Wednesday 30 July 2008

The eagle has landed

The family visitors have arrived, and low and behold, so has the end of another failed cycle.

16 gone now. Six-fucking-teen.

Excuse me while I shut the door on my visitors for a moment, stick my fingers back my throat, and vomit out these words.

I don't like these numbers anymore, I want them to stop.

We've had enough of this game, we've paid our dues, been taught all the valuable lessons, and we just want it to happen.

I don't know how much more 'laughing about it' I can stomach.

I can do without having to play host for the next week too. I thought that having the distraction would be a good thing, but I hadn't fully thought it through.

Showing folks around the sights means of course coming face to face with strangers and their families, enjoying their own holidays.

We will be standing on the sidelines, as spectators.

We are not all that disappointed anymore, but we are royally sick.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must clean my face and gargle mouthwash, and go back to being a happy host for the next week.

Monday 28 July 2008

Hiding the body

Wednesday sees the arrival of some of my family, for a week. At the same time we are half expecting Aunt Flo, but it doesn't need to be said that we would prefer if she stayed away.

We have quite a task ahead of us in preparation though, 'hiding the body'.

Okay, not an 'actual' body but a body of evidence. Evidence of trying to conceive.

Over the past months our house has become ground zero for this fornication powered project, with debris all over the place.

Doctor's letters, referral letters, appointment cards, eight copies of every single test result we've had, litter the dining table, every drawer, and the office.

Bottles containing ET's folic acid and vitamin B supplements, along with my beta carotene, vitamins C & E, and zinc, adorn shelves and windowsills all around the house.

Literature is everywhere! Bloody peeking back at me from shelves are booklets from the hospital on their wonderful (albeit utterly unattainable) treatments, books on trying to conceive, and a bastard book of baby names that I couldn't be more sorry I bought.

Not to mention the bulk online purchases of pregnancy and ovulation prediction kits.

Then there is of course the other stuff like the fertility doll and yellow booties.

All that is even before I noticed all the electronic evidence on our two laptops and the PC, which positively bursting at the seams with bookmarked pages overflowing with trying to conceive and infertility information.

With all this shit lying around, this place is starting to look like the big brother house where the house mates are a prostitute, a porn star, a witch doctor, a gynecologist and a hippy tree hugging drug pusher.

If I had any common sense I would carefully store away all documentation, make the pills invisible yet accessible, and protect all bookmarks.

The reality will most likely lead to one of my poor sisters being crushed to death under an avalanche of trying to conceive paraphernalia upon opening some attic cupboard door.

Such will be the landslide, the cause of death will remain a mystery, fertility doll to the jugular perhaps?, loss of blood from multi-million paper cuts maybe?, stoned to death by a storm of vitamin tablets perchance?

Whatever it is, I have a hunch it would be that bastard baby names book that would strike the final, and fatal, blow.

Thursday 24 July 2008

And here's your host...

All this waiting makes my tits itch. I need to be more occupied. Not in a "the German's are advancing on the Eastern front" kind of way, but rather, just to be kept busy.

What better way to pass the time, than a game?
A waiting game, a two week wait waiting game, a two week wait waiting game game-show!

It could have different rounds, starting with 'find & destroy'.
This is where the fella has to locate, and dispose of, all ovulation prediction piss sticks discarded by his fine lady during the previous ovulation blitz. A point for him for each one he finds, one for her for any he misses.

So far I've found them under my printer tray, two on the office window sill, and one in my shoe.
There may be up to 6 more on the loose.

You could have the 'straw clutching' round, where you take every tiny symptom and turn it into a sure sign that heaven has smiled on our miserable existences and granted us the gift of reproduction. You can get up to 10 points for this, split between the symptom and the farfetchedness of the straw you clutch.

So far, ET had a 'twinge' on Sunday (after lying on the couch for 9 hours straight) so that MUST mean that mini me has sunk his teeth into Ellie, right?
That's an automatic five pointer for her.

I've found that my mantitties are a bit tender these days, which scores high on the symptom scale but blows the fuse on the straw-clutching scale. Just because I don't have a cervix?

Sounds like nit picking to me.

There's the 'quickie', a round of fast fire questions relating to the cycles just passed, and approaching.

-"Day of ovulation this cycle?"

