Welcome

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, March 5, 2017

Hayley...

In my entry on the 31stof January I mentioned Hayley, and that I wasn’t quite ready to write about her. In the last week something happened that brought her back into my mind and I want you to know about her now.

What happened last week was in the Adelaide Railway Station. A man was yelling at a woman because she was having difficulty using the ticket machine (which I, myself, have found confusing at times). He called her a “f**king idiot” and “bloody stupid” etc. My rage skyrocketed and I asked him what the hell he thought he was doing and told him not to talk to her like that. He scurried off like the low-life creature he was. Sadly, despite the railway station being reasonably busy, I was the only one that spoke up. What a society we live in!

Well – this incident brought back memories and emotions that I haven’t felt in years.

In 1998 I was in an extremely unhealthy relationship. Many things happened in that relationship that made me feel humiliated and degraded, including being talked to like that man spoke to the woman. It was tough to get my confidence and sense of self back, and it surprised me how easily I slipped back into feeling those old “I’m no good, I really am stupid” thoughts and emotions again. Other things happened in the relationship that I would rather not write about as they are too personal, but I am facing them now and I believe I will become stronger through that.

One of the hardest things in the relationship was when I had a very early miscarriage. I was only about six weeks along and I never had a pregnancy test, but I knew. My period was late (and it never was) and other signs were there. Then she left. I don’t really know if the baby would have been a girl, but I felt like she would have been, and I would have called her Hayley. She would have been nineteen years old next month.

When I told the “man” I was in a relationship with about the miscarriage, his response was along the lines of “well, it’s lucky you lost it.” Even now thinking about those words stings my heart. She would have been his child and he had no love at all for her. Wow!

To cope with this, as I did often then, and still do sometimes now, I wrote a poem for Hayley.

Whisper

A whisper on the whisper of the breeze
Through my body
Changes as ancient as the sea of time
Announced your presence

Within a heartbeat
I knew you
I loved you
I dreamed forward to the day
That my arms would hold you

I did not know
That you could not stay
That you would slip away
Almost unnoticed

Except that I felt you
Dancing with my body
Taking your part

They say it’s for the best
For the best maybe
But I’ll always wonder

Wonder about you

My baby

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A cute video...


This week’s blog post is a bit of a cheat one, as I won’t be writing much.

There’s a YouTube channel called “Cole and Marmalade” which is well worth a watch for a giggle as well as for really good information on cats and cat rescue. Cole and Marmalade are adorable and their parents are pretty good too!

I saw a video the other day about why cat mums (moms) are awesome (or pawsome!).

It made me smile, and get a bit teary too. It’s how I feel about my two cats, and my dog as well of course! And, okay, my four fish…though it’s a little bit different with them as snuggling with them is not really an option…

For all us fur-mums (and dads), especially those who couldn’t have human kids…


And here’s the link to the “Cole and Marmalade” website…


And here are our fur-babies...

Odi getting yet another toy...



Felix reckons Mum gives the best cuddles...
Frankie hinting that I should be paying her attention...


And our angel fur-babies...


Ari was only a little dog...
Minerva's favourite perch from when she was a kitten..

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Revisiting the secret...

Before I start this entry I want to make a clarification regarding last week’s post. It’s true that people with children will generally spend more time with people who also have children, but there is nothing really wrong with that. It’s actually to be expected. People who share common interests do tend to hang out together – and having children is a huge common interest. It is also so important for parents to have that base on which they can gain support from people in a similar situation. Not that we who don’t have children can’t provide support to parents – it’s just that it will be a different kind of support. As a really simplified analogy – you can go and cheer on a soccer team without playing soccer and have some idea of what the players are going through, but the team members on the field will be the ones who really get the game.

Now that’s clarified – let’s get on with this week’s entry.

I’ve recently come across a book by Jessica Sepel called “The Healthy Life”. It is an absolutely fabulous book in terms of gaining knowledge about all different areas of health, including fitness and nutrition of course, but also regarding being gentler with oneself, forgiving oneself, and being more compassionate toward oneself. It also has a great section on sleep – which has been an eye opener for me – or should that be eye closer? (Please excuse that really lame attempt at a joke! J).

One of the sections is about drawing what you want, in terms of your dreams, to you through mantras, belief, vision boards, etc. It’s kind of like “The Secret”.

Now – if you’re a regular reader you will already know that I have a massive aversion to anything to do with the law of attraction. I don’t believe it is as simple as that. This is especially true given I had every expectation I would have children to the point that I had their nursery worked out in my head, had collected samples of paint and material, had saved a picture of a gorgeous wall border, and even had clothes put away ready for them when they arrived. If that’s not belief and vision and so forth, then I don’t know what is! Yet – my beautiful babies, whether they had been Ruby, Jacob, or my Hayley (who would have been nineteen this year – I  haven’t written much about her, but I will one day – I’m not quite ready at this point) never arrived.

Despite the marvellous insights I gained from the rest of Jess’s book I was going to skip the entire section on living the life of my dreams. But, I thought what have I got to lose?

I’m glad I read it. While I still don’t believe that getting what you want is as simple as believing you are worthy of what you want, envisioning it, and working towards it, I have had insights into where I am and have been that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

I sat down with a cup of tea, and with my pencil to highlight different parts of the section that interested me, and I began to read. Soon I was in tears.

