Ups and Downs

It’s been a weird week this week. I started off feeling so positive at the start of the week! Then yesterday happened. I don’t know why but I just felt so low. I had been in work the day before and I loved seeing the children and colleagues that were also working. We also had some absolutely amazing donations of food for our families that need more support. It was such an overwhelming gesture of kindness that actually made us cry! To see what people had donated for people they have never met before was incredible.

I don’t know if it was a reaction to being back in my home by myself but yesterday was probably the lowest I have felt for a long time. Things I had felt positive about suddenly seemed negative. It was almost like I woke up into a different place yesterday. Even cuddles with the cats didn’t work! I have seen a lot about mental health during this lockdown and I chose to take every day as it comes. I have read that routine is the best way through, but it is the routine that I find depressing. In my job no two days are the same. Things change on a daily basis and every day I see kids growing to become little people and achieving things they didn’t know they could. I feel now that we are losing some of those children. For some school work has gone completely out the window because parents aren’t helping them. I have seen young children writing nonsense in online tasks because they have no idea what they are doing but they have been left to their own devices. I know it is hard for parents who are working from home but primary children need support to learn.

And now we hear that the government wants us to allow children back to school. Whilst social distancing. Starting with the youngest. Into classrooms that allow very few children. They are to work in “bubbles” and are not to leave those “bubbles”. Children in reception who are used to learning through play are now going to be expected to social distance and sit at tables.

My heart is torn in so many directions. Children NEED to be in school. But we also need to keep them safe. People keep saying how Denmark did it… I can’t even begin to go into the comparisons but let’s just say they did this whole thing better! Oh and childminders are meant to reopen! Please, please, someone explain how this is to be done? How are parents meant to hand their child to another adult whilst social distancing? How do you look after a small child and stay 2m away?

Part of me is glad I am not a parent right now. With everything so uncertain. I worry about the children I work with. I worry about my family and friends’ children.

Then there is the part of me that is starting to question when I will get my turn… if I will get my turn? The longer this pandemic goes on the longer it is until I can start IUI. And let’s face it, the chances of it happening first time are very remote. And yet I had already decided to put it off until later in the year anyway. So why am I getting so stressed about this?

Because this is what Lockdown does. It gives you too much time to sit and stress about things. I have been trying to find ways to keep my mind occupied with other things. But at some point the reality of being stuck in a house by yourself, not being able to spend much time with friends, let alone get a hug from a friend, will hit. And yesterday it hit me like a bus. hearing my colleagues talk about what they have been doing with their families to keep themselves going. Facebook has become my companion.

I even tried looking at online dating again… I had to laugh when the search came up and said it couldn’t find anything for me! Just about says it all!!!!

Stay safe everyone.

New Adventure!

Good morning my lovely readers! This week has been a very bizarre week for me. Firstly, I have started a new business venture, (more about that later), then I started to feel a bit poop. Sore throat, temperature, just generally feeling ick. Then the cough! Now, I’m not going to sit here and say I’ve been so ill and I’ve had a really horrendous cough, I haven’t. I have felt a bit icky and I’ve now got an irritating but not too bad cough. It just feels like I need to cough but when I do, it just doesn’t clear anything. Chest feels tight at night but other than that, I’m really not too bad. But, as I am entitled to a test, and because I have been contacted by the NHS to say I may be needed back as a midwife, yesterday I drove an hour to my nearest test centre.

Surreal. That is the only word I can think to describe what happened! The AC is broken in my car so I drove up the motorway with all my windows open, I got to the test centre and was advised from now on, all my windows needed to stay closed unless I was asked to open them. It was a bit like being at Longleat! I made my way along the signed route and waited, then my QR code was scanned through my window. The lady then disappeared and came back with a test pack, walked to my passenger window and asked me to open it enough to put the test through! I then had to close my window and proceed to the next lady who asked me to switch off my engine and then gave me instructions through the closed window! There was a lot of signing in case I couldn’t hear properly! Next I moved to a parking bay where I put on the gloves and took out the test kit. Now, I’ve done lots of MRSA swabs in my time but I thought I would read the instructions anyway! And then I realised there was one swab and I had to do both my nose and throat! I’m used to two swabs, one for each. I did the test, snapped the swab in half as directed and put it in the pot. Stuck the bar codes on as instructed then waited for the gentleman to direct me to the next check point! Here I turned my engine off again, showed the lady that I had labelled everything correctly and that I had my test card that I keep, then I was once again allowed to open the window and slide my test kit back out and into the box! Then another hour’s drive home again!

