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Monday, September 15, 2014

A Seven Year Birthday Retrospective

So, I realised yesterday that I had written 3 posts in 2014 - slack, very slack and it is super important for me to actually keep this updated as it has been a valuable record and one that I hope I can share with the boys in the future.  Plus, I find it hugely helpful to clear my thoughts - it has always been a great way of clearing my thoughts out.

As my birthday is a time of reflection - I thought I would do a bit of a retrospective.  I chose 7 years because JourneyMan and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary last week - thank you my darling for 7 wonderful years.

So, last month, I turned 43 and I am blown away by how time is flittering by so quickly.  I literally can't believe that I am 43. I feel like it was yesterday that I turned 40 but then I feel like it was only a week ago that I turned 30!!  I am generally happy with my age and the last seven years of birthdays really shows just how much can change in that time.

2007 - We were on our honeymoon when I turned 36.  In Thailand, of course - though our love affair with Thailand started before we met.  Journeyman went on a trip with his cousins and friends in his younger years and my bestie and I had spent an awesome 5 weeks exploring Cambodia and Thailand.  My bestie and I loved Bangkok so much that we changed our trip to spend more time there.  On the day that I turned 37, Journeyman woke me with a festival of presents and he had hired a motorbike which we then spent hours exploring the island of Koh Samui.  He had gotten one of the local artists to paint a picture of me from a photo from my hen's night.  I was kind of uncomfortable with it at the time because I thought 'who has portraits of themselves on a wall?!?!' but I found it recently in the move and I like it - it captures a very happy moment of me and I think I might have to get it framed and put up in the new house - probably upstairs because not many people but the family go up there.  We already knew at this point that we would need to do IVF so we hadn't broken the bank on the wedding and honeymoon and I remember thinking that I might be pregnant by the end of the year.  Oh younger, super positive self, you were so naive!!

2008 - Fast forward through some of the most difficult months of my life.  I turned 37 in 2008.  On the day of my birthday, I got my period, heralding the dashed hopes of the 4th IVF cycle with my own eggs.  We had a combined dinner for my Mum and I at a restaurant.  I remember sobbing as I got ready.  I had called my mum and told her that I didn't want to go - she told me I would feel better if I came.  I know people tip toed around me at this time, they didn't know what to say - to be ravaged by so much grief, I think it is very hard for the loved ones to watch.  It was a tough, tough year our first year of marriage but I think that we were extremely lucky that we turned toward each other rather than away, it definitely made us stronger.  We were in the hospital having an egg pick up and a sperm biopsy on our anniversary and then after recovering (and to speed up the 2 week wait) we went away to the snow for the weekend - JourneyMan had never seen snow before - we had a lovely anniversary celebration, toboganning, laughing and believing it was possible I could be pregnant.  Then those hopes were dashed on the day of my birthday and we ended up watching the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics at my brother's house, I was wracked with period cramps and my heart hurt from the disappointment of another failed cycle -  I thought to myself - would I even have kids by the next time the Olympics came?

2009 - 38th Birthday - For my 38th Birthday, JourneyMan and I had a long weekend away to Daylesford to rest and recuperate from a failed cycle (originally was booked to ease the 2ww waiting torture) - it was our last cycle using my own eggs, cancelled due to the fact that I had only one large follicle and I ovulated before even pick up.  The money that was returned to us for this failed cycle was instrumental in being able to afford the cycle in Thailand. For my birthday we went to the mineral springs and floated around the mineral pools for a few hours, had a yummy lunch and sat in front of the fire that night.  We spent the weekend discussing the cycle in Thailand that would be coming in December, we were still in the early stages of planning.  We had discussed what our child was going to be like and I remember realising that the child would not have my genes - at the time, it was a grief process - thinking that I would never see myself in them, that they wouldn't inherit any of the good (or bad) things from me.  It is funny looking back on my thoughts of that time, I have absolutely no care factor about that stuff now.  They are my beautiful boys and the only thing that I wish for them is happiness and health - I don't give a fat rat's if they don't inherit anything from me - they are perfect as they are - two quite different and amazing souls.  I've changed significantly in my thoughts over the years, I am not the person that I was when I was 38.  As an interesting aside to this, I reviewed my posts from August 2009 and happened upon one posted a complete year before my JBB was born - called 'Calculating Hope' - it is strange to see a version on myself writing before JBB entered my life.  Only 12 months later, JBB was born and my life changed irrevocably.  It is quite amazing. 

