Friday 30 January 2009

North or South

I've never been any good at directions, not instinctively anyway. The performance of my milky mini mes does go quite some way to confirming this.

I do read a mean map though.

In the same way, in this trying to conceive process it's hard to figure out where you are sometimes, until you stop and gauge your distance from reference points, look for a landmark you recognise and then you can see how far you have left to go.

Now, we're in the 24th cycle. (That'll be 2 years if you tell the time by howling at the moon, the actual two calendar years is a little bit away yet.)

This current cycle is scheduled to end in the last week of February. We have an appointment with the specialist on March 11, which is bang in the middle of the following cycle. Cycle 25.

That means essentially that the start of any intervention is at least two cycles away.

We are supposed to discuss intrauterine insemination (IUI), or good old artificial insemination in old language. (I'm not sure why the name was changed, maybe too many comparisons with cows. Which I fully intend to continue, regardless.)

The specialist had mentioned that we could discuss whether we want to look at unmedicated or medicated IUI, and while I would have previously preferred to try unmedicated first for it's lesser side effects, we are sorely tempted to just go for the best chance of getting a pregnancy, which is medicated.

We'll have the 'drugged up and knocked up' special please and thank you very much.

Should the doctor conveniently forget that this is the purpose of our upcoming consultation, I will beat her to death with the nearest object, which I seem to recall would be a ceramic uterus.

Luckily for her the model of dissected male reproductive organs is up too high for me to reach, no one wants to be sent to meet their maker by half a willy.

So there we are, another full cycle before meeting the doctors, with at least two before anything can really happen.

In the meantime, it's back to waiting for the red menace to piss off out of here, the tiger thong, the ice pack, and the compass.

Thursday 29 January 2009

Snakes and ladders

A little later than expected, it's over once again. What's impending bad news if it's not dragged out a little for extra punch and dramatic effect, eh?

Twenty three over and done with, this is getting impressive, no?

Even the dumbest animals walking the planet wouldn't be coming back for more after twenty three kicks up the hole.

Roll the dice, move along, roll again, up the ladder.

Roll the dice, move along, roll again, down the snake.

Start over again and again. In a game that's rigged.

Tell me, what is worse, not being able to help the person you want to help the most, or having the person you need help from the most not able to help you?

Wednesday 28 January 2009

Coming soon

From the makers of '28 days' and 'Knocked up'...

"In a land far, far away, harmony reigned.

He and she toiled and foiled, happy in life.

That was until one day, it all came crashing down around them.

They had feared it's arrival. They were right to...."

Twenty third cycle fox pictures presents: The Period.

Critics have been animated in their praise:

"The most horrific disaster movie ever made" - Men's Health Magazine.

"The bloodshed was like nothing I'd ever seen before" - The Kabul Chronicle.

"The academy will be rolling out the red carpet for the red carpet" - Menstrual Monthly Magazine.

A star studded and impeccably chosen cast includes Jim Carrey as the crippled, double tailed, warped headed, useless Spencer, the spastic sperm.

A wonderful dual role with Hugh Grant playing the limp dick, and introducing a larger than life movie debut for Bono as the annoying, ever present, but ultimately useless cock.

The Olsen twins shake off their rom-com reputations with outstanding performances as the left and right ovaries.

You can 'look but never touch' Angelina Jolie in her role as the attractive, sexy, aloof but elusive Ellie.

With special guest Morgan Freeman as "The Period".

Special previews at spotted underwear around the country from any minute now.

"The Period" coming soon to a tampon near you. Today. Or tomorrow. Perhaps, but coming, probably.

Monday 26 January 2009

Six of one...

Take a step back. Another.

And another. One more. There, yes, good.

Now lie upside down with your back against the wall.

Close one eye and cover the other with your hand.

Peek through the remaining pinkish crack at the cycle chart 15 feet away from you.

Do you see what I see?

If you stare at the temperature chart long enough, it starts to look positive. That is 'positive' as in the way you hope a collection of numbers and dots and lines should look, and not in a 'get knitting' way.

