Tuesday, 29 September 2009

You write about yourself on a blog. It is like a diary. It is bound to be mostly about yourself thus you may appear self obsessed!

I did not "invite" people to come on here. I ended the last blog as I didn't enjoy or gain anything positive from nasty comments. This one was only sent to people who identified themselves via email to me. This is why I don't understand why you are posting as negatively as anonymous when you must have initially contacted me directly.

I sent the link in good faith to people who I thought were genuine and supportive. I am not asking the world to agree with every decision I make, neither am I inviting some sort of virtual fan club. If I did that then I would make the whole thing public. As it stands, whoever you are, you have totally missed the point of why I set up this second blog.

I have made many new friends via my blog, many of whom I have met up with for real. People who were ready to identify themselves so they could not hide behind the anonymity were more than welcome to join me on the second one. Many positive "anonymous" comments are also accompanied by an email to my email address saying who it was that posted and saying they had trouble logging in. It is not that I only invite positive comment.

I do not advertise this blog or encourage others to join in any way. If you wish to remain anonymous and continue to judge me as if you have some god given right to know me better than my family, friends, colleagues, fertility doctors and the fertility counselling team then I do believe it may be you that needs a reality check.

I am not a heroine in any way shape or form. I reacted badly to a horrible situation. I am lucky that the situation has resolved itself. I am more than aware that terrible things happen to people all of the time. I do not broadcast myself via this blog, simply invited a group of people who would be supportive and helpful whilst I deal with the road of infertility.

Life never seems to work out the way anyone plans it. I am not a victim, nor a heroine. I'm trying to live my life in the best way I can.

If you don't wish to be supportive then this is not the right place for you. There are more than enough mudslingers in the world.

Look my mum in the eye, tell her she's not ready to support a grandchild or her own daughter in becoming a mother. Tell my dad that you think his daughter's unstable. Tell Tom you think I'm not over ST. No, thought you wouldn't in "real life" so please don't do it on here.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Well I wondered how long it would take... (edited)

Before the "anonymous" comments reared their heads again.

Just to clarify...

I had reactive depression - for those of you not in the know, this is when you REACT to something. That event is over, as is the "mental collapse" you mention.

Read the posts and get to know me; if I was that bonkers, do you think I would be in charge of a school, over 250 kids, my own home and allowed to get this far on the IVF road?

We are talking here about a ruling which we think our consultant has overlooked in some way.

As for the comments about ST... when some bloke marries you, walks out weeks later, robs all of your life savings from you and disappears into the night with no explanation after the only weeks of the marriage being complete and utter mental torture, then please feel free to lecture me on appropriate responses.

Yes, I entered into that marriage fully and wholeheartedly. He obviously didn't. It wrecked my life temporarily but I am back and fighting fit after the hardest struggle I've ever had. The fact the IVf has to be now is not ideal, I grant you. It would never have been my choice. i am a traditionalist at heart after all. However, I can't help the illness/symptoms I have and the fact they necessitate IVF. I am so lucky to have found a true hero and life partner in Tom who is the best thing to ever ever ever happen to me and I'm grateful to him every day for showing me that not all blokes are hideous thieving guttersnipes with the morals of a sewer rat.

The fact that ST agreeing to marry me is putting a spanner in the works now, is just another indication of the cruel hand fate keeps dealing me at the moment. If he had had the guts not to go through with the marriage or had the common decency to be honest about things in the first place then the shadow he has inadvertently cast over my life may not have occurred. He is out there living his life as happy as larry whilst I am continually thwarted by the fact that we married. I never entered into the marriage thinking it would end so it is just utterly unfair that MY new life is still affected by the choices HE made. It sucks and I am allowed to be angry about it. I do hope he rots in hell and I would defy anyone to go through what i have and not feel the same way.

I have thought long and hard about all of the decisions I have made recently, unlike the 16 year old girl who had just given birth and was drinking special brew and smoking a fag outside the maternity unit we had to pass through on the way to our IVF open evening, whilst she repeatedly told her mum she didn't know which bloke was the father. How come she gets to be a mum and not me? I have devoted my working life to the care and guidance of other people's children and I just want a chance to love and care for a baby of my own. Don't you dare tell me I cannot even be in charge of a puppy; that is cruel, callous and completely unnecessary. Or maybe the line of pregnant mums puffing on fags outside the unit should be more entitled?

For one woman (and I am assuming you are a woman) to tell another she is not fit to look after a puppy let alone a baby is a heartless and utterly ill thought through sentiment. Add into the mix that we have, as a couple, endured more rough times, health scares, ups and downs and general mishaps over our short time together than many couples experience in a decade and it is testament to the way we feel about each other and more recently, about becoming parents together. I have supported Tom as he has dealt with major upheavals in his own life (which I have never posted about on here) and he has watched me collapse unconscious from the severe gynae symptoms, deal with surgery, come to terms with the fact we may never have children of our own and has coaxed me gently back to the person I was for the 32 years before ST wrecked me. I think people forget that before that toadweasel affected me, i had sailed through life for 32 years, dealing with things in a totally "normal" way; it was only because he hurled such a horrible and unexpected curve ball at me that I reacted in the way I did.

This reaction does not make me unable and incapable of caring for a dog. I trained for 5 years to work with children as I adore them. I have volunteered since I was 15 on anything to do with the care and support of children and young people. It is the hardest thing to get to grips with the fact I may always be the one handing back other people's babies at the end of the working day and going home to a home which will never house a cot, a pile of neatly folded baby clothes or the sound of my own baby's laugh.

