Become a parent they said!

I am not sure why I wanted to become a parent. I am sure I know why I had more than 2 children. More on that later.

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I am probably the least maternal person I know. I don’t like hugs and kisses, especially when they come with dirty, sticky fingers and mouths. I am a little bit of a germophobe and very much an introvert, who hates being touched.

My first child took us 5 years and nearly R 250 000 to conceive through fertility treatments.

I was fairly young when we started treatment, just 25 years old but I had a history and so the specialists started treatment right away. Generally they wait until you are around 27 and have been trying for at least 3 years. We had only been trying for a year.

They say that if your marriage can survive fertility treatment, it can survive anything. After nearly 30 years of marriage, I think that is true. I believe that they now have counselling for couples going through treatment.

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Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Once all the testing phases were completed and we still had no idea why I wasn’t managing to conceive, we went through 10 rounds of artificial insemination (AI).

The tests included blood tests for hormone levels, his and mine. Test for immunity to all childhood illnesses. Tests for chemical compatibility, a woman can be allergic to her partners sperm or have a very acidic body which will kill the sperm. Then I went for a horrible procedure that was not supposed to be painfull but it actually was!

They inject dye into your uterus and watch under xray to see that the Fallopian tubes are not blocked and that the eggs once released will be able to travel to the designated spot for fertilization. The dye leaked slightly into my abdominal cavity and caused the most horrific cramping. I was having visitors that night and I even had to drive myself home. I was told I would be fine, so I had made no arrangements and sent my husband off to work that morning!

AI involves, going in for (in those days) hormone injections every day for 12 days,somewhere between day 10 to 14, you have an ultrasound to see if you are producing eggs and to calculate ovulation. No intercourse aloud during those days. When they think you are about to ovulate, your partner has to then ejaculate into a little bottle (this can be done at home or they have a special room), the sperm needs to go with you to the clinic, you only have a very small window before they start to die.

The technician then cleans up the sperm so you only get the best. You now lie on a bed with your underwear off and your legs up in holders. The doctor then inserts a long thin tube attached to a syringe containing the sperm into your uterus and pushes the plunger.

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Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

AND then you wait. After the longest 10 days of your life you go for a blood test that tells if it worked or not. No peeing on a stick allowed!

The idea behind this is that the sperm are ready for the eggs that were hopefully released and are ready to be fertilised. The release date is triggered by another different hormone injection.

Fertility treatment is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy! The rounds of medications, scans, blood tests and disappointments, month after month, can really put a strain on your relationships, finances and body.

I was pms’ing for nearly 5 years! I had to stop work because I wasn’t able to deal with patients who were pregnant.

I am still not sure how my husband put up with the bitch that I was for those 4 years! Finally the specialist decided it was time to move on to In-vitro-Fertilization (IVF). We decided that if it didn’t work, then  we would just not have children!

Before this could happen, I had to go back and repeat the dye procedure as it had now been 3 years. This time I was prepared, everything was organised at home, my husband was with me to take me home. NO pain, nothing. I was perfectly fine this time round and we were given the all clear to begin treatment.

The IVF was even worse than the AI. I had to be on birth control for a month, no hormone activity allowed! Then the injections begin and this time they are stronger and cause more severe mood swings than ever. Finally the day of the scan arrives and your egg sizes are carefully measured. You get given a date and you need to be in hospital for them to harvest your eggs. You partner needs to give his donation at the same time.

A light anesthetic is given and when you wake up you have a little drawing on your hand to say how many eggs they got.

The sperm is then injected into the eggs, now you wait again. Another long 3 days! Back to the doctor to now have the fertilized and growing eggs put into your uterus where they will hopefully develop into a fetus and then a baby.

Thankfully the IVF worked and after 8 months I gave birth to a very special young man, *Joseph. *Joseph was 3 weeks early, he had been in a rush to get out from around 27 weeks. I was hospitalised a few times to stop the contractions but now it was time. He was born weighing a whopping 2,5kg.

For those who never struggle to conceive, just remember everytime you bend over that toilet bowl to hurl, someone is wishing they were you!

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Photo by Tim Bish on Unsplash

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When the Bubble bursts

When the bubble bursts and you start to fall. When we first married, my husband was buying into what he thought was a thriving business. The person he was buying it from was a close family member.

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The kind you would instinctively assume would have your back no matter what. 6 years later we discovered that was not true.

We got married and lived in a small apartment in a not so marvelous part of the city but it was within our budget.

At this stage the family member discussed selling the business with my husband. I probably should have given my opinion then but it was a family business and I didn’t want to later be told ‘It’s your fault xyz’. They kept the business and my husband was often told to buy things through this business for our private life.

Shortly after our first year of marriage we moved to a rented house in a better suburb. We had been trying at this stage to have a baby for about a year, with no success.

My husband was then convinced by the family member to buy us a house, as the rented house was no longer safe. The foundation was sinking.

We discussed options and costs and were told not to worry, we can use the money from the business, they would just increase *John’s salary to cover the costs.

I was working for a busy GP practice. I had to resign during my last year of fertility treatment as I was always to sick from the hormones to work.

