Tag Archives: two week wait

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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Filed under ART, IVF, spirituality, yoga

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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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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Sovary, so good

Bad pun, I know. But, so far, so good.

I feel so remarkably different now to how I felt at the same stage last time. I feel perfectly normal. I have no inkling as to whether I am or I’m not, and thinking too hard just sends you mental. For instance, the acupuncturist I went to see last week, as I mentioned before, said that actually constipation is a good thing, because it means your body is trying to hold on to everything. Except that now I am not constipated, I’m thinking, nooo, my body’s not holding on! And considering how sick I was last time…

See, it does your head in.

Of course, The Fear grips me every now and then, mainly The Fear of it actually succeeding. Why did I want to do this again? It’s so abstract, so not-in-my-experience, so is-my-life-so-bad-as-it-is that sometimes I think – wait, what am I doing?

This feeling is combined with the please work, please stick, what if it hasn’t and I’m already not pregnant (instead of just being not pregnant in 10 days time if it’s negative, because if it hasn’t stuck by now, it’s never going to). And the anticipation of the next phase of my life, which I really, really want to include a child.

And again that feeling of limbo – what IS the next phase of my life? I’m trying to make plans here baby! Make your presence felt!

And how do I keep this blog going?! Anything my millions of readers want to hear about?? My specialty subjects are yoga, meditation, the dearth of good, available men in Sydney (that’s probably not really a specialty is it), wellbeing, IVF, health. I’m hoping I’ll be writing about pregnancy and motherhood, but in the meantime, it’s pick-a-topic-out-of-the-hat time.

While I’m here – does anyone know anything about dying your hair while pregnant? I did a bit of research and it seems it’s a bit of an old wives’ tale. You see, I’ve been going grey bit by bit since I was 19, so now it’s getting really ugly and I simply can’t not dye my hair for 9 months! I bought some dye the other day from the health food shop – all natural ingredients. Disaster. I now have bright red roots, orange at the temples, and with bits I missed, because I’ve got a lot of hair. I was considering wearing a hat to work today, which would have been fine if it was the 1950s, but it’s not.

And having said that, I’m off to wash my hair. Vigorously.

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How low can you go …

… before you do the LIMBO rock?

This week I’ve vacillated between:

Oh my god, I’m so excited I’m going to have a baby … to

I’m pretty sure I am … to

I really hope I am… to

FUCK I hope I’m not … to

What the hell was I thinking, I’m 46 years old (birthday was on Sunday, thanks for the birthday wishes…) and I’m going to have to work for the REST OF MY LIFE and will never have any free time again and I’ll never be able to afford to buy a property and I’ll be the oldest mother on the school pick up and how am I going to do this by myself and, and, and…

So this week can’t go fast enough.

I need to know! I’m in limbo and it’s a weird place to be – all plans for the future – even as close as the weekend – have two paths that stretch out into the misty distance. One that involves a baby, one that involves going back to my “old” life. And to be honest, both have their appeal.

Perhaps that sounds strange – after all, I have thought a lot about this, hoped and dreamed about this, planned this, paid a lot to get here. But I think it’s normal – any kind of life change brings fear, and there is no greater life change than having a baby, whatever your situation. You can’t really get your head around the reality of it – the abstract is fine, but the reality? It’s scary.

And there’s no point in reading all the “two-week wait” sites, working out which symptoms I may or may not be feeling – I AM feeling some pregnancy symptoms but that’s because I am injecting myself with hcG – the pregnancy hormone. So I’m just left with the wait.

Oh and I’m beginning to feel almost healthy again after the trauma of the past 2 weeks. Yesterday I even had wine. Three glasses! Well, the thing is, no less than four girlfriends have confided that before they knew they were pregnant they had had a couple of benders – completely mullered. And as one of their doctors said, if it’s going to stick, it’s going to stick. And I figure by now, it’s either stuck or it hasn’t.

What day is it?

Every limbo boy and girl, all around the limbo world…

Yoga, I think, is the order of the day. At least I’ll be flexible enough to get under that limbo pole, no matter how low it goes. And meditation, to let go of attachment to the outcome.

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Agonising…

… pain. Not the agonising two-week wait.

Since my last post at the beginning of the week, I took a turn for the worst, and in all honesty, couldn’t have cared less if I was pregnant or not. When I had that thought I tried to turn it around, but really, ugh. All I could think was, “I want to feel normal again”. And I guess one of the implications of that was that “normal” was not “pregnant”.

So if anyone out there in the great big interweb googles “extreme crippling pain following ivf egg collection”, here is my week in a nutshell:

  • Intense, stabbing pain in my right ovary – this may be because I had more eggs taken from the right ovary, but when I called the clinic, they could not confirm as my records were “elsewhere”.
  • Intense, stabbing crampy pain in my uterus.
  • Intense pain in my bowel every time it contracted (releasing nothing mind you), which radiated throughout my lower abdominal area. I’ve spent a lot of time in the foetal position, or with my cheek against the cool tiles of the bathroom floor. There’s something very comforting about those cool bathroom tiles.
  • Really sore boobs.
  • General miserableness and feeling-sorry-for-myselfness.

I called the clinic almost every day, explaining my symptoms and asking if anyone else had experienced this. They said it was ok for me to take paracetamol (which I hadn’t been taking), so that kind of dealt with the cramps, and said sometimes girls had complained of constipation, and kept on telling me to take Metamucil and it would be fine.

