Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Not sure how best to express this one.

My friend doing her 'last chance' cycle at 41 got one egg. It wasn't even good enough to use.

Her husband was already on a flight from Holland to do his bit. She'll tell him when he lands that it's all over.

I'm gutted.

VIsited my friend in hospital who's now 26 weeks. Took her some home-made tabbouleh salad which she's been craving  She's in a hospital that equipped to try to save babies as tiny as 20 weeks. People transfer from other London hospitals because of this. She lost her twins at 23 and 24 weeks. The hospital she was in wouldn't even try and at the time she had no idea about this hospital. How must she feel?

She's in a ward of 4 beds. There have been a stream of women in to be induced so she's had to listen to a stream of ladies in labour. The nurse said they really try not to let that happen but there were no other beds. Lying there trying to hold onto your 6 month old pregnancy listening to others give birth. How must she feel?

The consultant told her she'd be in at least 2 more weeks and then most likely transfer to a hospital with a standard neo-natal unit. She's got to endure that torture that much longer. How must she feel?

I got home tonight and as I was crawling up the corridor on my hands and knees after a laughing baby thanked G-d for our blesssing.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Just a little something extra

Is it me or are there more and more people going through IVF?

Perhaps it's the snowball effect and as i've made no secret of my treatment, perhaps people feel they can share with me?

I've several friends going through cycles at the moment. My hairdresser is on her second cycle as she has endometriosis. She's one of those girls you feel is a dead cert. She's fallen pg in the past but can't now. She has 6 frozen from her first cycle. She's 34. I feel she'll be fine. (Hmmmmm - just read that and apologise. It was an ignorant thing to have written and I should know better. I hope things work out for her, but i'm well aware that you never know who'll succeed in this lottery.)

Another is from the relaxation group I joined through my first clinic. She's on her 5th or 6th cycle. She's 41 or 42 and her response is not great. She's doing a second go at my fab top London clinic. I've everything crossed for her.

The last one is an old school friend who lives in Holland. She has a 9 yr old but never managed a second baby. She did 3 rounds several yrs ago but couldn't face it any more. She feels on the edge of her fertile years and felt she had to try one last time. She's also at my clinic as she wanted to try them as their scores are so good and the hearsay so full of praise. We had lunch this week and I can feel from her whole being how much hope there is and how far she has to fall if this doesn't work for her. She's knows rationally that she's been blessed with one child, but biology says something different.

I hope they are all lucky.

I have another friend who lost twins at 23 and 24 weeks last year. They were conceived on her 2nd cycle. She had OHSS twice and has really suffered. She survived (just) and was brave enough to have one more cycle. She's now 25 weeks pg with another baby after her 3rd round of treatment BUT has been admitted to hospital as her c.ervix is again shortened. She'll be there at least 3 weeks as they try to get her little one to a size that they could even try to save him/her. It's SO unfair. I'm praying that this baby lives. I'm not sure how anyone would cope with that much upset.

Why do some people pop out babies as easily as peas from a pod and others endure so much? There's absolutely no sense to all of this. I'm blessed but already eyeing pg women with children & trying to avoid their company. I'm sorry if that's offensive to those still trying. I do know i'm one of the lucky ones - especially when i talk to my friends on the other side.

Pamela Carter RIP

A couple of years ago, Mr G and i 'adopted' an old couple.

I've told the story before of how we passed her (Pam) struggling on the street with heavy shopping attached to her wheely walking stick. It was a cold Boxing Day and just after we saw her, Mr G said we must help her. We turned around and offered to help her home. She was lovely. Very interesting and bright - i've since found out she was then in her late 70's. She and her husband lived in a nearby basement apartment and had no children.

At the time she felt like the ghost of Xmas future. I started taking her a newspaper in every other Saturday and have done so for the last couple of years. Two and a half to be exact. As she and her husband (George) were both heavy smokers, i have visited less often in the last 18 months but still tried to make sure we got that newspaper to them every other week. She's white, English born and bred and her husband is from Trinidad. As their marriage would have been unusual - to say the least - in the 1960's when they wed, they had become a little reclusive.

A few months ago Pam let on that she had terminal cancer. She never, ever complained and rarely admitted to being in pain. Her niece - who i've come to be very fond of too - worked hard to get Pam proper medical care and a few weeks ago Pam was admitted to a hospice. I was able to take Barney in to see her there and he brought a smile to her face.

On 7th August, 2 days after her 81st birthday, Pam passed away. I visited twice the day before. She was barely conscious but i touched her arm and told her that her niece would be there the next day to see her. (Her niece lives about an hour's drive from Lond.on) 5 minutes after her niece sat down and took Pam's hand, Pam let go and slipped away. She was in so much pain by then it was a blessing.

I felt sad, but it wasn't until her funeral last week that it really hit home. I watched George sitting in a wheel chair - he was admitted to a different hospital just after Pam was taken into the hospice with non life-threatening problems. He also has severe dementia and is struggling with her death. He only saw her once in the hospice. He was sobbing and unable to say anything other than "Pam was great" in his Caribbean twang. It broke my heart. Mr G and I were both in tears.

After the funeral we found out that Pam had left us each £1500. We were shocked. I'm still not sure how I feel about that. We "adopted" then purely because we liked them and wanted to help. If i'm honest there was an element of "there but for the grace of..." about our actions. My husband is a kinder and more charitable person than I am but I try to do my best with actions.

It's been an emotional month.