Massively Multiplayer Real-life Role-Playing Game

I’m struggling to align my mental image of myself with my new role as SAHM in this Massively Multiplayer Real-life Role-Playing Game called ‘Life’.  You may have heard of it – like World of Warcraft only without the healers to come and get you back in the game after you’ve accidentally set yourself on fire.

It’s nothing new. I’ve been here before and asked the same hard-hitting question:

“What the Sam Hill will I do with myself while the baby is sleeping that will make me feel clever and worthwhile and maintain the shreds of sanity I’m barely hanging onto … but doesn’t involve cooking, cleaning or craft?”

In the olden days of my first time around as SAHM,  I discovered study and I really do attribute it to keeping me from going completely ga-ga.  I started my Bachelor of Science (Library Technology) via Virtual Campus and of course, fell pregnant midway through my first semester. Never one to let a mere trifle as children stop me, I carried on for the next 10 years, cutting back to one unit a semester when life got complicated (i.e. had another baby) until I finished.

Once I’d completed that sucker, I was hooked and went on to do a few other courses and diplomas related to teaching, editing, proofreading and graphic design.

The only one I didn’t see through to the end was the teaching grad dip. One round of prac finished me. I had three kids at home already – did I really want a class full of them as well?

Looking back, I note that I started them all at a time where I was struggling with my identity and self-esteem. Some people drink and take drugs. I get my jollies from assignments. Drugs would probably be cheaper (just ask my accountant about my HECS debt)  but hey, my addiction fills out a CV really well and makes me look smart.

This SAHM do-over, I vowed to take a different path from the norm. I would get involved with mum’s groups and baby play-based education sessions. I would take the baby for long walks in the pram. Leave baby home with Dad occasionally and go out for Friday afternoon drinks with the girls.

I would not sign myself up for more study and would definitely not spend countless hours at the computer with the baby asleep (or waving its arms frantically in hopes of gaining my attention) in a bouncer at my feet.

If I were grading myself on how I’m doing so far, it would look like this:

“Welcome to Stay At Home Motherhood … again.

So far your efforts to get out and socialise are to be commended and you seem to be tracking well for achieving some semblance of regular adult conversation and interaction – even if it is baby-centric. Excellent work. Keep it up.

I see you’ve arranged to get together with former work mates this week. Please remember that whilst your world revolves around your baby’s bowel motions and cute smile that may or may not be related to said bowel motions, not everyone will want to hear about it.

A simple “Baby is still alive. Husband and I still talk to each other with words of more than one syllable. I am a little tired but all is good” will suffice.  Try engaging interest with topics other than your baby such as world politics, the state of Kim and Kanye’s marriage woes or, if desperate, the weather.

However … I see you’re getting into the blogging again and I wonder if this is a wise choice?  That baby is only going to take vigorous bouncing at your feet for so long before she really jacks up. Please arrange an appointment to see me about this before it goes much further.”

Now, if you’ll excuse me, someone is waving their arms at me frantically …

Birth Story #2: Accidental Hero

My darling Dad working on the caravan – his last ‘baby’.

“I’m a bit nervous about seeing you in labour.”

This comment came not from NIH but from my Mum, who is flying over from Oz in a few days to keep me company in the last week of pregnancy and meet the fourth and slightly miraculous grandchild.  It was only then I realised that, due to one thing or another, she hadn’t been present at the lead-up or the hours immediately after the arrival of my first three kids, but my Dad had that dubious honour for two of them.

In 1994, we were in Sydney and FoMDT was in the Army and currently on course. The Army, at least back then, was notorious for being less than accommodating for family – the common saying being “If they wanted you to have a wife and kids, they would have issued you with some” –  so we arranged for my Dad to come down to be there as support both during and after the new arrival.

At that point in time, my Mum and Dad had their own business – a secretarial service that they’d built up from an electronic typewriter and photocopier in a small room to a two-roomed office complete with three networked computers, a giant photocopier-cum-printer, trainee, positions on the local Chamber of Commerce and regular customers.

Dad (according to him, at least) was the brains of the operation – the networking frontman who could dazzle with wit and intelligence, gaining peoples’ trust (and therefore business) with ease. Mum, on the other hand, was the one who actually DID the work … so she couldn’t be spared for a week or two to gallivant off to Sydney to hold her daughters’ hand, whilst Dad was deemed expendable.

