Jacob’s Worst Day Ever

Today was a normal day in the Heavey household. There were a few times that I had to raise my voice, for instance, “get dressed”, “put your shoes on”, “put your jumper on”, “get out of your uniform”, “go back upstairs and put skins under your shorts”, “stop blowing that bloody tin whistle”. But in our house this is normal, voices have to be raised once you have asked your children to do something 10 times or more and they are continuing to ignore you. Nathan has selective hearing, definitely a trait from his Daddy 😂 and Jacob is as stubborn as the day is long.

However, as Jacob describes it best, “It was his worst day ever”!!! On route to school this morning Halloween costumes were being discussed. Poor Jacob couldn’t make up his mind, he changes costumes in the evenings 5/6 times, his imagination runs away with him. He knew he wanted a new one and that he would possibly choose Wolverine – a Marvel Avengers character. He then decided he wanted the costume at that very moment. Not possible, I tried to explain, we are on our way to school. “Can you get it on your way home from work Mammy?” was the next question. I replied “no baby, I wouldn’t make the shops in time”. That’s when his world began to end.

He started to cry and got really upset. I tried to explain to him again and if he was really good I would get it for him at the weekend. What you don’t know about Jacob is how dramatic he is, everything is drama. I swear if he doesn’t make me millions in Hollywood, I’ll be disappointed. He was devastated, I was the worst Mammy ever. He wouldn’t get out of the car at school and he wanted it now!! At this stage I was beginning to get annoyed and of course I did what every good Mammy would do, I tried to reason with the little people “you have one chance now to stop that silly crying or you’ll get no costume. Do you think money grows on trees? You are too spoilt and you have to be good to get treats. Keep it up now and you’ll get nothing……….” and so on and so on? 

It’s the crying that gets me. I wouldn’t mind if they were hurt tears or real tears but with Jacob this morning it was a tantrum. It’s the whaling and screaming at high pitches. He decided to get out of the car and with some cuddles and a pep talk bounced into school with a smile on his face, while I was left sweating and up to 90 after his performance.

I picked the boys up from the Childminders after work and came home. They were fed so no need to worry about dinner. They played outside and Nathan got ready for football. When Nathan left I brought Jacob down to the shop to get something for my dinner but nothing took my fancy. I was getting “Hangry”. Home again and back outside while I chatted to one of neighbors. All was rosy until it wasn’t. He fell over!!!

When my kids get hurt, they don’t take it in their stride, they don’t calmly come get me to tell me their woes, they scream as if they have been hit by a train, car, bus and everything else that moves. He ran to me limping, trying to pull up his skins to show me the tiniest scratch on his leg. “It’s bleeding Mammy, it’s bleeding”. “No sweetheart it’s not, it’s just a scratch”, I replied. He jumped into my arms, his arms wrapped around my neck, dangling from me because; one I wasn’t ready and two he couldn’t wrap his leg around me because it was too sore. I asked what happened and through screams and tears he told me he fell over the path. “I wish I never fell Mammy, I wasn’t looking where I was going. It’s stinging, it’s stinging”. 

I brought him inside and tried to get his clothes off for a bath. Of course he screamed and didn’t want his clothes off. “It’s bleeding Mammy, don’t take off my clothes, you’ll touch my leg. I can’t straighten it, I can’t walk”. I carried him up the stairs in my arms and ran a bath. All the while he screamed some more, “I’m not getting into the bath, I can’t put my leg in, just rub it Mammy, do it gentle, not too hard, ahhhhhhhhh”!!! I placed him in the bath and at this stage he was sweating from the drama of the knee. I washed his hair while he held his leg tight to his body and continued to cry. Mind you there were no tears. That’s when he told me it was his worst day ever. 

I lifted him out of the bath, he had his sore leg tight to his body while his other leg trailed behind. I wrapped him in a towel and he said don’t let the towel touch me as he limped into his bedroom and told me he could only walk slow. I asked him how he was going to play football in school tomorrow and his answer was he can’t, his legs too sore. I proceeded to dry him and he told me he couldn’t lift his arms. Why? I asked. “Because”. I sat him on my knee singing to him as I dried his hair. His eyes were rolling and the crys were starting to subside. The odd moan or scream would pop up but silence was resuming. Once I had his hair dried, I laid him into my chest and stuck his blankie under his neck. Cuddled into me, swaddled in this towel, I sang his favourite songs. He fell asleep. 


