Friday, 23 December 2011

I LOVE Christmas music!

Through FB I have been asking readers to share their favourite Christmas song.  It can be a traditional carol, Christian or church music, modern or comical.  I don't mind, I'd just LOVE to hear them!

Post me a link to the YouTube page so we can all have a listen xx

Here's mine:

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Taking a break

I know, I've been quiet again.  I've been wanting to write this post for a few days, but every time I start I get butterflies in my stomach and tears in my eyes.  Like writing these words down makes things real.  But, not writing them doesn't make them any more pretend.  So here goes...

This last month has brought us some cold, hard facts about our baby-making plans.  I have just unsuccessfully finished my seventh Clomid cycle, fraught with the same ugly side effects I've had in the past.  My bloods were all good, I definitely ovulated, our sex patterns were right on schedule, and yet we find ourselves at the start of a new cycle, not knowing what went wrong. 

We were told by my specialist when I had the ovarian drilling that I had an unusually narrow cervix.  Something which he'd said he'd surgically stretched at the time, but could cause problems again later on.  Well, it appears that the stretching didn't last all that long, and I am back to having the tiny, bottleneck cervix from before the operation.  Our chances of getting enough sperm through there and to an egg are strongly diminished.  I could stand on my head for hours post-coitus, but my tiny, sieve-like cervix would prevent even the strongest swimmers from making their way upstream.  Our best option is insemination.

This isn't really the part that makes me sad.  It's more that, this time last year we were faced with the same reality.  We were seeing a doctor we didn't like, he had told us it was IVF or never having children, and we dealt with those options, and chose to see someone else.  Now our someone else; our lovely, kind, (now not so) new doc, who had given us so much hope of natural fertility post-surgery, is laying out the same options for us.  We had so much hope that he was right.  That a simple procedure like drilling ovarian cysts and stretching my cervix, would allow us the opportunity to create a baby under our own circumstances, in the warmth and love of our own home.  But now, those hopes are fading fast.  And I can't help but feel cheated!  Not by our doc, because he did amazing things for me, when we couldn't see any other options.  No, I feel cheated by ME - AGAIN!!  For some reason, though everything else is going to plan, and I'm FINALLY making eggs, my dumb cervix decides to shut up shop!  What the hell?!?!  And so, once again, we are looking down the barrel of having to say goodbye to our natural fertility options.  

As I sat at my desk on Friday morning, after having what can only be described as a fanny blow-out (thank goodness I am working in a smaller office at the moment and can make several inconspicuous runs to the ladies), I rang Hubby trying not to cry.  I don't get it!  I am fine all cycle, knowing that this may not be the one for us.  But the day my period shows up, I feel like a failure.  And, after 16 months, it has taken it's toll on us.

We know now, what will ultimately be our plan for having children.  It is something that we have to accept in order to move forward.  I wish that moving forward was happening right now, but in all honesty, I'm not quite ready.  We won't be going into IUI/IVF treatments straight away.  We are going to have a few months of life just being about us, letting my body have a rest from all the extra hormones and side effects that fertility meds can bring, and time to adjust to what lies around the corner for us.  My heart is broken.  I find myself breaking down in tears for no reason, wanting to be on my own, and then feeling completely helpless when I am alone.  I wanted so desperately for a special surprise this Christmas.  I wanted so desperately to be able to start the new year with a little bundle of joy growing in my belly.  But that's not how it is going to work out for us.  And so, we will take some time to build our strength, and prepare for what lies ahead.

I don't want to think of this as 'giving up' on natural conception.  More like just a breather, I guess.  I'm sure some of you out there have had to go through this yourselves.  If you have any advice on preparing for IUI, or what we could be doing with our break to move forward as a stronger couple, I'd LOVE to hear from you!

Sunny xx



Sunday, 27 November 2011

The truth this Sunday

It doesn't take too much lately to put me in a bad mood.  I don't know if it's the Clomid, or if it's a combination of a really long, tiring year, crazy drugs and really, REALLY bad luck!  Things just seem to become too much for me to handle, in a really short period of time.  One minute I'm happy as larry and then something flicks my switch to crazy-bitch mode.  I've noticed it more and more often, and am working on ways to counteract the inner psycho that has shown it's face way too frequently.  

