Fathers Day

This is probably one of the harder posts for me to write. Recently Heidi wrote about being content, finding a level of acceptance over where we are in the journey for family and being excited about the next step for us, that of adoption.

While I do agree I am excited about adoption, not the process which I am sure will be incredibly stressful, tiring and at times painful, but that it will mean we will be able to provide a loving and supportive home for one or two children who are in real need of it. I do however, still struggle every day with the unfairness of not being able to have a child the same way as most people, for me this hasn’t gotten any easier, although I may pretend to others and sometimes even myself that it has.

I am currently on a flight to Boston for work, which means being away from Heidi for a whole week, this is not something I like to do. The picture above says everything. We both had these words tattooed on our bodies following our wedding, they are the words to a song we had when we signed the wedding register. For me they opitimise the impact this woman has had on my life. I was in a shocking place and I knew the day I met her this was someone who was going to change my life, more importantly, change me.

Yes, we thought our life would be different, we both thought we would get married, get pregnant, have kids (just the two, we are not greedy)  and live happily ever after… after all, that’s what happens to everyone else isn’t it.

So that didn’t happen for us, and on days like today, it hurts more than ever. I was at the airport when Heidi posted on instagram a lovely picture of me with my godson and his sister having a cuddle on our hammock yesterday, with the comment ‘this man was born to be a father and hopefully someday soon he will be’. Even though I was in an airport I am not afraid to admit this made my cry. I think this was for a number of reasons, but most notably, and I don’t know why, it’s actually reminded me that I feel I have let my wife down.

It will never matter how many times I am told, it’s not my fault, it’s just biology etc etc, I’ve always felt it’s been my job to provide, be it financially, emotionally or in this case, the baby. Yes it’s stupid, yes I know I need to get over myself, but some days are just harder than others.

So, not an easy post to write. But as always I feel better for just getting it out there.

Miss you so much already baby x 

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Content


It is ages since I last wrote anything on here. If I’m honest, I forgot about it! I think partly due to being busy, as ever and also due to the simple fact that I feel quite content at the moment.

I am happy with life. How could I not be? It’s days like the last few that really remind me how lucky I am to lead the life I do. 

Yesterday for example, I worked in the morning – saw a couple of clients, then did a workout in the garden and a 5k run in the sun. Then I mowed the lawn whilst my lunch cooked and sat outside to eat. I then treated another three clients in the afternoon, finished at 6pm and spent the evening with my husband. Can’t really complain at that!

But I think I am also content, not only with my lifestyle, but with our recent big decision.

We have made the firm decision that we will apply to adopt in August. And I feel good about it. Excited. Nervous. But overall very positive. I think it’s the right step for us.

I still have moments where I feel angry or upset that having children naturally hasn’t happened for us. But those moments are becoming shorter and fewer. I know the adoption process is pretty gruelling and at times I will probably question why we are doing it. But then I fast forward to a years time when we could have our little family and the thought makes me light up on the inside and tear up on the outside!

So I guess for me, contentment reduces my blogging output! Sorry if that means I only blog when the times get tough! But maybe that’s the way it is. I’ll certainly try to update more once we officially start the adoption approval process.

H

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First steps to our family 2.0

So, after making the really hard decision that we were not going to be able to have a family the ‘conventional way’ and that adoption would be our best option, today we started the journey.

As we do not have children (obviously) we are required to obtain experience of looking after children unaccompanied … luckily our friends and family appear more than willing to lend us theirs !

Today we took out my niece and nephew (Jago and Isabella) for a walk in the park in Bury and a lite lunch. We had a lovely time and the kids were really well behaved. Now I know 4 hours is nothing like being a full time parent, but I found the experience really useful and it has made me even more excited about the journey myself and Heidi are about to start.

While this was not the plan, it was not how I thought my family would come about, and it’s been painful to this point, I am starting to see a light at the end of this dark tunnel, a light I have not seen for quite some time 

A

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Some days are not as hard as others !


Not posted anything for a while, it’s not been lack of things to say, but I’ve been struggling to articulate my thoughts of late. When we set up this blog I promised myself I wouldn’t use it just to complain about the things I didn’t have and the things that were going wrong !

In the last few months we’ve had a lot of things go against us, I’ve become more angry and more resentful that I was before, which is quite impressive. So, I chose not to post anything.. the old adage ‘if you haven’t got anything nice to say’.