I may never hear my own baby call my name, may never walk them up and down my landing to soothe their crying in the night or help them take their first steps. For millions of women around the world, they will take these simple things for granted and never ever have someone else, be it a doctor or faceless beaurocrat take their chances away from them due to a previous marriage that ended through no fault of their own.

There will be girls who get pregnant from one night stands, girls who fall pregnant accidentally, girls who knowingly abuse their bodies and babies throughout their pregnancy, just as there will be girls who plan their babies in solid relationships. However these pregnancies come about, i can guarantee that none of them will have someone else deciding for them whether the pregnancy actually begins and happens or not. I do. Someone else is holding all the cards for me and ST has just played a blinding hand, even though he's not even at the table anymore. It's so unfair.

I had a breakdown after a horrible man humiliated and hurt me beyond measure. I am an educated, hardworking and loving person with a fantastic family unit into which a baby would receive more love and support than it could possibly imagine. Just because ST hurt me, does not mean I cannot care for children.

Oh, and I've been with Tom just a couple of weeks shy of a year, not six months! How much more stable do you want than living together every night of the week, our families socialising regularly together, getting his house ready for me to move into and him wanting to go for the IVF in the first place. Think and read carefully before you comment. I use this blog to order my thoughts. Analyse beyond the "emotion" of the posts and think about how I actually conduct myself in my daily life and you'll see a stable professional with a great family and lots of friends - not some fruit loop who "hangs onto bannisters". That was over 18 months ago and its nearly two years since I married ST. It therefore is truly galling to have him get in the flippin way constantly.

I'll thank you to truly walk a mile in my shoes before you decide to kick me with your own.

Oh, and no surprise that you're dishing out advice without revealing your own identity.

Get off my blog and don't come back.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

ST, IVF, the HFEA and other shitty acronyms...


I am so angry I am surprised this keyboard hasn't melted as I am seething with a violent and boiling rage. My blood pressure surely has to be the same as the tyre pressure of a formula one car and my brow is so furrowed you could plant trees in the wrinkles.

ST has, once again, cast his vile and destructive shadow over my life and has completely scuppered our chances of beginning IVF. He's managed to do this without even knowing.

It's a pretty complicated story but I'll try and explain it the best I can and then you can begin to send the voodoo weasel style magic his way.

Before I begin, I must explain a couple of acronyms... the "HFEA" which I will refer to a lot is the human fertilisation and embryology authority, and the "PCT" is the primary care trust which is basically referring to our area of the NHS.

So, let's rewind to last Sunday night....

I lost the bloody decree absolute.

I turned the house upside down for over four hours and couldn't find it anywhere. Tom searched his house too but it has disappeared. No idea where it could've gone because I've had it inside my passport since I switched my name at the bank but it wasn't there when I went to get it. This will now cost me £85 to replace. dammit.

However, that was a mere drop in the inconvenience ocean compared to what happened on Thursday.

I drove for over 2 hours, after a day of rock climbing and abseiling with 42 kids, to meet Tom. We walked down to the hospital and were over half an hour early so had to wait in the maternity reception for our IVf open evening. How ironic.

When we got in, we got the giggles and seemed to be the only couple who were smiling. Everyone else looked fraught with worry and nerves but we had a terrible case of barely suppressed laughter and couldn't actually look at each other for fear of looking "naughty" in front of the doctors and medical staff. Oh how little we knew at this point.

We had loads of lectures from the admin, nursing, counselling and embryology staff before the consultant gynaecologist began his presentation.

His first slide floored us.

We both stopped laughing immediately.

The giggles were most definitely gone.

His slide outlined guidance for our PCT and from the HFEA. It appears that our PCT insists on having been in a secure relationship for a minumum of 2 years before you can begin IVF.

Well, two years ago, I hadn't even married weasel boy yet.

They then went on to talk about all the identity checks that they had to do and we plunged even deeper into despair. There wasn't even any way of quickly turning my passport around at passport head office to change back to my maiden name instead of relying on my married passport and my decree absolute (which I still hadn't found). It appears they also require you to declare the length and dates of previous marriages so I'm totally screwed.

We enquired at the end if this applied to both NHS and private fertility treatment because our first solution was to pay and bypass the NHS. It'd mean a lot of saving and borrowing but we figured it'd be possible.

Apparently not.

We were therefore completely devastated.

I spoke to the head nurse at the end of the presentation if there was any way at all we could get round it but she said no.

We are now in a position where we have more questions that need answering than ever before and more choices than we know what to do with. They basically boil down to the following...

1. Do we just be completely honest at our appointment on the 15th October and hope we can still get through or do we try and lie and hope they don't check? My worry with this is though that I'd be so stressed about the lie that the IVF wouldn't work as a result.

2. How had we got this far when we had already told our consultant we had not been together for 2 years? She knows we haven't as it's in our notes that she wrote herself at our preliminary appointment. Why did we go this far down the path of IVF if we're not eligible? that's just cruel to do that to us!

3. Why does my hospital discharge letter say "recommend for IVF" and then we're not eligible?

4. Why did an article from NICE (national institute for clinical excellence, which is part of the NHS) outline that fact that some PCTs only request a stable relationship, some one, some two and some three year relationships before beginning IVF? Has ours changed all of a sudden?

5. If my condition is degenerative (which it is) surely it would be cruel to make us hang on for another 6 months, by which time the chances of it working would be much reduced? Again, that's just cruel and completely bonkers.

