Wednesday 27 August 2008

Losing words & winning battles

I was recently asked to write a guest post for someone, someone whose blog is full of fun, swearing, sweet potatoes and genital shaped hair-bands.

I couldn't do it.

I wanted to, but I couldn't get the part of my brain that controls my fingers to combine in unison and even begin to lay down anything worth writing.

How can I not do that, and yet this is the eighteenth cycle I'm writing about?

That's a lot of cycles. Cycle is the perfect word for it, as it simply goes and comes around and around and around and around.

On repeat.

Since I've written everything about that has occurred, my words are also very much on repeat.

Let's be honest, it's not exactly a fascinating story, cycle starts, we wait for the right time, you get a few humping gags, we wait, we bomb out.

Then we start over again.

I simply couldn't keep this up if it were about any other topic, I'd have lost interest, lost enthusiasm, lost the desire.

I haven't. It means too much. That's why it continues.

Every entry is multiple times harder to carve out than those back in the first months. 18 times harder, but I'm still doing it, with greater difficulty, consuming more energy, drawing on resources I didn't know I possessed.

Exactly mirroring what we are doing.

Every word here is so intertwined , so tangled up with what we are try to achieve in reality.

I'm so very proud of this blog now, the effort it's taken, the posts that lie in archive, the silliness, the seriousness, and the entries still to be written.

I'm a million more times prouder of us and what we have achieved, albeit not yet the end result we so badly want, but the effort we have put in, the laughter at flaccid members begging to be let rest, the strain we've come through, and the events we are yet to experience.

Just as we will keep going until we get a different result, I'll keep going until I have a different story to tell.

So, here we go, cycle 18, armed with a monitored cycle behind us, extra charting, and a chat with the specialist to come.

Tired, weary, and older, but not beaten, onwards we go, finding new energy and optimism where we thought there was none.

The words, as hard as they may also be to come by, will follow.


Anonymous said...

That's right buddy - keep on keepin' on...and we'll all be here cheering for you and ET...and when the time comes ~ we'll all be part of the internet explosion and the postal service influx as we ship baby gifts across the seas!
xoxo ~ darcie

The Tall Red Head said...

It would feel frustrating to feel like you are repeating yourself and getting nowhere. But, very soon you will blogging about pregnancy and babies and childbirth and sleep deprevation, and all will be good. And, the one good thing to come out of all this waiting and heartbreak and utter fucking frustration...when you get that baby in your arms, the overwhelming love and joy and protection you feel for it, you would do 80 cycles to get that feeling back again. And it makes it all worth while.

Laski said...

Imagine how awesome it will be to look back on your endurance, optimism, tenacity, courage . . .

You'll inspire yourself silly (just as you inspire us).

Jenni said...

I'm glad you're sticking around. You make me laugh. And I love the Irish swearing.

Sarah said...

I wish I could think of something clever to say. Or something that will give you a chuckle. However...I got nothing.

You and ET are approximately 4-5 cycles ahead of us in the TTC department. SO I do know what you're going through. Not that it matters. I know that doesnt help in any way, shape or form.

Keep your chin up.

Sending a giant blog hug your way.

Robin said...

I am so glad to see you are keeping on... I am a newer reader of your blog and I love your writing style and sense of humor. You will have a baby in your arms, and you wouldn't change any of it because it will be perfect. Chin up fellow, you have a specialist you need to get some answers from.

Kori said...

As is so often the case, I am floored by this post, and by the wisdom you try to hide behind sarcams and self-deprecation. the getting up in the morning and continuing on despite the past failues? my personal method for living. Thanks for the rminder today, Xbox, and know that you are stunning, on such a variety of levels.

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

Kori said, "the wisdom you try to hide behind sarca(s)ms and self-deprecation."


MarĂ­a said...

My heart was pounding, thinking you were about to tell us you were quitting. Glad to see that you're still as tenacious as ever, X. :)

Bluestreak said...

I love that your blog mirrors what is really going on in your life. That´s what makes it good to read, but understandably would be painful to write at times. If your cycles feel repetative though, I can assure you that reading your blog does not feel that way. And yes, you should be proud of it.

And although I could read about it forever, I hope soon that you´ll be really posting about nappy rash.

