Monday, March 31, 2003


worst tired wave yet. I woke up feeling just dandy, but by 1 after a stupid meeting (really 2 because we've just gone off summertime), I could barely stagger up to the change room to lie down. didn't sleep, of course. am simply fighting my way though a fog of desire to close my eyes and vagueness. have various non-work things to do and can hardly read the list of them, let alone act on it. but I have to do them today, so going home is out of the question. a cup of tea and a Kit Kat are the only answer. yes, it's not the right food. but sometimes you just have to.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

good info from New Zealand: this site seems to support going ahead with normal delivery, on balance.

Talk with your obstetrician or midwife. Make sure he or she knows you have genital herpes.
At the time of labour, check yourself for any symptoms in the genital area - sores, itching, tingling or tenderness. Your health care provider will also examine you with a strong light to detect any signs of an outbreak.
The choices regarding an active outbreak at the time of delivery should ideally be discussed with your obstetrician early in the pregnancy. The choices are to proceed with a vaginal delivery (avoiding use of instruments) or have caesarian section. There is currently insufficient information to clearly support one option or the other, however the risk of transmission with vaginal delivery is very low and must be weighed against the risks of caesarian section to the mother.
Ask your doctor not to break the bag of waters around the baby unless necessary. The bag of waters may help protect the baby against any virus in the birth canal.
Ask your doctor not to use foetal scalp monitor (scalp electrodes) during labour to monitor the baby's heart rate unless medically necessary. This instrument makes tiny punctures in the baby's scalp, which may allow herpes virus to enter. In most cases, an external monitor can be used instead.
Ask that a vacuum or forceps not be used during delivery unless medically necessary. These instruments can also cause breaks in the baby's scalp, allowing virus to enter.
After birth, watch the baby closely for about three weeks. Symptoms of neonatal herpes include blisters, fever, laziness, crankiness, or lack of appetite. While these symptoms can be mild initially, don't wait to see if your baby will get better. Take him or her to the pediatrician at once. Be sure to tell the pediatrician you have genital herpes.
Think positively! The odds are strongly in favour of you having a healthy baby.

mizJenna welcomes Gina.

article on herpes and birth. one in 2,500 chance for me, it seems. wonder what the caesar risks are.
btw, I'm not really that embarrassed about having this condition, though I don't exactly announce it to my friends. a lot of this sort of thing happened in the late 80s when I was a teenager, before AIDS got the condom message through. I wasn't a slut, just unlucky.
the hardest thing was telling my husband after 4-5 weeks of dating, when it looked like getting serious. he could have just walked away. but I had to tell him upfront. he's a honey. and we're exceptionally careful. it only pops up 1-2 times a year anyway.

trotted in to see the male dr this morning.

the strangest moment came when I got changed for examination, and had to decide if husband was staying in the room. up until now he always has (female drs). in the end I let him, but it felt a bit weird for some reason.

anyway: was asked lots of the usual questions about past surgery, blood type etc. had my breasts and abdomen prodded and cervix felt.
he said my cervix had good length, which bodes well for incompetence. I worry about a cone biopsy I had 4 years ago - he's going to check with the dr who did that how much she took off. apparently the procedure she did, with a laser, is better. a stitch can be put in up to 16 or so weeks, but it carries its own risk (1-100) of miscarriage. so it's really a matter of playing it by ear and praying (no, I don't believe in God. but I can still pray).

most amazing: he claims the herpes infection, being well established in my body, is very unlikely to pass to the baby during labor and a caesarian isn't necessarily indicated, even if it's active around birth! says the baby will have the antibodies from me. I have NEVER heard this before. he says the risks of a caesar are at least as great. I seem to remember the word "miniscule".

he is surprisingly and reassuringly anti-caesarian, even for breech births. he gets some referred to him at 38 weeks because their drs don't want to go vaginally with a breech. I think this is good, providing he will do a caesar if I do need one. he says the big hospital is far better to be in "if I get into trouble" than the nicer small one. he's right of course. his epistiotomy (sp?) rate is one in three births, depending on dilation and how the woman is going to tear (I have seen him do one of these, with my friend's baby last year. never forget that cutting sound.)

