Category Archives: IVF

GI-Low

You know when someone says to you, “whatever you do, don’t think about elephants”? People say that a lot… anyway, of course, you’re going to think about elephants right?

So when my doctor said, “Only two serves of carbs a day”, all I can think about is pasta. Basmati rice. Bread. Brown rice. Gozleme (those Turkish things with dough with cheese and spinach filling). Potatoes. Raisin bread. Sourdough bread. Bread with seeds n things in it. THINGS I HARDLY EAT ANYMORE ANYWAY.

I haven’t really eaten a lot of carbs for about 18 months, mainly to keep my weight in a manageable range. Before that, carbs used to be my daily bread so to speak. And healthy carbs, so I think I was kind of kidding myself. But you know, muesli for breakfast, brown rice salad for lunch (Heathy with a capital H!). Or soba noodles, or pasta, or something Asian with rice or noodles or laksa (oh the goodness of chilli and coconut milk and rice noodles, mmm).  And then for dinner, something with basmati rice. So pretty much every meal was based around carbs.

But then a year and a half ago I stopped. Not completely, but I cut out A LOT. I had gone to see a nutritionist who worked in the gym I went to, and her mantra was “Look great naked” and she was MEAN. She weighed me, took my measurements and asked me about my diet. I was feeling particularly puffy and fat that day but I think I was kidding myself that it was “just that day” because the scales and measurements she was writing down – well, I didn’t like them. And she kept on saying “No! no, no, no” after everything I said I ate…

Anyway, cut a long story short, I lost about 5 kilos, mainly because I had to keep checking in with her and I didn’t want her tut-tutting.

But then I put it back on in the ice cream binge I went on during IVF.

So, what I’m trying to say is, I don’t really eat carbs the way I used to. And my diet has by and large been very healthy. So imagine my surprise when my doctor said I had low-level insulin resistance – a pre-cursor to Type 2 diabetes (I mentioned this in this post). Horrified. And unable to think of anything but the elephant in the room.

I know most people probably link diabetes with sugar, but I am reading more and more about the effects of carbohydrates – particularly refined carbohydrates – on creating an environment for Type-2 diabetes, the so-called “metabolic syndrome” or syndrome x, and also heart disease. I have also recently read an article where researchers are linking childhood consumption of sugar to future heart disease.

Carbohydrate consumption is also linked to high cholesterol levels – on a high-carb diet, triglyceride (bad cholesterol) levels go up and HDL levels (good cholesterol) go down.

And that is not what we’re told right?

Anyway, I thought I’d just give a quick run down on what my doc had laid down for me in terms of a low-GI diet (and Pauline, you asked!).

  • LOTS of veggies
  • 2 serves of carbs per day – 1 serving = 1 slice of bread or half a cup of cooked grains –  grains need to be whole and unrefined. Not much huh.
  • Good quality animal or vegetable protein
  • Two serves of fresh fruit (but not juice) and no bananas :-(. Luckily it makes no mention of mangoes
  • No processed foods, no additives and refined sugars
  • The only acceptable sweeteners are agave and stevia (ditch the fake sweeteners – yucky chemicals). Honey has a really high GI, so that’s a no-go
  • Plain, organic yoghurt
  • Eat 4-6 smaller meals every day to keep blood sugar stable
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol (BUGGER) (except small to moderate amounts of red wine). My definition of “moderate” may vary substantially from theirs though…

How much do you think I feel like chocolate RIGHT NOW??

The picture has nothing to do with bread, obviously. But it’s almost summer and the jacarandas are out – aren’t they gorgeous?

Image

Thanks to my friend V over at Babbling Bandit for the coffee and chat today and the inspiration to get blogging.

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Courage

This week I got a card from my mother with a quote from Vincent van Gogh on it:

“What would life be like if we had no courage to attempt anything?”

It means so much to me that people recognise the courage it took to attempt IVF. So I thought I’d share the quote with you because we are all courageous in our own way, and it needs acknowledging.

A friend also shared a most amazing article on facebook today too, which I’m also going to share in its entirety, because we all need to know that we’re ok the way we are, even broken and lying in a pile on the bedroom floor. I’ve been there, haven’t you?

