Tuesday 30 September 2008

Irony travels

It sure does.

How far it can really go, I'm not 100% certain, but I know it managed to follow us 3716.09 miles last week from here in Holland to Toronto, Canada.

The idea was to escape, get away, forget all about this babyfying business. All was going really well until we hit downtown Toronto and wanted to find our way around.

How should we do it? well, why public transport of course!

Thinking that it should be simple, as the city is covered in trams, and buses, and subways.

What is the entire system called?

The Toronto Transport Company.

TTC for short.

Funny buggers these Canadians, but needless to say that we passed on the invitation to ride the TTC bus, for one week at least, the previous 18 months had made us a wee bit travel sick.

So we get back to dear old Holland, the pouring rain, and miserable inhabitants only to remember that we get to spend today waiting for, and watching a plumber check out our plumbing.

Needless to say the verdict is that he has found nothing wrong with our plumbing even though it obviously hasn't been working right for the past year.

Now where have we heard that before?

We are on CD13 or so, so it's hump n'hope time. Number 19 for those who are counting.

When I started this blog the wee blurb on the 'about me' page said 'I am a man....I am twenty-nine years of age'. I have already had to change that to thirty, and now today I change it to thirty-one.

This is not really going according to plan. Happy f*&%ing birthday eh?

Thursday 25 September 2008

Exasperated Ellie

Finally some peace and quiet around here!

Spencer was supposed to keep me company while they are gone off moose riding, or playing Mountie mounting games, or overdosing on maple syrup, but he seems to have nodded off somewhere.

Yeah, shocker, I know.

So I'm bored and I've no one to talk to. I've got a few hundred thousand eggy sisters in the follicle fraternity but only one of us at a time is allowed out. So it's just me, Ellie.

I don't mind being sent out alone normally, as long as they don't start poking and prodding me, or checking up on me.

I keep having to tell people my LH measure so they know when I'm on my way, it's like a curfew. So not fair.

I think they don't believe what I tell them anymore because they have started taking daily temperatures and regularly checking the go-goo down by the trap door.

Gross if you ask me.

There's an awful lot of pressure on us eggs to look good these days, especially with all the paparazzi buzzing around.

Just a few weeks back, there I was in the shower, and this 'thing' pops up through the trap door.
At first I thought they were at it again, but turns out it wasn't that gross purple spitting thing that Spencer calls his 'pussy wagon', rather a bloody camera!

'Click click' and before you know it my modesty is on some TV on display to the entire world!

What's the first thing they talk about?
Yep, you guessed it, my size! They kept saying stuff like 'Oh shes 16mm, she's gotta go soon!'

I cried myself to sleep that night, only after eating two double chocolate swiss rolls though. I know Oprah says you should never eat after 8pm, but I figured she lives in Chicago so it was only lunch time there.

Turns out I shouldn't have done that, because just two days later the paparazzi peered in through the trap door again and did the same. 'She's gained 2mm!' they cried, 'She's definitely going today...'

Just for spite, I hung around for a week longer, that confused them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm an old fashioned kind of gal, I like to be treated like a lady, wined and dined.

Y'all have met Spencer? a nice boy, but a bit of a dweeb. I mean, I'm pretty sure we'll eventually get married and stuff, but not just yet, a girl's got to keep her options open.

I'm not quite ready to settle down, I'm barely over a week old really, so I have a lot of things to experience, you know?

I could get a job maybe, I could run as governor of Alaska, or as a director of an investment bank, or I could manage England's football team.

I'm probably overqualified for all of them though.

So maybe I will give Spencer a chance, he is funny and he does have fabulous hair.

Hmmm, I guess we'll just have to wait and see, but I've got to go now 'cuz 'Celebrity dancing with the Lohans' is about to start.


Tuesday 23 September 2008

The Spence defence


Anyone there?




Oh hello, there you are.

So here I am, all alone, the last I saw from him was him stuffing some funny looking money with the queen's head on it into his pocket and heading off out the door signing Shania Twain songs.

I've made my way from the sheet in the laundry basket, across the hallway, into the office, and up onto the desk (and he has the cheek to say I can't travel distances).

I'm here at the tappy-clicky-tappy he uses all the time, and I can't bloody believe some of the things he's said about me on here.