Putz said...

have you ever thought of counting the hours times eighteen you put into a month?????i figureed time traveling to doctors, we lived 3 hrs. away in the country and the specialists all lived in the big hospital in the big city, reading up time, time in the little booth, night work, about 180 hours per month, and worrying time i won't put down here, times my blood was let out, bottles and bottles of samples

Jason Roth said...

I'm so happy to hear you have the desire to keep this up. This whole story deserves a happy ending and we can't wait to finally read it.

Karen MEG said...

OMG, it looks like the tall red head did my math for me ;). Cycles are the perfect words, aren't they?

Keep it up, Xbox, the words, as hard as they are, they will come. I can really tell that they have helped you.

You are a brilliant writer, actually, scratch that, beyond brilliant. I am hooked on your blog, hooked on your journey, you don't know how badly I want this to happen for you and ET.

Infertility, it is an all consuming thing. It is no wonder you cannot find it in yourself to write about anything else.

I'm just hoping that once you and ET have that little baby in your arms, you will continue to blog about your life as a Dad.

Because that is who you will be, my friend, and an awesome one at that. And you've got friends all over the blogosphere now who are invested.

Anonymous said...

You could print this blog out, staple the pages together, and have a NYT bestseller.

I am so glad to have stumbled into your blog.

Anonymous said...

I lurk more than I comment (it's me; not you, really), but I'm proud of you for you for this blog, too. ;)

Anonymous said...


I'm glad that you continue on with your writing. You say everything that I feel. Cycles suck.

I hoping that the ends of our cycles are just around the corner for us all.

I'm trying something new this month. - It's a bit TMI, but what the fuck, there ya go, ha.

Hopefully we'll have the results soon on our SA and I'll let ya know.

Cheers brother.

Jo said...

It's true - there is a baby somewhere in the future for you - and if you'd got pregnant this cycle, you wouldn't have that particular baby.

So one day, when you're holding that child, you'll suddenly think, thank god we have YOU, if it had happened sooner, we wouldn't have YOU.

Sarah said...

it is amazing how talking about it, even if it is the same feelings again and again, truly helps. Keep writing and we will always be here reading and hoping right along with you all!

People in the Sun said...

Hey, what they said.

You know you have an inspiring story here (one I didn't know about the first time I came here with my tasteless spammy comment, by the way). And a lot of people are tuning in, so you must be doing something right, right?

But you probably shouldn't be afraid of a guest post. I think you'll be able to move people no matter what you write about.

Missives From Suburbia said...

You are anything but repetitive in this blog, and as you already know, each cycle and the emotions attached to it are slightly different.

I must be a masochist, because part of the reason I come here is because it reminds me of the struggles we went through to conceive our son. I still cannot look back on all of that and laugh a pure laugh. My jokes on the topic are all tainted with the pain of the process, and that's because I am permanently changed by it. But reminding myself of it in the sharpest, freshest terms possible (yours) also reminds me of the many things I had to be grateful for at that time (like my wonderful husband) and the gifts that have been bestowed upon me ever since.

I don't know where all of this will take you or your blog, but thank you for reminding me how precious life becomes when you share it. And thanks for the great laughs and brilliant writing.

V said...

"People have even commented to me that it's taken them 18 months. Frankly, I could not last that long, my sanity certainly couldn't."

This was written by you back in the beginning. Although at the time you had no idea you'd be here now, here you are and still sane...right????? :oP

You and ET will get there and when you do, bells and whistles will be going off around the world to help you two celebrate!

Leslee said...

I'm glad you're still here, and I'm glad you're still trying. Please tell me that I'm not crazy for still being here with you (this is cycle 43 for me!).

This sucks. All of it. But it's gonna work out for us all at some point or another. How'd we get here? Can't wait until we both get to trade in our gaming systems (I'm so hooked on PS3 Lego Indiana Jones right now) for nappy rash!

Thanks for your support as well... it means so much!

nh said...

You just got to keep on keeping on - trust me I'm an expert. You write a fantastic blog with far more humour about an awful issue than I ever could - but just think about the money you are saving in therapy!

Liz said...

Keep it up (no, I meant the writing not the flaccid member, though Ok that too)

Soon, soon, you'll have something new to blog about - Touch wood (God you've got a dirty mind!).

Captain Steve said...

I hope the specialist has good news and I'm glad you're not quitting because I would have been very very sad.

