Back to Square One

Today I went off to my fertility specialist. My goal was twofold: to get updated scripts that had run out and save a trip to the GP, and secondly to see how that lining was doing. My expectations were positive because of the herbs, acupuncture and diet work I had been doing.

Well once again life has other plans.

As it turns out my lining is “paper thin” (even worse than it was earlier this year) and I haven’t even ovulated this month.

The good news is that it could have been caused by the Chinese herbs, according to the doc. He says he can’t make any comments until I stop taking them, so as to take that variable out of the equation. He says in his experience they really mess things up.

This is not just going back to square one, it is probably going backwards.

However, it isn’t the first time bad news has turned into good news later. The first time I went to Dr R he told me I had to have a laparoscopy and I was devastated. But it worked out for the best – it was out with the old (endometriosis & fibroids) and in with the new (Nicky).

So I guess we’ll see next month if it really is the herbs or if something is seriously wrong…

 

Why Parenting Is Such A Humbling Experience

why-parenting-is-a-humbling-experienceParenting is undoubtedly one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs on the planet. But every now and then I get a glimpse, a little insight, into not only my son but also myself. This is why parenting is such a humbling experience.

One of the hardest lessons I am learning at the moment is that what worked yesterday may not work today. I have to pull out all the creative thinking in difficult circumstances.

Here are some of my learning areas:

1. Sleep: Just when I was congratulating myself that things were getting sorted with sleep, a few curve balls come up to keep me humble. One little unavoidable afternoon trip in a car and everything is messed up again. Of course he will sleep, it’s not his fault. But it makes bedtime challenging and exhausting.

water-pistol-kids2. Independence: I was feeling all confident that Nicky could handle the big kids sunday school after he managed two lessons without incident. Big mistake. The third time he fell to pieces and they had to call me out of the church. The next time I just stayed with him and I still landed up having to take him home in tears. Oh well, we will get there. However, I am noticing that he needs me less after he has “warmed up” a bit – got to know the kids a bit then he will go with them. And isn’t that like us as adults as well?

3. Potty training: I was feeling so happy that Nicky had a whole week behind him without incident I got the maid to clean the floor in his room which was messed up from various accidents. Guess what? We had two days of bad accidents and then as she walked in on Friday he was peeing on the floor again. But, I have to say he is back to pooping in the potty, so hold thumbs, all is not lost.

tunnel4. Toys: Nicky needs his toys around him as a security blanket. He cries for them. He names them. This evening, even though the bed is full of bears we had to load up with the trains and trucks as well (small ones, fortunately).  Then he started crying for “Maner” (Mater the tow truck) and “Lightning”. So I had to go find them and fit them in the bed. His arms reach out for them in desperation. He really craves them.

I was thinking: oh my word. Why doesn’t he just let it go and go to sleep?

But later as we were finally getting to sleep, and I told him it wasn’t his fault he was struggling to sleep, it was just that car trip, a little comparison slipped into my head. All I could think of was getting onto the computer and doing my stuff. Every bit as much, if not more, than my son wanted his toys.

So there you have it folks. I am stuck to this computer just as solidly as Nicky is stuck to his cars.

***

water-pistoljungle-gymThe pictures in this post are taken from a great afternoon at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens at a picnic from my phoning job. Nicky had fun at a playground, a tunnel, squirting water pistols and blowing bubbles. I think all that fun may just have been worth the difficulty falling asleep because of napping on the way back!

Parenting is no doubt there to not only keep me on my toes but also keep me humble: and remind me that I am not so different from my child.

Mothers After Infertility or Loss: Sian’s Story: Don’t Limit Your Miracle!

moms after infertilitymothers-after-If-and-lossHere is the next story in my series on Mothers After Infertility. Meet Sian, who is also a blogger here in Joburg.

  • About Me: Tell us some background about yourself, if you work, and what your interests and passions are.

I am a born and breed South African, but I finished my schooling in Zimbabwe. After that I came back to Johannesburg and completed my Graphic Design Diploma. I worked for a few years as a Graphic Designer and then joined my Dad’s training company. I have been involved in the business for 13 years now, I design training programs and deliver the training as well. I’m also a mom to a very gorgeous and quirky boy. He came into our lives on the 24 September 2011. We are currently awaiting ‘the call’ to say that we have been placed with baby number two. We have been waiting since Jan 2015.