I have blood test orders for down's, progesterone, chicken pox (he seemed to think it was positively odd that I couldn't say for sure if I'd had shots for that), antibodies to type + blood, and various other things. an ultrasound at 12 weeks for down's and another at 19. his home and pager #'s. an appointment with him again at 13 weeks on our wedding anniversary, which I plan to change to the day before.

husband thought he was OK. he certainly seems confident. his nurse was very chatty and nice - a little too much for me, I like to ease into such relationships. we're still going to see the female dr on Thursday, though. he was so serious and focussed and Serth Afriken all through it that husband's last question was: "do you have a variety of funny hats" and dr actually smiled (he's maybe 45). I jumped in with "no, but he has goggles he wears to keep the blood out of his eyes", which will have done husband's queasiness no good at all.

oh, and this morning I got up and got the bucket and put it beside the bed. just in case. slept terribly due to headache, noisy neighbours' guests etc and felt FOUL.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

funny that it's in there with its little nascent head and arm buds, but even it doesn't know it exists yet...

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

at work, but must blog.

it looks much more babylike in the 8 week scan. and it was an EXTERNAL scan! thank God for that, for a change. especially as it was a male dr I haven't met before. - 'here, get up on this couch and I'll simulate intercourse with you'.

anyway, it's 1.75cm, which is perfect. heartbeat 150/minute, also perfect. perfect, perfect, perfect. we could see a little head and the heart and sort of a tail/leg thing. the scanner was a much better one (wanna be, at $124/scan, medicare or not), and we have two really nice pix.

ivf dr was much more forthcoming than at the last, cautious meeting. she was even a bit excited and told us to bring it back for a cuddle. hopefully we won't see her again until then! I have her email, and will update her on progress. God, I adore her now that it's worked!

coming back on the tram I was looking at fat hairy men in their cars and other people on the street and kept thinking: ''all these people had to be born!

better work. tired, busy, etc.

oh, and the latest infertility authority report on ivf success rates is out - 900/year born in Victoria now. but I'll find and link that later.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

my new game is Is She Pregnant or Just Fat?
just checking out women in the street and shops, noticing the definitely pregnant ones (no point smiling at them yet, not till I'm showing too), and the doubtfuls; sometimes it's hard to tell.

very hungry. all the time.

a girl on my bulletin board has just got pg naturally, totally by accident. she says it's like a dream. lucky duck.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

felt a bit nauseous yesterday morning. queasy, anyway. wouldn't want too much of that. it's very tiring. I was supposed to try to get lots of sleep this weekend, but the afternoon naps don't make up for the broken nights. panicking a bit about four days of work next week. getting very close to telling the work nurse so I can nap in the sick room; but I don't think I can face the excitement and interest in my progress. despite this blog, I'm really not very good at being the focus of attention; the thing that bothers me is having to resolve my real feelings with people's assumptions, without going to the length of explaining how I really feel, which is not what they want at all.

Friday, March 21, 2003

my draft submission to this inquiry into donor embys/gametes.

I have been told that submissions on the guidelines are confidential, and specifically request that my name and address be separated from my comments and only used when absolutely necessary for administrative matters.

My husband and I have been with Melbourne IVF and have eight frozen embryos in storage until late 2007, when Victorian law will require us to use or dispose of them.

We anticipate that there will be several embryos still in storage when we have completed our family, and that we will be in a position to either donate them for use in fertility treatment or research.

As a potential donor and someone who obviously has a direct interest in the ART rules, I have several comments to make:

1/ time limits on donation decisions (guideline 9.4 and 9.7)

- The current Victorian time limit on use of embryos, and the proposed 10-year limit has no medical reasoning behind it, as embryos have been used successfully ten and more years after freezing. Allowing couples to store embryos for longer would not only remove unnecessary pressures to complete our families hastily, it could reduce the risk of Down’s syndrome children – eg if a 27 year old woman created embryos and could use them to complete her family at 39, especially if having several children, her Down’s risk would not increase with her age. The ten year limit seems arbitrary and an unnecessary interference with potential parents’ freedom of choice, a freedom they would have if they did not require ART assistance.
- extending the time would make it easier for us to make a donation decision. My feeling is that if women were allowed to reach the end of their childbearing years before having to decide what to do with stored embryos, they might be more likely to donate them.

