The Childless Mother at Christmas

I am mother, I am simply a mother without a child. I have all the Mumma bear instincts and skills, I am ready to go, to create a home, to love and protect my family above anything else.

From a very young age I knew I wanted a big family, I loved my dolls, carefully wrapping them in woolen blankets and kissing their little heads goodnight, I imagined what my children would look like. That’s how long I have been preparing to be a mother.

It simply was not meant to be. Sometimes, there are things that no amount of love and hope can cure.

Every year, when the nights draw in and the twinkle lights start to appear in homes like happy little dancing fairies, my thoughts often turn somber and the little ache that has been present over the year, just seems to sting a little more at Christmas Time.

For the 12 years that we have been on this journey I felt so alone at this time of year, while families celebrated with nativity plays and sharing their children’s excited faces, naughty elf’s, Santa visits etc. I watched with envy, but felt completely and utterly alone even when I was surrounded with love.

While this year has been hard for other reasons, I have found a sort of peace on this subject. Having experienced the rawest grief this year for losing my cousin, I now understand that the process of infertility and losing my babies is also a form of grief. Not in the same way as losing an actual person, more that I am grieving for the what could have been, my imagined baby and what he or she would have grown to be. Its allowed me to let go a little, to move on.

I spent a good deal of time online reading success stories and looking for help with our situation, anything that might help us to get pregnant. The longer it took, the losses we experienced I started to look for other stories, for those ones that didn’t get their dream. If we couldn’t do it, how was I ever meant to put myself back together? How had anyone done this and moved on with their lives? There were not many of these stories and that made me feel worse. Why was I the only one taking so long to get pregnant?

For this reason, now I have been through it and pretty much come out of the other end. I wanted to share this blog for a while, because with the big day approaching and all the wonderful family time we have ahead of us, I want anyone in my position to know you are not alone. You will get through it! You are strong enough to do it!

I adore spending time with my nieces and nephew, however there was a time where I found it so hard that I would be exhausted from the show I had delivered, we all have that “I’m fine and happy” face. I felt terrible guilt for this. The desperate ache of wanting a child mixed with guilt would be hard to process and I never spoke of it.

Of cause, it’s not your family and friends fault, but it isn’t yours either. No one would wish infertility on themselves, we didn’t ask for it and you may find yourself making excuses a lot of the time to hide how hard it is on you. No one can truly know how you are feeling so it’s up to you to take care of yourself because it’s hard for some to understand how broken you feel.

Sadly, our story hasn’t ended with a bundle of joy, and while I don’t think I will ever not want a child, I have learned to deal with the devastating ache and feeling so terribly broken. I can see a happy future without children in it, I am so lucky to have my husband who is my rock and soul mate.

For many of you still on the “trying to conceive journey”, hopefully most of you will end up with your miracle. The journey is a tough one but you will get through it. I hope that you get something positive out of it, or like me, that it makes you appreciate what you have. Be as forgiving as you can, many will say the wrong thing. I have found that there is no right thing to say so that’s no one’s fault and that’s OK too.

I might not have ended up where I thought I would be, but I have a good life. Our babies have the most wonderful angel with them now, taken far too soon from us but I know he will be looking out for us and them. Life is far too short, it’s said so often but it is so very true. I wish you all the luck in the world and truly hope there are Christmas Miracles for everyone this year!!

 

 

 

 

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Memories that hurt 

I was always a glass half full sort of person. Since we lost my cousin this year I have been finding it harder and harder to find the good in things. 

I hate cancer like it was a person! A person I want to beat and kick and scream and shout at. I want to know why it took him! I feel like it took a peice of me with it too. I want to know why it wanted to hurt my family so badly. Why us?? 

Yesterday I realised was the first full day I had gone without crying. Today when I thought about this, I sobbed for a half hour. 

Back in January when he was first taken from us the notion that I would go a day with out crying seemed unlikely. I didn’t want to because would that then mean I am forgetting? Logically I know this isn’t true. I think about him and my family’s pain every day. But still the fact I didn’t cry seemed to cause hurt as well. 

It’s true when they, whomever they are, say that it comes in waves. Some days I hold it together ok, tears are usually last or first thing in a day. The middle bit we all slap on our brave faces and try to do normal. The tears are brought on by a memory or picture or just the ache that’s been so present since the moment we found out it was Leukemia. 