  • About Us: How did you meet your partner? Give us the love story.

It’s actually quite an interesting story. It was December 1999 and I had just ended a long term relationship. My Dad was over the moon about that, because he really wasn’t fond of the guy. DJ (David-John) was working for my uncle at the time and needed a date for their Christmas party. ( I don’t think he really needed a date…We were being set up) I reluctantly agreed to go to the Christmas party. It was a cabaret type show with dinner afterwards and I could ‘feel’ him staring at me the whole time. At dinner he finally attempted to strike up a conversation and I still remember that at some stage he said, “So do you want to go and watch the Blair Witch Project?” We never got to watch that movie, but I saw him the next day ….and the next. We were engaged within three months and married on 25th August 2001.

  • About Infertility: Tell us your infertility (or loss) story. It can be as brief or as long as you feel comfortable sharing.

Eish, this was the hardest time of my life. In a nut shell….We tried to conceive for a long time. I have endometriosis, adenomyosis and premature ovarian failure. We did six IVF’s, four of them using donor eggs. I did fall pregnant in 2009, but I lost the pregnancy at seven weeks. Our last IVF was in 2010 and when it failed we decided to adopt. We were screened by two different social workers and waited nine months until we were placed with our precious boy. We adore him and we wouldn’t change a thing.

  • About My Family: Tell us about your family and about your child(ren).

We are a family of three (hopefully four soon) and we have a lot of fun together. We like to spend time at home just chilling or braaing with our friends. Jayden, who is nearly four is a really quirky character. He loves to dance, tell knock knock jokes, ride his bike, make fart noises, visit farmyards and watch Dora (his favourite at the moment). He hates, washing his hair, washing his face, eating vegetables and loud noises.

  • How has infertility affected your parenting?

I would be lying if I said that it hasn’t  had an impact, but I’m not sure I can explain exactly how. I have a soft approach to parenting, but I don’t think that it would have been any different if I took infertility out of the equation.  I do have to stop myself from allowing Jayden to have absolutely everything he wants and I am fiercely protective over him. However I am not sure that this is a result of our infertility journey.

  • How do you find it affecting your life, even now?

The scars still remain…..I don’t enjoy baby showers and certain pregnancy announcements still sting. Obviously I don’t relate to any topics involving pregnancy and giving birth so I disconnect from the topic.  I still hurt sometimes and I’m a little bit angry with my body, but I am working through that. Overall I am in a much better place than I was four years ago, but my battle will always be part of who I am, I just don’t let it consume me.

  • My Advice: What is your advice for those still in the trenches of infertility, or for those trying again?

Take it one step at a time.

Look after your relationship with your partner, this often gets severely neglected when you are in the trenches.

Look after yourself, emotionally and physically. I completely neglected myself because I was so focused on that BFP!

Don’t limit the miracle! Families are made in so many different ways.

 

sian3Sian Seward is a mom of one very gorgeous and spirited boy, a resilient and determined small business owner. A life coach and soft skills trainer.

She started blogging as an outlet to her frustrations with infertility; a journey that ended after eight years with a call from our social worker……they became parents in four short days.

Her blog is Fertile Minds and you can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Share Your Questions About Your Child’s Sexual Education and WIN a Birds and the Bees Toolkit Worth R1000! PLUS Tips to Keep Your Child Safe From Abuse

questions-about-sex-edI wonder when it will happen. At some point in the future, Nicky is going to ask that awkward question: “Where do babies come from?” He’s also going to grow up into a teenager, with hormones and feelings. These are all issues coming up in our future that we will have to deal with.

I’ve been thinking about how to write this post from the point of view of a baby or toddler. You may think these issues are far removed from the present, but the truth is that we are building a relationship today that will determine how free he will feel in the future to open up to me about these issues.

You see, it all starts when they are actually quite small. In responding to your baby’s needs now, you are building up trust for the future. In making time to connect with your child every day, you are building a solid base to which they can return.

I chat to Nicky about lots of stuff. I tell him when I mess up and that I’m sorry that I yelled at him. I think it’s important to accept responsibility in any situation and then move on. I talk about other ways of dealing with his problems e.g. not throwing things when they don’t do what you want them to do.

