Archive for the ‘audience participation’ Category

Linky loo.

June 23, 2013

There is now a 30-365 page on the ol’ social network site we all know and love. I will be posting every day’s walk up there, along with the odd picture, etc. Feel free to search and add! Think the actual site link ends with thirty365. Hope to see you there!

What I just posted on Facebook. (30/365 ONE)

June 19, 2013

I remember how I felt that evening two years ago when I walked fifteen minutes without any assistance. I dubbed it ‘the summer I would learn to walk again,’ and after two years full time in a wheelchair, and still on crutches every day, it seemed a big task.

I developed symphysis pubis dysfunction during pregnancy, and I still have it – along with the resultant arthritis – today. But I haven’t used a wheelchair in a year, though I’ve had a handful of days where I couldn’t walk. I’ve only used crutches on less than ten occasions.

Today I start a new goal – thirty minutes of walking every day for the next 365 days. Walking can be substituted with a DVD, class, etc. I may have to be flexible in cases of severe relapse or illness, but would prefer to swap walking for meditation or stretching on those occasions.

These thirty minutes have to be separate from whatever other activity I may have done that day – like walking miles at the seaside today and being sore before I even went out this evening!

I’m doing this for head space, for time to rediscover me, to work on my next novel, to explore my neighbourhood, to get more healthy – and I guess, I’m doing this because I’m just so grateful I can. After being told I may be in a wheelchair for life, after finally coming close to coming to terms with daily, chronic pain, I can walk. I don’t want to forget how amazing that is.


So here is where you come in. I’m posting this publicly because I need support. I know my motivation will flag and I will want to give up. I need likes and comments and support. I won’t flood your news feeds and I will never write a status this long again, but I WILL post every day.

Today is day one. I walked for 33 minutes, 2 mph, for 1.11 miles.

The one where I was proved wrong. Ha.

March 20, 2013

So….we went back to that church for another concert today. It was guitar and flute, and the kids (mine and another girl we will call Jazz due to her groovy moves) were pretty into it. They did a spot of normal dancing, and some dancing in the form of running around, hanging from stair railings, and singing along.

I was not my normal relaxed self. Rather than feeling happy my kids were dancing and loving the music, I was all tense and trying to keep them confined to one area. Our friend said, ‘We don’t have to stay for the whole thing,’ so we left. I asked Jazz and Snort if they wanted to go play out, both said yes. I didn’t ask Coconut, who, as it transpired, was very sad to leave and stop dancing.

While we were preparing to go, an older man went up to my friend to inform her that we were ‘ruining it for everyone else.’ Twice.

Out in the park, I was over thinking this. Then the flute player came out and told us how much she loved seeing the children dance. She thought they were fab.

I had to nip into the cafe again with the kids for a pee break, and I overheard flute lady talking to church guy. Again, saying how fabulous it was to see young children at the concert and how great their dancing was. The three of us got into a conversation, and church guy said they don’t want to exclude anyone and he hoped we came back. Flute lady, when told about old man, said, ‘Country B can be so constipated about expectations of young children.’ So she was pretty right on. She also said we shouldn’t have let a grumpy man chase us out, as he needed to ‘own his own bullshit,’ and it really had nothing to do with us.

I don’t know what lessons I ended up teaching the kids today. That if they give in to exuberance and passion and dance, we make people angry, mama gets tense, and we have to leave the concert.

I particularly worry about little Coconut, who has trouble relaxing and letting go in public. Today was her first public dancing, and I don’t know what sort of impression it’s all left on her.

In reality, they weren’t overly terrible, just enthusiastic and really enjoying themselves. So I’ve got a mad helping of guilt going on, but it is tempered by the reality that they also had a great time out in the churchyard/park afterward with Jazz.

Also, note to self: when your kid requests to sit in the back row, go with it. Don’t make them sit in the front so they have a better view. Because in the back, you can do your thang and no one will be bothered. A nice compromise.

