Wednesday 29 April 2009

All we hear is...

In an attempt to free the Irish airwaves of the doom and gloom of the recession, some bright spark thought it would be a good idea to bring up the topic of misery, shame, frustration, anger, and self loathing that is infertility to cheer everyone up.

To that end, in a bizarre turn of events, on Friday next, the 1st May, I will be on 'Today with Pat Kenny' on RTÉ Radio One, chatting with well, Pat Kenny, obviously.

The show runs from 10am-1pm Irish time, and the station can be listened to live online via the above link. (Realplayer needed I think)

I believe the show is also available to listen to for up to a week after they have run so I will post a link to it afterwards if I can.

Radio ga-ga indeed.

EDIT: The clip can be found on this page here.

Monday 27 April 2009

Hair raising events

There are dangers in this trying to conceive business that you could never imagine. Potential pitfalls and predicaments lurk around every corner.

Disasters and embarrassments hide everywhere, disguised as innocent moments, incidental happenings, inconspicuous daily events.

They wait for your guard to be lowered, for you to be unaware, and not alert. Then they pounce, leaving you with unfertilised egg on your face. I give you exhibits A, B, C, and even D.

Two years in this game refines your skills, helps you sniff out these pitfalls before they occur, enabling you to side step embarrassment and turn and laugh unscathed in it's face.

What such tulip field of travesty have I tip-toed through this time?

From the top shelf of my bathroom cabinet, I present to you my 5 year old, only once used pot of ridiculously expensive hair styling wax:

From the second shelf, my recently acquired, as of yet unused due to IUI cancellation, semen sample pot:

Danger spotted, and neutralised. You won't get me this time, universe.

You can consider the disaster of me applying my freshly collected semen to my own fringe, or having a confused specialist attempt to inseminate ET with 'American Crew's' finest, averted.

For now.

(Upcoming adventure information on it's way, honest...)

Thursday 23 April 2009

It's okay

"I'm afraid to go to the toilet in case I miss it!" was the sole content of an email ET sent to me today.

Now that I have finally stopped shaking with laughter to the very cusp of cardiac arrest, I should clarify she was not referring to any new adventurous urination methods, but rather the much anticipated and agonised over delivery of her passport by registered post.

A passport that's needed, because Saturday, we head home again, for a week.

Due to the nature of the visit, we will be well and truly face to face with a pandemonium of small babies, a colony of expectant parents, and a squirm of well intended but not quite hitting the mark comments.

Those are the appropriate collective nouns. In my head at least.

Two months ago I would have been dreading it and packing the codeine, now, I'm not.

What's the difference between previous drug dulled visits and now? Everything is out in the open. There is no reason to hide away, no reason to make excuses to leave a room, no reason to not meet old friends.

The price to pay of being somewhat exposed is more than offset by the freedom that being open affords you in return.

If I try to picture the times when it has affected us, I keep finding they have been fuelled by the fact that we have a 'secret'. Something we're hiding, keeping to ourselves, something we're too afraid or ashamed to say.

In the end, we are talking about family and friends here, people who only want you to be happy.

It's not fair to deny them of their family, and their friends by hiding away or making them feel they can't outwardly enjoy their own good fortune. We all would, after all, trade places with them in a heartbeat.

When everyone knows the score, there's no more secret, and that dilutes the sting.

I'm not naive enough to think there won't still be moments where that mass in the pit of our stomachs will gain weight, announce it's presence, and make us wish ourselves hidden away again behind our own four walls, but for the most part, it will be okay.

It will.

(Next week might also bring a very interesting little adventure while I'm back home, so stay tuned, there may be more to follow. . .)

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Ding ding

No rest for the nekkid.

It's already CD07, and in my head some buxom blonde is parading around my ring holding a big number 27 over her head.

Trying to conceive at this stage has turned into a cross between 'cluedo' and dining à la Carte.