Mr Lady said...

And I will keep right on reading until you do. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

*update. All normal in the husbands wobbly bits.

James (SeattleDad) said...

I'll do a bit of repeating of my own X. Good luck on this one. We are keeping our fingers crossed for you and ET.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is a success even if you were to write one line. Why? because you are the type of fella that ye love to root for. Of course it helps that you are Irish and have the gift of the gab.I know you will never give up and why would ye? It's not a losing battle.

Stella said...


Jo Beaufoix said...

Keep going xbox and ET. Keep going.

Ed (zoesdad) said...

I'll give you what someone very famous gave me a long time ago. It was a brief encounter with pleasantries exchanged and then he just ended the conversation--wrote his name and these words on a menu and left.....

To Ed,
Keep on.

(substitute XBox for Ed in the above example)

Elfie33 said...

When you do have little bundle of can nickname him or her the energizer bunny...because to get him or her her here you kept going and going and well you get the picture. (Hope I gave you a smile)...*hugs* From a former lurker who isn't anymore..

SciFi Dad said...

I SO know where you're coming from, even though I didn't blog my way through the experience (my wife didn't want me talking about our sex life and challenges with getting pregnant online). It's difficult, month after month, to know that you didn't conceive, that even though you really wanted to, that even though every day people are bemoaning the one fate you can only wish for and hope for. But you have to just keep trying, just keep doing what you're doing, the best way you know how, and above all, try to remain calm and positive. It wasn't until we "broke through" the cycles of negativity and frustration and just said "fuck it" that we relaxed and subsequently conceived.

(note that I'm not trying to tell you what to do; I'm just sharing what worked for us.)

Martin said...

@Darcie - there's a rousing first comment if I ever read one! thanks!

@The tall red head - Thats a really lovely way of saying it. thank you.

@Laskigal - fibber ;0) but thanks.

@Jenni - er..glad to be of er..service!

@Sarah - You'd wanna be catching up wouldnt you! cheers Sarah.

@Robin - Very true. Work to be done! thanks.

@Kori - Stunning?
... although, this hair IS amazing...

@A whole lot of nothing - Wax on, wax off..

@ImmoralMatriarch - quit? hahaha then Id need to get a hobby or something!

@Bluestreak - Lovely, just lovely, thanks.

@Putz - If I counted the hours I've spent on various things, the number would blow my head right off my butty shoulders!

@iVegasFamily - as always, thank you very much sir.

@Karen MEG - You've made me all fuzzy again ;0) thank, honestly.

@Marie - You give them a ring, I'll get some toner and staples!
I'm glad your'e here!

@Maggie's Mind - Ditto! thank you, very much.

@Christa - I've been semi tempted on that myself, but I'm a bit skeptical. So you can be my guinea pig!
Good news on the hubby. I'll be over for a look at his finer details ;0)

@jothemama - Is that Enya I hear in the background? I jest - thanks.

@Sarah - thank you very much bio girl.

@People in the sun - thanks. its odd, I treid to do it, just couldnt, and not for the first time either. I thought it would be a perfect break away from this same old thing, but I'm incapable.
My brain has been kidnapped.

@Missives from suburbia - Thank you Deb for the support, on many counts.

@Kathryn - trust you to go through the archives, there are a few hilarious statements in there for sure. The innocence!
Thank you.

@Leslee - Forty Three - BANG. there goes my brain. I don't know how you do it.
Congratulations and best of luck.

@nh - another unsung hero, 6 years? I'd be very proud of myself if I were you.

@womb 4 improvement - love all he smutty jokes in one comment!
Don't you LOVE the word flaccid?

@Captain Steve - No quitters
here, occasional moaners, but no quitters!

@Mr Lady - You're gonna need new glasses though, get comfy...

@James Austin - As always sir, a gent. Thank you.

@Deno - Lovely put. thanks. Tomorrow a big day for you yeah?

@Stella - yeah baby!

@Jo Beaufoix - on and on, we certainly will. Cheers Jo.

@Ed - a church elder I bet?

@Elfie33 - Hey, thanks for popping up, welcome. Thank you.