6. Would my consultant be able to bypass the ruling on the basis of clinical need?

7. What the hell do we do if we have to wait, knowing that every day we do there's less and less chance of it working. How the hell are we going to cope with that? Especially as we know it's because of ST that we have to wait.

8. Has my consultant, who actually said to me in hospital "your first round should be ready for you to start in October or definitely before Christmas" just made a massive oversight and basically cocked up?

9. Why does this shit keep on happening to me?

I am thoroughly sick to the back teeth now as one of my mates to eloquently put it, "You may have had to go through all of this if you were still with ST anyway, but at least the stress of the latest barrier would never have happened and you would've been attending IVF with your husband rather than having to try and explain stuff that makes you look like a Jeremy Kyle guest". I agree entirely.

Albeit unknowingly, ST has robbed me of my potential chances of a baby. If he'd have had the guts to not go through with the marriage (and I have recently decided he never did love me so I have no idea why he married me) then I could've just rocked up with Tom anyway and we could've just said we'd been together longer. However, because of the marriage and identity paper trail then ST has left an enormous roadblock on my rocky road and I just don't know how we're going to get round it.

To say I am devastated is the understatement of the century.

My hands are completely tied and there is absolutely nothing anyone can say or do to make it any better.

We're off to the appointment on 15th October and are just hoping and wishing that there's some reason why we've been referred without meeting the criteria. If not, the 15th will become a day when I'll feel like once again ST has made the bottom drop out of my world.

I hope he rots in hell.

Bizarrely though, on the way back from PGL, I had to drive past our wedding venue. I ran over something by accident which I didn't recognise. I described the little creature to my dad and he said it sounded exactly like a weasel.

Well I never....

Will update again soon but am off to the gym to pound away some of this anger on the treadmill.

Love to you all.


ST's back...

And he's ruined our chances of IVF.

Will update soon with all the details but basically our dreams of a family are ruined thanks to the legacy of ST.

I hate him so much.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Me, Colin and the rest of the clan...

Well, here we all are, getting ready for Will and Jo's departure round the world next weekend. Sorry I haven't been updating this week either but I've been absolutely run off my feet at work and there's been quite a lot going on at home too what with one thing and another.

On the IVF front, it's all kicking off. We've got a patient open evening this coming Thursday and then our first consultant's appointment on October 15th. This has meant we have had to cobble together some covert secret squirrel type tactics for filling in all the forms. Now, normal people going through IVF would obviously be sharing a house and life together and, as a result, the same GP wouldn't they...

However, due to my commitment phobic attitude which roughly translates to, "I daren't move in with anyone for fear of them disappearing and doing a bunk into the night a la ST" then of course, Tom and I are still residing at different addresses. Despite the fact that we never spend a night away from each other and to all intents and purposes, live as a "married" couple, we are still forking out for two mortgages, two sets of bills and are contributing to one of the Midland's largest carbon footprints by constantly having to drive between each other's houses. Mental I know.

This "dual residency" has not been a problem for the IVF until it requested a few things. The first is we have to prove we are in a stable relationship. This is rather difficult when you don't live in the same house. However, up until now that has not been a problem as we assumed no one would be sending the NHS police round to raid our wardrobes to check if there's eveidence of both male and female clothing in there so we've always just implied that Tom lives with me at my address. The second is that you'd think that a couple who are trying for a baby may well share the same GP. Oops, not us. Not even the same practice in the same village, let alone the same GP. This means that this week we've rather hastily had to register Tom at my doctor's and make up some cock and bull story about him being a bit lax in updating his move. No problems there so far then, until we hit problem number three. We have to take in photo ID for the hospital so that they can attach our pictures to any eggs, sperm, embryo details so that it reduces the chances of a mix up in the lab. No problems for any normal couple. However, i still have a paper driving licence in my maiden name, registered at my mum's address, my passport is still in ST's surname as we had holidays booked over the summer before my divorce papers came through, and Tom's ID is all registered at his address! Add into the mix that we told the hospital that we had been together over 18 months but my divorce wasn't finalised until May of this year and you hardly get the picture of a "stable" relationship. This is just another example of how ST is still casting his ugly shadow over everything I do as I am now going to have to take in my old maiden name passport, my married name passport and my divorce decree absolute and go through the whole sorry story with the fertility people. Will I ever be free of that weasel????

The irony is that Tom and I are completely stable and Tom has been saying again this week just how mad it is that we are running two houses instead of living in one. I'm just burying my head in the sand about the whole thing and putting my fingers in my ears and kind of going "la la la la la la la" about it all. I just hope the hospital understand that we really are solid and that despite the whole "two houses, dual identity, multiple address" fiasco, they can see that we both want this more than anything in the world and the fact that our postcodes don't match at the moment doesn't mean that we're not serious. Either that or they'll assume that I'm running some sort of identity theft racket so I'll be frogmarched out of the assisted conception unit by my ear and flung into Welford Road prison across the road!