This is from a writer and yoga teacher called Julie Peters writing on Elephant Journal. The part about your future dissolving in front of you after a failure, or a breakup, or a miscarriage or some other awful, heart-wrenching event spoke to me. I’m sure we can all relate. Here it is:

“The Goddess of never not broken.

You know that feeling when you have just gone through a breakup, or lost your job, and everything is terrible and terrifying and you don’t know what to do, and you find yourself crying in a pile on your bedroom floor, barely able to remember how to use the phone, desperately looking for some sign of God in old letters, or your Facebook newsfeed or on Glee, finding nothing there to comfort you?

Come on, yes you do. We all do.

And there is a goddess from Hindu mythology that teaches us that, in this moment, in this pile on the floor, you are more powerful than you’ve ever been.

This past week, I have been deeply inspired by a talk I heard on the Yoga Teacher Telesummit by Eric Stoneberg on this relatively unknown Goddess from Hindu mythology: Akhilandeshvari.

This figure has snuck up inside me and settled into my bones. She keeps coming out of my mouth every time I teach, and she’s given me so much strength and possibility during a time of change and uncertainty in my own life. I wanted to unpack a little bit about who she is for those that might be, like me, struggling a little bit in that pile on the floor and wondering how the hell to get up again.

The answer, it turns out, is this: in pieces, warrior-style, on the back of a crocodile. Yee ha.

Akhilandeshvari:

“Ishvari” in Sanskrit means “goddess” or “female power,” and the “Akhilanda” means essentially “never not broken.” In other words, The Always Broken Goddess. Sanskrit is a tricky and amazing language, and I love that the double negative here means that she is broken right down to her name.

But this isn’t the kind of broken that indicates weakness and terror.

It’s the kind of broken that tears apart all the stuff that gets us stuck in toxic routines, repeating the same relationships and habits over and over, rather than diving into the scary process of trying something new and unfathomable.

Akhilanda derives her power from being broken: in flux, pulling herself apart, living in different, constant selves at the same time, from never becoming a whole that has limitations.

The thing about going through sudden or scary or sad transitions (like a breakup) is that one of the things you lose is your future: your expectations of what the story of your life so far was going to become. When you lose that partner or that job or that person, your future dissolves in front of you.

And of course, this is terrifying.

But look, Akhilanda says, now you get to make a choice. In pieces, in a pile on the floor, with no idea how to go forward, your expectations of the future are meaningless. Your stories about the past do not apply. You are in flux, you are changing, you are flowing in a new way, and this is an incredibly powerful opportunity to become new again: to choose how you want to put yourself back together. Confusion can be an incredible teacher—how could you ever learn if you already had it all figured out?

This goddess has another interesting attribute, which is, of course, her ride: a crocodile.

Crocodiles are interesting in two ways: Firstly, Stoneberg explains that the crocodile represents our reptilian brain, which is where we feel fear. Secondly, the predatory power of a crocodile is not located in their huge jaws, but rather that they pluck their prey from the banks of the river, take it into the water, and spin it until it is disoriented. They whirl that prey like a dervish seeking God, they use the power of spin rather than brute force to feed themselves.

By riding on this spinning, predatory, fearsome creature, Akhilanda refuses to reject her fear, nor does she let it control her. She rides on it. She gets on this animal that lives inside the river, inside the flow. She takes her fear down to the river and uses its power to navigate the waves, and spins in the never not broken water. Akhilanda shows us that this is beautiful. Stoneberg writes:

Akhilanda is also sometimes described in our lineage like a spinning, multi-faceted prism. Imagine the Hope Diamond twirling in a bright, clear light. The light pouring through the beveled cuts of the diamond would create a whirling rainbow of color. The diamond is whole and complete and BECAUSE it’s fractured, it creates more diverse beauty. Its form is a spectrum of whirling color.

Photo: Justin Graham

That means that this feeling of confusion and brokenness that every human has felt at some time or another in our lives is a source of beauty and colour and new reflections and possibilities.