He was allocated the task of being primary carer for The Princess so FoMDT could hold my hand in hospital when it came time to deliver the baby that was to become the thorn in her side for a number of years.  At that stage, there wasn’t paternity leave and being on course, FoMDT wouldn’t be able to take leave, so Dad was also my designated support person for the first week out of hospital.  This meant I could take advantage of the newly established “early release program” at Liverpool Hospital,  going home as soon as mum and bub were given the ok and the midwife would home-visit.

I have to admit this labour is the haziest of all three. I do remember things were not running to schedule and Dad and I did lots of walking around the block in the hope of getting things going. Labour finally started sometime after the 8.30pm Sunday night TV movie. This particular night was Accidental Hero starring Dustin Hoffman and Geena Davis.  There was something about a plane crash and a shoe … but that’s all I can remember of it. Obviously, I wasn’t able to follow the storyline and huff and puff at the same time … or it was a shit movie.

We headed to the hospital about midnight and I was introduced to the wonders of the hot bath. For me, sitting in hot water whilst in first stage of labour is the absolute bomb. It completely takes the pain away whilst still being aware of contractions. Liverpool Hospital had just done a major refurbishment of their labour rooms so there was big triangular bathtub adjoining the ‘business section’ of the room. After being convinced by the midwife to try it out, it was all she could do to get me out to deliver, as water births were not allowed.

When I did get out, the contractions hit me like a sledgehammer. Holy cow, how did second stage get here so quickly?  I really wanted to hop back in but they insisted on us moving to the bed as it looked like baby was not far off.

Now … I had figured that second stage would be a cinch for second baby, since my nether regions had become … let’s say ‘more flexible’.  What I did not figure on was the size of the head of the second baby.

The paediatrician doing the rounds the next day actually said out loud “That can’t be right” when seeing the 38.5 cm head measurement written in my file. He measured baby’s head himself and breathed “Damn”. I wanted to say “No shit, Sherlock” but I was too concerned with a doctor being in awe of a head that size. Was there something wrong with my baby?  Checks a few weeks’ later found nothing wrong – he just had a big head.

So, back to second stage (my nemesis) taking longer than it should. My OB/GYN finally arrived, announcing his arrival by popping his head in the door and asking if he had time to get a coffee. If I could have taken a breath, I would have yelled “No you bloody don’t! If I have to be here, so do you!”. Fortunately, the midwives took care of it for me and he (rather grudgingly, I might add) decided to join the party.

Not long after I recall him looming over my bottom half with a pair of scissors and saying to the midwives, “I’m all for natural, ladies, but perhaps now is the time to do an episiotomy.”

“Dear God,” I thought “Not stitches again!” so I put everything I had into it and pushed REALLY HARD.  We finally got somewhere and after a few more contractions, our darling boy was out.

But oh lordy, I would not be able to pee without sobbing for the next five days. Remember how it would sting so bad when you fell on cement as a kid and grazed your knee?  Now imagine that same stinging sensation on your foofoo. In hindsight, the episiotomy would have been a much better idea.

But at that moment – 3.35am Monday 1st August 1994 – I didn’t care. We had a beautiful boy safely laying on my chest … with balls swollen to a size that made FoMDT ridiculously proud.  Due to the longer second stage, he was also a bit swollen and puffy around the face … like a  footy player on a Sunday morning after a big game and an even bigger Saturday night at the pub afterwards.  And as we discovered, the size of his head had been the reason for the hold-up. The midwives actually congratulated me for only saying the “F” word once during delivery.

He went off with FoMDT to get properly weighed, measured and washed while I enjoyed that oh-so-delightful shower.  Then I got to keep him beside me for the remainder of my time in hospital, once again sniffing that delightful baby smell that I assumed was bath wash.

It was totally blissful, just laying in bed with him all bundled up next to me. I had missed out on this with his sister so really enjoyed that quiet time in the early hours before the bustle of normal hospital routines would begin, marvelling at this perfect little creature we’d made.

When Dad brought The Princess in later that day, I couldn’t believe how big and kinda scruffy she’d turned overnight in her brightly-coloured jumper,  fine blonde hair all over the place and the remains of something (a bribe, most likely) around her mouth. She was just shy of turning three but until The Master arrived, she’d been my baby and had seemed so small.

She clambered up on the bed and I gave her a hug and said “Have you been a good girl for Peter?” – Peter being my Dad. She decided when she was old enough to talk that he was Peter – not Grandad or Pa or Poppy. Everyone else called him Peter so she did too. He was so besotted with her that she could have called him anything – so Peter it was, for her and her brothers to come.