Ovulation seems to have been nailed down on CD16 this time, which is good to see I think, it's a day earlier than usual, giving some extra time to the luteal phase, and from there on we have a steady rise in temperature.
A dip after 6 days fits in with some patterns, indicating implantation dip, and the temperature has risen constantly from then on again.

Today is CD25, and now again, despite a general resignation that it just wouldn't, or couldn't happen, I'm back thinking "maybe".

I've actually laughed at myself today for getting sucked back into it again just 3 days or so from the end of the cycle.

I like to work off facts and figures, and 22 failures in a row was a damning one, but a nice chart pattern is a good one.

I wonder if I sound as much of a sucker as I feel.

Thursday 22 January 2009

Seamen on the map

Someone said recently that the number 23 was lucky. That was news to me. Maybe it is, we shall see soon enough.

We are less than a week away from what would 'normally' be the end of this cycle.

The ovulation signs popped up a day or so earlier than usual this time, and the temperature charting isn't being very reassuring either. So confusion reigns supreme.

Regardless of what happened with, and when it happened in the wife's innards, we covered all the days like the good little missionaries we are. Spreading the good word so to speak, or the bad seed, as the case may be.

Anyone want to place some bets? I could do with the cash.

There is something I just thought of though. What happens to all my kindly donated milky goodness that hangs around inside the wife, generally being useless?

I know I'm not exactly pumping her full with gallons of the stuff, and I know that if it was all put together in one place you wouldn't be able to see it on google earth or anything, but heading for two years in, there is quite an amount of it.

Where does it go?

Are the fallopian streets littered with the corpses of Spencer's army or do they just disappear or melt away.

Like candy floss.

Answers in a comment box if you please.

Meanwhile, back on planet earth, some very kind soul, or souls, have nominated this blog for the 2009 Irish Blog Awards. It's one of a long list of all nominations in the 'Specialist Blog' category which is wonderfully ironic, considering you wouldn't exactly come here for advice on getting knocked up.

Unfortunately, they don't have an 'Extraordinarily, dreadfully, and exceedingly rubbish at what you do blog' category, but I'm quite happy regardless.

The list of nominations will be judged by a panel, who will produce a short 'long list', and then a 'shortlist' before the winners get announced, embarrassingly drunk, and beaten up by the locals at a ceremony in Cork in late February.

A note to the judges, I bet you're really bloody sorry you volunteered now aren't you?

Put on the kettle, you may be here a while, just the 150 odd entries to get through from last year, luckily at least 2 of them are less than 700 words.

I'm not one to try and sway favour, but remember that we are childless, pathetic, and condemned to a life of misery with n'eer a glimmer of hope for a happy life.

"I heard there was a secret chord...."

Wednesday 21 January 2009

Nothing personal

I'm confused.

I don't even know where to start, never mind where I'll finish.

I've been writing here for just short of six hundred days and I really don't know why.

The first entry was written for no one, just myself, there was no one else then. This one is written for no one, just myself. There are many eyes and voices now so it is much more difficult, but still just for myself.

The entries in between, whether anyone believes it or not, were for me.

Jokes, silliness, exaggeration, and seriousness, all a pleasure to test myself to try to craft and word, but every one of them marking something important.

Every single start.

Every period of frustration, the occasional exciting and hopeful days, the times when we had to grin and fake smile. The times when I wanted to pull the covers over my head, the insane week long shagging blitzes and the frustrating two week waits. The 15 minute visits to specialists where we went in genuinely excited and came away deflated, empty, fobbed off. The days when we said things to each other that should never be said in a marriage, the days I hated myself for being jealous, for being useless and redundant, being only half. The days I hated everyone around me for no good reason and the days I hated family for what they have. The days I hated reading comments that just don't fix anything, the days I hated reading any words from people who have what I want. The holidays, birthdays, and visits with sadness stuck in my throat. The new starts.

Every single end.

This entry must mark something then. It does.

It marks that in just seven days or so, we will once again scratch the ticket and see if we win, for the twenty third time.

It marks that I know what the chances are, marks an air of resignation.

It marks being annoyed at unimportant things, and therefore at myself, frustation at one thing sparking frustration at another, going in circles, chasing my own tail.