If everything remained the same, if we walked along the same path down to the river every day until there was a groove there (as we do; in Sanskrit this is called Samskara, habits or even “some scars”), this routine would become so limited, so toxic to us that, well, the crocs would catch on, and we’d get plucked from the banks, spun and eaten.

So now is the time, this time of confusion and brokenness and fear and sadness, to get up on that fear, ride it down to the river, dip into the waves, and let yourself break. Become a prism.

All the places where you’ve shattered can now reflect light and colour where there was none. Now is the time to become something new, to choose a new whole.

But remember Akhilanda’s lesson: even that new whole, that new, colourful, amazing groove that we create, is an illusion. It means nothing unless we can keep on breaking apart and putting ourselves together again as many times as we need to. We are already “never not broken.” We were never a consistent, limited whole. In our brokenness, we are unlimited. And that means we are amazing.”

I hope this gives others as much inspiration as it gave me.

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The kindness of strangers; the comforts of not thinking

It feels like a lot of water has gone under the bridge since I last posted, more than two weeks ago. I was a mess for a couple of days – hardly slept (never helps), mentally, physically and spiritually exhausted, sad, sad, sad, and really, really hanging out until the end of the work year.

I had been doing the markets for the last couple of Sundays leading up until Christmas, trying to sell some Indian textiles I had imported a while back. I didn’t make much money but met a beautiful woman who was helping out her sister in the stall next to mine. She found me crying in the bathroom at one stage early in the day and asked me what was wrong. I said I was hoping to be pregnant. You don’t have to say much to some women – they just know, especially – particularly – if they’ve been there. She asked me if it was IVF. I nodded and she said she had two children through IVF, and had tried for a third but it hadn’t worked out. After talking for a while, she told me she lived in the Netherlands, was going through a divorce and was trying to decide whether to come back to Australia. But she realised her kids were still too young, and she would have to stick it out in Holland for a few more years. So she was going through a hard time as well.

She later came over to me with two pendants in her hand and said, “I want you to have one of these, they will really help you.” One was a pendant representing the heart chakra, the other a beautiful rose quartz – the one she really wanted me to have. I was on the verge of refusing her offer, saying oh no, I couldn’t possibly, but I thought – take it, it’s such a beautiful offer. I accepted the rose quartz, and haven’t taken it off since, literally wearing it to bed some nights. I think it really does help – I have felt very comforted by it, and nearly panicked when I thought I had lost it at the hippy trippy music festival I went to over new year (more on that later). Sometimes the kindness of strangers is more comforting than that of those you love; I don’t know why that is. I guess because she understood immediately.

And she didn’t come out with the “At least you tried” line, which I know is well meant but does not cut it for me right now, and always seems to come from people who don’t grasp the enormity of everything that it takes to  decide to try IVF, and by yourself.

So the end of the work year, and Christmas and New Year and a break and summer couldn’t have come at a better time.

My brother came up from Melbourne for Christmas, and I was really happy that he came, so I could cook up a feast (roast pork with perfect crackling and my first pavlova, also perfect) and look after someone. We had a fight after a day and a half but I guess that’s better than last year, when it probably took less than 24 hours. Then we went to my friend’s place in the evening, and ate and drank more, laughed and generally made each other’s Christmas.

