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.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The garden…

There has been a lot of progress in our garden since I last wrote about it in the entry of 4th March 2014. The baby plants have grown steadily, the creek beds are finished on both sides of the drive way, and we finally have mulch!

It has been a stop and start process, but I am really pleased with the oasis that we have created in our front yard.

The last time I wrote about the garden I had just put in the plants – a wattle, a knobby club rush, a black anther lily, and a pig face. They were tiny, as you can see by the photos below. I was quite harsh on them. We had a week or so of hot weather (around 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit)), but I didn’t let that deter me from strengthening up the plants. I watered them three times a week for about two weeks and then they were on their own. And they thrived! All of the plants are indigenous to our area and so they are perfectly suited to growing on their own with little assistance from us.

I ordered the mulch about a fortnight ago. When I ordered mulch for our front yard at our old house, before we sold it, I made a mistake and ordered enough for three gardens…so this time I gave the dimensions to the supplier and asked them how much we needed. Two metres cubed of mulch was delivered to us on a Thursday afternoon. I had ordered forest mulch instead of bark chips as I want our front yard to be as natural as possible. The first thing I noticed when I went out to greet the delivery person was how much the mulch stunk. I thought I had made a big mistake.

Not to worry though – the smell was due to the mulch being compacted and in the sun when stored at the garden centre. The smell went away once the mulch was placed over the garden.

I set about mulching on the morning following delivery. I thought I would get it all done by lunchtime and then I could do other things in the afternoon (like take a long bath with Epsom salts in it!). I have a tendency to underestimate how long things will take. I started at 9.30am and finally finished at 4.30pm…

Laying newspaper under the mulch took the most time. Newspaper is brilliant at stopping weeds growing, and along with the mulch I do not envisage much weeding in the front yard in the near future. Yay!

It was quite an enjoyable day. It’s nice to get out in the sunshine and do some physical work when most days I sit inside writing or editing. Our neighbours were having pavers laid on the same day, and mid-morning I wanted coffee so I offered them a tea or coffee too. They didn’t want to be a bother, but I was putting the kettle on anyway, so they accepted. One of the men is from Vietnam and the other is from Afghanistan. The man from Afghanistan was hesitant to tell me where he was from when I asked. I find this very sad as it is very likely his caution comes from negative experiences he has had here. To me, he is a person, but I know there would be people who would immediately assume because he is Muslim and from Afghanistan he must be a terrorist. It’s ridiculous. I said how sorry I am about what is happening in Afghanistan. He said that most of the people want peace, but there are men who like to fight and he doesn’t understand it.

Later on, when the man from Afghanistan was having a break, he came over to our yard and offered to help me for a while. I had no expectation or even thought that I would get help from him, so it was a pleasant surprise. I have only recently learnt to accept help from others and realised that I don’t have to do everything by myself. It has been a tough lesson because it has meant letting go of the need to try and control everything and also letting go of the belief that I have to do everything on my own to prove that I am good enough. So, I accepted his help. I laid the paper and he brought wheelbarrows full of mulch to the sections of the yard I was working in.

It was a lovely time of neighbour helping neighbour and neighbour sharing with neighbour.

So, the garden is looking great, if I do say so myself. Have a look at the photos below which show the changes from August last year to March this year to now. We have created a place for life from the dreariness that our front yard once was.

I can’t wait to go to the nursery and buy more plants this weekend. Yay!

The creek bed August 2013, March 2014, and August 2014

The side creek bed and ponds August 2013 and August 2014

The front yard August 2013, March 2014, and August 2014

At one stage I thought we would lose the Black Anther Lily, after planting it in March, but it is a determined little plant

The Knobby Club Rush was barely visible in March, but now it is a healthy grass and has tiny flowers on it

The Pig Face has grown from a spread of just a few centimeters to more than one meter since March

The Wattle now almost covers the stick that dwarfed it in March. I can't wait til it flowers...

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