Welcome

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.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Educating daughters...

Today I drove by the all-girls’ school that I dreamed we would send our daughter to – if we had had one.

It put a little smile on my face imagining her in her brown and blue jacket and brown and tan striped skirt heading into school ready to learn all sorts of amazing things. I like to think about what extra-curricular activities she might have been involved in – arts, debating, music, outdoor activities, or environmental conservation. Who knows what she would have been interested in!

One of my work colleagues from years ago went to this school and it was from meeting her that I began to admire it. My colleague was outgoing, intelligent, unique, and the school had encouraged her to pursue her interests and not just go and get whatever university degree and get whatever job. She is now overseas working as a senior lecturer in the area that is her great love and joy.

It seems to me that the school works hard to encourage their students to be themselves, to pursue their own interests, and not to get bogged down in what anyone says they “should” do.

I would have wanted my daughter to have every opportunity to follow her dreams and not do something just because “society” said she should. I would have wanted her to have a fulfilling life with many adventures of her choosing.

This school would have helped my daughter to be all she could be while staying true to herself.

I like to imagine that and to picture her starting off as a little girl, going through primary school, growing into a young woman, and then moving off into the world. I would have loved to see what she would have done and become.

Chances are I will never set foot on the grounds of this school without a daughter.

And in reality it is doubtful we would have ever gone there even if we had a daughter – the fees are quite considerable!

Still – it’s nice to think about how, in a perfect world, my daughter would have had the perfect education.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Riding along on a push bike...

I want to be fit and strong and healthy. I wrote about this early last month, so I’m not going to go over all of the details, how I will do this and why again here.

I am thrilled to say that I’ve found that I absolutely love cycling! I started off in mid-February with a quick ride around our block (this was about a five minute ride). Then I got braver and rode five kilometres (three miles). Slowly I’ve added to the distance and now I’m riding thirty kilometres (about nineteen miles)! I can’t believe how quickly my fitness has increased and I love the new levels of energy I have.

I ride through a nearby industrial area to a bike track that goes for about 45 kilometres (28 miles). It is really beautiful (well to me) as you can see from the video below.  It is refreshing to get out and ride. It clears my head like no other physical activity has done.

video

Being able to do 40 kilometres (25 miles) by the time I go to Thailand is definitely achievable.

There are a couple of lessons that I have learnt about bike riding over the past month and half that I would like to share with you (for a giggle)…the words so that you can translate them if you want to are below...


Five things I learnt about cycling today:

1.       Wind is awesome – so long as it’s behind your back.

2.       Hills are spectacular fun – so long as you are going down them.

3.       If you need to walk for a bit, limp a little – not only will you gain sympathy from passers-by but they will think you are a complete legend when you get back on your bike.

4.       If you need to take a break because the wind is not at your back, you have two options to make the break look legitimate and nothing at all to do with your level of fitness:

a)      Study your bike tyres really closely – there could be a grass seed on one of your tyres that might have terrible consequences such as being stuck in the wilderness.

b)      Find something so intriguing that you have to get off your bike to study it (e.g. an old cemetery, an abandoned building, a bird, an ant) – you will look really intellectual to passers-by.

5.       Singing the “Bob the Builder” theme song is really motivating if you change the words to “Bob the Builder – Can we do it – Bob the Builder – Yes we can” – but don’t sing it too loudly or you will look like an eejit (Irish for idiot – following the Irish blessing “wind be always at your back” thing).

Happy cycling!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Dreams...

Kirby and I put everything on hold yesterday to sit down and watch the Formula One (F1) Grand Prix in Melbourne, Australia. It was a fantastic race. This year saw the introduction of new cars with new specifications and rules, and as a result many drivers struggled, and some did not finish the race.

One driver who is particularly popular is Daniel Ricciardo. He is 24 years of age and is incredibly talented, as well as being an overall genuinely nice man. It is very rare to see him without a huge smile on his face. And he is Australian.

He has taken up the place in the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team left by fellow Australian, Mark Webber, who retired from F1 last year.

Ricciardo had me dancing around the lounge room yesterday as he took second place and his first ever place on the podium, alongside German, Rosberg, and Danish rookie, Kevin Magnussen.

You are probably wondering now why I am writing a summary of an F1 race. But there is a reason.

