Current thinking

H is actually wondering whether being made redundant isn’t really one of those ‘blessings in disguise’, in that it’ll bounce him into making some fairly major career/life-style/ambition changes. And bounce me too. Especially given that I am Not Entirely Enamoured with my current job and concomittant life.

You see, the plan was, when I hit 40, to Stop. By 40 we’ll either a) have a kid, or b) have reached the absolute end of biological kid road.

[Yes, I know many women can and do get pregnant and give birth safely in their 40s. But I a) will have already given ten years to Project Genesis by then, and seriously, enough already, there’s more to me than refreshing my gene-pool, and b) probably won’t hit menopause until I’m in my 50s, like my dear mama, and I can’t won’t shan’t spend my 40s in increasing total fucking agony and incapacity. Like I said, there’s more to me than reproduction, and it’d be nice to focus on that instead. And c) I’m a ‘habitual’ miscarrier now. With even staler eggs, in perimenopause? I’d be an obsessive compulsive miscarrier. No. Just, NO.]

Where was I? Oh, yes. The reason H and I are doing these our current jobs, living this life, saving money, yada yada, is because we were planning on having kids in our 30s, and wanted the security of incomes, and paid parental leave, and ability to choose (for me) whether to parent full-time or work part-time (which I could do at current place of employment) when said kids had the grace to show up. When we hit 40, either we’d have the kid(s), in which case all bets are off, because crap knows how parenting and work and finances would work out (how can we know? We’ve never tried it). Or we’d have no kids, and I would be putting a stop to any chance of having any via my reproductive tract (Mirena. Hysterectomy. That sort of thing (I can’t fucking live like this for another 15 years. I can’t. I bloody won’t)). And in that case, we both were planning to re-evaluate our lives anyway, and turn our attentions to our other loves, passions, and ambitions, which may or may, crucially, not, include working seven or eight or nine hours a day, every day, with huge commutes, on and on, for ever and ever, in jobs that aren’t especially creative or challenging (in my case) or are endlessly bogged down in bureaucratic faff and pointy-haired bossishness despite the interesting nature of the actual work itself once you’re allowed out of the endless cycle of stupid pointless meetings to do any (in H’s case).

So, rethinking may well have merely popped up four years early.

*Thinks furiously*

Like I said, we both have quite a lot of money saved, and if H is pushed overboard, it’ll be with a little life-raft and a cask of water.

*Chews nails off*

Ow.

So H and I are making lists (lists are good. All the illusion of control and organisation, with none of the fuss of actual exertion. Bonus, you might actually do something that’s on the list, and then you get to feel smug and really organised).

This all makes IVF even more of a moot point. I know I have come across as quite pissily anti-IVF sometimes (for me. I’m not pissily anti-IVF for you. I know that IVF is a brilliant, clever, and wonderful thing, and for a lot of us infertiles, a hope, a chance, the best thing to do, and a Godsend, all in one ball). The idea of spending all that money (I no longer qualify for NHS assistance) for the exact same chance of getting pregnant and a statistically identical chance of miscarrying again? According to an internationally renowned expert as well as according to my NHS gynaecologist? (No, we don’t have REs in Britain. Well, we do, but we don’t CALL them REs, so please, no more kindly-meant emails about getting myself referred to an RE. Thank you).

But I’ve always been aware that I might stop getting pregnant on my own. I might stop ovulating again. One of my doctors may well sigh, and say that actually, diagnostic IVF might be a good idea after all (I’d freak at this point. I’m thirty-fucking-six. NOW it’s a good idea again? After having been a bad idea for FOUR FUCKING YEARS? But I digress). In which case, we had savings, we could do said bloody buggering arseing what-the-fuck what-the-hell IVF.

However, if H is made redundant and we Change Our Ways, we’ll need the savings to live on, so IVF utterly is off the table forever.

Hmmm.

I thought this would make me hysterically anxious (hysterically! Get it? Yes? Oh, never mind). Oddly, it makes me feel relieved. Fewer choices. Less pressure. We’re doing our best and that is, after all, enough.

And when we’re 40, and have finally evicted the Infertility Elephant from our lives, we might, then, possibly, let in the Adoption Elephant. When we’re 40. When we know if rewiring our lives from scratch has worked or not. When we know we can consider it wholeheartedly.

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33 responses to “Current thinking

  • MFA Mama

    Ohhh, lists! This sounds rather exciting.