After the not-being-pregnant, I kind of felt it wasn’t over, especially as a couple of girlfriends asked me if I was sure – “Are you SURE?” – that I wanted to give up. I had given myself three attempts, and that was it, three down, none to go. But it was such a blow after feeling so confident, and knowing there was nothing, apart from my age (I HATE that word), against me. My friends even offered me their uteruses, and money, to have another crack. None of which I could possibly accept, but incredible offers just the same. I saw the counsellor at the clinic, who said I sounded very rational; she said just take your time and let yourself work things out in your own time. Perhaps it was just too soon immediately after not being pregnant to say, that’s it, done, too bad it didn’t work out, move on. So I entertained the thought of trying again, of spending everything I had. But then I realised I only wanted to have another crack if I was assured of success, but of course that’s impossible.
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So, yes, Christmas, etc, couldn’t have come at a better time. It gave me a chance to be busy, not to think, just do, and to look after my brother, and have a fun crazy time at the music festival. I believe the not-thinking is actually good – you can think so much your head hurts and nothing is solved – but by not-thinking, things just come to their natural and rightful place. While lying in my tent early one morning last week at the festival, I realised that I couldn’t do it again. Not right now anyway. It’s too all-consuming. It’s stressful for a variety of reasons; not only the stress of hope and longing (which didn’t used to be stressful, they used to be good emotions) but also work and money.
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A music festival is as good a place as any to not-think, and the one I went to is called Peats Ridge and is in a beautiful valley not far from Sydney. Its mandate is sustainability; it has many fun or woo-woo workshops during the day (hula hooping, yoga, samba, laughter yoga, sound healing, meditation); the music ranges from small, relatively unknown bands to Gotye who headlined on New Year’s Eve and just won best album at the Australian music industry awards, with doof-doof and crappy disco in between. You camp, shower irregularly, don’t get much sleep, swim in a river stained with tea-tree, avoid deadly brown snakes and painful catfish stings, and marvel at the outfits people manage to emerge from a tent in (giraffes, an entire pirate ship, gladiators, smurfs, a set of crayolas).
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In one day, we managed to fit in yoga, hula hooping, zumba groove, samba and laughter yoga, and I adequately exhausted myself that day to sleep through the thumping bass that made its way across the camp ground from the doof-doof stage to actually sleep for 7 hours.
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That’s all from me today, I leave you with these pics.


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Want what you have

Want what you have

This phrase has been rolling around in my head for a few days now. It has a habit of popping into my head every few years and staying awhile, perhaps when I am in the throes of some particularly want-y sort of thing. Such as wanting to be pregnant. Such as wanting to have a child. Such as right now.

Want what you have – it’s a quote from a book called “I Am That” by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, who lived all his life in Bombay and died in 1981, never having left that city. He was a teacher of eternal truths as simple as this. Want what you have.

And how hard is that? My colleague who is unhappy in her marriage envies me my “freedom”, and until I discovered she wasn’t happy, I wanted her life – or what I thought it was.

Want what you have. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. But I don’t want that. Not right now. I want to be tied down, to a baby who needs feeding and comforting and love. I want to be in a relationship, and to have to check in and see if “we” have anything planned tonight.

I live in a beautiful city, and in a great part of that beautiful city.

I have a good job, and earn good money.

I am resourceful, and know how to look after myself.

I have lovely friends.

I have a good, sound roof over my head, and it’s filled with nice things.

I eat nourishing and delicious food every day.

I have a good family, despite what I wrote the other day, and in their own way are caring and loving, and infinitely better than a lot of other units out there passing as families.

But. There are so many “buts” I could add to each one of those sentences, but I won’t because I keep coming back to  “want what you have”. And when I think about it like that it seems unbelievably ungrateful to say, yes, I have all those things, and yet I want more.

But I do. I want all those things to contain a child, and I really don’t think I am pregnant. I don’t know if I am imagining it or not, but I think I feel a vague heavy feeling in my belly, like my period may be about to start. And that devastates me. But there is a corner of my being that believes I am. Even through my sobbing (of which there has been plenty), there is a part of me that believes.

But the other night just before I switched off the light to go to sleep, I picked up a Deepak Chopra book that has been sitting on my bedside table for months now called “The Book of Secrets“. This book is obviously calling out my name, demanding to be read, because I bought this copy a few months ago, only to realise I had another edition of the same book sitting unread on my bookshelf, bought when I went to see Deepak speak in Sydney some years back.

I opened a random page, and two phrases jumped out at me.

The first was, “Nothing is random – my life is full of signs and symbols.”

The second was, “Whatever I pay attention to will grow.”

So, if nothing is random, and I have been placing a lifetime’s worth of attention into this moment, perhaps my period won’t arrive tomorrow, and perhaps that blood test on Monday will give me the sign I want to see.

I went to yoga this evening, and revelled in my strong body. Breathing and stretching and just being with my breath and body made me feel elated, almost euphoric. Not that the dark, and light, thoughts didn’t intrude, because they did. But my body and breath were at the forefront and my chattering, worrying mind got a bit of a break.