I know I have a lot of work to do regulating my own emotions, and I need to be a calm sounding board for him, so that he knows he can come to me with any problem. I think giving time to myself is key so that I do have lots of energy and empathy left over for him.

keep-your-child-safe-from-sex-abuseOne of the biggest concerns many parents have in this area is how to keep your child safe from abuse, so I thought I’d draw up some tips:

1) Books. There are lots of books out there on how babies are made. I actually bought something like this for a teenage child at one of those book sale places.

2) Your private parts are private. Teach your child about how the parts under their underwear are their own, and not for anyone else. If anyone else wants to see them, tell an adult straight away. They are also not to touch anyone else’s.

3) NO secrets: If anyone asks to keep something a secret, say “We don’t have secrets in our family.” Or “We have surprises, not secrets.”

4) Reflect all feelings: They must know that good and bad feelings are acceptable and acknowledged.

5) Encourage your child to trust their instincts: If something doesn’t feel right: get away and tell your parents.

6) Another cool thing your child can do is visit this website: CONNECT-ED Buddy: (you’ll see it’s a mobile one, very useful for teens) run in conjunction with Durex and the Department of Education. CONNECT-ED Buddy offers pupils the chance to anonymously ask and obtain answers to some of the questions they have around sex.

 

***

All these tips are all very well and good, but do they actually help you when you’re sitting down with the awkward questions?

 

I’ve got some questions for you and you can win a prize for contributing your answer.  You have until 7 September to submit your questions. One lucky winner will receive a “Birds and Bees toolkit” worth R1000.

The questions will be answered by the CONNECT-ED Buddy.

 

The questions are:

I want to know, what worries you the most when it comes to your child’s sexual education? What would your top questions be in regards to:

  • Talking to your children about sex;
  • Questions you are scared to ask your children when it comes to sex;
  • The details of their sexual activities; and
  • Communicating your concerns around sex, etc.

So, what are you waiting for? Share your questions in the comments below about your child’s sexual education and win a really cool prize!

(This post was sponsored by Durex.)

Descendants Movie Review: Release Your Inner Teenager!

Descendants Disney MovieIf you enjoyed the High School Musical franchise, you’ll love this new offering from Disney Africa which comes to our small screens on Friday 18 September at 17h00 on the Disney Channel 303. Descendants follows the story of four teens whose parents happen to be the biggest villains in history. It’s very entertaining, with lots of songs and dance thrown into the mix, as well as plenty of action and romance. There’s something for everyone. Here is my Descendants movie review.

The villain teens are chosen to go and mix with the “good” students at their school and this is where things get interesting.

DESCENDANTS - Day 6. (DISNEY CHANNEL/Jack Rowand) DOVE CAMERON, KRISTIN CHENOWETH

DESCENDANTS – Day 6. (DISNEY CHANNEL/Jack Rowand)
DOVE CAMERON, KRISTIN CHENOWETH

Mal, played by Dove Cameron, is the daughter of Maleficent, the awful witch who put Sleeping Beauty to sleep. She is tasked with stealing the Fairy Godmother’s wand but she is torn between the pressures of her mother and her own emerging self. This was an engaging actress and I absolutely loved her purple hair and outfits as well. (By the way the villains outfits are way more interesting than the pastel colours of the “good” people – a further indication that they require some mixing up!)

Sofia Carson as Evie

Sofia Carson plays Evie

Mal’s galpal Evie’s mother is the evil queen who tricked Snow White with the poisoned apple. Evie still makes use of the fortune telling mirror, and is excited to go and meet a cute guy, but she learns that Prince Charming is literally not all that he is cracked up to be and that she has more than her good looks to fall back on. Evie is played by Sofia Carson.

carlos-descendants-movie

Cameron Boyce plays Carlos

Carlos is the son of Cruella de Vil and, since there are no dogs where he comes from, and his mother has instilled a hatred of them in him, his evolution involves a furry friend.

DESCENDANTS - Day 1. (DISNEY CHANNEL/Jeff Weddell) BOOBOO STEWART

DESCENDANTS – Day 1. (DISNEY CHANNEL/Jeff Weddell)
BOOBOO STEWART

Jafar’s son is Jay, played by Booboo Stewart. I knew I had seen him somewhere before and it is because he played Seth Clearwater in the Twilight movies. He’s also very skilled with his martial arts. He learns there’s more to life than just taking things and gives the sporting squad a huge boost.