I now have to wait for the text message to say whether I have or don’t have the virus. Have I been lucky and got away with very mild symptoms or is it just a bit of hayfever! I’m going to be honest my gut says I don’t have the virus. I live on my own, when I go to the shops I follow social distancing as much as I can (depending on other people’s versions of social distancing!) and I am washing my hands so much my moisturiser can’t keep up! So surely I don’t have it!

Anyway, that’s all done! Back to my business! Anyone who know me knows I’ve never been massively into makeup, but recently my friend started selling it, I fell in love with it and now I’m doing the same! Will it work.. I blooming hope so! I’m just going to have to work hard at it!

Ok, now i have to go and do my NHS online training!

Stay safe!

Lockdown 😫

So I have completed 11 days in my new house in Lockdown. I am losing the plot! And I have been out to work twice in that time and done shopping for me and my Mum!! I am having one sided conversations with the kittens… pretty normal for a lot of pet owners… except I’m looking at them as if they are going to respond!!!

I have no internet in my house thanks to the previous tenant leaving his account open and unpaid… pretty much the same situation with the electricity company. An electricity company who want me to pay £95 a month… nope! So I have asked them to sort this out so I can change to a company who agree I won’t be using that much electricity!!! Oh and my 4G is pants!

I currently have no pots and pans, toaster, kettle or microwave meaning I am living on cereal and sandwiches. I have had to borrow a plate and cutlery as I don’t have these either! I am not sure where mine have all gone.. I can only assume they went to the charity shop during the clear out and Grampa’s!!! Fingers crossed my new saucepans are arriving today. 🤞

I have no bin in the kitchen either which means I have had a bin bag hanging from the cupboard… much to the joy of my kitten!

I want to go out into the garden to make it look less like a jungle but have no gardening equipment… must talk to the landlord about that!

I have so much stuff I want to chuck out but the tips aren’t open!

And despite all this I can see potential in this house! A coat of paint or 5 to get rid of the sparkly paint, pictures on the walls… a carpet cleaner… it will be a home!!!

I am trying to stay positive… I am trying not to think about the fact it is only April and we have no idea how long this could go on for. I am embracing the fact I can still go to school every now and again and see the kids and my colleagues, friends!

I am trying not to see every month that goes but one less chance of being a Mum. I know his is giving me the opportunity to do my PGCE before I become a Mum but it’s hard to get to 37 and not see every monthly cycle as another potential child gone. I know a lot of people won’t be able to understand this. But I also know a lot of women out there will. Not just single women like me but any woman who is trying for a baby. The moment you realise your period started, it Aunt Flow is visiting as my friend says, it breaks your heart just a little bit more.

I keep seeing adverts for foster parents and I am tempted… but I need to make this house suitable and by the time that happens I will probably be at uni! I cannot describe this need to be a parent. That is the other problem, I don’t know if I could let go. The children who go into foster care need so much time and support. I believe I can give that but I also don’t know if I could let them go again!

So many things going around in my head right now. So many up and down moments. And very few distractions.

So this is my lockdown so far.

Stay safe everyone, stay at home, wash your hands and remember it will end!

Bit of excitement!

Still stuck indoors, height of excitement is doing the Joe Wicks workout, my daily constitutional and going to the shops! BUT tomorrow.. I’m moving into my new house!!!

Ok, so it’s rented and isn’t mine, mine… but still! My own place! Just me and my kittens! Everything is packed and ready to go. Of course, things are just a little bit strange due to the whole social distancing thing. No going to the agent to get the key everything has to be done without contact. The house has been deep cleaned following the previous tenant and, other than the removal men, there is no one to help! I am on my own! But you know what? Who cares! I have something to do! And with lockdown in place, I have no excuse other than to sort my new home out! I have a garden to potter in as well. I am ridiculously excited!