So why am I posting today, because I have a am feeling positive for the first time in a longtime. It’s our anniversary this weekend, 4 years since I married the woman who saved my life… I know a lot of people make statements like that, but for me, I have to say I believe it. When I met Heidi in 2011, it’s fair to say I was not in a good place.. drinking heavily.. racking up debt, and frankly I wasn’t a very nice person. The only real thing I had going for me at that time was my two furrballs Ollie and Diesel (miss them every day). On our first date it’s fair to say we didn’t 100% click, to be honest, I didn’t think she would want to see me again. But she did, and I am grateful every day for that. Heidi saw past the confident, arragont persona I was putting out there and took the time to see the real me. The place I was in when we met I couldn’t see how I was ever going to be happy, and it took me a long time to really let Heidi in, and even now I am probably still guarded when it comes to some things … but I know I have someone on my life who will always be there for me, and I am so so lucky to have found her.

So, over 6 years together .. 4 of them married we have done a lot. Yes, we’ve had some bad luck, but when I reflect on some of the amazing places we have been, the fact we are in a good financial position when so many people are struggling these days, and we have friends and family who love and support us, I have to say I feel like a very lucky man.

So this post is really to say thankyou to my beautiful wife for always being there for me, accepting me for who I am, but always making me want to be a better person, the kind of person who deserves someone like her.

A

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What a great testament to adoption


Just flicked through my Facebook feed as I do several times a day (I really need to cut back on this!) and came across a video which I wanted to share.

It’s of a guy named Ryan talking about his birth mum. He was adopted as a baby and I just found his attitude towards his adoptive parents and his birth mum so inspirational. He seems to really have his head screwed on! As much as he is intrigued about his birth mum and any potential other family, he believes that it’s not just about him and doesn’t want to intrude and make things difficult for her and her family. He just wants to say Thankyou for bringing him into this world and having the strength and courage to realise that she could not offer him everything she felt he deserved. It’s a very touching video and has further confirmed my interest in adopting.

Take a look:

https://youtu.be/E_Zy3kQr-0w

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Decisions, decisions, decisions 

So, the picture above is after myself and my amazing wife completed the Great East Anglian 10k run this weekend. This is something we had been training for the last few months. While this was a great day, and we have had a great weekend with our friends over the bank holiday, I have also spent the weekend thinking about a lot of things.

Work – I have mentioned before that my job, like so many others comes with a lot of pressure and the associated stresses. I don’t mind the stress, but what I have been struggling with over the last few months is that I am not actually enjoying the job, and therefore I am starting to question my long term future. I have infact recently applied for a new role, which I will here more about next week, but more than anything I need to really think about what I am looking to achieve career wise over the next few years.
Ivf / adoption – we met with our Doctor during the week and now we have to decide if we want to put ourselves through another cycle of IVF or to make the decision that it is something that will not happen for us, and that actually the rewarding decision to go down the adoption route is not a failure, but the start of an exciting new journey.
Savings / Investment / spending – and this point is linked to the two items above. We are so lucky in that we are currently in a position where we can save money on a regular basis while still be able to do most things we want too (within reason) and have a number of ongoing investments. What I am struggling with internally is what’s the best for now, versus what’s the best for the future. Clearly decisions here will be linked to both spending decisions (ivf) and working choices (pay cut etc), I do not want to put myself and Heidis lifestyle at risk, but at the same time, I am concerned that if I do not make some changes, my marriage or my life could be adversely affected, which is not something I want to do!

So, I have lots of questions, and not many answers right now. I am sure this is something everyone feels like from time to time, I am pleased I know I have these questions and I have identified the risks, the most important thing for me is to find more time to try and find the answers

A

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Our Loss

I have been wanting to write this post for a while now. Really since someone close to us also suffered a miscarriage. Today seems like a fitting day as it is exactly one year since we received that awful news.

Miscarriages occur in approximately 1-in-4 pregnancies. That’s a lot but most people won’t know the numbers are that high. But when it happens to you, you’re left feeling very much alone. Miscarriage is not discussed as much as it should be, probably due to the sensitivity of the subject but that leaves it with a stigma. As a woman who has been through it you feel so many things and many of which (such as loss and anger) are understandable and perfectly natural. But I also felt a sense of guilt, responsibility and isolation that I think could be reduced if miscarriage was more of an open topic. So here I am, talking about our miscarriage.

As you may know from previous posts we conceived twins on our first attempt at IVF. We were scheduled to attend our fertility clinic for an 8 week scan on the 13th April last year. We were both very nervous but excited to find out if everything was ok – if they could see a little heartbeat on the screen.

In the early hours of that morning I woke up with pain in the right side of my lower abdomen. I had been suffering with mild ovarian hyper stimulation so was used to being uncomfortable and bloated but this was very different. The pain gradually got worse so we called 112 for advice and after a couple of phone calls back and forth were advised to go to A&E.