I'm shocked and saddened to the core of my milky heart.

Does he even realise how hard it is for us?

I mean, think about it people, it takes us 12 or 13 years to even make an appearance in the first place!

Then we get shot out at some ridiculous rate like thirty-five minute intervals for the next seven years.

The targets were many and varied, hankys, stuffed toys, back of an old lady's coat on the bus, socks, all that kind of thing, but it's certainly not adequate training for the accuracy standards required of us in years to come.

After the free-for-all days there came some strange times. We started to get shot out but slammed head first into a latex barrier.

Ummm Hello! Whiplash anyone?

No wonder our morphology leaves plenty to be desired, your head would be a funny shape if you kept getting fired from a canon into a brick wall too.

Then all of a sudden, after a socially acceptable amount of time has passed and future intentions to daughters are made clear, we find we have the freedom to roam again, this time in slippery tunnels, shrouded in darkness.

Like six flags during a power failure.

It's hard to navigate these tunnels and passageways, so most often, we just hang around inside the entrance, waiting to drip out when gravity resumes normal operation.

Then it all changed 18 months ago. Without warning, gone are the days of flying free when the mood hits, rocketing across the room or whimpering out like a runny nose depending on the situation.

Now it's all ready-steady-go.

I get yelled at if I hang around the entrance, screamed at if I yawn and dribble out, and abused if I decide I want to stay where I am.

On top of that, apparently there's a 'target' now. I've got some bloody 'job' to do.

Seriously, what planet is this guy on?

Every parent knows you can't let a kid do whatever they want for 30 odd years and then expect them to go get a job.

He hasn't exactly prepared me for all this Indiana Jones rolling around dark caves lark either, a carrot or two in your diet might help my eyesight mister.

As for this swimming upstream - do I look like a migrating salmon?

Not cool man, not cool.

You know what else isn't cool? Your gonads!

Tommy and Timmy are sweltering in there. You drive to work, cycle around the plece, and prance around in underwear that was already too flipping tight when you bought them 12 months and 8 kilos ago. That stuff is killing us.

That's all I've got to say on the matter.

Now, back to this tappy-clicky-tappy...

**click click**

Hmm, what's this?
Agggh, No! we don't ever go in there!


Wow, who is she and what is she doing with that aubergine?

...oh now look, I've left a mess...

Saturday 20 September 2008

Pressing play

I've managed to accept that this whole sorry mess is a long sequence of short waiting periods, sewn together.

You wait for the red menace to arrive, for it to sail away, you wait for the 'right' days, and you wait the next two weeks for disappointment. You wait all over again.

You wait for doctors appointments. You wait for scans, you wait for blood tests, you wait for results.

You wait for poking and prodding, both medical and 'romantic'.

You even wait to have a hand shandy into a cup. You wait for the results.

You wait to be told to do all of it all over again.

You wait to be called back, at three, at four, at five. Maybe tomorrow.

You wait.

'Maybe we should wait and see what happens next month.'

'Perhaps we should wait until we've met with the doctor again.'

'We can't really decide now, you could 6/7/8 months pregnant by then.'

For eighteen months we have waited. For a year and a half we have put things on hold, things that should be done have been left on the back burner.

Two lives, on pause.

We find ourselves still waiting, even now after the eighteenth failed cycle has come and gone.

It's September, we are sitting at home, on our 'vacation'.

On pause.

Enough is enough, we can't always sit and wait for the life we want to arrive. We have to try and live our lives, even if they are not the ones we hoped for.

There will be enough waiting lying in wait for us in the coming months.

So tomorrow, passports in hand, we are taking some cards and cash, and just going. Going somewhere we had never even thought of going two days ago.

Living, if only for a week.

I'm scrambling for the remote control, pointing it at us, and pressing hard.
Slapping it, and shaking it with frustration until it works.

For once, pressing play.

Friday 19 September 2008

Fug Mug

Self-deprecation is a form of humor in which people or comedians make jokes about themselves, their shortcomings, or their culture, usually without being guided by any underlying self-esteem issues.

Can you guess which fugly am I?

Maybe it's not so wise to procreate after all...

Wednesday 17 September 2008

Is it normal...

To travel to another country for a day's shopping and only buy underwear?

To take an hotel recommendation from someone in a bar at 7pm on a Monday?

