Thursday, 31 January 2013

Panic averted ,and gratitude

Really, thank you all for stopping by to commiserate and becalm my fears yesterday. It was really just what I needed to hear. After taking a while to chill out yesterday afternoon, and heeding the wise and warm advice of Kimberly and JenS (thank you ladies!), and just the right approach from H (more of which in a moment), I was able to calm down and see this diagnosis for what it is. That is to say, really truly, probably nothing. And a little research this time did actually help to assuage my panic.

Some sites (oh ok, wikipedia) suggest that only 1% of polyps are malignant. Then there is this probably more reliable but slightly less reassuring site, which observes that polyps are 'often benign' (how often we don't know, because like good medical professionals and unlike wikipedia, they don't want to play the numbers game). Thing is, I don't have any of the symptoms they're outlining, which I'm thinking is a good thing.

There are a few particulars about this situation though that probably help to explain my strong reaction. Firstly, my complicated medical history; namely the fact that I am already a cancer survivor, (yes, babyloss mom and 'terminal' cancer survivor...I sure can't complain that life has been boring, however much I wish I sometimes could! But I'm getting off track, and that's a whole different post). The fact is, the statistics for any potential malignancy, for the rest of my days, are slightly skewed, slightly different for me than they would be for someone who had never been previously diagnosed. Not terrible, but slightly higher. In my past GP practices they would have flagged this immediately, but (again, lovely NHS), these new doctors since my return to the UK seem not to be concerned. OK, I guess I'll have to deal. I can do this.

But more to the point, and something to which I am sure readers of this blog can relate, it's the uncertainty of the waiting as it relates to ttc, infertility, and those monthly hopes-too-often-dashed by what can feel like piles of random bad luck. This is something I have a little more trouble dealing with. You see, a little more basic research (touchingly conducted by H) revealed that cervical polyps, even if they cause no real health risk to a woman, can cause problems with fertility because they interfere with movement of sperm through the cervix as well as implantation, and that if you do conceive, you may be at a heightened risk of miscarriage. Suddenly a whole new set of red flags are going off in relation to my more recent history...

Now the thing is, I last underwent one of many pelvic exams back in November of last year, prior to an HSG which showed no abnormalities with either my tubes or uterus (other than a small, apparently inconsequential fibroid). No one mentioned anything about my cervix. So this leads me to a new set of musings, that go something like this: either I've been dealing with medical practitioners so careless as to have thought that for a woman undergoing subfertility testing and experiencing recurrent miscarriage, cervical polyps were not worthy of note (!!), but treatment of which, had care been directed otherwise, could possibly have averted our months upon months of fruitless ttc and at least my most recent early miscarriage last August (I know, I know...all those 'what ifs'...). Or if not, then this sucker just sprung from nowhere and grew quickly. And maybe I'm still overreacting, but neither is an option that really allays my concerns in relation to baby making.

Why does this all have to be so complicated for some of us?


In any case, H had just the right words to dissipate this feeling of uncertainty and worry last night. I had called him at his office to rant discuss the situation, and when he arrived home, bunch of cheery tulips in arm, he was armed with lots of information on the link with infertility/miscarriage. (Sometimes his slightly obsessive penchant for planning comes in handy). He pointed out that while it's frustrating to think back on time we might have 'wasted' (is there really such a thing?), on the up side this looks like a potentially simple answer for some of the weirdness and disappointment we've experienced in recent months. He may have a point there. It would be great if that annoying little thing provided us with some answers, if for once things really weren't that complicated.

I'll continue waiting for the letter with my appointment to arrive, along with that other wait. Luckily I have a date with my husband tonight, which gives me the excuse to sparkle a bit, and lots of hiking planned for this weekend, if the weather holds. (And if need be, I have this space to pour my fears and worries). So really, things aren't bad at all.

Blooms to bring spring to my worried soul

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Oh f%#k

Right about now, I could be writing a witty post about surviving the travails from deep within the two week wait (I'm halfway through). But this is not that post.

