Fertility. Such an innocuous word. It never ceases to amaze me that I spent most of my 20s trying not to get pregnant and now that I am in a place where small humans can exist in comfort, things are not going so well. It is quite easy to get upset, depressed, miserable, shouty, angry, mopey, ugly, farty – and other negative things that end in “y”. So, today, to defeat the Ys I present – 10 things about fighting for fertility that you’re not sure you want to know.
Warning: This is NOT for the faint hearted or people who will stop being my friend when they hear about my vagina…
1. It is open viewing time again
If you have had other children, you will know that while you are pregnant your, cough, girly bits are considered open viewing to all. Half of Bath saw my girl – students, doctors, nurses, midwives, passing strangers…
Problem: When you are going to a fertility clinic (I am currently exploring my options at Vitalab and having, it must be said, a mixed experience) you will once again be expected to show your lower half to the world.
Solution: Make her pretty! Add some glitter, maybe some sparkles or why not consider shaving a pattern? This could make everybody’s day and I am sure your doctor will appreciate the effort.
2. Bicarbonate of soda and the bathroom floor
I got clear instructions. Add X amount of bicarb to X amount of water. Put into terrifying tube with terrifying rubber squeeze top and shoot up vaginal canal. This is a trick for women who have acidic mucus around their cervix that kills sperm. It neutralises the acid, welcomes the spermies, and hopefully one of them will get through.
Problem: They said sit on the side of the bath. I did. It didn’t seem to work and was inordinately painful.
Solution: Do it missionary style while lying on a towel on the bathroom floor. Don’t do it just as your husband decides to come home and starts shouting in an increasingly worried voice, “Honey? Where are you? Honey?”
3. It is not wrong to visualise Russel Crowe
Remember Gladiator? Sperm have a lot to deal with. They have to get through the cervix and into a womb that is, honestly, an extremely pissed off and hostile place for the poor dears. It includes dead ends, angry antibodies, death traps – I am not entirely sure how we fall pregnant to begin with!
Problem: Very few sperm make it through to the egg.
Solution: It is perfectly acceptable after sex to stick your legs in the air and chant, “Go GLADIATOR SPERM! You can do it” and visualise your Russell Crowe sperm fighting his way to success. If your partner edges away in terror, offer him a whisky.
4. You hate other pregnant people
Now this does come with a caveat. There are people I know that are pregnant now and to whom I wish every last droplet of joy and success I own. They are OK.
Problem: There are also pregnant people who you genuinely don’t think deserve it, who are idiots, who don’t seem to understand why you are not dropping to your knees and praising their fertility and who sulk because they cannot drink alcohol.
Solution: It is OK to hate them a little bit in your dark recesses and to rock back and forth under a desk going, “Aaaargh. Ngggghhhhh.” Don’t tell them though, one day you might regret it.
5. Stupid remarks
“Why not adopt?”
“Just stop stressing and it will be fine.”
” I had a friend who stopped stressing/trying/eating wheat/murdering baby seals/eating humans and she fell pregnant straight away!”
“You already have one child, be grateful.”
Let me just tell those of you who make these comments how they make us feel in order of appearance:
1. Thank you for making my futile and heartbreaking attempts to have another baby into something I should now feel horribly guilty about because I am not adopting a child in need. That’s awesome. I needed another layer of pain to add to the one I already have. Thank you.
2. Stress does not cause infertility you insensitive asshole
3. This NEVER happens to the infertile person you are saying it to. It doesn’t help. Shut up.
4. Oh, sorry, I didn’t realise that I had been given a one child limit. Was it on a notice or something? Or do I not pay attention to the child I have? What does this even mean?
Problem: They mean well but you want to hit them.
Solution: I have no solution to this problem. Maybe a shirt that says, “I am infertile and upset about it, but please don’t try and solve my problem for me.”?
6. You need to change your diet
I am going to be writing quite a lot about the types of food that encourage pregnancy on this blog, but I can tell you what happens when you read that you need to eat nuts, fruit and vegetables and avoid coffee and sugar like the plague…
…Problem: You drink nothing but coffee and eat a year’s supply of Easter eggs in 24 hours
Solution: Don’t do the shopping when hungry, when you have just realised another stupid period has arrived, when you are pissed off and hormonal, and when you have just finished a conversation with someone from Number 5…
7. Have sex
Sex, when wild and spontaneous and without an agenda, is fun. When you have to do it six hours after shooting bicarb up your wibbly bits, it loses its flavour.
