Saturday, 30 June 2012

Clock watching

Patience has never been my strong suit. I don't know why they say it's a virtue but apparently it is. Alas, it's a virtue I don't possess. I never have. So now, I have no choice but to sit and wait. And frankly, it scares me. 

We've now completed our first shot at creating a baby. I'm pretty sure we got all the timing right. The body has been listened to. Signs have been noted. Dates have been observed. Sex has been had. So now it feels like it's a waiting game. Waiting to see if my period comes. Waiting to see if it works. Waiting for the inevitable disappointment if it doesn't.

I know, expecting success on our first attempt is a futile wish. The odds are so drastically low they're not worth calculating.  Mother Nature is in fact cruel. Why isn't there some way to know straight away if you've hit the jackpot or not?

Now I just feel agitated - like I have no choice but to sit and twiddle my thumbs to see what happens. Being a conscientious person, I've made the decision to live my life like I am pregnant while I'm waiting to find out if I am. I know, it's a high maintenance way to live your life but I'm not prepared to take any risks. So much so I told my husband this morning I would now need my eggs over easy as I can't have runny eggs anymore. As I said, I'm not taking any risks!

Clearly, if I stay on this path I'm going to throw myself into a significant spiral of god knows what. I know and accept it isn't a good head space and it's one I need to shift. It's such early days and god only knows how long this will take so being this anxious about it so soon will not do me any favours. In fact, it's probably more likely to prevent me getting pregnant rather than aiding the process. So I have some work to do!

In all honesty, I think it will be a day by day, week by week and month by month process. I'm hoping I just need to get through my first month of trying and things will settle down. It's so overwhelming to suddenly spend so much time listening to your body, calculating dates, having the energy to do the act and trying to do it in a calm state. I wish I could be more like my husband who says "Hey, at least we'll just have fun trying." I need to take a page out of his book and relax about the whole process. I will endeavour to that. But part of me is suddenly jealous of those women who fall pregnant by accident. On this occasion, ignorance would truly be bliss!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Starting with a splutter

Today was one of those days where you're reminded that sometimes, life is totally out of your hands. Just as we're ready to start trying, there's major job losses at work. People are finishing up tomorrow for the end of the financial year and there will be major job cuts else where. 

It's ironic that just as I got a permanent job I'm now in jeopardy of losing it. But, that's just life I guess. I now face the waiting game of will I be one of the unlucky ones to go or not? It's so frustrating to know this is totally out of my control and there's nothing I can do about it. All I can do is turn up to work every day and give 110%.

But, it puts doubt in my mind about whether we should do this or not. Is now the right time? What happens if I loose my job? Will I find another? Do I want to wait another few months to find out?

The simple answer is no. I don't know what's going to happen so what's the point in waiting? When I asked my husband what we should do he simply said "She'll be right mate." And so we will continue forwards.

The choice is simple - either put our life on hold for something that may or may not happen, or take a risk for something we have our hearts set on and believe in. In the end, we never know what life will throw at us. We never know what's around the corner. We never know what tomorrow will bring. If we live in fear, we would never get out of bed in the morning. 

So in the end, we choose to move forward. We choose to have faith. We choose to believe everything will be ok. 

As they say, fortune favours the brave. So we choose to be brave!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Putting the pram before the baby

Ok, I admit I may have got a little carried away. Today I bought a change table. Not a normal one, it's a wooden one that you attach to the top of a chest of draws. I saw it on Ebay and thought it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen!

I'd been thinking of how I would manage space in our nursery and when I saw this, I thought bingo! I also convinced myself that given I'm picking up a new chest of draws next weekend, it must be a sign! Actually, now I think about it, we don't need a chest of draws. That's something else I bought for the baby's room! Whoops!

Ok, so I'm definitely getting carried away. But I justify it to myself that to buy these things new would cost far much more. And, I'm buying the draws off a friend who's moving overseas so I'm really doing her a favour. Clearly I was just deluding myself. 

I was reluctant to tell my husband, believing he would think I was nuts. But I had to as we had to pick it up on our way to lunch. I very hesitantly and coyly told him I had bought a change table and we needed to pick it up. He laughed, looked at me and said "Ok baby". I think after I bought the booties home, nothing is going to surprise him!

When we picked up the change table, it included a mat and 3 change covers. The couples' little boy, who was bout 3 years old, carried the little pack of mat and covers, tied up with a blue bow. He was so adorable as he walked up and gave them to me and I imagined him lying on that table having his nappy changed. 

As soon as we got home, I opened the pack and laid them all out on the couch to look at them. Each cover had a little embroidered figure on it. I tried each one on the mat to make sure it fit. I noticed that two had been handmade, based on the original one as the pattern. It was so beautiful to have these things that someone had taken the time to make for their little treasure and I was touched that I now had it to share with my little treasure. There's something special about having these things that have history to them rather than having everything brand new.