I've also been preparing for PG-hell this week. Yes, it's that time again, a week away with my little darlings from school on a PGL activity holiday, flinging myself off tall towers and canoeing in freezing rivers. My best mate's been there this week with her school and has reassured me that it just doesn't get any better (or any warmer). So, I was in town yesterday buying the city's most unflattering but definitely the warmest throwaway clothing that I don't mind getting wrecked by a week in a load of mud with forty two 11 year olds. Now, seeing as God hates me (or at the very least uses me as some sort of pawn in a real life version of "game for a laugh") then our first fertility meeting is this Thursday whilst I'm away. This has meant that I've had to plead with my boss for a pass out to attend the meeting otherwise our treatment would've been put back at least another 5-8 weeks. So, I've had to come clean at work too and believe me when I say that there's not a lot more hideous that trying to talk about gynae andinfertility problems with your 41 year old male boss. I almost curled up to the size of a crumpled crisp packet I was squirming that much. The upshot is though that he was very supportive and said that on a selfish level he was annoyed that I'd be having so much time off but on a personal level I had to go for it and that his 3 year old means the world to him so I needed to do everything possible to make it happen for me. Completely the opposite reaction to the one I expected but very nice all the same. I've told the other girl who's the other deputy at our place too as she's going to have to pick up some of my workload but she's been fab about it too so all seems well at the moment thank god! It does mean that I've got a minimum four hour round trip on Thursday evening in the middle of a 5 day residential with a load of over excited kids. How I'll look turning up in muddy combats and hiking boots with hair remeniscent of beaker from the muppets is anyone's guess. I'm beginning to think that this hospital is going to have me sectioned rather than sign me up to breed me.

I've also been busy with all sorts of parents' open evenings this week and with trying to prepare for Will and Jo's departure. We were round there last night for "substantial nibbles" (which is a term that is now a staple in our family!) and lots and lots of booze. The pictures show us all trying on the rucksacks and deciding what they should take. Jo's actually bought 5 different sets of walking boots and 3 rucksacks so we were playing an odd game of "rucksack factor" where we had to pick which one was the lucky one to be taken around the world. They then packed their bags and I realised my handbag was actually heavier than Jo's "nine months round the world" rucksack - hence the dodgy weightlifting shot of me...

We bought them loads of random pressies like wind up phone chargers and head torches and had a lovely bit of family time before they head off. They're off down to London today to drop off the cat with Jo's mum who'll be looking after her whilst they're away. My mum's already a hormonal mess at the thought of Will going so I'll have to look after her over the next few weeks. Poor mum, there's me collapsing all over the place and Will dashing off to the other side of the world - she doesn't exactly have it easy. Dad's been coping by making vats of enough damson jam to sink a ship and making gallons of quince jelly. He's like Delia Smith on hormone treatment.

Anyway, the upshot is that I've been working and dashing around like mad. Looks like my brief "detached navel" incident was a one off too as I've been back in the gym a lot and pounding the treadmill like an Olympian, albeit one with a few chunks missing. I feel loads better although I may be playing the "surgey" card when the kids try to get me to leap off stuff over the next few days! I therefore won't be posting til Friday or Saturday at the earliest but just wanted to say thanks again for all the e-mail etc that I keep receiving. They're so lovely and always make me feel so much better.

So, I'll sign off for now; wish me luck with the whole "Hospital Identity" nightmare and hopefully when I'm back on again then we'll definitely be in the system and on the way to a little baby Em/Tom.

Lots of love in the meantime.


P.s please feel free to comment on the fact that Tom does not resemble Colin Firth. He is adamant he does. I am taking him to Specsavers.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Oops, I split it again....

Oh for god's sake. Why am I such a div?

I am currently in bed, in pain and am mentally beating myself up for being such a prize fool. In fact, I believe I may currently be in the running for the finals of "idiot factor" in my village.

It is only 18 days since I had surgery so will someone please explain to me why I thought it would b a good idea to not only go to the gym today but also to do 4 hours of gardening with my parents (and about a million frogs).

I am now drugged up on painkillers tonight as I feel as if someone has attacked me with a set of garden shears, I'm bleeding again and am thoroughly cross with myself.

It all started fairly innocently this morning. Tom (sorry, Colin Firth) got up at 5 to go to some 10 hour cycling endurance thing down in Cheddar Gorge - which is obviously once again linked to his temporary madness as why, after a week of 5am starts at work, would you willingly get up at the crack of dawn, swallow gallons of energy jellies from spaceman style sachets, and drive for 2 hours to stay in a caravan and ride a bike round a dirt track for ten hours??? The mind boggles and I am holding "Colin" partly responsible as he left me unattended and unsupervised and a bored Emmy always seems to land herself in some sort of pickle. I need the same sort of supervision as a two year old child, or at the very least some sort of ASBO style criminal tagging thing.

I decided, in my sleep deprived state, that a little trip to the gym may be in order. And, seeing as Tom, sorry "Colin's" neighbours had some early morning hedge trimming action going on right outside my bedroom window, I couldn't sleep anyway. So, I dusted the cobwebs off my gym leggings, let the moths out of my trainers and skipped off down to the gym.

I wired myself up to the treadmill next to some very glam middle aged lady who was doing some sort of strange "arms twice as fast as your legs" power walk and I was so busy gawping at her in the mirrors that I almost strangled myself with my ipod headphones again. Am I the only person in the world who seems to get in an almighty tangle with these damn things or does everyone end up ravelled up in lengths of stereo cabling?

I decided not to overdo it so began with a gentle power walk up an incline. I decided against my fellow walker's mad arm flailing technique and settled for the normal number of arm swings and so began watching MTV and humming along to myself. I managed 25 minutes and the little voices in my head were going something like this....

