A New Year, A New Resolution

Every year, I have refused to make New Year’s resolutions. I felt that they didn’t work and by March I would have either broken them or forgotten about them. They were unrealistic/unachievable resolutions such as “I will travel more”, or they were so stupid even I was kidding myself when I made them.

Anyway, this year, I have decided to make some but make them specific and somewhat achievable (they’ve got to be a challenge right? I can’t be making it too easy otherwise it’s not a resolution). They may not sound inspiring or at all interesting but they mean something to me. So this year, my 2014 resolutions are:-

  1. My most important one… Don’t plan my life around having a baby. Last year, I decided not to go for a new role within my job because I assumed I would have fallen pregnant, which meant I would have gone straight to ‘light duties’ which is a dick move when starting a new role. Sadly, however, I didn’t fall pregnant and I didn’t get a new role within my job either. (another dick move). This year, I intend to go for new opportunities and if I fall pregnant then so be it. S has also agreed to put the baby making to one side when booking holidays, for example, if we fall pregnant then so be it.
  2. Expand my cooking experience. I class myself as quite a good cook and a decent baker (not great when I’m dieting) but I find that I’m sticking to the same meals over and over again. Next year, I aim to try a new receipe at least once a week to not only expand on skills but to try new foods. Our Abel & Cole deliveries have already assisted us on this (who knew Courgettes were actually nice?) but the way we cook needs to change (If the baby making isn’t going as planned, please expect to see random tweets about food).
  3. Improve my general fitness. I don’t intend on running a marathon, but continuing to improve my fitness is always something that I want to achieve. I shall be restarting this via MyFitnessPal (I gave myself a little break over Christmas) you can join us by adding myself and/or S as a friend.
  4. Read. Last year, I really got into reading again. I mean, seriously into it. It was never that I didn’t like reading, I just found better things to do when really; now that I’m reading again, reading was always the better option. I read all three The Hunger Games in a month and I was addicted. I’m currently reading the Harry Potter books and next year I intend to mix it up with all the Game of Thrones books (thanks to S) and a few autobiographies.
  5. Improve my time keeping. Simple, right? No. Although I always give myself a good 2 hours to get ready to go out; I always seem to find something to do – whether it’s washing up or a “quick” walk with the boy. Either way, I’m then late, not massively I must add, but enough to get flustered and annoyed.
  6. Finally, speak and visit friends more often. S and I have a close bunch of friends that we speak to and see regularly, however we have a ton of other friends that we only see via the means of Facebook or if we see them in town. This isn’t great. We have been blessed, for one of a better word, to have these people in our lives so why are we not keeping in touch with them? Facebook assists us and we are lucky that we live in a generation of social media but this must not become a replacement for one to one contact. I intend to slow down my social media use when it comes to friends and physically arrange to see them in the flesh.

So there’s my resolutions. They may not seem very mind-blowing or life changing, but they are to me. Resolutions can be hard to think of, if you ask me, as they’re making you think about the bad points about yourself that you perhaps didn’t think were bad. For some, they’re taking you out of your comfort zone. Resolution number 5 may not work, for example, but at least I’d die knowing that I kept in contact with friends that I was lucky to have in my life.

We’d love to know what your resolutions are if you’re making any. If you’re not, why not?

Finally, we’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year with extra baby-dust for those in the TTC process.

K

2013… It’s Almost At An End

Well, it’s that time of year again, when we stuff our faces full of indulgent foods and wines, not to mention the endless amount of chocolate, and once this time of year comes round we know it’s not long until we can box up the last 12 months and hide it away in a dark place never to be seen or heard from again. We get the chance to learn from our mistakes, and to start the coming year off fresh and new and with optimism.

If you’ve been reading this blog regularly you will know that the last 12 months haven’t been easy or gone to plan, not that we were expecting that they would, it never does. We were, however, hoping that we would be closer to our dream of having a family and sadly that is not to be, but as they say, “tomorrow is another day”, or “what will be, will be”.

So based on that, K and I have decided that in 2014 we will not be putting our lives on hold whilst we try for a baby, we are going to make the plans to travel abroad, have weekends away visiting places we’ve always wanted to go, but just have never gotten round to it, and K will finally have a think about a different role within her job – something that was always put to one side because of the baby-making and the “what ifs'” she fell pregnant just after starting a new role.

We know our dreams will be realised when the time is right, and it will be worth the wait.

Finally, I’d like to thank you all for reading our posts this year, and would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

S x

Review – Abel & Cole

If you’ve not heard of Abel & Cole, they are a company that provide organic food to your doorstep.  Knowing about Abel & Cole for a few years via friends, they were just a fruit and vegetable company, however following significant growth they now do other produce such as meat, dairy and eggs. What I think I liked most about them from the start is that the produce they proved are seasonal – encouraging you to eat a variety of fruit and veg rather than the usual you probably get week in, week out. If you’re anything like me, you stick to the usual and rarely get anything you don’t know how to cook, however with these guys I get the chance to mix it up as I’m certainly not going to waste it.

