Infertility means…*

*Disclaimer: this is entirely about me and my situation. Other people may not think the same way. Other people may have entirely different experiences. Whatever your journey has been like so far, I wish you all the best and sincerely hope you get your miracle soon.

Misty trees

… asking yourself if you’re sure you really want a second cup of black tea today. (I won’t even discuss coffee. The last time I had one was the end of August. At the time we were on an enforced break from IVF because I had to have a hysteroscopy before continuing).

… trying very hard to drink enough water because now staying hydrated is even more important than it is anyway, but hating having to pee in case you see blood.

… being willing to try all kinds  of random things that may or may not help. Eat an avocado every day? Why not, I like avocados. Brazil nuts after transfer? My new favourite snack! Wear socks to bed? Okay! Give up chocolate? Hmm, maybe not that one ;-).

… sitting in the waiting room at your clinic and being greeted by name every time another member of staff walks past.

… always hesitating/checking the before booking a flight somewhere or buying tickets for an event in another location because what if you need to be near the clinic that day for another ultrasound/blood draw/transfer

… constantly scouring the Internet for reassurance that you’re doing the right thing by paying out for another transfer.

… giving up any food that sounds even vaguely yummy every few weeks because this time it might have actually worked and you don’t want to end up feeling guilty because you ate sushi/soft cheese/pâté or took some medicine after a transfer.

… spending the last two weeks of every cycle feeling utterly, completely exhausted because of the progesterone you’re on (all the fun symptoms of early pregnancy but most likely without the actual pregnancy!)

… constantly being afraid that you’ve started spotting, then when you discover you actually have momentarily feeling relief that at least it’s over now and you can move on, before the devastation of what it actually means kicks in. (I am aware that spotting in IVF cycles doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but when it starts the day you would usually get your period Every. Single. Time. and doesn’t stop until you get the negative pregnancy and can stop progesterone it’s really pretty obvious what’s going on).

… not giving up hope. Not now, not any time soon. Putting up with all the early appointments, blood tests, needles and hormones because I still believe that someday, somehow, I will get to be a mother.


When one door closes…

I actually felt quite guilty after pressing publish on my last post. There are people out there with real problems. People who are suffering from ill health, spending every day in pain yet still managing to live their lives as fully as they can. There are people who have lost their children, to illness, or suddenly to accidents. Genuinely difficult, heartbreaking situations that I can’t even imagine having to face. Then there’s me moaning on about problems that are mostly caused by my very own brain. But I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s my blog, and if I can’t write about my feelings here then where can I? That said, I think my last post may have come across more negative than I had intended. I don’t want anyone thinking I hate my life… far from it! I love my job and I love my boyfriend. I still enjoy living in Germany. Most of the time I’m pretty happy. But it’s always a little disappointing when things end, and realising that something I had always (naively?) thought would be in my future – namely me settling down and having a family – is now very, very, very unlikely to happen is an ending of sorts. Okay, so maybe there is a slim chance that my boyfriend will decide within the next year (i.e. while it’s still possible for me to have a child before I turn 30) that settling down with me wouldn’t be that bad, but while the door may not quite have closed yet it’s, at best, ajar, and even I know that pinning all my hopes on that little crack isn’t going to get me anywhere. I’ve spent too much of my life waiting, hoping that the obstacles on the path I wanted to take would disappear, or at least become surmountable. Recently I finally realised that that isn’t how things work. And I thought I had come to terms with it, but the fact that I still feel sad when other people get married or give birth tells me that I’m not quite there yet. I will get there though, all I need is time. But since I can’t expect other people to stop living their lives while I get used to the fact that mine needs to go in a completely different direction, a direction I haven’t managed to figure out yet, it may take a little longer. Much as I would love to, I can’t go and live in a bubble until I’ve figured out where I’m going! So I shall continue to blog about how I feel, even if my feelings are negative at that moment. Happier posts will come though – promise!

Well that was unexpected…

I found out yesterday that my ex-boyfriend is engaged, which kind of shocked me a bit. He’s not the first of my exes to get engaged, and he probably won’t be the last. But he’s probably the one I still care most about, despite the fact that he lives in America (he is American) and I’ve seen him once in the last six years… last September, at our five year year abroad reunion. I also met his then girlfriend (now finacee) then. Now don’t get me wrong – I am very, very happy for him, but when I first read the news… well, if I hadn’t already been sitting down I probably would have had to. And hearing this news has brought home to me how alone I am here. It would have been nice to be able to discuss this new development with someone. I told Jan about it, of course, but it’s not the kind of thing I can really talk about with him. So I’m feeling a little lost right now. nd confused… confused because I don’t know what it is I’m feeling. I’m not upset, and I’m certainly not jealous (before anybody suggests that!) but my happiness on their behalf is tinged with a little bit of… something. If anyone can make sense of this, then please explain it to me in the comments. Me, I’m just going to go to bed. I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow (despite the fact that it’s Saturday), starting with having to be on the train at 8am. So much for my weekend lie in….