This morning I went for a routine smear test, and while down there, the nurse found a polyp on my cervix. She said it was 'probably nothing to worry about', but I could tell by her reaction on finding it that she was a bit freaked out; she admitted never having seen one before. (Perhaps I shouldn't have asked?) I'm being referred for a colposcopy so a specialist can have a better look, and won't know anything more until then, I guess*. I'm resisting the urge to the hell outta this thing, I know it'll only make me feel more anxious.

Come on universe, can you not just cut me some slack here? Once upon a time, I used to love and worship my body like it were a goddess temple, but nowadays I'm not so sure it deserves quasi-divine status.

It's probably nothing, they said.

But seriously, what if it's not nothing? All of a sudden, this has turned into an altogether different kind of waiting.

*Thanks to the wonders of the National Health Service here in the UK, according to my GP practice, any colposcopy referral will be treated as an 'emergency' case. Which means I have to wait only...oh, just a maximum of six weeks.

I'd totally do it, if I thought it'd work


Monday, 28 January 2013

Visiting the acupuncturist, revisted

I've already mentioned how much I appreciate my acupunture sessions, and how they've been an integral part of both my healing from loss and ttc journey. Having relocated back to the UK, I recently managed to find a practitioner who takes my health issues seriously and doesn't underplay their emotional dimensions. I'm excited about some of the newer treatments he's offering. But in order to get there, I first had to kiss a frog or two, as it were.

The first practitioner I saw when we arrived here, I selected specifically because she advertised a specialism in infertility and loss (something which was really never available in Portugal). At the first appointment, I couldn't help but note that her manner was a little overly clinical for my liking (I want someone who's aware of the mind/body connection), but the needles seemed to do their thing of calming my anxieties and putting me in a meditative state just fine, so I stayed the course.

On the second appointment however, we were discussing how acupuncture can be beneficial in treating infertility and loss, and she used the following phrase: 'women who have a habit of miscarrying'. ...Say what?!?! I am sure she meant nothing by it and it was just a stupid choice of words, but it bothered me. I didn't say anything at the time, but I left her office and it stuck with me all the next week, until my following appointment. I decided to give her the benefit of doubt and gently call her on it - not in order to reprimand her, but out of a genuine desire to improve her practice. After all, given her speciality, and the fact that she has links with the local IVF clinic, she must be seeing many women like me. I want them to have quality of care too. Most of all, I want the awfulness of my own experiences to count for something, whether that be challenging the taboo and silence surrounding our paths to parenthood in the ALI community, or helping people (particularly in professions that are often mandated to care for us) to be compassionate and supportive of our losses - whether the loss of children who were here for too little time, or of those we have dreamed of but never had the chance to bring into being.

So at the end of our next session, I politely explained to her that I had been taken aback by her choice of words and wanted to draw her attention to some of the sensitivities around recurrent pregnancy loss and infertility. I said that many women in my place struggle with feelings of responsibility and guilt, of somehow feeling incapable, like failures, and suggested that perhaps we need to use words that help challenge that implication of responsibility (of choice even, according to her formulation. Like we just made bad decisions that lead us towards bad 'habits'). After all, I pointed out, you wouldn't say of a cancer patient 'he has a habit of developing tumours', would you? She stared at me blankly for a few moments, but here's where it got irreparable: instead of offering anything like 'I hadn't thought of that', or 'thanks for pointing it out', or simply 'I'm sorry', she was clearly annoyed. She said in a kind of snippy voice, 'fair enough'. Just like that. Nothing more. So needless to say, I didn't book another appointment with her.

Just goes to show that even those with so-called 'expertise' can totally let us down in their lack of understanding. Sometimes I think there isn't even the will to understand. That makes me all the more glad to have a space like this, and the support of a warm and wonderful group of women who truly understand, though I wish they didn't have to. And my search for those whose expertise can truly aid me, with compassion and empathy, continues with this journey.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

An out-of-step tradition

Here's a confession: we still have our Christmas tree up.  (I know it's a little late for a Christmas post, bear with me...). This is not a situation born of laziness or apathy; rather, it's become something of a family tradition, this happily being out of step with the ceaseless demands of a forward moving calendar.