Problem: [age restricted]
Solution: [add in sex fantasy of your choosing]
No, really, just read all the websites that offer you sage advice on how to spice up your sex life and give them a bash. Although, I sometimes think that trying too hard can be just as tedious as having to plan it all.
8. You have to learn stuff and you feel like a FAKE
Infertility is shit, complicated and still not an exact science and so, when you first realise that you may not be one of the lucky ones and that your journey could be a long one, you start to look for like minded people to help you on your way. What you will encounter is this:
Problem: AF, AI, AIH, AO, AOA/AVA, ASA, BBT, BCP, BD, BFN, BFP, BMS, CF, CCCT, DE, DES, DI, DIPI…
It ends up being quite self explanatory, but sometimes forum member signatures will require that you open up two separate pages and actively translate what on Earth they are saying. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, Infertility is from the Moon.
9. It is unlikely you’ll find a sympathetic fertility expert
I have now been with three different experts since coming back to SA and each and every one of them has been a dick. The first two were really special cases, the third is just rich, indifferent and mildly sexist. WHY men who think women and their moods are silly go into a career like this is beyond me. Oh, wait…
Problem: It is a lucrative field
Solution: If they are the best and get results, suck it up and tell the truth to other people so they can make an informed decision. If they are not giving you results, challenge them on it and move on. Normally I would always say you should challenge them or move on, but with time not being on my side and the waiting lists being so long, and the procedures so damn invasive and expensive each time – sometimes you just have to suck it up and put on your big girl panties. Maybe one day I will fix this problem.
10. The BFN
Every month that you get your period is going to include three or four days of total rage and misery.
Problem: It fucking sucks getting your period after a month of trying to conceive.
Solution: Get absolutely pissed and do something fun.
This has to be the best press release I’ve ever received. And the most cackles I’ve ever made in an office full of people. First, before you start reading, start by playing this video. Ready? GO
Welcome to Snowballs, a range of underpants designed to keep a man’s testicles at the optimum temperature for sperm production and fertility. Seeing as I’m on something of a “please god can I finally have a baby, oh please come on it’s not fair” kick, these have taken some of the sting out of the tail.
And the tale. No less than four more pregnancies announced in the last two weeks. I am so fucking happy for these wonderful people. They are really wonderful. I am also fucking miserable. Now I respect my fertility fighting friends far more than I ever did before. This is, as they say, something you can only understand if you are totally immersed in it yourself.
So, to lighten the mood and get you cackling, and to inspire those ladies and gents out there who are also muddling along against fertility, here is the video for Snowballs AND some Vanilla Ice to wash it all down. Get that booty shakin’!
This hairstyle looks amazing and is quite tough to get right. Well, it is for me anyway. I struggle to keep Squidge’s hair in that twist for any length of time, her hair is so fine and curly that it untwists itself really easily. Fortunately, there is the wonder of hair spray and spray-in conditioner. A light blend of the two tends to hold the stray hairs down and the twist in place.
With this style you need: hairbrush, a rat tail comb, a hair band and a bobby pin, patience…
Brush the hair free from knots and tangles and then use the rat tail comb to divide the hair along the middle of the head. Don’t include the hair from the sides, just a section in the middle of the head that’s parallel to the ears.
Clip this section out of the way
Pull the rest of the hair back and twist it into a bun. If you need a great tutorial on how to do this go here. If you don’t have time to do that, my secret is to tie the hair into a pony, separate the hair into two strands, twist them in my hands until they start pulling inwards and then twist them around each other and the hairband until they make a perfect bun, and seal by tucking the ends into the hairband and using a bobby pin to hold them secure.
Now take the hair you clipped away and brush it into one length and start twisting. Twist it in the direction you want to go!
Twist it down past the ear to the bun you just made, wrap it around the bun and seal with another hairband and a bobby pin.
This cute girls hairstyle name had us giggling away like mad this morning. Well, I was giggling but when I played the song, Twist and Shout, to Squidge she soon got the joke. This is a very easy and cute hairstyle that’s perfect for manic Monday mornings. You don’t need longer than five minutes from start to finish and, yes, that includes the brushing out of tangles and swearing under your breath.
This particular girls hairdo was invented by us and is really just a bunch of cool hairstyles smashed together into one.
