Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Sometimes the bright side is hard to find.

If I had to explain my experience with infertility, it would be as follows;

Infertility is very much like living in a constant state of heartbreak. It's like being so totally and utterly in love with someone you've only dreamt of and then being told that you can never meet them. 

Every where I go, there is a Mum feeding her baby or a Dad pushing a stroller or a Grandmother trying to wrangle a toddler. Every time I log onto a computer I see pregnancy announcements, birth announcements and photos of children everywhere. Every time I read a magazine there is a story about some celebrity and their child. Every news program I watch talks about families. Every where I look, there is a some kind of reminder of something that I'm struggling to achieve. 

Infertility is something I can't ever escape. Nothing will ever be able to satisfy my want for my own biological child. I want to be able to look into my child's eyes and know that it's here because I loved his or her daddy so much that I wanted to be connected to him forever.

The hardest part for me is the constant jealousy. I don't hate people that have children, nor would I ever begrudge them their families because honestly, I would never wish infertility on anyone. Not even my worst enemy. But when I see the love between a parent and child it makes my heart ache.

Children have this way of seeing past their parents flaws and loving them anyway. Some parents are awful, some can barely provide food and clothing and others appear to verbally abuse their children. Yet their children love them anyway. 

Thats the worst part, the love. Because as a person going through infertility, I have all this love in my heart and the thought of never being able to cuddle or tell our baby that I love it is often unbearable. 

I see how much love children bring to their families. Not just their parents but their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins ect. It's really hard to cope with the fact that I'm not able to provide that to my family. I can't make my mother a grandmother and I can't make my sister an aunt. I mourn the fact that I won't be able to pass on the things I love about being a sister and an aunt onto my child. It may just end with me. I may be the last link in my chain.

I'm not mad that other people are happy, I just don't know if I'm ever going to be able to be that happy and it breaks my heart. I don't know how I'm going to mend it and find happiness outside parenthood when it's all I've ever wanted.

I've waited patiently for so long and I'm emotionally exhausted. It's a constant hurt and ache that just won't go away. It's relentless. I try so hard to be strong but it's like carrying a rock around and not knowing if you're ever going to be able to put it down.

I know that a lot of people will start asking me about other options. What about adoption? What about foster care?  What about IVF?

We've considered them all and while I won't go into detail right now, the biggest factor relating to all of them is that they all require huge amounts of money that we just don't have. 

IVF was an option until Friday last week when I was informed that our private health fund wouldn't cover any of it because they deem my situation as pre-existing.

So there it is. I'm heartbroken. Completely and utterly heartbroken.

The past few days I've struggled to hold in the tears. I know life goes on and I know that the future is uncertain. I have hope that our prayers will be answered eventually, it might take 5 years, it might take longer. But I will never give up hope that we'll welcome Baby Schneider into our arms one day.

Until then, we're going to try and pick ourselves up and concentrate on building a life without children. I have no doubt that it's going to be difficult but I really don't know what else to do. 

We're still going to go see another fertility specialist in January and see if there is any form of natural or trial treatment available for us and our particular circumstance. If eating weird things and dancing naked in the moonlight had even a slight chance of working, I'll do it. 

I was born to be a mother and I won't go down without a fight.

What heartbreak looks like. - This is so much more than words.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Some days are more difficult than others.

This afternoon was really difficult, for hours I sorted through all the baby things that we've accumulated over the past 3 years. Until today everything has been stored in large bags, so every year I sort through it to ensure that everything is still clean and that there are no issues with bugs or any other nasties.

Honestly, It's hard every year. I don't know why I expected it to be easier this year but I did. 4 items caught my attention today and I can't help but feel a bit emotional about all of it. 

When Phil & I first started talking seriously about having a baby, we were so excited and decided to mark the occasion by buying something that we would pass on to our baby once he or she arrived. On September 19th, 2010 we bought an orange octopus that plays different sounds when you squeeze It's legs. Over the years we've bought numerous items and nursery accessories to fit a sea theme in order to centre around the octopus. We had big dreams but we've got empty arms.

A year passed and still no baby. It was ok because we were newlyweds and my dress wouldn't have been suitable for a bump anyway. On our honeymoon we bought a rainbow pram blanket from the Salamanca Markets in Hobart, Tasmania. It was the start of our new lives together and we were getting ready to move out of my parents house. Things were looking up and we thought that maybe 2012 would be the year we finally had our baby. 

Another year passed and still no baby. When the opportunity came up, I couldn't help myself and I bought a NSW State of Origin nappy. Sadly, parenthood wasn't on the cards for us that year.

