Thank You (And a 5k)

greatsouth

I’ve moaned. I’ve bored you all. I’ve been self-obsessed and maudlin.

But no more.

I can’t even begin to express my gratitude to the people that read what I write here and take the time to post encouraging comments. The support I receive here on my secret blog (mwah ha hah!) is wonderful and far beyond what is available in real life simply because online I have connected with people in distant places who understand parts of my personality in a way that the people I  physically cross paths with often don’t.

If you could ‘tag’ your conversations you might make friends randomly in shops and on buses, who understood exactly what you were going through. But in the real world it doesn’t work like that.

So, I want to say a massive thank you to the wonderful and wise voices from the following blogs:

MySimplicityQuest, AtlantaMonOfThree, TheVanillaHousewife, MummyFlyingSolo, MyNewNormal

If you want to read something wise, funny, heartfelt and honest, visit these girls.

I barely know them, but they have helped me through some of my roughest days.

AND

As if that wasn’t enough in the way of gushing happiness for having an internet connection, I also want to say that after several hours of deep thought, I have signed up for a proper, grown-up, chip-timed, multi-terrain, 5k run.

Yup.

Running.

I love it, yet these days I never do it.

When DS1 was born, I came home from the hospital broken. I lost almost three litres (yes, three litres) of blood and very nearly died from a post-partum haemorrhage (regular readers will spot a theme emerging – yes I bleed profusely at any given opportunity – consequently I can now spell haemorrhage without even looking it up).

11 months and many, many training runs later, I had shed two and a half of the three stone I gained in pregnancy, and I ran the Bupa Great South 10 miles for fun on a freezing October day in a slow, but still respectable time of 1hr 52.

After I crossed the finish line, I said to DH that we needed to try for another baby. 6 weeks later I was pregnant and the following summer DS2 was born.

It was a time when everything was flowing and life was on my side.

I remember my training runs vividly. The strength and freedom I felt while running out in the sunshine, for an hour at a time, while my Mum looked after DS1 is something I will never forget.

Since DS2’s birth, running has never really made it back into my life.

I’ve had a few false starts, but there has been no commitment.

I’ve been wavering around I might be pregnant for too long. And since I don’t do things by halves, having something else to focus on is exactly what I need. It will remove me from the obsessiveness over getting the baby thing right.

So let’s talk running.

My best ever 5k time (I am not a naturally fast runner) is 27:59 (2004).

My last timed 5k that I ran with a GPS came in at about 34 minutes (April 2013).

I’ve done nothing since then. I’d probably struggle to make 40 minutes if I went out right now.

I’ve downloaded the NHS Couch to 5K running program. It’s set over 9 weeks, but I’m not a complete couch potato, so I reckon I can catch up as I have 7 weeks and 4 days until my 5k run.

I am actually excited!

I am thinking about lovely running kit, and warm evenings and that wonderful feeling of tiredness in your muscles from a good, hard workout.

So now, instead of boring you all senseless with tales of woe over my empty uterus, I’m going to bore you all senseless with tales of exhilaration and despair over my latest running performance 😉

I need a break from all this TTC lark, and I imagine you all do too.

First run tomorrow.

I Want Out

No one in my real life knows about this blog. This is good for me as it means I can express myself freely without fear of what my Dad/ex colleague/friends will say.

So I’m going to lay it on the line for you all here. The absolute truth on how I feel. If I write all this down then I think it might be clearer in my own head. Apologies in advance for boring the pants off you all and going on and on and on about bloody pregnancy.

I want out.

I want out of this crappy, depressing, TTC journey.

Like a relationship that you know isn’t going anywhere, I know that there’s no future for me here. I may never get another baby and while I keep trying and trying I am destroying myself slowly. I’m allowing myself to be consumed by a relationship that is all give, give, give.

I have withdrawn from my family (not difficult in my case, hah), and more importantly, from life-long friends over this issue. Because I suffer from secondary infertility, I am in a position that is not really recognised. For women who haven’t had any children and are struggling like me, I am an alien. I can’t know the pain of wondering if I’ll ever be a mother (although with 2 miscarriages before DS1, I do know a bit about how that feels). For women with families, like me, they don’t understand why I need more children. Aren’t the ones I have enough?