" All the single ladies, all the single ladies, all the single ladies, all the single ladies... hey, check me out, I was in hospital less than three weeks ago and now i'm power walking. I am like some kind of gym wonder woman.... If you like it then you should have put a ring on it, if you like it then you should have put a ring on it..... hey, you know what lady, you may have those crazy arm moves, put I'm about to crank this baby up and bit and start running, you watch me bust my funky running shapes... don't need no permission, did I mention, don't pay him any attention.... yeah, that's right Beyonce, I'm not paying any attention either. I'm gonna ratchet up this machine and burn some treadmill. Watch me fly baby!!! Now, if I can just unravel these damn headphones and find that button to turn it up. Oops, hang on, cable round my neck again, wahey, here we go.... cause you had your turn and now you're gonna learn what it really feels like to miss me.... oh shit, my insides feel as if they're made of one of Tom's energy jellies. I wonder, if i breathe too deeply would my pancreas actually shoot out? oh well, might just be teething trouble. Gonna keep on running. Don't want to look like a div in front of arm lady, Jesus, she looks like she's gonna take off! ... if you like it then you should have put a ring on it, if you like it then you should have put a ring on it... Wahey - I'm a runnin! I feel like crap but I'm running once again. Hey you! Yes you with the very sweaty back on the cross trainer, check me out, I'm running! You see this? This whole one foot in front of the other thing? Well, I've got this baby nailed. Oh shit, not good, think I might walk again for a bit. Think my navel has detached itself from its moorings... All the single ladies, all the single ladies, all the single ladies, all the single ladies.... Oh and you can shut up as well Beyonce; standing there with your whole wriggly booty shaking, chicken flap, dance in a circle thing going on. I'd like to see you do that when you've been kebabed by an over enthusiastic gynaecological surgeon. Shit. If i could get this bloody cable unravelled then I might be able to get off and have a nice sit down. Oh, and mind your flippin arms woman, you almost had my eye out...

So, the treadmill was sort of OK but not for running, so I decided upon that odd stepper machine where your legs go sideways instead of up and down. I plugged myself into paolo nutini's "sunny side up" (bloomin good album if you haven't already got it!) and side stepped away. I spent a happy ten minutes on this, watching the sweatiest man I have ever seen go mental on a cross trainer. He obviously knew he had a problem as he had laid down towels all around the machine to catch the drips. unfortunately, this only succeeded in making the floor into some kind of major trip hazard with almost everyone in the gym being so transfixed at how one human could be so sweaty that they didn't see the towels in the floor and so did these kind of "dancing on ice" style triple salkos on the bloke's sweaty towel rugs. It was a very amusing way to pass a little time and it was even better as it didn't hurt my tummy one bit.

It was this that gave me the confidence to go on one of those "armchair" bikes. I thought it a little unwise to sit on one of the bikes that had the proper saddle as after gynae surgery, you would have been more successful trying to get me to sit on a red hot gas ring than on a bike saddle. So, i opted for the sit down bike and plugged myself in once more to Paolo and began to pedal away.

Not good.

i don't know if it was the angle of the bike, the nature of the exercise, or the fact i had just overdone it by now but I ended up in agony. I yelped over Paolo and limped off the machine doubled up in pain. I managed a "yes, I'm fine thanks" to the concerned gym attendant, grabbed my stuff and was so busy trying to get out of the gym that I tripped over sweat man who was lying face down on the floor doing something unspeakable with a weighted ball. (serves me right for laughing at everyone else I guess).

i went back to Tom's and found that the interntional hedge trimming championships looked in no danger of winding up soon so began chatting to the hedge man. I told him about my problems with my own overgrown hedge. (now, don't be smutty here ladies, i am of course referring to my privet). I've been trying to get someone to quote me less than the price of a Citroen Saxo for the job of trimming it but noone has come up trumps yet so I chanced my arm and asked this particular hedge man if he fancied the job. I did wonder what he might have made of me later, as I was talking to him whilst covered in sweat, bright red and doubled up. Poor bloke didn't mention my odd stance so I guess he just thought I had some weird physical defect where i couldn't stand up straight but enjoyed wearing gym gear.

I also decided that i'd call in on my parents to say hi, so I drove back to our village and settled myself in for a nice cup of tea and toasted cheese sarnie at mum's. I'd only been there five minutes though and was just admiring mum's birthday cards when I ended up smashing one of mum's prized decorative clarice cliff teacups. i had pulled a card off the mantlepiece to read it, but a cup was inbetween it. I'm no juggler either and so my attempt to catch it only boinged it into the fruit bowl and the handle shot off somewhere down the back of the sideboard. Mum was not best pleased and I felt like a right cak handed wazark. No change there then. I'd only been there a few moments and already i was destroying the place.

Mum sent me out to sit in the garden which was good really as it gave us two a chance to really talk about the IVF. I'd brought along all the paperwork and info the hospital had sent so far and we had a very open discussion about it all. I felt loads better afterwards and mum and dad said that they'd do absolutely anything to ensure that it went smoothly and that i didn't get up to my usual tricks of dashing about and thinking I'm superwoman.

i then said I was going to do my gardening as by this time my tummy felt better. It's amazing what one of your mum's cups of tea and a toasted cheese sandwich can sort out.

So, mum and I raided dad's shed for gardening stuff and we set about trying to turn my garden from the jungles of borneo into porn for Alan Titchmarsh.

it wasn't long before i was screaming my head off again. Luckily, this time it was not from pain. My garden has been invaded by sodding frogs again and the pond is just a seething mass of green legs and blinking black eyes staring at me. However, they do not confine themselves to the pond but prefer to treat my garden like some kind of Costa del Frog package holiday resort. This means that under every leaf, branch, shrub and bush is a sodding frog waiting to leap up at you and try to ferret under your trouser leg. I had wisely pulled on some more trusty leggings for the task so I wouldn't get the "frog up the trouser leg suprise" that I have previously been party to, but they still made me squeal all the same.