-"Will ovulation fall while we have visitors next time?"
-"No, 5 days before"

-"Did I take my vitamin C on CD21?"
-"Incorrect" (slaaaaap...)

-"Was it good for you?"

No game-show would be complete without the 'menstruation guesstimation' round, where both partners get to guess the day on which the cycle will end, and blood and tears will flow.

Ten points are on offer for the correct date, with a point being dropped for every day you are out by, - if it's early!
If it arrives late, you lose 2 points for every day you are out, just to add insult to misery and any raised hopes.

The person with the most points accumulated (when all your hopes and dreams are torn from your grasp and danced upon in front of your very eyes by skinny people wailing 'nah-nah-nah-nah-nah') gets to choose the bottle of wine which will start the 'PPPP' (Post period Piss-up party).

We'll be right back, after this commercial break.

Tuesday 22 July 2008

Waiting and donating

I've started to really struggle for opening lines on these entries, can you tell?

Here we are, almost half way through the two week wait, yet again.

Considering it's the 16th 'two week wait', that means we've had thirty two weeks of two week waiting.

There is something charmingly symmetrical about it, almost chess board like.

Anyway, by the middle of next week we'll know if the method of attack worked or not, and we'll know whether we get to arrange the monitoring for the next cycle, or not.

At least, if it doesn't work this time, we have the knowledge that we will have some help or attention for the next cycle, so the 'bounce back' period should be a little quicker.

Shut up, it will.
The next week or so will build up from a state of mild curiosity, to an insane, on the hour every hour following of ET everytime she takes a piss.

I will, in fact, probably spend, 82% of my time from next Monday onwards, standing outside our bathroom door.

Who says this trying to conceive stuff isn't fun?

Someone else in for a hell of a week is poor old Dan, from All that comes with it. As some of you know, starting tomorrow, Dan is part of a group of ten fine chaps who are walking 78 miles in 6 days to raise funds for the Joseph Salmon trust.

You know I'm a miserable bastard and wouldn't promote anything here if I didn't think it was worth it, so trust me, you need to read the Joseph Salmon story here, in his parent's Neil and Rachael's own words. Then go clicky clicky here and give a few quid if you can spare it in support of the guys, who are VERY close to their target. Judging by the state most of the walkers seem to be in, the chances are that one or two of them won't make it home without some sort of intervention from the emergency rescue services.

I really hope both Spencer's and Dan's crews both reach their targets.

Friday 18 July 2008

The croc board speaks

The croc wearing baby-wishing leaders have spoken!

We have been graced with a verdict from 'the board' after more than two weeks of waiting for a decision (that was made on that very day).

They will NOT perform a HSG, or a laparoscopy, meaning despite 16 cycles with no apparent reason for failure, they are not interested in checking for a blocked tube or two.

Yes, perfectly logical. As logical as, say, having your toothbrush in your own anus for safe keeping, but we've come to not expect much else from these dudes and dudettes.

On the upside, (and you better be seated for this, -I am) they WILL go all out and monitor a whole cycle!

Those of you who haven't come over all faint at that startling news can ignore the fact that we've monitored 16 of the buggers ourselves already. Our amateur, uneducated, non-croc sporting opinion is, they haven't worked.

We can't be 100% certain of course, but as neither of us have an infant dangling from a breast nor are actually pregnant, we are going with the verdict of 'not successful'.

So, the next cycle, should there be one (I'm touching wood here) will be monitored by the clinic, with an ultrasound on CD10 to check the womb lining and follicle development, with further blood tests on CD21 to make sure all the various gross hormone levels are ok.

The observant among you (or those with no life, like us, for the last few months) will recall this was already done when I got to peer into ET's vagina like someone who'd dropped a tenner down a manhole.

I think we can safely say we don't have a whole lot of faith in these guys at the moment, but we will gratefully accept any and all interest they show in our wee human harvesting plans.

In the meantime, we have fought ovulation battles, and fought them pretty bloody well if I do say so myself. For anyone who doubts the wicked, wild and spontaneous nature of ovulation day trying to conceive humping sessions, lets just say there was nekkidness while the oven was still going....


Now I'd better stop touching wood, we can't afford any waste.

Tuesday 15 July 2008


Womb War Sixteen rages on, and now, on battle day 13, dementia begins to set in in the trenches.

It's time to raise my heads over the parapet once again.