  • Womb For Improvement

    Sounds like you’ve got an opportunity. Scary but exciting.

    The IVF thing, it does sort of seem like that isn’t the answer, but how come you no longer qualify for NHS assistance? Is it because you have dipped your toe in the murky water of private consultation?

    (BTW Your number 15 on my blog was heartbreaking – makes me remember I haven’t had it that bad.)

  • korechronicles

    Lists are a great place to start, as is having the conversations discussing the stuff on the lists. Far better than panic, in my experience.

    But that Elephant? I only wish I could lead it quiertly, gently and permanently out of the room for you.

  • a

    Lists are good. Options are good. Limited options make choosing easier. And an entirely unexpected path? Well, it’s certainly different than…what is it?…woe bollocky dreariness, right?

    • May

      There’s always the glamorous possibility of New! Exciting! Unexpected! path, WITH woe-bollocky dreariness. Oh, God, I’m such a ray of sunshine today. Please ignore me.

  • Betty M

    I too love a list – mostly for purposes of creating illusion of action amid sea of chaos. You and H probably actually tick things off rather than move things to a new, prettier, more multi-coloured list the next day! Will H be blogging about his thought processes – or you?

    On IVF – I cant see why anyone would suggest it just for the hell of it unless they could guarantee to get you better odds. And as far as I know they cant. At least not yet. Its hardly like saying oh take low dose aspirin, it cant hurt. On researchy things generally I advise avoiding unhelpful reporting on the BBC re recurrent m/c research being presented at ESHRE mostly due to fact that they have opened it up for comment letting out a serious no of loons. In fact sometimes I’d rather they just didn’t report any science cos they never link to the actual papers and have an almost Daily Mail like attitude to research.

    • May

      Item number one on list: Make list. Then I can definitely tick something off.

      H? H! Come here and blog about your thought processes!

      Current BBC story on RPL is making me tear out my hair and spit green bile. GAAAAAAGH. And breathe.

  • twangy

    Lists! This is good. I like them – things CAN be ordered, and prioritised. Beat those things into submission, May and H! And to change metaphors completely mid-track: renovate, replaster, rewire! The force is strong with you – good on you both.

    • May

      I am loving the support and cheering.

      I’ll feel a right Charlie if after all this H gets a similar job in another branch and we all go back to the way we were….

  • Moira

    I do like a list.

    Totally get your thinking on the stop at 40 thing. I had a self agreement like that – bit older for me tho for various reasons. Ivf was my only option and my cut off was 42.

    M

    • May

      Yep. It helps to know what you can and can’t be doing with. My cut-off would be far later than 40 if it wasn’t for the fact my uterus is made of scrap-metal and glass shards – my family is prone to popping out yet another sproglet well into the 40s. I just can’t take the loss of quality of life for that long.

  • wombattwo

    Well the whole IVF thing, and that adoption elephant… I just think that you have to do what’s right for you. It’s your life. Yours. You and H are sensible and intelligent beings, and entirely capable of making well-informed decisions. Also, if it feels right, it probably IS right.

    I do whole-heartedly support getting the bloody uterus (ha, see what I did there? OK, will shut up now!) chopped out at some point though, if only because I hate seeing you/reading about you in so much pain every month.

    I hope that you and H find something wonderful, and fulfilling, from this opportunity. Yes, I think I’ll call it an opportunity. That whole Positive Thinking Fairy again…

  • thalia

    Well, that’s an impressive case of taking a piece of possibly totally gutting news in your stride.

    Bastards for changing the guidelines on you. I am fairly sure you could appeal to NICE if you wanted to given guidelines say you should be offered 3 cycles up to the age of 40, and nothing about BMI. But you are prob past that at this point.

    re IVF, one thing that doesn’t ring true is that you’d have the same chance of getting pregnant – that’s not true, your chance of getting pregnant on any one cycle would be dramatically increased. Plus you could opt for genetic testing to see if anything funky is going on with your embryos, which might then reduce the chance of miscarriage. That doesn’t mean you should do it, you and your docs need to have those discussions. But feel obliged to take an alternative point of view for the sake of argument!

    • May

      I know, my LHA are being dissembling BASTARDS about it all. I feel I ought to take them on on principle. Grrr.