Ben and Mal - descendants movie

Mitchell Hope plays Ben – in this love scene with Dove Cameron (Mal).

Ben, the newly appointed king who made the decision to let some of the villains in, is the son of Belle and the Beast. He is played by Australian Mitchell Hope. Ben is also Mal’s love interest and the engaging part of the story is that love works beyond all the potions and spells you may throw at it.

 

So you can see it’s a coming of age kind of movie, with each of the protagonists undergoing their own identification and separation from their parents. Booboo Stewart, who plays Jay, sums up his character’s transition:

jay-descendants-movieI definitely have a soft spot for Jay. Not in his evilness, but in the way that he’s trying to find out who he is as a person. When you’re a teenager, you think you know who you are – but you don’t really know. That’s exactly what Jay is going through in the movie.

The other theme is good versus evil, but I like the way it’s not that clear cut. The villains are separated from the rest of the fairy tale characters by a magical barrier and there’s a lot to learn on both sides about understanding and forgiveness across generations. Indeed some of the prejudicial scenes will remind you about apartheid, or at least how teenagers separate themselves from the unpopular kids.

How this lesson in not judging a book by its cover is played out is revealed in just who grabs that wand in the end and why – but you will have to watch the movie to find out.

 

Thanks so much to Disney Africa – I really enjoyed this screening – as well as meeting up with some other bloggers – Karen, Cassie and Jo. We left Nicky behind this time, as he prefers his cars, planes and minions animation, but I know there will be other Disney movies he will enjoy in the future, and we look forward to those.

You can read more Disney news on their website and also follow them on their Facebook page.

Do you like singing and dancing movies?

There Are Too Many Bears In the Bed

too-many-animals-in-my-bedThere are too many animals in my bed.

There’s no room left for me!

There’s Rabbit, Bear and Squashy Ted,

And Cheeky Chimpanzee

There’s Zebra, Cat and Little Ted,

And Fluffy Bumblebee.

There are so many animals in my bed –

But still just room for me!

(from Bedtime Rhymes: Sam Taplin & Anna Luraschi)

This poem was taken from a book my mother gave Nicky. He likes the book: it’s a nice book to read when going to bed because it goes through the routine from bath to stories to a soothing yawn enhancing poem at the end. This poem is in the middle – a funny piece with way too many animals in the bed.

Our latest trip to the library proves the point that my son is heavily influenced by books, much like his mother, if I dare say.

We did get a book on trucks (to keep my vehicle loving son happy) but the other two are about fluffy toys.

ten-in-the-bed-book“Ten in a bed” is a really fun book and I think I’m going to  use the nursery rhyme with this version from now on. One by one the various animals fall off the bed, until the end when they all come back. We often have fun with this rhyme while Nicky is rolling around the trampoline.

bears-bears-everywhere-book“Bears, bears everywhere” is a book about a little girl who wishes for many bears. Sure enough, they pitch up and invade her house. Of course they make a big mess, so she wishes them gone. Nicky is so cute as he says “Bye bears!” as the bears leave her house.

there-are-too-many-bears-in-the-bedSo I guess he was inspired to invade his bear collection. Nicky’s fluffy toys sit up on a shelf unused in favour of all the cars and trucks. But he asked me to get them down and tucked them all in the bed. The big ones were on the top while there were smaller ones underneath the blankets.

bears-in-box-bedNot content with this the fluffies went on a road trip outside. Nicky was climbing in a small box and told me he wanted to sleep in it. I remembered we had a nice large one that the washing machine came in in the garage. So he went inside that with his pillow and blanket (“piwow” and “blanky”). Then the bears had to come too. As I expected, he did not actually go to sleep but had a lot of fun playing in his box with the bears.

The next thing I knew he took the bears to the slide. The bears made a nice soft landing at the bottom.

Of course the bears have been in the bed each night, mostly pushed to the bottom so that there is actually some space. Fortunately they haven’t graduated to being carried from place to place; that honour is still reserved for cars.

Until then, we just have too many bears in the bed. But still just room for Nicky.

 

Why I Love Stikeez: Because they take attention off the trains…

why-i-love-stikeezI think parents do get annoyed with having to deal with little toy objects that are easily lost, fought over, or cost extra. Stikeez are a case in point. (I see my husband is now a big Reluctant Mom fan) However, I do have a positive story to share: when one tiresome group of objects can be redirected to another. In my case, the Stickeez have long been forgotten and he is back on the trains, but for a few brief moments I had some relief.

