July 24, 2009

Cautiously Optimistic

I ovulated a little earlier this month that usual, which was a surprise... but luckily my husband and I were ready. Trusting one's instincts really pays off at times! ;)

When a couple is trying to conceive, they usually get a lot of information from other people (generally well-meaning) about sex. The what, how, when, why... and I've seen many couples succumb to the monotony of babymaking (as opposed to lovemaking). You know what I mean - when sex becomes a chore and not an act of love.

I can understand how it's easy to fall into that way of thinking - and there have been times of choosing sex instead of sleep simply because the timing is good (etc). But never once have we let it become monotonous or endgame-driven. In fact, to keep us sane and the pressure off, my husband prefers me not to tell him when I'm fertile and just initiate (though I'm sure he realises... he's an intelligent thinker).

So here I am, four days post-ovulation and feeling those ovulation-type twangs (which are also endometriosis-style twangs... but I'd rather not be regressing again) and secretly hoping that for once it's an implantation twang and not simply my body ready to shed its womb once more.

A rose quartz carried on my body at all times (a loan from a good friend)... the herbal conconctions that I drink twice daily... the cleansing of my diet and plenty of fresh air and laughter. Will this ninth month finally be our charm? I should know the answer in about a week, give or take...

July 15, 2009

That's Where my Dust Went

I think that I’ve figured out what has happened to my baby dust... it’s gone to many of the families in my Kindergarten group!

In the last month, not one...or two...but THREE of the parents have announced that they’re expecting (all in the first trimester), leaving me dolling out many congratulations – all genuine, I might add. However, if any more families in my group of 25 make an announcement, then I’ll probably lie on the floor while kicking and screaming... which would make a nice spectacle for the four year-olds. ;)

July 7, 2009

Career and Nurturing

Here I am, on the first day of a new cycle today.

That makes nine months of actively trying for our first child (and almost unimaginably, we would be on the verge of having a newborn in our lives if we’d conceived in our first couple of months).

As anyone that’s reading this who has been through the whole TTC journey would know, it has its ups and downs. My frustrations have been extreme at times, but I have faith that one day soon my husband and I will be blessed with a child of our own. I know that there’s so much I’ve been doing ‘right’ (ie, cutting out caffeine, getting healthier and in a more positive headspace) in the past year, I just hope know that it’s all enough.

Time for me to reveal a little more about the person that I am... I work with children on a daily basis as a Kindergarten teacher (here in Australia, our Kindergarten year is more like what some of you would know as preschool – very much play-based). I adore my job, and for a year the children that I nurture and teach become my children. My days are filled with laughter, joy and sunshine...I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend them. When the families that I work with ask about my own family, I’m good at smiling and saying that it’ll happen when it happens (but at the same time it hurts, too...).

For the time being, I keep honing my Hokey Pokey skills. ;)

July 2, 2009

Kicking the Caffeine

I cut caffeine out from my life just under a month ago.

While it’s given me more energy throughout the day and made me realise my overreliance on what is really essentially a scary drug, the withdrawals were terrible. Cold sweats, nausea, headaches and snappiness... my poor husband and my best friend copped the brunt of it (sorry guys!).

But I’m proud to say that I’m officially caffeine-free and not looking back!

I've always been a tea drinker - my parents introduced it to me when I was only twelve years old. Black teas, green teas, white teas... you name it, and I've probably had it in my pantry at some point.

Socially it can be difficult to refuse, especially when coffee is an after-meal custom and a hot chocolate just doesn’t provide the same ‘warmth’. But I’m getting there...and no longer taking deep breaths in an attempt to breathe in other people’s coffee steam!

Rooibus tea has become my saviour. African in origin, it’s high in trace minerals (such as iron, potassium and magnesium), full-bodied like a black tea and tastes delicious... as well as being 100% caffeine-free. My naturopath - or herbalist, for those in the US – put recommended it a while back and though I was sceptical at first, it’s absolutely delicious! Luckily for me, it’s available at my local supermarket too.
Can you tell I'm eating breakfast while typing this? I'm a food fiend. ;)

July 1, 2009

My Story

Starting a blog can be a daunting experience... an open page with a lack of words, a heart full of promise for the times to come. And the anticipation... oh, the anticipation.

Growing up, I boldly told family and friends that I would one day be a single parent because I just didn’t think I would settle down. Did I fully understand an impact a statement like that would make? Probably not. However, situations changed as I sped through my teenage years and early twenties, and I found myself a newlywed a few months shy of my twenty-seventh birthday.

Another thing I took for granted was my fertility – that no matter what, it’d be there for me because that was the job of a woman’s body...to grow and nurture babies. Like a lot of women of my generation, I spent many years on the contraceptive Pill to regulate my cycles and protect me from pregnancy before I was ready to become a parent. What I didn’t know was that the artificial hormones were holding my (at this point undiagnosed) endometriosis at bay, which I discovered three years after going off the Pill.

A lovely female doctor set me on the right path, thrusting a wealth of information at me about a condition I’d never really heard of before – and something clicked into place... my painful and heavy periods, back pain, inability to wear a tampon or even have intercourse without tears welling up in my eyes (not from pleasure, either!)... I wasn’t alone and these symptoms had a name. Something real to grasp onto, at last!

My suspicions were confirmed in January 2008 by laparoscopic surgery (with endometrial ‘nodules’ found on the back of my uterus and on my bowel), and I now have a lovely picture of my insides on the fridge for all to see.

... Just kidding (it’s in a folder with my bills, and tax receipts).

But in all seriousness, this surgery changed my life. Daily tasks became manageable, and sex became a wonderful thing (especially now that I had a husband to share it with!). It did also force me to think more about having children, as my specialist said that the best time to fall pregnant was immediately after a laparoscopy cycle. He (yes, I had a male specialist) also recommended Zoladex as a follow-up to the surgery. I naively started the monthly injectables without truly understanding the impact that it was going to make on my life.

Did you know that Zoladex is an oestrogen-suppressant? Or that it puts you into a state of artificial menopause to stop the growth rate of endometrial growth? (it’s also used in conjunction with chemotherapy to treat breast and prostate cancers It’s also a drug not widely used by medical practitioners for managing endometriosis anymore, but I didn’t know my options at the time.

I won’t say that the time spent on this drug (six months) wasn’t the most pleasant of my life. Without the support of my husband and family, I don’t think I would have coped as well as I did... and even that wasn’t very well at times. I did get to experience menopause at the same time as my mother, and I don’t think many mothers-and-daughters could say that’s a journey they’ve made together! But within six weeks of finishing the last injection, my menstrual cycle returned and I began to feel like a woman again.

By this point, my husband and I were ready to start trying for a baby – the mythical “right time” had arrived. Or had it?

Over a year on from making that decision, and here I am... sitting here writing a blog about not being blessed with pregnancy as yet, while friends and loved ones around me are walking examples of female fertility. I’m neither bitter nor angry, but I am frustrated that our time hasn’t arrived yet.

I hope that my husband and I are to be biological parents of a child someday.

But in the meantime... I write.