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, January 31, 2017

Revisiting the secret...

Before I start this entry I want to make a clarification regarding last week’s post. It’s true that people with children will generally spend more time with people who also have children, but there is nothing really wrong with that. It’s actually to be expected. People who share common interests do tend to hang out together – and having children is a huge common interest. It is also so important for parents to have that base on which they can gain support from people in a similar situation. Not that we who don’t have children can’t provide support to parents – it’s just that it will be a different kind of support. As a really simplified analogy – you can go and cheer on a soccer team without playing soccer and have some idea of what the players are going through, but the team members on the field will be the ones who really get the game.

Now that’s clarified – let’s get on with this week’s entry.

I’ve recently come across a book by Jessica Sepel called “The Healthy Life”. It is an absolutely fabulous book in terms of gaining knowledge about all different areas of health, including fitness and nutrition of course, but also regarding being gentler with oneself, forgiving oneself, and being more compassionate toward oneself. It also has a great section on sleep – which has been an eye opener for me – or should that be eye closer? (Please excuse that really lame attempt at a joke! J).

One of the sections is about drawing what you want, in terms of your dreams, to you through mantras, belief, vision boards, etc. It’s kind of like “The Secret”.

Now – if you’re a regular reader you will already know that I have a massive aversion to anything to do with the law of attraction. I don’t believe it is as simple as that. This is especially true given I had every expectation I would have children to the point that I had their nursery worked out in my head, had collected samples of paint and material, had saved a picture of a gorgeous wall border, and even had clothes put away ready for them when they arrived. If that’s not belief and vision and so forth, then I don’t know what is! Yet – my beautiful babies, whether they had been Ruby, Jacob, or my Hayley (who would have been nineteen this year – I  haven’t written much about her, but I will one day – I’m not quite ready at this point) never arrived.

Despite the marvellous insights I gained from the rest of Jess’s book I was going to skip the entire section on living the life of my dreams. But, I thought what have I got to lose?

I’m glad I read it. While I still don’t believe that getting what you want is as simple as believing you are worthy of what you want, envisioning it, and working towards it, I have had insights into where I am and have been that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

I sat down with a cup of tea, and with my pencil to highlight different parts of the section that interested me, and I began to read. Soon I was in tears.

What was it that struck me so?

I realised that I’d gone to the extreme of not believing I could have anything I wanted. I didn’t believe that I was actually worthy of achieving anything – especially regarding my dream of being a science fiction writer.

After all, I can’t do what comes naturally to most other women – I can’t do the simple thing of carrying and giving birth to a child. If I can’t do that, then how could I believe that I could do anything else in my life?

Losing our precious dog, Ari, last year added to this hurt and subconscious thought. I didn’t recognise that he was so sick, I told myself time and time again that I should have. He was my boy, and I let him down. Even though in reality I know that I did everything I could and nobody could have picked up how sick he was – even the vet.

I was a failure. So, why dream big?

I was useless. So, why should I even think I deserve to have anything I want?

I’ve been pushing my writing away by making every excuse under the sun – and finding other things that need to be done urgently (like doing the dishes or cleaning the toilet or watching that episode of Brooklyn 99 for the tenth time (though it is a good show! Great for a giggle!)).

I need to step away from the extreme of assuming I can’t, and move a little toward believing that maybe I can. Why not? Where is the harm in having a vision board or repeating mantras if it’s going to put me in the right frame of mind where I might make it to be a full time science fiction writer? Where is the harm in believing I can create a beautiful garden to surround our home? Where is the harm in believing I can snorkel, cage dive with white pointers (yes that is on the list!), travel, and have many adventures? Where is the harm in believing in myself?

I am really thankful to Jess. She’s brought me to a point where I am much more compassionate with myself, and this has allowed me to think about who I am and what stirs my heart and soul, and to start to remove the self-judgement that I’m no good.

I might not make it, but I am now in a frame of mind where I believe more in myself – and surely that can’t be a bad thing.

So, thank you Jess!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Port Lincoln...

Well – haven’t I been a slacker!

It seems some months have passed since I’ve written a blog entry. I could come up with lots of excuses – such as it was Christmas and I’ve been adjusting my diet to help combat my fibromyalgia (which is helping – yay!) etc. But I’m not going to. I’m just going to get on with this entry!

Between Christmas and New Year, Kirby and I travelled with our friends to Port Lincoln for three nights. The purpose of our trip? To go out on a boat with Adventure Bay Charters to swim with sea lions.

Travelling on the boat to the seal lions
Dolphins joined us for part of the journey

Me and one of our friends in the water

It was absolutely brilliant! Sea lions are endangered – there are only 10000 left – so swimming with them was a real honour.

The sea lions lazing around

In the water
I also loved the way the crew of the boat we went on to where the sea lions live were very respectful of the sea lions. We were not allowed to approach them, but rather we were to wait until, and if, they came up to us  –  which made it all the more special when they did.

Sea lions are so playful and cheeky! One of the crew put a floating line as a guide to where we were allowed to swim – one of the sea lions grabbed one of the floats and took it down to the ocean bottom (it was shallow water) and proceeded to lie on it!

Look what I can do!!

You can't see me!!
While we were in Port Lincoln we also visited Coffin Bay National Park, where we were fortunate to see an emu and his chicks (yes – the Dad takes on the child rearing responsibilities!), New Zealand fur seals playing, and a kangaroo. The beaches were so wide and white, and the water so clear. It was stunning.

Baby emus with their Dad
Loving life!

Beautiful remote beaches
Kangaroos camouflage so well! 

Fur seals playing...
The ferocity of the ocean

I’m writing about this holiday for a couple of reasons – aside from the fact that it was awesome. And those reasons relate to the fact that we couldn’t, and don’t, have children.

The view from our balcony at the Port Lincoln Hotel
The first is that our friends are in their early twenties – and we are in our early forties. It’s quite an age gap and yet we are good friends and we get along so well. The truth is that if we had children it is less likely that we would spend as much time with these friends, if any, because we would be mixing in quite different circles. People with kids tend to mix with other people with kids – and are less likely to mix with people from very different age groups. Lately Kirby and I have been looking more at what we do have in life, instead of what we don’t, and these friends are part of what we have – and they are a blessing.

The second is that we could just go away. We can go away, work permitting, any time we like. We don’t have to think about school holidays or making sure that the activities we do are kid-friendly. Kirby and I can take off on the weekend, or even just for a day, and do what we want. Of course, we have our fur-kids to think of – but they are so adorable that I think we’ll have to start a raffle with the winner being the one to look after them next!

Lastly – life is getting better. I still get sad about not having children – but what we have is amazing. Kirby and I have changed in the last year. It’s taken a while, but we have become more aware that we have a life well worth living and that we shouldn’t waste. It doesn’t mean we don’t feel a sense of missing our children though – that will never go away.

Kirby and I are spending more time with friends and family, going out to different places, and enjoying life. We even spent Christmas Eve putting together Lego – Kirby had a car and I put together Rey’s speeder from Star Wars: The Force Awakens! If that’s not geeky I don’t know what is!

Life – dance, play, work, laugh, love, cry, walk, see friends, listen to music, feel angry, do something.

It’s too precious not to.