It marks remembering that this is no circus, and it's not a place where answers are found. No party tricks, no flag carrying, no spokesperson, no wisdom, no expert, no specialist. Whatever entertainment or expertise that exists here is just a bi-product of a personal account of something all consuming, marking and recording days and events leading only up to a date that may, or may never come.

It marks personal uncertainty.

Monday 19 January 2009

Your name here

It's been suggested to me before that I should run some ads here, and I would, really I would if it wasn't for the dreadful fallout that would ensue.

The thirty one euro (around US$35 or roughly 80,000 pounds sterling) a year I could earn from having ads here would undoubtedly leave me inundated with begging letters, leaving me forced to choose worthy causes and as a result leave some disappointed.

The guilt would overpower me like disinfectant fumes and eventually kill me. Kill me dead, on the floor. By the sink.

So, instead, I'm going for the big time. Sponsorships!

In these troubled times what self respecting multinational organisation wouldn't want to be associated with our broken wobbly bits?

The opportunity to align yourself strategically with a pair of conceptually inept and oversexed Irish half midgets is marketing gold.

You could sponsor our bed. Speaks for itself really doesn't it?

Your company name could have pride of place every time we have to retire to the boudoir. It's guaranteed a mighty test with one solid week of consecutive daily exertion every 4 weeks, with incidental and spontaneous attacks on it's stability spread through out the other 3.

If you want to go that step further, I'm open to complete redecoration of the bedroom.ET, from her customary privileged position in the bed (flat on her back and bored), has noted that the ceiling needs painting.

Are YOU the company to provide us with the perfect conception environment?

If you are a smaller business, we can discuss smaller related sponsorships. There are still openings for companies to sponsor post coital arse raising cushions, bedding sets, detergent & fabric softener, loose fitting male and tight fitting female underwear sets, and sexy-time Sudoku puzzle books for ET.

From the bedroom to the bathroom, how would you like your brand name mentioned every time ET squats?

Imagine the glory you could claim if it were your OPK brand that indicated the perfect timing, and broke the miserable run of redundant shagging?

You could throw in one or two pregnancy tests as a gesture of goodwill also, although I can't guarantee they would ever be used. (Other than perhaps becoming the successor to the toothbrush as the object of choice to help fish my watch back out of the toilet every other day.)

Go on, let my wife cover your product in golden glory.

Are you a vitamin or supplement supplier? Well what an opportunity have we for you today mister!

Vitamins C, E, and B6, along with zinc, beta carotene and folic acid are being gobbled up in our house at a rate faster than Western Europe can supply them.

Are you just the organisation that deserves the credit for Spencer's final push? Come on, forget about a logo on Phelps' goggles, back a real swimmer.

Of course, it's not just the industries directly related to fertility issues that can help us out, the possibilities are endless.

We would be willing to free 4 weekends a year in our calendars, for us to 'just relax' at YOUR resort, or the European hotel city break of your choosing.

If you don't think we are a good bet for success, you can still sponsor our failure!

Sorrows still need to be drowned, why not become the official wine, tissue, and mascara supplier to our venture?

I need to continue telling all these lovely folks out there about these wonderful products, but I can only really do so if my 7 year old PC doesn't explode. Again.

Are you the computer manufacturer to join us on our journey? (I'm not being pushy, but Dell, you have a lot of making up to do with us in Ireland.)

Imagine the majestic words that could be typed on a decent machine.

Endless possibilities exist for you to align yourself strategically with us here, you may never again receive the chance to stand side by side and show your corporate willingness to support those who can't do what 15 years olds do every weekend over the graveyard wall.

23 months of firing duds into the wife and across the internet has left me without shame, and this leads me to the ultimate sacrifice I'm willing to make for the appropriate business partner.

Xbox4NappyRash is catchy, but so are AstonMartin4NappyRash, SuitcaseFullOfCash4NappyRash, and CondoInDubai4NappyRash.

In retrospect, Gates must owe me a fortune.

Friday 16 January 2009

So I can blame you

The internet is full of odd ideas and schemes, money making creativity, folk swapping houses for small countries, and nut-jobs selling their virginity on eBay.

Unfortunately I think my virginity is just about spoken for, but I have come up with the bones of an idea that may be beneficial for all of us.