What was it that struck me so?

I realised that I’d gone to the extreme of not believing I could have anything I wanted. I didn’t believe that I was actually worthy of achieving anything – especially regarding my dream of being a science fiction writer.

After all, I can’t do what comes naturally to most other women – I can’t do the simple thing of carrying and giving birth to a child. If I can’t do that, then how could I believe that I could do anything else in my life?

Losing our precious dog, Ari, last year added to this hurt and subconscious thought. I didn’t recognise that he was so sick, I told myself time and time again that I should have. He was my boy, and I let him down. Even though in reality I know that I did everything I could and nobody could have picked up how sick he was – even the vet.

I was a failure. So, why dream big?

I was useless. So, why should I even think I deserve to have anything I want?

I’ve been pushing my writing away by making every excuse under the sun – and finding other things that need to be done urgently (like doing the dishes or cleaning the toilet or watching that episode of Brooklyn 99 for the tenth time (though it is a good show! Great for a giggle!)).

I need to step away from the extreme of assuming I can’t, and move a little toward believing that maybe I can. Why not? Where is the harm in having a vision board or repeating mantras if it’s going to put me in the right frame of mind where I might make it to be a full time science fiction writer? Where is the harm in believing I can create a beautiful garden to surround our home? Where is the harm in believing I can snorkel, cage dive with white pointers (yes that is on the list!), travel, and have many adventures? Where is the harm in believing in myself?

I am really thankful to Jess. She’s brought me to a point where I am much more compassionate with myself, and this has allowed me to think about who I am and what stirs my heart and soul, and to start to remove the self-judgement that I’m no good.

I might not make it, but I am now in a frame of mind where I believe more in myself – and surely that can’t be a bad thing.

So, thank you Jess!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Port Lincoln...

Well – haven’t I been a slacker!

It seems some months have passed since I’ve written a blog entry. I could come up with lots of excuses – such as it was Christmas and I’ve been adjusting my diet to help combat my fibromyalgia (which is helping – yay!) etc. But I’m not going to. I’m just going to get on with this entry!

Between Christmas and New Year, Kirby and I travelled with our friends to Port Lincoln for three nights. The purpose of our trip? To go out on a boat with Adventure Bay Charters to swim with sea lions.


Travelling on the boat to the seal lions
Dolphins joined us for part of the journey




Me and one of our friends in the water

It was absolutely brilliant! Sea lions are endangered – there are only 10000 left – so swimming with them was a real honour.

The sea lions lazing around

In the water
I also loved the way the crew of the boat we went on to where the sea lions live were very respectful of the sea lions. We were not allowed to approach them, but rather we were to wait until, and if, they came up to us  –  which made it all the more special when they did.

Sea lions are so playful and cheeky! One of the crew put a floating line as a guide to where we were allowed to swim – one of the sea lions grabbed one of the floats and took it down to the ocean bottom (it was shallow water) and proceeded to lie on it!

Look what I can do!!



You can't see me!!
While we were in Port Lincoln we also visited Coffin Bay National Park, where we were fortunate to see an emu and his chicks (yes – the Dad takes on the child rearing responsibilities!), New Zealand fur seals playing, and a kangaroo. The beaches were so wide and white, and the water so clear. It was stunning.

Baby emus with their Dad
Loving life!
 

Beautiful remote beaches
Kangaroos camouflage so well! 

Fur seals playing...
The ferocity of the ocean

I’m writing about this holiday for a couple of reasons – aside from the fact that it was awesome. And those reasons relate to the fact that we couldn’t, and don’t, have children.

The view from our balcony at the Port Lincoln Hotel
The first is that our friends are in their early twenties – and we are in our early forties. It’s quite an age gap and yet we are good friends and we get along so well. The truth is that if we had children it is less likely that we would spend as much time with these friends, if any, because we would be mixing in quite different circles. People with kids tend to mix with other people with kids – and are less likely to mix with people from very different age groups. Lately Kirby and I have been looking more at what we do have in life, instead of what we don’t, and these friends are part of what we have – and they are a blessing.

The second is that we could just go away. We can go away, work permitting, any time we like. We don’t have to think about school holidays or making sure that the activities we do are kid-friendly. Kirby and I can take off on the weekend, or even just for a day, and do what we want. Of course, we have our fur-kids to think of – but they are so adorable that I think we’ll have to start a raffle with the winner being the one to look after them next!

Lastly – life is getting better. I still get sad about not having children – but what we have is amazing. Kirby and I have changed in the last year. It’s taken a while, but we have become more aware that we have a life well worth living and that we shouldn’t waste. It doesn’t mean we don’t feel a sense of missing our children though – that will never go away.

Kirby and I are spending more time with friends and family, going out to different places, and enjoying life. We even spent Christmas Eve putting together Lego – Kirby had a car and I put together Rey’s speeder from Star Wars: The Force Awakens! If that’s not geeky I don’t know what is!

Life – dance, play, work, laugh, love, cry, walk, see friends, listen to music, feel angry, do something.
 

It’s too precious not to.

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

Babies...

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.