2/ rules on identity and embryos/gametes donated (guideline 10 and 11.4)

The proposed rules seem too much of a “one way street” to me. While I understand the right of children created by donation of gametes or embryos to privacy, there ought to be a way of identifying the parents and siblings of such a child without using their name, to reduce the risk of incest; I’m aware that many women in Victoria’s lesbian community travel to the same NSW clinic for sperm donation, meaning that many of their children, who will grow up in close contact with each other, will be half-siblings. A simple ID code would solve this problem

As likely parents of our own children, we are concerned at the risk of disruption to our family by any children created by donation. Specifically, we would like to see the law clarify that there are no legal claims such a child could make on us or their siblings. The guideline also commits donors to identification of any future siblings; when you consider that in the case of embryo donation this may mean half-siblings if donor parents re-partner, it could lead to invasion of the rights of the new partner.

Identity is certainly a key issue for children created in this way; however, whether this requires the child to have the right to know and contact its biological parents isn’t entirely clear to me. The phrase “entitled to know” is questionable, despite its emotional appeal. I would be willing, for instance, to provide a detailed dossier of health information, including the right to access future health records, and to provide some personal details, but the idea that a child whose upbringing we have no control over could appear to disrupt our own children’s lives in the future is probably the main disincentive to donating. This may seem cruel, but I feel the biological parents should have some choice in the matter, possibly by creating a mediation agency via which we could get some idea of the child who wishes to know our identity before it happens. For donated children, the choice may be between not being able to insist on knowing the exact identify of its biological parents, or not being born at all.

Simply “identifying” biological parents is pointless if those parents then decline to provide health information and have contact with children created; the voluntary system described, mediated properly, with rights to substantial nonidentifying information, would be a far better solution.

3/ deceased donors (guideline 10.13.)

I don’t see the reasoning behind banning donation by deceased persons. A donor could die at any time, and the issue should be the quality and likelihood of success in the case of embryos.
I would be happy, for instance, for my stored embryos to be donated by my husband if he saw fit, particular for family donations described below, and would be willing to be counselled and sign appropriate forms to this end.

4/ Family donations (guideline 10.16)

I note that the guidelines say that donations within a family be closely counselled. While I agree with the need for some counselling, I would question that such a practice should be discouraged. Within our family there is one female relative undergoing IVF who may at some stage benefit from such a donation, and another who is unlikely for reasons of sexual orientation to fall pregnant naturally; if we chose to donate to these women it would be a good solution to the problem of anonymous donors, rather than them using donors they don’t know and whose biological offspring may not fit into their families as well for various genetic reasons – in other words, some recipients may prefer donated embryos/gametes which will produce children who look like them and share family characteristics. Some donors, like ourselves, would also be far more comfortable knowing the environment that any child created from donation would be entering, as we would feel partly responsible for such a child’s existence.

5/ “on-donating” (guideline 11.7)

On my reading of the guidelines, it seems that once a donation is made, the recipient could, notwithstanding guideline 11.9, decide to alter its purpose, eg donate an embryo to research (even non-destructive research) when the donor’s purpose was fertility treatment, or on-donation to a different person. I would like to object strongly to this, as I feel it undermines the incentive to donate, and to some people who feel that embryos are “human”, would prevent donation altogether. If the original purposes lapses, decision rights should revert to the donor(s).

let me tell you something about me.
I'm 5 foot 4, weigh 123 pounds (55 kg in metric).
I swim and bike ride.
this is not vanity, but I would just like to say, after reading that my uterus will rise to the height of my breastbone, that there is not room for a baby in there. none whatsoever. zip.

I don't care about getting "fat". I just don't think there's room.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

but: a woman I cycled with twice in the UK has had no heartbeat at the 7 week 3 day scan. they're expecting the pg not to continue. she's 40. I really like her; she's supportive and sensible and has some perspective. it seems so unfair. I just hope she'll try again and get a baby from all this pain.