To arrive at that hotel, and find that there is a dirty fold out bed-couch behind reception?

To have both of you get the once over by the receptionist before she asks 'Do you want the room for the whole evening?'

To have her follow up with, 'Do you want one with a shower?'

To realise when you get to the room you should have specified 'with a toilet also'.

To have your wife lie on the acupuncturist's table for her first session, and while she is having her 'energy checked' the doctor burps?

Cycle day 25. The last one only lasted 25 days.

Sunday 14 September 2008

One week wait

So, half of the two week wait is over.

That is 'two week wait' number 18.

By this time next week we'll be drowning our combined sorrows, or I'll be drinking in celebration for two. Or three. Or four.

For the first time in a few months, the cycle end won't be conflicting with visitors being here. Being able to sulk when you want to is a big bonus.

Not only that, we are both on holidays from work for the next few weeks, so if it all goes down the toilet like every other time, we don't face workmates either.

Then, throw in the fact we have the possibility of a laparoscopy lined up, this could be the best two weeks of anxiousness followed by despair, misery, and disappointment that we've had in ages.

Funny how all this shifts the goalposts on what you'll accept as a 'good day'.

This cycle saw a more 'targeted' approach. Instead of the normal blitz, we took at shot at quality over quantity.

I can't help thinking that regardless of the 'all clear' on the Spencer analysis, that he still might have his off days, and timing his adventures to every second day or so might improve his chances.

So we sent him out at just the right moment again, having had more than an extra half day's rest.

Just in case we might be fooled into thinking we had done something right, our charting attempts suggest that we went too early... so we went again. Taking one for the team, so to speak.

Even now, our chart has automatically calculated that ovulation occurred two days after we believe it did (and should) so I can sum up our chances of success this month as somewhere between fanciful and far fetched.

Just about normal then...

Wednesday 10 September 2008

Satan and the snowman

Telephone appointments make me nervous.

It's far too easy for the other person to be dismissive when you are not face to face.

Let's face it, if there's one good side to being a pasty faced, chubby Irishman with braces and useless reproductive bits, at almost 31 years of age, it's the fact that you can make people take pity on your miserable carcass.

So when ET told me she had a telephone appointment with clinic #1, I was not optimistic for a good outcome.

When they hadn't made contact two hours after the arranged time on Tuesday, I was even less so.

Eventually, they did call.

New doctor from old clinic number 1: So, what can I do for you?
ET: Well, your predecessor had mentioned the last time (that she told us to piss off) that if things didn't work out, we could perhaps arrange some further tests for November.
NDFOC#1: She did?
ET: Er, yes.
NDFOC#1: Okay then, let's do that.
ET: Er, what?
NDFOC#1: Let's arrange a laparoscopy for November shall we?
ET: Er, okay.
NDFOC#1: Okay then, call in 2 weeks and we can set a date for the procedure.
ET: Er, okay I will thank you.
NDFOC#1: Goodbye.
ET: Yes, goodbye.

Simple as that.

Of course it could have been a hoax call and ET was talking to the cleaner or the guy who waters the plants.

It could be that the new doctor is 17 years of age, on some work placement scheme, and hasn't got an iota.

It could have been a daydream, a wild fantasy brought on by desperation that made her imagine she heard some good news.

Or it could be that hell has in fact frozen right over and a Dutch doctor has read our file and given some thought as to what is the sensible and logical thing to do.

There you have it, leaving aside the almost inevitable screw up they will make when it comes to calling them back to confirm the date, we have made some progress.

The timing, in November, is good.

It gives us a couple of more cycles after this one to keep continuing with project hump n'hope, we can continue to get used to the charting, and most importantly it's the safety net in the back of our minds that people are paying attention to the situation.

That's the real boost, and hopefully, we'll get to cancel it!

So in the end, this may be one of the better two week waits we've had, just don't mention the words incision, cut, anesthetic, surgery, scalpel or scarring.

It's not quite frozen over down there yet, but Lucifer has been spotted shopping for a duffel coat.

Monday 8 September 2008

The bushel and the camel's back

Do you ever sit and think to yourself that maybe you've 'lost it'?

Could you tell if you went nuts?

Batty? mental? insane? demented? psycho?