She looked at me with her serious little two year old face … and displayed not just her sense of humour that I’d grown to know and love but also her ability to read people fairly accurately.

“Yes … but he doesn’t like wiping my bum.”

Today is where your book begins …

today isThere’s a great song by Natasha Bedingfield called “Unwritten“. It’s been around for quite a while but I find myself humming it often nowadays – and not just because of our change in course. The kids have been affected somewhat by our plot twist and it’s exciting (in a nerve-wrecking-homesick kind of way) to see what they do with themselves now they’re effectively in charge of their own pens.

I’m not gonna lie – it’s been a major adjustment for me. I’ve grown used to having at least one child living with me for the past 25 years and to be suddenly living in an empty nest is just as unsettling as moving house – or country, for that matter.

I know it’s a good thing for everyone. The boys have adjusted to living together in their own bachelor pad quite well, as I knew they would. Chalk and Cheese, their various talents and personality quirks dovetail together and they’re learning the fun of rent and landlords and things breaking down and needing fixing and illness and how much spaghetti you need to cook for two people.

The girl and eldest child of the clan left home years ago but we’d still see each other regularly. We played in the same soccer team and most mornings did some form of exercise (mainly our jaws) together.  Even though I’ll always be mother first, we’re friends as well.

In fact, I think I’ve managed to become friends with all three of my kids and it’s something I cherish. They are all unique in their own way, which serves to define to some extent how we relate to each other.

My eldest and only girl is quite driven, methodical and organised whilst being funny as hell and totally gorgeous to boot. She has lots of lovely friends around her and takes care (charge?) of her brothers, as a big sister tends to do. The girl and I did girl-type things together. We texted – a lot. We talked about girl stuff, office gossip and TV shows. Even now, we still text lots and I am grateful for the wonders of smartphones and wifi to maintain that contact. She’s currently whirling her way around the US and Canada on a seven week trip she and her boyfriend have planned for 18 months and having an absolute ball. I’m so pleased for her.

The middle child and first born son has always been a still pool of mystery that would occasionally allow me a glimpse of his inner depths. From an early age, he often surprised me with his analytical skills and memory. In recent years, we’ve enjoyed many deep and meaningful chats about Life, The Universe and Everything – much like I did with my dad before he passed away. I worked from home and he was studying a pre-vocational course so we had many opportunities to meet in the kitchen at some point during the day for a chinwag. I’ve really missed our discussions and his dry wit and deadpan humour over the past 12 weeks. He tells me he’s taken on the roll of Kitchen Bitch at the Bachelor Pad, working to expand his self-confessed limited repertoire of dishes and making sure he and his brother eat relatively healthily now they don’t have a mother to nag them on the perils of junk food and sugar.

The baby boy has always been a gregarious ray of sunshine and all-round people-pleaser. From a baby, he was such a happy chappy but always charging at life at 100 miles an hour, invariably winding up in trouble for some reason.  Always curious, infernally loud, incredibly generous but surprisingly inciteful now that he’s hit 20. For some reason, I’ve never really worried about this kid making it through life. He’s like a rubber ball, just bouncing his way through any trials until he gets where he wants to go. I miss his energy, his smack talk and his delicious coffee.  He’s a barista and a very good one at that, kind of falling into barista work after keeping me company on a course. I always knew he’d be good in hospitality as he’s quite thoughtful of others and very social.

It’s great to see them taking new steps into their own unwritten futures and coping quite well with the storylines they’re developing. But whilst I take comfort in the fact they don’t seem to need a mum anymore, it’s probably a good thing we’ve moved to another country so I can’t do a drive-by and ‘just check their work’.

As the song says “No one else can speak the words on your lips.” Without a doubt one of the hardest parenting things I’ve ever done is letting them go off to write their own books.

Memory Loss

Still-Alice-coverI forgot my mother’s birthday.

Well, technically, I didn’t forget it – I was just a whole month early for it. And when the mistake was pointed out to me (by my mother), it actually freaked me out.

I blame February’s 28 days for the mix-up but it should have registered that her birthday is just 8 days before my youngest son’s, not a whole month before.  It’s a semi-long and complicated story but the general idea is that I had two meetings in my calendar for the 16th of February and March and figured I could kill two birds with one stone by traveling to Brisbane early and spending time with Mum on the weekend for her birthday. Only thing is, the meeting is March is a teleconference and the one in Feb an onsite one. So in between all of that, I got a little mixed up.

