Blame is just a distraction from action!

I’m feeling annoyed with Phil a lot of the time. I want to blame him for this mess we’re in with money.  This isn’t acceptable. I want to change this. Really, I just need to concentrate on my own figures, boosting my income – and let him get on with the same task.

I’ve had a really good look at my numbers. They tell me that I can meet my half of our bills, plus the cash I need, throughout April, May and June. I don’t have any debt (I’ve lived that way since 2013 and it works for me). I have a couple of regular clients – but I still need to boost my income by £1000 per month.

The goal is this: to find one, ideally two, new clients – freelance writing briefs, ongoing work. I am taking more risks now. Emailing people I know, asking for referrals. I’m becoming more visible, which is uncomfortable for me, but entirely necessary to change. I have a meeting on Monday with a local agency – I could write proposals and presentations for them, create web or social media content, help out at events. I need to bring in new regular work by the end of May. There is time to do this – but it definitely requires daily focus.

In the mean time, I’ve said to Phil, let’s sit down once a week, make sure we have enough to pay our bills, talk about any immediate shortfall. We also need to take the actions together to let our spare bedroom – I’ve booked in 2 more viewings for Sunday.

We also need to make sure we honour family time – it can’t be all work. We really need to keep sight of what we’re fighting for. Otherwise it’s too easy for me to think our relationship is at fault, that our relationship is the thing that needs to change or end, to make everything right again.


Big fat negative – or is it?

Mum100-blog-IVF-blood-results-HCG-BFN-confused-beta-testMy poor addlebrained monkey! The Professor is as confused as spinach bubblegum, after our trip to hospital today.

This morning, on arrival at the blood clinic, the ticket counter reads 67. I pull a paper ticket from the reel – my lucky number is 27. I’m relieved we have to go round the clock before it’s my turn. I settle into the last plastic chair in the waiting room, between a suited man playing army war games on his iPad and a lady making an enthusiastic phone call, arms and everything.

Every possible man and woman are in this waiting room – I still find it fascinating, each time I go to the blood clinic, all the faces and possible stories. Battered liver, Sir? Wonky heart, Madam? I put it down to watching Casualty as a child; I always tried to guess what misfortune was going to befall the characters! The ticket counter clicks on. An old lady with an impressive back hunch pushes herself up. It’s a small miracle she doesn’t topple straight over. She totters towards the nurses’ station, chuckling.

Mum100-blog-Money-Master-The-Game-Tony-Robbins-financial-freedomWhile I wait, I read a chunk of this book by Tony Robbins about money management – because there’s now a fair chance that infertility is going to start costing us some serious poundage £££££. I need to get smart about cash! We are the lucky ones, however. We are NHS-funded for up to 3 cycles (which complies with NICE recommendations, unlike many CCGs). We still have two day-6 frozen embryos – our wonderful hope – but our funding will end in January 2017 when I turn 40. There’s also the question of whether to retrieve more eggs this year, privately – but that’s another post.

Back in the blood queue…

My number comes up. A Filipino nurse with a jolly round face draws my blood. She wishes me luck with the result in such a motherly way – I am touched by her kindness, amongst all the bustle of her clinic (there is standing room only when I leave).

As I go, I am certain of the result – BFN.

Fast forward 3 hours…

I’m phoning the nurse at the specified time. The call clicks through to answerphone. A mild stalky feeling creeps in – “pick up, pick up!” – in the message, I confirm my complete availability for their call back, this afternoon.

Five minutes later, I want to call again, but I manage to hold back my inner weirdo. Clearly, I’m still hopeful about the result – it’s the same when I play the lottery. I always, always, think I’m going to win (until the balls prove otherwise) – it’s very childlike magical thinking, which I don’t think will ever leave me.

Around 3.30pm, I’m on my landline to a financial advisor called Norman. He is giving me lots of very sensible information about pensions and sickness protection cover for self-employed people. The hospital call me back on my mobile. I am so ridiculously British about not interrupting a professional, mid-flow, that the hospital’s call goes to my voicemail. I kick myself for my conditioned politeness to authority figures. When I do manage to finish the call with Norm, I scramble to call the hospital.

Thankfully, the nurse answers. She tells me that they have detected HCG in my blood – Professor Wilson faints at this point – it is a very low level of 10, however.

“We’d expect to see  a level of at least 100 on day 10 past transfer,” she says. “So, your pregnancy test is negative and you can stop all your medication.”

However, due to a timely conversation with a fellow blogger yesterday, I did ask the nurse to check with the consultant. “Is it worth carrying on with the meds a few extra days,” I asked her, “then testing again?”

The nurse phoned back twenty minutes later to confirm that I can come back on Monday for another test.

What does it mean, my lovelies?

Well, my gut still says it hasn’t worked for us. However, I must have a nugget of belief, to carry on with the meds until Monday. I know stories of low early HCG results, which then boomed to big numbers days later. Could it be possible after bleeding for seven days?

The loveliest thing about the test result was I felt a swell of pride for my two little embryos. The nurse said the most likely scenario is that a pregnancy did start, but then it arrested. Weirdly, I feel happy about that. I had truly believed nothing had happened at all – no implanation, no nothing. I was ready to blame my womb for being unreceptive. However, the blood results suggest that at least one of them did take. I love them even more for trying to stay.

The conclusion I have come to today is this: I know nothing about what is or what isn’t happening in my womb! I must learn to trust more and have patience.

Tonight, stretched out on the sofa, I am hopeful again – that it is possible, that our time will come.

Skydiving cat – oh, that’s supposed to be me!

On Friday, I worked my last day for a longstanding client. I gave notice in February because I’m not Superwoman. For me, busy work life doesn’t mix with a frozen embryo transfer.

I was touched by the send off from colleagues – lunch, flowers and a funny card. I thought, nothing says fertility treatment quite like a madcap cat, seconds after diving from a plane!

I trust that leaving work is the right thing to do. We’ve been saving since 2013, when we started trying for a baby. Now is the time to invest in peace and spaciousness.

(Now, where’s that ripcord ??!!)