It is almost impossible to talk to anyone in real life and quantify how heartbreaking and all-consuming it is.

A pregnant friend of mine recently said to me, after I mentioned we’d now been trying for 15 months, well you WERE pregnant for some of that time remember.

Er yes, I remember, I lost a baby at three months. Does that not count as trying?

I think she was trying to make the point that the number of actual cycles we had tried to conceive was less than 15, but her remark hurt so much I cried on the way home in my car.

Anyway, I’m getting off the point.

The point is I want out, but getting out is not easy.

Getting out, stopping TTC, means the following:

  1. I failed. Everybody knows we want three children. Everybody will forever remember that. In decades to come I will still be the woman that wanted three children, but gave up in the end because she couldn’t have the third. I don’t really do failure. I was a bright kid, I went to a selective school (ya ya, I know people love or hate these), I have two degrees, I have cycled massive distances, run races, danced in competitions, lived abroad, travelled the world and loved my life all the way. I don’t do things by halves. The only other thing I have ever failed on was breastfeeding. And trust me, I STILL cry about this and can barely bring myself to speak about it.
  2. All those people that thought we should stop at two, including my mother-in-law, will be pleased. Yup, they will be happy that I failed.

And you know what?

That’s about it.

I think in time I would get over the pang I feel when I see pregnant women. I think in time I’d move on from babies and relish the time to myself and time to do things independently again.

And I am not big on regret. I’ve made a shedful of mistakes in my life, but really, if I hadn’t made all those mistakes, I’d be a different person and I like being who I am. I like knowing what I know. I like that I have survived mistakes and learnt from them.

So I think I’d be OK. Maybe at 80 I’d look back on my life and wish I’d tried longer, but really I know I’d forgive myself and know that I already tried hard enough. I’ve already tried hard enough. I wouldn’t wish the last 15 months on anyone trying for a baby. People give up after less.

So. How do I deal with points 1 and 2 above?

The way I see it, my options are limited. I can:

  1. Move somewhere far away, cut all ties with former friends and see family once every five years. No more pity, no endless years of talk about my struggle, no reminders of how desperately I wanted something I ended up not being able to do. No more judgement over how stressed I am and “if you just relax it will happen!”.
  2. I lie and tell everyone there is something horribly wrong with me and I’ll never be able to have more children. It takes the failure away from ‘me’ and puts it on a handy, incurable, but non-threatening, medical problem (hey, this one might actually come true next month anyway).
  3. Adopt.
  4. Get pregnant.

Not much in the way of choice is there?

So, which would you go for? Bearing in mine number four is only on the list because it would answer all my prayers, and not because it is actually anything that might ever happen.

Sigh.

Two Weeks Today

And I get my test results back from the hospital.

13dpo today, AF due tomorrow and this morning’s test was negative. I knew it was – I have been symptom-free this month so was pretty certain nothing was happening. And these days I don’t really expect anything to happen. My hope has been crushed over the course of the last 15 months.

So, my results.

You know what? I’m kind of hoping I go in there and the doctor tells me I have some chromosomal abnormality and that having had two children already has defied the odds. Then I can come home and be grateful and happy and just STOP thinking about getting pregnant again.

If there is something wrong with me, it kind of gives me a reason to stop. Because I can’t find a good enough one of my own.

I’d probably be happier in the short-term, but what about 10 years on. Will I look back and think I was a complete idiot for not trying longer?

I have a friend’s baby shower to attend in 12 days, which I have been dreading. I knew fate would never give me a BFP before it arrived, so maybe that’s why I am so unsurprised that this month is negative.

I’ve been thinking as much as possible about all the reasons to stop. There are lots. We did this debate back in early 2012 before deciding to start trying, so I’ve already covered every reason 50 times.

There is a whole life out there for me to live, and I’m know I am infinitely lucky and blessed to have the family I have. Having two children under two, with no support from family, was hard work, and it has continued to be hard work, but a lot of the time now it is not as all-consuming, exhausting and debilitating as it once was.

