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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holding On

Like most around the world, I have held my darling son tighter over the past fews days - I have played with him more, I have not wanted to let him out of my sight.  My heart is grieving for the parents, family and friends of the children and teachers that died in  It's incomprehensible to me that these poor parents sent their children off to school, I would have thought not worried in the slightest and that this senseless act would happen.

As a parent, I think that has made us all feel a little sick.  That which we have no thought to worrying about, occurring in such a horrifying manner.  It has made me ask the question 'is there any way to bring up a child safely?'  I am a bit of a worrier by nature and though I do try to minimise the worry, I do tend to try to think of every possible way to keep my son safe but really, how can we when such terror lurks in the world.

My country is not perfect, nor is it a safe haven where nothing bad happens but I am very grateful that we have very strict gun laws.  Gun laws that were tightened significantly in the wake of the horrifying Port Arthur Massacre in 1996 in which 35 people were gunned down.  The gunman, who has been said to have some mental issues (I mean surely anyone who guns down 35 people does, right?) but was able to to buy a gun without a gun license or even a drivers license.  My Mum's second cousin was killed in the massacre and it devastated our country.  The government initiated a 'buy back' of guns, funded by a tax payer medicare levy that cost $350 million.  At the time I remember thinking 'worth it'.  

I know that the United States has much greater population and prevalence of guns amongst the population than we had but I hope that the government can enact some tighter gun laws, in my humblest of opinions, this can only make a positive difference.  As I say, this is not to say that my country is perfect, indeed there have been a couple of worrying murders over the past few months of women by men (who were let out of jail despite having extension criminal records and one of whom a judge referred to as being 'not able to be rehabilitated') - I walked the 50 metres to my car in the city on Saturday night very carefully and with breath held until I got in the car and locked the doors.

My heart breaks for the poor people of - I hope that they are able to grieve and mourn their losses in private, away from the glare of the media.  I can't imagine what these poor souls are going through and the days, weeks and months ahead of them much stretch out into eternity.  I hope they find peace.

Bit of a rambly post, I have not meant to be preachy but it is just so hard to imagine that something like this could even happen.  I don't actually understand how another human being could do this - to me it seems that they must be a part of a completely separate species.  It is so incomprehensible.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

17 Weeks and 2 Weeks to Christmas...

It is such a busy time of year and I realised yesterday that I finish work for our Christmas break on Thursday week – SOOOOOOO excited!!  There is so much that I have to do before then.  I have about 12 lists going of all the things that I need to do.

Thankfully, I have done most of my Christmas shopping and have already started wrapping the presents – this is pretty much a miracle for me because I am usually wrapping presents late into Christmas eve watching the carols by candelight on TV.  I am wanting to keep Christmas eve nice and free this year so that I can help my Mum out with Christmas day preparations but also to be there for her because she is without Dad this year.  She has also been sick so it is really important to be there for her and help her out – she also has so much to do.

I am trying to break the back of my ‘to do’ list (which at this stage is very long!) by the end of this week but I don’t know how successful I will be because I really have a lot to do.  Of course the weekends are getting busier and busier with things that I am going to on most days in the lead up to Christmas.

I was really busy last Friday and Saturday with shopping and running errands that I got really bad cramps on Saturday afternoon.  I have found that if I do too much or get too tired, I get really bad cramps and basically can’t walk around or anything.  I am going to have to be super duper careful over the coming weeks to ensure that I don’t push it and cause myself and the baby some distress.

Christmas day is going to be very full on as well, we have Father Christmas pressie corner at our place in the morning and then go around to my Mum’s place for another pressie corner and then we have lunch with my family and then drive for an hour an a half to have dinner with JourneyMan’s family and then we are hoping to be home at about 8:30pm so that we can finish our packing and leave at 4am on Boxing Day to drive to our holiday destination on the coast (about 7 hours of driving away).  I am going to keep as much of my energy reserved for those two massive days and then we have 10 lovely days of fun in the sun as a family.

We also got an invitation to a wonderful friend’s wedding on the 12th of January and I am super excited to go but it is a black tie wedding and we are going to have to get ourselves organised in the next week with our outfits and babysitting for JBB because the wedding is only a few days after we get back from our holidays!!

