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

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In 2014…I am getting me back!!

Ok ok, I know I may be a month too late on getting my new years resolutions down, but I am firm believer in ‘better late than never’.

2013 was another crap year for me in many ways…apart from having our gorgeous boy of course. It was a year in which I let a few things go that I shouldn’t have. 

1) My weight. I was so full of grandois ideas after we lost E that I would never have a belly one could associate with a pregnant one again, as it was too painful. Then of course the wine and chocolate and wine and food and wine and cupcakes all put paid to that! 

2) Smoking. Since I was 17 I have been a social smoker, on and off. I stopped completely after D and I had been together a bit, but I started again when we returned to SA. In the UK smoking is hellish expensive and so frowned upon, no one really partakes in it…not so here! The wine flowed at the braais we went to and it went from standing chatting to the smokers, to joining them, in one rather seamless step!! When we were approaching our IVF cycle, I stopped but, after we lost E, I took it up again and this time there was nothing social about it!

3) My Marriage. We are one hell of a couple, if I do say so myself but, the past 2 years, have really put strain on us. It is partly our fault, as we really didn’t pursue grief counselling like we should have, when A arrived, so some feelings were swept under the carpet. A lot though, I feel may be my fault. I pushed D away, I went out at night, leaving him to babysit, coming home sometimes at all hours of the morning. I told myself it was to keep my friend company, who was also going through a tough time in her marriage but, if I am fully honest with myself, it was because I was running away. Not necessarily from D but from being a wife and a mother mostly. Because of the situation in which A came into our lives, I don’t think I fully realised how hard it would be to love a little being, that is not the little being that you had been dreaming about for the past 6 months, but rather someone elses little being, but is now suddenly yours to look after and love for the rest of your life. We didn’t have the grace of time healing all our wounds, before A came along, he arrived when we were at our rawest. Yes, he did heal some gaping ones himself, just by his presence but, some others took even longer to close over and so going out and drinking too much and smoking too much, was a nice escape (now I am not talking every night, rather a few times a month). It was a punishment too though because, generally due to the guilt, I would drag myself out of my pit to get up with A at 5:30am, even after only going to bed at 2am! He hadnt even known I was gone, so the guilt was more because I knew the reason I was doing what I was doing. Things got better towards the end of the year and then, when Mav died, I completely withdrew once again and have struggled with grief and feelings of inadequacy ever since.

So! How do I intend on fixing the above?

1) I have joined the Low Carb High Fat Crew and intend on losing 20kgs! I have started going to the gym much more often than I ever did…still not often enough but I am getting there!

2) I have stopped smoking! Well, I do puff on the odd persons ciggy but, I am on the road to stopping completely. One big motivator is our pooch Maverick, who died of cancer in December, when he did nothing at all to deserve it! So, I am doing it to try and save myself, before it is too late!

3) We are going to see a relationship therapist on Monday and I am going to start talking to D more and slowly dragging myself back into the real world. I will stop picking fights and trying to push D away because, one day I may succeed! I am also going to spend more quality time with A. I know I work and I also have a big new venture that I am involved in with others but, neither of those are more important than my boy. He will be my only living child and time goes by so damn fast, I am buggered if I am going to turn around in a few years and wish I had taken more time out to be with him.