Yet another year passed and again, no baby. We did buy a cute little shirt that year though. The shirt says "Does not compute" and as soon as we saw it we knew we had to have it. Phil's life is computers so it just seemed perfect.

We are now in our 4th year and won't be buying anything for Baby Schneider because this year I'm working really hard at letting it go and accepting that maybe parenthood isn't in our immediate future.

Lets face it, I don't even know where to begin sorting out the emotional mess that exists in my heart.

Tomorrow we're packing everything up into proper airtight storage containers and making space for it in the garage with the rest of our junk. There won't be any need to sort through it again and there will be no new additions. It'll just be 4 boxes of stuff sitting in the garage.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Optimism, Courage, Fear & Humanity.

The words "Optimism is the foundation of courage" are ones that came from the mouth of a Mr Nicholas Murray Butler. Don't know who this is? Neither do I, but Google says he was an American Educator, Philosopher and Diplomat from April 1862 to December 1947. A wise man? maybe. But I bet he didn't know this quote was going to stick around for 66 years after his death. But here it is.

"Courage is fear holding on a minute longer" said US General George S. Patterson. I bet he never imagined that those 7 words would still have an impact on the world 68 years later, but again, here they are.

Benjamin Disraeli, a British conservative politician, writer and aristocrat once said "Fear makes us feel our humanity"and it's as relevant today as it was back in 1800's. 

So what's my point? Why am I writing about these men? Simple. Because their words have really helped me when I've struggled. They've helped me see another side of life, given a different perspective. Their words are as relevant now in 2013 as they were to the people they were intended for decades ago. Powerful stuff isn't it. The worlds you speak today could potentially proceed you for decades and you'll never even know about it.

Just a thought for the night.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Lazy Weekends

This past Friday, Saturday and Sunday have been really great days. I'm glad you can't actually wish away time because If I had skipped past the rest of October like I wanted to in my last post, I wouldn't have experienced this weekend.

Friday was a great day and just seemed to be the positive kick I needed to set the tone for the whole weekend. It ended up being the date of Birth of not 1 but 2 people, my friend of many years Mr M and also little Miss L, the newborn daughter of a good friend of mine.

After hearing the news of Miss L's arrival, we left home to celebrate Mr M's birthday by attending a dinner at a local pub and dressing up like nerds. It was really lovely to catch up with friends and see some other people we hadn't seen for a while. The food was great and the night was just really low key and fun spirited. We had a great time. It was a great way to wind down after a busy day at work. It just seemed to be a wonderful night and happiness and love filled my heart.

Saturday was a day of relaxing. I spent the most part watching a TV show called Catfish. The hosts Nev & Max are so attractive, it's really a pleasure to watch. Aside from watching this show, Phil & I went to the Handmade Expo and had a look around for Christmas gifts. We didn't find anything that really jumped out, but we did buy a bag of sweet and salty popcorn - YUM! It's so good! It's also full of sugar but I'm choosing to ignore that.

Saturday night we went into the City to celebrate Miss B's birthday at a little Greek restaurant. We sat at a long table on the footpath and it was really nice to be outside in the fresh air. We ate all different types of food, most I had never had before, but it was all really yummy. Phil & I were impressed. We had a great night and were even entertained by a man attempting to break in to an apartment above the shops across the road. The Cops that came to investigate but we were pretty sure he had just locked himself out. We did have to leave early and pretty abruptly due to my anxiety kicking a stink, but I made it to dessert and although I feel awful about leaving, I know that she understands why. It sucks sometimes but it's always easier when you surround yourself with people that make it easier.

Once we got home, we dragged all of our bedding into the lounge room and camped on the floor for the night. We watched a few movies and ate more of our market popcorn. It was nice to have a little "us" time. We went to bed just after 2 am so it wasn't half surprising when we didn't wake up until just before 11am.

Sunday afternoon we had brunch on the back patio in the sun and breeze. It was lovely. I had Avo & Eggs on toast and Phil had chips from the local take away shop. I sent him for bread and he came back with chips for breakfast, typical man! He did also bring me the Christmas edition of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine so he was quickly forgiven.

After breakfast I went to lay on the floor of my relaxation room and read my magazine while listening to the radio. I'm in love with the digital radio station Smooth FM. It's great for people who suffer from Stress and Anxiety as it is true easy listening. I find myself talking to the radio sometimes, call me crazy but I find it so relaxing!