How could you be annoyed with this cute little face. He was exhausted from all of the drama and the tiny cut on his leg. I continued to sing and hum and placed him on his pillow. I dressed his bottom half and covered him up and it was all over. Calm had been restored………..,,,

To be continued

Wrong Hospital Equipment

On Wednesday, I had an appointment with my Gynaecologist in the hospital for a repeat HSG scan. If you have read my earlier blogs you will know that I had this test in November. Thankfully back then, my tubes were patent, which means no blockages, so I had something to work towards. However, something has happened in the meantime to block them, as during my laparoscopy there was no spillage of die into my abdomen. My doctor later told me where she would normally use 10ml of die, but she used 50ml on me and no luck.

I have been living for Wednesday’s appointment all summer. I tried to relax and take my mind off things and just enjoy the summer, which was harder than it sounds. I haven’t slept a night since my procedure on the 30th of June. I have noticed my anxiety going through the roof and my moods along with it. I have tried to keep on top of it but somethings trigger anxiety and there is no quick solution of reversing it. I have spent the summer convincing myself that two children is plenty. Going through all the negatives of having another baby and really trying to convince my head to be practical. But the heart wants, what the heart wants.

Sean and I made our way to the hospital Wednesday morning, trying to laugh and joke in the car. Either way I was going to find out for sure one way or the other, so I thought! We checked in at the X-ray Department and waited for my doctor to come down to me. About 40 minutes later I was brought into the changing room and told to put the gown on, that my doctor was on her way down. I got up onto the bed and waited nervously. She bustled into the room from ICU up to 90 and she started to prepare for the procedure. I knew what to expect. It wasn’t going to be pleasant.

It took her a few minutes to remember who I was and then she was in full patient mode and trying to explain what was to come and that she would need to have a think about what to do next depending on the results. I just wanted to get it over with. Up my legs went and she inserted the catheter into my womb. The die was then injected into the catheter and the cramping came and went. I could see the screen and my womb filled with die. She seemed to be getting frustrated and said that she was going to have to try the whole thing again.

There was no spillage from the first attempt and I can remember from the last scan clearly seeing the die spilling out from my womb into my tubes and into my abdomen. She blamed the catheter and asked the girl attending to see if there were any other ones that she could use. They had recently changed their equipment and these were not up to her standard. The process started again and the die was injected into the catheter for a second time.

Again, no spillage. I feared this outcome but it wasn’t the end. She asked me to come back again next cycle for the same procedure, giving them time to get the right equipment. She said that she thought there may have been some small spillage from the left side but she couldn’t be sure. Sean took this optimistically and firmly believes that there is a chance it’s just the equipment. Me, not so much. I understand that she was not happy with the catheter but I saw the die so in my womb, I felt it come out of me afterwards. So why didn’t it spill. The worst part of it is the torture of another month of waiting. Another month of anxiety, another month of tears and no sleep.

I want to believe that the outcome will be positive, I want to believe that I will hold my baby someday. I pray and believe that everything happens for a reason. I know that God has a plan for all of us and we just don’t know what the plans are yet but it’s just hard day to day to stay positive and put my trust in the higher powers.

A very good friend sent me this to me a few weeks ago and I am going to try concentrate on accomplishing this over the next few weeks and forever. Family is the most important thing and life is too short. So hopefully with the love and support from my family and from my faith I will find a way to manage my anxiety and pain and just enjoy what I have and the life that Sean and I have built. I know it sounds cliché but in these times of crisis and pain I have really seen our marriage go from strength to strength and I can truly say that I am with the love of my life and who I am meant to be with for the rest of my days……………………………..

index

A gentle reminder from Pope Francis to slow down and just embrace your life.

This life will go by fast.

Don’t fight with people, don’t criticize your body so much, don’t complain so much.

Don’t lose sleep over your bills. Look for the person that makes you happy. If you make a mistake, let it go and keep seeking your happiness.

Never stop being a good parent. Don’t worry so much about buying luxuries and comforts for your home, and don’t kill yourself trying to leave an inheritance for your family. Those benefits should be earned by each person, so don’t dedicate yourself to accumulating money.

Enjoy, travel, enjoy your journeys, see new places, give yourself the pleasures you deserve. Allow dogs to get closer. Don’t put away the fine glassware. Utilize the new dinnerware; don’t save your favourite perfume, use it to go out with yourself; wear out your favourite sport shoes; repeat your favourite clothes.

So, what? That’s not bad. Why not now? Why not pray now instead of waiting until before you sleep? Why not call now? Why not forgive now? We wait so long for Christmas; for Friday; for Reunions; for another year; for when I have money; for love to come; when everything is perfect…look…

Everything perfect doesn’t exist. Human beings can’t accomplish this because it simply was not intended to be completed here. Here is an opportunity to learn.

So, take this challenge that is life and do it now…love more, forgive more, embrace more, love more intensely and leave the rest in God’s hands. Amen.