I know it sounds weird. Most people don't actually buy things for their baby until they have a baby! But for some reason, over the past few days, I've just had this overwhelming sense that this is all going to happen. I am prone to little premonitions at times but I'm not sure this is a premonition. It's more like an ingrained belief. I just believe it to be so. And, if for some reason the baby doesn't come along, I can always sell it all again on Ebay!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Learning new things

I was walking through the shops and out of the corner of my eye noticed a magazine called Practical Parenting. I admit I was sucked in by the front page headlines and paid my $5.95 for it.

One of the first articles I came across was on spotting the signs of antenatal depression. I was quite aware of postnatal depression but I had never heard of antenatal depression. Apparently 1 out of every 10 women suffer from it but why do we know so little about it? I suppose people put it down to being anxious, feeling out of sorts and just being "hormonal" or "emotional". But surely people put postnatal depression down to the same thing?

The alarming thing is that the majority of women who suffer antenatal depression will suffer postnatal depression. I have a friend who suffered postnatal depression and had to be put on anti-depressants. It seemed so sad that she was in such a state it made it difficult for her to enjoy her beautiful baby boy. And now as she prepares to give birth to her third child, she's concerned it will come back. I couldn't imagine anything worse than being worried you won't be there for your child. 

I've never suffered clinically diagnosed depression, but I am prone to anxiety attacks. Or "worrying about worrying" as one counsellor told me. So I would not be surprised if I was struck down with some form of natal depression, or heaven forbid, both. 

My husband and I are now officially trying. The timing of course isn't good as there's a high chance I could loose my job. No guarantees of course but to find out you don't have a job while you're a few months pregnant would be something likely to cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. But, after discussions with my husband, we both agreed that we can't put our lives on hold waiting for something that may or may not happen.

The more I travel along this path, the more I realise that sometimes life just happens to us. Things happen when we least expect and sometimes at the speed of light. We can choose to struggle against it or we can choose to accept what happens and do the best we can. As the Rolling Stones said, you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need! 

Monday, 18 June 2012

The waiting game begins

So the time has come. The planets have aligned and we are officially good to go. What makes this so?

1 - My long awaited periods finally arrived. It took 5 weeks and I must say I've never been so glad to feel so bloated in my life. It was a nervous wait as many of my friends who have had fertility problems say it started when their periods didn't come back after going off the pill. So to actually see them in their natural state was fantastic. 

2 - I've lost 4 kilos. I wasn't really over weight but just wanted to be in prime, physical shape before we start trying. I've been getting up at 5:45am every morning and getting on the treadmill for 30 minutes. So not only am I lighter, but I'm fitter and more energetic. I'm hoping this will make the process of falling pregnant easier, but if I'm truly honest with myself, part of the reason is also so I won't feel too bad putting the first few kilos on!

3 - The most important step of all - I said farewell to wine. Well, actually, my final farewell is in a week's time but my husband and I just spent the weekend in the wine region over-indulging in a farewell. So many women I've spoken to say they drank some alcohol in their early pregnancy and everything was fine. I don't dare tell them that the latest research indicates long-term problems with brain development. So really, it  isn't a risk I'm prepared to take. I wanted to go out with a bang and a bang it was. I want to finalise my long-term relationship with wine and part on good-terms as I take this extended break. And a detox will do me good anyway!

So, three small accomplishments that add up to entering the baby zone. Funnily enough, reaching this milestone happens to coincide with my 37th birthday tomorrow. I'm trying not to get too excited about it. I'm still trying to manage the expectations. But as I think about it, the nerves rise and the butterflies set in. Now we the waiting game begins!  

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Not feeling like a Grandma!

Part of me feels like I'm quite old trying to have a baby at nearly 37. I know I'm not as so many women in their 30s are doing that now. Some, like me, just didn't meet their soulmate until later in life. But at times, the thought of potentially having a 10-12 year old at 50, makes me feel old.

I got a dose of reality tonight seeing a story on Today Tonight. It was on Australia's oldest woman to have a baby naturally. I saw the original story a while ago. At 50, she thought she was going through menopuase but was actually pregnant. After trying for so long, and never having happened, her and her husband had naturally given up!

So here she is, at 50 with a 1 year old! Yes, I would much prefer to have a 10 year old at 50 than a 1 year old. But beggars can't be chosers. The reality is I'd be happy to have one at any age. But the other reality is this woman is a freak of nature! She is definitely not the norm and her amazing achievement is not one to be emulated unless one wants to face enormous disappointment.

But, on the bright side, seeing the enormous love her and her husband had for their little boy, made me realise my husband and I would have the same love - at any age. It also made me realise that I'm much younger and more spritely than a 50 year old. Surely, there isn't anything I couldn't handle? Surely there isn't anything I wouldn't have the energy or stamina to manage? And even if I didn't, and it meant I had a few more wrinkles, crows feet or bags under my eyes, surely that's a price that's easy to pay!  

Sunday, 10 June 2012

On the starting blocks

After much urging, my husband finally agreed to have his sperm tested. He was resistant to start with - not because he didn't think it was worthwhile doing, it was just the process of doing it. It meant working from home, getting to the clinic at a specific time to drop it off and keeping it warm in his pocket on the journey. But, finally, the deed was done. 