***

When you have a son who loves to drag various little toys around with him, and half the time they are special ones that should not get lost, you welcome any reprieve from the constant search these little train and car figurines cause.

Maybe it’s because I only have one son.

Maybe it’s because we only go to Pick n Pay once a week.

But mostly it’s because the Stikeez are a great distraction ploy from whatever else I am struggling with that day – the begging for chocolate, or the stress of looking for his more expensive toys. Stikeez can be replaced. Thomas the tank engine figurine? A lot more expensive.

On Friday Nicky insisted on taking as many trains as his two little hands could carry on the shopping trip. And, horror of horrors, he refused to put them in a bag, as I had successfully managed to persuade him previously.

Do not judge me for letting him take these trains with. I do not wish to separate him from his objects of affection as they appear to be some kind of security for him throughout the day: he even sleeps with them.

The trip began well enough at the fruit and veg shop when he dropped two of them as he left the car seat. This is actually a good thing, because leaving two in the car and only having to keep track of four is a bonus.

He insists “No walk!” and I have to carry him and push a trolley. (These trolleys are not very comfortable). At the till I have the relief of putting him down on the counter while he positions his precious trains up all in a line.

Off we go to the next stop, Pick n Pay. We are temporary distracted by eating strawberries but not enough to forgo taking the trains into the shop.

I am grateful that Nicky agrees to sit in the Pick n Pay trolley today. (We actually had a good night’s sleep the night before. I think I’ve figured out why: I cut the salt out of the food, it makes the shopping experience a bit more bearable). But he still thinks it is hilarious to freak me out with Disappearing Trains.

He posts them down the trolley, and fortunately they are caught at the bottom.

We are about to leave the bread section and I do a quick train count: one, two, three, oh no… where is four?

This means I have to go back and forth through the past few aisles looking for a train.

I am about to despair when I see a little green figurine on the floor in the juice section. This is the point where Nicky chooses his “juicy”! I guess he thought it was also a great time to throw a train.

I get through the rest of the shop and it is when I am heading for the final section for yoghurt and milk that I notice Nicky is smiling sneakily. I immediately know something is up. I look and discover those blasted trains are gone again.

Fortunately they have only taken a trip to the bottom of the trolley and I leave them there.

We get to the till and pay for our groceries, and the magic Stikeez are handed out.

An amazing thing happens.

The trains are TOTALLY FORGOTTEN.

I calmly put them in my pocket as Nicky demands then and there to unwrap all the Stikeez. (We unwrap a few). As a bonus as we leave the shop, some random woman, seeing my son’s excitement, offers us her Stikeez too, as “What am I going to do with them?”

The cashier at Pick n Pay has given us a little packet for the Stikeez, for which I am very grateful, because by the time we get to Woolworths I am not in the mood to be looking for more dropped toys. Although, these ones are cheap and replaceable, so there’s that. Also, by some miracle, my son has actually consented to putting them in the packet, so that’s fantastic too.

So thank you, Pick n Pay, we’re grateful for these toys, but proabably not for the reasons you designed them for.

My Fertility Wheel

Fertility has many aspects to to it and another expert consult from the Fertility after 40 Telesummit was very helpful to me in clarifying the important issues I need to work on. Marc Sklar, “the fertility expert” used a tool called “the fertility wheel” to isolate some important issues.

Marc Sklar is from San Diego, California, He has extensive experience and expertise in treating and resolving the causes of infertility with classical acupuncture and Chinese medicines.  So I guess he would be in a similar vein to Andrew Loosely, but he definitely has his own perspective on things.

His talk at the fertility summit was on four factors to consider when conceiving over 40.

1. Time

I liked the way he talked about how you need to firstly consider the size of the family you want from the start, and this will affect your plans. It’s not just your age, it’s also your patience level and any other medical conditions.

He also spoke about the pressure of time:

As we get older or wait longer to have children and we are trying to deal with making decisions I feel like this time factor shrinks. It becomes much smaller because we have to make very important decisions and we feel like it has to be done in a very quick matter of time.

2. Treatment

This is where the wheel comes in. More on that later. But he suggests starting with natural approaches before going for Western ones.