Of course, as well as being excited over my new home there are other thoughts going around in my head… will this be the house I bring a new baby into? Will one of the rooms become a nursery? I’m starting to think about the future again instead of not being able to think beyond today!

Take care of yourselves everyone… and if you are stuck inside isolating, don’t forget to ask for help!

Distractions – a little off topic!

Well… I don’t know about the rest of you but I am pretty much done with Covid 19 now and wish it would just do one! It’s been a week of lock down here in the UK and I am going stir crazy… and I went into work on Thursday as I work in a school!

Before anyone starts having a pop and telling me others have been in lock down far longer… I know!!! But that doesn’t mean I can’t have my rant!

I think it’s amazing how people are finding ways to get through this. We have amazing people like Joe Wicks doing his online daily work out (which was harder than I was expecting!), good old Carol Vorderman doing her online maths classes and David Walliams doing his daily online story! Zoom has gone from Zero to Hero as people are trying to find new ways of socialising with their friends, virtual coffee mornings and cocktails parties, online choir practice as well as online Sunday lunches! As a human race we are remarkably resilient. We have amazing people who are volunteering to go out and about helping those who can’t get out for their essentials and retired healthcare professionals coming out of retirement to do their bit!

But I just wonder how long it can last? Will it change us as a human race? Will youngsters think that they no longer need to go out or will it make people realise just how much they appreciate the good outdoors and human contact? Or will things just go back to the way it was?

Only time will tell and we have a long way to push through before then! Wuhan is due to come out of lockdown on 8th April… the world’s eyes will be looking that way to see what will happen!

So how am I coping with the lockdown? A LOT of online learning, helping family members by getting essentials, taking part in the Joe Wicks workout and planning my move which is still currently set to go ahead next week. It would appear I will have 10 days with no internet so that will be interesting… or expensive if I cave and use my 3G! My drama group is having a weekly online chat, and my colleagues are keeping each other entertained with daily anecdotes of their lockdown lives!

But I am craving human contact right now! I still have amazing cuddles with my kittens but I haven’t had a human hug for over a week and it is killing me! I am a huggy person. I love a cuddle. I am currently exremely envious, no, jealous of those who have people in their household they can still hug. I refuse to believe I am alone in this! I can see it now, when all this is over I will be going around hugging everybody to make up for it!!!

Please comment with any lockdown ideas you have. Please share my blog! PLEASE!!! I need contact! I need distraction! Not just from Covid 19 but from the break in my journey. Because out of all of this, that is what I am finding the hardest… I know I am not alone but it would be nice to hear/read it!!!!

Take care for now, stay safe, stay inside, try Joe Wicks’ workout and we WILL get through this!

fgh <— my kitten’s contribution!!!

Current Affairs (warning I will rant)

I am one of those people that loves immersing myself in current affairs. I sit and read the BBC news app and will choose to sit with a news channel on or listen to 5Live. But right now I am torn. I care, I really do. Covid 19 has torn our world apart in a way that no one was really prepared for. We have spent the last few years talking about how we are killing our planet and ourselves with Climate Change but no one talked about a virus that would take down our vulnerable and isolate us from each other. But I am finding it harder and harder to listen to the radio or watch the news. Plus, there MUST be other things going on in the world. Wars don’t stop for Covid 19.

I know there are human beings who like isolation but most of us crave human contact. We are driven to be sociable. Now, thanks to something so small it can’t be seen by the human eye, we have to go against everything we believe in. If you live on your own, then you are on your own.

Of course, humans are humans, and this week I’m beginning to agree more and more with Doctor Who that a lot of them are silly. Okay, I am putting this mildly. Stupid and selfish. I am angry. I am broken hearted. There is so much positivity in the community groups and the care our NHS workers are giving, our teachers still looking after children, retired NHS professionals stepping up. I feel there is hope but I see people ignoring the government advice and putting people at unnecessary risk. Not to mention those who are using this as a chance to destroy property and livelihoods even more than they have already been destroyed. So now not only are we battling a virus but we are battling human beings who seem incapable of using common sense.

People are losing loved ones and I hate it. I can’t stand the fact that something can destroy people’s lives in so many ways. I am seeing people I love scared what it could mean for them. I have all but shut myself in my room to help protect my Mum. I need more than ever to move out next week so I can keep her safe. If I go out, I come in and go straight to the shower, I wash clothes I have worn outside straight away. It’s like a science fiction movie.

