On the eve of my 40th Birthday

If I think back 10 years ago, as I stood on the cusp of my 30th birthday, I was not dealing with the thought of being 30, very well. In fact, we ended up going to America and spending my day in Disney World, immersed in the ultimate place for the young and young at heart, just so I could keep my mind off the fact that I was aging horribly.

There was only 1 reason for my fear of turning 30….my infertility. 

Turning 30 whilst still TTC, is hard, that’s all there is to it. The blueprint I had for my life, had worked out to a point:

  1. Travel the world – CHECK
  2. Find love of my life – CHECK
  3. Marry love of my life – CHECK
  4. Have babies before 30 – NO POSITIVE PREGNANCY TEST TO BE SEEN

And so, as I approached 30, we were stuck in the limbo that is infertility and, had already been there for 3 years. Little was I to know that, it would still be 5 long years until our journey came to an end and, another 5 years after that, to get over all the mental and physical issues, brought on by that roller coaster journey.

What I mean by that is, you don’t ever avoid battle scars when travelling down the road of infertility. Some are physical ie: weight gain, laparoscopy scars, caesarean scars etc and, some are mental ie: guilt, anxiety and depression.

I only realised recently that I have kept myself 15kg overweight, ever since 2012, as some sort of punishment to myself, for what happened to Eloise. Only once I dealt with my guilt, head on, could I focus on a healthier lifestyle and, have since lost 12kg.

I also drank too much and hung out with people who didn’t bring out the best in me as, on a subconscious level, I didn’t think I deserved anything more than that. Since looking at my demons right in the eye, I have finally rid my life of unhealthy “friendships” and am focusing on friends who build me up, instead of tearing me down.

And so, because of this long overdue transformation, turning 40, is a different beast altogether. At last, I have been able to let go of the ghosts that haunted me throughout my thirties and I am finding my way back to me. I couldn’t be more excited about what this decade has in store for me. As cliche as it sounds, I really am feeling that my life will begin at 40.

If you are stuck in the cycle of grief, even after achieving your family, please make sure that you work through it sooner rather than later, for your sake and the sake of your family. Don’t beat yourself up for another 5 years like I did and, potentially miss out on some wonderful experiences with your family that you worked so hard for! Chat to a psychologist, or someone who has also been through infertility and/or loss. Join a support group, do a course, just do whatever you can to get back to you. Sending love to you xx

Why are people still so weird about infertility?

My Facebook page is a hive of activity when I post pics of A (well, he is very photogenic!), or my horse but, God forbid I share a post with a meaningful message and……uuuuurk (sound of brakes), the interaction comes screeching to an abrupt halt.

Today marks the start of Reproductive Health Month in South Africa and, my NPC, IFAASA (I call it mine but, really there are 4 of us who run it), is running a massive campaign to try and get people to get checked out early by a Fertility Specialist and not waste years at a GP or non specialist Gynae.

We have been prepping for this campaign for a few weeks now, gathering personal stories to form part of our I am #1in6 Campaign, to try and make people feel less alone during their journey.

Last night, I was excitedly scheduling posts and reading stories from the bravest women you would ever meet. I know this campaign is going to be a huge success when it comes to raising awareness around Infertility and I am proud of what we will achieve. So, I got caught up in the excitement and….. I shared the campaign to my Facebook Page.

This morning, it had 1 like.

The last post I did with A in it, garnered 50 likes and a bunch of comments. It’s not like I have thousands of FB friends, I have under 300, so 50 likes is good.

I can really only assume that my friends are still “grossed out” by infertility, like it may be catching or, perhaps they feel that it is still something to be ashamed of.

Do they not realise that, just by liking my post, one of their friends who desperately needs to know they aren’t alone, will see it and be helped? 1 in 6, people!!!! 1 IN 6!!!!!!! 

Do they not realise that, just by liking my post, they won’t catch infertility? Maybe they think that people will think they are infertile though and, how embarrassing that would be!?! *eye roll*

It annoys me but, it spurs me on to make this campaign a huge success. If I can convert just one of my shy Facebook friends to share, or just like the posts that I share and they have around 300 friends on their profiles then, potentially, I will reach another 50 Infertiles.

That to me is worth any “embarrassment” in the world.

I am out, I am proud, I am Infertile, I am #1in6