I got worried about the length at the 6 week scan. but someone on my bulletin board told me that babymed has a calculator for that. it's great; you just put in the length and it gives you the size it should be. the emby was 3.1 mm, which is exactly 6w 3 days; which is what I was.

still feeling OK, and I'm into the 8th week (sixth in real time of course). I guess I'll just have to live with that. have been driving to work while it's been hot instead of cycling, but otherwise life goes on as normal, bar the occasional small twitch and the distressing lack of sushi and champagne.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

while I was at my class last night, the plan B (male) obstetrician called home and left a message saying I could call him at home anytime up until 9.30 if I had any concerns/questions.
given I haven't even been to see him yet, this is either very friendly and welcoming, or a tad down the control freak end of things. my friend whose baby he delivered says he's a "bossy britches".
no vomiting yet. but sleepy. but this is because I'm NOT SLEEPING ENOUGH!

Sunday, March 16, 2003

put all my baby books and mags in a bag to hide them while a friend visited. when I took it out of the wardrobe afterwards I noticed it was heavy. so I put it on the scales; 5kg. this is approximately HALF of the weight I am supposed to gain. and none of it muscle; all fat and fluid and baby. no wonder pg women's shoe sizes go up. pick up 5 2-kg bags of sugar or flour and carry them around and think about it.

Friday, March 14, 2003

oh, and I have a scan of the baby. I just can't work out how to upload it right now. plus it's on husband's computer and this blog is still quite secret. you can't see anything anyway; just a blur.

big day talking to tradespeople at the house, then came home and lay in bed reading Up The Duff for an hour before a nap. it's been useful because it's got a sort-of narrative, and I wrote down lots of things to ask drs/put in my birth plan etc. and was also overwhelmed by all the stuff we have to do. the house is a disaster area, full of piles of dusty boxes, and I cannot imagine the second bedroom becoming the baby's room we want it to be. but it will have to.

wrote on my birth plan list: husband will need chair in theatre in case he faints.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

have booked in with alternative dr as well. seeing him on a Saturday - great not to have to skip more work. his receptionist was friendly, is booking me in with the big teaching hospital and even gave me his home number.

still, I feel I'm making my choices based on the worst case scenario; I need the best possible ob/gyn IF there's a problem. I need a hospital with icu and a blood bank IF the baby or I become critically ill. it's really not that likely, and I plan to work hard to make it less likely. and I'm already booked into antenatal classes etc at Hospital Plan A, and did like the feel of it. but realistically, I'll be 37 when I deliver, it's my first child and I should be Sensible.

riding my motorbike home along Beaconsfield Parade last night at sunset after a swim, I looked at the apricot sky, the white sailboats on the glassy bay and the starburst silhouettes of the palm trees and found another reason: the world can be a pretty good place, and I want to share that with my children. I've never been able to literally give someone the world before. it's a pretty cool thought.

and yes I know this has been done millions of times, I'm not special or unique, etc, etc. but I feel it.

my dr also told me "eat constantly". so it must be time for lunch.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

shouldn't be doing this; have already spent 2 hours going for the scan.

it's in the right place - the fundus, or top. it's 3.1 mm. and it has a tiny heartbeat, like a light going on and off. to be honest, she could have pointed to anything and told me it was the baby. the sac is clearly there.

we talked about lots - still a 15-20 % chance of it not continuing. she frowned at my motorbike helmet and told me I have responsibilities now (husband liked that one)

when I asked about ob/gyns, it turns out the plan B male dr delivered all three of hers (she's probably my age or so). she also talked about blood banks, etc at the hospital we're not booked in at. but she said it was OK to see both drs then decide. so we'll do that.

another scan in two weeks. I have a little printout - you can't see a thing, but I have it.

but also: in answer to my question of yesterday. at heart, it's because I really want to meet them. to see what they're like. to know them. is that a good answer? I think so.

hmm. rang ob/gyn's room to double check she'd be there when I'm due, and the receptionist put me off - had to call me back. not all that thrilled with that sort of thing.
and when she did, she said there was a conference "mid-november" but I should be OK if I don't go two weeks over. well, who's to say I won't? it's not unusual with first babies.