Yesterday I was distracted, I was worried about a scan I had to have at the hospital. Recently I have had cysts causing me pain in places you don’t wanna know. So at the moment they are investigating the next steps to take, the problem for me with scans is that it transports me instantly back to loosing some of my pregnancies. 

The whole thing from start to finish, the waiting room with expectant mothers blooming with their healthy pregnancies to the scan it’s self and being in the position again on that bed. 

I haven’t ever suffered with depression or anxiety but I think the truly awful year we have had has nudged me closer to feeling these things. 

Laying there yesterday with yet another nurse looking at my insides and clicking away pointing at the abnormalities on my dysfunctional baby machine. I started to feel sick and shaky and very emotional, I wanted to jump off that bed and run for it. Every bad experience I have had in this situation weighed on me. 

I rarely let the pain out of its little lock box in my brain regarding the failings to get pregnant and keep the baby. I try to continue and not let it consume me. Recently the memories are leaking out more frequently and it’s been hard but frustrating because I am normally so in control. Little triggers around me all the time set off some monumental meltdowns. I don’t know if this is still my grief, like a side effect that all the bad experiences are pouring out of me. I haven’t ever felt like this before, grief so consuming. 

I have overwhelming respect for those people in my life that have lost young loved ones and managed to look like they are carrying on. I realise now how much energy it must take to just be “normal”. uRghhh I hate that word “normal”!

So yesterday I didn’t cry for Gav and I felt guilty for allowing my thoughts to be on me and it felt selfish.  I think perhaps I am now officially a crazy person. I don’t want to move on, I know he wouldn’t want us to be like we are but it’s easier said than done. We are all in such pain. 

I wonder if he watches over us and is annoyed, or if he realises the total mess we are in is testament to how much we loved him. I don’t want to do a day with out crying for him!! I know life goes on, but this version of life is different to before, somethings missing, we aren’t the same. Our hearts are just completely broken.  

⭐️⭐️❤️❤️💔💔

How exciting is a smiley face?!!!

This morning I peed on a stick and it made me happier than I have been in a long time. 

I share a lot of my life particularly the fertility issues online as I have found such support from others in my position, but in truth this morning I shared my joy because I was excited!! My Facebook post was instantly filled with love and excitement from my friends and family. 

For all these years of trying for a baby, I have peed on a LOT of sticks, Clearblue more than others and the results always upset me. I have had so many negatives that the little empty circle on the ovulation kits or the not pregnant flashing on a pregnancy test, I have become numb to it. I expect the negative. This mornings peak was amazing!!!

To be clear my stick didn’t tell me I was pregnant. It told me I am ovulating. I have PCOS and those digital tests have NEVER in all these years told me I am ovulating!!! I was excited like I was pregnant!!! I did a little happy dance in the bathroom and instantly decided to share. 

I have people in my life I have never met. They read my blogs or follow me on Instagram etc. I get so many messages from people thanking me for sharing my journey. It’s for these people I am glad I did share as well as myself feeling the love. That was awesome. It’s nice to share a positive result even just the ovulation!! For some it may be hard to understand the excitement over ovulation but do as many tests as I have, that have been negative and then come back to me, see how you feel lol. 

Our journey has been a long one and there are so many “trying to conceive” stories out there most of which end in a beautiful bundle of joy. Our story hasn’t ended that way, I feel that’s a story that should be shared too. It’s a lonely road here feeling like the only one who’s body just will not do as it should. If I can make one person feel like they aren’t alone through this then I feel I am doing some good, my babies that didn’t make it aren’t gone for nothing. They live on with me and my blog in some silly way. I know that sounds nuts!! 

I am not getting ahead of myself as the chances of getting pregnant are still not great, but I guess I am trying to say don’t give up and take what ever positives you can!! That little smiley face has given me a little glimmer of hope, something I haven’t felt in a long time. Will it mean I get pregnant? Probably not but it’s still a nice feeling that it’s possible ….. I am not out of the game yet 🙊🙊🙊!!!

Wish us baby dust!!! 👪👨‍👩‍👧💑💑

Lemon Face Challenge and PCOS. 

When I was around 24 I found out I had PCOS. 

I didn’t really understand what it would mean to me and my life goals. I always had an idea that I might have problems getting pregnant but I told myself I was being silly. 

If I had known what the next 12 years would bring from that day in the doctors office. I might just have reacted differently. I may have screamed and cried until I had nothing left. 

