We always thought we would have kids. We started trying when we believed we were ready. A month went by, then two months, six months, a year. Nothing happened.

Something was wrong, but nobody could tell us what - and they still can't to this day. We tried IVF three times but our results were not good. We were devastated.

Eighteen months after our last IVF cycle, we knew we would not be having our own children. And, somehow, we have moved to a life that is much different to the one we thought we'd have.

This blog is about what we do now we know we won't be having children - the thoughts, dreams, realities, sorrows, and joys that have become our new life path.

I hope you will enjoy what I will be sharing, and I hope that if you are at the point where life without children is a reality for you, that you might find some hope and inspiration here.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A letter to her child...

The following is from one of my readers - a beautiful letter to her child...

Dear baby,

I've wanted you for what seems like forever, I dream of holding you and feeling your warmth.

You have no idea how badly I want to create you. To be a mother, I want you more than I can take... more feeling than it is possibly to feel.

It's almost like a need, a need for you.

To feel you move like butterflies, to feel you kick inside me, to feel ethereal, dreamlike, unbelievable to thing I could grow life.

I want to feel the pain of you getting bigger inside me, the weight of you.

I want you to grow and grow like a butterfly in a cocoon.

To see the plus sign on a test, to squeal with glee, to hug my fiancé and see the amazed look in his eyes.

To cry over the joy, the adventure, the possibility that will be your life.

I can draw, paint, write and knit, but creating a painting is so much different to having a work of art, a pure creation made by two in love grow inside you.

I envision your tiny little legs, kicking and squirming, your chubby fingers tight around my thumb, your beautiful soft skin & perfect eyes.

We've talked about you for what feels like eternity, we read books, articles, watched videos about you.

We planned names like Damian or Hamish or Olive or Christine.

We planned out your early years, we planned out everything.

I felt so ready yet scared and excited, the ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, the baby books, my fiancé’s mothers handmade clothes, created for his baby. Special for his baby, our baby, our soon to be universe.

I couldn't wait for you, I was so excited, we were so excited.

I wanted to hear you, hold you... I wanted you to be mine, which you can never be.

I started becoming more tired, more stressed & in more pain. I wondered is fibromyalgia genetic? Could my mum have passed it to me and if so, what would happen to our dream?

I googled it, my heart didn't just sink, it fell, down & down & down. It spun down like a penny in a charity coin machine, until it hit the ground with a cold hard thunk.

My fiancé was broken, I was broken.

Months have passed, he's sold the baby books, hidden his mother’s baby clothes and I have hidden my pregnancy jumper & sold my ovulation tests.

I sold my pregnancy journal, the very happy mother to be messaged me urging delivery, so elated and excited at her pregnancy. I marker penned my name from the 'this book belongs to section' scrubbing it out, trying to clean to sadness away, the memories.

I stuck a neat white sticker over it, almost purifying it as if some omen, some sad, angry, heartbroken entity was being removed or set free.

My fiancé posted the book whilst I tried to forget. When I found out fibromyalgia is genetic and clusters in families.

My dream died, my never born baby died with it, I feel stupid to mourn a baby that has never existed & will never exist but I can't help it.

I used to brood over babies, seeing pregnant women's tummies & children pulled my heartstrings and made me excited and nervous.

Now when I see a child, a baby or a pregnant woman. It ruins my day, I see children’s clothes/socks/blankets & toys in shops & supermarkets.... it makes me feel sick to my stomach with loss.

Most days I can try not to think about it and it sort of works, but some days I cry about you, my never baby. Some nights I stay awake, like right now & I feel sad and broken.

I needed to write this letter to you my never baby, because as I know you won't ever be here I still love you, I still think of you & I still hold a piece of my heart just for you and I hope one day that mourning will heal & my heart won't be quite so fragmented.

Endless love,

A lady who dreams of being your mum.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Apologies again!

I’ve had a few health issues this past month, plus a work project that I’ve had to focus on, so the blog has gone on the back burner for a while.

I’m not sure if you heard about the storm that happened in South Australia a few weeks back. It was one of the biggest we’ve seen and ended up with the entire state losing power – some areas for more than 24 hours.

Hospitals and other emergency services generally have backup generators, and so do IVF clinics. After all – they have frozen embryos that need to be looked after.

Unfortunately one of the IVF clinics in South Australia lost all power and couldn’t get it back before they lost all of the frozen embryos. All of them.

They have offered free cycles of IVF for all affected clients.

I cried for the clients and the embryos when I heard this news. I was also very angry. I was angry at the loss of the embryos, but also because to most people the offer of another cycle was an acceptable way to make amends.

