to do in order to give us the best possible shot at succeeding in our next IVF.

Does it help that I've had it forcefully pointed out to me yet again that all the pressure I feel comes from myself, and that nobody else is making any demands on me?

Well, if it didn't sink in the first million times, why should it sink in any easier the million and first time?

How does a control freak relinquish control without worrying that the world will fall apart? If I stop madly juggling to try to keep all my balls in the air, it won't stop me worrying - I'll just worry about different things. Am I putting too much pressure on DH? How will X cope if I just suddenly withdraw the support I've been giving them for years? What if we start relying solely on DH's income and then he gets made redundant as well? Shouldn't I be working as hard as I always have, rather than sitting about trying to feel relaxed? What about saving for our retirement? What if we end up with a baby, but can't actually afford to feed and clothe it? What if I drop everything else in order to make this work, and then it doesn't work anyway? How would I pick everything up again?

So my immune system's shot to pieces, I've already had a cold and a stomach bug this year and we're only halfway through January, I'm trying to juggle self-employment in two completely different lines of work (one of which I'm already making a bit of money in and know I can continue to do so, the other of which I enjoy and want to do full-time if I can ever start making enough money, but have no bookings at all for January), my diary is getting fuller and fuller, I'm not sleeping again, and telling myself that I need to relax only makes me more stressed.

There's too much riding on this next month, and knowing that the only way to make it work is to relax more really doesn't help. If only I could hibernate...

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Muddy waters

I'm sorry I've been AWOL for so long. It's not so bad that I haven't updated my own blog, but I also haven't been reading and commenting on anyone else's. In mitigation, I can tell you that I have been thinking of you and praying for you as usual, and I'll be catching up on your blogs this week.

My silence hasn't been for lack of things to talk about.

There was the lovely text I got from my sister on the feast of the Holy Family, which ended with the simple words, "Praying for your family on this feast."

There was the New Year's Eve party with a group of friends who had all, for various reasons, had a hard time in 2010, where at midnight we raised our glasses and said goodbye and good riddance to the old year.

There've been a couple more helpful sessions with my coach, who has helped me to change my perspective on some things and to be more positive.

There was the flat feeling I had in the first week of the new year, when I felt that I was in exactly the same position as I was at the beginning of 2010, and hadn't moved on at all. My coach helped me to see that this wasn't the case, and I may write a separate post on that.

And then this weekend AF showed up two days early, and I went back to the clinic for my blood test yesterday, full of hope that we would get started on this new protocol that Mr Greek God proposed shortly before Christmas.

I knew it wasn't going to be good news when the phone call didn't come until 6 pm, because they tend to call people who need to come in the next day first, and then the ones who don't.

Sure enough, although my oestradiol was nice and low at 73, my FSH was up again to 12.6, and Mr Miracle Worker is not willing to go ahead with FSH at that level, knowing that there have been a few cycles recently when it's been lower.

Having had my hopes raised last month, I was actually more gutted than I have been for a while to get this result. Whenever I've had a call from XXXX clinic telling me that it's not a suitable month (and that's happened several times over the last few months), I've been disappointed but philosophical, knowing that the aim is to choose the month with the best possible chance of success. Yesterday was the first time I can remember crying when putting the phone down on that call.

The reason I'm so upset by it is that it gives me yet another difficult choice. We had decided that if my levels weren't right this month, we would go ahead with donor embryo treatment. I don't think I'd realised how much I was hoping that this wouldn't happen. Also, because of the renewed glimmer of hope we were given last month with the promise of a new protocol, I feel once again unready to let go of that little bit of hope.

I discussed it with DH last night, and he listened and contributed to the discussion with a level of understanding, both practically and emotionally, that he didn't have this time last year.

The upshot of our discussion is that we are going to wait one more month to see whether my FSH comes back down in February and they allow us to try this new protocol. If not, then we get in touch with the donor clinic. I don't want to set off down that route until I've given up hope on the route we're currently travelling. In November, I'd almost lost hope and was ready to make that decision. In December, I was given a tiny bit of hope to cling onto, and it seems to have moved my thinking backwards.

It's funny how being given a little bit of hope can actually muddy the waters and make a decision harder, rather than easier.