As it was, and still is to a certain degree, I believe when life gives you lemons – you make lemonade. PCOS wasn’t going to kill my dreams, I was young and had a can do attitude. 

That lasted until my first confirmed miscarriage after the diagnosis. The quiet in the room where the sonographer silently took images of my baby. I don’t think I took a breath the whole time. The click …. Click …. Click …. Continued and I just knew. No more baby, no more dream. 

Sub Fertility is only one of the side effects of this condition, and it’s not always this way for all. Some women conceive and go on to have a happy pregnancy and beautiful babies. This hasn’t been the case for me. 

Another fun side effect is difficulty loosing weight. In order to get any more help from the NHS to get pregnant you need to be a healthy BMI. I would like to say I was a perfectly healthy with a love for all things gym and broccoli. I am not. 

I love all things naughty and a chicken parmo …. With chips ….. And salad ………. Oh and garlic sauce 😁😁😁. 

I have made some great strides to loosing weight this year and hope to be at target by the end of this year early next, but the anger I feel for having to do it this way just doesn’t leave me. I am a happy chunky monkey!!!! 

I’m angry that my babies have been taken from me. I’m angry that no matter how hard I try some weeks I am still going to put that weight on. Its upsetting that I am judged for my size, though those people will never know my struggle and only see a fat lazy person. It’s frustrating that the pain I go through every single month, that cripples me to the point I am sick and pass out is for nothing. Most of all I am angry that I can’t control this and I have no choice. 

No one asks for their illnesses. I doubt most of us want the sympathy either. What I would like is for in the years to come a woman in my position would get help, to not feel alone. To find something constructive to help with the side effects, a cure would be amazing. I don’t want anyone’s heart to shatter like mine listening so hard to hear a beautiful heartbeat of my babies that will never come. 

So it’s true, life some times does throw you lemons. How you make that lemonade is up to you. For me I’m blending it up with love and laughter, making it a little easier to swallow. No I can’t  control having PCOS but I can control how I much of me I let it take. PCOS has made some of my life choices for me, but it’s not who I am, I am still me in here somewhere. 

Please share those #lemonfacechallenges out there. It might just mean the world to someone in your life. 

Xoxo 

Excuse or exercise?? 

This weekend we had friends from the city here for a visit. I love to see the area as a tourist again as it reminds me how very lucky we are to live here. 

It was a weekend of letting our hair down and I will admit we had a couple of treats but we also exercised to! We took a lovely long walk around the area and it got me thinking …. Perhaps now is the time to add exercise to my weight loss journey! 

I am not a natural athlete, I was the one lagging behind tripping over my two left feet in PE at school. There isn’t a sport I enjoy or activity I want to do a lot of (other than dance) so how do I get this started without giving up after the first week?!? 

Well my motivation has always been Gavin, to do something positive in his memory so I am using that same drive to help me stay motivated here! 

I did a work out tonight and for the first time EVER I was able to plank and do some burpees!! I realise to those of you that work out a lot that might sound nuts but being so big it always hurt my hands and I couldn’t jump up well!! I keep saying it’s not always about the big goals and it isn’t. This week my weight stayed the same and after a few food related treats I deserve that! But being able to work out more comfortably, I will take that as a win! These little goals add up! 

I am moving into week 9 with a new incentive! What will I be able to do another month down the line ?!? 

I love the meme that says,

No matter how slow you are running, you are running circles around those sitting on the couch! 

The one that is more relivent to me is the one that says 

If I am running you better run too, I am likely running away from the zombie!! 

If today you are reading this thinking about trying to start healthy eating! Do it now, if I can anyone can! I truly mean this.  I have a fairly bad food addiction. I’m still not perfect, I make mistakes but the most important thing it to keep trying. Never give up, I learned that from the most amazing person I ever knew, my hero, my warrior – my cousin Gavin, cancer took him from us but he fought with everything he had! We all can learn from that! We all should learn from that! 

Until next time! 

Here are some shots from my walk this weekend 🙂 

Body shamers…. Mind your own damn business!!!!

I know writing in anger is probably not a good idea but I am so annoyed!!!

I follow a lot of body positive messages on social media and over time I have learned to not read the comments as they often really annoy me!! Since I have been trying my hand at healthy living  more and more of these comments pop out to taunt me. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!!

What ever your body shape it is no one else’s business!! We are all made beautifully different and I am yet to meet someone who is 100% guilt free healthy living  or 100% happy with their body. 