scan with IVF dr at 2.30 today to make sure it's in the right place and possibly a heartbeat! had a horrible dream last night after husband disturbed me and I was awake from 2-3 am. it involved bleeding and lying down to make sure the bits didn't come out. horrid.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

wearing a soft woollen short-sleeved top, fairly low-cut, that usually excites no interest at all b/c I have such a flattish chest.
today, am I imagining it, or has the miniscule change from B to something more rounded meant I'm getting lots more looks. are men so finely tuned to such things? probably.

so, so tired. woke up to wee every 1.5 hours and cannot think. so much so I'm hallucinating; walked past a sign saying Pancetta at the market and read it as Placenta.

on my afternoon stagger around the block to try to get going again, I asked myself why I want to have a child. all I could say was "I want one. It seems like the thing to do. If I don't, I'll be sorry when I'm old." and I told myself, none of those were good reasons.

Sunday, March 09, 2003


because this list will eventually drop off my bulletin board and I want to remember who was in my cycle of February Testers.

JD - 2nd February Yippeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Helen a - 3rd So sorry buddy......
Clare P - 3rd So sorry buddy.....
Allison & Paul - 3rd Yippeeeeee!!
KB (Karen) - 4th Yippeeeeeeeee!
Bayleaf (Julie) - 5th So sorry buddy..
Lisa & Julian - 6th So sorry buddy....
Tracyf - 6th Yippeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Moll - 6th Yippeeeeeeeeee!
VickyP - 8th Yippeeeeeeeee!
Willwork1day (Tracey) Yippeeeeeeeee!
Elle - 10th So sorry buddy........
Flossie - 11th So sorry buddy........
Cazz - 11th So sorry buddy........
TBA -11th Yippeeeeeeeeee!
Emma - 12th Yippeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Lisa - 13th So sorry buddy.......
Jobo - 14th Yippeeeeeeeeee!
Nicksy - 14th So sorry buddy.......
Ceri - 14th Yippeeeeeeeeeee!
Snookes - 17th So sorry buddy.......
Sg1 (Sharon) - 17th So sorry buddy......
jane*w - 18th So sorry buddy.......
Karolyn - 19th Yippeeeeeeeee!
Sarasje - 20th Yippeeeeeee!
Hope - 21st Yippeeeeeeeeee!
Traci - 22nd So Sorry buddy........
Amanda O - 23rd Yippeeeeeeeeeee!
Kurt - 24th So sorry buddy.......
Lesley - 26th Yippeeeeeeeeeeee!
Amanda s - 26th So sorry buddy.......
Kylie - 26th So sorry buddy......
Babybaby - 28th Yippeeeeeeeeeee!
Kathy - 28th

something to add to the IVF article I want to write; that I have "met" women whose multiple failures, pain and effective torture make Frida Kahlo look like an angina sufferer. their overlapping diagnoses and wrong turnings, to paraphrase Tolstoy, show that there are as many ways to be infertile as there are infertile women, and only one "yes", one confirmation of life and fertililty.

(funny how I can reference Joyce's Ulysses without reading it, huh?)

another baby thought, as I lay half-asleep this morning.
I have a lot of things to do in the next 8 months, apart from making a baby. and I wonder if it's all too much. but what is going on in there doesn't necessarily have to be draining and tiring. I have a nuclear reactor in my abdomen, doubling and tripling and assembling and pumping out hormones. why can't I draw energy from that instead of perceiving it as sucking it from me? I'm sure this is naive and hopeful. but I like the thought.

discussing the cost of various things at dinner last night, he said (of prams) "surely you can get those secondhand" and I rather too vehemently said "we are getting our baby a NEW pram".
secondhand clothes is fine, especially as I know most of the babies they will have come from, and you can't stop people giving you hardly-used clothes. but the pram and the cot will be the result of a shopping trip to one of those mega babystores that I have yet to set foot inside. and they will probably be very expensive, and I don't care. this is a man who is spending probably an extra 5,000 of our money on the best and most modern networked wiring for our house renovation. and he earns 2 1/2 times what I do. he didn't take much convincing that I was right. it may not be necessary, but it's what I really want. that shopping trip is a long way off, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Friday, March 07, 2003

one last post before husband gets home and I turn the PC off for the night (I do go out, you know; just got back from a romp in the park with the dog);
when I called my sil to arrange a visit this afternoon, the conversation stopped as she was clearly torn away by the sight of the baby (5 mths) in her arms.
before I knew it I was listening to cooing noises and a monologue directed at the baby and its snot (really!). it didn't bother me as much as it might have; I know I'll be like that, the woman is clearly deeply in love. she knows we're doing ivf, doesn't know yet of course that it's worked. I'm sure it would all have been a bit much for me if I weren't pregnant, though.
don't know why I'm blogging this; mostly to record for myself the otherworldly sound of her voice and the affection with which she spoke to the baby. I felt like I was out of place.

