Obviously I'm not the only mother with four children in the world. But I do think that I've probably had one of the most dramatic changes someone could have, in terms of going from infertility to uber-fertility in four years.
It's strange how it changes how you look at the world... IVF, etc, seems a distant memory, and now my concerns revolve around the children - can we be enough for them? Can we cope? The answer, of course, is yes - because we have to.
A good friend of mine said to me, you just decide you can do it and you can. I agree, it's all about mindset. Trying not to worry if you get a bit tired, being methodical, and giving yourself a break when you don't get it just right are all really important factors!
I still feel for people who have never been able to have children. It's a horrible fight to get what you've always assumed you'll have. Fighting things you don't really understand - medical tests, procedures and horrible surging emotions. Unfortunately, having children is a privilege and I do wonder whether having gone through IVF has made me more aware of that than I otherwise would have been? Perhaps if more people struggled to get pregnant, there would be fewer unwanted children in the world? Who knows!
I'm currently researching an article on women who have donated their eggs. I think egg donation is one of the most wonderful things you can do as a woman - something really selfless - and the women I have met in doing this have blown me away.
Today we went to the Island in the centre of the lake of Vassiviere, as I'm in the process of writing a travel article on it. Unfortunately, October had set in, and the place was deserted. The little tourist train that transports "tourists" (!) across the bridge looked pretty folorn, and the driver was practically drooping at the wheel. When we put our "donation" into the little tin, it rattled with emptiness - it was the only coin of the day.
According to a French friend, Vassiviere Lake is little known because the locals like to keep it that way... and yet it has so much to offer, it could be thriving all year round. It surprises me that somewhere so beautiful could be so under-used.
Talking of beautiful - the girdle is no longer leaving ugly red prints in my skin. Does this mean it might be WORKING?