We arrived at around 3am and were seen very quickly initially although were then left in a room on our own whilst the triage nurse went off to get advice and work out where to send me. The pain was still increasing and I was starting to feel nauseous and feverish.

I was wheeled up to the gynocology ward and I don’t remember a huge amount of the next few hours other than writhing around in pain waiting to see a Doctor. Eventually I had an examination and was pleased to hear that my cervix was still closed. I was given liquid painkillers which I rapidly vomited up so a morphine injection was administered. Eventually this took hold and I became more comfortable.

Around 9am I was wheeled up to the Early Pregnancy Unit for a scan. To our delight this showed two babies, both with heart beats! We were advised that one of the twins looked a good size, whereas the other was a bit on the small size and they thought it was 50/50 as to whether he or she would continue to develop. We were made an appointment for 2 weeks time to return so they could check the progress of the smaller twin. We went home late morning, tired, anxious but happy.

All went well for the next 10 days. My nausea and tiredness were irritating but as most expectant mums will agree, worth it for the end result!

On Saturday 23rd April I woke up and instantly felt ‘different’. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly how I felt or what had changed but I pushed it to the back of my mind, convincing myself that it was nothing.

On Wednesday 27th April we returned to the Early Pregnancy Unit for another scan. Neither of us had slept well the night before for a mix of nerves and excitement. I was just a couple of days short of 10 weeks pregnant.

There I was on the bed, with Andy holding my hand beside me and dildocam firmly inserted when I heard the words that I will never forget:

“I’m afraid I have some terrible news for you”.

There were no heart beats. I just lay there silently, unsure what to feel. A second sonographer came in to confirm the news and I felt like my whole world imploded. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. After everything we had gone through to get pregnant in the first place, to hear those words was soul destroying.

I felt numb initially and then the despair kicked in. I cried my way out of the hospital and into the car and most of the way home. Once we got home the tears came harder and faster for a while before eventually becoming more sporadic and less long lasting.

We both cancelled any commitments for the rest of the week and stayed at home, just the two of us in our little bubble, trying to deal with what had happened. I didn’t get dressed properly for at least 3 days. I barely moved from the sofa and survived on Doritos and cereal initially until my appetite came back and takeaways became the food of choice. I had no will power to do anything. Not to cook, not to go out and not to see or speak to anyone. I just closed myself off from everything and everyone.

As happens with loss, the despair turned to anger. Why us? Hadn’t we suffered enough? I’m sad to say that in my anger I destroyed the physical 8 week scan photos we had of our babies. I so desperately wish I hadn’t now. I still have the photos (above) I had excitedly taken of them to send to my mum and sister, but the actual print outs are long gone.

The guilt also kicked in, just after the anger I think. What had I done wrong? Did I work too hard? Did I eat something wrong? Did I not take my progesterone medication correctly? Should I have started eating dairy again to help with calcium for the babies?

Amongst this pain and heartache I had to make the choice of how to proceed. I was given options at the hospital but was in too much of a state to make a decision. I could either wait for things to happen naturally (which I was told could be weeks because it seems the larger baby had kept growing up until just a few days earlier); take medication which would effectively start things off (I hear this can be pretty painful and traumatic), or go in for a day patient procedure under general anaesthetic to have all ‘pregnancy tissue’ removed.

I chose the third option. To me it seemed the most bearable. I wanted to go in, get it out, not see a thing or have any pain and get on with our lives. I feel that it was the right option for me. We did have to wait a week for an available time, but we were treated well and the procedure was successful with no subsequent pain and limited bleeding. I would definitely do this again if ever in the same situation. I hope not to have to make that choice again.

As the days and weeks have passed the pain fades but there will always be a little bit of me which will be sad every now and again when I think of those babies we lost. I have accepted that this has happened and that I did nothing wrong. I find some kind of comfort in the knowledge that these babies were not strong enough for this world. Most unexplained miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities. Even had they been born they would possibly have had illnesses or disabilities. And I couldn’t selfishly wish for them to be here if they were suffering.

Whenever I hear of someone expecting – especially twins, or when I hear of another miscarriage, it makes my heart ache. But I can now talk about it openly and without becoming teary. That’s what I’m doing and would encourage all women who have lost a baby to do. It helps to know you’re not alone. To know that this happens all the time and it’s nothing you did wrong. To know that there are no answers as to why it happened. To know that it’s simply bad luck, as hard as that may be to accept at the time.

H

 

 

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Lucky lucky lucky 

So, some times a picture speaks a thousand words !