When I say all of us, I mean more specifically, me.

How would YOU like to take part in an experiment, the creation of a miracle, the spreading of virtual baby dust, the confirmation of my steep slide into insanity.

It is CD15. Prime time. Ovfest 23. It's now or never.

It may have occurred to some that I'm not particularly good at this impregnation thing. In fact I'm probably the anti-impregnator. You should pay me to go out with your teenage daughters.

Anyway, here's where you come in.

Tonight, gather your wind chimes, and candles, collect your incense, and voodoo dolls. Then I want, nay, need you to get down on your carpet burned knees and focus.

Imagine good and hard, pun intended. Picture Spencer hurtling along his journey. Imagine him darting towards the light, then leaving the soft enticing velvety warmth behind him, breaking from the group and making for the cervix.

Hold your breath as he pauses, and waits, timing his leap at the entrance to coincide with it's pulsating contractions, of course initiated by my sending of it's host into a realm of unimaginable pleasure. Teamwork.

Stop laughing.

As he shoots through the gap, picture him discarding his whip and hat, and throwing himself at the fallopian waterslide, his freshly waxed torso streamlined and cutting though the resistance, riding the go-goo wave like some miniscule fishy smelling surfer.

Don't stop there, hold your focus folks, and picture it. Picture the whites of his eyes as he spots his target, roar out loud if you must, help him summon up his last burst of energy and throw himself eggwards.

Rub your temples in circular motion and breathe 'Uuuuuhmmmms' as you visualise him clutching on with all his might. His seminal fingernails digging into eggy mass, his man milk molars biting down and not letting go. She will toss and turn, fight and scream, kick and flail about, but do not let him let her go.

In your mind's eye see them, sink slowly into one.

That's all you have to do, all night. A bit of focus and positively channelled thinking, I'll even do the shagging.

Just think, you could be part of the greatest internet experiment of all times. You can turn useless impregnation man into a swaggering embryo generating machine.

You can play your part in making my words powerful, my thrust potent, and my wife preggers.

CD15. The time, is now.

Wednesday 14 January 2009

He's alive!

I've been spending time in my workshop.

When I say workshop I mean kitchen, as it's the least used room in the house.

I'm sawing, hammering, and soldering.

I'm sketching designs and building prototypes in my manly man vest, with biceps, triceps and cyclops rippling, just a socially acceptable and generally considered sexy amount of sweat forming on my furrowed, yet undoubtedly wise, brow.

All by candlelight.

To create through a series of levers, loops, and pulleys, combined with a hammock, and a strategically placed hole, a bedroom based machine that preserves my energy while manoeuvring me appropriately, allowing me to carry out my husbandly duty.

A contrived conception contraption of sorts.

Why do I toil so into the bowels of the night?

It is time.

Go-goo has been washed ashore, the sign that my silky milky divers must be sent into the depths, in search of the sunken treasure released from a storm weathered and shipwrecked ovary.

It is time once again to enter the breech, for the twenty third time, armed with nothing more than a plentiful supply of blood to my groin.

It's ironic, cyclic, and more than a little stomach churning that a successful battle will stem the supply of blood to ET's groin.

The body is weary, but the will is, er, well, slightly less so.

Those of you with a God, pray for me. Everyone else, fetch ice.

Monday 12 January 2009

Finding a vein

Sometimes you just can't stop yourself from looking, can you?.

It could be a nurse puncturing your skin with a needle, or a movie where a bone gets visibly broken, or a discovery channel operation where you see flesh being sliced open.

The result is the same. You quickly shut your eyes, inhale sharply, your stomach physically hurts, and you wish you hadn't made yourself look.

You vow not to the next time, but you do anyway. Again and again.

Welcome to the world of trying to conceive.

The needles are standing watching your neighbour's kids as they chat amongst themselves bundled up against the cold, only eyes, noses, and fingers visible under masses of padding. The reality is you don't have that.

The broken bone is where you daydream of five, or ten, or fifteen years from now and all the fun times that you envisage being a part of it. The reality is that five, ten, or fifteen years from now you could be in the same situation as you are now.