To be continued

Buttermilk Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 350g/12oz Self Raising Flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 Egg
  • 85g/3oz unsalted butter
  • 300ml/½pt Buttermilk
  • 300ml/ ½ pt Semi-Skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Butter for frying

 

Method

  1. In a bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl or jug, mix together the buttermilk, milk, eggs and butter. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir to combine. Do not overbeat – stir just to combine.
  3. Melt a small knob of butter in a large frying pan. Using a ladle, pour some batter into the pan to make a pancake. With Buttermilk Panckes I always pour a thicker pancake compared to the traditional ones. Depending on the size of your pan, you may be able to make more than one pancake at a time, or if you are confident you can use two pans at the same time.
  4. Cook the pancakes for about a minute, or until the underside is golden-brown and the top is bubbling. Then turn them over using a palette knife or fish slice and cook for another minute. Keep the pancakes warm in a very low oven while you cook the remaining batter.

 

Serving Suggestions

  • Drizzle with Honey or Maple Syrup
  • Fresh fruit
  • Butter

Traditional Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 250g/4oz Cream Plain Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Egg
  • 600ml/ 1pt Milk
  • Oil for frying

 

Method

  1. Sieve flour and salt into a bowl.
  2. Make a well in the centre of the flour, break in the egg and add about a third of the milk. Beat well, gradually pouring in the rest of the milk and drawing in the flour to make a smooth batter. I use a handle held mixer to mix the batter and I sieve once I am finished to make sure there are no lumps left.
  3. Pour batter into a jug and allow to stand for about 30 minutes. (Personally, I like to make it the night before and store it in the fridge).
  4. Brush a pancake pan or frying pan with oil. When the pan is hot, give the batter a stir before pouring a thin layer onto the pan.
  5. Fry until golden brown. Turn and fry the other side until brown also.
  6. Stack pancakes on a large plate, as they are cooked.

 

Serving Suggestions

  • Dust with Shamrock Golden Caster Sugar, add a squeeze of lemon juice, roll up and serve
  • Drizzle with Honey or Maple Syrup
  • Fresh fruit served with natural yoghurt or whipped cream
  • Stewed apples, flavoured with cinnamon and a dollop of fresh cream
  • Or if you are strange like me you could have yours with chef brown sauce – don’t judge till you have tried it, it’s amazing.

Buttermilk Scones Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 450g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 100g cold butter, diced
  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 284ml buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Splash of milk

 

Method

  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Put the flour, salt and butter into a food processor and pulse until you can’t feel any lumps of butter (or rub in butter with fingers). Pulse in the sugar.
  2. Gently warm the buttermilk (don’t throw away the pot) and vanilla in a microwave or pan. Using your largest bowl, quickly tip in some of the flour mix, followed by some of the buttermilk mix, repeating until everything is in the bowl. Use a knife to quickly mix together to form a dough – don’t over-mix it.
  3. Tip onto a floured surface and lightly bring together with your hands a couple of times. Press out gently to about 4cm thick and stamp out rounds with a 6cm or 7cm cutter. Re-shape trimmings, until all the dough is used. Spread out on a lightly floured baking sheet or two. Add a splash of milk into the buttermilk pot, then use to glaze the top of each scone. Bake for 10-12 mins until golden and well risen.

 

This is an amazing recipe and so tasty for a treat or afternoon tea.

 

Serve With:

Butter or

Whipped Cream and Strawberry Jam

Stressful Meal Times with Children

Does anybody else think that meal times with children are the most stressful times of the day. It’s like they take turns to antagonise me and put my blood pressure through the roof. I mean please who are these demon children.
Today for example, I gave the boys 2/3 warnings that they would have to come in soon for dinner and that they wouldn’t be going back out afterwards. They were out late last night and need to catch up on their sleep. When dinner was finally on the table I called them in. Only to be met with tears, wailing 😭, and begging. I’m tired, exhausted actually. I can barely use my body after the intense workout yesterday morning, and now the little people are trying to kill me with noise and ungratefulness. 
I calmly tried to tell them again for the galzillionth time that dinner was on the table and they had to come in. The oldest said he had to go get his bike and the tiniest one just screamed and asked what was for dinner. Now you would think that I just sprung it on him that we were having bolangaise, that we hadn’t previously had two discussions about what was for dinner today. Oh no! The bad mammy that I am made the worst dinner in the world. At this stage now, I was standing at the doorway. Practically on the street, he was crying like a banshee and I could feel steam pouring out my ears. Up to bed with you, I said and no dinner until you can be quite.
I thank my lucky stars everyday that my two boys are intelligent and have some cop on. But in that moment of despair, when they think their lives are about to end because something has happened that they don’t like, there is no talking sense into them. Any reasonable person would just be quite so they could ear their dinner. But oh no! This little monkey, stomped up the stairs, into his room, bellowing from the top of his lungs that he was starving and just wanted to eat his dinner. Is he s**ting me. I just said he had to stop crying. He’s still whinging. Ten more minutes pass. If any of the neighbours could hear him I’m sure they would think I was starving the poor child.
Then there was silence and I could hear little toes coming down the stairs. The penny dropped and he wiped his eyes and his tear stained cheeks, a little sniffle and he was creeping up behind me. He sat down on his chair, I thought to myself “Victory”, he’s going to eat his dinner now. No chance!! This dinner is disgusting, I want cheese on it like in Grainne’s house. Can I have noodles instead. Why don’t you cook me chicken nuggets and chips anymore? Will you cook me noodles when I’m finished? Where’s my broggie? Then Nathan turns around to him and says “All Mammy and I have to say to you is CONOR MCGREGOR!!” 
“Ahhhhhhhh! Stop being mean to me, you too are being so mean!!!! Ahhhhh!” Steam is now coming out my ears, noise, eyes and mouth. Why child, why?? 
Thankfully he ate some of his dinner and he wasn’t murdered or sold. He is now safely tucked in bed after loads of hugs and kisses getting ready to fight another day. The joys of children 👶 but I wouldn’t have it any other way (well maybe just at meal times)………………….
To be continued 