You’re going to need a rat tail comb, spray/water, a brush and a hairband.
Brush the hair out using a spray (or a spray-in conditioner or detangler) and then, using the rat tail comb, part the hair from the middle of the ear to about 1/4 up the head. If you look in the pic below, you can see how the hair is pulled up and away from the ear in two directions.
Do this on both sides of the head and brush the rest of the hair into a loose pony at the bottom. This just keeps it out of the way while you twist. Clip away the left side and start on the right. How tightly you want your twist, or how soon, is up to you. If you separate the strands close to the front, then your twist will start really early on. I preferred to create the illusion of pulled back hair here, so I just twisted the entire hank of hair into itself. Like this:
Ask your little one to hold the right strand and then twist the left. When they reach the middle, twist them around each other until you get down to your loose pony. Again, ask your little one to hold this while you separate the hair from the loose pony into three and start a French braid.
As you can see in the image the twisted hair disappears under the braid. To do this, just braid the hair to the neckline, ask your daughter to hold it, then take the twisted hair and slip it under the hair at the top of the French braid. Pull it down until you reach the three strands of your braid, blend it into one of the three strands, and complete the braid.
Ta da! Done. Easy as pie and lots of fun. Although there are points when you wish you had more arms…
This hairstyle is sadly not shown as well as it should be in these pics. I do apologise, I have no idea why I managed to get everything except Squidge’s hair in focus here. I think it was One Of Those Days. Probably brought on by the fact that it hasn’t stopped raining for a month and my brain is likely turning into some kind of mush/mushroom.
This hairdo is gorgeous and it was also taken from Adopt A Do as her styles are still rated as among the easiest and most versatile in my books. You’ll notice that the heart hoops at Mindy’s site are a lot thicker, but Squidge’s seem more, well, tame and this is because Squidge’s hair is very fine and curly.
We often start a style only to realise about halfway through that it just won’t work with thin, fine hair at all. My hair used to be like Squidge’s but it is now very thick so I have no worries about that changing in the future, but for now, all the posts on this site will be ones that work for little girls with fine locks and plenty of curls.
While these heart hoops aren’t necessarily as lustrous as those on Adopt a Do, they are definitely cuter than cute and, I promise, one of the easiest hairstyles to make. You will need to really get your daughter’s hair completely knot free and keep it a bit damp throughout to avoid those frustrating tangles so common with fine hair. I find that using a spray in conditioner (I always rave about Vosene so feel free to insert your choice here) makes a huge difference.
It’s Crazy Hair Friday again and so Squidge opted for this funky heart-shaped hairdo made with judicious use of hairbands and the rat tail comb. I saw this on another site called The Story of a Princess and Her Hair, which has some astonishing hairstyles. What that woman can do with ribbon and braids is nothing short of amazing. I recently tried to do her four-stranded plait but I am still failing miserably.
This particular hairstyle looks really complex. Many of the mums at school this morning asked me if I had to get up at 5am for it! Actually, it is beyond easy and can be done in about ten minutes once you have your head around the general idea.
You’ll need your hairbrush, rat tail comb, as many braiding hair bands as possible – I found these on Amazon – and lots of spray. As usual, I use the Vosene detangler and conditioning spray. Hate the smell, LOVE the result, and the fact that we remain lice-free in this house.
You’ll need to part the hair down the middle up until you are level with the ears, and then part the hair again down the sides to the ears. Take the left side and clip it or tie it away, and do the same with the hair falling down the back. On the right side, part the hair again at the diagonal and then clip the other chunk of hair away.
Starting at the back on the right-hand part, scoop up a little pony tail of hair, tie it up and then go to the next one and repeat. The trick here is to kind of twist the hair of the pony so it forms a neat end and then twist the second strand into it. This just makes sure you don’t have fly away bits and keeps the hair tidy for when you tie it. You can use as many hair bands as you like – the website I copied uses loads but I only used a few.
You move forward towards the brow, turn, grab the chunk you tied away, and then follow the shape of a heart to the back. Repeat this on the left and then bring them together in the middle. I added in some extra bands just for looks on the rear long strands. Then brush her hair at the back and you’re done! The crazy elastic band heart is all yours.
We used black braiding bands as we did this for school, but you can really get some great effects by using coloured bands.
