Well we went to the new fertility clinic in Dublin yesterday, and met with our RE. He's not a man for sugar coating his message. Basically, he said that IUI was totally inappropriate treatment for a patient my age with one blocked tube. So forget that. He said even if we went down the IVF road, our chances of success with using my eggs were between slim and nil. Should we beat the odds and attain success on that very slim chance, our risk of having a baby with chromosomal obnormalities is quite significant, as we knew. I think I was in denial of that fact until yesterday. The other option is donor eggs, but that is fraught with so many issues and questions for us. I would really welcome anyone who has used donor eggs to leave comment on their experiences. Anyway the next step for me is having blood tests for autoimmune issues, and an AMH test to check my ovarian reserve, which I am going back up to Dublin to do on Tuesday morning. So much to take in though. I feel as though if we do have to go down the donor egg road, I will first have to grieve the loss of the biological child which I will never have, before I can think about having any child as a result of egg donation. So the mini me I always imagined having might never be. This just fills me with so much sadness.
And as if I hadn't had a crappy enough day yesterday, when I got home there was an email waiting in my inbox from the financial services company I had interviewed with five weeks ago. I didn't get the job. And this was the job with the dream spec. I couldn't have written a more relevant job spec to match my qualifications and experience. Which makes me think if I couldn't get that job, how the hell will I get any job in the future? What did the successful candidate have that I didn't? I have asked for feedback, so I'm hoping I'll get some kind of answer which might help me learn from the process, but it came as some kick in the teeth after being brought down to infertile ground zero with a very stark bang a few hours earlier.
I have cried so much in the past 22 hours. I just wish I could get the sadness to just go away.
At present, between John and me, our niece and nephew count stands at twenty three. Yes, you read correctly. Ten nephews, all on my side, and thirteen nieces, nine of mine and four of John's. We don't get to spend a lot of time with them unfortunately, as the nearest ones to us live about sixty miles away. The teenage and twenty somethings we are now getting to know as young adults, which is fun as we get to be the cool Auntie and Uncle. I fully intend getting some of them to visit us in Clare for weekends this Summer so that we can get them an introduction to surfing.
The younger ones are a bit more tricky to get to know. As their Mums and Dads lead busy lives, juggling work commitments with the full on demands of raising little ones, we don't get to see them as often as we should. I remember as a kid having more associations with Aunts and Uncles who were parents to cousins my age, and I can see this happening with my nieces and nephews. They get to spend time in their cousins houses, having sleepovers and what are now termed "staycations" (ie the annual holiday where you get farmed out to Auntie Mary up the country, who in turn sends a couple of her brood down to your house for a week). So when you're a childless Auntie and Uncle like us, little ones aren't particularly interested in extended stays in houses where there are no other kids to play with, hence they don't get to know you as well as their other Aunties and Uncles.
A couple of weeks ago, I was visiting my sister in law, who is Mammy to my youngest niece and nephew. Aoife, who at three going on four is the most adorable little munchkin girlie on the planet (and I'm not being biased, she really is!) and Darragh, her bouncing baby brother, five months old. She told me that she never remembered being in my house, which made me feel quite ashamed that it had been so long since they had visited us that she didn't remember being there. So I invited her and her Mammy and baby brother down to visit the following week, and promised her a teddy bears' picnic. I figured that if she was going to come for a visit, I was going to have to give her something to make the day memorable in her three-going-on-four year old mind.
So the following week I unearthed an ecosystem of teddy bears (don't ask why there are so many in this house, I am a sad individual and I will admit to the fact) from under the bed, and set about putting a welcoming committee in place for Aoife and Darragh. Aoife, as guest of honour, brought a few of her own critters, and soon they were all picnicing happily together on my sunroom floor (the weather has gone to poo here again, so outdoor picnics were out of the question). When lunch was over, we selected a few furry candidates to accompany us to a local lakeside spot which has a little playground. After Aoife and the furries had a few goes on the slide and swings, we hung out by the lake and fed the ducks.
Such a fun day for me and I hope for Aoife too. And now that she remembers visiting Auntie Jane's house, I'm hoping she'll want to return again before too long. Here's a photo of Aoife, Darragh and me surrounded by the other delegates to the conference.
I'm 43 years old, based in mid west Ireland. We have been married for over 7 years, and started trying to conceive in April 06. Since then we've been through the mill somewhat. Five pregnancy losses later, including an ectopic pregnancy in December 2009, I now have one blocked/damaged tube. It now looks as though I will never give birth to a child of our own, so I feel that it's time to reclaim our lives, and start living again as opposed to just existing. We are doing our best to get a life again, one that involves joy, fun and healthy happy times ahead.