Friday 26 April 2013

And the wheels on the bus go round and round

So, while enjoying (yes, really, to my surprise) my slack time, I was still looking forward every evening to checking my phone to see if The Fertility Clinic had left a  message for me. A fair bit of (very transitory) resentment has been directed  in  the past few weeks to anyone, especially telemarketers, who left messages on my phone that were not from  The Fertility Clinic.

Well, finally, I get a message. A surprisingly cryptic message.. Along these lines: 'Hello, this is the doctor's office calling regarding your referral...." No mention of the name of the doctor's office or what the referral  was about. Apart from the fact that I haven't had a referral for anything else recently, a comparison of the number left on my phone to the clinic website confirmed that this was, indeed, The Fertility Clinic.

I suppose they don't name themselves out of respect for confidentiality, but I was still surprised by the subtlety.   I don't have any squeamishness about going to The Fertility Clinic, about having messages from The Fertility Clinic, or anything. I  think. Call a spade a spade. This is our reality.

Anyway. Although nothing has actually happened yet, I am pleased that 1) the website said that they would call back within 3 months regarding the referral, and they did, and 2) I was able to reach them within 12 hours of getting the message. At least I get to start this process with some trust and confidence.

And it feels like events are in  motion. I haven't quite processed that yet. I can't quite believe that a plan might actually come together. When we first started TTC I had to adjust to the idea that I could (I thought, would) get pregnant and Life Would Change. Then  I had to get used to the idea that I wasn't, after all, going to get pregnant easily and life was staying the same, at least for a while. Not quite sure what to feel now.

Our appointment is May 9th.

Wednesday 17 April 2013


I sometimes wonder what on earth I will find to write in an (in) fertility blog, when I have no news about diagnoses  or treatments or anything, and no idea when  I will have any. (It's been exactly 3 months, give or take a day or two, since our family doctor said he'd refer us to the fertility clinic. On their website it says it takes 2-3 months to follow up on a referral. Yah, I have been counting the weeks. The back of my mind is a busy place; there's always some sort of math going on.)  But I  keep writing torthúil because even if this is all rather boring, it's a special kind of boring that needs to be named and included in a history.

If I was to describe myself in one word right now (meaning the past couple  months, and into the immediate future) I would say "slack." The word brings to mind a rope that isn't being drawn, laziness as in "slacker," the expression "give some slack", meaning "relax a little and let a person do as they choose", and the image of a loose drumhead (I'm a percussionist).  Slack right now means only minimal charting and no timed intercourse. I loosely track the first half of my cycle using the Ovacue so that I have some idea of when I ovulate, and thus when my period is due. I can have irregular cycles and I've gotten used to being able to predict The Period. But I don't chart and analyse the numbers like I did when we were doing timed intercourse (up till January).

But even more importantly, slack means letting go of emotional intensity. I haven't given up on hope or desire or intention to have a child. Not at all. Tell me anything that would increase that chance, that I could start doing right now, and I'd be on it. But as far as I can tell, there isn't anything, other than common sense choices such as staying in good health and saving money. And maybe I didn't know just how exhausted I was by the escalation of hope with every cycle, and the  subsequent disappointment, until we ceased timed  intercourse and charting.  So while the hopes and dreams and desires are all still there, I'm not fueling them by focusing on them. I still think about trying to conceive every day. But I don't hang onto the thoughts or give them any sense of urgency. Slack. The boat is anchored. There's no wind pulling on the mooring line. No rush to start  on any journey, even if there is a journey pending.

Maybe it's been easy to go Slack because I know that this won't last forever. Even now, I can have plenty of tension and restlessness at times. But I am grateful for the period of Slackness, too. Even if I'm thinking about TTC, I can also experience thoughts and feelings of gratitude for this phase of life. Even while I'm busy trying to visualize myself (and Mr. Turtle) as parents, I can enjoy the fact we aren't yet.

Even while I count the weeks and wish the Fertility Clinic would just call and let us get on with the show, I feel surprisingly peaceful.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Dr. Edwards

I ignore the news for the most part. Sometimes I try not to ignore it for a while. Then I go back to ignoring it (and reading the occasional essay/commentary. I handle essays and  commentaries much better than "news.").

But in the last week, Mel from Stirrup Queens has posted a couple of times about the media coverage of Dr. Robert G. Edward's death. (see here and here) Here is how Mel (re)wrote Dr. Edward's obit:

Robert G. Edwards, a British physiologist who won a Nobel Prize in 2010 for helping pioneer in vitro fertilization techniques that led to the birth of Louise Brown in 1978 and gave hope to both biologically and situationally infertile men and women around the world, died April 10 at his home near Cambridge, England. He was 87.
 Yes. Thanks for the hope.

Saturday 6 April 2013

What I skipped

From "The New Unmarried Moms" by Kay S. Hymowitz
For many Americans, the phrase "young single mother" conjures up a picture of a teenage high-school dropout. But that image is out of date. Teen pregnancy rates have been declining for two decades now. Today's typical unmarried mother is a high-school graduate in her early 20s who may very well be living with her child's father.Despite her apparent advantages, however, she faces many of the same problems that we used to associate with her younger sisters. If 30 is the new 20, today's unmarried 20-somethings are the new teen moms. And the tragic consequences are much the same: children raised in homes that often put them at an enormous disadvantage from the very start of life. (more)

I have always made a point of having no regrets about the past. Wait, that makes it sound like I'm somehow choosing to not have regrets.  Maybe I am choosing not to, maybe I'm lucky in  that I have no reason for regrets.

Sometimes I've wondered: if age impacted my fertility, meaning I could  not give birth to my own children, would I regret not having babies earlier? in my 20s for example (I was 31 before we even started trying.) As far as we know, we do not have female factor infertility. But if we found out we did...and if it turned out to be age-related, would I regret "putting off" childbearing until  my 30s?

(Saying I "put off" childbearing makes it sound like there were dozens of eligible, attractive, healthy men chasing me around saying "PLEASE HAVE SEX WITH ME. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BE THE MOTHER OF MY CHILDREN." That was, I'm afraid, not the case at all. So "put off" is kind of an inaccurate term. A more accurate description of the decision would be "recognized that my life was not baby-friendly by any stretch of the imagination, and took steps to ensure there were no pregnancies, for my own good and that of everyone else potentially involved.")

I might have regrets about missing out on my fertile years, but I don't see what I could possibly have done differently. The truth is, I cannot at all imagine myself with children before 25. A pregnancy at that time would have been a disaster. After 25, the notion becomes slightly more palatable, but only slightly. The truth is, it's not until 2 years ago, give or take, that I felt realistically ready for a  baby. Even in the months after marriage, I found myself reeling with worry about a possible unplanned pregnancy, because  Mr. Turtle and I had not specifically discussed getting pregnant. I seriously considered using Plan B. I decided not to after we talked about it and agreed a pregnancy would not be the end of the world, after all. Oh the irony. Also, Plan B can make you throw up, and I really hate throwing up.

It's hard to sometimes remember that perspective, in the middle of baby- and pregnancy obsession. But I took  the choice not to have a baby as seriously as the choice to have a  baby.