I went to Africa and came back to discover that Hunger Games hair fun was in full swing. Over atAdopt a Do, Mindy had copied the hair that Primrose Everdeen wore at the Reaping and it is such a cute and simple girls hairstyle I was totally into copying it. I also saw the movie this weekend (am I the only person who cried in the Reaping scene?) so doing up the Prim Everdeen hair felt, well, hungerfan right…
The style is very simple. It’s just a French braid pulled close to the ears and started right near the front of the head. It is also a very tough style. Squidge went to school looking like she does in these pics, and came back with it looking exactly the same. Colour me impressed! It was also a five minute job, unlike some of the twists I’ve tried this week. I really do need to find out if there is a trick to hair twists because ours never work as well as they should.
So, here you go, the Primrose Everdeen hairdo, enjoy!
This hairstyle is entirely the genius of Mindy over at Adopt a Do. There is no way I could ever be that creative with hair. It also comes with a great story so be prepared to read some when you get there.
I bet you’re staring at it in a combination of amazement and concern. Who could send their child to school like THAT I hear you ask. Well. I did. And The Husband DID ask. And halfway to school, Squidge took the entire thing out and ended up wearing an awful, terrible Daddy Pony Tail of Doom.
Apparently, said The Husband, people kept staring at her and it freaked her out. I felt awful!
However, this is, to me, still an awesome hairdo and it is so easy to make. Possibly save it for a special occasion that warrants such insanity though. I’m not going to tell you how to make it, Adopt a Do does it far better and with video.
This hairstyle is stupendously easy and perfect, just perfect, for crazy hair day at school. It is also very cute and has that Princess Jasmine thing going for it as well. You’re going to need a rat tail comb, a hairbrush, spray, and five colourful elastics.
To start with get the hair all knot free and silky and make sure you’ve got those hairbands close by. I think I pulled a muscle trying to reach down for a hairband with one hand while holding onto the hair with the other. Using the rat tail comb, create this little top knot with hair from the centre of the head – don’t include the sides as you can see in the pic. Pull the sides and the rest of the hair into a side pony. Pick left. Pick right. Whatever floats your boat.
Making the topknot of this cute girls hairstyle is fabby easy. Just tie it into a pony, keeping the elastic loose (make sure you use those super thin ones) and then slip your fingers between the elastic and the scalp and pull the pony tail through. Don’t pull this one right the way through, instead tighten the elastic and use your fingers to cover it up. Done. It’s just an inverted pony with its head sticking up.
Then redo the side pony to include the tail of the top knot and make subsequent, evenly spaced, bunches of hair until it ends. Fluff out each bunch when you’re done and there you have it.
It will honestly take you five minutes, and that includes super curly and tangled hair… Promise.
This cute girls hairstyle had me smitten from the start but it did take a bit of persuading to get Squidge on board. She didn’t think it was exciting enough. Fortunately some cuddles persuaded her to try it out and she patiently endured my spraying and fiddling.
You’ll need spray, a hairbrush, elastic bands, a rat tail comb and patience for this style. It is really easy but requires a little bit of patience and fiddling about. The problem I have is that I am incapable of parting hair. Yes. This is very true and very embarrassing.
Ever since I was a kid I failed to part my hair. I got away with it because my hair was huge, frizzy and impossible to tame. THEN the world of hair straighteners came along and I scraped by with a faintly straight stripe.
THEN some *(!”&(!*”& came up with the zigzag parting. Who did that? Why? What did I do to them? I have never been able to do it and can almost do one on Squidge.
So this particular do demands that you part the hair in straight lines so you can get this joozsh look. As you can see at the back, I failed. hahaha. You can see all the instructions on how to create these clever twists on Adopt a Do but the premise is quite simple.
Just use the rat tail comb to part the hair into two lines, one near the front of the head and one hear the middle. You are only using the hair in the middle of the head, not from the sides. Then take the hair in the front and divide it into two strands – one on the right and one on the left – and tie them in a knot. That’s it!
Get your child to hold the ends and repeat on the second section. Now you have two lovely little hair knots sitting in the centre of the head. Pull the rest of the hair back into a low pony, adding in the strands from the two knots, and tie.
And you’re done. Feel free to add in bows, flowers, and other such pretty stuff.
I think that in my series I am going to start showing you pics of how the hair looks when she gets home from school. You’ll be amazed at which ones survive and which ones are in complete disarray.