It started in our first real Christmas together as a couple. (In the previous year, our relationship was only a few months old, and we hadn't ventured forth into the ultimate and life altering realization that we would become, totally, each other's family; and so we spent our respective holidays with our respective families of origin, in different countries and with one huge phone bill at the end). That second year, I had a guest position teaching in the US, and a perk of that role was accommodation in a beautiful - and huge - Arts and Crafts style home in a rather more wealthy suburb of the city than anything my upbringing had ever exposed me to. Despite all the luxuries integral to the building, such as a custom-made little bar and buffet area adjacent to the dining room and open brick fireplace, the university had furnished the house for the barest of our needs, and thus the place had a vacant, slightly forlorn, weirdly grandiose elegance about it. We moved in, newly man and wife, at the end of November, and thus Christmas decorating was a means for us not only to celebrate that first season together, but to fill some of that echoing vastness. In that house, the tree stayed up until sometime in February. And somehow, we just continued from there...

It also has something to do, I suppose, with the fact that we observe the tradition typical in Austria, which is to erect and decorate the tree on Christmas eve. I'm a big fan of the holiday season in all its kitschyness, baking of garish desserts, playing of music that would never get a passing glance on our otherwise more fashionable playlist, and generally decking halls to the hilt. So the wait 'til the 24th, when all around us trees are going up from late November onwards, is a test of my patience. I like to get the maximum of enjoyment from our tree for as long as possible after that.

S has had a strong connection to, and presence on our tree almost from the beginning. My mom has established a tradition, in the last two holidays, of gifting us a special ornament for him, and these always take pride of place.This year's ornament is a sweet little giraffe that we all three picked out together; we all felt sure it would be the sort of thing S, with his chubby two year old's hands, would have loved. It was purchased at St Paul's Cathedral, where my mother joined us for a particularly poignant service to remember lost babies, organised by this wonderful organisation. It was a very special afternoon for us. Here's a look at the ornament gracing the tree.

A special memory
The tree will, finally, have to come down this weekend. It's got a sort of sad, Charlie Brown look to it now, having lost a good portion of its needles. And besides, the string of cheapy lights that we bought from the pound shop (because we're never sure if we'll be in the same country, with the same voltage and power outlets from one year to the next, and it's not worth it to buy 'good' ones), gave out yesterday, so the tree's twinkliness is also diminished. Thus, as much pleasure as it brings us, he'll have to go. And forward we move. The giraffe may stay out of the boxes to be packed away though. He's just too cute. 

Friday, 25 January 2013

Look world, no hands!

It often feels to me as though this whole experience of infertility and ttc after loss is like walking a tightrope, trying to strike that perfect balance that'll allow you to keep moving forward, one cautious step at a time, while hoping and praying you don't fall again, (or at least that the falls you do make don't leave un-healable wounds). There's the balance we try to achieve as babyloss parents, in honouring the past and the memories of our children while finding something like hope for the future. Once we feel like we've mastered that (or ok, really just survived in stretches of more than 24 hours), there's the constant balance between doubt - which in itself we hope serves as a kind of padding against the disappointment, the crashing fall, that we're always sure is only one pee stick away - and possibility. The possibility that in the midst of all the (often wretched) plodding forward, someone somewhere will just throw you one scrap of luck of the 'I'm so blessed' variety, that this time you'll end up on the good side of the odds. Dwell on the tightrope beneath your feet too long, and it's all really enough to completely exhaust you emotionally and physically, and then you might lose your footing altogether.

Then there's balance of the more mundane variety. Mundane as it may be, in my effort to convince myself of some semblance of control and proactivity, I manage to spend a fair bit of energy on that too. How to look after my body, what to put in it ( a regular preoccupation since the excesses of December), how to build it up.