Because there is a fine line between enjoying ourselves and being considerate of other people… I don’t know which side of the line we were on, I don’t know if I handled things appropriately, I don’t know if my relaxing would have made them more or less crazy. All I DO know is that today’s the first day of my period, and I know that adds to my crazy obsessing! I think next time we would move to the back of the church and try that rather than full out leaving.

Where do you draw the line?

Am I the only one who thinks this is weird?

March 13, 2013

So, we found a church in the centre of town that does free lunchtime concerts at least one time a week. Last week was the first one we attended, and Nana (TMD’s mum) came with us. We were walking up to the church, we saw a poster for a classical concert coming up. She was all, ‘That’s classical. That is not for children.’ She was already sort of upset we were going to a lunchtime concert at all, because as she told TMD, those are for business people having a nice lunch out.

Okay, whatever. (And for those who are curious, there were other children their age, as well as older home educated children. And some older people. And random photographer/artisty people. And one man in a business suit.)

Today’s concert, which we will probably skip as the kids are playing outside, is jazz guitar. She said she wouldn’t come because she doesn’t like that music.

Okay, fine.

I mentioned next week was guitar and flute. She instantly was like, ‘That is classical,’ with huge disapproval in her voice.

Am I the only one who thinks that is weird?

She has very low expectations of all children, and in fact always plans for disaster in any situation. I’m the opposite. My expectations are not that the children will ‘behave’, because that is a non-issue. My expectation is that we will all have a good time. Possibly a great time.

I know she worries the kids will somehow screw up the adults’ time, which I find obnoxious because children are people too. And should my kids somehow choose a classical fifty minute concert to be the one day they are ballistic, we would remove ourselves. But it’s odd that her expectations are consistently so doomsday, even when our many experiences have been nothing but great.

Shit, at last week’s very lively gig, the group actively invited people to dance. Coco did what my friend Cookie and I would refer to as ‘car dancing,’ when you stay seated but dance with your upper half. Snort stayed on my lap, largely, though he danced on my lap, and at one point I stood up and danced while holding him. These are not kids who are going to go buckwild in public. But if they did, we would deal with it. It would be okay.

So, kids and classical music, kids and expectations. Am I the odd one here? We also recently got membership to an organisation that has fancy old properties across the country, and when I mentioned we would be going to a huge ass fancy house soon (that mother in law goes to a lot), she wasn’t pleased as it was not for children. Whereas our home ed friends say it has a fun garden, lots of space, and great natural play structures. And all that aside, I’ve been taking the kids to museums since they were eighteen months old, and they love them.

I don’t see why kids should only be ‘allowed’ to go to places that are earmarked for children. What a lot of great experiences they would miss out on. What do you think?

Queries on how to get Princess Consuela Banana Hammock in a see through laminate pouch.

January 11, 2013

Okay, folks, I need input and/or assistance. Any help is appreciated!

1. name changes
We want TMD to change her last name to mine. The kids’ names are Coconut/Snort MeaningfulMiddleName TMDlastnameassecondmiddlename Mylastname. In retrospect I think I’d have preferred to take her name, but in actual fact my last name is fairly peppy and easy for the kids to read already.

I mentioned this morning she ought to get on this whole name thing, so we can all have the same last name on the birth certificates. She just texted to say that all she has to do is start using my name, as our civil partnership is the only proof required for a name change, no other official stuff needs to happen. Any married peeps, gay or straight but definitely in the UK, have info? Is this correct?

2. laminated officialdom
I joined a well known home education charity in August, mainly to get the little laminated membership cards as many places ask for ‘proof’ before offering a discount, despite the fact that home educators are under no requirements to register or join any networks. This charity appears to be in a royal clusterfuck and we’ve not received our cards, so I think I’d like to just make my own little card (which I’ll post on the blog for anyone who wants to have one!) with a blurb about the law.

As previously mentioned, we have no printer. Does anyone out there have a printer and a laminating machine and is willing to print out a few cards, laminate, and post them to us? I can pay costs.

(Yes, I know I can explain no proof is required or universally available, but I prefer to wimp out and just offer a card.)