My boys are growing fast and a whole new horizon is in view with endless possibilities for activities and adventures for us all.

Throw a newborn into that picture and it looks a little different.

I always wanted really close age gaps, so I’ve missed the boat for the three I wanted within four years.

I’m rambling. I don’t even really know what to write.

It’s raining here, I’m feeling miserable, conflicted, full of self-doubt, and I hate it.

I like to have purpose, to be moving, planning, creating, building, learning, experiencing, loving life.

But I’m just stuck at a desolate junction and I’ve been here too long now.

Whatever I do, whatever happens, whatever decisions I do or don’t make, I want to live life successfully.

I want life to be full of love, happiness and adventure.

The thing is, I can think that way, but when it gets to ovulation time, can I make the decision NOT to try? Can I ignore that egg and say No, I’m done with that now.

I have a feeling I will just lie there crying in the dark.

Moving On – How?

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about moving on from trying for a third baby.

I’ve been wondering if maybe that isn’t the path I was supposed to take.

Maybe I already have my whole family here and trying for another is just a distraction from enjoying them.

TTC (trying to conceive) is affecting my whole life.

I have a group of mummy friends who I am starting to dread meeting up with (one has a newborn and another has a baby due in September). The talk of pregnancy and babies, which seems to have been non-stop since I had my miscarriage last August is getting me down more and more. The two that aren’t pregnant, or recently pregnant, are happy that their families are complete, so love talking baby and birth. I just feel like the inadequate one in the corner 🙁

Ovulation signs, potential pregnancy symptoms, the monthly red tide of doom, it all occupies almost every waking thought and it is getting me down.

It is DS2’s birthday next month. He will be 2 and it will be exactly one year since the day we had to cancel his 1st birthday party because I was in the hospital trying not to bleed to death.

I feel anxious and apprehensive about upcoming family visits for reasons I can’t really explain. I feel protective and defensive and like I want to keep DS2 all to myself and for no one to visit us or bring presents 🙁

I feel like a great, big, fat, failure of a woman that my body has been unable to sustain a pregnancy this time around.

How do you move on from this?

How do women decide that they are going to end their TTC journey?

How??

Part of me thinks I should stop seeing my mummy friends because it is making me miserable, make the commitment to leave all this TTC stuff behind, set up another blog with a less niche title, find another project/job/plan to focus on and MOVE ON.

Get my life back.

And then part of me thinks about how I will feel when I am 80 (if I live that long), probably sitting in a community care home, looking back on my life. Will I wish then that I had carried on trying no matter what?

At least when you have a broken heart, you have to just deal with getting over it.

When you stop TTC because it isn’t working, you have to make the decision to stop AND get over your own decision.

It’s shit.

And at 8dpo I’m pretty certain a fat lot of nothing is happening this month. No feelings at all that I might be pregnant. No symptoms to convince me. Nothing to make me think I have anything ahead except self-torture and misery.

I need a plan, but I feel totally paralysed by the enormity of it all right now.

All I know is that I am not happy.

5dpo Let’s Talk Chart

julchart

Cause if I’m obsessing over it this much, then the least I can do is share it, eh?

Sooo, I originally thought ovulation was day 12 as I had a big temp spike on CD13. However, I was really confused by ovulation pain that day (which I never get after ovulation).

On CD14 my temp dropped to the exact figure (97.9) it always seems to be the day after ovulation, so that, coupled with the pain and ewcm the day before makes me pretty certain that CD12’s temp was some kind of weird anomaly and ovulation was actually CD13.

All well, and good, and it puts me at 5 days past ovulation (dpo) today.

And that is all I have to say about it.

Oh, except that I did order some high sensitivity pregnancy tests over the weekend, despite saying I would never test again.

Why? Because last month I think it was worse to have my hopes up and feel like such a fool after 15 days of thinking I might be, than it is to repeatedly get a negative test at 10dpo and be fairly certain that you’re out for the month.

And this time around I am going to double-test, i.e. use two sticks, AND save the urine for a third test if there is any speculation after 5 minutes, just so that I don’t get any evaporation line issues clouding the results.

Yes I am crazy.

Yes I am an engineer. This is just how I like to do things 😉