Today, for example, I woke in such a great mood!  No, really, I was in a terrific mood.  The weather was warm which meant I could do all my washing without having the run the dryer (a big deal for me), I made breakfast with fresh ground coffee, watched a few of my favourite TV shows while waiting for the washing, and got to chill out the couch for a while.  I heard Hubby shuffle around upstairs and figured I'd go make him breakfast for when he came down, only to find my freezer door ajar and the entire contents of it defrosted and dripping through my fridge.  How had I not noticed this before?  So, instead of making breakfast, I proceeded with the crappy job of fully defrosting and dumping over $65 worth of meat and other foods into the bin.  I was not impressed.  I can't tell you if it's the waste of food that bugs me, the fact that we don't have money to grocery shop this week, of it's merely the fact that I hadn't seen the door open sooner, that pissed me off the most.  But that was it!  I was done with my good mood and straight into over-reacting, fly off the handle, so mad I could burst, mood.  Like flipping a light switch.

Of course, Hubby was neither impressed by being greeted by the freak show I was, or by the freezer situation, and backed away slowly as to not aggravate the situation.  I stormed upstairs and into a cool shower.  Now, I'm a Christian, always have been.  And I believe that prayer and speaking with God is essential to living a fulfilling life.  But when I married Hubby, his Dad taught me something (being the great pastor that he is) about talking to God.  I always used to reserve my conversations with Him until I was calm, cool and collected.  I didn't want to "yell" at Him, nor upset him.  But the thing I learned was that God wants me to be honest with Him.  Whether that means eloquent prayers or hurtful ranting.  God knows I'm human, that I am full of emotion, as graceful or not as that may be, and He wants to hear all about it.  After all, if you can't speak to your God about your life, who can you talk to?

Something changed in me when I learned this.  I no longer felt the need to calm myself before starting my conversations with Him.  I just open my heart and my mouth and speak my truth in that moment.  I thank Him for all my glorious blessings on a daily basis, and sometimes, like this morning, I tell him how I feel let down and pushed aside.  So my conversation this morning went a little like this...

"I am so eternally grateful for the blessings you have bestowed upon Hubby and I.  BUT (and this is the point in any conversation, no matter who you're talking to, where the loving expression that you started with, becomes a bit null and void) I don't understand how we can keep getting bad stuff thrown our way.  We work hard, but have no money. We are both healthy, and yet we have no baby.  We are good people, and still horrible things happen to us.  What's the deal God?  Why are you ignoring me?  It's not fair!"

Once upon a time I would have scalded myself for talking like this to Him.  How dare I question the Lord's will?  But, I've noticed something.  When I am completely honest with Him about how I feel and why, if I express how much I need Him in my life to bring some positivity, He ALWAYS shows up!  It might not be when I want it, which is usually right NOW!  But He will find a way to let me know He has heard me.

This is how He showed me today...
I got to sit in the park, with the sun on my skin for the first time in months, and listen to Hubby and his brass band play Christmas Carols for the families picnicking on the grass.  I can't tell you the last time we had a Sunday off together!  And to spend it in such a beautiful way!  How could I ignore that kinda sign?!  I'd be crazy if I tried.

Things haven't been easy this year.  Circumstances have pushed Hubby and I to our extremes.  We have laughed, cried, screamed, cheered and have grown stronger every day.  I can work on my insane moods.  I don't want to be the wife that loses the plot because she can't have babies.  I want to be me!  This year has taught me to be completely honest with myself and others.  How do you know how you feel if you don't talk about it (even if the talking is just to yourself)?  I know God listens, but I must rely on my faith and remember that all things are in His time, not mine!  I can be ungrateful and selfish, but I can also be forgiven for acting that way.  No one expects you to be perfect.  And if they do, they are being unrealistic.  We all have our hurts.  Mine just happens to be infertility.  So we should try to be kinder to the people around us, and excuse their changeable moods.  And find something you love to do.  Something you can do on your own.  Something that takes your mind off those hurts.  

For me it's this!  Talking to you, sharing my pictures, creating printables, and sharing.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Worth your weight in toilet paper

The budget's been a bit tight in the Sunny household lately.  I can't remember if I told you, but Hubby's old job was made redundant following the QLD floods, when his boss couldn't reopen their music store.  So we became a single income family whilst he searched for bigger and brighter ventures.  A few weeks turned into three and a bit months, but luckily he's back in business!  So in the meantime, we've learned, or more like we've been forced, to become a lot tighter with our budget.  Fortunately my income is quite good and we can get from payday to payday without too much stress.  BUT we have had some tense weeks. 

Why is it that all your BIG bills (electricity, health, car) all come at the same time?  Do the people sitting in the accounts departments of these institutions have secret communications, so that they can send out all your bills at once? 