3 tidying up
No, you don’t need to come to our house to clean. This is more to say a huge thank you to all the new readers that have reached out in comments or otherwise! I really appreciate it and, to be honest, get all fluttery when I get a new comment.

Also thank you to those of you who have commented with helpful suggestions for the whole swimming thing. One of you, someone we are privileged to have actually met and hung out with a few times, despite her living on the other side of the globe, suggested these little rubber bracelets with animals on for Coconut’s swimming lesson. I have ordered them and just hope they arrive by next Wednesday!

4. favours returned
Is there something I can do for YOU? Do you have questions about anything you’ve read here? Drop me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you out!

That awkward moment when you hope a new friend doesn’t secretly think you suck, because you wrote a whole blog post about how much she does NOT suck.

November 18, 2012

How are your Sundays going? Oh, good to hear, excellent. Mine? Well, you know, it’s just your run of the mill meeting of a new friend that you happen to LOVE as much in real life as you do in emails/texts. So, really, not run of the mill at all.

About a week ago, though it feels much longer, this woman commented on the blog that she’d been reading for ages (I need to think of a suitable blog name. Her real name screws me up because for a brief period in time it was THE name we were going to name Coconut!), and the next thing you know there’s like an instant friendship. I am a very sociable person, but I have to say it takes a lot for me to become real friends with someone. I can hold back in regards to initiating things, texting,etc.

This lady* was bizarre (in a nice way) because it felt easy from the get go. You guys, I smell real friendship in all its poop flavoured, panini tasting, random conversations sort of way. And she has twins! I managed not to bite, squeeze, or eat her babies today, though it was hard.

Of course, her ass doesn’t live in our town. There is only one of you that lives in our town, and that is the problem. More of you people should move here immediately! We could form a commune of people with free range children, hot chocolate, and puddle stomping. So seriously consider it.

I guess there ends my friendship crush entry of the day. Every time I meet someone I like I just feel a weird relief, I have to say. Hoping to see more of her and her delicious children soon….also hoping I thaw out from our afternoon outdoors sometime soon.

*My kids call all women ‘ladies.’ I feel all gross and not feminist like at ALL, so I am trying to introduce the word ‘woman’ into their vocabulary. Imagine my horror when I referred to someone as a lady accidentally in this entry! Ladies are either older, slightly disheveled cat lovers or women wearing hoop skirts and trying to marry into a good family. I must break this habit. I must!

Fertilisation update and it is AWESOME.

October 2, 2012

All seven have fertilised! This is great. Fantastic. Superb!

The embryologist talked to TMD and said because all eggs have fertilised, we are looking at a transfer on Saturday.

For those who are not IVF buffs, here is a small breakdown.

Eggs get taken out and fertilised that same day. If none of the embryos are looking good, you do a two day transfer because it is better to just get them back in. If you have a couple of frontrunners that look great, but the rest are not so great, you do a day three transfer. If all the embryos are looking awesome, you can do a day five transfer. This gives you an extra couple of days to see how they develop so the strongest embryo/s can be picked. Obviously it also means the embryos are further along and likely to be hatching – the stage at which they would be implanting if they were inside your womb.

Last time we did a day three transfer, but really because that was standard practice at the time. Although, as I have said before, the embryos that developed into our children WERE the frontrunners, so even by today/the new clinic’s standards, we likely would have had a three day transfer anyway.

Now we wait. He said they would call Thursday morning with a decision, which is a trifle complicated what with TMD’s work and all, so we plan to talk to them tomorrow afternoon for another progress report.

I was still a bit worried that all our eggs wouldn’t be mature, some having come out of tiny follicles, so this is truly amazing. We have seven little embryos just doing their thang! Let’s hope they continue to grow, grow, grow.

Thank you all for all the comments. I know it may sound silly, but they are keeping us going. This has all been so stressful, and it has been such a huge support to log in here and read all your words (hi, Liv!), especially as no one aside from our parents knows we are doing IVF in real life. And our parents spend most of their time warning us against twins and worrying about us. You guys are stars.