Now I'm going to go and finish up some patterns that I've been working on for the past week. I think my elephant pattern is coming along nicely, so hopefully it'll be finished soon and I can get started!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Self Awareness - Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about self awareness and the top 10 things that I've recently discovered about myself. Whilst the list wasn't intentionally negative, upon reflection I see that it could very likely come across that way. So tonight I'm going to flip it up and write about 10 things that might be more positive about me.

Finding the positive is really difficult for me. By nature, I'm a pessimist and rather cynical so feeling good about myself is not something that comes naturally. I rely a lot on other people to pep me up and thrive off positive feedback. I am slowly learning to become more comfortable with myself but for now that's still a work in progress.

So, here is the top 10 things I feel are positive about me;
  1. I'm intelligent. When I focus, I find that I'm able to learn and process information quickly. I constantly surprise people with the amount of random knowledge I have about various things.

  2. I don't often lose my temper and I'm not an angry person. Like anyone I have my moments but I generally let things go quite quickly.

  3. I'm quite funny. It makes me feel exceptionally good when I'm able to make people laugh.

  4. I'm very open. Some people may not think that this is a particularly good thing but you always know where you stand with me. If I'm upset with you, you'll know about it because I'm not usually one to pussy foot around. 

  5. I am particularly level headed in medical situations, I'm obviously not a doctor but I am often able to correctly identify potential issues and offer advice about treating symptoms until professional advice and treatment can be given. I have a fair bit of basic medical knowledge as I used to read medical journals and text books when I was younger. I also have basic first aid and triage training due to my experience with cadets.

  6. I'm loyal and generous in my friendship with others. I'm a big believer that friendship is a 2 way street, so when I feel that the other person is putting effort into it, I am loyal and protective. I do what ever it takes to ensure that they are happy and when they come to me with an issue I generally feel as though I need to fix it. That being said, I don't chase people when they retreat from me. I refuse to maintain one sided friendships. Friendship is tricky but it doesn't work if you don't put effort into it. Some people are in your life for a long time and others are in it for a good time. I'd rather look back on a good friendship and let it go when it's run it's course instead of trying to put all my energy and time into salvaging it when the other person has already checked out. 

  7. I am rather crafty. I enjoy creating things and I like drawing up my own patterns for needlework and then bringing it to life. I love making things for people and my creative ability comes in handy a lot in life.

  8. I talk A LOT but I'm also a good listener. I enjoy hearing about other peoples lives and problems and I'm always eager to know more about people in general. That being said, I like to offer alternative perspectives when I feel people are being too narrow minded.

  9. I am very compassionate and caring. I can easily put things aside and offer myself up when other people are in need. I enjoy offering advice and support to people.

  10. I'm thoughtful and I remember the special little things. I like to remind people about all the good things that contribute to who they are. 

So there they are, the top 10 positive things that I believe make me who I am. This list took me over an hour to put together and honestly, I really struggled. If you've got any more to add please share them with me, I could certainly use the self esteem boost!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Self awareness

Recently I've been thinking about myself as a person and all the things I like and dislike about myself. I can assure you that this isn't even the slightest bit enjoyable, however I would be lying if I said that it wasn't eye opening.

It's helpful when you're self aware, life just seems a little easier when you're able to take a step back and realise why you get the reactions you get and try and look at yourself and your life from a different perspective.

I've found the whole activity oddly liberating. Some things I want to try and actively change, but other things I'm happy to continue with.

There are a number of things I've noticed, but here are the top 10;

  1. I unintentionally come across as though I'm trying to One-up people when I'm trying to contribute to a conversation. No one has ever pointed this out, but I know I do it.

  2. I over think almost everything. I don't think I'm able to just take something for what it is.

  3. I get incredibly frustrated when people don't understand things that I perceive as common sense.

  4. My laugh is incredibly annoying. It's funny at first but gets really annoying very quickly.

  5. I over talk so much that I often forget the point I was going to make and end up telling a 15 minute story about something completely unrelated. This is generally because I get caught up in details and get so sidetracked that I forget to go back to my original train of thought.

  6. I talk really really loud and even when I attempt to quiet down, my voice is still far too loud.

  7. I take criticism really personally even though I know I shouldn't. No matter what form, I feel like I'm personally being attacked.

  8. I have a constant need to be right. If I am sure of my facts, I will often argue it until I'm blue in the face. I'll find books and articles that support my view and send them to the person days later if I feel they aren't convinced that I'm right. It's not because I'm trying to be an arse, it's because I want people to be educated and hate the idea of people going around spreading incorrect information.

  9. I'm overly sensitive to light and sound. Loud noises and certain sounds make me really angry (i.e the sound of fingernails scratching skin) and if a place is not well lit I usually get a headache.

