Getting informed

These are a few of the resources I rely on for practical information.

  1. Infertility Awareness Association of South Africa
    • Good for SA resources, clinics, medical aid info
    • Understand what to expect from FS, what the tests mean and so on
  2. Fertilicare
    • Fantastic support forum
    • Loads of general IF and SA specific information
    • Useful for reviews of doctors, facilities, treatments
  3. Fertility Friend
    • Widely used across the globe
    • General IF information
    • Charting and ovulation calculators
    • There’s also a series of email lessons for charting your way to conception

If you have any other recommendations, feel free to share in the Comments.

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Learning to speak IF

For a large part of the past couple of years I’ve been a silent member of this online community. Lurking on forums, never really engaging or participating out of fear of putting a label to it all.

I often have an online glossary open as I browse the forums, trying to make sense of this new lexicon.

I still reference this list on fantastic local site Fertilicare and this dictionary at Fertility Friend since my first and last panic-ridden-hopeful-most-real-feeling-heart-breaking 2WW early last year.

Lifestyle shake-up

As part of my TTC journey, I introduced the paleo lifestyle in December 2013. The plan is to gradually intensify the adherence to paleo until I have cut out processed foods, added sugars, and grains. For example, my typical meals consist of a non-dairy protein, a fat and vegetables. I try to snack on fruit but mostly end up going for nuts because I’m greedy.

Drinking about 2 litres of water a day is easy because it’s a habit I grew up with (Thanks Mommy!). Sometimes when I’m feeling fancy I’ll add mint, lime, lemon, cucumber in combination or individually to the 1,75 litre glass water jug (approx. R69.00 at Pick n Pay) I keep on my desk at work. I’ll try for about one and a half jugs of water at work and then drink more when I get home. I also try and eat dinner as early as possible so I tend to cook in bursts during the week (enough for breakfast and lunch and maybe adapt it to a second supper) and ensure I have a mix of fresh and frozen veggies on hand to add variety.

Late December when AF showed up I was PMSing like a crazy person and coupled with the frustration of another negative cycle, had a carbohydrate meltdown. I think I spent 3 days mostly watching TTC vlogs. I was also crying my eyes out at pretty much anything, including those annoying Youtube adverts. Many chocolates, almond flour pancakes, a baby cow’s worth of biltong and a banana-Bar-One waffle and ice cream later I realised I needed to pull myself together. I’ve picked up weight because of that malarkey which I’m a bit nervous to measure, I can tell for sure in the fit of my clothes that I’ve become more lardy after just two weeks.

PMS

What the low carb lifestyle means is that theoretically my body can process insulin a lot better (see the (pseudo?) sciencey stuff here). In the 3 weeks of my paleo SleekGeek Reboot before said meltdown, I definitely felt my clothes loosen up but more importantly felt my energy levels were a lot more stable and constant.

I’ve since jumped back on the wagon and continue tracking my food diary on My Fitness Pal (can’t seem to find a Blackberry app for it, boo!). Since I started tracking my daily food intake in November 2013, I’ve become a LOT more aware of portions and quality of food. Oh my goodness, I had not realised I was eating nearly double the calories needed to get to and maintain my goal weight. SO Gross.

Next step is to get back into exercise since my running injury. I’ve bought a modest cozzie so that I can hit the lap pool. This swimming top looks a bit goofy but it does its job of covering what I want covered. I got plain black swimming leggings to go with it, and of course I wear a bikini underneath because I’m not a crazy person and I have a weird complex about nipples showing through fabric.

Can we talk about TTC vlog intros?

Why are they so long?! When did that become a “thing”? I really just want to get to the content, but then there are all these montages of happiness and weddings and fur babies and sweeping orchestras. And then I feel sad because the couple is usually SO cute; and why can’t they replicate their cuteness; and emotions; and feelings etc.

Having said that… I really enjoy following a few vloggers:

  1. One of my faves, Connie K, who produces and films her vids quite well. She also does lifestyle posts which is a welcome buffer when the emotions are too raw. Otherwise I end up getting lost in things like Angela Anaconda or my fave band to detach from the FEELINGS
  2. Aussie Tina at TTC to the BFP
  3. AliciaAMS
  4. Carisa who has made me cry more than once. Be warned, she talks a lot.
  5. Sweet Alexis who I’m cheering on too

From time to time I’d visit the success story vlogs because really, sometimes I just need to have that motivation/assurance/HOPE.

  1. Bubbly Edith who bore twinnies
  2. The Devon Roberts family
  3. Crystal who kept it real here

Relating to some of the emotions and thought processes, and cheering on other TTCers who I really don’t know makes this a unique struggle for me. I admire those who are bold enough to share the very intimate, private, and sometimes embarrassing details with those of us who can’t find the camaraderie and support among our friends or family.

The TTC community shouldn’t be about who’s got more scars or badges of honour – it’s heartbreaking, plain and simple, and we need to be there to grieve the losses, celebrate the victories and sometimes just laugh through the tears.

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Our story #5

Our story #5

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Our story #4

Our story #4

Finding the balance between urgency and reality

The Hub has been unemployed since 2011. He graduated in 2012 with his postgrad Law degree and completed half of his articles when he realised that this line of work was not for him. Having to deal with shady people (and here we’re talking about corporate and commercial law, never mind criminal practice) was something he could not reconcile himself to do for the rest of his life, and I support him fully in this. In South Africa, it seems to be really hard to get good work with multiple degrees, it’s so bizarre. He’s applied for more junior posts and gets rejected on account of being over-qualified, and for what seems the right level and position he just doesn’t have the experience for. It’s incredibly frustrating.

You may know where I’m going with all of this. I am the primary breadwinner right now. Thank God I have a good job (albeit contract due to the nature of my work) and make a comfortable living.

I feel that the immediate reaction is “woman, stop this TTC nonsense right now!”. BUT, I’m 33 years old and feeling ever so aware of the time passing and the rising risk of waiting too long to seek help. It’s taken me nearly a year to convince Hub that he should go for a SA following my sad/frustrating gynae appointment in April last year where I learned I am not ovulating. I am so worried of delaying “formal” TTC and the tests and solutions we could potentially benefit from now rather than later.

I challenge your poorly constructed argument

I challenge your poorly constructed argument

My argument – crude as it may be against the Hub’s lawyering kung-fu – is that there is no guarantee of stability or security even if both of us were in permanent, safe jobs. I know this, I was once retrenched twice in two years – LIFO (last in, first out) se gat. But right now I am making more than enough to keep us comfortable, so we should at the very least see a FS to understand what’s not working as it should, and come up with a solid POA and maybe, just maybe, begin TTC for realsies.

How do you balance the urgency of diagnosis/treatment and the reality of affordability?

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Our story #3

Our story #3

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Our story #2

Our story #2

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Our story #1

Our story #1