Cover of "I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisar...

Cover of I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta

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Willing into existence

Five days till Saturday, when my period is due. Seven days till Monday, when a blood test is due. I’m terrified. Terrified that this hasn’t worked. This is my last chance, and I don’t want to think about a future without a child. But I know I’ll get through that feeling, if I need to.

I went out on Friday night with a bunch of girlfriends for dinner. When I expressed uncertainty, fear, doubt, one of the girls said, keep believing, you’ve got the power of the collective unconscious behind you, willing this to happen for you. So that’s what I’m holding onto. But by now, it’s either implanted, or it hasn’t. So I’m pregnant, or I’m not.

I have no symptoms, not a one, unless you can call a fat gut a symptom. Or is that just a symptom of the complete lack of cardio in my life lately? The Crinone (progesterone) gel, which I have to squirt up my hoo-ha, seems to do nothing – at least when I was on the Pregnyl the last two cycles, I felt something – sore boobs, lethargy – something at least. This time nothing. Nothing to give me hope. Of course, I still have hope. I hope I’m pregnant with twins. Then I really hope I’m not pregnant with twins – just the one will be fine. But then again, twins? Insta-famiglia – just add water (or a sh!t load of very expensive drugs).

I find myself crying when I focus too much on it. I think it’s loneliness really; perhaps this was an attempt at never being lonely again, and if I’ve failed?

Of course, this time of the year is the hardest to deal with this sort of thing. I have no family in Sydney. Most of the time that’s fine (!), and to be honest, I don’t really want to spend this Christmas with my family, because we are all so… alone. We’re all a bit pathetic really – each of us single. My dad is single. My brother is single. My mother has a “gentleman friend” who won’t commit to her. Can you believe that still happens in your 70s??! God help us. This man is following on from a pattern of men my mum has been involved with since she married my dad. Men who think they know it all, and don’t mind telling you. My dad usually spends Christmas with his brother and family. Who I really don’t want to see because my aunt thinks what I am doing is “dangerous”. Don’t need that around me right now, or ever.

My brother is coming up to Sydney for Christmas though. He took a lot of convincing, preferring to spend Christmas alone and lonely. He hates Christmas, and doesn’t cope too well with life in general. I tell him he’s depressed, he says he’s not.  But he is. It makes me so sad that he finds life so hard. Last year at Christmas we had a big fight and I said to him, “sometimes you just need to play the game” (meaning the game we all play to get along with people, to smooth things over, to make life a bit easier). He shouted back, “I don’t know how to play the game. I don’t how to play the game of life.” It’s so awful, to think of him constantly swimming against the tide, constantly feeling that people are rubbing him the wrong way, that life is out to get him, that people are inherently selfish.

I don’t believe they are. I believe people are pretty much good at heart.

Well this was a much more depressing post than I had planned – sorry about that.

On a more positive note, last night we had our office Christmas party. The theme was “tropical” and my boss decided we were going as Gilligan’s Island – with me as Ginger. Except he didn’t tell me till yesterday morning. So yesterday afternoon I raced around to all the vintage stores in Darlinghurst and found a fabulous aqua shift dress with a chiffon floaty thing at the back. I walked in and said to the organiser, “There better be a prize for best dressed, because I went to a lot of trouble.” Anyway, I won, or my team did. See below – I look good!!

“Ginger” with “Maryanne” in the background, and the Opera House. (Any excuse to buy a 60s frock)

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Deeper into dream*

Picture from liivia on Flickr

I’m lying on my back, looking at my huge, pregnant belly. I feel uncomfortable, awkward, heavy and ungainly as I roll over and try to get up. I know it won’t be long now.

I must have had this dream shortly before I woke up on Monday morning, because I was surprised, in those first few moments of waking, to find I was not pregnant, I was just the same old me.

