Inspire Others

714028ceff67115e3dfe579ba658633a

Couples tend to be secretive about their fertility issues. Understandably there is a need to preserve some privacy over what is a personal, intimate area of a couples lives. However I implore you to shake off feelings of inadequacy or embarrassment. It is not your fault your body doesn’t function how you want, in the same way it is not your fault if you are short-sighted. Instead you should be proud of the strength you have shown to overcome your challenges and persist in your efforts to make your dream of a family come true.

I have been amazed and inspired by the spirit and determination shown by couples who, like us, have battled infertility. I have been touched by their compassion and support. If we are lucky enough to be blessed with the baby which is currently growing in my tummy, I will be proud to have an IVF baby.

I Hate To Sound Smug

Pregnancy-Massage

I really I don’t want to be smug and offensive to all you ladies who are desperate to be pregnant. I have been you. I know how shit it feels. I also know how it feels to lose a pregnancy you have worked so hard for. So please don’t begrudge me mentioning the milestone that is reaching my 3rd trimester. I am so thrilled to be at this stage and now I am feeling increasingly, yet cautiously optimistic, about actually having this baby.

We had a scan this week. It was wonderful to see the baby looking bigger and we had some amazing 3D images of the baby. We have now been discharged from Fetal Medicine. The doctor said goodbye with the words ‘see you during your next pregnancy’! Woah.

Here’s too a quick and uneventful 12 weeks.

Merry F*&king Christmas

Don’t let Christmas make you feel crap. The year is almost over. Soon 2015 will be here and that will be a fresh start. Plus there’s no work for 2 days and the prospect of presents! So for one day do whatever makes you feel good. Scrap the fertility diet, crack open the champers and don’t force yourself to go places where you will feel childless, miserable or uncomfortable. Wishing you a lovely Christmas day.

Shine A Light

menorah

The festive period is upon on us. With that comes excessive shopping, spending and indulgence. It made me want to do something for a cause close to our hearts.

We lost a much-loved, much-wanted baby this year who suffered from a debilitating medical condition. However many babies born with similar conditions have a different path in life. They face a brave life filled with ongoing medical challenges. In memory of our little one we decided to raise some money for those babies who will need support throughout childhood and adulthood.

Last night we brought our friends together for a Chanukah party where they gave so generously. It blew us away. We knew our friends were special but we are so grateful and appreciative for their kindness. I am thrilled that we can help others to lead as meaningful lives as possible. Chanukah is the festival of light and I hope we can shine some on some very special little ones.

Dear Santa

ccard

While Christmas is an exciting time of year for many, it is also a time when those who have experienced struggles, loss or grief can find it especially difficult. Many couples facing infertility or pregnancy loss will have hoped that they would have a new baby by this Christmas. I have seen many comments on blogs and forums that express disappointment over their situation and a reluctance to embrace the festive period.

I am the least Christmassy person you could ever meet (I just don’t get the hype!) so it was never going to be an issue for me. This time of year is not momentous for me in any way. But I can appreciate that for many it is a time for family and that can be hard when you hoped yours would look very different.

My advice is to:

  • avoid placing too much emphasis on what is essentially one day of the year – just like any time of year there is hope and a multitude of opportunities and possibilities ahead
  • look at what you have got, rather than what you have not got – you may not have the baby you are desperate for but you have many other wonderful things in your life
  • embrace the distraction – consider the time off work or the socialising the perfect thing to occupy your thoughts. If you don’t feel sociable get cosy with some comfort food and watch elf and home alone!

Superstition Ain’t The Way

Stevie-Wonder1

Stevie Wonder is right. Superstition ain’t the way. I have never been a superstitious person. In fact I am quite the opposite. To me the belief in superstition, that one event causes another without any natural process linking the two events, is totally insane. However when it comes to this pregnancy my rationality has well and truly gone out the window!

In my illogical, neurotic brain doing anything I did in my last pregnancy cannot be repeated in this pregnancy or it will jinx, risk or endanger this pregnancy. That includes but is not limited to signing up for antenatal classes, wearing a baby on board badge on the underground and planning or purchasing anything for the nursery or baby. I have accepted that I will have to make an exception and buy a few essentials, a car seat and some baby grows, but I will wait until March for that. I know I sound totally mad but I have just accepted that I will be a lunatic worrier until the baby arrives and there’s little I can do to avoid that!

