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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Sunsets and sunrises! 

I am not an early riser! So this love of sunrises is conflicting. My alarm goes off and I am instant filled with a dilemma. On the one hand – I want the shot, on the other hand – I want my sleep!! 

Early bird catches the worm and all that!! I have some fab shots from various places, early morning here often means fog and I LOVE LOVE LOVE these shots more than anything. 

Here are a few 🙂 

What are your favourite shots that you take? 

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 🙂 

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! 

🌟🌟❤️🌟❤️

Juggling “being normal” and grief 

Weekends if I stand still for too long I am plagued with thoughts and memories of Gavin. I don’t mind the happy ones, in fact I love those memories, over time they come to me more and more regularly. But the bad ones, the ones that cut me in two, those are the ones I could do without. 

It never occurred to me that loosing someone so close to me would be this hard. I knew it would hurt, but simply getting out of bed on a morning is proving to be far more difficult than it should be. Then I feel guilty because I know I am not the only one, not the one even feeling it the worst. But still my grief is drowning me at the moment. I miss being able to just talk to him, to even send a text which would possibly get a reply or possibly not depending on how busy he was. An unanswered text would be amazing now, to think that he would be too busy to reply, out having too much fun. That would be awesome. 

Many people talk about the stages of grief, but I am not feeling them in stages at all!! I can’t get past total heartbreak, anger creeps in but nothing overshadows the heartbreak. I feel like I am screaming inside, all the time. I do a great job of “normal” as we all are doing. But then something small will happen and I am hit with a tsunami of tears. 

It’s not even been four months, so maybe I am being hard on myself. All I know is as time moves on, that time passing makes it worse. Why isn’t everything stopping? Don’t they know who died?! 

The most awesome sparkling light was taken, our warrior, our hero, our star – just gone. There is no better anymore. There are just years and years of learning to live without him. How do we do that?  

Gavin has given me the strength to find the courage to try again for children, to take control while I can. I hope he knows what an inspiration he was to me, to all of us. On my very worst days where I want to eat my body weight in Pizza, something we both enjoyed doing, I remind myself of that promise I made to him. It makes saying no a little easier. 

I will continue to fighter everyday to get this weight off. To channel my grief into something good!

🌟💔❤️🌟

Pulling it back! High five me!!

I mentioned earlier this week that I was having a few issues – food issues. I had a couple of slips and usually that’s just the beginning of the end. 

NOT THIS TIME MY FRIENDS!

I really think the key for me is to get it right the moment I get up! If I eat the right breakfast I seem to find the motivation to continue on the path for the day. 

The other thing that helps me is planning  – seems like a really basic thing to say but how many of us do this? I would suggest that those of us that are healthy eaters probably do this more than not. I really want to me one of these people ….. Induct me into your club please!!

Sadly I’m often the one scrating around in the fridge late on an evening after a hard day at work …. Quickly deciding that takeaway is the only way forward! 

I’m so much more in control this time. 

If you are reading this thinking – I wish I could get my act together, like I have done so many times before when reading other peoples journey – I want to say to you, you can do it! I’m a long way off being in a position to say “Look at me how I have done” 😝😝😝 cringe!! 

But you can! You just need to start with one meal on one day, a day at a time. By all means join me heaven knows I need the help!! Support me to get our baby! Lol!

So another pound off this week even with the naughty treats! One stone 8 pounds off in total! 

I got into a pair of jeans that were too small this time two months ago – it’s the little goals as well as the large one that are important. They keep me motivated!

Xoxo

Tough days and bad food choices ….

It’s hard to keep the motivation going when you have bad days. Those sort of days that make you want to climb back into your Pjs and watch bad TV with a bowl of the very best ice cream for company.

Do I feel like that often?…. Yes!! Do I always give in ? ….. NO! 

Today was one of those days, and while I didn’t give in to full meltdown mode, it’s been a bad one!

I managed to get out of bed … Yay for me! Be productive at work …. Double yay!! Make good food choices to start with….. until that is it got to dinner time and I was eating with my Aunty and family …. we had Chinese food! Sigh! 

(Insert slap here)

There are two ways I can go with this, continue to slip and start the bad cycle all over again! Or …..OR!!! accept that this has been not a great week so far, dust myself off and start again tomorrow. 

So that’s what I will do. Too many times it’s easy to beat yourself up for “slipping off the wagon” admittedly, often I can be found rolling around in the gutter after spectacularly falling off said wagon – But not this time – oh no! I am dusting my scraped knees off and clambering back up into that crappy wagon and hoping to god tomorrow no one even so much as mentions icecream! 

Wish me luck 

🌟😇😇🌟

Surviving heartbreak…my guide to 11 years of trying for a baby. 

Firstly thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the messages and e mails I have had in support.

Really deciding to blog about the miscarriage was a form of therapy for me, to get it out of my head and try to heal! I had no idea how many people out there it would touch and it does make it worth it. The amount of support that you my lovely readers have given me is amazing and it really helps me too. 

It’s such a taboo subject often uncomfortable for some to read, but for as long as your stories come back to me and the thanks messages I will continue to write. 

The intention was not to blog about fertility but about my life up here in the countryside however it’s such a huge part of my life it’s hard not to write about it. 

I am often asked questions about handling certain situations from both perspectives and the truth is ….. I’m no expert. The titles a little naughty because have I really survived ? I don’t know. But I wanted to try and give you some of my 11 plus years experience of trying for a baby because if that’s the one thing I succeed in, helping others from my experiences, it’s something positive to come out of it. 

Honesty is not always the best policy. 

While it’s true to say having open dialog for me with those around me having kids is important, give yourself time. I have found a lot of the thoughts in reaction to something people say or do are usually irrational and not my real feelings. It’s like a little monster trying the fuel the anger fire so that you don’t have to deal with the pain. 