With all this going on, I feel guilt. Because I know that treatment cannot go ahead right now and I am devastated. I said before I had decided to postpone but until this happened I think deep down I thought it would still be fairly imminent. But now I have to be sensible. The NHS is going to be under immense strain. I am waiting on an appointment with a consultant regarding my abdominal pain but I do not have much hope that it will be anytime soon. But then I worry about the pain getting bad enough to go back into A&E again, I will be taking up valuable resources. I try so hard to stay at home, I do. And if I do end up in A&E, what could I be bringing back to my Mum? And yet I am devastated. For me, for what I can’t have right now.

So, this is my current affair. Not just mine, there are so many women out there who are putting treatment on hold because of this tiny life destroyer. I know we are not important in the grand scheme of things right now but it’s still hard.

I want people to follow the advice but I also want to move house next week! I want people to stop bulk buying things they don’t need to bulk buy, or I could potentially have no loo paper in my house! I want human beings to switch their brains on. I want a child. I really want a child.

I know this will end, I know my treatment will happen. I have had more mood swings in the last couple of days that I usually have during a whole week of PMT! I am trying to distract myself with online learning and shopping lists for my house, and many many kitten cuddles.

Stay safe everyone. Look after yourselves. If you are self isolating ask for help. We will beat this! And I will have my baby!!!

Uncertainty!

Sorry it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve written. Things have been a little up in the air! Since I last wrote I went to the clinic and signed all the legal paperwork that is needed to ensure that I am the sole responsible parent for my future child as well as information release forms and agreements for sperm storage. It was a lot of forms and signing but it is done! So that is it, all the formal stuff out the way! Things are really moving forward… except I have been told by the nurse that they want me to re-do my progesterone blood test and my thyroid function before moving forward. I knew about the thyroid but not about the progesterone.

This is where is gets tricky. I do not have a regular cycle, and I am definitely not your 28 day cycle kind of person. So a 21 day progesterone test does not apply to me. So instead I need to have mine 7 days after I ovulate which means I need to track my ovulation. Ok, so in theory that is fine, except you have to book a blood test at my GP about a month in advance. Fortunately my clinic will do the blood test, it just means more money… worth it though!

So I went home from the appointment, ready to track my cycle and get the blood test asap. And then… hospital again! Yep, another trip to A&E in excruciating pain. This time I got an urgent appointment for the next morning. Scan done and nothing found. I was told I needed to go back to my GP to be referred to another department (not quite sure why my GP has to do it!).

My decision now is that now that I have a house to move to (oh yes, I have a house!) and as much as I want to move forward, my sensible option is to try and find out what is going on before I do anything. I feel at the moment like I take one step forward and two steps back.

Of course this probably all seems pretty trivial considering what is going on in the world right now. But everything is relative. And in my world this is still such a major thing. My brain swings from worrying about Covid-19 to worrying about how old I will be when I have my baby… or if it even happens. I hear other people talking about the issues raised with having children and all the uncertainty around working and how lucky I am because I don’t have that problem. I WANT THAT PROBLEM! I want to be coming home, thinking about whether I need to take my child to work, or if my child’s nursery/school will be open for me because I’m a key worker. I do not see myself as lucky. My heart breaks more every day that my health issues and this world health crisis goes on.

My clinic has emailed to say they will still be going ahead as normal but please don’t come in if you are at risk or showing symptoms. Right now I am technically neither but I have other issues in the way.

There is so much uncertainty for everyone right now. I work in a school and at the moment I am still going in. But for how long, I do not know. No one does. Will I need to go in everyday or will I need to work from home? Will my move go ahead in 2 weeks or will something happen to change that? Because really, should I be staying with my Mum who immunocompromised? How long will this health scare go on for? When will people stop panic buying? Surely you have everything you need by now!

What I do know is that there will be an end to this Covid-19 crisis and life will eventually go back to normal… but what is normal for me now? And will it be normal as a mummy or normal as a wannabemummy?

Waiting!