On Saturday we started using our log burner and we noticed it was smelling strange… I brushed it off as a different type of wood, but turns out, as you can see, it was actually that the pillow we had put on top for poppy to sleep on was literally melting!! At one point on Saturday, we went out for 3 hours !! Can you imagine what might of happened !! We were so lucky !!

But this is not the only reason I am lucky. Today, I had a bad day at work, as a Finance Director I pride myself on being results driven, accuracy of forecasting and ensuring everything I do is clear, concise, accurate based on strong assumptions, but today I had to explain an error ! 

Let’s be clear, I didn’t make the mistake, but I didn’t spot it.. no one died, but something I owned was wrong.. no one was hurt,, but my credibility was dented with those I want to respect me…. 

so, I am feeling shocking !!

What happens next.. I find out one of my friends nieces is very sick!!!! 

I find out an ex professional footballer has died at the age of 44 !!!

Yesterday in France there was another terrorist attack.

Perspective people !!!

Yes, I made a mistake, yes I feel I need to do better in my job, did I mean to do it, no.. but it happened.. will there be repurcussions, perhaps.. however then I saw this

And then I realised.. I have this someone, so not only did I not burn down my house.. not only is my job not life of death (even if it feels like it is) I have someone so special in my life if I think about it, I am one of the luckiest people alive

A

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What Have I Become?

I’m feeling pretty miserable today.

I’m not sure why. But I’m struggling to even muster a smile.

I realised whilst doing the banking and food shopping this afternoon, that I feel like this a lot these days.

I never used to be like this. Ok, I wasn’t all smiles and joy all the time (is anyone, really?), but I was happy way more than I was unhappy.

I have had friends who always seemed to be on a downer and I always wondered what their problem was. I never understood how someone can be down so much.

It hit me whilst forcing bags of food shopping into my Mini, that infertility has done this to me. It’s changed me in ways I haven’t even realised, without warning.

I think that trying to understand how it has affected me may help me to stop it changing me any further. Maybe it will even help someone else going through the same thing. So here goes:

  1. I have less faith in the world
    I definitely feel that I have less faith in ‘everything will be ok’. I used to try to look on the bright side, but now I seem to have a more pessimistic view on things. I used to like the saying ‘everything will be alright in the end, if it’s not alright, it’s not the end’. Now I find it irritating.
  2. I expect bad stuff to happen
    Every day when Andy goes off to work, I worry that he won’t come back. If I haven’t heard from him I presume he’s been involved in a horrific car crash.
    Every time one of the cats doesn’t instantly appear when called I think they must be lying dead on the road.
    The constant worrying is getting exhausting.
  3. I can’t do nothing
    No longer can I just spend time chilling out. My mind needs to be occupied by something to prevent it wandering into areas that I know will make me sad, or mad. I’m either pottering in the house, or flicking pointlessly through my phone. I can’t just sit and do nothing. Even watching TV, unless I’m really engrossed in something, usually allows my mind to wander too far.
  4. The smallest things knock me over the edge
    It really doesn’t take much nowadays for my mood to go from good to ‘crazy old hag’. Something as relatively small as a client not turning up, or Andy being later home than expected can rapidly change my mood.
  5. I put on a front
    To everybody (except Andy – 90% of the time). Even good friends who know about our situation and want to lend a sympathetic ear. I find myself giving them the latest update with a smile to suggest it’s all ok. Even when telling my oldest friends about the miscarriage (a couple of months later), I smiled and laughed my way through it. They must have thought I was mad. That, or they saw through my shield of smiles and realised that if I don’t smile I’ll fall apart. And I’m not doing that.
  6. I’m angry at my body
    Why isn’t it doing what it should? Why at the grand old age of 33 have I got acne worse than I ever had as a teenager? And dermatitis on my face of all places! Why can I not have a regular monthly cycle, ovulate every month and produce a damn egg good enough to make a viable baby! Before all of this my only body issues were slightly smaller boobs than I’d like and a butt that wobbled a bit more than it ought. Oh and sweaty pits.

I’m sure more ways I have changed will come to mind as soon as I post this, but these are the most glaringly obvious.

Here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow.

H

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Just a quick one


So we got home on Friday from our week away, 2 of our friends had been house / cat sitting for us. I have to say, after losing Purdy 2 weeks ago today it was very hard not to worry every day that Pongo and Poppy would not also get hurt. That said I was so pleased when I got home and both were healthy and really pleased to see us.

It’s really easy in life to fixated on what is not ideal in your life, infertility, a stressful job, not having the perfect body… but sometimes you have to stop to remember and be grateful for what you have, and that’s what I am doing today. Back to work in a few days which will bring more stress and very long hours, but I intend to spend the next 36 hours loving my wife, my cats and being grateful for those things I have 

A

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