But, the loss of those embryos, at least to me, is much more than a free cycle could ever compensate for.

When we did our IVF cycles we got to take home photos of our embryos. We have two photos and I’ve kept them. I won’t ever part with them. Because they are our children. Had we lost any embryos in an incident where power failed I would have felt that our children had died – not just that embryos had been lost that can simply be replaced.

Does that sound weird? I would have felt that the clinic was being flippant about the loss of our babies.

What do embryos mean? How early is it in the cycle to say “they are our children”? For me, our embryos were our children – especially given they were as close as we ever got to holding our babies in our arms.

They were never just embryos to me. In those tiny little beings there were already so many things that were set – their eye colour, their hair colour, whether they would have had Kirby’s eyes. Would they have been interested in computers or writing? Would they have loved animals like I do? We’ll never know, but we’ll always wonder.

Our babies...

No doubt the different clients of the clinic would be experiencing so many different emotions and thoughts. For those whom IVF does not work for, will they forever wonder if one of the embryos that was lost could have been the one? I often wonder about an embryo that was not put in me because it was not judged as strong enough – could that have been the one that made it? Again – we’ll never know.

All I can say is that our embryos were the closest to our children that we ever got, and they were a part of Kirby and a part of me. They were more than simply embryos – so much more.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Wayward wonderings...

Sorry about that!

I’ve come back to writing the blog a little later than I promised. Just after I wrote my little note on the 4th September I got a lovely stomach bug and then a headache that lasted about a week, and so looking at the computer was limited to work and not much else!

Oh – and I said that I was going to talk about “Stranger Things”, but I got the name wrong. I’m going to talk about “Wayward Pines” instead. If you haven’t seen it and plan to I will try not to give any spoilers.

The premise of the show is that a select group of people have been selected to be put in cryostasis by a particular man who predicts that something bad is going to happen to humanity. The people are woken up some time later (a long time later) and often don’t even know that they were put in cryostasis, so they wake up rather confused.

Anyway – that’s a pretty all over the place, brief description of the show.

What got me thinking though, is that one of the key aims of the community of Wayward Pines is to increase the human population. And anyone who could not produce children was seen as unnecessary and were…well…I’ll say no more on that.

It’s a real commentary on what is important to humanity. Would it be the case if something happened to humanity and only a certain number of people could be saved that those unable to have children would automatically be left behind?

What if a brilliant poet or philosopher or teacher or scientist was unable to have children? Would they be left behind? Okay – so the scientist may not be as they would have something to “contribute” – which is another issue altogether on what is valued in society and what is not.

If Charlotte Bronte, or Plato, or Degas, or Beethoven, or Confucius were around and couldn’t have children - would they be left behind?

If the only thing that is of value when push comes to shove is the ability to procreate, then what would we lose? Who’s to say that those who can’t have children have nothing to contribute that is worth saving?

Art has been around as long as humans have been. Storytelling, music, all of that – crude as it might have been – were part of early human society.

Of course it isn’t an either/or – having a child doesn’t mean you can’t be an artist too!

I’m getting myself all confused now. What is the point of this entry?

I guess my point is that people are much more than just their ability to procreate, but when it all boils down, people who can’t procreate are seen as “not as worthy”, not as valuable.

But, we are. I say we are. I say we have a lot to give. We have a lot to give future generations. No matter what society says.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Hi everyone - my apologies for not having posted for almost the last month. It's been a difficult month with not a lot of time for writing...

I plan to do a post or two later in the week...one will be about "Stranger Things"...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A letter to the clinic...

Back in March I wrote a letter to our IVF clinic about my endometriosis and how I felt about the fact that they didn’t investigate whether I had it or not, and that if they had, and it had been treated, we may well have our child with us right now.

I didn’t post it!

The letter was teaming with anger and name calling…not exactly the most productive way to get the clinic to understand us and our situation. I meant to write that version of the letter exactly as I did as I needed to vent completely before I could write a letter that could actually be sent to the clinic.

I have written that letter now and emailed it to them last week. It’s below for you to read if you wish - just double click on the picture to open it so that you can actually read it!

Oh – and to date – I have heard nothing from the clinic…not even an acknowledgement that they have received the letter and that it will be given to the person to whom it was addressed.

I wait with anticipation as to what they will say…if they reply that is!

Monday, July 25, 2016

An old soul...

We took the eleven year old daughter of our friends out on Saturday. We went on a dolphin cruise on the Port River in Adelaide and we even saw four dolphins! We were the only ones to see one of the dolphins which was pretty special!

Jess knew that Ari had died and in the car on the way to the Port she said about how sad she was that Ari was gone and how it must be really hard for us.