Just the Four of Us

Today, yesterday and the last few weeks have been a struggle. But today more so than anything. No particular reason, I am sure it’s just a build-up of everything. Isn’t it awful when life knocks you down and makes you feel like giving up.

As you have read over the last few months I have been struggling with fertility. I have mentioned the big dark cloud that looms as things keep getting progressively worse with disappointment after disappointment. Well this is different. I can’t even describe how I am feeling, I am fine one minute and then angry, upset, inconsolable, or just plain crazy the next. My need to control things has increased and my anxiety is through the roof.

This is not a call for sympathy or I am not trying to dwell on things to be a martyr, it is just a lot to digest and I feel like I am mourning. I am mourning the life that I thought I was going to have and the baby that I was going to love with all my heart.

I have received conflicting reports from Doctors, all helping to mess with my head even further. When we met with my Gynaecologist, who did the procedure, on the day my stitches were being removed, she gave us hope. It was more the delivery of the news than the words themselves as she delivered them with a smile and optimism. Sean came out of the meeting with a sigh of relief and said that wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. To which my reaction was – “Were we in the same room?”.

She explained that during the hysteroscopy there would have been an element of fluid and there was no spillage from my tubes. The D and C went ok and she was happy enough with her findings and she even showed us pictures of my womb and tubes. From these pictures, she was able to show me the opening to my tubes which were in fact open and not in spasm. However, during the laparoscopy instead of using 10ml of fluid she used 50ml and there was no spill into my abdomen. She explained that during the procedure my tubes might go into spasm but that it was unlikely that this would happen for the length of time that she was doing her investigations. She then explained that my left tube had attached itself to the wall of my bowel with adhesions and that surgery to remove it and free it up may not be successful.

There was so much to take in and she was very understanding and kind, but also said that with the art of making babies anything goes, that although things don’t look or sound great that miracles happen and people have proved her wrong in the past. I am not feeling miracles at the moment. I don’t want to give myself anymore false hope. The last few months have been all about the science and through no fault of my own miracles have not helped. I have done everything I could. I have pumped my body with so many hormones and drugs. I have put my life on hold and I have been borderline insane at times. But no miracles.

I want to believe that everything will be ok and that things are the way they are meant to be, but am I really meant to be this unhappy and this broken. Am I really meant to feel guilty that it’s all my fault that I can’t give Sean another child or my children another sibling. I understand that things happen in life to make you stronger and that you will see down the road why it happened or the greater good that has come from this experience. But this is going on for nearly three years, I would rather just know why I feel like I am being tortured.

My consultant in the fertility clinic in Dublin told me that my tubes are more than likely fine and that they were just in spasm. It was very blasé on the phone and there was no consideration of my feelings. He hadn’t seen the scans, he hadn’t done the procedure, he was just giving me the numbers. He told me he would see me for my next appointment (which was meant to be this week and we would talk about it then). He said to arrange to get another HSG scan done, which I had. This would hopefully show that my tubes were ok and if not, I would have to consider more surgery or IVF. I postponed my appointment with him. What was the point in paying out 200.00 when I had no more information for him. I need to wait to have the next HSG scan done and also be back on treatment to have some blood results to review.

I am afraid to even try for a baby at the moment because I am at risk of ectopic pregnancy and losing my tubes altogether. If I was to fall pregnant I would need an early scan to rule it out. Imagine finding out your pregnant and feeling the excitement that it has finally happened and then living with the worry for a few weeks that it may be ectopic and not viable.