Acupuncture has been instrumental in helping me find this balance, and I've been in search of a practitioner I could work with since we arrived back in the UK. In Portugal, I was lucky enough to find a lovely acupuncturist who not only helped to mend my body, but soothed my soul. The Portuguese are not on the whole enthusiasts of complimentary medicine, but my acupuncturist was a fellow transplant who served mostly the expat community. She had a very new-agey, but very compassionate approach, which I loved. She listened to me pour out my love for S, and she calmed (but didn't belittle) my fears for the future. I miss her every week, actually. So it's been a tough act to follow.

I've tried a few and am now on my second guy locally. He seems to be a very old school Chinese medicine practitioner, which suits me fine, and makes for a new experience. Along with acupuncture itself, I'm getting acupressure (tui na [those face and scalp pressure point massages are phenomenal, and leave me feeling like jello - in a good way]), moxibustion and cupping (gua sha), and herbs. Most of this is quite new to me, but for now I'm willing to run with it, particularly as I leave his office feeling lighter, more relaxed, and possessing (if only temporarily) the dexterity to put one foot in front of the other and forge ahead on that tightrope. Together with my January detox, it's leaving my body feeling cleaner, stronger and healthier than it probably has been for a while. All tools I need for the balancing act.

I can't claim to be entirely pure in my wholly whole foods, no booze, no meat detox though. Although I don't eat anything processed, I'm not great at cutting sugar, and chocolate is an ever-present threat. We've been working our way through the holiday left-overs, and they're down to a tiny little stash. Until this week, anyway.
A while back we had put in a request to have some necessities and a few inconsequentials sent from Germany. This week, we received a lovely package from some thoughtful relatives, containing all the requested items, and then some. It was like Christmas morning all over again! H is something of a marzipan nut, and I've been converted myself - but to the really good, rich, almondy kind you find in German and Austrian baking, not the sickly sweet, artificial type that I was introduced to as a child in Canada or that you find here in the UK. Here's the haul we inherited in the folds of that package. (I especially have a fondness for those marzipan potatoes, which I was first introduced to during my student days in the Netherlands. They're so cute and weird and tasty).
What am I supposed to do with all this chocolate?
And so, just as the last of the holiday crap was being purged from the house, we have this to deal with. Oh well, I guess there's nothing for it but to wade in. After all, it's all about finding balance, right? 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

How is it possible...

...that during the holidays, when we took an official ttc break so I could relax and enjoy and not worry about all the indulgences (and let's face it, downright unhealthy levels of excess) or how they would effect my possible future babies-to-be, when I continued my conception prenatals but ditched all my other supplements...that then, I had a perfect, healthy cycle and plenty of 'the coveted clear and stretchy' cervical mucus? All dressed up and no place to go.

And now, when I'm back to diligently observing every morsel that passes my lips, and downing my evening primrose oil, my raspberry leaf tea and vitamins with the discipline of an Olympic athlete (to say nothing of post-coital, legs in the air acrobatics*) egg whites to be seen.


I'm sure there's some kind of lesson in here about the perils of hyper-vigilance and just relaxing already, which I guess I'm just too darn busy being hyper-vigilant to appreciate.

Edited to add: I may have over-reacted on this. All the stuff that was supposed to happen eventually did, and all the stuff we were supposed to do, we did. So, the wait begins...

* Just kidding, I don't really do that and haven't for ages. Is there anyone for whom this has actually worked?

Monday, 21 January 2013

My long-time companions

For the past few weeks, H and I have repeatedly said to each other that we want 2013 to be different. We really want things to get better. Not that we expect things we both know are beyond our control to suddenly go our way, but we both realised that throughout much of 2012, as we sank deeper into the waters of infertility, and then faced another loss, we had begun to drift -- away from our shared dreams, away of any will to actively pursue them, and most alarmingly to drift away from each other. The last few months have been a necessary wake-up call for us.