This morning we woke to find out that Ricciardo had been stripped of his second place and disqualified due to a technicality. I could have cried – actually, I almost did as tears were sitting just on my lower eye lids.
Ricciardo’s team is appealing. Hopefully they will be successful and Ricciardo will be reinstated as the second place winner.

The whole saga has reminded me that dreams are so very fragile. We came so close to our dream of having children realized. We appealed, in a way, through using IVF, but our appeal was not successful.

Ricciardo came so close to having his dream of a place on the podium realized. It’s not over for him, and I can only hope his dream is fulfilled.

Everyone has dreams of doing, having and achieving different things in their lives, but nothing in life is guaranteed, despite what many self-help gurus, be positive mantras, and just believe quotes say.

I now have the dream of being a successful novel writer. I also have the dream of travelling more. And I want to do more hiking, get a kayak, and have more outdoor adventures.

Will I do all of this?

Will I achieve all of this?

I don’t know. I’ll do my best, but I just don’t know. I guess the next thing to think about is whether it’s worth trying. If success isn’t guaranteed then why put my efforts into anything? After all, we tried IVF and that didn’t work.

It would be so easy to give up, spend my life watching television, and living a basic life just getting by. But I can’t do that. I have to try. It’s true that there has to be a balance between keeping on trying and realizing when it’s time to move on and readjust and rethink my dreams, which is a tricky thing to do. It’s very hard to know when it’s time to move on.

I have learnt a lot through trying to have a child through IVF. One of the biggest lessons is how to deal with broken dreams. I have more understanding of how sometimes my dreams need to be given up, of how important it is for me to grieve for those dreams, and of how I can create new dreams even though I’ll never forget the dreams I once had. I am stronger than I thought I was.  That strength does not mean I don’t ever get upset or cry or get angry. Instead it means I know how to be with and gently move through those times.

I know so much more about myself than I used to, and I don’t want to let that knowledge and the lessons I have learnt go to waste. I can apply all of it to pursuing new dreams, and I will.

Whatever happens, I’ll keep going.

If things fall flat, if the trail to my dreams goes cold, if I find I can’t keep going with one or two of my dreams, then I’ll get up, get back in my car, and try again on a new track.

If Daniel Ricciardo can do it – then so can I.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Another update on my book...

Well, the publishing of my book may be delayed for a while thanks to some new information I have found out today about withholding of taxes, the IRS, and some scary looking legislation and forms I need to know about...

I'll let you know when I know more!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

My fish Ursula...

Sad news – I haven’t seen my beautiful fish Ursula for over a week. I have to accept that she has died – fish either rise to the surface or sink when they die, depending on what was wrong.

She was eight years old and I could pat her and hand feed her, and she was one of the first generation to be born in my pond.

I love my fish very much, as regular readers of my blog know, and I feel absolutely devastated. 

Ursula when she was very small...

Monday, March 3, 2014

Garden update…

The blog entry on the 19th of August last year was about different ways of being creative. My biggest creation in life was going to be our children, but I have now found other ways of being creative. These outlets don’t replace the children we could have had, but they do provide a way for me to be creative in my life in other ways.

One of these ways was to redo our front yard. I had plans to have it all finished by last September (the beginning of our spring). It would have a fake creek bed, indigenous plants and new bark to cover the dirt and keep the water in the soil as much as possible.

But life decided otherwise.

We have done some work, but I had had problems with my feet since last May and they got progressively worse over the next few months to the point where walking and standing was painful. So, the garden had to be put aside.

I was angry about the situation for a while. It seemed that life was going to throw another obstacle my way to prevent me creating something beautiful. Fortunately I found a foot clinic that does not use surgery or orthotics and they have been able to significantly reduce the structural pain in my feet.

I have another issue where my feet feel like they are burning, and none of the specialists I have seen have been able to work out what is wrong. My neurologist has given me new medication in regards to my epilepsy (I started to have a new type of seizure a few months ago) and one of the benefits of this is that it helps with pain as well. My feet aren’t perfect now, but I can walk, I can bike ride again, and I can garden!

I have been very fortunate and now only have to deal with a small amount of pain – which I am learning to cope with.

So, now my garden is up for some digging and planting and weeding…I can’t wait!

These are some photos of where we are up to, and I promise to update you on our progress.

Life hasn’t allowed me to create children, but I am creative none the less.

The start of the creek bed
Another view of the creek bed













Black Anther Lily
Pig face










Knobby club rush
Wattle