I brought Nathan, my oldest boy to an appointment last night with a craniosacral therapist last night, which is another day’s work. But this woman was able to read me, and not in a physic sort of way. She asked me if I was ok, she said that she could feel that I was holding a lot of upset on my chest. I told her that I was grand and she said that “Mammy’s always are, for the sake of their kids”. Am I that transparent, besides that fact that I am spilling my guts to all of you. But can I not even put on a fake smile and pretend to be ok in public anymore?

Another way of looking at it is why should I have to pretend to be ok? Why can’t I just be a mess all the time? I haven’t slept since the 30th of June, I am exhausted, both mentally and physically, I am trying to put on a brave face for my kids all the time and I am just tired. On the rare occasion that they find me upset I just tell them that I have banged my toe or have a pain in my belly. They have asked a few times in the last few weeks when Holy God is going to give us a baby and I have had to try hold my SHIT together and tell them that there will be no baby for a while and that we are happy, just the four of us……………………………..

To be continued

The Lights Went Out

It’s with a broken heart that I write this post. And while you are reading it, I am sitting with the Doctor waiting for her to say out loud what I already know in my gut to my true.

Friday morning, I went to hospital early, nervous but full of hope. We checked in and made our way to the Day Ward. After meeting my nurse and being shown to my bed I waited patiently to be called for my turn to go to theatre. The nurse went through questions with me, took my weight and then the Doctor came to insert the cannula and take some bloods. I was told that a section had gone in first and I would be next. This wasn’t the case and I was waiting around until 12 to be called.

The anesthetist came around to go through a few things and then I was asked to get into my gown. It was time to go. I had butterflies in my stomach and as Sean kissed me good bye I knew I needed to be strong and just get through the next few hours alone. I was wheeled down to theatre on the bed as I was on a drip to keep my fluids up. I was waiting in the corridor outside of theatre to be called in. My theatre nurse was the same one I had when I was having Jacob. It was familiar space but this time I wasn’t getting the baby I desired so much.

The doctor came out to me before surgery and said that she was going to do the laparoscopy and that if she needed to do any work while inside that I would have to stay overnight. It was time, I was wheeled in and helped from my bed to the operating table. Bright lights and the sterile smell and soon I was under after breathing in gas through the mask.

I woke up nearly three hours later in recovery with the theatre nurse calling my name. I was tired and didn’t want to wake up. There were nurses coming in and out and then my nurse from the day ward arrived. Then in walked my Doctor/Surgeon. I wasn’t fully coherent but I remember everything she said. She told me that she did not do any work during the laparoscopy. She told me I had a lot of adhesions and that my tubes were blocked, especially my left. She told me that she pumped me with blue dye and that it kept pouring out of me and not to be alarmed if there was blue appearing for the next few days. She said that she was checking for endometriosis and I didn’t have it. She said that I wasn’t to go back to work for a while and she gave me a prescription for pain relief. She also mentioned that she needed to check my scans from November as my tubed were not blocked then. She told me to come to see her on Thursday to get my stitches out and to go through the operation. Then she left and my nurse followed her. She was gone about ten or fifteen minutes and I spent that time yapping to the nurses. Coming out of the anaesthetic made me hyper and I couldn’t stop talking.

When my nurse returned, her and the theatre nurse wheeled me back to my room. We met Sean coming out of the theatre doors and he said he had been pacing for an hour and a half. Poor Sean he must have been beside himself with worry. When we got back to the room I asked Sean to dress me, the gown is horrible and sweaty and I was feeling disgusting after the surgery. Poor Sean saw some things that I am sure he wishes he could un-see but he was a trouper. He was an amazing help all day and looked after me the best he could. The nurse told him to go to the car and have a snooze to let me rest and to come back in an hour or so. I couldn’t sleep, I had the urge to pee and eventually called the nurse to help me to the bathroom. My nurse was gone to do another job so there was another lady with me. She was lovely and heavily pregnant with only 10 weeks left.

I was very unsteady on my feet and she propped me up on the way to the bathroom. I got myself onto the toilet and ten minutes later nothing was happening. I had to call out to reassure the nurse I was ok. I eventually squeezed out the tiniest drop and got back into bed. Sean came back soon after that and kept me company. I was so naive and just so delighted to finally know why I wasn’t getting pregnant. I thought that now we knew we could fix it and just unblock my tubes.

It was nearly time to go home and the nurse was in with me checking my wound. It was oozing a bit but nothing to be worried about. She took out my cannula and was talking to me about how attentive Sean had been all day and how we were an amazing couple. Then she started to get upset. The conversation moved on to whether I could remember what the Doctor had said to me earlier as she didn’t want me to get upset on Thursday if I was hearing it for the first time, that my tubes were blocked. She asked me if we had thought of any other options like IVF or adoption and I think she knew by my face that we hadn’t. None of this conversation registered with me as being strange until the next day and I just continued as my happy little self, glad to be finally getting out of hospital.