It is such a busy time but still I look at last year and am so happy that we are where we are this year.  I think that the biggest lesson that the IF journey has taught me is that things do not need to be perfect to be happy – this is a big lesson for me as I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist.  We have our worries and sadness at the moment but it is wonderful to have all the gifts that we have been blessed with, so lucky.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

What a Difference a Year Makes....

Yesterday, I cried with joy.  We put up our Christmas tree and whilst the tree itself is a study in imperfection (a bit lopsided, not all lights working, the star has seen better days) the moment was perfection itself.  I watched as my beautiful, miraculous son delighted in placing every bauble on the tree.  My stomach felt heavy with the weight of our new baby coming.  My husband and I exchanged looks and hugs of joy as the perfect afternoon of family enveloped us.  This morning, I took my son to the Wiggles final tour where he and his cousin sat enthralled, danced and sang to the Wiggles songs.  This afternoon, we instituted a new family tradition - Sunday evening movie night and all through December we are watching Christmas movies.  JBB sat between us, eating popcorn and watching the movie - he smiled, laughed and enjoyed himself.  He didn't last the whole movie but no matter, we had an amazing time.

This time last year could not have been more different.  JBB had been fighting sickness all week and on this day last year, I sat in the hospital, comforting my beautiful, sick boy - my heart was clenched in fear, I was not recovered from the failed cycle in October / November and I thought my first miracle could be taken away from me.  I was absolutely exhausted from sleepless night after sleepless night but nothing was worse that the fear that my little boy was hurting and may be irrevocably damaged from a mysterious disease.  I was beyond feeling by that point.  The only thing that I could focus on was pouring all my energy, love and attention in getting my boy better.

I changed from that experience last year.  It has taken me a long, long time to recover.  I felt like I had received too many blows and I was no longer able to function as a valuable parent, wife, friend, daughter, sister or niece.  Only mere weeks after JBB was out of the hospital and recovered, I went to Thailand for another cycle, a failed one and only weeks after that my Father found that he had the cancer back.  In hindsight it was lunacy going to Thailand for that cycle - I was a complete zombie.  I was absolutely empty and no where near recovered from JBB being sick.  I wouldn't really recover from these experiences until I had some serious counselling months into the year.

The joy that I have felt over this wonderful weekend is tinged with the loss of my Dad but he loved Christmas, it has always been a special, special time for his family.  Ever since I can remember, even last year, in December he would always say to us 'he's on his way'.  It makes me happy to think of him, remember him and I will pass this on to my boys and he will live on in my memory.

I feel so grateful.  Since the beginning of our journey into the would of IF, Christmas time was always a marker to me.  Before our journey, it was unreservedly my favourite time of year but as our journey progressed, it became a marker.  For many years, a marker of sadness from failed cycles and yearning for the completion of my family.  When we were given the gift of a successful cycle in December 2009 (we got a BFP on Christmas day), it was the best gift I had been given in my life - a beautiful Christmas miracle.  2010 was also memorable for being JBB's first Christmas with us.  2011 was a difficult one.  

I am not naive enough to think that the 'worst' is over.  I am sure life has many ups and downs to throw our way.  What I have realised when thinking about the terror of losing everything last year to the utter joy that I have felt in the past couple of days is to really sit in the moments of joy that you experience.  Make the most of them, enjoy them and be thankful every day that you have them.  We don't know what tomorrow may hold and I try not to worry about what is to be.  

Today, as I sit and write this post, I couldn't be any happier than I am right now and coming from 12 months ago being in such a dark place shows me how quickly that things can turn around.  My wish for all of you is that you revel in your joyous times and if you are in a dark place, please take comfort that happiness is never that far away, despite how dark it is.

For me, I am grateful for my family.  My wonderful husband whose comfort, humour and love have saved me many times in our years together - I love him more with each passing year.  My precious son, whose personality, capacity to learn and gentle nature amaze me every day.  The new baby that sits so close to my heart who I can't wait to shower with love - I am so excited to see his personality emerge.  Last but definitely not least is my little JourneyDog who is Woolly.  People told me that he would become less important to me when the babies came along but they misjudge my loyalty - especially because he has provided such comfort to me on our journey.  I am so grateful for my family.