And here’s the thing – I never dream about real things – things I’ve been obsessing over, big upheavals, new loves, stresses. Nothing that relates to my real life, or my fantasy life. You know when you have those lovely daydreams (at whatever time of the day) and you want to take them to bed with you? They never come to bed with me. Instead, weird, disjointed, seemly unconnected, and really quite random people, events and places appear in my dreams. People pop into my dream life unbidden. Once I dreamed I was having a torrid affair with Ryan Philippe. I’d never seen a Ryan Philippe film, nor ever thought about him, had only occasionally seen his picture alongside Reese Witherspoon (the dream was some years ago – the torrid affair was really vivid!).

So I’m wondering if it’s a sign. Does anyone believe in dreams as signs? I’m not sure; of course I’d love it if it were true, a true sign or augury. I believed it was a sign immediately on waking, but my certainty has faded.

My friend K has assured me it is a sign though, having had an especially vivid dream about George Clooney a few months back. She is the world’s biggest George obsessive stalker  fan. So much so that her daughter believes that George is her mum’s boyfriend. Apparently in the dream she was in the shower and George was in the kitchen making a cup of tea. Raunch!!

Anyway, George is coming to Sydney next week to speak at a summit on collaboration, and of course, K has got her hot little mitts on a ticket. So her dream really was a sign that George would be making an appearance in her life. She’s pretty convinced they really will be “collaborating” over a “cup of tea” soon.

So, anyone have any insights into dreams?

*The title of this post is also the title of Ben Lee‘s latest album. Which I must buy. I love love love his music and outlook on life. We’re all in this together.

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Yoga for fertility

I thought I would provide a few tips on how yoga can help in this fertility party a lot of us have going on, or anyone interested in yoga in general. I wrote an article on this for another website recently, so will summarise it here.

It all boils down to your body and mind needing to be in the best shape possible. Whether you want to increase or maintain your health and wellbeing for this time of your life, yoga can be a great aid and companion.

According to doctors, one of the greatest obstacles to fertility is stress, which has been shown to reduce the probability of conception.  Ever heard those stories about couples who had tried for years to conceive and after “giving up” or adopting, have fallen pregnant? I’ve heard those stories too. What yoga offers above all is relaxation, and research shows that participating in a “mind-body” type of program – which is exactly what yoga is – can positively affect fertility.

The classical definition of yoga is that it “stills the fluctuations of the mind”* – when our minds are busy worrying about what might have been or what could be in the future, we lose touch with the present moment, with the body, the breath and the self. Yoga is very effective in pulling you back to the now.

For women struggling to fall pregnant, the stress can be overwhelming. Yoga also teaches that suffering is caused by attachment to outcomes, and this is never more true than when trying unsuccessfully to fall pregnant, or through the slog of IVF treatment.

Yoga for fertility programs generally concentrate on the stress-relieving and relaxing effects of a practice, so if you can find a yoga studio that offers “restorative” yoga, get there quick-sticks. Restorative yoga usually involve using props such as bolsters, blankets, belts and chairs to support some well-known poses so that the body and mind are free to completely relax.

But renowned yoga teacher Geeta Iyengar, daughter of BKS Iyengar, also advocates a number of poses that have beneficial effects on the reproductive system.

Her recommendations include poses that stimulate the thyroid such as

Sarvangâsana

(shoulderstand). Dysfunction of the thyroid gland can upset the balance of the body’s reproductive hormones.

Sarvangasana, sometimes called the “queen of all asanas” (headstand is the king) is believed to directly affect the thyroid, due to the firm chin lock (also known as jalandhara bandha) which increases blood supply. Geeta Iyenagr also says the pose also develops “the feminine qualities of patience and emotional stability”. Anyone need patience, much?

Other poses with similar, chin-locking effects and which are suitable for beginners are setu bandha (bridge pose) and janu sirsasana (head-to-knee pose).

Poses that bring increased circulation to the pelvic region and reproductive organs are also recommended. Try baddha konasana(bound angle pose) and

Supported Supta Baddha Konasana

Image by tarnalberry via Flickr

supta baddha konasana for similar benefits but with the added bonus of being supremely relaxing.

Supported supta virasana (reclining hero pose) also opens the pelvic region and ensures circulation. I find this one almost impossible though as it’s too strong on my lower back – but everyone’s different.