I got home and my sister had Jacob, I came in and put my feet up waiting for Jacob to get some cuddles. I face-timed Nathan to reassure him I was home and ok and had a quick chat with my sister when she called over, then It was off to bed. That night Jacob slept with me and although it was lovely to have him there, I was in a lot of pain. Sean had to work the next day so Jacob and I got up around 8:30 and I made him some brekkie. Soon afterwards alarm bells started going off.

I remembered that my tubes weren’t blocked in November and this was one of the first things to be checked in the fertility process. Then I thought it was strange that if there were adhesions there and she was already working on me why she hadn’t dissected them. Then the nurse came to mind and how she got upset and asked me had I thought of any other options. It was time to use Dr Google. It was confirmed, blocked tubes are nearly impossible to unblock if there are adhesions and scar tissue. I would never conceive naturally again. My whole world crumbled and my heart began to race. I lay on the couch barely able to move, screaming with the physical pain of heart break. How could this be happening. Months of torture all for nothing. I didn’t mind doing it as there was light at the end of the tunnel. Now the lights had gone out.

I text my fertility advisor to call me when she was free. I needed to hear it from a professional. The rest of the day was a blur. I told my Mam but she didn’t want to believe it and told me to wait until Thursday when I met my Doctor. I told Sean and my sister and each time my heart broke a little more. Saying it out loud made it real. My dreams were crushed. And I know a few of you might be saying – but you have two beautiful boys. Although I cherish them and love them with every ounce of me, when you long for a baby and then find out that your body has failed you, it’s heart breaking beyond belief. I feel like I am in mourning, I feel guilty as it’s my body that has failed and I am denying Sean anymore children, I feel so angry that this has happened and I am sure there will be no real explanation as to why. Why is the big question? Why me? ………..

To be continued

Welcome Distractions

It was the week leading up to the procedure and I was distracted with Birthday parties, football matches, training and other kids related stuff. The weekend started with Jacob graduating from Montessori on Thursday. It was an emotional day and both Sean and I were bursting with pride, our baby was finally finished creche and ready for big school. On Friday, after school Nathan attended a joint party for two of his friends and of course Jacob tagged along and then after that they had a match and I had dinner with a friend. The next morning was a breakfast birthday party at 10am, which they both attended and we were meant to go back that afternoon for the older brother’s party but poor Jacob was wrecked and fell asleep. He was all partied out.

I spent Saturday afternoon scrubbing the house trying to get on top of the house work for the following weekend as I knew I would be out of action. In between scrubbing and cooking I went outside to chat to one of the neighbour’s. It was an overcast day with a lovely breeze but still warm. I didn’t see the sun pop out at all that day but Mr Sun definitely saw me. I got the worst burn of my life all over my chest and down my arms as far as the inside of my elbows. And course I had a shiny Rudolf nose. I didn’t notice it till that evening until it started to get sore and turn purple. I am usually so careful wearing factor 50 to avoid these situations. I was so annoyed with myself but at the same time confused as it wasn’t overly sunny.

Saturday night in all my shinny sun burnt glory I had a ladies’ night organized out the back. We put up a gazebo and we all had our blankets to snuggle as the night went on. It was a well needed escape from the stress that I was facing with the impending operation. We laughed until the early hours of the morning and I enjoyed a jug on Pimm’s. Of course, I over stocked for the night, preparing freshly cut orange, lemon and lime slices, sliced strawberries and some mint to spice up the drinks. There were jars of sweets, pringles, doritos and pretzels a plenty. I thoroughly enjoyed the release and the company and of course paid for it the next morning.

Sunday was a quiet day by all accounts, we took turns getting some sleep and about 4pm I got the bright idea to go to Portlaoise. I wanted to get some leggings and a loose top for the hospital as it was a day procedure and a jammies wasn’t necessary. Much to everyone’s dismay we all headed to Portlaoise. It was a quick visit, in and out of Shaws sorted the clothes and I ran into Boots with ten minutes to spare to get some Aloe Vera for my burns. Boys got a cheeky McDonalds and everyone was happy going home. I packed my bag that night and everyone got into our bed at eight o’clock to watch some America’s Got Talent.

Like the weekend, the week was as busy. Monday Nathan got his school report and to treat him and celebrate I brought him to the cinema. We were like the CIA trying to get out of the house without telling Jacob. Nathan was dying to get his hair cut so we went there first. Blade 3, a comb over and two lines shaved in his head later we were on route to Portlaoise. Much to his disappointment I stopped in Shaws first. I wanted to see if I could get a soft wireless sports bra that I could wear under my clothes at night-time and specifically for the hospital. I wanted something that separates the to footballs attached to my chest but without any wires. Such a thing doesn’t exist and after trying on a few Granny bra’s we bolted.