  10. I put myself down a lot because I think people will find it funny but when they laugh I feel bad about myself.
Not all of them are so bad but a lot of them are things that are annoying and contribute to the reason people dislike me. I'm not saying this in self pity, I know that some people don't notice these things and it doesn't bother them, but other people do and they can't stand it. It's life. Some people like you and some people don't. You just have to be yourself and let them make up their own minds.

I guess it's easy to think of all the things you dislike about yourself, but it's important to realise that some of these things are what others love about you. I know this because my husband has been reading this list over my shoulder as I write it and he had said a number of times that some of the points are things he loves about me. I admit that I find that hard to wrap my head around but I still feel comforted by it.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Standing Tall

Well this month has proven to be one of the hardest ones this year. We're only 14 days in but I'm already done with October.

I guess I wish it was November because I know that I won't feel the same as I do now in a few weeks time. Like all things, time is the only sure fire way to move past something. Time heals all wounds, or so they say.

So why has it been so difficult? Well, it appears that a number of people found an effective way to warm up during the winter and as a result there has been a mini boom in pregnancy announcements. By mini boom I actually only mean 4, but seeing as though they all  happen to be due within a week or so of each other, I think I can get away with calling it a boom. 

I think it's important to explain that I am not resentful or angry at these women, my feelings all stem from selfish frustration. Yep. I admit it. I feel like this because I'm selfish and a little bitter. Instead of being happy for them, I'm consumed with how I feel about it. I generally deal with these things really well, but 4 at once was a bit much.

I feel frustrated because I should have been next. 

Do I think these women will be great mothers? YES! 
Do I think they deserve to be happy? YES! 
Am I happy for them? YES! 
Am I jealous? YES!

So there it is. I'm jealous of these ladies and the wonderful gifts that god has given them. 

This isn't about fairness or anger, it's ultimately about feeling like a failure. I feel like a failure to myself, my husband and our parents. I feel like I'm not able to do what I should be able to and it's incredibly frustrating to see other people get what I want. Jealousy is a terrible feeling and something I feel awful about letting into my heart. I couldn't stop it this time, I tried but I couldn't do it.

I guess this whole baby thing is a bit like a row of skill testers, we each put in our $2 coin and we all have a chance of winning. Every one has a few go's and then they walk off with a prize, but I keep playing and every time my claw returns empty. 

Maybe it's more like a lottery? We all buy tickets every month and we all have an even chance of winning. I'm just waiting for my numbers to come up.

If there is one good things that comes out of this, it's the fact that I have a renewed appreciation of my friend Miss B. She's been amazing during the past few weeks and she's always told me what I've needed to hear instead of what she thinks I want to hear. She's my little voice of reason when I'm anything but rational. I'm really lucky to have her, she's a beautiful woman and a great friend.

I've also got to thank my wonderful husband for putting up with me and my frustration. I'm sure I'm not exactly the easiest person to deal with when I'm in my little moods but he's really stepped up and let me get it all out without judgement or too much frustration. 

On the 2 occasions that I was really upset about this, these two were on it straight away. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy that I have such a great little support network.

I know it must be difficult to be my friend sometimes. I often think about that. I'm at a point in my life where it seems like I need so much more from others then I'm able to give them in return, but I am always always always here for them and I really hope they know that. Always.

So I'm choosing to stand tall now and be happy. I'm letting the frustration and jealousy go because It's no good for my heart and I want to be excited and happy for the new additions that will be welcomed into the world in April/May next year. I'll get a few baby cuddles for my birthday in June and my Facebook will light up with photos of beautiful little people. How I can I be sad about that?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Cha cha cha changes

Tonight I realised that there are less than 3 months left of the year! Sneaky little thing, it feels like only a few months ago that I was welcoming in 2013 on the grass at Southbank with my husband and our good friends. There was something special that night, we really thought that 2013 was going to be our year and the excitement about what was to come filled our hearts with joy.

10 months and a few bumps in the road later, here we are! So it turns out that 2013 didn't exactly live up to expectation, but I've actually managed to learn a lot about where we're going in life. Even though the road has been a bit rough, I can't help but feel thankful for all of it.

2014 is going to be our year. January brings the start of a new chapter in our lives and the start of a renewed commitment to Baby Schneider. After 3 years we've pretty much done all we can without any serious assistance, so we're going to the big leagues! We have an appointment with a Reproductive Endocrinologist and we're taking the first steps into medical intervention.