3. Mental

Infertility is a huge stress. He spoke about one particular aspect: putting your life on hold. I could relate to that a lot. He spoke about a client in tears because of not being able to have coffee or a glass of wine.

If it’s more stressful for you to not have that glass of wine than it is for you to have a glass of wine, then I want you to have a glass of wine. I don’t want you to have a bottle of wine, but I want you to have a glass of wine to help take the edge off.

4. IVF

He says:

I believe about 80% of all couples end up going down the IVF road unnecessarily. I don’t believe that the majority of patients truly need IVF and that’s not why it was intended originally.

I think the most important place where patients really need to consider IVF is: Do I truly have some structural issue going on that really forces me to have to go down that road? When we work with patients that’s the first thing we need to look at. Are my tubes blocked? Are my ovaries not functioning properly? Am I not ovulating? Is there something going on with my husband that’s not allowing for us to get pregnant and it would require us to go through IVF? Is there some sort of genetic issue that he missed?

He did mention that IVF can be useful for other instances e.g. in conjunction with No 1 – time – if you want to have three kids, you can freeze embryos and use them later.

***

my fertility wheel results

Getting back to my consult and my fertility wheel. As you can see, there are some question marks where he did not have the necessary information. But he did identify some issues I need to focus on.

1) Structural: Thin lining. I told him how Dr R had prescribed meds for this (Glucophage) but he said there could be any number of reasons why this is so.

-It could be because of the lap op / C- section

-It could be because of stress / adrenal glands / lack of sleep

Herbs and acupuncture can help, but he said that I do need:

2) Lifestyle and stress management.  (Mind, Spirit and Emotions)

If stress is causing my thin lining, I need to do something about that.

I guess I may be “thinly stretched” in my life too.

3) Timing of intercourse: if I have a 26 day cycle, then the window of opportunity around day 13 needs to be 4-5 days before and 2 after.

So, there was a lot to think about.

After having this consult Nicky was sick and puked all night long. What a horrible night. I only slept at about 4am. I love my son dearly and I calmly kept changing clothes and bedding throughout the night, but it got me thinking. Trying to conceive for another child with the demands of another one at the same time is hard. It’s expensive. I’m really not sure how this is all going to pan out but I have to have faith that one way or another, it will all work out for the best.

Rebooting my system with Traditional Chinese Medicine

my experience with a traditional chinese medicine practitioner.The things I do to try and get pregnant. There I was, lying half naked on a table with pins stuck all over my body. And they were hooked up to a pulsing electronic contraption. It had to be the weirdest sensation out but as time went on it lessened, and it became more relaxing. You might be asking what on earth am I up to now? I’m using traditional chinese medicine and acupuncture to create a welcome space for new life.

As part of the upgrade package of the Fertility at 40 Plus Telesummit, I received a number of bonuses. One of these was a consultation with Andrew Loosely, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner.

Some of the things he said in his talk:

Chinese Medicine looks at it as a much deeper concept of health of how your body systems are working and communicating with each other and how much vitality and nutrients you have in your body and have in store as reserve as well.

The approach of IVF and the system or treatment is to bypass all the intricate aspects of the menstrual cycle that might not be happening naturally and to provide you with an embryo that can be transferred back to your body in the hope that it implants and pregnancy is confirmed.

When a practitioner prescribes herbs for you they are giving you a prescription that is working on an underlying aspect of your body function, and that prescription will be working on balancing it and encouraging things to go in the direction that is needed.

Last Friday afternoon I had a skype session with Andrew. Before the session, I had to send him my fertility timeline as well as all my blood tests.

It was a very encouraging meeting. He said, at 41, I should still be able to conceive. He believes the route I should follow is that of Chinese medicine because that will create the right conditions for pregnancy. He seems to think that acupuncture can be a supportive function rather than very necessary, and the herbs are the most important. He recommended I find someone like himself in Joburg who could give me the herbs I need with the right amount of feedback (he tests clients every two weeks).