A quick feed in SuperMacs and then off to the cinema to see “The Diary of a Whimpy kid – The Long Haul”. I booked the tickets online and luckily got them for half price with the June offer. We had a great time and it was nice to have Nathan to myself. Jacob is two years younger but still considers himself a baby at times. He monopolizes me and poor Nathan doesn’t get a look in. I think he does it to get a rise out of Nathan most of the time and then I have to explain that there is plenty of me to share. Nathan enjoyed himself and that’s what mattered. I was so proud of his good report.

Tuesday was one of the neighbour’s birthdays. When I got home from work they were already there and I happened to get an appointment with the nail technician to fix my nails. The top coat on a few of them had cracked and I was embarrassed about going to hospital with them that way. Sean was off early on Tuesday so it worked out well and he was able to pick them up from the party and I followed home.

Wednesday night was training in the rain, I had to wet boys jump into the car afterwards. Home for a bath and some super and then bed. Sean was working late both Wednesday and Thursday night so he could be off Friday so I was running around after the monkeys by myself. I left Thursday night free so I could get myself ready.

I took a long time to settle the boys to bed Thursday night. I had to explain to them that I may not be there when they woke the next morning as I was leaving early to go to the hospital. Their childminder was coming over to get them out of bed and ready. It was Nathan’s last day of school and he was going for a sleepover in a friend’s after school so I didn’t need to worry about him the next day.

However, that night he was very unsettled. He kept getting out of bed and I had so much to do. At first, I was getting annoyed with him and telling him to go back to bed. But then I realised he just needed some reassurance. I realised this when I was having a shower and a tiny person appeared and frightened the life out of me. I followed him back into his room when I was dressed and gave him loads of cuddles. I explained that I was going to hospital in the morning to get my tummy checked to make sure it was ok and that I would be home the same day. He was going to have his iPad with him in his friends and at any time all he had to do was Face Time Daddy to check on me. He seemed happy with that and turned out to go asleep. As I was walking out of the room he called me back and asked, as he always does, “When is Holy God going to give us a baby Mammy?” And I replied as I always do, “Soon baby, very soon”.

Or so I thought………………………………………

To be continued

Back to Square One

As I sit here today, sick to my stomach, waiting on my blood results I look back over the last six weeks and I honestly don’t know what end of me is up. I feel like giving up and over the last week or two have decided on an end date. It’s not set in stone, but something has to give. Feeling sick, not sleeping, nauseous with worry, having anxiety attacks; it’s no way to live. It’s not fair on my heart or my head, or my poor stomach.

After Nathan got better in April I was coming up to ovulation. My mucus started to appear and I had a perfect score for April. I was optimistic and excited because last month’s results were so good, with progesterone of 50. I took all my meds and injection as I was supposed to and went for my bloods on peak plus 7. Two days later I got my results. My oestrogen was fine at 500+ but my progesterone had plummeted to 25. This means I didn’t ovulated and thinking about it more, I am on progesterone top ups every month so therefore my real result would have been much lower than this again. I felt like I was back at square one and that the last couple of months taking medication was for nothing.

What more can I do, how much more of me can I give. My whole life is consumed by infertility. I can’t get away from it. Sometimes I have outer body experiences and look down at my tired broken self and wonder is it worth it. Every month when I get bad news something dies inside of me. I can’t forget about it, I can’t just try and relax or enjoy myself as I am constantly tracking each day of my cycle. My stomach is always bloated, my moods swing all month with the hormones. I am trying to remain grounded and keep my crazy for Sean but that doesn’t always work. I just keep asking myself – WHY ME, WHY NOW??

I got the results in work on a Wednesday afternoon at the end of April and to say I was broken is an understatement. I was in the office on my own thank god, as I broke down. I thought the day would never be over. I had to pull myself together in work but once I got in the car, I broke down again. I cried all the way home, big elephant size tears, I was drowned, my sunglasses kept sliding off my face. I had to pick the kids up from the childminder and I looked terrible. I tried to disguise my upset but when she asked me if I had a headache I broke down again.

The rest of the day was a blur and I took to the bed, typical Irish person, but sometimes its essential. I had no choice, I couldn’t be social able or pleasant, I just needed to process. When I get upset or anxious I have to keep occupied, I can’t sit because my thoughts consume me. So, for the days to follow I started to paint, I painted all the new fences out the back, all three coats. I power hosed and planted up a storm. Then I moved onto the front of the house and started painting all my flower boxes and arranged to have the house painted. I had to put my energy into something other than me.