Garçon! We shall have some Clomid - but hold the IUI, or it was Doctor Van Nederlander in the stirrups with the spunk-filled syringe?

This time, we've chosen the most traditional of dishes, with only organic produce, and I think we will be committing carnal crimes in the childhood bed. In other words, it's back to the old fashioned way, and we'll be back in Ireland for the pleasure.

We will be missionaries in the most literal sense of the term, spreading seed instead of the word of God, although I'm sure I'll be mentioning his name somewhere in the process.

I'll let you in on a little secret, don't tell anyone... we haven't got a hope in hell of conceiving this month. I know it, ET knows it, the guy painting the white lines on the car park spaces outside my office window knows it.

For some reason I don't really care, it's very freeing being useless, this is real 'expectation management'.

So, come who may, we'll give it our best squirt. Again.

Friday 17 April 2009

Not available in shops

Trying to conceive?....Struggling with infertility?....In need of a soundtrack for you to 'babydance' to?

In this once-off online special offer we give to you the greatest collection of hits on one album. Carefully selected with the reproductively challenged couple in mind, our hormonally unstable experts have compiled the soundtrack for your on-hold life, and futile conception attempts.

We present to you a CD for all your CDs..."The greatest trying to conceive album in the world....ever (Vol. 1)"

Track Listing:

Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado ft Timbaland
Fun and frolics in the early days.

Summer of 69 - Bryan Adams
With a job to do, you can simply forget those days!

Hips don't lie - Shakira ft Wyclef Jean
The golden rule, get up on those cushions!

Coming out of the dark - Gloria Estefan
For those nasty spillage moments.

Relax - Frankie goes to Hollywood
The iconic unwanted and useless advice anthem.

Holiday - Madonna
Because your mother knows ten people who took one and came back with quadruplets!

Oooops I did it again - Britney Spears
To mark those special occasions when your 'mother-of-4' colleague tells you she tripped and fell on a penis, and is now in her 2nd trimester.

Beat it - Michael Jackson
For the men, to mark that first semen analysis.

Tunnel of love - Dire Straits
A great tune to hum while the doctor is burrowing through your woman with electronic equipment.

One in a million - Guns n'Roses
To inspire that one sperm on their quest.

Sitting, waiting, wishing - Jack Johnson
To enjoy during the delightful two week waits.

Bleeding love - Leona Lewis
For those memorable moments of failure!

Try Again - Aaliyah
Because you're all suckers.

Customers from the United States will receive the U.S. version which includes:
Can't buy me love - The Beatles
For all those now childless AND penniless!

The rest of the world will get a separate bonus track:
All that she wants (is another baby) - Ace of Base
A tribute to the secondary infertility rockers.

This wonderful collection of hits will cost you no more than your self respect and dignity in this exclusive online offer.

Volumes 2 to 6,345 coming soon.

Wednesday 15 April 2009

Copy/Paste times 26


ET's temperature shot from the highest ever, to the lowest ever, and the inevitable followed, the end of cycle 26.

Sad? Nope.
Angry? Nope.
Frustrated? Nope.
Hopeful? Nope.

Nope, not today.

Considering there is 'nothing wrong' with us, it is laughable.

Considering we were advised not to not even try this month because of the high chance of multiples, what does that say about our ability at all?

Considering how miserable we made ourselves deciding whether we should or not, I want to break someone's face.

Considering the Lucifer pills that ET was munching, how can it be worth pumping your body full of shit for nothing?

Considering people fall pregnant at the drop of a damp pair of knickers, every minute, in every corner of the planet, why can't we?

Seriously, it's not that hard is it? Both our next door neighbours have done it, both our bosses have done it, both our families have done it.

People have 2, 4, or maybe 6. I'm even one of 8. Some people have 2 or 3 at a time.

Twenty six attempts, and nothing, we are no better off than when it started, no closer, no wiser, no happier.

We have nothing, and I just don't know why. I don't know anything.

Sick of it.