I linked to this ages ago. but it's even more relevant now. especially the bit about " The 12 Most Common Reasons People Give Up Pet baby Monkey:

An incident involving one or more of the behaviors below:

A serious bite or other aggressive behavior -- usually toward a child or other family member, sometimes a friend or stranger.
babyMonkey is "disobedient", won't mind, gets into things or tears off diapers or clothes.
babyMonkey has gotten loose and caused household damage.
Interference with family unity --baby monkey likes some family members and dislikes/attacks others.
Messiness-with food, droppings, cage mess or while loose in the house
Other "problem behavior." -- such as loud vocalizations, urine scenting, male erections, male or female masturbating.
A legal case involving a bite or scratch or disease.

more seriously, someone sent me a link to some moving articles in the Toronto Star about infertility. I'm going to dredge up that piece I wrote last year, update it (with a happy ending yet!) and offer it to a trusted editor. still to decide whether to put my name on it or not. it should run in time for Louise Brown's 25th, I think.

sometime soon, I'm going to write a list of things I will miss after having a baby. my car and motorbike will be high on the list.
as will the freedom to go for a swim or bike ride any time I like.
I was talking to my acupuncture dr about nausea and she said "maybe you won't mind so much". sometimes with IVF and other ttc problems, others assume you're so grateful to be pregnant/a parent that there will be no problems and no regrets. but (and I think a counsellor's booklet said this at my clinic) I have the right now to treat this as a normal pregnancy. and feelings about the passing of a phase of my life will be a large part of that.

finally reading all the nice emails people sent me.

Dawn has advised me where I can get punk diapers and maternity wear and

there was Laura, whom I hadn't heard from before, but writes about life with a 14-month-old - something to read to educate me on what's to come.

Simone, who is trying to conceive and to whom I am sending baby dust.

Jennifer, who claims to have enjoyed nausea.

Suspenseful, of course, who is only 8 weeks ahead of me. it seems ages ago that I saw her announcement and felt that interesting mix of pleasure mixed with envy.

(and at this point my PC crashed, but clever me had saved all this text and these links!)

Junegirl, who has asked if it could be twins - my answer is no, I refuse to think of that. it's just one really, really blooming and fast-growing embryo.

and Janet, who coincidentally mailed to see how I was going about the time I got my test results.

booked in for the orientation and antenatal classes. the physio/exercise classes also appeal, and we'll probably do the optional caesarian section session. the antenatal doesn't start till the end of August, week 32 - they start monthly - I'd rather be earlier, but the July session has women delivering four weeks before me, and I'd rather try to find some friends in my group. husband said the crash course on a saturday could be good, but I said a) it's too much to take in at once and I'll be tired and b) I wanted to try to meet people, and that tends to work better over a longer time frame.
Reading suspenseful's story of her latest consultation reminded me to check my dr - and her clinic's - caesar rate - and whether she'll actually be there when I'm due. I remember there was a chance of her sending me off to a locum last year; but that was when she was having her own baby.
if she won't be, and the more I think about it the more I want to call right away and check - I'd go to plan B (the popular male dr who looked after my friend), or even Plan C, which is the dr who did my cervical problem a few years back, who works in a small all-female practice where they share duties. I know there's always a chance she won't be available, but I want to minimise that.

my head's spinning with all the stuff I have to do.
letters keep coming from drs and hospitals, detailing classes I must go to, scans that need to be done (I don't have to book them in but I want them in my diary approximately so I can plan a bit). there are also highly confronting things like lists of baby clothes; actual booties and gloves for actual hands and feet.
I postponed a trip to see my parents etc to tomorrow so I could stay home, do the washing and get all this under control. not feeling exhausted, but a little like I don't want to RUSH everywhere.
no nausea yet, either; breasts quite swollen and my uterus complained a bit during the second 500m of my k swim last night. I think mainly I'm overwhelmed by work/classes/renovations/baby arrangements. as you would be with all that going on.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