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It took us 5 years and  R 250 000 to have our first child, *Joseph was born in 1996. Around this time I discovered that the business my husband was buying in to was actually going into debt. I had stopped working and was now a full time mom.

In 1997, the  bubble burst, big time. The business went into liquidation, we nearly lost our house as my husband was listed as one of the business partners and our house was a cc, with him as a partner. I also discovered that I was pregnant with child number 2. *Joseph was 9 months old at the time.

My husband went into voluntary liquidation. The family member managed to make sure his house was safe. Thankfully a good friend in the legal business helped us move the house from a CC to my name. We have an ANC marriage contract so everything, the house and 2 cars were put under my name.

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The first thing I did was find temporary work as a receptionist, no one wants to hire a pregnant woman. My husband eventually found a job when I was 32 weeks into my pregnancy. He held that job for the next 4 years, it was an NGO and the politics eventually got to him.

As I have said previously my husband is a nice guy, he is no good at politics. He had to go to the CCMA, he won his case and this kept us going for the 3 months it took for him to find a new job.

My new baby, a girl this time, *Shirley, came with me to a flexible job I had found doing data capture. She was 2 weeks old when I started there.

When she was 4 months old, she started at a creche and I found full time work back at my old boss.

In the space of 6 years we went from having no money worries, to almost losing everything we had.

This was not the last time this trusted family member nearly cost us everything, we are still not recovered.

*A reminder that names have been changed and pictures are free images from WP*

 

 

 

I Hate Mothers Day!

art-statue-child-mother.jpgI Hate mothers day! I have now been a mother for 21 years and have yet to receive a mothers day card or gift.

I don’t expect a gift. Money is tight and gifts can be expensive. I would however, like someone to acknowledge the fact that it is mothers day.

There are so many ways to thank your mom on mothers day without it costing you money.

Hand made vouchers for a cup of tea/coffee, breakfast in bed, offering to cook or do a chore.

A handmade card with a message inside, would be appreciated. It’s not like there is no coloured papers or coloured pencils in my house, I still have 3 at school. We have computers, we have a printer. How hard could it be.pexels-photo-264902.jpeg

I have treated myself to a mothers day present, an expensive one! I have hired a business coach!

So today for mothers day, I am taking my mom out for coffee and she is taking me to clothes shopping as she has a credit at a store and she thinks I need new clothes.

My mother is an amazingly strong woman in her late 70’s who has just been made chairperson of the retirement village she lives in. She has been my support during a lot of turbulent times.

For mothers day today, I am going to the store to buy my groceries for the week. When I get home, I then get to cook lunch and then later dinner. I get to help my older daughter create her Facebook page for her new make up business and I get to help my foster daughter with her homework.

So now that my bitter rant is over, I hope all the moms out there get something nice for mothers day and have a fantastic day! Remember fathers day is next month!

How is mothers day acknowledged in your home?

The first 50 years or so

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I was born 51 years ago.  I have been married for 27 years. I have been a nurse for 30 years. I am the mom of 5 children, 1 boy and 4 girls ranging in age from 13 to 22. We have 2 cats and 2 small dogs.

I consider myself to have lived a relatively privileged life. My parents while never very wealthy were comfortable. As is common in South Africa we had a domestic worker growing up. I employ 1 full time domestic and 1 part-time.

I have 1 sibling. My father passed away 2 years ago my mother is still going strong.

My timeline is boring as I have no real memories of growing up. I will be blogging about each step in my timeline:

Born in 1967, in Johannesburg to my parents. We lived in an apartment in Berea, Johannesburg.

1969 my brother was born.

1972 we moved to a house and my parents lived there for 45 years.

I started primary school in 1973 and moved on to high school in 1980.

I began University in 1986, I will not state where or what I studied as this is my anonymous blog and I am relatively well known. I studied in the medical field.

I got married in 1991, he is not the love of my life and I have never been in love. I married my husband because he didn’t annoy me! I am not a romantic person. I dated frequently while at varsity.

I was too young to have married. I settled at the age of 24 for a nice, kind, undemanding soul. I think I did us both a disservice.

He is also in a medical type profession. We lived a charmed life, where money was no object until 1998 when the business my husband was buying into went into liquidation.

We struggled with infertility. We eventually had 4 children and foster a 4th. I had 2 miscarriages after child number 4.

I worked in a busy GP practice, a staff clinic for a large company, a occupational health clinic, as a volunteer medic, in a busy Emergency Department and for a specialist practice.

I am a lifestyle blog with a specific niche, I will not be sharing that blog here.

I believe that life is what you make of it and I am just coasting. I know there are others out there in the same situation.

We are financially strained and struggle each day to survive.

I am sure that I will offend some people, entertain some people. Educate and enlighten.

Hopefully a little of everything. I hope you find this a place of honesty and help.

Any advice I give is my own and should always be followed up by a professional. All opinions are my own and do not represent any nationality, race or religion. I do not tolerate bigotry, racial hatred and intolerance or religious persecution!

I don’t like people in general and I prefer social media over person to person interactions.

*Due to the nature of this blog and my alternate life all names of family and friends have been changed. Some of my pictures are from stock images. I credit all photograph and images to the photographer whose images I use in my blog.