Thank You (And a 5k)

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 28:59 (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.

Random Release of Stuff 4

first aid box declutter

I’m feeling tired, so I’ll just pop a quick tally up of the latest items to go.

The house is really starting to feel clearer, and cleaning is becoming easier (and I’ve actually done some, ha ha). Mr Tech and I even did a long overdue tidy of the front garden at the weekend.

There aren’t any big piles of stuff anywhere that need sorting out any more.

I’ve felt calmer at home and I’ve also done more general chores and tidying because suddenly I can do a job and it makes a difference. It doesn’t uncover 15 other jobs that need doing.

We have three areas left that are pretty stuff-heavy:

  1. Toys
  2. Childrens’ books
  3. My computer/gadget/stationary things

That really is it (well, apart from the loft and garage, which I am considering out of bounds for now).

I guess I need to finish working through my own stuff before turning to the kids’ things. I’m not even sure how to approach a book/toy cull faced with an almost 2 year old and a 3 year old. A job for another day.

In the meantime, I sorted through the first aid box today, and also got rid of several other items that were hanging around (mainly in the bathroom):

  • 1 can Raid
  • 1 broken plastic bath toy
  • 3 rubber ducks
  • 1 make-up organiser/caddy
  • 1 tube sealant
  • 1 pair slippers
  • 1 pair strappy sandals (Tried to wear them last week and decided not to because they were uncomfortable. They can go.)
  • 2 inhalers (prescribed for a chest infection and never used)
  • 2 aero chambers (never used)
  • 1 pair earplugs
  • 2 out of date medicinals

Total out

16 items

Ongoing total out

620 items!

A Terrible Evening

I went out for dinner last night with a group of Mum’s that I see regularly. There are five of us and we try to meet once a week for a playdate. Once a month or so, we have a girl’s night out.

Recently I have found that I am getting less and less enjoyment out of our meetings. I actually feel a little bit weird writing this – kind of ungrateful and spiteful – but it’s not really them, it’s me (that old cliché).

We met through the NCT classes that we did pre- and post-pregnancy. All four of them are great women who are doing a fantastic job with their kids.

When I originally got pregnant last year (and subsequently lost the baby), there was no other talk of pregnancy from anyone. Since then, two of them have gotten pregnant. We now have an extra newborn and the second is due to have her baby in 6 weeks.

Every single time we meet up, I try not to let this affect me.

But I can’t.

I admit it.

It’s shit and I pretty much always come home miserable.

The talk of breastfeeding, pregnancy scans, maternity clothes, pregnancy tiredness and birth plans comes round over and over and over again (as it obviously would with two pregnant women), and the non-pregnant two are happy that their families are complete so love the nostalgia and the coo-ing over baby stuff.

Then there is me.

The one that can’t stay pregnant. The one that desperately wants, but can’t have, another child. The one whose body doesn’t work any more. The one who feels inadequate in the corner and who is finding it harder and harder to join in with any of these conversations.

We went out for dinner last night.

Right at the end of the evening, in the dark, we sat at our outside table and the subject of my predicament came up. For any of you who have ever tried for any length of time to conceive you will recognise the nerve-grating reaction of hearing people tell you to JUST RELAX AND IT WILL HAPPEN, which is what was said.

But not only that.

I said that after 15 months, there had to come a point where I decided not to keep trying.

Pregnant friend said, well, remember that you WERE pregnant for some of that time. And it did take me 8 months to conceive baby no.3.

Maybe it was just the way she said it, but it came out as though she was basically telling me to stop moaning because I’ve only been trying for a few months. Yet, as she said, she conceived in just over half the time that we have been trying and still no baby for me.

There have been other things that she has said and done recently that have hurt my feelings so much. I can’t work out if they are deliberate or not.

Not long after that we all left the restaurant and all said goodbye to each other. I was glad that I drove myself and the others were lift sharing, because I cried all the way home in my car.

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