Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Waiting Game

It is funny, the whole infertility thing - but not very amusing. In your twenties it never crosses your mind, birth control seeming more relevant. Now it seems to be socially acceptable to chatter about conception tips, vitamins and supplements and even compare notes on consultants.

 I think it is great now that infertility is no longer a taboo subject. However, I still struggled to find sympathy for Mylene Klass when she bemoaned her 18 month wait to conceive. 18 months? The Pickle is 4 and we have never not been trying! I feel a bitch, but fertility and hormones are bound in together, and even if I am pleased that she is now expecting I can't empathise with her wait.
I am amazed by the attitudes to it. I was in casualty one long night recently and chatting to a consultant; he was talking about his training and the different jobs he had done. He revealed how the one job he could not do is fertility. He looked at me, saying how unfair it was the people like us struggled to conceive then others had issues over how to control their families - by implication talking about who deserves children. I don't subscribe to that way of thinking, there are no undeserving Mums, just a range of stories from triumph the tragedy about struggling to do our best (or just to cope). But, even then it is still loaded; someone I care about is undergoing IVF for a first child - I find it hard not to consider that maybe she really deserves the luck more than me.

It is certainly, for me, so different second time around. Before the Pickle every period was difficult, another month of hopes dashed. When we finally got to see the consultant I was told to loose weight and then they would see me in a few months time. So I did a major detox and sure enough I got pregnant. Was it the detox? I am not sure, we got more strategic about when we tried, I was taking vitamin supplements and going to a homeopath - so it may have been any of a number of reasons, or just Mother Nature kicking in.

This time around I have found the detox more difficult, in fact my effort could be described as best as half hearted. When I last checked, many months ago, I was at the same weight as when the Pickle was conceived. I have given up caffeine and since being a Mum my drinking is not what it used to be. It is only recently when the medical intervention has really started that I have got religious about my folic acid.

So where are we now? Mildly hopeless but hopeful (I don't think think that is an oxymoron or a Jane Austen title 'Sense and Sensibility'/'Pride and Prejudice/'Hopeless but Hopeful'?). The medical intervention? That is a story for another day. 

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Dear Father Christmas

What should I do? I just had a horrible conversation with my Big Bruv and I am in pieces. You see, Big Bruv has been a rock for me, as my relationship with the Mumster has floundered, when I suffered miscarriages and when life has seemed cruel you have always been there. He offered us whatever support we needed when my FiL died, so why now is he laying down the law?

It is all about where we spend Christmas. My family verses the in-laws.

There has always been something magical about being at 'home' with you over Christmas. The house holds a lifetime of special memories drenched in tradition. Each year barely deviating from the minute by minute agenda set at birth, the the walls all echoing to the sound of past Christmases. Just coming through the doors and smelling the two large Christmas trees transports me back to the time when Christmas was the focal point of the year, when cynicism had not set in, and when Christmas was just uncomplicated joy. But this year, things are not so simple - and now that I have my own family is your house still really my home?

Things got tougher when Daddy got ill - but we stuck together. The Hubster and his family never questioned that he should be with me, and my family, both in Daddy's last Christmas and the next few years after that.

Now I find that I am the hopes, and more pertinently, the fears of my generation of the family. The Hubster's Dad has just died and I thought that what was right for one family was right for another and I volunteered to change plans to be with his family. This Mum had asked politely on numerous occasions if we may be available, and wanting to support an 80 year old widow we had said that we would spend Christmas with her.

Now Big Bruv has said that there will be (to quote) "a nuclear explosion" if I do that. Citing the fact that the Hubster is one of five and they have a big family and could cope without us. I do understand that it may be a bit dull just Big Bruv, the Mumster and the Maiden Aunt (particularly the Maiden Aunt) but still I feel it would be the right thing to be there for my MiL.

What should I do, Father Christmas? Give in to Big Bruv's threats or risk a family schism? If I do that I will devastate the Hubster's family by dragging him away from them. If Big Bruv was married this may not be so critical, but should I be forced to compensate for that? I have spent the last 24 hours in tears and vacillate wildly between anger and capitulation.

By the way, as I am writing to you anyway, here is the Pickle's Christmas Wish list:
Sunflower seeds
A pair of scissors
A pair of wellies
A Hello Kitty Sticker Machine
A crash helmet with a Daisy on it (okay I may have subconsciously implanted that one as I know that we are giving her a bike).

A sage response to my quandary would be greatly appreciated!
As ever,