The thought of moving onto this next stage of our fertility journey is actually really scary. I often find myself wondering about where we're going to find the money, how we're going to cope as a couple and rather selfishly, how I'm going to handle this myself.  I can't help but think about my body being filled with harsh medications, the insides of my most private areas being being poked and prodded and all the needles that will be piercing my skin, but as awful as it seems sometimes, I always feel excited. I feel like I'm giving Baby Schneider that best chance possible to find his or her way here to us.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't afraid, but I'm going to embrace the change and have faith that everything will work out the way it's supposed to.

Thursday, 3 October 2013


Love is not only a feeling, it is an action.
Only sometimes we have to show it, even when we don't feel it.
Very few people realise that it's a choice that can effect your whole life.
Even when it hurts, it never ends. 

It's about saying I do and I will
Sometimes we need to make sacrifices, but it's always worth it.

Although love is unconditional, you must never ask how others can love you more.
Love is about giving all you have and asking for nothing in return.
We have friends, siblings and family to keep our hearts full.
Almost any situation can be made better by showing love.
You might not always know it, but so many people love you.
Someone may be thinking about you right now.

Where we find love can be surprising.
One of the best ways to love is to forgive.
Reconciliation can lead to wonderful things.
There is always a risk of a broken heart, but that shouldn't stop you.
How do you know when it's real? You don't.

I like to think that love is a surprise.
The best things in life are often stumbled upon, not pursued.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Don't be confined by your limits

Recently I've been thinking about limits. Everyone has a limit don't they? How long they'll tolerate a rude relative, how much cake they are willing to consume before counting the calories or even how much they are willing to sacrifice for someone or something. 

Limits can be emotional, physical and even mathematical. They exist as a "do not cross" barrier that prevents us from over committing, over exerting and over doing.

I have limits. As much as I'd like to do everything on my bucket list, I'm limited to the amount of money I have, the time I have to dedicate to it and the area in which I am willing to travel.

All my life I was told I could do anything. I could be whoever I wanted to be and I could do everything I wanted to do. I was told that this is my life and that I shouldn't miss out on any of the experiences it offers. Now this sentiment is awe inspiring when you're young, you feel like the world is your oyster and that the possibilities are endless. 

The trouble is that no one tells you that you can do anything but not everything. You have to make choices. You can only choose to do so much and not everything is within your limits. That doesn't mean you can't dream big, it just means that you have to be happy and live in the here and now.

It seems kind of depressing when you put it like that, but it's not. It's life.

I choose to do what makes me happy and whilst not all my dreams are currently achievable, I'm constantly adjusting to my circumstance. That's all you can do isn't it? Adjust.

So for now I'm going to be happy with what I can do and dream about the things that are currently outside my reach. I might not ever get to do all the things I want to do in my life time, but I'm going to what I can, as I can.

So what if you never get to experience the feeling of 6 figures in your bank account, so what if you never get to stand at the top of the empire state building... You can't let the limits confine you, you just have to use them to your advantage the best way you can.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

I surrender but I'll be ok

I surrender. I haven't quit, I've just ceased resistance against something that I have no control over. I can't fight anymore. Instead, I'm going to let the uncontrollable forces do what they will and learn to deal with the result. 

Sourced via Google

I'm not going to lie, it feels a bit like giving up. Either way, the result is the same - disappointment.

I think it's true that no matter how much your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, your dreams will come true. So I will continue to believe and hope, but I will not fight. The fight is only ultimately against myself and I can't keep hating myself for something I can't change. I'm going to work harder at creating a better me, but not because I have to, not for Baby Schneider, not for my family or my friends or because anyone thinks I should. I'm going to do it for me because I want to. I need to be the best person I can be simply for me, not for anyone else. Just for me.

If there is one thing I've learnt from this whole experience, it's that no matter how much your heart breaks, no matter how much it feels so sore you can't breathe, the world won't stop to acknowledge it. life goes on.

The self loathing needs to end. No amount of hate is going to make this process any better. I need to work at forgiving myself and shaping a better mind and body for my life.

I'm so so sorry Baby Schneider, it feels like I'm giving up on you but I promise I'm not. I'm going to make myself better and let you decide when the time is right instead of pushing myself and hating myself for the fact that you're not here. I have no real control over you. All you need to know is that your future Mummy and Daddy love you very much and we're ready when you're ready. We want you more than we've ever wanted anything, but we'll wait and we'll keep hoping and believing that when the time is right, you'll come to us. 

So for now I surrender. For now I'm putting down my weapons and I'm going to use my effort to make myself a better person. I'm so consumed by hate and anger and I can't carry on like this. I won't let these feelings win. I am so much more then a mother in waiting. My self worth can't be solely based on my ability to create life. I want to be a great person.

I will be a great person.