@Sci-Fi Dad - I hear you. I understand the need for privacy also, there's so little you can control in this you are giving a lot away when you open it to the world.
As for the negativity, I don't think we have a great problem there, we are usually down when a cycle fails of course, but every time we pick ourselves up and are genuinely optimistic by the time the business end comes.
Thanks man.

Anonymous said...

I get it. Spencer Block. When sperm and words collide and the battlegrounds collapse.

But I'm sooooo happy that your still willing to fight. I'll be here paying for my pay per view of the showdown. Go Spencer! Go ET! Round 18 *ding*!!!

Anonymous said...

I'll be hanging out to hear the words that follow.
It sure is a fascinating story, Xbox - don't sell yourself short.
BUT, I too hope you have a different story to tell soon... Because you're going to be an awesome Dad and I can't wait to hear the stories about *those* bodily fluids.

Christy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
IVF Land on Surrogacy World said...

How do you think your readers feel. How many different ways can we say "Good Luck to you."

Your putting a lot of pressure on everyone.

samcrea said...


I'm a fucker for repeating myself, so stop me if you've heard it...

Old friend of mine and his wife were trying to concieve for 2 years. They were then emigrating to Australia, and got pregnant after a week down there...

I guess you've heard them all now...

(are we allowed to swear on this site???)

Jen W said...

Thank you for sharing your life and your struggles. I don't comment much but I do read your blog every day and I silently hope that each cycle will be the one and feel the anguish in your writing when another cycle comes to an end.

But I am convinced that someday you will have this blog, this history to share with your baby and he or she will know how very much he/she was wanted and loved even before he/she was more than just a twinkle in your eye.

Stacy said...

you can't quit cause we have to know when it happens

Anonymous said...

Day-um. So this is what you write when you have nothing?

You should be proud, yours is one of the few blogs that I am always truly lost for words. So much I want to say but dammit, how can I when you say it all so well.


Anonymous said...

I know that your thoughts can be all consuming. But, since you WILL be a father some day, and then you will have no time to do anything ever again, maybe this would be a good time to read up on parenting and peruse books for your baby's library. Make a list of books that are going to be "must haves" for her shelf. Find the best deals on diapers on line (some places have no tax and free shipping: cha-ching!) or research alternatives to disposables. Find the stores that have cute kids clothes that you like and bookmark them. Research pediatricians in your area to find the best for Baby Box. Research the best car seats, high chairs, and bottles. I could go on and on.

Do it all, brother, because you ARE going to be a dad.

Build it, and he will come.

GoaldeeBug said...

Do I remember you saying that they won't do anything until cycle 19?

You're so close now to getting some real help.... hold on to that.


Paddy in BA (Quickroute) said...

Quite a diary you will have to present to your eventual offspring - of course they will probably berate you I never asked you to bring me into this world!

Anonymous said...

have you thought of what you might call your blog when things change? I know you won't be wanting to tempt fate by telling us but I would have by now.
You know you may have to reconsider your bartering. An x box isn't worth much these days. You may need to up it a little.

Anonymous said...

The comments! I is drowning in them!

Bring on the specialist chat and hopefully a plan.

Malky B. said...

I'm glad your forging on. I just wanted to let you know that I noticed Aaron surgeon was wearing crocs when we met with him in preop!

Good luck with your croc docs as well!

Sarah said...

Shit. I just realized that my comment from before may have sounded like I was trying to compare myself to you and ET, therefore in some stupid way belittling your pain. I truly hope thats not how it came across. Thats not what I intended at all!! I swear.
What I meant arent alone. We all lean on each other. In some way or another. Or something. Damn, I need sleep. This whole thing just sucks. It sucks really really bad.
Sorry if the last one was obnoxious in any way. =/

Anonymous said...

What a great post. You've still got perspective, and that's a beautiful thing.

Jo said...

Re Australia and conception success - perhaps if you did it upsidedown?

frog ponds rock... said...

xxx.. those kisses are all that is left of my comment.. It was a really good one Kim

Anonymous said...

You know you can't stop writing, right? I mean, we are all behind you and need to know that this ends happily.

Martin said...

@Kittyconcerto - Hahahaha. ding indeed, thanks.

@Amy - If it works out the only fluids you'll be hearing about will be popped from a bottle...

@IVF Land on Surrogacy World - I am a heartless bastard.

@Samcrea - That may just have topped off the suggestion list.
It's a long way to go for a shag though...