I know why pregnant women throw up.
it's the kelp. nothing to do with blood sugar or keeping off bad food. it's definitely the kelp.

yesterday I got the ingredients for stretch mark oil, and something to supplement my iodine levels - it's needed for something, can't remember what. the only thing I was offered was kelp granules or powder, to be dissolved in fruit juice.

so this morning I made a lovely fresh grapefruit juice and stirred a tsp of kelp powder in. it didn't smell good, but I forged ahead. one gulp and my stomach was ready to throw up. I can still taste it; horrible, off-seaweed smell, like drinking a mouthful of stagnant seawater. blergh. the baby will have to do without iodine.
kelp comes in tablets too, the box says. might revisit the shop and tell them off. foul foul foul.

bit of an emotional talk this morning.
we're discussing when to go up to Sydney and inform the paternal grandparents to be. the letter from my ob/gyn last night indicated that the final odds on Down's wouldn't be in until week 12 - possibly after we go up.
and it transpires that I might have said we could tell them after the six-week scan.

now, despite this blog, I'm very, very private about this kind of information. I want to tell who I want to tell. he said he'd want to tell them if I miscarried, or even if it was a Down's baby and we terminated (this is by no means a foregone conclusion from my pov.)

I am deeply opposed to doing so. so this morning I raised it again. I said that although he's close to his parents and wants to talk to them, some things are just between us. besides, the convention is that one waits until the first trimester is safely over. there's still a 1 in 8 chance of it not continuing, no matter how confident I feel (and beyond 20 weeks I'm worried about having had a cone biopsy on my cervix a few years back, which may cause incompetence, apparently).

he wanted to revisit it after the six week scan. I basically said I wouldn't change my mind; can you imagine the extra pressure it would add to a decision or miscarriage knowing we have to un-tell the grandparents. also, once his parents know, mine will have to, and it's guaranteed other family members will hear about it, and so on. I will feel much better making a more certain announcement in late April than a tentative one now.

he challenged me on having told my friend (who is overseas, can keep her mouth shut, whose delivery I was at and whom I wanted to invite to the birth, all good reasons for telling now.)

in the end I got a little weepy and said, fairly calmly. "this is something in which, without being selfish, my needs are greater than yours. this is happening to me." of course it's happening to him too, but not IN him, is it? he caved in the end. no matter how much he needs to talk, I need to feel protected. and the issue of his having told them about the IVF without telling me still rankles; yes they're family, but this is us. I hadn't even told my parents.

but it's OK; he still has a sense of humour. he said "well, I'll just invite them to the birth instead". of course if he did I would get the hardnosed midwives to evict them!

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

one woman who responded to my post about hospitals suffered an allergic reaction to amniotic fluid. it sounds terrifying. it's very rare. I'm staying with the hospital I'm with.

oh, that's right.
last night in my yoga class we got to the bit in our relaxation where the instructor says "bring to mind your (unpronounceable thing), your positive affirmation".
and mine has been "I'm going to be a good mother". of course it was wishful thinking in the previous seven or so sessions. now it means something else entirely. and it made me feel, as I lay on the floor in the dark, very slightly weepy.

someone once described my blog as "poignant", well before all this IVF stuff came up. I denied it. but just sometimes, it's how I feel.

too busy. getting behind with my blogging, which often consists of notes written on the back of envelopes.

thoughts from the past few days: that I am now an incredibly powerful creature, and doing the one thing the race needs most; making another human.
except, of course, in an evolutionary sense, it's very pointless and there are PLENTY of us already. but whatever. I feel very clever.

but also: that means that it's not about me. it's about the baby.

what else? oh, there was something. but maybe I've got pregnancy brain already.

actually, feel quite fine. don't feel pregnant at all. so far, so good etc. it won't last, no doubt.

trying to get plenty of green stuff into me.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

page of links to .au resources

draft guidelines on donation

4corners transcript on sperm donation; not relevant to us, but emby donation might be.