I am happy to say I received the report from the counsellor on Saturday! Nice and quick turn around so I was very happy. I was also really happy with her comments. It’s always quite surreal reading someone’s opinion on you but I felt like she had really understood me and my reasons for wanting to do this and do it now. So I wrote her a letter back saying I am happy for her to put this forward to the team. And now the wait.

I feel like the waiting in this is always going to be the hardest thing. First I had to wait to get the blood tests done because I couldn’t have my first appointment without them. Now I have to wait for a group of people to decide whether they want to help me achieve my dream. If they decide to help me I then have to wait for the right point in my cycle to go ahead with the procedure and then… well then we have what is known as the 2 week wait! I suppose it could be worse, it could be longer, but I bet those must be the longest 2 weeks of your life. If you get a negative result and it hasn’t worked you then need to wait to go through it all again. BUT if you have a positive result, you need to wait until around 9 weeks before you can have your first midwife appointment, another 3 weeks for your first scan and when you finally tell everyone your good news. After that it’s another 4 weeks before your next midwife appointment when you might hear the heartbeat!

So, like I said, it’s a whole lot of waiting! But for something worth waiting for! As I said before, I am an impatient person! I can’t help it! If I’m honest, I don’t know where I got it from, maybe it’s being the baby of three siblings! I always wanted to grow up faster to catch up with my brothers! When I got my kittens I found the few weeks I had to wait to bring them home almost intolerable! I know waiting is a good thing but some waits are harder than others! And when you’ve been waiting nearly half your life for something even a few months seems too long!

There is also that weird feeling of not being able to plan. This might sound strange and if I was going down the traditional route I wonder if it would be the same. But not knowing if or when it might happen, do you book a holiday? Do you make plans to go to that concert next year? Do I hand in my teacher training application now?

I did by the way, I made the decision that if I got the place and then became “with child” I will defer for a year. I have to keep making plans or I can pretty much guarantee it won’t happen and I will not move forward in any way!

I will continue to wait, and I will continue to include you in my waiting!

Of course the other wait I have is to lose weight! It is happening, and apparently I am doing better than expected! I have lost 9.5lbs in 2 weeks, I have achieved my half stone award at Slimming World and I need to lose 4.5lbs this week to get my 1 stone award. But I want it gone now! I want to be at a normal BMI! This of course is down to me and I feel writing my weight loss on here will motivate me to keep going!

I am now off to get some sleep, I have 2 post-surgery kittens so fingers crossed for a good night sleep… I need to make the most of them whilst I still can!!!

Grieving

For most women, hitting that time of the month is just an inconvenience that doesn’t really mean much. Don’t get me wrong, we all know what we have them for but you don’t really think about what it means. I’m talking about the fact that with every period, that is one more potential child slipping away.

When a girl is born she will have approximately 2 million eggs in her ovaries… great right? Wrong, around 11 thousand eggs die every month leading up to puberty so by the time you reach your teenage years you have around 300-400 thousand eggs. Still not too shabby… EXCEPT, approximately a thousand eggs die each month. And when you run out, well you run out. Not all women are the same some women have fewer eggs but we don’t have little counters on our pelvis telling us how many we have left.

The average age of the menopause is 51, around 5% of women will experience menopause between 40 and 45 and 1% before 40. Not a lot, except that is still 1 in 100 women. Suddenly doesn’t sound quite so great.

My point is, that whole ticking biological clock is a real thing. And with every period you are essentially losing a child. This might sound dramatic but for some of us it just feels real. So with every period, we grieve. We grieve the loss of a child we will never have. And you ruminate, you spend a good amount of time during that period getting upset and stressing over what is happening to those tiny little eggs inside your body.

It’s hard to understand this unless you have been here. And although I thought I was alone I have recently found out I am not. This is a genuine grief that women feel but we don’t talk about it. The average age for women to have their first baby is 28, well, I’m 9 years beyond that… that is approximately 108,000 eggs. Approximately 108 periods. That’s a lot of babies I have missed out on.

And this is why I am on this journey. My clock is ticking, my eggs are dying, their quality is degrading and my uterus isn’t getting any younger either. So I am here, having bloods taken, spending my spare time looking through sperm bank catalogues and imagining what my future child would look like… if this works. Please, please let this work!