What’s even more upsetting is that people feel it’s ok to comment on feeds bashing someone for their size be that big or small!! You have no idea what that person is going through, why do you need to comment hate and anger at all?!?

I have always been brought up to believe if you have nothing nice to say do not say it at all. 

It matters what the character of the person is, if they are happy and healthy, which FYI you can not tell by looking at someone, then that’s their business!

It works for every body shape I have people call my friends “skinny bitch” feeling this was a complement. Not knowing that the person involved felt so skinny that she would do anything to put a little weight on. Others that work damn hard for their “perfect” body and they shouldn’t be shamed for that either. I don’t think I will ever be a five night a week gym person but I applaud those that have that sort of drive and commitment! 

I am a size 20 at the moment. I am working hard EVERYDAY to loose weight. Not because I want to look good in societies eyes but because the government say I can only have IVF below a certain weight. The fact that I am overweight doesn’t mean I am not beautiful, maybe not to everyone but then who is? I am beautiful to the only person I care about and that is my husband. 

The next time you feel the need to pull someone down for their size in life or on social media, think how you would feel if this was your family? Is your life so “healthy” it gives you the right to bully someone else?? 

Instead of posting a negative comment, which lets be honest shows the world more about you than it does the person you are commenting on, think again. Try a positive one, you never know you might like it!!

Social media has give us too much anonymity. We would not go up to a random person in the street and shout these things at them. Why do it here?

I started sharing on social media for support and to keep up to date with my friends and I use it a lot because I have friends all over the place. It’s been a great comfort to get the thoughts out of my head after loosing my cousin, sharing my grief at times has been something that’s stopped me from loosing my shit all together! What’s sad to see is that so many people use it for a place to speak their hatred because they are too cowardly to do that in the “real world”.

You don’t know their story, you don’t know what brought them this point in their life. If we showed more love and compassion and less hate – wouldn’t that be a better way to live? 

To anyone out there who has experiences body hate no matter your size. The only person that matters, the only one you should care about is you loving yourself. Its ok to want to make changes to your body shape, to strive for what you want but I don’t believe any dress size will truly make you happy if you do not love yourself! 

❤️✌🏻️✌🏻✌🏻❤️

What I couldn’t live without to ensure a good weight loss next week! 

Sunday nights seem to roll around too quickly. So as I have waved my husband off for another week working away, my thoughts turn to how I can make sure the next week is a success for weight loss. 

We had a fantastic weekend looking for new activities that didn’t include eating in restaurants. While we had an amazing time it’s time to get focused again for the week ahead! 


To make sure that I get another loss next week here’s what I can’t do without! 

Writing a meal plan for the week ahead. I make plans down to the smallest snack. If I am perfect this is all I need. Some weeks the call of the bad foods can get a little too much so I might add in a couple of treats, but the great thing with slimming world is that I can do that without too much guilt!

Bulk buying takeaway tubs has been a great idea, preparing and storing my lunches in them. 

Shopping lists which basically include mostly super speedy loss foods. 

Water …. Plenty of it! My blender bottle has become my best friend. Lemon slices in water has become the best choice for me and considering that before I started this journey I would be drinking full fat coke or Dr Pepper. I can’t believe I would much rather have water and lemon than anything else! 

My fitness pal app and my Slimming World app. Tracking what I am eating really helps me to stay focused! 

Fat free natural yogurt. I loved sauces and mayo pre health kick, so trying to find something that works for me has been challenging. I tried fat free Greek yogurt and I love it!! I do still use extra low fat Mayo every now and then but mainly I use yogurt.

Green Tea – I haven’t ever been a big hit drink person. I do love green tea and it does seem to help with the weight loss! 

Snack ideas for mid afternoon! This is my danger time around 4pm is when I would be thinking about dinner and wondering what I can have. I am most at risk of ordering takeaway food if I am really hungry!! So having snacks on hand at this time is so important.  

These are just a few useful things I am finding help me to stay on track. What helps you? I am going into week 9 now! I lost 1lb this week but after a 5lb loss last week I was concerned that I might put on so …. Phew!! 

Mental attitude is so important. I have spent so long telling myself I was useless and that I couldn’t do it because I was too far gone! It’s been a struggle to keep that voice quiet, I won’t lie she’s still in there. But I realise now that if I say I will do something, if I believe I can do it – then I can!! If I can anyone can! Here’s to a fantastic next week! 