She said “He was like your child…so he was like my cousin too.”

Okay – I’ve got tears in my eyes right now.

This beautiful, amazing girl said so simply and honestly exactly how we felt about our Ari. He was our child.

She showed more understanding than many adults would and with such simplicity and honesty.

We adore her so much – she is a pure delight in our lives – and I know for sure she is an old soul.

We love you Jess! 

Me, Jess, and Kirby

The Port Adelaide River

One of the tall ships the "One and All"

Jess with her Dad, and Kirby with Ari when he was a puppy.
Jess can't remember a time when Ari wasn't around.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Counselling and stoicism…

Earlier this year I was considering going for counselling after my operation in January. This was due to the surgeon finding endometriosis, which very likely could have contributed to my infertility but was something the IVF clinic we went to never looked into, let alone mentioned. I was feeling very angry and let down and the grief about not having children reared up violently.

I haven’t gone to counselling.

This time I found, after a bit of time, I didn’t feel that I needed it. I found that I have moved through the grief and pain (although it did rise again after my last operation in June) and have come to a point where the anger is not overwhelming and I no longer feel guilty that I let our children down.

It was only since losing Ari that I realised that the need for counselling had gone. This wasn’t because I thought that I needed counselling after losing Ari, but rather that I realised that I know things about myself that I didn’t even know I knew – how’s that for a mouthful!

I used to be a positivity nut – and when things weren’t going my way or I thought they were unfair I would try to control everything to make the situation good again, or I would look for a very good reason as to why things weren’t going my way. I didn’t recognise back then that what I wanted was for things to go my way – I just thought that because I was thinking positively about certain aspects of life that they would happen the way I envisaged.

Even after we couldn’t have children I had this idea of how life was going to be for Kirby and me and that was the way it was going to be. If we couldn’t have children then surely this new vision of life would become a reality? It would be completely unfair if it didn’t!

It didn’t. Well, not completely – things have happened that we hoped for, and things have happened that we wish hadn’t.

My mother-in-law said to me the other day that there is something different about me this year – that I seem more settled in myself. And that is how I feel.

Life has its ups and its downs – I have very little control over it really. I do what I can do and then the rest happens due to events, people – a combination of things really.

I have learnt to accept that – most of the time! The night before Ari died, when he was in the emergency vet overnight and we knew he was very sick, I said to Kirby that it was quite possible that Ari might not come home. Kirby was surprised, I think, as normally I wouldn’t even want to entertain that idea. But, it was a real possibility, even though I hoped that what was wrong with him would be something like a blockage in his digestive system that an operation could fix.

I don’t believe that my “negativity” contributed to the outcome. How could it? Ari already had lung cancer and was going to die. I didn’t create it overnight and change what was wrong with him from something that could have been fixed to cancer. If I had the kind of power to change situations there is so much I would change in the world and I would be a god! And, Ari would still be here because I would definitely have made it so.

So, I’m not sitting here with my thoughts and emotions constantly wondering why it all happened and how unfair it all is and that life is over. Of course, I am grieving – which involves feeling sad, angry, guilty, asking why, etc. but it is a healthy grieving, not an unhealthy grieving. I hope that makes sense.

Stoicism is something I have been reading about lately – once again thanks to Oliver Burkeman! Being stoic – as it is defined today – was not what it originally was. Stoicism is a philosophy and one I am keen to learn more about. One of my favourite quotes from Marcus Aurelius (2nd century AD) is:

“The cucumber is bitter? Put it down. There are brambles in the path? Step to one side. That is enough without also asking: “How did these things come into the world at all?””

I’ve still got a long way to go in understanding Stoicism, but it seems to be a philosophy that quite possibly will appeal to me the more I delve into it. Or maybe it won’t be. I don’t know and that’s quite okay.

So, with the endometriosis and with Ari and with not having children – I can grieve in a healthy way, and wonder why as part of that grieving, but that is it. I don’t have to keep on asking why and constantly dwell on it and be angry all the time.

The interesting thing about Stoicism is that the recognition of a situation doesn’t mean that you don’t do anything about it – if someone is bullying you, you wouldn’t sit there and say “well this is how it is” and leave it at that. You would say “this is how it is – now I recognise this and I will do something about it.” Perhaps it is in that recognition of the situation that the clarity of whether there is anything that needs to be done occurs, and if so, what that might be? What do you think?

Therefore, I will still be writing to the IVF clinic to ask for an explanation about why they didn’t look into endometriosis – because I believe this will be a healthy thing for me to do and may prevent them from failing someone else in the future as they did us. After that, whether I get a satisfactory answer or not is out of my control, and I will leave it be.