Hubby walked through the local supermarket today, checking things off our list as we went through the aisles, and putting back the non-essentials we could bare the part with (fancy shampoo and a cat toy).  We had a great tag-team arrangement when it came to groceries.  He pushes the trolley and collects the heavier items, while I run around trying to grab all the little things.  We meet back in an aisle with our findings, check out our list, and keep going.  This is a much easier task, mind you, when the budget is a little more flexible, because then I don't have to meticulously scan each food group for the best quality, yet budget friendly item.  Hubby doesn't love this fact.  He likes all his usual brands, and will only budge on minor things like cat food and dishwashing liquid.  BUT, there is one thing we both agree on. TOILET PAPER!  We don't care how poor we get, how many other items have to go back on shelves, come hell or high water, we buy the same brand TP every shop.  It is soft and three-ply, scent free and quilted.  And it comes in a 24 pack for only $12.00!!  So why would we swap?

Our post checkout pattern is always the same too.  We come home, unload, and then I put it all away in all the correct spots.  And yes, I'm a bit OCD about this part!  When it comes time to put the new TP in the cupboard, I just can't do it.  Not yet, anyway!  I walk into both of our bathrooms and neatly stack the new TP into the baskets.  But then I think, well we've got lots, why don't I put more out?  So the neat stacks become TP roll mountains, as I try to wedge just one more on the top.  When I am satisfied that no more can possibly fit, I stand back and review my work.  Out of a 24 pack, I managed to get nine rolls in one basket, and 10 in the other!  Not bad huh!

So Hubby walks by me this afternoon, as I'm creating these beautifully mastered TP mountains, and stops to do a double-take.  "Whatcha doing?" he asks, as I beam with pride.  "Just filling up the toilet paper", I reply, like it's the most normal thing in the world.  "Why so much though?" he questions.  And this is what I tell him...

For some reason, in all our weeks of being super strict with our budget, having to forego retail therapy, not having "fun" food in the house, staying in instead of going out, TP has become an important luxury staple for me.  It's the one thing that we don't scrimp on, because who loves cheap TP?  NOT ME!!  So, I feel kinda chuffed when payday comes around and I can go out and by this little luxury.  I want people to know that we're not too broke for nice toilet paper.  Don't ask me why, I just do!

What's the point of having all that lovely toilet paper if nobody can see it?

So yes, while being on a budget hasn't been great fun, we're doing just fine.  Somehow your brain always brings you something to take your mind off the things you miss.  So what if I have traded expanding my shoe collection with three-ply toilet paper?  I will live a luxuriously budget life from now on!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

New Blog Friday (a bit early)

Hi, my name is Sunny and I own and write at Sunny Side Up.
I originally began my blog in April, when my husband and I first found out I have Poly-Cystic Ovarian syndrome, and that baby making could get a little complicated.

As a nurse by trade, I had heard about all the common causes of infertility, including PCOS.  We have friends who have struggled on their own paths to have babies; some successful and some not.  So when we were told that we were infertile because I didn’t make eggs, our whole life changed.

We have been told by many (many) people how lucky we are that we found out early, because Hubby and I are still under 30.  We have been married for just over two years, and together for six.  We had always talked about starting our family early, and were hoping to be married a few years before we started ‘trying’.  However, in October last year, we were blessed with a surprise pregnancy which, unfortunately, was taken from us not long after. 

It is amazing how much love you can place in something so quickly.  How little time it takes to become so attached to the idea of something.  We had always wanted children, but after our loss, that feeling was multiplied and kept multiplying, until it was all we could think about!

Sunny Side Up is a space to talk candidly about marriage, infertility, sex, and life in general.  I wanted to create a place I could talk about it without making people uncomfortable.  And I have been genuinely surprised by the number of people who have come out and told me their own stories of infertility and baby dreams.  It seems the more I talk about it, the more couples join in.  What a sad, and yet somewhat comforting thought!

Now I feel like my blog has a purpose.  It has given me a goal, and though it may take time to achieve, it is high on my list of priorities.  I would love to be able to establish a not-for-profit ‘Sunny Side Up Foundation’ that would aide infertile couples with financial support, information on available fertility, adoption and foster care options, and counselling in Australia.  Because I know that without the support of those around us, our lives would be incredibly hard.

In the meantime, Sunny Side Up {creative} was recently debuted on the blog and Facebook page.  There you can find click-and-print inspirational posters; all free of charge, and designed by me!

So please stop by Sunny Side Up again sometime.  We don’t yet know what God has in store for us, but you can be sure you’ll hear an honest, comical, sometimes emotional, and true account of our adventures.

Sunny xx