🌟🌟❤️🌟❤️

Week seven and another 5lb off!! 

It may seem like a short amount of time but to me this last seven weeks has been massive. While the start to this year was the worst moment of my entire life, loosing Gav has motivated me into doing something positive. 

I am determined to make something positive out of this year and our loss. Gavin wouldn’t want us to be moping around and crying – that’s true – but I think that request is a little too hard to execute. The loss we are feeling is too great to “pull ourself together and get on with it” so I am trying to do at least one thing positive. 

My relationship with food is an emotional one. Every good or bad thing that has happened in my life has been supported with food. I love to eat, I love food! So to focus on cutting out those things I love and finding healthy replacements has not been easy. I have slipped and made bad choices, but this time I have a focus for my will power. Instead of throwing myself into a 12″ pizza for comfort I am reminding myself of how much harder Gav had to fight. 

As I start another week my will power is refreshed with this loss. We had a couple of tricky moments this week having such a good loss will hopefully prevent any from happening this week.

I have found a new love of stir fry veg with rice so a new staple with spicy chicken!! More of this please! Also as I am now doing Slimming World I can have a couple of guilt free treats …. Hello Freddo bars 😍😍😍

Wish me luck into week 8 ….. Two stone down now!! 

🌟🌟🌟

Spring cleaning my wardrobe ….. 

I don’t know about you but having a good spring clean always helps keep my motivation going, one because I always feel like I am getting a little work out while I am doing it and two I find clothes I forgot about that I couldn’t fit into and now I can!!

Out with the old and in with the new?

This is the question!

While my positive motivated self says HELL YEAH! Throw those size 22 trousers out girl you are NOT gunna be needing them no more …. My inner confidence bitch is at this point snapping her fingers and tossing her hair like some teen movie IT girl ….meanwhile the doubter goth girl is peeping around those huge trousers saying …. But these are sooooo comfy …..what if you need them again?
So on and so on my inner monologue goes, proving first of all that I have watched far too many teen movies, but also that clearly I am not believing fully in myself. 

Even with how well I have done so far, the doubt in me burns rather brightly. 

How do we ever stop listing to that little voice? 

I have always been larger than my friends, I was often teased at school and called names. I took it on the chin and laughed it off but the reality of it was that I was hurting. I hated myself. I was ugly, I was fat – how could anyone love me?

I know this is a story that most of us as teenagers go through, too skinny, spotty, “ugly”, big ears, big nose, hair colour…… The list goes on. The problem is as a young teenager you feel like it’s only you. That all your friends are “so pretty” why can’t I be?

Even now as an adult my teenage inner voice still berates and teases me, see the laughable thing is now I realise that the boy who called me those names probably did so because he himself was insecure, he had his own issues and lashed out at me. 

I wish more than anything that I could go back and talk to that insecure little girl that was me , to tell her how great life was going to get for her and to hold on!

While I am on this weight loss journey now, make no mistake it isn’t for my appearance. Looking good is in the eye of the beholder so they say, this journey is about me getting to a point where I can have children. That’s it! Because sadly I know that being at my “perfect weight” there will still be things I hate about myself. 

I have spent so many years listening to that cruel boys words in my head and worst of all believing them. Still to this day when my own husband tells be I am beautiful I think ….”yeah but you have to say that!”

Believing you are beautiful comes from inside of you, you have to believe it yourself. It’s so much more than your dress size and your appearance. 

There are so many pressures out there in the world to”look good” that even those images used by the fashion and entertainment industry to enforce this beauty standard aren’t the truth. We are constantly being held to an unrealistic ideal of beauty. I am so pleased to see more and more plus size models such as Tess Holliday. I adore her!

We are all individuals, everyone comes in beautifully different shapes and sizes. Those commenting on you and your appearance, those keyboard warriors shouting about unhealthy images being a bad influence, it says more about them than it does you. Beauty does not come in one standard package. 

I wish more than anything that young people believe this of themselves, what ever it is you feel that makes you different or “ugly” embrace it, love it and don’t let anyone have that power over you! Care more about being a beautiful kind person!  

Will I ever truly look in the mirror and think…. Wow just perfect ….. Probably not, no! But I know I try every day to be a good person on the inside and hopefully one day that will be enough and that mean boys words will disappear! 
Another 2lbs off this week! Closing in on the two stone mark!! Surely I deserve some new clothes then?!

Until next time 🌟🌟🌟