So yes, we want 2013 to be different in terms of how we approach it. But of course that's easier said than done. The last year 24 months have been replete with suckiness. And yet I'm not naive enough to believe that the simple turning of a page on the calender can suddenly shift things for us in anything but attitude. 2010 was both the best and worst year of my life; it was the year in which we had, and then lost, S. We started 2011 clinging to some vestiges of hopeful naivety, ready to ttc again in the new year...only to wait a full 10 months before a positive pregnancy test, and have it snatched away again a few short weeks later. I miscarried at 7 weeks, 10 days before Christmas. So the holidays last year sucked, and we clung to each other with the mantra that 2012 had to be our year. It turned out to be the year of exhaustive fertility testing, which has turned up only that we are two relatively healthy people with a long string of shit luck. And in August, one more cruel tease of a positive pregnancy test which was even more short-lived than the last.

We're still trying though, with the attitude stuff. We both realised it was a make or break situation. As a result, our marriage is in a better place than it has been in ages; less tension, more romance and a genuine sense of intimacy and shared purpose. I'm getting as healthy as I can be, in mind, body and spirit. After some holiday eating decadence, I'm in January detox mode (facilitated by our lovely weekly organic veg box delivery). I can't believe it's been a whole year since I quit caffeine completely (I don't really miss it anymore!). I visited a naturopath and started taking a 'mood essence', which together with some hard emotional work really does seem to have done wonders for my spirits. I'm getting back to regular yoga practice and acupuncture. It all feels good.

And yet none of this was enough to keep me blissfully slumbering through the wee hours of last night. In fact, I had one of the poorest sleeps I've had since before the holidays, wide awake and staring at the ceiling, finding all kinds of things to worry about before its even time to do so. Fear, doubt and uncertainty, my unwelcome companions on this journey, ease up alongside me unbidden. I tossed and I turned and questioned: what if there won't be another baby? What if I waited too long, got too old, and have mis-spent my last chances? What if we don't manage to find new jobs after H's contract here runs out? What about my immigration status in that case, will we have to return to Canada? And on, and on....Like I said, there's still a lot to work through.

But after a crappy start to the day, this afternoon seems much better; I walked through the snow, did lots of yoga, and am writing here, all of which seem to help. So for now I guess it's just a question of daily vigilance, really digging into my resilience, and putting one foot in front of the other. I'm trying to shake off these pursuers.

I'm not naive. I know it's just the turning of a page, an arbitrary way to propel ourselves forward and look ahead with a greater sense of hope. But we've got to try something, start somewhere, because I'm really not willing to live with these unwelcome companions any longer.

Edited to add: And speaking of arbitrary, apparently there might be a perfectly scientific explanation with which to validate my low mood today. Except, not.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Jungle time (and too much information)

For various reasons that have to do with our currently complicated lives, we have thus far not pursued ttc with ART (ah, the world of reproductive acronyms!). H and I have somewhat differing opinions on this matter, but mostly it's because we've never been in one place long enough to go through all the stages of intake, monitoring, timing the interventions, etc., and thus never really given it the time to sit down and hammer through these differences.

So for the moment anyway, we continue to do things au natural. (NB: this does not include baby dancing of any sort, the very suggestion of which conjurs wierd and creepy connotations which may say as much about me as about the term itself. In this household, we have sex. Sometimes, and increasingly even, there's lovemaking in there. BD'ing is never an acronym to which you will see me subscribe, and its absence is something I also cherish about the ALI blog world). I have never been the type to chart my cycles either, because I find it stresses me out, and anyway, I'm lucky to at least have a body which sends fairly clear signals about what its all up into at all the right times, so that's never been a problem (and my instincts have been confirmed by investigative ultrasounds, which is reassuring).

