Tuesday, 14 June 2011

On the subject of Spud...

Thank you for your congratulations!

I think that I should probably start writing some stuff down before I forget it all completely. I find that when I am in the middle of something, I get so caught up in what I am doing – or the problem that I am solving - that it exists to the exclusion of everything else. I certainly couldn’t write about what was going on, on the Spud front, at the time which may help to explain why my blog has been so quiet over the past year.

I thought about trying to draw a series of cartoons to illustrate some of the ‘stand out’ moments from the past year (I can even see them in my head) but I am not sure that I’d be able to realise them in the way that I see them and that would be a bit disappointing. I have also thought about not saying anything at all – simply focusing on the future and what lies ahead.

Yet that didn’t feel fair or right to Spud, the team of doctors and nurses at our local hospital and all of the other women out there who are going through, or considering, some kind of assisted reproductive treatment. In the end, this decided me:

Pregnant women are smug - please enjoy, it is a funny song! It also happens to be so far out of touch with the reality that a lot of women experience that it is really quite hilarious!

As it turns out, an awful lot of us find that getting, and remaining, pregnant is a lot harder than indulging in a whole lot of ‘ho'ing’. I mean - who knew?! It makes me laugh out loud when I look back on all those years of contraceptive pill taking and the panic that would set in if I forgot to take one. After two unsuccessful years of following all of the usual conception advice and a number of comedic scenes reminiscent of those from the 1999 Ben Elton novel (film) Inconceivable (Maybe Baby), the Fella and I handed ourselves in to the local medical profession.

After a series of tests last year, we were referred to the Reproductive Health Unit at our local hospital in November and we had our first cycle of IVF between January and February. I may choose to tell you a bit more about the process another time (so that I don’t forget it) but the long and short of it is that we were successful and Spud is an ICSI-IVF baby. The two links that explain what these are will take you to Wikipedia.

The women that I have run into on the road to Spud have not been at all smug. Mind you, none of us were pregnant either (although I really hope that everyone is now). Depending on whether it was a first or subsequent cycle and whether a previous cycle had been successful, I observed that we were a mixed bag of the quietly anxious, unsure, hopeful, afraid, optimistic and/or resigned – women who were doggedly working their way through a process that they had been through before.

What I will never forget is the day that we went into the Reproductive Health Unit for our 8 week ultrasound and the doctors found Spud’s heartbeat (after a very anxious minute or so when they couldn’t locate Spud at all). As we were leaving the hospital (feeling relieved but a bit like we’d been run over by a bus) another couple walked out in front of us and got into the car that was parked next to ours. We got into our car and glanced across to see whether it was safe for us to back out of our parking space. The couple in the other car was hugging. They were both in floods of tears. We quietly backed out and left them to their grief. This really brought it home to us that for every couple who leave the hospital with good news, many others go home absolutely heartbroken.

I am pregnant. I don’t feel smug - I just feel very lucky that Spud stuck. You see, we were told that our chances of success were rated as being less than 20%. The doctors were talking to us about the likely need for a second cycle of IVF before we’d even been through the egg retrieval process.

This is likely to be the only time that I will ever be pregnant and I fully intend to enjoy it - as much as anyone can who is pregnant, only just getting over their nausea at 21 weeks, has acid reflux and now suspects that that there is a litter of very active, squirmy puppies lodged in their abdomen rather than a single, small, prospective human being!

No, it does not matter to us whether Spud is a boy or a girl and we cannot tell you about names because we haven’t chosen any yet (also, it feels odd to discuss names with others before the baby has arrived safely). In fact, we have asked not to know what sex Spud is so that we have a surprise to look forward to in October - we just want Spud to be healthy, whole, intact and bright enough not bounce off the furniture too much.

I give no apologies at all for being an irritating cliché!


ms. modiste said...

LOL! That video was so hilarious! (But definitely give no apologies for anything, regardless!)

Roobeedoo said...

Oh wow! You are so very fortunate (I won't call it "lucky" as that sounds so trite) to have Spud on his or her way, against those odds. Good luck honey! :)

woollythinker said...

Love the video. Although it is a leeetle unfair... I can agree with the high annoyance factor of "oh everything else seems so trivial now", while *also* knowing that adjusting to becoming a parent really is a huge deal (and rightly so). Even more so, of course, when you've had to work so hard for it.

So *anyway*, I reckon it's a very good idea to blog about all of this; there will certainly be other people out there who can benefit from your experience and perspective, and of course all your friends and family want to know what's going on with you, in exhaustive detail. It's also a really good way to record all this for your own future reference...