While I can’t guarantee you will fall pregnant by following any of this, it can certainly have a positive impact on your mental and physical health.

If you’ve never done yoga before, I recommend you head along to your local yoga studio to get expert guidance from an experienced teacher, rather than trying these by yourself.

*Yogas chitta vrtti nirodah

PS. If you do want to know more, just leave me a comment. I can “talk” you through a few poses – supta baddha konasana is easy to do at home and really relaxing.

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And on the seventh day…

… she created life. Hopefully.

Today I got impregnated, again. Two ice babies successfully made the short journey from the freezer to my uterus, stopping only to thaw nicely in the lab. Clever little dividing cells.

Let this be the one (or ones). This is either the start of an excellent new (and very intense) adventure, or the end of the road. It’s been a strange cycle this one. Not nearly as intense. It’s easy to forget that I’m doing it (well, almost). I even had wine, since I figured I wasn’t growing any eggs that would be useful, and any effects of the small glasses of wine would be metabolised quickly.

I tell you, it was pretty damn easy to fall off that wagon. You would think that after being practically teetotal for the first time in my adult life, it would be a) hard to give up in the first place, and b) having more or less given it up, that taking it up again I’d be like the Cadbury’s kid – a glass and a half would be more than enough. But I still have to stop myself at one (or two). Of course, that’s all over for the foreseeable future. The foreseeable future being the next two weeks.

Two weeks of Christmas parties, end-of-year lunches, silly season dinners. With nary a champagne bubble in sight for me.  I think for the sake of avoiding having to lie, I’ll be at those parties, lunches and get togethers with a glass of wine spritzer, rapidly warming in my hand.

I’m feeling confident and convinced of failure in equal measure. Today anyway, perhaps because the weather has turned arctic, blustery, grey and cold, despite it being day 4 of summer. Please come back sun. And please let me be pregnant – I’ll even take twins – insta-famiglia.

Namaste little baby/s. You’re very welcome here. I promise to provide a healthy and safe home for the next nine months, and for the rest of our time together in this dream.

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Kinda stressy

I’m finding this cycle really difficult, and I’m not sure why.  It’s a whole lot easier that a stimulated cycle – minimal drugs, no surgery, and after all, it’s my third run at it so I should be getting better at the whole thing.

But I feel stressed. Like there should be more to it.  I only have to inject 50 units of Gonal-f (no Lucrin this cycle). Last stim cycle I had to inject 600 units, so 50 feels like nothing. Surely it’s not enough to do anything? But of course it is – I think it’s supposed to help the uterine lining to thicken up to make it nice n comfy for its visitor.

I think the reality that this is my third and final go is sinking in and I’m thinking more and more of failure. Not consciously so much as feeling. I don’t want to think negatively – I do feel it will work this time. But I’m nervous somehow. I just feel a bit overwhelmed.

And I scratched my new car on day 2. DAY TWO! And today, day 3 of my new car, I left the lights on. When I got back to my new car, six or so hours, two cups of tea, Tim Tams, cafe lunch, bookshop browsing, and two hours sighing over Ryan and George in The Ides of March later, the battery was flat.  Even though the car beeps when i open the door when the lights are on. I don’t know where my mind was when I got out of the car – stressed somewhere. Luckily I happened to park right next door to a mechanic’s so he jump started my car. Then I stressed all the way home that I’d hurt the car.

And it’s been raining all week, literally all week. Which has added to my stress and is really, really depressing.

And I’m thinking why on earth did I sign up for ICLW because I’m really busy this week and next and have had hardly any time to sit and read all those blogs and commenting six times and that’s stressing me out as well. I didn’t realise these few weeks would be so busy and I’ve just made them busier. I’m doing a course for work this coming Monday and next Monday, which means I will have to go into work on the weekends to get some work done, and I’ve decided to try and flog old stock from a business I started a few years ago so I’ve booked the next four Sundays at the markets. Which is really hard work, but I really need to sell some of that stock to pay for the car and replenish my depleted bank account.

And a guy I went out with six months ago and disappeared without a trace texted me last night. WTF.

And I’ve hardly had time to go to yoga, which is really stressing me oout. Breathe. Breathe deeply.