But still …

It was a shocking moment when I realised my mistake. I was absolutely gobsmacked at my own stupidity. How could this happen? I’ve known my mum’s birth date for almost as long as I’ve known her! Am I losing my marbles? What is going on here?

There’s a movie out at the moment called “Still Alice” starring Julianne Moore. I haven’t seen it yet but I read the book by Lisa Genova a few years ago. It’s a brilliant yet terrifying read from the first person viewpoint of Dr Alice Howland, a noted linguistics professor at Columbia University who makes the devastating discovery that she has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.  Everyone gets forgetful; loses keys; can’t remember someone telling them they were going somewhere etc. But it’s when she’s doing the same morning jog through the same streets she’s followed for years then suddenly coming to a stop in the middle of campus and not recognising anything that she realises there’s something more than simple forgetfulness going on.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to slowly lose yourself – but I think I had a taste of it the other day and I can safely say it is not a pleasant sensation.

I made jokes about it with the kids, asking for assurances that when I get to the point where I start forgetting to put my pants on and go wandering the neighbourhood, they’ll come and drag me back home and dress me.  Their response was along the lines of believing I should be free to do what I want and why stop me from entertaining everyone?

Little bastards …

 

 

Nooobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

nobodyExpectsTheSpanishInquisition

The Spanish Inquisition … when you least expect them.

Author’s note: The following is blatantly rejigged without the permission or knowledge of The Monty Python Flying Circus

Nooobody expects to have fertility issues! And here’s one thing you should never say to a woman trying to conceive: “Relax and it will all just happen naturally” ... and “But you’re still trying, aren’t you?”

Two! Two things you should never say to a woman trying to conceive: “But you’re still trying” and “Relax”... and “There’s always next time”.

THREE! Three things: “Always next time”, “Still trying” and “Relax”… and “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be”. 

LET ME START AGAIN!

I have a whole new respect for witches. Magic is hard to ‘make happen’ and despite all the science in the world, it still requires that little spark of magic to make a baby come to life.  As we’ve discovered over the past four years, magic can be very elusive and certainly out of our control.  But here’s the thing I find the most difficult about the whole process: other people’s comments. Which is why I tend not to say anything or if I do, brush it off with humour.

Once upon a time, I was probably guilty of saying any one of the following four quotes. After all, I already have three completely gorgeous, grown-up children. I’ve done this before. So why THE FUCK* can’t I do it now?? (Because I’m 45, that’s why. But hey, nobody said logic and babies in the same sentence without laughing, right? Just so we’re clear, my husband’s jiz is positively jumping out of the jar, it’s so fertile. And he’s got the lab report to prove it.)

So here’s my Top Four sayings that I would advise you to avoid if you’re trying to be supportive of someone struggling to have a baby:

1. RELAX AND IT WILL ALL JUST HAPPEN NATURALLY

Well, shit. Why didn’t I think of that? Seems so simple when you put it that way. But here’s the thing: this is a situation you have no control over. No control = stress (look it up. Scientific fact.) Stress = I can meditate all the fuck* I want and nothing is going to take away the anxiety of counting the days to get the timing right (and hey, here’s a tip for those currently trying – saying “Honey, I’m ovulating. Let’s do it. Now.” is not considered ‘sexy talk’ and usually has the opposite effect), then waiting for two weeks to see if anything happened.

Then there’s the fun-filled IVF road of jabbing yourself with needles every day for 10 days then going under a general anesthetic to be ‘harvested’ THEN hoping for a further five days that the little blighters fertilise/don’t start dying off/make it to transfer THEN waiting two weeks to see if anything happened.

You try relaxing under that kind of pressure.

2. BUT YOU’RE STILL TRYING, AREN’T YOU?

Ugh. Stab me in the heart, why don’t you? What are you ACTUALLY trying to say? Are we still having sex? “No, no, I thought since we can’t get pregnant, I’d go on the pill and take precautions. Or just say no to bedroom funtimes.” Stupid, stupid question.

Or in the case of failed IVF, do you mean will we immediately spend another $5000 and a full month on heartache, needle jabbing, hoping and praying? “Sure, sign me up for that shit again. I mean, I don’t think I suffered enough last time, you know?”

I understand you’re trying to be positive but the implication we take away from that question is that we HAVEN’T been trying.  And here’s an insider secret for you: even when we say we’re ‘not trying’ anymore … we still are. Until we get a baby, we’ll always be trying.

