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, July 2, 2017

The fog...

I’ve been in a bit of a grey place lately.

Things are getting better and there have been some adventures (such as a trip to Thailand) recently, but I still find that the grey is around me.

I think all of us go through this from time to time.

I’ve written the following poem as a way to understand where I am at the moment.

Something is amiss
My world is dimming
For fog has appeared again
Slinking into existence
And wrapping up my spirit
In cold bondage

So, what?

What can I do?

How can I grovel my way clear
When I do not know
Where the fog ends and I begin?
When I do not know
Where clarity lives?

Perhaps that is the point of it
I am not meant to know these things

Instead I must simply give in to it
Let the fog sort me out
With its wisps and subtle movements
With its greyness and its sighs

No need to struggle

Gently soothe the screams in my heart
And distil the cries perched on my lips

Calmly sit within the fog a while
Wait to see what it is
That the fog is gifting me

And see what it is that is left

When the fog has gone again

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Felix...

This past week has been very traumatic and difficult. Our beautiful 14 year old cat Felix became very ill and he was suffering.

On Friday he passed away by euthanasia with Kirby and me by his side.

We're still in shock.

I'll write more about him in the next couple of entries.

Today is Mother's Day...I miss our boy.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Mother's Day

It’s been a while yet again! I’ve been in a bit of a fog for the past few months, which I’ll write about in the next entry.

On Sunday, in Australia, it will be Mother’s Day. Along with this day will come all the familiar thoughts and emotions that those of us who can’t have children often encounter. The grief and sorrow, and even bitterness sometimes, and the “why not me?” and “what did I do wrong?”.

Last year I met one of my friends, who also can’t have children, for lunch. She said to me that one of the hardest parts for her is the messages that accompany Mother’s Day that suggest children choose their parents. For example, “thank you for choosing me to be your Mum.” It sounds like a lovely sentiment – but there is a definite sting in there for us.

As my friend said, it implies that there are children who looked at us and went “Nup – not good enough – I’ll head over to the drugged up, abusive couple down the road thank you very much.”

Or, perhaps even more difficult to fathom, the children who did come along, but didn’t stay due to miscarriage, picked us but then changed their minds.

This really hurts. It really, really hurts to think about.

Am I saying that people shouldn’t write this type of message on their Facebook walls? By no means. They should if this is what they want to do. All I’m asking is to be aware that friends and/or family members who can’t have children might find it difficult to read these kinds of sayings, and when they do they may feel their hearts break a little for the millionth time.

Be aware and be sensitive, as it’s a hard enough day for us as it is.

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.