Now if you’ll excuse me, yesterday’s sedation/the stress-adrenaline is kicking my ass. I slept all day yesterday and all last night, and still woke up tired. My pain levels following egg collection are much less than last time, with no blood.

I guess my fat, old self is KICKING ASS AND TAKING NAMES!

IVF tomfoolery.

September 29, 2012

Thank you, thank you. All the generous people who have given us money have not only helped financially, but emotionally. It has boosted me to see your names and know we have people supporting us. Now, I guess you want to know why we suddenly owe the clinic an additional four grand.

I’m still upset and not wanting to get myself more upset, so the brief version is that through a combination of my age (34), BMI (30), and the clinic’s poor monitoring that failed to catch that I needed a higher dose of drugs earlier, we have been told that eggsharing is no longer a given.

I was told I had three options.

One, abandon the cycle. Owe no more money.

Two, pay the four grand and proceed as if eggsharing. If they get enough eggs to share (we need a total of eight), then we give half to the recipient and are refunded the four grand.

Three, pay the four grand and proceed with full IVF, no eggsharing. The nurse told me this was the final price, then the doctor mentioned I’d have to pay for drugs, but she backed off when I said what the nurse said. So, yeah. Hopefully just four grand with this option, well, six in total.


None of these are terrific. Obviously option one is out. Options two and three are virtually the same thing, since I think it is very unlikely they will get enough eggs. I only had eight at 14mm or higher (though a further eight that were smaller, thanks to my pal the drug kerfuffle), and they like to see ten at the final scan. There is likely to be eggs in any woman’s follicles 80-90 percent of the time, so having the ten larger follicles gives them good odds with eggsharing.

I also only had one dose, today, of stimming hormones. I worry because normally there are two doses before the end of this phase….since apparently everyone fucking takes the meds at night, but we were told to take them whenever so chose morning. So I hope those eight will be large enough.

What decision have we come to? At this point, regardless of what a total shit I feel like for doing so, we are proceeding with full IVF. I will have the caveat that if a larger number of eggs than expected are harvested, we will go back to eggsharing. I can’t imagine what this poor woman is going through. She will have had a phone call yesterday explaining that things were not looking fantastic.

But even with eight eggs, knowing I am unlikely to be accepted as an egg sharer in future (unless I get back to my normal weight BMI. I am thirty pounds heavier this time than last.), and knowing we can’t afford another IVF cycle, we have to give ourselves the best chance. So more eggs equals better chance.

Because the other main deliberation has returned to the one embryo transfer versus two embryo transfer. Last time twins felt like a blessing, this time they feel like a risk. I think you all know I’d love another set of twins…would LOVE it…but TMD has very serious and sensible hesitations. She would prefer a single embryo transfer. More eggs mean a better chance to have a really good quality embryo.

Four years ago, only two of our embryos grew to what was considered ‘perfect.’. Snort and Coconut. That was four years ago when I responded well to meds. There is no way to predict the quality of my eggs this time since those hormones were not tested.

This decision is still up in the air. I would still prefer two babies to no baby, which is what we said last time. Only last time we actively hoped for twins, and that isn’t really the case this time. We have clarified that the day of the transfer (probably next Thursday if all goes well, please let it go well, let one fucking thing about this cycle go well!) we will find out beforehand about the quality of embryos. If none are fantastic we may transfer two. If one is fantastic, well, I don’t know. It’s a minor bone of contention between us, but I think ultimately TMD needs to have a large say in this. It’s her body that will doing this. Her lining is apparently ‘triple pattern.’ We are not sure what that means, but apparently it is really, really good.

So I don’t know. Any gentle or thoughtful feedback is welcomed.

Moving on, I take the trigger shot at eleven tonight. We have egg retrieval at eleven on Monday morning, despite my crazy hormonal challenging the doctor as to her decision. Overall I am nowhere as pleased with this clinic as our last. I think we would be looking at a very different outcome were we there. I don’t doubt my age and weight have impacted things, but I also am angry (bitter?) that I had no stimming scan until a week into the process. I’m also not pleased with the way the doctor spoke to me yesterday. But there is nothing to be done about any of these things except move forward.