The whiff of war is wafting over the ovulatory battlefield.

Bureaucracy has denied us the use of modern weapons of war, and so, here we stand, toe to toe, crotch to crotch, and armed with nothing other than our wits n'wobbly bits.

The generals have been alerted, the soldiers readied (and the sheets changed).

What lies before them, is destiny (and a spreadeagled wife).

The only question which remains is what method of attack do we employ?

Is it the moment to attempt to unleash the pinpointed attack?
Thus dropping the S-bomb on Ovum city at the optimal predefined moment. Guided only by the G-Pee-S device, in the hope that the accurate deployment and sheer might of one massive man milk mini monster will prove too much for the stubborn resistance of eggy communism.

Alternatively, is it wiser to choose the 'shock & awe' approach?
By so, spraying the fallopian lurking bitch with baby bullets day after day after day after day until a positive outcome is no longer physically possible, until the enemy lies defeated and fertilised, waving the pristine white sanitary towel of concession (or conception) in the air, or until I collapse from the lack of blood circulating to my brain.

With all forces available to us we shall fight the good fight. By land (on the living room rug), by sea(on the waterbed), and by air(swinging from the rafters), allies shall come together (well, if she's really lucky, maybe) to defeat the dark forces of the infertile anti-infant infantry.

God bless the good ship 'ET' and all who set sail in her.

Thursday 10 July 2008

The best laid plans

I'm not nuts, honestly (am I?), I'm not going to swing from the apple tree (it wouldn't hold me anyway), and I'm not spiraling down into a psychopathic depression, bound by restraints woven from the finest threads of jealousy, bitterness and despair (nylon is far superior, and less expensive).

I am in a funny old mood though, I really want distractions, until I get them.

If I stop and try to take some sort of stock of where we are now, all that comes to mind is disbelief.

This stuff only happens other people doesn't it? some other poor bastards that your mother and her housewife friends used to talk about in hushed voices in the back kitchen.

How the hell did we end up here, worse off than when we started?

We are older, more worn, more frustrated, and ever so weary from these past 15 cycles.

We know that what we are doing, most likely, is futile.

We know that the help we thought we could rely on if we needed it, will only be forthcoming at someone else’s discretion.

We know that we have to go through 9 more cycles, of finding and losing hope over and over again, eroding our patience, resilience and confidence, before we can even begin what we believe is necessary.

Will this break one of us?

Will this break both of us?

Will this break us?

I am afraid that going through this will damage us, damage the way we look at things. Before, creating a real family was the ultimate goal.

Now it feels like a line on a stick is the big prize, which it shouldn’t be.

We are becoming more selfish, colder, bitter, and cynical. How can that be good for anyone, prospective parents and the prospective children thereof, alike?

By the time we get lucky, will there be anything left of the people we were when we started out?

-will we get lucky?

This is not how it’s supposed to be, ET is a lovely woman, warm, generous and protective. I’m a decent enough guy too, even if I do say so myself, reasonably fun, capable, and intelligent enough, to manage a child at least.

We don't deserve to be the subject of that whispered conversation in someone's kitchen.

"Those poor bastards"

We really don't.

Tuesday 8 July 2008

Did I roast a kitten on a spit?

I’ve come to the conclusion that I must have been a spectacularly horrible prick in a past life.

Someone worse than Hitler, I don’t think I was Hitler, simply because I’m not so good with the facial hair, and I was never really into blondes.

Someone that made Atilla the Hun wet himself.

Someone as dementedly psychopathic as Robert Mugabe on smack & red bull.

Someone as high up the evil scale as Mariah Carey is on the irritation one I'd imagine.

For certain though, I was a very, very, evil creature.

Why do I think this?

Why do I think the karma Gods are rolling around in piles of their own excrement laughing at me?

A recap on the ‘week that was’ may help illustrate.

In a single seven day period, I
lost a tooth, we failed another cycle, and we got told to piss off by a hush toned, croc wearing, fertility expert for a second time.

We then turned our gaze to the world of light entertainment for some respite, only to find breaking news that some
SEVENTY year old woman in India has just had bloody twins, and a feckin’ MAN has given birth in the good old US of A.

These two stories have contributed to the left, and then the right hand side of my brain, exploding within the confines of their cranial cavity.

I can now hear sloshing when I walk.