Tuesday 14 April 2009


These have been the strangest couple of weeks yet.

The simple fact is, we have had our best chance to conceive this month, and are probably just a few days away from knowing if we have or not.

We've busied ourselves with smaller superficial things, and not allowed ourselves to think about it, but the feeling of being in limbo is greater than ever.

The true side effect of the Clomid reared its ugly head and was very cruel to ET. As irritating as it may be for me to be faced with it, it's a hundred times harder on her to relinquish control over her own emotions.

One of the small mercies of all this was always the ability to last until you have the relative comfort of your own closed doors before succumbing to sadness, but it appears Clomid has the ability to rob you of that too. I, again, remain useless.

That, it must be said, does not equate to just relaxing, anything but.

I could have written a thousand words every day for the past two weeks, but (much like this) none of it would have made any sense, such was the mental to and fro-ing. Every day convinced me this would be the time, while simultaneously mocking me for being so naive.

Will it, or won't it? I really don't know, and in an odd way I don't care, or at least I haven't brought myself to this time, just yet anyway.

We should know by now, that the more you think you know, the less you can be certain of. If that wasn't so, we wouldn't be here.

Either way, regardless of what I think, regardless of the positive temperature pattern, regardless of the drugs, regardless of not wanting to think about it, this week has started and the last days of our biggest chance ever are right in front of us.

Regardless of everything, they will still come, and they still will go.

We are waiting, but we don't know what for.

Friday 10 April 2009

Beyond here lies nothin'

I had another post written. I just re-read it and it was an unbelievable mess, a huge mixed-up confusion, so instead, I threw it all away.

Back when the IUI was cancelled, somewhere in between them telling us everything is broken and ET pulling up her dignity, we were told that we had to arrange to speak to the doctor again in order to see what the next steps would be.

"Ok", you may say, "just do that then".

Well bless your wee heart and your cotton socks jokerman, but things don't work quite that straight forward here in Mozambique, sorry, the Netherlands. That takes time.

In the meantime, we had to decide whether to try ourselves or not. Eventually, I got my mind made up, and we went for it. Lay lady lay we did, and we delivered to those eggs many a shot of love.

Anyway, ET phoned the hospital in order to make an appointment to speak to the doctor. Calling to make an appointment, to make an appointment, if you will.

All went well and there was an opening to speak to the doctor by phone 10 days later. That appointment was just the other day.

The doctor proceeded to tell us a load of stuff we have been saying for months, but the long and short of it is we try another medicated IUI. Instead of the previous 100mg of Clomid, she offered 50mg, a fool such as I would have taken her up on that offer, but ET decided on 25mg. Just like a woman.

She had rarely seen such a case of hyper stimulation so she won't let us do it next cycle, but the one after that.

The times they are a-changin', this is already looking like stretching into June, again, and that makes my brain hurt.

Now, if you can't tell from this entry what concert we're going to in a couple of days, there really is no hope for you. If you can, and can pick out the 16 song titles of that artist in this post you win a prize. I want you to.

The prize is my respect and the contempt of everyone else.

The answer my friends, will be blowin' in the wind.

Wednesday 8 April 2009

Pond porn

If we go down in flames this month, even with four hundred eggs rattling around inside ET making her the world's biggest maraca, I think we will have to return to nature.

We can't do it, they can.

We must not be doing it right, they are doing it right. Right now, right outside the window.

There are a few problems to overcome if we follow the amphibious example though.

Will the neighbours object to us coming over all 'Adam n'Eve' in the front garden?

How do we stop the door from slamming shut and locking us out?

How do you get those tiny green leaves out of pubic hair?

Where do we find a third person and how does that work, exactly?

Is that froggy style?

Does that mean frogs have tilted cervices?

Why, if this is technically the shortest two week wait thanks to a whole one hour spared due to daylight saving, is it actually the longest two weeks ever?

Why am I fascinated with frog sex?