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Phew!

Busy, busy few days. And this IComLeavWe week-y thing-y has begun and I apologise that I am behind the eight-ball ALREADY and it’s only day 2! So I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. (For those of you who are non-bloggers… well just ignore that, but feel free to comment all you like on any and all posts. The comment button appears at the end of the post.)

I haven’t actually has too much time to dwell on the lack of success of last cycle, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your point of view. At times, I’ve thought, oh great, I feel fine, but then in a quiet moment, start to think about what happens if complete failure in my mission happens. And then I realise I’m not fine. At all.

I do think that it’s best – healthiest – not to ignore or push away your feelings, but god sometimes it feels good to. I mean, who wants to sit at home doubled over sobbing, hmmm? Still, last week was a shite week, mostly because of the not being pregnant, but also because of a few other things, which I haven’t had time to blog about about, but will try to sum up quickly now.

Firstly, I was really stupid around the time of donor selection last cycle. I was so excited to see the same donor I used the first cycle on the list the clinic gave me that I quickly logged onto the sperm bank in the US and purchased a few photos – one baby and one adult photo. Then the clinic called to remind me I hadn’t actually selected a donor and I should do so now. But my donor in fact was not still available (in Australia the law states that one donor can only father five children, so five people must have had positives in the previous month or so. They may not progress to live births but until they know one way or the other, he is off the list). So not only was I hugely disappointed, I had paid $50 for photos of a complete stranger.

Then I had to choose another donor. I wasn’t quite as taken with him as the first, but still, good profile, nice photos of him as a child and a lovely smile in the adult photo. And he has a big nose. I like men with big noses. Go figure.  Good profile too – seemed kind and thoughtful. So I bought more photos.

Anyway, last week, both sets of photos turned up in the post. Photos of complete strangers, one of whom may or may not be the father of my future baby.

Then at work last week a colleague confided that her marriage may be falling apart and she was thinking of divorce. You know – all looks perfect from the outside – successful career (both of them), lots of money, a couple of gorgeous kids, the house, the cars, the clothes – all seemingly hunky dory. I was really sad for her. Then she said, “I look at your life and I’m so envious”. That just about killed me. I thought, god you have no idea. I kept it together till she had left the room because it wasn’t about me, it was about her, and then (luckily everyone else was out at a meeting) I cried. Because my life is so great, doing everything – EVERYTHING – by myself.

However… no time to think. I’ve been looking for a new car. Can’t afford one, really, though the bank has very kindly offered to loan me the money. My current 20-year old, un-airconditioned, 2-door car just will not be suitable if it has to transport a baby around. So on Saturday I requisitioned an ex-boyfriend to help me find a new one. What a mission.

Saturday was 30 degrees (Celcius). Remember – 20-year old, un-airconditioned, 2-door car. Whose window winders (not electric!) has literally just broken. One window was stuck down about 3 cm, the other all the way up. Driving up and down Parramatta Road (aka hell) in a 20-year old, un-airconditioned, 2-door car on a 30 degree day, with the windows up. Awesome fun.

Long story short, we didn’t find anything on Saturday, but I found a fantastic car on Sunday, within my budget and only 3 years old! A bargain and I pick it up tomorrow.

But today I had to drive back to the fertility clinic to pick up prescriptions for this FET cycle. I don’t know why they are not included in the cost of the cycle but they’re not. And today was not 30 degrees, today was, I don’t know, 22 degrees? And pissing down with rain. Cats and dogs. And the window is stuck down 3 cm. Two and a half hours there and back with a stop at the pharmacy and by the time I get home I’m soaked down one side. That car can’t go soon enough.

And yesterday I spent all day in a lecture theatre learning all about social networking for work. They talked about blogging. I love it when work pays for things you want to do yourself.

So a week of good and bad things. But I think it’s all coming together. New car that’s fit for a baby, photos of the donor sitting on my bedside table, and hope in the air.

Better go and leave some comments.

I’m no. 110 on the IComLeavWe list apparently (if that matters).

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Filed under ART, IVF, single mom by choice, sperm donor