With your help.

Thank you.

Every little 1.00 is more than part of our bus fare or blood tests. It is just a buoy in hard times. This cycle has been gruelling. I look forward to having the egg collection over and done with, even though I’m so scared we will have only a handful of eggs. I know it only takes one, but I’m a girl who likes to have good odds.

If you want a baby and are putting it off, if you are mid thirties, shit. Get your hormones checked, and think about me. My hormones still say I’m very fertile, and look how this all turned out. Consider single parenthood if you must. Because I have to say that even with the world’s two most loved children, it still hurts immeasurably to think that this is our last chance. When did we get old without earning any money? Ha.

The one good thing is that the trigger shot this time around is just a dial up pen. It’s what it sounds like. A thick pen with a needle on one end and medicine inside, sort of like an epipen. Last time we had to do science experiments with various vials, liquids, mixing meds, etc. It was hard. This one, though I admit I haven’t looked at the pen yet, promises to be yet another tiny subcutaneous injection in my bruised yet gorgeous belly. I hope it doesn’t sting, and I hope it doesn’t give me the tremendously awful stomach pains I had last time around, but either way, this is it.

All going well, my wife will have a baby or two in her body next week, and I hope that/those kid/s cling to her triple pattern. Do you hear that eggs? Cling.

Love to you all, and love to me, because right now I’m trying so hard not to beat myself up and blame myself for ruining everything.

Can we afford to actually make another kid?!?

September 28, 2012

I can’t write more now. Because I’m exhausted, because I’m sad, because I am drained. I am trying to ease myself down to sleep, and I think writing all the obsessive details right now would be counterproductive.

So let me just say this: I think on Monday we are going to have to pay an additional four grand, in my expensive brand of currency, on top of the two grand we have already spent. We don’t have that sort of money to throw around.

If everyone who read my blog in the last week donated just 1.00, it might not pay for even a fraction of our treatment, but it would help a lot. TMD and I have spent the evening talking about her tiny salary and what that means for the future of our children. Be it two, three, or four.

But I think based on all the evidence given to me today, as I ripped tissue after tissue out of the nurse’s box, trying desperately to hold myself together, that this is our last chance for biological children. We certainly cannot afford another cycle of IVF, and I am effectively excluded as an eggsharer in future.

More on all of this tomorrow. Tonight I need sleep. And faith. And a benevolent relative to gift me a few thousand.

The one where I neglect that I’m going to start writing Herotica to supplement our income, if I ever bother to do so.

September 19, 2012

Okay. WordPress will not let me put a donate button up on the side. It’s like it KNOWS that I have been struggling with the whole anonymous blog thing lately. I yearn to start a public one, with real faces in pictures, and more information about us. But then I wouldn’t blog about IVF or things, so this blog is still my numero uno. And every other time I’ve started a second blog I’ve let it crash and burn, even when it was doing quite well.
So anyway. Hopefully the button in this entry will work.

If three of you only donate 1.00 Unit of My Money each, that shit pays for one bus journey to the IVF clinic. Or, you know, six of you can donate .50 each and accomplish the same thing. Go ahead. You know you want to.

(And thank you, whether you do or do not, because whether you realize it or not, this blog is my strongest link to sanity and community. So you just reading these words helps me.)

Oh HELL no. It won’t let my link go up in a post, either. The address to donate is my email address, if you know that. Assuming I know who you are in an internet sort of way, I’m happy to give you that info. Failing that, does anyone know how to get a paypal donate button in a wordpress blog?!

Update two: I have an ugly, but apparently working, link to paypal at the top of this entry. For your info, should you need it, WordPress requires the email link to put in posts, as it will not allow the website code. Once I figure out how to fix the above link, I may desperately try to make the donate button on the side work. I guess all my a href= mad skillz from 1996 no longer work in the real world.