I wish it were simple but we give up easily*

long-distance-relationshipJan and I will have been together six years next month. Six whole years! I was practically still a kid when we got together. In those six years we’ve gone from being “in a relationship” to “in a long distance relationship” and then back to where we started. While every other relationship I was aware of has either moved on or ended we seem to have come to a complete standstill. Of course there have been changes in both of our lives, but they seem to have only happened to us as individuals, at different times as if we were two entirely separate entities who just happen to know one another (well, obviously we are two separate entities but you’d think there would be some mutual stuff in a relationship as well, right?)

So while all my friends are moving in together, buying houses, getting engaged, exchanging vows and having babies the two of us have moved out of our student residence and got our first flats separately, attended engagement parties and weddings as “boyfriend and girlfriend” (in what seems to me is the same sense of boyfriend and girlfriend that is uttered by 15 year olds) and bought dozens of gifts for other people’s children.

It’s not like I even want to get married and have babies at this stage in my life. I don’t even particularly want to get engaged yet. But it would be nice to feel like some day it might be my turn. What I would like is for us to get a flat together. I mean, I adore my flat, it’s the first place I’ve ever lived that was truly mine and it really is a nice place but only being able to have my boyfriend with my for some of the time… well, it gets a little lonely sometimes. I want to be able to wake up beside him every day (not just when he happens to be staying at mine). I want to know I’ll see him in the evening without having to ask. I want a bed that’s not mine, but ours. Is that really too much to ask?

Would he want to live with me if I cleaned up more often? (Photo: nanquimvirtual)

Sometimes I’ll find myself trying to work out reasons why he might not want to live with me, despite the fact that he tells me he dosn’t even know why. But it’s as if I need to have a cause so I can start trying to fix it. A while ago I got the idea into my head that once I had a proper job he would want to stay with me. Except then I found a proper job, moved into a flat (by myself), lost my proper job again and found a new one… and I’m still living alone. Now I occasionally think that maybe once I’ve got through my probation period things might start to happen. Then there was the time that I decided I needed to give him a reason to come home to me every night, so I started making sure tea was ready when he came home and he always had something clean to wear. He tells me he likes cooking with me though, so I guess that one’s backfired. A recurring theme (and something that I guess is always is that back of my mind) is thinking that he doesn’t want to live with me because he’s seen the state that my flat gets into, so every few months I’ll make a vow to myself to keep on top of the housework. Unfortunately, as I keep telling you (I am the proverbial stuck record!) my housewifely skills leave much to be desired. So I’ll clean and tidy the entire flat once and manage to wash the dishes immediately after we eat for maybe three days in a row, but then I get bored and the thought of the dishes waiting for me in the kitchen just makes me want to cry, and so I stop and once again Jan has to come home to a messy kitchen once again.

In my more logical moments I realise that whether he wants to live with me or not doesn’t depend on my job or my cooking or how tidy I am, but my logical moments are few and far between. Before long the crazy catches up with me again and I start obsessively cleaning the kitchen and dreaming up new and interesting dishes to win over my man’s heart (because we all know the way to that is through the stomach). And so it goes on, over and over again.

Sigh I know nobody said relationships were easy, but I wish someone had warned me it would be this hard…

*Title blatantly stolen from the song The Other Side of the World by KT Tunstall

Home sweet home

Here I am again, back in my own little room. I never thought I’d actually be pleased to be back here, but today I am. I’ve been away all weekend, staying at my boyfriend’s flat.
it’s kind of nice being there, not having to share a shower with 8 other people, not having to watch TV in a kitchen that’s full of other people’s food smells. But… I just can’t feel welcome there. Partly it’s because he’s not really living there. Oh, he sleeps there most nights now, occasionally even watches TV in the living room, but I wouldn’t really call it living there. After all, he’s been there since March and he hasn’t even finished unpacking his stuff yet. The walls are still completely bare… no pictures or posters. It’s like he just happens to have a room there while the rest of the flat belongs to Maik, the guy he lives with. You’d think my boyfriend’s flat would be like a second home to me, but instead it just feels like I shouldn’t be there. I can almost hear the place mocking me. “You don’t belong here. He didn’t want to live with you. No, don’t leave your toothpaste in the bathroom. If you must have some here put it in Jan’s bedroom, don’t try and take over the rest of the flat…”

Pathetic? Yes. Paranoid? Ever so slightly. I never claimed to be perfect though, did I.