I was in so much pain on Wednesday night I knew I wasn’t going to make it into work the next day. By Friday, the cramping in my uterus had all but stopped but I was still as bunged up as  – can’t think of an appropriate simile – what’s something really, really bunged up? More Metamucil and other fibre supplements. More doubling over in pain every time my bowel contracted (always with no perceivable result). I could only think – is this what child birth is like? Getting in some super-early practice if it is.

It got even more gross, but I will spare you the details, that’s just between me and the bathroom floor. By Saturday I thought surely those fibre supplements will have got to work. But no. They hadn’t. I was really thinking I was going to have to go to hospital and get it sucked out of me. Really, all that waste matter cannot be good for anyone, let alone someone with a tiny baby bud growing in the next compartment.

So I went to the closest GP – on the corner of my street and Bondi Road, the one that I didn’t have to walk too far to (I had tried to go to my GP yesterday in the city but she wasn’t in and all the other doctors at that surgery were fully booked. Wouldn’t want to be dying).  He was very lovely and serious in a Russian way (lots of Russians in Bondi), pressed my belly and pronounced that he didn’t think it was serious and I wasn’t going to die (my interpretation). He just prescribed a more heavy duty treatment, and so here I sit, waiting for it to work its magic.

I can’t tell you how much better I felt after seeing him. I felt so miserable, and really thought there was something dreadfully wrong. And as he was talking, he said, “and because you might be pregnant” but then he corrected himself and said “well you probably are pregnant”, which I thought was a really nice thing. He obviously understands the longing and hope and effort and money (he did mention the money) involved that he didn’t want to just say, “oh you might be” . That’s how it seemed to me anyway.

Weakened state eats away at willpower

In my physically and emotionally weakened state, I have had all types of cravings for bad things. Donuts. Icecream (gave in to that one). Pies. Pizza, chocolate (gave in to that too). And bags.

Yesterday on my slow and agonising walk from the office to the train station, I seriously had the urge to buy a shit-hot new bag – even though I was sick as a dog. What’s that about? I looked in Mimco – sales. Managed to walk out empty handed. I sidled past Burberry. Thought better of it – phew. I just knew the pleasure would be very short lived. So I’ve bought myself Vogue and Grazia as consolation. They’re not though. They are designed to make you lust for crazily beautiful, insanely overpriced stuff.

And have me thinking I’d really like a pair of pink skinny leg pants this summer. And some in electric blue too. But I’ll probably be wearing mu-mus instead. I’ll just have to channel my thwarted fashion cravings into shoes. Or baby stuff.

Now that I’m feeling better, or will be any time now…  I can go back to positive baby thoughts. I have had more than a few moments this week when I’ve thought, oh my God, I don’t really want this. What have I done? But I’m sure it’s the misery talking and the fear that comes around any sort of life change. Change is a good thing.

Hmm, I think this post needs to be filed under the “too much information” category, for which I apologise, but really, you’re reading because you want to know right?

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Little bubbles

That’s what the embryos (I think they’re technically called blastocytes) looked like on the screen before the doctor put them back in. A cluster of cells, but more like little bubbles. Amazing to think the potential they have to grown into – who knows – a nurse, a doctor, a lawyer, a pilot, a prime minister, a parent.

It was all over in a few minutes, just like having a pap smear.

I walked out of the clinic giggling hysterically to myself  – “I’m pregnant, I’m pregnant!” I kept saying to myself. And since then I have continued saying it, and sending  “attach and stick” vibes to my uterus.

The doc said “Just be yourself” when I asked if I should or shouldn’t do anything. But I’ve kept it low key this weekend, a bit of shopping, a yoga class, meditation and lying on the floor at home in supta baddha konasana and viparita karani, which help improve blood flow to the pelvic region. They are also lovely and relaxing. And lots of mantras and affirmations – “I’m pregnant!”, “Stick little babies!”.

As to why the clinic prefers to transfer more than one – I’ve just read this:

“There are some suggestions that embryos help each other to implant.  In other words, the more embryos that you transfer, the greater the chance that each one will stick.”

I’m hoping for just one but if they both stick? Che sera, sera. I’ll just have to go public, sell my story to New Idea or something, get a sponsorship deal from Huggies, and put the kids to work as baby models, because they’ll be gorgeous right!

Side effect update

After the egg collection I was feeling very tender and delicate, and still am a bit. It’s easing off somewhat but my whole abdominal region feels revolting – like I’m all blown up with gas. Which I think is actually what it is. The doctor said it was constipation but it feels more uncomfortable than that. A girl I met while waiting for the transfer – she was having her embies transferred too – said the same thing. Hope it goes away soon – not to mention the discomfort, it makes it hard to work out whether I’m feeling implantation cramps or not. Though I’m sure I am!!

Anyone out there with a similar experience? Anyone know how long it takes for the embryos to attach?

Just a little bit annoyed too

I spoke to my dad today for Father’s Day. It took him a while to get around to the “what’s happening with the IVF?” question, and even then it was in a roundabout way.  I got the feeling  when I got the courage to tell him a few weeks ago what was going on that he thought “you’re too old”. He didn’t say it – in fact he didn’t say much – but that’s the feeling I got.

Anyway, today, when he did get around to broaching the subject, he told me my aunt (his brother’s wife) was “beside herself” about it. What do you mean, I said. Well, she just thinks it’s dangerous, and you’re too old blah blah blah. She’s already said this to me before but I was so pissed off. Dangerous? To who?

Who’s freaking business is it of anyone else’s anyway? I have really tried to avoid anyone negative during this process but you can’t avoid your family can you? Lucky they are on the other side of the country.

She ain’t getting a hold of my beautiful baby, that’s for sure. Huh.

Anyway

The mythical two-week-wait begins. And we are waiting.

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