Although I could probably get these products elsewhere and/or perhaps for a cheaper price, these products are 100% organic and sourced locally anyway. We have tried sourcing our fruit and veg locally via visiting local farm shops but we simply do not have the time to do this weekly and a lot of the time it’s a little pricey.

So, last week, we received a voucher that entitled us to a free vegetable box as well as a free cookbook with an order over £12.50. Now, I’m a sucker for a freebie, especially when it’s a book and ESPECIALLY when it’s a cook book as I’m taking great pleasure in filling up my cookbook area in the kitchen (whether or not I actually use them regularly – I have quite a nice collection now) so when there was an option to get their cookbook, I was hooked; especially at £12.50 (the RRP is £12.99).

When you join A&C, you’re given three options; a Veg Box, a Fruit and Veg box or a Fruit Box (never saw that one coming did you?). Once you’ve chosen your box, you choose the size. You can also mix it up and get a small box, for example, but add additional items such as meat, eggs, milk and the like or items such as soups (made by A&C) or herbs. They also do special fruits just for juicing if you’re into that. You can also choose a gourmet version for those more adventurous and are happy to try something out of the ordinary.

As we had to meet £12.50 to get the book, we decided to go with a small vegetable box (£10.00) with some eggs and a soup as I’m a sucker for dark yellow yolks and soup, but you can spend a lot less and still get it delivered to you (delivery is 99p).

If your area isn’t an area where A&C visit often, they will tell you when they’re in your area. I imagine that if you’re in a big city, you’ll get a choice of delivery dates. Thankfully, the date they gave us, suited us.

When arranging delivery, you can choose between weekly, bi-monthly or monthly boxes. We’ve arranged for a weekly box which works out as £60.00 a month but we have a free box so it’s just under £50.00 including delivery which works out as around £12.00 a week which isn’t bad for a variety of seasonal vegetables.

At the moment, we’re probably spending a little under £30.00-£50.00 a week on fruit and veg anyway so this isn’t too much of an expense, but I still want value for money. Although a lot of veg is frozen, we do get a lot of salad items as well as fruit for my lunches (S has the luxury of having fruit delivered to her office).

Before they delivered, I was quite optimistic as I’d heard lots of good things about them so when the box arrived on my doorstep, I was so excited. In our box we got a small bag of spuds, a punnet of mushrooms, a punnet of cherry tomatoes, some chard, two broccoli trees and six large carrots. We also got 6 medium eggs and a vegetable soup. We also got a little Christmas treat in the form of a mini mince pie!

 

I wasn’t too impressed at first as we used all the spuds in one meal that was split over 2 days (we got about 6 potatoes) as well as the carrots, but when I looked at exactly how much we got and for how much we paid I was starting to come round. There was also a significant difference in taste of the vegetables. They just seemed… Fresh! I guess I was just hoping for something a little different because what we received was no different to what we usually get on a weekly shop. I was also expecting a little more, because I was used to perhaps buying a large bag of carrots for £1.50 but then looking at these carrots from A&C, I now know the carrots I buy are poor, cheap and nasty. Besides, the amount they give us are probably the right amount for two people anyway, cutting wastage. I can only imagine that if someone was on their own, this would last a lot longer!

Veg aside, I noticed and was very impressed with the packaging as it was completely recyclable in the sense that there is no plastic. Everything was packaged within wool and ice packs. When they deliver your box, they simply collect your old boxes. No trips to the dump for me! Result!

On top of this, I was littered with booklets about how to cook using the veg I’d been been provided with, as well as a brochure about other products, and a little note about where they source from. On top of this, they also gave us their Christmas brochure which was/is dangerous as the first page opened with the cheese section! I was salivating!

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Overall, I am quite happy and although this is our first box – it may very well go tits up – I am feeling optimistic about our new way to get our veg. It’s one less thing to buy from the supermarket and I don’t feel bad that I’m not sourcing from local farmers as they source locally anyway – so I’m doing my bit. I’m also looking forward to trying out the new cookbook.

I would recommend trying these guys – even if you’re not sure. Even I you just want a free book, give it a go as you can cancel after the first delivery as you pay per box not per month. I genuinely thought I would grab the freebie a leave, but I’m not. I’m going to stick it out.

K

If you have any questions, feel free to comment or email us. I highly recommend just giving their website a visit – it’s bursting with information about them and their products. 

*I purchased, and now subscribe, to these boxes with my own money. I earned a free box by registering online and claiming. This deal can be found on their website.

1 Year On…

It saddens me to realize that we are coming up to a year from when we first started trying for a baby, and we still don’t have a baby.