I also had a massive fight with a bramble bush and it was when i had actually wedged myself into a corner with all the clippings from it that Mum decided reinforcements were needed so phoned dad.

dad arrived with some electric hedge trimmers and after much mountaineering over left over car boot sale merchandise in the garage, i managed to locate a plug socket and we were away.

Except we weren't.

dad managed, in less than the first five seconds, to cut through the wire on the Flymo strimmer.

Mum began yelping that he could have killed himself and was doing some sort of crazy "you've cheated death" hopping dance and dad just gazed rather bemused at the sawn off end of his Flymo cable. Cue dad, sitting at the kitchen table for the next hour reconnecting the wires and mum getting in a fluster about dad's near death strimmer incident.

Luckily, she calmed herself by making me repeatedly climb into the brown wheelie bin to jump up and down on the cuttings. she was obvlivious to my shouts of "but i'm in leggings! I've got no ankles! I'm reporting you to childline!" (I know, the ankles comment didn' t really make sense to me either but I knew what I meant. Bramble anklets are so not going to catch on, if you'll pardon the pun).

We battled valiently against the forces of shrubbery for the next few hours but I was beginning to flag. My tummy was getting sore again so rather than admit defeat, I began making teas and doing just a bit of light weeding on the drive instead. Mum must have twigged that i wasn't feeling too great as she made dad wind everything up soon after that and left me to have bit of a rest.

I've therefore spent the last couple of hours watching x factor and wondering why I'm so bloomin stupid. I knew I wasn't meant to do anything for at least another week and I've gone and been to the gym as well as a few hours of wheelie bin gymnastics and frog hurdling.

I am so daft.

Anyway, hopefully it won't last too long and it looks as if we'll be off to the NHS walk in centre tomorrow anyway as Tom's apparently fallen off his bike and probably needs stitches in his knee according to the St John's people at the race. The daft sod carried on for 8 hours after the accident so he's apparently in a right mess but didn't want to give up. Now, I wonder who else that sounds like.....

So, I'll keep you posted. I have a meeting with the hedge man at 12 tomorrow for a quote so hopefully he'll see me upright and realise I am not a hunched and incoherent dwarf. I then have an afternoon of hanging around in the walk in centre but am quite excited as for once it won't be me in need of treatment. yay!!!!!

anway, will sign off for now. Back on soon. Thanks again for all your lovely comments and emails.


P.S WOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay for Runningbird! Just read your comment my gorgeous little scrumplet and am so thrilled for you I just can't tell you!!! I've been thinking about you loads lately and was actually talking to Mum about you today. I'm so so so so so so so happy for you. That's made my day that has. Big hug to you my gorgeous preggers runningbird. good on you!!!! XXXXXXXXXXX

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

you're all delicious lovelies...

Just wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who has been so kind and lovely. I have an inbox jammed with well wishes and some of the best advice i've ever had!

Am over the major wobbles now about it all. I have a wonderful family, my perfect Tom, lovely friends and a great career; what am I moaning about????

Been for some more bloods at the hospital and have received a letter to say we are officially on the waiting list for IVF. Only problem is that our primary care trust will only fund one round of it on the NHS so we'll have to pay for any further rounds. Looks like we need to go out and find us some pretty big piggy banks fairly soon!

My parents are back in the early hours of tonight and Tom's been his usual fantastic self since he got back from his golf tour (although for some reason he has developed a strange obsession with thinking he resembles Colin Firth and has spent the last 3 days saying things like "how about just round the eyes? Look at the eyes; how about just this bit" and hiding behind his hands like he's looking through a letterbox. All very odd. I can only assume he had one too many Vino Collapsos away with the lads or sustained a head injury from a wayward golf club.)

Work has been a fab distraction too and the kids have really made me smile. Our new nursery intake have been particularly cute, with two of the little 3 and 4 year olds being overheard by a colleague of mine, discussing who I was and one of them saying, "You know, the one with the white hair. Not Mrs H with those glasses on. The very pretty lady with the white hair. Well, not white. Pretty white. A nice white. You know her. The pretty white haired lady who has all big boys and girls". Bless their little new cotton school socks.

have been really busy too helping will and jo prepare for their travels. they're off round the other side of the world again as of the 27th so they'll be away for the duration of out IVF journey. As Tom pointed out, if I'm going to be a hormonal psychopath for the next few months then he's sorely tempted to join them!

My brother delightfully put it another way... "So you'll be knocked up by the time we get back then?" Hopefully that oh so delicate assumption will be true but I'm not holding out too much hope. Tom's all carried away with the practical thoughts of maternity pay and people carriers but I think I'm bit more realistic. In fact, i bought a fabulous super slinky tight dress today cause I keep thinking that I'm not going to get caught up in the whole, "better stock up on leggings and baggy shirts in case I get pregnant" scenario so i'll be the only one rocking up at the clinic in a monochrome, shoulder padded, 80s throwback uber cool minidress. So, stick that one up your speculum and smoke it Mr Gynaecologist!!

Anyway, thanks once again for all your support. It's meant more to me than you'll ever know and it really helped me out at the weekend when i almost lapsed back into Leona Lewis mode and sobbed on the staircase. God, I'm surprised that bannister hasn't rotted away over the last year! However, managed to hold it together and am well on the route to acceptance and think my little detour past "panic avenue" was a dead end so i've turned back and am once more traipsing along and hoping for the best.

Am off back downstairs now to check that Tom is not still attempting to resemble a period drama hero and is just back to being the lovely bloke I adore who lounges around in his work shirt and shorts and doesn't pretend to be a film star.

lots of love to you all in the meantime. Will update soon after my first hunt down the back of the sofa for coins to begin our IVF fund - I may be gone some time...