3. THERE’S ALWAYS NEXT TIME

Seriously? We’ve just been through hell and it’s not somewhere we’re keen to revisit … even though we will. Read previous response.

4. IF IT’S MEANT TO BE, IT’S MEANT TO BE

That kind of zen philosophy is not helpful at all. It’s kinda related to the ‘Relax’ response. Stress comes from having no control over a situation that directly affects you. If you and your partner decided you wanted a baby together but it’s not happening, even though you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on natural remedies, given up coffee and wine, exercised to get fit then finally turned to science and forked out thousands for a helping hand, being told that maybe it’s just ‘not meant to be’ personally makes me want to punch you. Hard. In the face. Don’t EVER say it.

Here’s the thing …

There is nothing you can say that will make it better. You are blissfully unaware (as my younger self was) of the struggles and heartache and despair these people go through EVERY SINGLE DAY.

So, my advice? Don’t even try. Don’t give them too much sympathy – they’re struggling to hold it together and you feeling sorry for them just makes it harder not to blubber like a … well, a baby.

Don’t talk about it – unless they bring it up first. Then possibly just listen and nod occasionally and say innocuous things like “I see” and “Really?”

Instead, give them coffee.

And wine.

It will be gratefully accepted and much appreciated.

*Sorry about the swear words, Ma

Life journeys

jamesjeanbatgirl

James Jean – Batgirl

My beautiful, strong-willed (and just a tad judgmental) daughter is heading south to a close school friends’ wedding tomorrow and she’s not happy about it.

Not happy because she really doesn’t like the groom. At all. And to be  honest, I can’t say I blame her. He is mean to his future wife, knocking her down with cruel words in front of others and blatantly attempting to flirt with all her girlfriends. Not a nice character, really. Being older and wiser in these matters, I can see that trouble will most definitely find her down the track and whilst my daughter most vehemently agrees, she can’t understand why her friend seems to be oblivious to the danger.

I can, though.

But even though I’ve tried to explain the whole concept of life journeys to her, it’s not the same as actually living through them.  It wasn’t until I was 40 that I feel like I ‘woke up’ and that was only after incredible trauma stemming from a marriage breakdown and my dad dying at the same time. Some people wake up earlier; some never do. Either way, your journey is completely your own. You may share the path with others for a short or extended time, but what you go through is entirely your own experience. Of course, we all know this to some extent but often it’s only in the theoretical sense, not the ‘feeling in your bones’ knowing.

So whilst I may give the speech of “It’s her life to do as she chooses, honey, even if you think he is a dick and most who has come into contact with him agrees with you. She has to walk this path on her own. “, my lovely, strong-willed and slightly judgie daughter won’t feel this in her bones until she’s got a few more years under her belt.

My dad always said it but the adage that ‘Youth is wasted on the young’ has never been more true to me. 

The cycle begins

Baby_bottle

Suck it up, sunshine

And not to put too fine a point on it, I’m a little bit crazy this morning … and the drugs haven’t even started yet.

One word of advice to any would-be IVF’s, especially over the age of 40. Don’t look at the internet. Don’t read the forums. Don’t look at the statistics (although you actually do have a far greater chance of getting pregnant than winning the Powerball jackpot tomorrow night, so that’s comforting to know).

The thing you have to remember is that someone usually does win. They do get lucky and for them, all the statistics are proven wrong.  I have personally known three much younger women who have tried IVF – two got lucky with their first round. The third struggled and proved to be hyperstimulated by the drugs and gained an incredible amount of weight in a very short time and was generally miserable for over a year, constantly beating her body into submission until finally – FINALLY – she got lucky.  I’d say there was a helluva lot of hard work and determination behind that particular ‘lucky’.

I’ve had one go. It really wasn’t that bad regarding the whole drug thing. I didn’t turn into a crazy woman because of them – felt quite normal, in fact. Normal, at that point, being stressed beyond your wildest dreams. I rather stupidly suffered freezer burn on my stomach because of a wayward icepack and the fact I’m not all that keen on feeling that goddamn needle piercing my skin. But physically, I’d have to say it was a breeze.

Mentally and emotionally … not so much.

My gorgeous NIH (the only person I would ever willingly jab myself with a needle twice a day for) and I recently went on our long and extravagant and totally fantastic honeymoon to Japan and Europe and on the tours, we met some truly lovely people … and a few stupid ones.