Beats 'just relaxing' anyway, I guess.

Monday 6 April 2009

Tubular bells?

What's going on in there I wonder?

One way or another it's a lot busier than a normal month down there, deep in the bowels of ET's reproductive system.

There's anything up to a half dozen eggs or so all getting in each other's way, borrowing each other's clothes, and bitching behind one another's backs.

Shuffling slowly down those fallopian tubes, standing on the pair of heels in front of them, inching along and impatiently cursing their fellow passengers.

From the other end, Spencer and his crew have made several attempts to negotiate the most treacherous assault course known to humanity. If any of the lazy, disorientated, mutant headed gits even make it to the final hurdle they are in for one hell of a shock.

Up to now the last remaining wank warriors have only ever come face to face with one unwelcoming egg, making it easy for them to avoid having to do any bloody work. This time however, the milky explorers will turn that uterine junction to be faced with a scene out of some bad science fiction B film.

Half a dozen clomidically cloned zombie eggs looming large before them.

If past performance is anything to go by, that sight should be enough to start the swimmers slamming on the breaks and looking for reverse. It just takes one though, one with a bit of a swagger about him, one jack the lad, one with an eye for the ladies and stomach for a challenge.

Pick your target young man, choose your egg, turn on the charm and go in for the kill. Let this be the end of it, stand up and be counted, make a name for yourself, be the one to succeed where billions of your predecessors have failed before you.

I think I need to find a theme tune for this, to motivate, encourage, and inspire. I'm torn between 'The battle hymn of the republic' and R-Kelly's 'I believe I can fly'. Unfortunately, ET has categorically ruled out allowing me to pipe the music in by sticky-taping my iPod to her crotch.

Back to the drawing board.

Thursday 2 April 2009

Mother nature & Dr. DooALittleTooMuch

They've done it before, and now they are doing it again.

Under our very noses, at this very moment, they are rogering each other senseless in an amphibious orgy.

They are out there now, flaunting their fertility en mass. There's hardly a patch of water surface area that doesn't have a couple of froggy heads peering out totem pole style.

Dozens of sets of 4 bulging post pond coital eyes gazing up at us, having ridden each other ragged.

The croaking is getting louder and louder, akin to announcing that they are about to slip into something a little more comfortable. The water is rippling like an inconvenient duvet in the wake of kermitty couples jockeying for the best position.

Within days we'll be slipping on piles of fertilised frog spawn, and in just weeks the garden will be a living hallucination as tiny frog babies hop all over the place.

Last year I was irritated by their brazenness, and overwhelmed by their fecundity, but this year I feel a certain kinship with my pond-dwelling buddies.

On the surface we may not look much alike, but similarities exist. They too have to wait for the signs before they can commence their own project of hump n'hop, we note it's CD14, they note it's the end of March. If you think we are under pressure to give it our best on cue once a month, can you comprehend the level of froggy stress at having only one shot a year? You may moan about the state of your sheets afterwards, but just imagine having to swim around all day with your own embryos floating around your head.

I wonder if frogs can be infertile? Are there a couple of pale, short, brace wearing frogs in the pond somewhere, huffing and puffing with no tadpoles to call their own?

If I could identify them, I'd help.

I'd break up a 100mg Clomid tablet, stick the pieces to some dead insects, and toss them into the pond. Little froggy ET would gobble them up, get all emotional for a while, but then I'd bring her out and give her our unused trigger shot.

I'd coax little froggy xbox into a shoebox, leaving him with my iPod running videos of animal planet and a contact lens holder to deposit into.

All that would remain would be get little froggy ET to spread those French delicacies of hers long enough for me to find her amphibious love tunnel and fill her with her beau's best.

I wouldn't charge them a penny for my services and kindness, but should froggy xbox and froggy ET accidentally happen to meet their demise at the paws of our neighbour's cat, I'd raise their tadpole family as my own.

If that Madonna bitch doesn't get there first again.