This cycle feels like a bigger deal than other recent attempts, mostly because we're actually actively trying again. What with my depressive mood in the run-up to the holidays, and a week of stomach flu that put us down for the count in October, and some tension in terms of our differing ways of dealing (which seem now happily to be smoothing out), our ttc efforts in recent months have been pretty paltry. We've been tired. I guess we were in kind of 'taking a break' mode. Maybe it was even restorative. In any case, it feels good - hopeful even - to at least be doing something again

And so, we are now approaching that crucial, make-or-break time of the month...that's right, the fertile window is upon us. Or as H likes to call it, 'our week of hot jungle sex'. (We inadvertantly coined a new term on a TTC after Loss forum that I frequent. I mentioned H's humouros term once to the girls there, and now it's all 'jungle time' this, and 'hot jungle sex' that over there. This makes me inexplicably delighted).

So yeah, it's jungle time. One friend asked if that involves trapeze style swings fashioned from vines. I suppose it could if you wanted it to. I lack the sporty abilities for that. Still, I'm fortunate that after all this time, my husband and I can still get in jungle time that involves a genuine sense of pleasure in one another, and that H is such a wonderful partner that he manages to instil a sense of fun and humour in what could otherwise be arduous and stressy, what with all the timing things, and the pillow-under-the-butt, legs-in-the-air sexiness that ensues from my side.

And moreso, I'm very lucky indeed that said jungle time this month coincides with romantically snowy outdoor landscapes of the type that facilitate intense canoodling, and fall over a Sunday, since we have some special Sunday rituals in our home that involve staying in bed all day, reading the weekend papers, occassionally a bottle of prosecco, and, well...are equally conducive to intense canoodling. (There have to be perks to enforced childlessness, right?)

It's almost enough to banish thoughts of the dreaded weeks that follow...Perhaps, in homage to the desert, devoid of hopefulness and the intense thirst for some finality that they often involve, I should christen the 2ww 'desert time'?

Me Tarzan, you Jane. Source.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

We are all made of stars

Today marks the second anniversary of a due date that never was. Had things progressed as we hoped and planned and dreamed, S was due to arrive on January 17, 2011. He might have been two years old now. Except he's not. And although it's a date that is forever emblazoned on my consciousness, it's not one we mark (we have other days in the year that celebrate S and his contributions to all that has come since, and we include him in myriad tiny ways in everyday life). Because really, it's not a date I associate with him at all at this point, or with the purer, happier connotations of love for our sweet baby boy that remain still.

On the first anniversary, it was a day to endure, but one which I hoped in its very passing would offer me some peace. This was not helped by the arrival, literally days on either side of January 17, of two healthy, screaming nephews, one on either side of the family, who should (had things progressed as we dreamed) have been close contemporaries and playmates of our tiny perfect. Those weeks leading up to and for a while after the date in 2011 were sheer hell for me. I felt like I'd been put through a meat grinder. However, it is at times like those that it was a blessing to be on another continent from our families, those bouncing baby arrivals and all the natural joy they brought, and thus all the more unnatural we felt for it, feeling so excluded from that circle of joy. Last year, I did very nearly forget the date until someone reminded me in passing of my brother's birthday, which happens to be the same, and which I happened to nearly forget. I remember feeling proud of myself for how much 'progress' I had made in my trajectory of grieving.

But the truth is, after that first aweful milestone and the painful announcements of the arrival of S's cousins, this date bears no relationship to my sweet boy's life. He's not in this day. Or rather, he is in every day. Over time, I've come to recognise his presence in many miniscule aspects of my life and existence, and it helps me feel close to him. I've drawn comfort and real warmth from thinking about how he trickles through the drops of melting ice on my windowsill now, how he was present in those sparkling snowflakes whirling around us a few nights ago, in the soft song that comes of the gentle breeze through the trees. This is how I think of him, and how I find him every day and everywhere. It's always reminded me of that Moby song. I was a Moby fan before, but since having and then losing S, this song holds a new meaning for me.