4corners forum

"Since Louise's birth in 1978, another 29,000 British babies have been born by IVF. One of them is Louise's sister, Natalie."


On July 25, 1978, a blonde, blue-eyed, squalling little baby entered this world swaddled in news headlines.

Monday, March 03, 2003

long stupid meeting ran from 11.30 am to 12.45. eventually I declared my part of it over and left.
but the food situation! normally I'd grab some sushi. no raw fish allowed.
I looked at a sandwich shop: pre-prepared, soft cheeses, and PICKLES on the only decent meat. yuk.
so I got "meat" ramen at the japanese shop. it took forever to come and when it did I realised the meat was pork. so I ate noodles, broth and a single piece of broccoli for lunch, followed by two dodgy red bean cakes. this is not a good baby diet.

so I guess I'll have to start making proper lunches at home, stocking up on tins of beans etc. it's just hopeless. eating at cafes will not work most of the time, and I don't have the time/money to order proper restaurant food. but bread-based stuff (sandwiches) makes me sleepy.

going upstairs to the secret change rooms with a bench for a nap now.

an online maternity clothes shop to look at.

childcare at my uni. I wonder if you have to actually be in a class to use it? could be useful when I get to the thesis part of the course. as expected, you have to book early. it seems silly doing this now, but in 14 months I'll be needing it.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

time seems to be running slower. really. I'm doing some general business here at home and instead of every time I look up it being later and later, the clock is hardly moving.
my pulse is normal. but is my metabolism speeding up?

Saturday, March 01, 2003

must stop blogging. husband feeling neglected.
but I forgot the highlight of the tours; a nurse brought a small 1-day-old to the nursery window and we got a really good look at its pink wrinkledness.
THAT stopped him in his tracks. and me, a bit.


blogger down again, so lots of offline posting going on.

this morning we went to 2 hospitals. Frances Perry House at the RWH has a good rep – several friends have had babies there. it’s also my only option with neonatal intensive care onsite.

it was let down a lot by them having a part-time admin girl, who was very young and uncertain, do the tours. she really couldn’t answer my questions or give us a feel for how things would be in practice.

at the Freemason’s, there was a gang of us touring; very preg. women with kids. the nurse who did the tour was older, Irish and matter of fact, to the point of firmness.

the drawback there is the chance of being put over to the main campus, which I found way depressing, if I go in before the birth for some reason. also no neonatal icu, though there is a nursery for special needs babies. the whole feel was a bit more like an integrated unit. there are six delivery rooms and a theatre at the end of the hall; only one bath, but it was roomy. when I asked about moving around (beanbags etc) and baths, the nurse – a different one by then – asked if it was my first baby, and felt she had to mention that they did need to monitor the babies. she must have picked me for a hippy natural birth type. which I’m not really, but I do want something a bit less grim than my friend went through, in retrospect.

I also asked that nurse about the dr I have and the male dr I could get. she said he’s very good, but clearly has reservations about his bedside manner and how busy he is. I’ve seen him work, so I know about the former. she also said my dr is lovely – I said I knew that, it was more the practice I was concerned about – and she said I could have full confidence. so.

unless something dramatic strikes me at St V's on Tuesday night, I’ll stick with the dr I have and the Freemason’s.

up early - 6.30 - got out of bed, went to the study and wrote - by hand - a letter to my friend in PNG.
I rang her last night. I asked her if she could stay on in October - she'll be here for the first week - and be with me at the birth.
she said no.
this is the girl who asked me, with no prior agreement, to come to her bedside 24 hours after flying in from the US. I stayed there, barely drinking water, much less eating. the call came at 8; I left the hospital at 4 and I've never been so tired. there was no question. there was no question if I wanted to (being about to start IVF) or how I felt.
the letter is still being drafted. I don't want to shout at her, or emotionally blackmail her into it. but we can get her an apt, parents she knows to look after her daughter. yes, I have other friends. but she knows that with some of them, I feel they take over how I should feel/experience stuff. there is one other, but I can't be quite as open and honest with her as I can with K.

so I'm feeling very hurt. yes, there are practical issues for her. but I'm about to go through childbirth for the first time and I need her.

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