The incision is forgetting the previous twenty two disappointments and facing the twenty third attempt, still talking the talk, still doing what needs to be done. The reality is that the facts speak for themselves, with so many failures behind, the likelihood of this one working is tiny.

Everything is double edged now, this far in you know what there is to gain. On one hand you want, and feel you deserve, the moment of comfort or bliss where you allow yourself to imagine a positive outcome, daydream for a minute of being on the other side of all this. It's exhilarating, just like that split second where you dare to watch the nurse take your arm.

The other hand is the harsh reality, that what you daydream isn't reality at all, and now, it might never be. It's an unthinkable, unimaginable, unwanted image, but before you know it, it's in your head, you've seen it.

The result is the same. You quickly shut your eyes, inhale sharply, your stomach physically hurts, and you wish you hadn't made yourself look.

The nurse has pierced your skin, you can only hope she's found her vein, and you don't have to think about all this again.

At least until the next time.

Wednesday 7 January 2009

A tragic demise

In other news, police are treating as suspicious the discovery of the remains of the stork in the small hours of yesterday morning.

The body of the bird was discovered in a wishing well at approximately 4am.

It appears that the suspected murder was carried out by an unstable individual, or individuals, in a ritualistic manner.

The stork's wings were restrained with what is thought to be it's own baby-carrying handkerchief, and the words 'relax THIS, bitch' were etched into its chest with a blunt instrument, believed to be plastic.

Two broken ovulation prediction tests were found near the scene with traces of the stork's blood.

The stork's anal cavity appeared to have been packed full with a substance which the medical examiner claims to be the much talked about 'baby dust'.

The actual cause of death is believed to be drowning, as a significant amount of fluid was found in the creature's lungs. The fluid was later shown to be urine, and was notably lacking any trace of the hormone hCG.

When asked were there any developments in the investigation, the detective in charge said that they had narrowed down the profile of the suspected killer to one sixth of the population.

And now, for the weather.

Monday 5 January 2009

Happy 2010

Sometimes having a brain is not advantageous.

The ability to perform simple arithmetic can sometimes thrust you into a depression, the depths of which would make the aftermath of being sodomised by a giraffe on your mother's kitchen table, on the hour, every hour for a fortnight seem like a lottery win.

No, I'm not having a seizure of some sort, let me explain the juicy fact I have discovered for you.

Today is CD05 or so of cycle twenty-mother-have-mercy-on-our-souls-three.

I've calculated ahead, and the next two cycles should end somewhere around the 26th January and the 24th February, give or take a day or two.

That means that the specialist appointment will fall somewhere in the middle of the 3rd cycle from now on March 11.

This, in turn, means that even should they get a rocket up their arses and do something immediately, it won't be until the 4th cycle from now.

That's the end of March, start of April, or more interestingly (to the desperate among us, at least) that's week 13 and 14 of the year.

What does that mean?

I would wait and let you have a guess, but the discovery of this fact has sparked off the formation of an ulcer which has dislodged itself and found it's way into my blood stream, making it only a matter of time before it works it's way up to my cranial cavity and settles, leaning it's big doc marten boots on my frontal lobe, resulting in my head exploding.

A closed casket perhaps, but an end to misery nonetheless. Every cloud and all that.

I digress, what that sequence of cycles and dates means is that, quite literally barring a miracle, we won't be welcoming any pesky wee baby in 2009.

2009 is hereby cancelled.

Friday 2 January 2009

Out with the old, in with the old

That is how the saying goes isn't it?

Well never fear, on New Year's day evening, the cycle came to an end.

We've had visitors for a couple of days so we had to keep it together, but now that they are gone, it can all fall apart again.

I'm really annoyed this time, pissed off, I feel cheated now. We had a really good Christmas, did everything we should do, we even 'relaxed', and now, still, nothing.

January is bleak at the best of times but it's really not too inviting right now.

I hate using the term 'deserve' but stuff it, we deserve better now.

Twenty two cycles gone, no explanation turned up, nothing found, and not even a sniff of a pregnancy.

It's two months until we can see the specialist about further assistance.

I have no idea how we are supposed to be hopeful or upbeat about the coming two cycles before then, there is nothing that gives us any confidence now that we can do this naturally.

Today, I'm more sour than I imagined possible.