Although we have only really had 6 “successful” tries, by this I mean when D has shown up at the right time of my cycle, we are still a year on from when the decision to have a baby together became real. A whole year. It may not seem like a long time, certainly if you’re a couple who have been trying for years, but for me I expected this to have happened a lot sooner than where we are now, and that’s not me just being over confident, and verging on arrogant by the sounds of it – far from it. I also never expected it to happen first time or even our third time, but when we’re now at 6 attempts – it is starting to panic me.

There are no fertility problems reported in my family and I don’t feel that I am of a size that may affect fertility, I certainly don’t want to go looking for problems, but what angers and confuses me the most is that I don’t have answers or a reason.

I started this journey feeling relatively positive, but now I don’t know where I am. S and I have things up our sleeve (I will write about this soon) and for this I am able to remain positive but keeping this year in mind I don’t know how long my positivity can remain, especially if there are underlining issues. What sours the issue even more is S.

S, so far, has done a spectacular job every cycle, not to mention keeping track of all my data as well as pretty much being the organizer, but I still haven’t produced. Every cycle after getting that BFN or the arrival of AF, S has said nothing. She has remained positive, albeit saddened to know we have to try yet again; especially a particular cycle has been troublesome and stressful what with getting sporadic contact from D but as soon as he’s done his business nothing else has mattered. She has taken it in her stride on the outside, but I can see her brain ticking over – even if she doesn’t know it. I can see her thinking; “how many more BFN’s?”

So how do we move forward if I am the problem? Sure, we’ve discussed it but at the back of my head I never really contemplated it coming into play.

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The year hasn’t been a complete waste, we’ve learnt a few things about ourselves and how complex the donor process can be, and how frustrating donors themselves can be! During this year alone we found a Donor, we lost a Donor, we found a new Donor, and then finally got rid of them. On top of this, we have found several genuine people who I would now call friends. These include other couples in the same boat as us; couples who we can confide in and talk to, as well as those who have just leant a helping hand during the process, and for that I am very thankful. At least the process hasn’t been a complete waste.

Baby making aside, we’ve moved home and started a healthy eating regime which has seen S and I lose over 5 stone between us in just under 3 months! I’ve also been occupied with my gorgeous Nephew who came into the world just under a year ago but is growing up fast.

53687_253870378093501_1648255631_oHowever, no matter what has been accomplished, we are still as far away from our main goal as we were when we started a year ago, except perhaps a bit more knowledgable of the process. 

Looking forward, I am going to get serious and look into the possibility of fertility issues, and by this I’m going to start with getting myself tested for PCOS. As mentioned, I don’t want to look for problems that may not be there, and sure we’ve only been trying on and off for a year but I also don’t want to stick my head in the sand and continue trying for a baby when there may be issues. It will not only be a waste of our time, but a waste of time for our next donor.

It’s really heartbreaking, especially when I see dozens of undeserving people be given the gift of a child not knowing how damn lucky they are, but I guess I can guarantee that if it does happen for us, our children will know that they were wanted more than anything else in the world.

K.

Thinking Outside the TTC Box.

So after the stress of our last cycle and finally getting a BFN after a rather delayed AF; which sent our hopes through the roof, S and I have painfully decided to start our TTC journey again next year. It’s really painful to say the words “next year” but it’s not that far away, and deep down it will probably benefit us to save more money away and relax for the remainder of the year (who are we kidding?).

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After sacking our Donor, our roller coaster of a cycle apparently wasn’t over. We had had our insem; which we thought was too early, although our App was initially advising that I had actually ovulated only a day or so after the insem (eek!). Days went by, as well as the date AF was due to visit (EEK!!). I was preparing to test, as well as preparing in my head the message to D to notify him of a BFP but then it came… AF. A week late! I could have died.

It turns out the cold I had pushed everything forward. Despite having EWCM, I hadn’t actually ovulated. My body was just confused and was sending all sorts of mucus as well as keeping my BBT incredibly high. Once we edited the data on the app, it gave us the actual date of ovulation, and it was later… because of the cold. This means, AF wasn’t late if I were to count it in keeping with the actual ovulation. But counting it as part of my normal sequence, I was late. I was pretty much close to exploding.

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As much as we would have loved to have got back on the baby-making horse after a disastrous few months, it’s unlikely that anyone would be available this side of the New Year. I know I know, it’s only November, but even if we started emailing Donors now, we still have to compensate for tests being done and contracts being signed, and who knows how long that would take. I certainly don’t want to rush it.

Likewise, we’ve got a busy few weeks coming up so why add the stress of searching for a Donor onto it? (I’ll tell you why, because we want a baby NOW). Besides, if I get knocked up now, I won’t be able to have my mountain of patè and cheese at Christmas.

So, for now, our time can be taken up by buying further Christmas decorations for the house that we don’t need, as well as spending way too much money on Christmas presents for each other.

Wish us luck!

K.