He called for the results while we were sitting at a pub waiting for our meals to be delivered. The secretary told him he needed to speak to the doctor. This look of worry passed over his face and I held his hand as the same worry passed through mine. After what seemed a lifetime, the doctor finally got on the phone. 

Everything was fine. He has "active swimmers" and the doctor told him to keep doing exactly what he was doing. A smile passed over his face and I let go of his hand and held it instead. He said "Don't get too close baby. I'm potent." I burst out laughing!

It was a huge relief. We hadn't really spoken about what our options would be if there was a problem. Our one conversation hinged on having to go to a sperm bank. It wasn't an option he had considered and didn't really want to think about. But the reality is he is 44. Just like the possibility of my eggs being pickled, there was the possibility that his swimmers would be doing backstroke instead of freestyle. Luckily, he now believes he's now in the race for a fertility gold medal! So now, we're on the starting blocks and hoping for no false starts! 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Living in fantasy land

There’s a football field at the end of our street. I walk past it twice a day - on my way to, and way home from work. Sometimes I notice that football practice is on and I guess I pay particular attention when the under-8s play. Here they are, these tiny, little boys, trying to run up and down the field carrying a ball. They try to tackle each other but it’s more like head butting. Sometimes they get mixed up and run the wrong way and sometimes they just drop the ball instead of passing it. The whole time, their parents stand on the side of the field cheering them on.

What grabs me most about the field, is the playground attached to it. It only includes a climbing gym, slide and some swings, but is always popular come practice day. Mostly with the sisters of the boys head butting each other!

But as I walk past, and take a backwards glance, I can’t help but imagine me, walking up the street to the playground, holding a little hand.

I see us putting on our hats and sunscreen, tying up our shoes and walking out into the beautiful sunshine. I see me pointing out the pumpkin vine and the jaguar statue out the front of the old lady’s house. I see us practicing our colours with all thedifferent flowers we walk past. I see us picking up an orange that’s fallen off the big tree on the corner to take home for a snack. I see me sliding down the slide with an angel on my lap.

I hear giggling and laughing as we play on the swing. I hear squeals of delight as we play chasey on the field. I hear “oohs”, “ahhs” and “What’s dat?” as we walk through the bush to see what interesting things we find. I hear all the imaginary conversations we would have. I think I could almost hear my own heart breaking its wall and over flowing with all the love and joy I would have in that moment.

I seem to have these fantasy moments relatively under control. I tend to only slip into it when I’m alone. I’m actually noticing that I’ve now moved onto thinking about how I’ll decorate the nursery. Every morning I get on my treadmill which is currently in the room that will be the nursery. So for 30 mins each day, I’m in my own little world thinking about where the cot will go, will I need a wardrobe and where’s the best light?

It’s amazing how our own minds can create these fantasy lands. Sometimes, I catch myself sitting down on the weekend, sipping my coffee, and glancing towards the front door where the pram would be. But it isn’t there – yet!

I try not to indulge myself too much in these moments. I would hate to see where my mind would take me if I did. It’s all about managing my own expectations because what would happen if I never had a little hand to hold? Never got to encourage my child to steal oranges? Never got to hear the squeals of delight? Never got to fold up tiny clothes? Never got to place a sleeping angel into their cot?

I try not to think about the nevers and focus on the positives. Maybe I need to give myself dedicated “fantasy time” a day? Maybe just the 30 minutes on the treadmill? In all reality, I think it’s unlikely I’m going to be able stop myself going there.The smile that crosses my face and the warmth those thoughts generate in my heart are too addictive!

Maybe I just have to do a slow de-tox from them? Only 5 thoughts a day perhaps? Oh well, in the mean time I’ll just keep reminding myself – baby steps Fiona, baby steps!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

The epitome of gratitude

My friend Angela is the poster girl for motherhood. There’s many more out there, but I’ve taken particular notice of Angela as my most recent friend to give birth.
Like so many other mothers out there, it took her a while to conceive and it was indeed a miracle her daughter came along. As a result, she’s always been eternally grateful for the little angel she was blessed with.
I love the comments she puts on Facebook. She takes joy in feeding her at 4am because it means she has a baby to feed. She expresses her wonder and enjoyment at watching her laugh, eat her dinner and taking her first steps because it means she’s growing.
She shares her pain and anguish at having to deal with fevers, colds and teething because she hates to see her in pain. She proudly acknowledges her daughter’s traits including staying up late because she doesn’t want to miss out on anything and being boisterous. She does this because she only has unconditional love to give.
While many parents would wish their children didn’t wake up in the middle of the night, get frustrated that dinner is all over the floor or lament that their baby won’t go to sleep, Angela accepts it all as part and parcel of the deal she signed up for and uses each moment to remind herself of how grateful she is to have her baby.
Angela, you are a shining example to every parent, and parent-to-be. Thank you for teaching me to be grateful for the things we have in life and remember how lucky we are to achieve our dreams. When I am blessed with my own little cherub, I will endeavour to take many pages out of your book. I want to be just like you when I grow up!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...