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.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Caleb and the fish...


After I wrote the last blog entry on names I realised that I had forgotten to include another name we had thought of for our son – Caleb Maxwell. Caleb is a name we both love. The name is Hebrew in origin, and there are a few different meanings attributed to the name Caleb, including dog, but we like it because of the meanings “whole-hearted” and “devotion”.  We would have been wholeheartedly devoted to our little boy.  The name Maxwell would have gone with it as this is the name of Kirby’s Dad, my Father-in-Law. Maxwell is a combination of Maccus meaning “great” and the Old English “wielh” meaning “spring” or “pool”. It really is quite a lovely name.

The fish…

On the 28th of October last year I wrote about how one of our fish was getting ready to lay eggs, and how excited I was at the prospect of having new baby fish. Well, sadly, while I saw one or two tiny babies (fry), I haven’t seen any in about two months. Unfortunately few baby fish survive to be adults and it seems that this year wasn’t a good year for the babies. There are many reasons for this, including slight changes in temperature, the baby fish not being strong enough, and unconducive levels of pH, nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia. I am sad about it, but I also realise that this is nature.

Next week’s blog is going to be on an issue that I think about, and get confused about, a lot – that of friendships.


Lisa B. said...

Dear Kate,

I came across your blog through some other bloggers' links and have very much enjoyed reading all of your posts. I was particularly touched by the one about your son's first day of school. Who's to say that time doesn't run in both directions, or that there aren't other realities? Perhaps in some other alternate world, your son had a first day of school exactly how you described, and by thinking it for him in this world, you helped create it. Or, perhaps the soul of your son (or daughter), after their brief stay with you, went to another place to be born, but is still very much connected to you through your time together and your love. And your wishes and protection are felt by him or her, and will help make your vision of that lovely school day real.

Several years ago, I had a very early term miscarriage, so early that I didn't know until it had happened. Not too long after the miscarriage I did have a daughter, and the emotional space occupied by her hasn't left much room for now for thinking about the miscarriage. I understand and don't find it weird at all your feelings toward your embryos. They were your children. I have a photo of me and my husband taken when I was (unknowingly) pregnant before the miscarriage, and I treasure it as the only picture of us with the child. I sometimes worry that I have not honored the child that was miscarried adequately compared to my daughter, and that I've "forgotten" him/her. I read once in the New York Times that Japanese women go to special shrines to pray for and leave toys for their children who were not born. I think this is a lovely tradition. Anyway, I just want to say that I understand your feelings and appreciate the eloquence with which you've shared them on your blog. And, I love that you've built a very special relationship as an Aunt!

I hope none of these things are insensitive or strike you as odd, I write only with the best of wishes and appreciation at your expressing of your feelings for others to share.

Best regards,
Lisa B. from New Jersey, USA

Kate Bettison said...

Lisa - far from being insensitive you have explained exactly how I feel and what I think as well, and added to it with the alternate realities. I've often wondered the same myself - particularly when dreams feel so real - whose to say they aren't and that I really am with my son? Thank you so much for your wonderful words - I have tears in my eyes from reading them. I think we must be made of the same fabric! All the best, Kate

Kate Bettison said...

Just a quick addition - I think you are honouring your child every time you think about them. They were real and they were loved - and I truly believe they know that. x