EDC Damage

edc-cancer-infertility-toiletries-537x358

Hormone-mimicking endocrine disruptor compounds (EDCs) are commonly used in the toiletries, cosmetics and medications that fill our bathroom cabinets. However, alarm bells have been ringing loudly this week as it is being widely reported that these EDCs come with devastating side effects, which include increased rates of testicular cancer and infertility. Now the Nordic Council of Ministers has gathered medical evidence from several countries and quantified the economic impact of EDCs in the hope of expediting an EU ban on the chemicals—a ban which would be the first regulation of EDCs in the world.

Michael Warhurst, of campaign group Chem Trust states:

“Companies should focus on developing and producing products that don’t contain hormone disruptors and other problem chemicals. This will give them a competitive advantage as controls on these chemicals become stricter around the world—and as consumers become more aware of this issue.”

Perhaps we ought to consider the products we use more carefully when so much is at stake. My husband and I went organic months ago to avoid pesticides. We bought ‘safe’ shower gel and tried to reduce the amount of toxic plastic in our home. Now I may take a closer look at the cosmetics I use.

Yummy Mummy

KK

KK2

KK3

KK4

The Kardashian sisters are certainly not shy. But while Kim’s recent big bottomed shoot set tongues wagging I preferred the pregnancy shoot that Kourtney, my favourite Kardashian, did for DuJour magazine. She looked hot, hot, hot.

She told the magazine:

‘I’m at my best when I’m pregnant. It’s such an amazing feeling, the transformation that your body goes through. There’s something about that that’s so empowering and beautiful and I just really embrace it. What appeals to me is celebrating the shape of my body being pregnant and capturing that time in my life.’

 

Anxiety & Impatience – Story Of My Life

1a2b6fb40efc80835a7caf4340e7abc2

a12e88d8ef62b2af8597f8299d33c045

Last weekend we saw many of my in-laws friends and had many well wishers expressing their excitement at our pregnancy. My bump was rubbed – often by people I barely know! I was asked about maternity leave, labour, names, the works. Now let me state two important things:
a) I feel thrilled and blessed to be pregnant.
b) I appreciate their good wishes and know that they are from a kind and lovely place.

However it can be a bit overwhelming. Had I had a normal journey until now I am sure I would be basking in their attention and joy, but after our experiences I am as happy as I am scared. I do not like to get ahead of myself as it fills me with fear. I don’t fully believe it will work out. Time just needs to pass so we can, we pray, reach that all important due date. For now I will continue to be fearful when I don’t feel kicks, anxious when I am not getting bigger and counting down those weeks like a mad woman!

Patience is a quality I have not yet acquired. I’m not sure I ever will but I have no doubt that if we are blessed with a special baby it will all have been worth it.

IVF Chances

_70783655_624_pregnancy-test

Amazingly, five million babies have been born worldwide since 1978 thanks to IVF. Recently, however, the press has put a spot light on the couples for whom the treatment doesn’t work. The statistics below demonstrate how low the odds of successful treatment are. While it must be utterly heartbreaking for couples who never have a successful pregnancy the press seems quite naive to think that couples who embark on IVF don’t know the odds of success. By the time they reach the decision of going down this route, they already know their chances are low. My husband and I certainly did. However, for many, it is a case of not looking back in the future and saying that we wished we had tried. We know it’s an expensive, emotional roller-coaster but it it is, in my opinion, a gamble worth taking.

Chance of an IVF baby

Age Success rate
SOURCE: HFEA
Under 35 32.2%
35-37 27.7%
38-39 20.8%
40-42 13.6%
43-44 5.0%
45 and over 1.9%

Shame On You Ireland

image

Yesterday I was reading a chain of messages on Mumsnet offering support to a heartbroken woman who had recently had devastating news at her 12 week scan regarding the health of her unborn baby. One message was from an Irish woman who had been in the same horrible situation and had made the unbearable decision to terminate the pregnancy. However due to the fact that abortion is illegal in Ireland she had to join the thousands of Irish women who travel to the UK every year for an abortion. It really struck a chord with me. Having been there, and having made that awful decision, I know this is not a choice anyone desperate for a child takes lightly. It is a traumatic experience. Despite anyone’s moral and religious view on abortion it is important to note the vast difference that exists between carelessly using abortion as birth control, to terminating a much wanted pregnancy due to fatal fetal abnormalities. In the case of the latter it is utterly appalling that women, in their greatest time of need, must flee their country and feel like criminals. The law needs to change. When a woman is given the distressing news that her baby will not survive outside the womb, if she chooses not to continue with her pregnancy, she needs to be looked after in Ireland. Shame on you Ireland. Support women’s choices and their right to be treated compassionately during their darkest hour.