People they come together
People they fall apart
No one can stop us now
'Cause we are all made of stars

According to modern astronomy, we are literally all made of stardust. After S died, I loved that thought even more. And it in turn reminded me of an amazing and whimsical programme on NPR about a physicist's take on death. It did the rounds of the internet some years back, but I often re-read it in light of my own bereavement in the months after losing S. I love the idea that the warmth that flowed through him during his life in my womb, when we were as deeply connected as two human beings can get, is still here, that his energy still bounces off me, that in fact, we are both made of stars.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Letting go, starting again, and catching snowflakes

It started snowing last night in our little corner of the island. It continues falling softly outside even now. Fat, fluffy snowflakes, the kind that rest on your eyelashes before melting away. Snow has always had a profound effect on me; it brings out a child-like glee, making me want to throw snowballs and hunker down in its drifts to create snow angles. And its so calming. There’s just something about the pristine, white blanket, the way it covers over all imperfections of the landscape and muffles every harsh sound that instils peace and takes me to a happy place. H said that for two transnational transplants hailing from frosty, northern climes, it was a good omen. It felt to me like a good start to 2013.

Why start a blog now? After all, I’ve been long, heart-heavy and knee-deep in babyloss, grief, infertility and uncertainty for more than two years now.  And I think that’s it really. I've been in too deep for too long. I'd like to think that the simple act of putting my thoughts to paper (or screen, as the case may be) can help me in the long climb up. I realised shortly before the end of last year that I’d reached a low, caught in what felt like a never ending cycle of fear and doubt and hopelessness. In many ways, it’s felt like my world stopped short the day in August 2010 when we lost our little S, and in some ways, not a lot has changed since. Still no rainbow to parent and love, and no real answers as to why. I’ve been retracing my steps for far too long now, and I think I got lost in the process. It's been lonely and isolating. Something’s gotta give.

And I feel that slightest something stirring in me now. Maybe it’s the start of a new year, or the feeling that the only way to go is up, or maybe the magic snow helped, but I feel ready to let go and move forward. I've had to sort through and make sense of all the emotions that this journey has involved, it's an ongoing process, and maybe that explains why it's taken me this long to articulate it all. What I want to let go of is all the anger and disappointment and hurt that’s accompanied me on this journey, and just hold onto the love I have for S; after all, it’s him who made me a mother, and it’s because of him that I have this fierce desire to parent a living child. So after many months of fatigue, an almost constant sinking feeling, and a period of going-by-rote,  not-very-hopeful, half-hearted months of attempted baby making, I hope things are beginning to shift, and I’m ready to seriously contemplate - and commit to – renewed efforts to grown our family. First up, get my health in order, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

I want this blog to be a space of hope for me, to help me organise my thoughts on the next stage in this journey, and a record that allows me to chart how far I’ve come. Only time will tell. I really really hope 2013 will be a biggy. There’s a lot for us to sort through in the coming year, both with respect to our hopes to grow a family, and our efforts to put down roots and finally have the stable home we’ve been dreaming of for what feels like forever now. Mostly though, come what may, I want to reconnect with that part of myself which has felt so distant throughout all this. The hopeful, creative, adventurous and spirited me, who seems to have been replaced recently by a pessimistic, apathetic, guarded version of myself I'm not particularly fond of. We have little control over what life throws at us (even before babyloss and IF, I was no stranger to that fact), and there are many aspects of this experience which have fundamentally altered who I am as a person. But after so many months and years of perhaps inescapable sadness, I want to realise in my daily life the better version of myself that was promised with my fledgling experiences of parenthood. I want to be a mother that S would be proud to have. There’s a part of my heart that will always be weeping for his absence, but there’s a much bigger space which is and always will be filled only with love for him and gratitude that I got to be his mother at all. I want to honour his tiny life. I intend to reclaim my invincible spring. Call it a New Year’s resolution.

So as H and I strolled through the whiteness last night, hoping for good portents of what may be in this coming year, the sparkling, crystalline flakes drifting ethereally around us, it did almost feel momentous for us, like the turning of a page. A good omen? I don’t know that we’ll get our heart’s desire this year, but I know we’ll be together in seeking it, and that we’re going to try and embrace every little moment of magic en route. I can’t really ask for better than that.

                                   Like magic