I got my periods the May Bank Holiday weekend, I knew they were coming so on the Saturday night I enjoyed a few glasses of wine in my parents’ house for my sisters going away party. She moved to London to start her career and I couldn’t be prouder of her. She had an early start on the Sunday morning so it was early home for everyone. When I got home, Sean was going next door to watch a fight, so I grabbed one of the girls and we had a few drinks and a chat while the fight was on.  It was well needed and I enjoyed relaxing for a few hours. The next day was a write off. Sean was very understanding, I wasn’t hungover, I was exhausted. My bones couldn’t hold me. I got up for breakfast and went back to bed. The boys had a birthday party so Sean brought them and left me alone for the day. I got up while they were gone and cleaned up and did some washing, but it was straight back to bed for me. It was a day of rest I needed and when I got up on Monday morning my periods came.

I made a conscious effort to eat healthily, when I could. I went to see a dietician for meal ideas but I honestly didn’t find it any good. The suggestions were a lot of food I didn’t like, I know you are meant to try new things but I am 32 and I know what tastes I enjoy. I felt the meeting was more geared to exercise and he told me that I needed to be active 7 days a week. I explained that I have two kids and that this is an un-realistic expectation, but I felt like he was patronising me telling me that if I really wanted to I would and that I need to set myself an exercise goal and that should motivate me. I wasn’t there for exercise advise and nor was I really interested. The whole idea was to get suggestion of foods and meals so that I could avoid mainly dairy and wheat as they have been found to be fertility blockers. I was really disappointed with the meeting and felt it was €80.00 wasted. To top it off the meeting was Friday morning and he didn’t send me my meal plans until late Sunday night. I’m sure all of you who have young children know the stress of bringing them to the supermarket. I try avoiding it at all costs, so my window of getting to the shops that week was gone.

I decided to buy loads of the Paleo Ireland meals and cut carbs out completely, bar rice. I don’t know whether it was stress or the change of diet but my stomach got very sick. I had chronic diarrhoea for days and the pains in my stomach got so bad that I thought it was appendicitis. At this stage, it was time for me to take sight of the situation and deal with what had happened – how I was feeling and to breath for 5 minutes. It’s when you stop for a minute your brain kicks back in and what your avoiding comes to the surface.

I called the Gynaecologists office and requested follicle tracking for this month. I needed to know what was happening in my body and which side was active this month. I strongly believe that it was my left side in April and that’s why I didn’t ovulate. I also called the hospital to find out when I was scheduled in for a DandC and Laparoscopy. I had to take action. Follicle tracking was organised for Day 9 of my cycle, unfortunately my right side could not be seen due to having a distended bowel. This was as a result of being so sick. There were 2 x 11mm follicles in my left ovary and on day 12 this increased to 4 x 11mm and 1 x 9mm. Between Days 9 and 12 was when I made the decision to put a date on it. Not an exact date but a month. I had to create a finish line for my sanity.

On Day 12 my right ovary could barely be made out, after what seemed like half an hour of searching, a shadowed sight appeared and I had a follicle of approximately 18mm. It could have been bigger but with the restricted view, we couldn’t be sure. I also had a positive LH surge on my ovulation kit that morning.

I phoned the clinic with the results and they suggested that I take the HCG injection the following night. Following their orders, I did just that. I arranged with my fertility advisor to administer the injection and I was back to hoping again. This month my progesterone intake was increased. As well as the pessary’s. I also had to take three extra injections of HCG at a lower dose on Peak +3, 5 and 7. I didn’t want to impose on my fertility advisor on all of these days so I asked my sister to give them to me. She seemed way to happy to inflict pain (only kidding), she was happy to help.

On Peak +3 we were both standing in my kitchen, I knew how to mix the liquid with the powder and get the needle ready for her, but there was no way in hell I was doing it to myself. I gave her the needle and I knew she was nervous too. I told her what she needed to do and when she approached me with the needle I reversed. Instinct 😊!!! Eventually we pulled ourselves together and the injection was administered. It was fine. It doesn’t hurt going in but it stings when the liquid is pushed in and I think it has something to do with applying pressure to the needle as you push it in. All over and Peak plus 5 and 7 to look forward to.

I was given a date at the end of June for my procedure, which means I will have another full cycle before then. My understanding with a DandC I will have to wait a month or two to try again as I will have no lining on my womb. With no lining, an embryo would not be able to implant and if it did, there is risk of miscarrying. So, in my head, July and August are out.  I made the decision to enjoy my summer with the boys and Sean. No point investing my energy into a lost cause – once I have given it two cycles we can try again. Giving us time to reflect on what’s important and all the emotional torture we have been through for the last two and a half years.

On a plus note the house is looking great. I have put so much energy into getting it looking good we are nearly there …………………………………

To be continued