Saturday, 5 September 2009

Such shocking news.

I'm afraid I don't think I'll be posting for a bit. Just had a bit of news that made me throw up immediately with shock.

Was looking for all my hospital info to try and track down a number to call to sort out all of this blood test business and made a horrible discovery.

Found a piece of paper which said "Hospital Discharge Letter" on it so i fell on it, eagerly thinking it might have a number on it. It didn't, what it said on it has totally rocked me and made me sick three times in the last couple of hours.

I read the part which described the "information to patient/carer" which said "Adhesions in pelvis and to tubes. Divided but evidence of PID. Likely to need IVF - referral made". I wasn't sure what PID was as I've never heard of it before and so I read the part above which was the "other diagnosis" bit for my own GP. It said, "Normal uterus. Filmy adhesions to both R and L sides of pelvis. Spillage of dye from both tubes. L tube adherent to uterus - freed. Adhesionlysis to R tube/ovary. Perihepatic adhesions. Appearance of previous severe PID. Will need IVF - UNLIKELY TO CONCEIVE NATURALLY".

I just looked up PID on the internet and was promptly sick. I have never been promiscuous and have always been in a steady, long term relationships. I was therefore disgusted to hear that PID is generally sexually transmitted.

I looked up the symptoms and was promptly sick again as ten years ago, when in a 4 year relationship, I started to bleed irregularly, have terrible pelvic pain and all sorts of other symptoms that were all on the PID list. At the time, my GP just thought it was problems with my pill and so it was changed a total of 7 times! i was also referred for a scan of my pelvis which revealed fluid in the pelvic cavity but nothing else. I was convinced there was something wrong after my GP at the time just kept on changing the pills. Eventually he relented as i kept on nagging him that i was sure something was wrong and he prescribed a general antibiotic "in case I had an infection" - this was 2 years after i had originally presented with symptoms.

I am now faced with the prospect that i caught something off a man I was in a trusting relationship with and that I was grossly misdiagnosed and as a result have lost my fertility. I must have also misinterpreted the surgeon when they said that my tubes were clear - i assumed that meant that now the ovary was free, that it meant we might conceive naturally. Obviously this is not the case.

I have never had PID mentioned to me at all, not in the ten years of suffering from all sorts of pains, aches and odd bleeds. I am devastated. The thought that someone has infected me with something and robbed me of my chances of a family are more than i can comprehend. When I was dealing with just the adhesions from my botched appendix operation then I could just about get my head round it. To hear that that is compounded by some disgusting STI that i don't know who gave me, how long i've had it or how much damage is done is totally incomprehensible to me. I know I haven't got it now as I've had all sorts of tests done for my IVF and a million different swabs for infections which have all come back clear so it's even more awful to not even know exactly when or for how long I had it.

To say I am devastated is the understatement of the year. I have not felt this low since ST left me. I don't know what to do. Tom, my parents, my brother and my best friend are all away and I'm totally on my own. I don't really want to discuss it with anyone else at the moment either as it makes me heave.

i can't think, i can't breathe and I can't stop sobbing. Why has this happened to me? I don't understand - after everything that has happened to me lately, why have I now been sent this bombshell??

I'm therefore not going to be posting for a bit. I'm just going to crawl into bed this afternoon and try and sleep the day away. The sight of my scars and stitches now repulse me instead of the hope that they've been giving me that we're on the way to a baby. Now I can't bear to look at them as I keep imagining the poison that's been eating me up.

I'm just in pieces. I want my mum, I want my dad and I want Tom.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Calling all medics - emergency, emergency!!!!

Right, slight panic here folks...

I am meant to have a load of extra blood tests before the next stage of IVF. As I mentioned in my previous post, Tom hasn't phoned the hospital to confirm anything.

my bloomin period has just started and I'm meant to have some hormone function tests between days 2 to 4 of my cycle. this therefore means either tomorrow, sunday or monday.

problem is, I don't know whether they should be on my first full cycle after my operation or whether I should go in now???!!!!

On the blood bags I've been given it says they are testing for...
hiv, hep bc, hormone profile fsh lh

I just don't know whether I need to go in this month or next month and I can't get hold of anyone to ask until monday. Shit.

So, if I miss the tests I don't know if this will slow down the IVF process or indeed if my surgery will have affected the outcome of the tests.

AAAAAAAAAggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tom's in bloomin France, my mum and dad are in Spain and my brother's off to London first thing tomorrow - my best mate's up north for the weekend and I can't really talk about it with my flippin grandad, he won't know what to do!

So, if any of you lovely people can shed any light onto whether i should go for the tests on Monday or over the weekend or wait for another month then I'd be really grateful.

I am in full on panic and freakout mode here.


Giant cucumbers and big arguments....

I am so tired that I am currently in bed in my school suit and my coat. I have only taken my shoes off and have dumped all my schoolbags at the foot of my bed and just collapsed in an not very elegant heap.

God, I had forgotten just how knackering teaching is. Don't get me wrong, I have the most delightful class this year; in fact, I said today in the staff room that I thought I'd died and gone to teaching heaven as they are just so bloomin fabulous. However, although I only have a class of 31, I take in 6 extras from another class for English and Maths so I have 37 kids for half the day. This isn't too bad as I had 34 last year and I had some real fruitloops in that class in terms of behaviour so it's not the numbers that are killing me. I had just forgotten how exhausting being so damn positive all the time was!