What kind of thing should you look out for in order to cut off the crazies at the pass?

For instance, what if you knew the waking body temperature of another human being off the top of your head for the past week or so?

I can't remember what we ate for dinner two nights ago, I'm pretty sure my doctor hasn't got the foggiest idea what state my blood pressure is in, yet I know the scientific measure of my wife's basal body temperature to one hundredth of a degree for the past bloody week.

Not healthy. The knowledge that is, not the temperature.

Would using the term 'egg white consistency' and not being just about to tuck into scrambled eggs on toast be a sign?

I mean, it would certainly shut that Scottish git from Hell's Kitchen up if you referred to his mayonnaise as having the appearance of cervical mucous.

I said appearance, not taste. That's next month.

Frankly, any male who even knows the term cervical mucous should probably be sectioned for the sake of the community.

What about keeping a note of which ovary is on shift this month?

Is knowing that Olive (on the left) or Olga (on the right) is on duty this cycle going too far? What difference will it make knowing what waterslide Ellie shoots down, aside from confirming that you may need a holiday?

The fact that I know it's Olga is irrelevant anyway, Spencer still has to get past Cindy the cervix to meet her.

Maybe, just maybe, (and I'm not a fan of this theory,) but maybe giving first names to ovaries, eggs, semen and a cervix is a sign that things have already taken a surreal turn.

Maybe, just maybe, the fact that I have a long list, from which I can't decide on names for the Spencer sprouting testicle twins, is going one step too far.

Probably, calling them Tommy and Timmy, is my last grasp at a sanity straw.

That poor f*&^ing camel.

EDIT: It has come to my attention that this site is the top google entry returned for 'hiding a body'. How cool is that.

Friday 5 September 2008

If I may...

"Jack of all trades and master of none"

That's me.

I know a little about a lot, and a lot about very little.

One of those things I know a lot about is walking away from a doctor's office and feeling ripped off.

When the decision to provide medical care is made by people who have never even seen you, it's horrible, frustrating, and saddening

It's bad enough when you are personally affected, but can you imagine what it would be like if you were being denied treatment for your child?

This is what is happening to a friend of mine, Tiff, and her husband David. These guys are parents and foster parents. They spend their lives looking after all their children, and still find time to look out for others.

Their daughter Ivy, is just 2 years old. Unfortunately Ivy is ill, to the point where her quality of life is not as it could be.

Her parents and her paediatrician have been trying to get her treatment.
A treatment that would enable her to live a better quality life, a more normal life, a life that every chubby cheeked little girl should be allowed to have.

She is being denied that treatment, and therefore that chance, by people who have never set eyes upon her.

Luckily, Tiff & David have friends who want to try and help. So from here on in, I leave you in the capable care of the words of one of them, Veronica from Sleepless Nights, who tells the story best.

The rest, is up to you....
* * * * *

Ivy is beautiful and Ivy is sick. Ivy is only 2.

And yet, at age 2, Ivy has seen the inside of a hospital more times than anyone should have to. Ivy has a rare immune deficiency IgG. Because of that, she has Pemphigus which is an autoimmune response to the IgG [please note, these are photos of Ivy's pemphigus blisters and they may be a little graphic for some people].

These are horrible conditions that no adult should have to deal with, let alone a child.

Ivy is currently on Prednisone and Mycophenolate to help control her symptoms and blistering; however, these drugs suppress her immune system, on top of the deficiency.

Ivy’s mum says “…she was never good at mounting a response to infection but the meds make it worse.”

She frequently ends up in hospital on IV antibiotics, just to help control the infection in her ears that never seems to completely disappear. She cannot be exposed to a simple virus in fear that it will land her back in hospital for days at a time.

She can’t go to the playground to play.

She can’t attend playgroup.

She can’t head to the supermarket with her mother.

She might never be able to go to regular school.

She is only 2.

However, there is a treatment that would give Ivy a good chance at normal life.

It’s called IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin) and it is a transfusion of immune cells that would bolster Ivy’s own immune system and help her fight infections in a normal way.

Think about it, a chance at a normal life. A life that doesn’t involve frequent hospitalisations.

Unfortunately, the officials at the Australian National Blood Authority have denied the request for Ivy to have this treatment. This treatment that could very well keep her out of hospital. So far, all appeals have been in vain.