      I do find the IVF thing confusing. On the one hand, every gynaecologist and doctor I’ve asked, up to and including The Professor who specialises in RPL, says that IVF absolutely will NOT increase my chances of getting pregnant, nor will it increase my chance of not miscarrying. The Professor specifically said PGD would NOT increase our chances, after I specifically asked her if it’d help. And then on the other hand, many intelligent people tell me, on this blog and in emails, that IVF would help and PGD would also help. The Professor at least can’t be accused of denying me IVF because of NHS rationing, as I’m seeing her privately. So who am I to believe? Perhaps it’d help people with other issues than mine. Skinny people, or people who aren’t 36 already, or people with more ovary and less chance of OHSS, or people whose karyotyping actually spotted something that could then be hunted down and weeded out of the embryos, or people with low sperm counts. I don’t know. I have asked and asked and asked my doctors, I have had those discussions with them. They all say IVF with PGD won’t increase my chances.

      If it weren’t for the fact that The Savings Are In Jeopardy, I may well have gone back and done IVF as a hail-Mary WTF bring-it-on Last-Chance-Saloon I’m-PAYING-so-shut-up-and-do-it in a year or two’s time. I was certainly keeping it in mind as a possibility. But that now belongs to Another Trouser-Leg of Time. So.

    • Hairy Farmer Family

      I am also inclined to think (on the basis of no science whatsoever!) that an IVF cycle carries an improved chance, but possibly that’s because I’ve become pregnant from all of mine. You, like I, have no problems with fertility Per Se, and could surely expect an improvement on the quoted odds, no? And having a squint at eggs and sperm doing their respective stuff out of situ is sometimes informative. But, as you wisely say, trouser of time, etc.

      • May

        I know. But all these medical professionals saying it won’t help. And everyone else saying, well, it might. *HEAD EXPLODES*. If it turns out it would’ve helped and I was denied it by medical professionals who should’ve known better, and now I can’t have it, I will spend my 40s and 50s consumed with rage. And I don’t want to. It’s better for my mental health, if nothing else, to assume The Professor and Miss Consultant and the NHS RPL guy do/did know what they were talking about.

  • Valery

    So, erhm. Elephants. I have vague notions of 40 years being the maximum allowed age for adopting parents. Sometimes this means age difference, so after 40 you cannot adopt a newborn, only older… or Blah it could all be different for every region, rules rules, crazy.
    But the other elephant, and with me trying to make sense of the ivf not increasing the odds (I get the OHSS) if PGD does not help because we don’t know what to look for, are we wordlessly suggesting that the Cute Ute is only cooperating for a few weeks and then doing her bloody drama queen show, just because she wants to show who is boss? I mean, in this parallel universe where savings are endless, would another uterus increase the chances of getting to full term?

    There is an image trying to pop into my head, something with you and H, goats, farm, B&B and homemade jam and scones… This probably means it is time for me to have some breakfast.
    Hold on you two! thinking of you.

    • wombattwo

      There’s not really a maximum age in the UK, however lots of places say that there shouldn’t be more than 45 years between the youngest applicant and the child. This does differ if you adopt from abroad, however, each country has their own set of rules. I think China has a limit of 40 years between the age of the child and the parents. Or they used to anyway.
      There aren’t many newborns for adoption in the UK in any case. Pre-school age kids or older are more likely. Those that are known to need adoption when they’re born, or even before they’re born, tend to go into foster care for a period of time anyway.

    • May

      What Wombattwo said.

      And thanks for the thoughts. Being thought of is very comforting.

  • manapan

    Damn, I get a little behind in reading and everything hits the fan. I’m sorry all this is happening to you guys.

    Lists are good. And since it sounds like adoption is on the Later List, have you looked into India? I know that having the information for a plan B, even though that plan was many, many years from even being considered seriously, always made me feel better.

    • May

      Thanks.

      I am looking, sporadically and vaguely, admittedly, into EVERYTHING, from every country I can think of. I’m even thinking of buying another notebook for Plan B Notes.

  • Quiet Dreams

    Wishing you calm and peace in all the list making and changes of planning.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    Project Genesis. Now THERE’S a cracking name for a blog!

    No consolation, I know, but this is so wonderfully written.

    • May

      Do you think it’s been taken? Surely someone’s taken it. It’s too good not to take. Anyone?

      Thank you. It’s consoling, at least, to have one small skillset (bitching eloquently, knitting socks, making ragu. Errr).

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