My jaw aches from smiling, my feet are killing me and I am utterly shattered from some kind of suppressed tourrettes syndrome where, after almost seven weeks of swearing like a navvie, I'm back to, "blimey", "crikey" and "goodness me!". Believe me, there are only so many times you can turn a "f*cking hell" into a "flippin nora" without starting to get stressed out yourself. I almost had to go into the art cupboard and just shout expletives at lunchtime just to try and get them out of my system.

I am very pleased this year though as I finally have a teaching assistant. I have been sent by the gods of teaching, an amazing higher level teaching assistant who is currently making my days so easy to breeze through I am almost a one woman work hurricane. In the past, I have always drawn the short straw and not had one as I teach Y6 (age 10&11) and so the assistants have always gone to the younger classes.

However, this year, as two older teachers have retired and two newly qualified ones started, we had extra money in the budget and so I finally got some help. If the truth be told, I almost didn't know what to do with her! I'm so used to fending for myself in the wildnerness that is Y6 (cue the Bear Grylls cutaway shot to me crawling through a ravine or fashioning a hut out of poisonous evergreen leaves in a rainforest) that I kind of almost had nothing to give her to do. But, a girl can soon learn to delegate and within moments I was drafting a massive list of stuff for her to do and i actually, for once, didn't have to play the educational version of, "whack a rat" (you know, that fairground game where one little rat pops up out of a hole, you have to hit it with a mallet and then watch for the next one...) and cope with everything on my own. Oh, I would just like to point out at this juncture that I am not in the habit of whacking kids on the head with a mallet, just in case anyone thinks of contacting childline, although I did once accidentally drop a football pump on a child's ear in the PE store. Not a nice conversation to have with an irate mother I can tell you!

Anyway, the upshot of all these exertions is that I am in a crumpled heap, in a crumpled suit, under some crumpled bedding and feel as if I've been put through a mangle. My grandad, who i went to see after school, was quite quick to point out that it's less than 2 weeks since I had surgery so that's probably why I feel not as if I've been hit by the tired stick, but that an entire tired tree has fallen over and crushed me.

I'm meant to be going over to my brother's tonight for a quick drink as Tom's away all weekend and so are my parents - all my mates have coupley things on and so I'm all on my tod. I was seriously contemplating going with my Grandad to play cards at the Estonian club with him tonight until I jokingly implied that he and all the other octogenarians all just play strip poker and not whist or rummy and he just winked at me. The thought of being surrounded by 80 year old Eastern European ladies as they cheekily remove their support tights is not exactly my idea of a good Friday night so I reckon I'm probably safer over at Will's. Embarrassingly though, Will had his house valued today to put on the letting market for when they go travelling and, just my luck, the lettings agent turned out to be an ex boyfriend of mine from 10 years ago. Eek! The last time I saw him, we were both "in flagrante" in a spare room at a friend's party whilst a mate of ours was passed out in the ensuite bath with a walnut whip shoved down his boxers. I do hope he didn't share this paticular remeniscence with my brother...

I've also had a massive row with Tom on the phone tonight. Our first big barney and he's in bloomin France. So now I'm holed up at home all post-row vulnerable and in that half-cross, half-upset and need a cuddle type of mood and he's living it up on a golf course in Brittany. Bum.

Basically, when i came round from the operation, I was very groggy but the consulant gave us loads of information, loads of blood test forms, test forms for Tom and strict instructions on a second set of hormone function tests for me. Apparently there was loads of info about exactly which days of the month I was meant to do these on and dates for various clinics we were meant to attend and some evenings where I need to go and learn about how to administer injections to myself for the IVF. Tom forgot half of the info as he was so worried about me and as I was struggling to remain conscious, I only remember the vaguest details - in fact I told Tom I only remembered the two blue surgeons standing there and apparently they were actually green so it shows how on the ball I was!
Anyway, I've been trying to find out from Tom for ages what was said and he's kept saying that he'll phone the clinic to find out the bits he doesn't know and basically he hasn't. I've said every day that I'll phone them but he keeps saying he wants to do it and then every night I find out he's forgotten! It came to a bit of a head last night and he said he'd definitely phone at 9am this morning and if he couldn't, he'd let me know so I can phone them. However, he phones tonight and as his head is currently in "caddyworld" then it went clean out of his earholes and he forgot. Cue the massive "You're just not committed to this and I can't bloody forget it as I'm covered in bloody stitches and bandages but it's easy for you - you can't even make a bloody phonecall!"

I am now therefore feeling a little cross with myself for yelling at him down the phone.

So, I am now under my covers all upset and Tom is in France getting wasted with his mates. Oh woe is me!

However, every cloud has a silver lining and in this case, the silver lining is cucumber shaped. Now, before you get the wrong idea ladies, I'm talking about an actual cucumber.

I was sitting at my desk marking some books today when a huge, green, knobbly thing was thrust under my nose and I was asked if I wanted it! After I had composed myself (it's not often that giant phallic objects appear in a Primary school and even less frequently are you ambushed from behind by one at your own desk) I turned round and it was my lovely new teaching assistant. Apparently the kids' gardening club at school which she runs had had a bumper crop of cucumbers and she was distributing them to anyone who wanted one. I therefore arrived home with all my schoolbooks, a laptop, a handbag and a giant cucumber wrapped in display paper. And who said the art of gift giving was dead...

Anyway, I'd better go now as the bin needs bringing in from the pavement and I need to make myself some dinner. God I lead a thrilling life!

So, I'll say bye for now and will update again soon.