As Ivy’s Mum says on her website:

“My little girl is going to have a life of hospital admissions and illness, some chronic, some life threatening, because some guy in an ivory tower decided she could survive without this medication.”

How is this fair?

What if it was your child? What if it was your sister’s child? Do the rules change for daughters of the officials? How come someone with a big stamp gets to say yes or no to this little girl’s chance at a normal life?

It shouldn’t be like this.

All I am asking for is 2 minutes of your time. If you could just head over here and sign our petition, we might be able to get enough support to convince the National Blood Authority officials to change their mind.

Ivy is only 2. She deserves a chance to be normal.

Please, a minute of your time could make all the difference for Ivy.

Sign Petition

If you have a blog and you would like to help spread the word, please feel free to copy this post and link back here to me at Sleepless Nights [so that I can follow where it has gone].

And if you would like to follow Ivy’s story (and that of her twin brother and older siblings) you can find them here, at My Three Ring Circus, written by the talented Tiff. All photos were taken by Tiff as well.

* * * * *
Veronica is a remarkable young (expectant) mother from Tasmania, mature beyond all our years. Tiff is a dedicated mother, and a genuinely talented portrait photographer.

Wednesday 3 September 2008

Where can you buy a vagina wig?

Isn't stupidity simply captivating?

You know, like when you sit and laugh at your dog, who keeps eating nettles, getting stung, yelping like a country music fan, and then tries to eat the nettles again?

I think anyone who is still reading this drivel are the dog owners, and us two pillocks are the dopey mutts.

It's not even been two days since we got told by clinic #2 to run along like good little infertiles and not to be bothering the important people with silly things, like facts.

Nevertheless, we are sniffing out a nettle.

We have made an appointment to talk to clinic #1. Again.

In case you've forgotten, as we obviously have, clinic #1 have already put us through some uterus opening experiences, and told us to piss off, leaving us to the old hump n'hope method.

We are using the immaculate logic of hoping that they have forgotten what they said last time, that they have lost the ability to read a calendar, and that they have suddenly grown a bloody heart.

That being said, the doctor who we dealt with last time there, has left, so we have been assigned to a new doctor, so anything is possible. Right?

Anyway, if you want to see us getting laughed out of dodge one more time, be here next Tuesday, as that's when it's all going down.

Just ET, a telephone, and a mystery doctor.

You may think we are nuts, but this is a boost, a small thing to look forward to, even though nothing will come of it, most likely.

We have a big week and weekend of precisely timed, spontaneously preplanned, spur of the moment, ovulatory induced, 'hide the sausage' sessions ahead, so every little bit helps.

The boost that launched a thousand thrusts, so to speak.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a list to work through...

Monday 1 September 2008

I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygeia and Panacea and all the gods and goddesses...

I think we have done a good job at keeping optimistic.

Let's face it, we have had no bad news, no one who's said that we can not, will not, or even might not, succeed.

Continuous failure takes it's toll, but almost without fail, we take our day or two to be down, and then get back up and go for it again. Full force, full optimism, full hope.

One of the big supporting factors in us managing to get back up every time, is the knowledge that we have the support of experts. People specially trained in what they do, people specifically motivated to helping people achieve their goal of becoming parents.

This may be in the form of advice, or drugs, or invasive procedures, but it is always there, a safety net if things don't go according to plan.

It doesn't take a genius to see that things have not gone to plan.

Today ET spoke with the specialist, to discuss the results of the monitored cycle, and as expected everything seems perfect.

Follicle development, hormone levels, thyroid activity, all in good order.

So what should the next step be?

A HSG perhaps? check those tubes for some silly blockage, a laparoscopy maybe? and have a peek in there to see what's going on. What about another monitored cycle? or even some advice on how to maximise our efforts without any outside intervention?

If you picked any of those, you are wrong. So very wrong.

If you picked 'I'm sorry, there is nothing more we can do for you right now, go home and keep trying' you get 10 points.

If you picked that, along with the wonderful advice to 'don't let it rule your life' you get the 10 points and go to the top of the class.

That class being 'fertility treatments and people skills', apparently.

EDIT: I'm gutted no one mentioned the title. I thought it was bloody clever, and laughed for hours. Heartless, heartless bunch you are.