All posts filed under: Long Stuff

Secondary Infertility & IVF

This is part two of a blog originally written for If Only They’d Told me, about endometriosis, IVF, and (spoiler alert) motherhood. You can read part one here I’ll just do IVF I remember breezily thinking in my twenties, “oh, I could always just do IVF if I don’t get pregnant naturally.” The reality of IVF was a little more intense than I anticipated. The first hurdle was All The Needles. I’m a needle-phobe. I turn into a gigantic child in the face of injections, IVs and blood tests. I’m fine with actual surgery, but not the needles that come with it.  You’d think after three surgeries for endometriosis (which involve IVs and drainage tubes) and Amy’s caesarean delivery I would have gotten over myself. Nope.  I had to do my first injection about an hour before we were leaving for Jeremy’s 40th birthday dinner, which was probably for the best as there was no time for stuffing around. We’d already decided that for the sake of our marriage it would be best for me to …

The upsides of the massive front side

A few friends are pregnant with their first babies at the moment, which has propelled me into a surge of nostalgia – combing through our newborn photos, and getting teary about little socks that I can’t face giving away. My pregnant friends agree that yes, tiny clothes are gorgeous and perusing Moses baskets online is a worthy cause for reaching their data cap, but they all look at me like I’m drunk at 10am when I say, “and isn’t being pregnant just so wonderful?” Flicking through my pregnancy diary, there are tales of sore hips, exhaustion, uncomfortable nights, and all-day sickness, but I think Mother Nature suppresses those recollections so that the human race continues. Or perhaps the sleep deprivation after Tilly (my youngest) altered my brain function. Either way, the upsides of having a massive front side are dominating my memories. The clothes I loved maternity clothes, that wonderful comfortable world of elasticised waist bands and stretchy tops. Seriously, jeans that appear normal, but with little elastic inserts where no one can see? Genius! …

Endometriosis and Motherhood

I always knew I wanted to be a mother. Right from when I was tiny, I fed, bathed and bedded my dollies and teddies, and wouldn’t let anyone do up the top buttons on their tiny clothes in case it choked them (this could have been an early indicator of OCD, in hindsight). I gravitated toward anyone with a baby in their arms, and when my parents finally delivered on a sibling for me when I was 11, my poor little brother essentially had three parents all over him, all the time. I even attended antenatal classes with my parents, and remember thinking “this will all come in handy for me one day.” There were many things I wanted to do in my life, and having babies was always part of my grand plan. Despite practicing for “becoming a woman” long before my time (generally by trying on Mum’s bras and stealing from her boxes of Tampax so I could watch them puff up in water), I was completely blindsided by puberty. Health class showed …

The Indignity of Motherhood

I heard the phrase “you check your dignity in at the door during childbirth” bandied about a few times when I was pregnant. Sure, I’d seen the antenatal class photos and thought I knew what was up (and down, and sideways, and is-that-even-part-of-a-human-body?!), but after four endometriosis operations, a myriad of tests and a round of IVF, I already felt like my dignity was that unclaimed suitcase you see going around the luggage carousel at the airport. “It’s okay – you’re growing a baby!” Pregnancy introduces new levels of embarrassment to women the world over. Maybe you opened a car door and threw up in the gutter of a busy street while in the throes of morning sickness. Perhaps you kicked your shoes off under the desk at work then found yourself unable to cram them back on your swollen tootsies when it came time to attend a meeting. It’s not unusual to burst into noisy sobs during TV ads. Inappropriately timed and completely unexpected burps that rival those of a drunk first year university …

Running with a side of Womanly Shame

A desperate search for a valid reason to have a child-free weekend, combined with some sort of downhill-slide-to-forty crisis saw me signing up for an out of town marathon. My lofty goals were downgraded to a half marathon after I hurt my leg, although I didn’t mind much as it gave me great pleasure to say I had a “sport related injury” as if I was someone who sports often enough to sustain a sporty injury. With my parents looking after the girls, my husband and I set off on what I’d started imagining as a weekend of drinking and eating with a 21km jog slotted in. I’d usually rather give birth again than endure a five hour car journey through winding scenery, but without kids it was pure JOY. We had uninterrupted conversations the whole way. No one whined. No one threw up. No Wiggles music was played. No one demanded snacks. Actually that last one isn’t true – I demanded we stop and get a Snickers bar, just so I could eat chocolate …

Little Wonders

The lovely Miffy Welsh shared some of her early childhood education insights with me for Little Treasures Magazine earlier this year. I’m having to take a re-read of it myself after hitting a preschool-drop-off-wobbles hurdle this morning! Unsurprisingly, I often fall into the “hanging around talking to other parents” category, and must remember that drop off is about my daughter, not about me seizing an opportunity to talk with Other Actual Adults.

Heading Out Of Town

There’s a saying: “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”. I’m fairly confident that whoever said it had never been on a car trip with small children. I tend to try and blur the memories of long drives because it puts me off going anywhere, ever, but generally there’s a lot of bribery, silly games, pulling over, body contortions that a gymnast would be proud of to reach dropped toys, endless snacks, a decent amount of whinging, and the occasional puke into a hastily proffered container. But even after the most fraught car trips, there’s a lovely moment when I realise we got there safely, and can relish the thought of happy times just waiting to happen. Sometimes that lovely moment doesn’t hit until well after the house has been frantically cleared of mouse poo and the unpacked car has been pulled apart to find missing Snuggly Bunny, but it does hit eventually. Going away even with just our little family isn’t the casual after-thought it used to be before we had children…it’s …

Family Dining

I love food, I really do. My husband likes to embellish the story of our first date, and say that I finished my dinner, then finished his, and if he’s really on a roll, he’ll say I licked the plate. Plate licking did not happen. I have some standards (for first dates). In reality I ordered an entrée, main and dessert, and finished them all with gusto – which apparently was quite a thing for a blonde in her early 20’s in the early 2000’s. We’ve tried to instil a healthy respect for food with our daughters, but have found eating at restaurants with two troublemakers can be a somewhat confronting experience. Cafes are pretty much fine, because there are tiny cups of frothy milk with marshmallows on the side to rip into, but dinner at restaurants is a whole different story. One family dinner outing ended prematurely when Amy sobbed hard about not wanting her food, and a newly mobile Tilly kicked the table so hard she knocked over my wine – it was …