The other notable thing we did chat about was diet. I told him about my experience with the dietician and the snacks I was having throughout the day, the seed roll in the morning and the yoghurt in the afternoon. He said I would have to ditch dairy and wheat to conceive. I have heard this before, it’s not new, but I guess I was hoping to avoid it. I distinctly remember him saying about the seed roll: “I don’t care how many seeds it has, it isn’t helping you.” He said I should go for lots of red meat (looking at my pale tongue) and root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots. I asked about potato (I love potato) and he said so long as it’s not every day. So I am still using my potato mash recipe for lunch but I’ve mixed sweet potatoes in. And now I’m eating rye bread instead of normal bread. Rice is fine. No pasta. Not even egg noodles.

So after this I did some googling about Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners in Joburg. I found one in Byranston (looked expensive) and another one in Greenside, which was closer. I then posted in the fertilicare forum asking if anyone had any advice, but there was no response. I guess not many people go this route, perhaps.

So, I decided to take a chance and try out the Greenside one. A lady who was Chinese and Chinese educated.

I told her my story. She looked at all my blood tests. She looked at my tongue and also took the pulses of both my wrists. On the left wrist she seemed happy that something was right there. She also told me about some success stories she had – of a lady in her 40s who had twins, and a lady in her 30s with premature ovarian failure who got pregnant in two months on her system.

She didn’t seem to have much to say about diet and lifestyle, actually she wasn’t very chatty at all. But I guess the proof is in the pudding and I should wait and see a bit if her methods work.

After the consult it was off for the acupuncture. I’ve had acupuncture before, with two different practitioners, but this is the first time I’ve been hooked up electronically. The points in my lower leg really hurt. I remember my first acupuncturist saying that if it hurts, that’s good, it means it’s working, but fortunately she checked in on me and turned off the pulses in my legs. Ah, much better. The stomach was fine, I didn’t feel that much. And I loved the warmth of the heat lamp over that area.

She then put together a herbal concoction of twenty different herbs for me to take eight spoons of every day. I wrote down all the names but it’s all in Latin and Chinese and I don’t really have much of a clue what they are. She says it’s for my kidneys as well as to get my system moving (it was too stagnant).  Apparently it’s okay to do it with hot water and sweeteners. I popped it in my rooibos tea and it’s not that bad.

As I drink this new concoction, I think to myself: well, even if I don’t get pregnant I’m sure it will certainly help my health.

 

 

Seven Weird Places Where The Toy Cars Go

our toy cars go everywhere with usNicky always has to have an object of affection close at hand. And we all know how much he loves cars. For Nicky, one car is not enough. Whole groups of vehicles must follow us throughout the day. I thought I’d let you in on the logistics of how fleets of cars are transported from place to place on an average day.

child playing with busy book figurinesNicky certainly has fun playing with cars. He lines them up. He places them on top of each other. He builds structures with his cars.  We have different sets of cars: construction (digging ones), police cars, and other various metal cars. We also have two sets of figurines (Cars and Thomas) that he loves. But playing is not enough. They must come “wif” everywhere. Here are seven weird places where the toy cars go.

1) While eating. Cars are at the table to be moved back and forth.

toy construction set 2) In the study. At different stages we have had his whole construction set or rows of cars across the couch.

3) In the sand. Cars get covered in dirt outside. He loves pouring dirt on top of them. He likes dumping and scooping earth with his construction vehicles too.

4) On the trampoline. The cars MUST come with. I spend most of the time counting that all six Thomas train figurines are there and haven’t fallen off. Also making sure that I don’t fall on them.

5) While walking the dog. I’m not kidding. About two weeks ago I was brave and decided to walk one dog with Nicky. He insisted on bringing all his trains with. As you can imagine, this was not going to work to have him clutching all these vehicles, holding onto him and the dog. So I hit on the ingenious idea of a little draw string bag. Neither of us cared that he was carrying a black silk bag. What mattered was that his precious trains were in there.

6) Bathing. Bathing has always been a fabulous place for cars to go up and down through the water and all over me. The cars have to be carried there and dried afterwards. Then they sit in front of the heater with Nicky while he gets dressed.

sleepy-cars7) Sleeping. The cars and trains must come with in the bed for bedtime. He derives great comfort from this. Then it’s a toss up as a mom whether I want to lose sleep because

a) he rolled over the cars

b) he woke up in dismay to find the cars weren’t there.

As you can see it’s a lose-lose situation. This evening I sneakily removed the cars, hoping he won’t notice that they are gone.

Oh well. He will wake up at some point for some or other reason.

And he’s always happy to see his cars on the table next to the bed the next morning.