All swearing allowed in good taste!

@Jen W - Commenting isn't mandatory, we wont shoot anyone.
Thanks a million.
Keep peeking in the window, but dont trample the flowers and take your cigarette butts away with you after.

@Snowmanpoop - Just watch CNN for news Hell has frozen over ;0)

@Kelley - I was inspired...

@Laurie - I really don't think I could go that far, not now.
When the time is right we will prepare with gusto, but that kind of thing right now is a step too far.

@Goaldeebug - 24 madam. 2 years...

@Quickroute - kid better have a sense of humour I'll tell you that much...

@Tismee2 - it was Atari2600 for nappy rash when I started...

@Veronica - But yours is shining brighter than all the others ;0)

@Malky - MORE croc docs...a conspiracy... thank you.

@Sarah - Not at all. There are great differences in everyones story, but the emotional side is the same for us all I think.
Get your sleep and stop worrying about comments!

@Tysdaddy - It IS a very shiney perspective isn't it !

@Jothemama - Gravity Jo, gravity....

@frog ponds rock - Mwah - right back atcha ya mad sheila

@Sinead - I know I can't, even if I tried!

Rikki said...

I wish I could give you a hug. I know that sounds weird as we have never met, but I for one, do not think of you as a stranger. Rather, a little internet friend, who is having a shit-ton of bad luck.


Here till the end.

Lyssa said...

This will be a great read for your future children to learn about overcoming adversity and the power of never giving up. Too bad the subject matter will gross them out! ("Eww! You and Mom did what and how many times for me to get here? Puke City!"

'Murgdan' said...

Hi girl reading :-) IT does seem incredible to be able to come up with more and more things to write every month that passes...but every month is a different month (even if it's still the same) and since thinking about this baby chase seems to occupy ALL of my free time I am constantly thinking of new angles on the whole frustrating debacle. Well. Also some weird angles.

Anyways. I'll be waiting to hear your results. We've just started the testing this week...more waiting.

Anonymous said...

Xbox, wanted to let you know that my test results came back very good. I decided against the CVS, but opted for Amnio at 16 weeks. I wanted to share this with you, to let you know that this is all possible. After 4 years of loss after painful loss, I see a glimmer of hope..... a real possibility that this is my time.

GoaldeeBug said...

Dammit, where did I get 19 cycles from?

You're doing this to confuse me, aren't you?

Tara R. said...

"Tired, weary, and older, but not beaten..." this is it right here. 'Not beaten.' I look forward to the day when you are writing about baby poop and sleepless nights.

Martin said...

@Rikki - Less of the 'little' eh? thanks! (love that saying)

@Lyssa Ireland Thomas - I hope they don't have that American accent though ;-)

Thank you.

@Murgdan - Hello & very welcome! Good luck with your wait! thanks.

@Deno - That is FANTASTIC news. I'm delighted for you. That's 4 weeks off now yeah?

(feel free to use the email address if you don't want to stick your news up here all the time)

@Goaldeebug - Dunno, but it's definitely 2 years. 19? Not intentionally, but it's fun.

@Tara R - Someday Tara, someday!

Anonymous said...

Xobox, yep 4 weeks off now. Just got past 12. I'm still shittin' meself though LOL


Anonymous said...

Babe, fuck and luck, what the hell is there?

Martin said...

@Deno - Understandable, and you will be until he or she is puking all over you!
But this is great news so far.

@Anonymous - sometimes, not a whole lot more.

Maggie, Dammit said...

Like I've said a hundredeleventyseven times, I have no idea how you keep coming up with this stuff. But you do. You do, friend, and you do it well. It's such a gift. I hope you believe me.

Anonymous said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely.

Martin said...

@Maggie, dammit - I've learned to take bloggy back slapping with a pinch of salt, but even still, when you say stuff like that. I get a little pee.

@Nola - Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Dondi Tiples said...

It's heartless to say that I'm glad, but still....I'm glad all this is making you stronger instead to flattening you both to the ground. The words will always be there, as long as the will to go on exists.

B said...

it's a bitch to write for someone else's blog, you start trying to write as yourself cos that's what they wanted.

...of course your idea of yourself isn't actually you.

Martin said...

@Dondi Tiples - Nicely put, thanks.

@B - Don't confuse me midweek.