Thursday, February 19, 2009

IVF Cycle 3: The Things I Do

As you know, I have done two IVF cycles now and got nowhere.

Our specialist recommended a whole lot of blood tests to see if there is anything wrong, which showed no problems, to my great relief.

This week, I had surgery, too. The laparoscopy involved making two holes in my stomach, filling my abdomen with gas so they could see better, and then inserting a small telescope that enabled the specialist to see my uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries very clearly. They looked for any problems like scar tissue, endometriosis and fibroid tumors. Wierdly, one of these holes was made through my belly button, which is now a big mess.

The hysterosalpingogram meant having dye flushed through the uterus, vagina and cervix and then through the fallopian tubes, making sure there are no blockages.

Finally, a lovely D&C was performed to scrape out the lining of my uterus.

The good news is that there is nothing at all wrong with me. The bad news is that there is nothing to fix and so only more IVF will get me pregnant.

I am feeling very sore and quite sorry for myself.

Apparently, some people actually get pregnant by having sex. How lucky are those people?!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Australia has been hit by the worst bushfires in its history. After incredibly hot days over 40 degrees and high winds, there was always a risk, but this is like hellfire. At least 181 people are now known to have died, but many more are missing and the toll is expected to reach 300 people.

Canberra, where I live, suffered bushfires in 2003. They were very, very frightening. The fires had been burning around the edges of our territory for most of the week, but we were assured by authorities that they were under control. On the Saturday morning, the Big Dude and I had gone to see the Lord of the Rings movie, which ended with the final battle for Middle Earth. We emerged, blinking in the sunlight, to find the skies turned an apocolyptic, furious orange-red. My head was still half in Middle Earth and, for a moment, it seemed like the end of the world. Hot black ash fell from the skies onto our faces. It just seemed unbelievable that bushfires could enter the suburbs of Canberra, including the suburb we had just moved into that week.

But those fires were caused by lightening strikes. These fires seem to have been at least partly caused by arsonists.

I have been avoiding the news. I just find the constant coverage and continually rising death toll too sad, too macabre. Yesterday, I finally read the newspaper. I wish I hadn't. The stories of the old couple arguing over whether to stay and defend their house or run for their lives, until the wife left her husband sitting obstinately on his verandah and never saw him again. The stories of the 000 emergency hotline operators listening to people dying over the phone and the firefighters tripping over the bodies of people killed as they fled in cars and on foot. And ever since I read the description of a little five year old boy, with intense blue eyes, staring up at the sky, lying dead near the bodies of his mother and brother, the image is haunting me.

Those poor, poor people. What a horrible way to die.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


My Little Dude started PlaySchool this week.

The tears welling up behind my eyes were ridiculous. It is only one morning per week and it's definitely time. He is increasingly keen on playing with other kids and learning new things, and I can see that our life at home was becoming too small for him.

It must be said that he loved it. He used to be quite reserved when he was younger, but that's all over now. He raced straight to the playhouse there and showed absolutely no reluctance or nerves. He played with the other children happily and chatted confidently to the workers.

I was proud of him, actually. Some parents seem to go on and one about their children, who apparently are budding geniuses. My Little Dude is a bright kid, but what I like about him has nothing to do with who he will be or future success. It's all about who he is. He plays and climbs and explores with huge energy and commitment. He seems to have more fun, to enter into things more fully, than most people. He has a very joyful, uninhibited laugh. I wish I still laughed like that.

Adults comment on his lovely manners - he says "please" and "thank you" very nicely - but what I really like is his open heart. If other kids come over when he is playing with his cars, he doesn't hunch over the cars and try to keep the competition at bay. He smiles in a very friendly way and says, "Want to play?" and hands them a car. When one of them falls over and cries, he looks distressed and tries to comfort them, saying "It's alright, it's okay", and strokes their hair gently.

But he is out in the world, now, my little open-hearted boy. The big, bad, hard-hearted world. He has to go, I want him to go, but I wonder what it will do to him.

Somehow, the outsized backpack he proudly chose for himself, the symbol of his new independence, makes him look very small.