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

Advertisements

Losing a sense of oneself

I met with someone the other day, who is still firmly in the trenches of infertility and, talking about her experiences, forced me to go back to a place that I don’t often go back to these days, because it’s still too painful.

Talking about all the things that we women go through when trying for a baby and I am not even talking about the physical rigours, but rather the emotional ones, made me think:  Can we really remain the same person we were at the beginning of the journey, when eventually we make it out the other side, all emotionally fucked and 15kgs heavier? The answer is easy….HELL NO WE CAN’T!

Now, although I quite like the person I am today, it has led me to wonder what kind of a person I would be without my infertility journey.

  1. Would I be less cynical? I am sure that I would be  and more naive about the horrors that are out there in this life. It is the one time in life when ignorance really would be bliss.
  2. Would I be slimmer? I was always slim growing up. Then I went to the UK and ate all the pies but, I was still at least 20kg less when I met my husband, than what I am today. Be it the drugs we pump into ourselves, or the comfort food we turn to when we are faced with yet another failed cycle, myself and some of my IF friends, look like we ate the people we were prior to IF!!
  3. Would I be happier with myself? Slimmer automatically equals happier with yourself so, ja, you do the math!
  4. Would I be as in love with my husband? I loved him madly before IF but, what we went through really cemented our relationship. I see friends going through horrible divorces, for some of the most arbitrary reasons and I know that that will never happen to D and I. Our bond deepened over the loss of Eloise and, once you get past something like that, nothing will tear you apart.
  5. Would I be as empathetic to others? I have always had a soft spot for animals and rescue case humans but, again, I think I have much more patience and willingness to help than I did before. Perhaps I could call it, being less selfish.

Apart from the cynicism and being a fatso, I guess I have changed for the better. Would I like to be a skinny and more positive chick? Of course yes but, then I would also lose all that I have gained too: My empathy, my loyalty, my need to give back and to help make others’ journeys not quite as tough (through IFAASA ) and, most importantly, my deep bond with my wonderful Hubby.

I guess that is why I have a good group of infertile friends. We each recognise a bit of ourselves in each other. The slightly broken and forever changed part.

download

Written in the Stars??

I am struggling a bit this month…I don’t know whether it is due to the fact that it is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month or that I am weaning myself off the 6 month course of AD’s that I took…or both! Either way I am feeling lower than I have for the last 8 months or so. I am definitely not going to go back onto AD’s, it has been such a hard process to wean off them, so I am going to have to deal with this head on.

Another date which is creeping up on us, is our 8th Wedding Anniversary, which is on the 15th October…always a joyous day of celebration, until this year. The 15th October also happens to be Remembrance day for Infant and Pregnancy loss. 

On the 15th October 2003, my Gorgeous Man and I got engaged on the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town. We did swift calculations and worked out that the 15th October 2005 was a Saturday, so we set the date right there and then. This leads me to think, once again, that all that happened to us was written in the stars. I don’t know if that depresses me more or not, I am a bit confused by it all at the moment.

I kinda hate that the day we once spent remembering our happy day fondly, by watching our wedding video and flipping through the albums and talking about things long forgotten, has now been tainted by the worst thing that could ever happen to a couple. Now, instead of going out for a celebratory supper, I feel that I need to be home to light a candle as per http://www.october15th.com

 

Don’t take my upset as an unwillingness to celebrate Eloise’s life. I love her with all my heart and thinking about her brings me joy and sadness equally but, her anniversary is also creeping up on us and that is the day I wish to choose to spend with her and all things that remind me of her. I think what I am saying is, that I don’t need to be forced to remember her, but at the same time, I want to support others who have gone through the same thing, so I am torn.

Apparently the statistic is that 1 in 4 women will experience the loss of a child through infant and pregnancy loss.

That statistic breaks my heart into tiny little pieces and so, it is for all of us who have been to hell and back, that I will put my big girl panties on and take a stand on the 15th October. I can celebrate my marriage every day through hugs and kisses and time spent with my Lovely Man.

This day is bigger than just us….

I AM 1 IN 4

Image

Bok x

To the love of my life…

My Darling D

A year ago today, was the happiest day of our lives… the day we had our very first + appear on a home pregnancy test. Just reading back on here, to that day and I can remember it like it was yesterday. We were crying with happiness and wonder at the gift we had been given and had to pinch ourselves to make sure that it was real.

Today, just 12 months from there, we have been to hell and back. Ashton is the biggest blessing we could ever have imagined but, for 12 months we have been on an emotional rollercoaster of massive proportions and so it is only to be expected that we may have lost ourselves a little, along the way.

I love you more today than I did 12 months ago. I love you for the strength you showed when we found out about Eloise’s condition and the vulnerability you showed when you started to understand, why letting her go, would be the best thing for her. I love you for the thousands of tears you shed for our little girl and I love you most of all, for the touching and brutally honest account of her birth, that you wrote and allowed me to share on here for all to see.

This song pretty much sums up why I am the luckiest girl around: (I have taken out the choruses)

EMILE SANDE – NEXT TO ME

You won’t find him drinking at the tables
rolling dice and staying out til 3
you won’t ever find him being unfaithful
you will find him, you’ll find him next to me

You won’t find him trying to chase the devil
for money, fame, for power, out of grief
you won’t ever find him where the rest go
you will find him, you’ll find him next to me

When the money’s spent and all my friends have vanished
and I can’t seem to find no help or love for free
I know there’s no need for me to panic
cause i’ll find him, i’ll find him next to me

When the skies are grey and all the doors are closing
and the rising pressure makes it hard to breathe
well, all I need is a hand to stop the tears from falling
I will find him, will find him next to me

When the end has come and buildings falling down fast
when we spoilt the land and dried up all the sea
when everyone has lost their heads around us
you will find him you’ll find him next to me

Never in my life have i met someone like him
I’m blown away by his love for me
if you ever wonder where it is you’ll find him
you will find him, you will find him next to me

I love you and I am so lucky that you chose me as your partner in life.

I am even luckier that you fight to make sure that you are the one I go to sleep next to at night and the first person I see every morning. You are always by my side… when it matters and when it doesn’t, when I deserve it and when I don’t. That is just the way you are built and I am eternally grateful for that.

My promise to you now, in front of cyber world as my witnesses… I will strive to be as good a person as you already think I am, the best wife to you that I know I can be and your partner for eternity.

I love you always and forever,

Your Soulmate xxx