Now, I know people mean well and they’re trying to be helpful and positive but being told I just have to ‘relax’ and that will fix everything just makes me want to punch people in the mouth.

“Oh, really? That’s it? Gosh, I’m such a silly billy. I never realised.” :/

The truth is you meditate and do visualisations and work hard to just think that it all will fall into place and everything will happen the way you want and you’ll get that damn baby because goddamn it you’re so goddamn relaxed you’re almost comatose but then you go through the motions and everything looks ok and you only get 5 eggs harvested but hey it only takes one right so you hold onto that and remain positive and then they phone you on day 3 and say that one failed to launch altogether and two have since stopped cell dividing and one looks a little dodgy but there’s one, still one there and hey, you only need one, right? Right? And then you get the phone call on the afternoon of Day 4, the eve of the big Day, Day 5, where your one little egg is due to be put back in your basket and hopefully blooms and grows into a goddamn baby that will give you and the NIH who deserves a baby, who deserves a 6 a side soccer team of babies because he’s so fucking awesome with kids big and small and even your teenagers liked him when they were young and snotty and you love him so much it scares the crap out of control freak little you and  oh no oh kay that last egg you’d pinned all your hopes and dreams on has fallen over. *cue sobbing and promising each other you’ll never do this again*

And yet … a year later … here we are again.

But you know? I feel like I’m in a better place. As a couple, we are so much more stable and settled (possibly because I’m not so psycho and he’s not living WITH a psycho). Maybe, even though at my age the odds are against us, we’ll win the lotto.  At least I don’t feel like it’s the end of the world if I don’t win and I’m a little bit proud of myself for actually having another go, knowing now what I will go through.

Possibly that last paragraph was my false positives starting …Wish us luck 🙂

Eggs over easy, thanks.

Sperm-And-Egg-Cell

“This is Ground Control to Major Tom. You’ve not quite made the grade …”

This post is a little personal but hell, it’s my blog and I’ll share what I want to.

The NIH and I have been trying to reproduce for *oohh* about 3 years now and so far we’ve had several failures to launch … which, if you’ve read my previous post, you’ll understand has not been gracefully received by myself.

We had one go at IVF last year and it didn’t go well.  The drugs were fine. The jabbing myself or getting NIH to jab me with a needle every night was fine and the initial retrieval was pretty easy. I did get a freezer burn injury from holding an ice pack on for too long but that was just my stupidity.

However, the little guppies-to-be didn’t make it past Day 4 so we didn’t even get to transfer stage. Probably a blessing in disguise, as we had our wedding to plan in January and as a consolation prize for our trauma, we went on a 7 week honeymoon to Japan and Europe because we could.

But now we’ve recovered from the trauma; we’re back home and things are very calm and pleasant for both of us, we’ve decided to give it another go. And if this doesn’t work, we’ll look at egg donation because I’m edging over the hill and time is really running out.

I already have three grown-up children but NIH doesn’t have any and believe me when I say he deserves to be a Dad for all the right reasons 🙂  When we first started dating, he told me he wanted 5 kids. I choked on my coffee then sputtered that unless he counts my three as his and we have twins, it probably will never eventuate with me.  Now that we’ve gone through 4 miscarriages and one failed IVF, he’d settle for one.

I’m often asked why I’d want to have more. since I already have three and essentially I have my life back.  Sometimes, I’m not sure how to answer that myself.  I guess because my kids have all grown into gorgeous young adults whom I truly love, not just as their mother but as one human being relating to another.  Maybe because I’d love for NIH to experience that unshakably deep, overwhelming love and adoration of another little person even if they do decide to keep you up all night, throw up all over you and generally curtail your social life.  Maybe because I felt I had at least one more child in me (metaphorically speaking) but the ex was not happy with Number 3, let alone any more.  And because I want to experience raising a child with a dad who actually gives a shit about his kid and gets involved in their life.

But … how do you ask someone to donate a piece of themselves for you? My sister in law would do it no questions asked (in fact, she said exactly that when I told her) but she is only a couple of years younger than me.  The doctor suggested my daughter, since she’s 22, but no. I just … I couldn’t.

I don’t have BFF’s that are under the age of 37. I have quite a few acquaintances that would qualify and one in particular who has done IVF and knows the routine. But it’s such a big thing to ask!

I don’t like asking for directions, let alone asking someone to jab themselves for two weeks then go under general anesthetic to have their eggs retrieved.  I guess there’s two choices to make here – either I get over my embarrassment and humiliation … or I get NIH to do it.