It passes normally for me and I start to sort through my feelings, then that’s the time I feel ready to talk. 

Learn to accept that people do not know the right things to say! 

This goes for both sides of the coin. From my point of view early on I would get defensive and hurt when people said anything to “try and help” here are some examples:

“Don’t worry time is on your side it will happen!!”

“I have a friend who has been trying for x years then bang pregnant at 40!!”

“Oh god be thankful they are a bloody nightmare!!”

“What I would give for one kid free weekend”

Worst- “you’d hate it no more handbags for you!”

Worst still “stop trying it will happen”

While all of the above are from the heart, genuinely people do not know what to say.  What one might say to one friend might not be right for another. For me I am lucky in that I haven’t felt jealousy to the point of resentment but I know some people who have and it just makes an all round awkward. 

Truth – there is no right thing to say and give your friends and family a break, if they say something truly hurtful to you then talk it out. But accept they just don’t know how to make you feel better. It’s not intentional. 

There is no time limit on grief. 

This is something I have noticed more and more as time goes on. In my early twenties everyone would say – it will happen give it time. Now in my mid thirties mainly people avoid the subject or in some cases I get the impression they feel like I should just get over it and move on. 

Until someone has gone through this it’s impossible to understand. If they don’t have that needed for children, again it’s hard. 

There is no time frame , it’s not for anyone else to tell you how long you should keep that dream alive. Don’t waste time thinking about why they don’t undestand. You can’t control other people’s thoughts and what they say. You will know when it’s time and that’s the only opinion that matters. 

Try not to go over the top with happy when someone is pregnant

This is something I have been guilty of repeatedly. While of cause I feel genuine happiness for new babies trying to brave face it can be exhausting. I am not suggesting being miserable but I have found over the many many new lives I have welcomed most people will look at me gone out like they are waiting for the crack if I’m over the top happy, if you genuine are that over the moon great! If not don’t fake it too much. Deep breathes be cool! Look at the little bundle of joy – those little dudes are cute. It helps. 

On the flip side – to those friends and family having the kids don’t try to hide your joy. We already feel so much guilt that you have to be in this situation because of our issues, to hide the news or hold in your happiness isn’t fair on you and makes us feel worse. Ok maybe not a Ta Dah I’m pregnant deal with it bitch, but talk it out and hope they can be happy for you. 

I think this is an area to be honest, be considerate your news may sting and give your friend or family member time to adjust. But let them deal, you can’t change your news and have a right to be happy, don’t assume they don’t want that for you. 

This is one of the saddest parts for me, everyone in my life has to deal with my problems. I hate that. 

Try not to avoid being around kids. 

Firstly let me say if you really can’t handle being around kids, maybe get a little help to cope. It’s hard sometimes but I have always emersed myself in the children I knows lives. I would have missed out on so much if I hadn’t.

I can name a few times I have sat in a room full of mums and felt like an alien with nothing to contribute to the conversation but the good times far out weigh the bad moments. I have had so much joy from the kids in my life that it’s sad to think some of my fellow sufferers are missing out because it’s too painful. 

Recently when all four of my nieces and nephew were staying there was a moment when we were all snuggled on the couch my hubby included, watching the movie Home and I felt so happy. Those moments make some of the pain so much better and the love those kids have for us definitely makes it easier to deal with the rest. 

Give yourself a break! 

I don’t know about you but I spend a lot of time beating myself up. You can not change what is, you can not control what others say or do. You can only focus on your thoughts and feelings. 

As much as it isn’t my fault I can’t sucessfully have children, I can not control what my body does. I have spent a lot of time beating myself up! This is a hard lesson to learn. I haven’t chosen this for myself and my husband, in fact that’s the most frustrating thing – I haven’t controlled any of it. There was no choice here!!

I still feel enormous guilt to my mother whom only had me so will never be a grandparent. To my husband who will never be a father. To his brother who will never be a uncle to our children.  To my best friend who so desperately wants this for me. Time has helped me realise I can not change this, the guilt has to stop. I have to take responsibility to deal with my feelings. 

Finally ……. Let it out. 

I have always had my writing and art, letting it out for me doesn’t always mean talking. But find a way to release the pain that works for you. 

Through the worst bits of this miscarriage and I am far from done even now, but I feel a real distance from everyone. I don’t really want to be around a lot of people, I feel best in my house. Which I know to some may seem wrong but to me it’s getting through it as best I can. It is important to let it out in some way however. 

This weekend I had some time alone while my hubby was out and I wrote a letter to my lost babies and took it to the river at the bottom of my road. For the first time I let it out, that monster that’s clawed at me from the inside for  years for every heartbreak, every loss, every “smile and get through it” moment, for every degrading procedure, for every moment of agony, for every time I have felt that vice like grip around my heart. The anger at the world for why me???? – the one thing a woman should do and I can’t. 

I cried, I sobbed – for an hour and a half at the waters edge until there was nothing left and then I burnt the words and let them fall into the water and float away. 

Do I feel better!? Not completely, but it’s helped. Perhaps opening the flood gates needs to happen because brave facing it is exhausting. 

So have I truly survived heartbreak? Well yes I think I have, it might not be pretty and not everyone can understand but I have done the best I can.  

I do truly believe one day it won’t hurt so much. I was almost there before this last loss. 

There isn’t one formular to surviving or supporting someone through this, I suppose that’s my point. Try to put yourself in the other persons shoes for a moment before speaking or acting. 

Being human doesn’t come with a handbook. No one knows the right things to say or do all the time, we just do the best can. 

Ask for help when you need it. 

Talk it out when you feel ready. 

Forgive those who may say or do the wrong thing. 

Mostly forgive yourself!!

Until next time xoxo