If this is the way this life is going to pan out for me I think I’d prefer to go back to one of my previous hideous incarnations.

How bad could it have really been to be a bunny rapist, or a puppy skinner, or a big brother contestant, or someone who uses pensioner’s finger bones as toothpicks, or an Australian?

Yes, I am bitter, want to make something of it?

Kitty kebab anyone?

Friday 4 July 2008

As I sit in a pool of my own estrogen

The clinic we visited on Tuesday is also a sperm bank, and so they help realise the 'child wish' of all manner of combinations of potential parents.

They help singles mummies, and mummies and daddies, and mummies and mummies, and mummies and mummies who pretend to be daddies, and daddies and no, not that combination, but all others, it's great, really.

They advertise that there is NO waiting list for IUI procedures! Wonderful, off you go, pick your milkshake and a couple of squirts later you are good to go.

We, on the other hand, despite 15 failed attempts at the miniaturest version of paintballing known to man, have to wait 9 more months before they would consider squirting me into the missus.

So, as with everything in life, I've formulated a near perfect solution.

It takes 7 months to become a cleared sperm donor here in Holland.

That means I could donate samples, and have plenty of time to divorce ET so she's a single woman, or alternatively complete my transition into a woman (through a carefully planned process of infertility blogging) so that we would be a lesbian couple by the time my donated sample is cleared for use for IUI.

A saving of a whole two months on when we would be eligible for help in our current situation.

If they can be absurd, so can I.

Tuesday 1 July 2008

Child wishing in the whispering room

As much as it sounds like an Enid Blyton tale from 'the faraway tree', it's not. It's my somewhat hazy account of this morning's trip to specialist number 2.

I knew it just wasn't going to go according to plan when I saw the crocs.

Every single nurse, lab assistant, and doctor that passed us sitting in the whispering room was wearing them. Crocs.

So there we sat, in the whispering room where no one makes eye contact with anyone else.

Magazines got flicked through, phones got checked and doubled checked, and throats were cleared.

It took all my restraint not to lean over to the guy next to me and ask 'So, what are you in for then?'

One by one the names were called, and all manner of couples, individual ladies, and a uniformed police man gathered their bits and pieces and left the whispering room.

Our appointment time came and went, when ET had the audacity to announce she had to go to the bathroom.

No. fucking. way.

She was not me leaving there, undoubtedly to be called by the doctor while on my own.
Rubbing my beer belly, and slowly waddling after the doctor would have raised a few eyebrows, even here in the mix n'match mummy & daddy clinic.

So, she held her piddle, and I held my tongue.

Finally we got whisper-summoned, and took our places across from a very intelligent looking doctor.
'So, what can I do for you?' she asked, proving once again you should never judge a book by it's cover.

'Er, short back and sides with a little off the top you infuriating mare!' I didn't reply.

ET launched into our background which the good doctor ignored and quizzed us on anyway, despite having just been told, and having our records from the last specialist in front of her.

'How long have you had a child wish?' she inquired.

'A bloody WHAT?' we gaped at each other.

'You know, a 'child wish', - "kinderwens" '

Glad I hadn't actually taken a wrong turn and ended up in neverneverland, I accepted her horrifically literal translation of the Dutch term for a desire to have a family, and moved on with the discussion.

When I say 'discussion' I of course mean the 5 minutes she spent to tell us that they would normally do nothing for people in our situation.

ET: 'Nothing?'

Doc: 'No'

Me: 'Seriously, where are the cameras?'

Doc: 'What?'

ET & Me: 'Nothing'

We were advised to go home, keep trying, for 9 months more, which would bring us to the magic 24 cycles when mystical doors of opportunity and wonderous avenues of treatment would become available.

She shuffled her papers a few times, started to get out of her chair, but we just could not budge

Maybe it was the despair she saw in ET's eyes, or the plan to beat her about the head with the plastic uterus on her desk she saw in mine, but she caved a little and said she would discuss our options with "the board".

We 'may' have a possibility to check for tubular blockage, we 'may' have a cycle monitored, but it's all in the hands of "the board".

As Pacino-esque as it may sound, it's nowhere near as efficient, it will be 16 days before we get a phone call informing us of this almighty gathering's decision, which inexplicably takes place - this afternoon.

We went in with a lifeline, and brought it out in tatters.