2010 - 39th Birthday - I had my 39th birthday 2 weeks before JBB was born. I turned 39 knowing that my dream of a child was about to come true.  For my 39th birthday, I didn't really care about my birthday that much because I knew that the greatest gift of all was coming my way in a few short weeks.  I remember going out to dinner for my Mum's and mine's birthday to a dumpling place and I felt so sick that I haven't been able to have dumplings since then!!  My Dad was still alive and there was a great difficulty getting him to the venue because he wasn't walking that well.  He got to meet my wonderful JBB though, they had a super cute relationship.  This has to be a favourite birthday - I was so happy knowing that JBB was coming and my birthday couldn't mean anything less to me, I was only concerned with a new birthday coming up.

2011 - 40th Birthday - On the actual weekend of my 40th birthday, JourneyMan had booked us in for a nice overnight stay in a hotel where we would mainly get lots and lots of sleep and wander along the river and have dinner and things.  No such chance, JBB got sick, my Mum didn't wan't to take him and I didn't really want to leave him either so he came with us and I was up pretty much all night, he was so sick, poor thing.  JourneyMan then went to the football the next day so I was on my own caring for the little mite.  We did have a party the following weekend, big 4-0 consisted of a combined party for JBB's 1st birthday and my birthday - really the only way that I was going to have a party was to combine it with JBB.  The party was mainly geared toward JBB and it was delightful to get a face painter and balloon animal girl there to keep the kids entertained.  It was my first real foray into making and decorating cakes - I made 75 cupcakes in the shape of a number 1 for JBB and they were all decorated as flowers or with lollies - stuff like that.  We were just starting to plan the October cycle taking the whole family to Thailand to see if we would get lucky a second time.

2012 - 41st Birthday - My birthday was a few weeks before I left for Thailand to try our luck with the final embryos from the Oct 2011 cycle.  From my birthday 2011 to my birthday 2012, it was a pretty tough time.  The October 2011 cycle was negative and at the same time I found out about that I accidentally found out that my sister was accidentally pregnant.  I was thrown for a big loop.  I had gone into the Oct 2011 cycle super confidently, I mean we got pregnant with JBB on the first go, why wouldn't it happen again?  Who the heck knows but it didn't and I had some dark days - I felt that people didn't really understand why but I think that the main reason was that I wasn't doing it for myself - I was actually doing it more for JBB - I wanted a sibling for him so that they would always have each other.  Anyhoo. After the failed cycle, we decided that I would go on my own for a FET in the December and a few weeks before going for that cycle - JBB got seriously ill with Kawasaki disease.  These were some of the toughest days of my life and I really don't know why I even ended up going to the cycle in December but hindsight is 20/20.  Not long after I found out that the December cycle didn't work, we found out that the cancer in my Dad had spread significantly.  I just felt all out of hope.  By the time, my birthday came around in August, I was feeling more hopeful, I'd had some good talks to my Dad and my nephew was born and holding made me realise how much I wanted another baby - I just don't think I was ready before that.  JBB's 2nd birthday party was the last outing that my Dad had.  My bestie and I left for Thailand 4 days later and when I went in to see my Dad, I had no idea that it would be the last time that I saw him. Not the most affectionate man, he put both of his hands on the side of my face, said 'good luck' and 'goodbye'.  I came out of there crying and it was the last time that I saw him alive.

2013 - 42nd Birthday - This birthday was not very notable or noticed.  I know that Boo2 was only 3 months old but I literally cannot remember very much of what we did.  It was only notable to me because Boo2 was 3 months old, we were in amongst that first part of the baby's life and basically all consumed by it.  I noticed that at this time in 2013, I realised that our IF journey was over.  There would be no more cycles, no more trips to Thailand just to cycle (though there will be plenty more to ensure that the boys grow up knowing some of their heritage). 

2014 - 43rd Birthday- This year has been lovely.  I am well ensconced in being a mother and whilst the kids birthday's are hugely important to me, mine are fading into the background, which is okay but sometimes, some me time would be nice.  JourneyMan had planned for us to go to Gold Class and we were booked in but then Boo2 started vomiting and so it was cancelled.  We did it a few weeks later and it was just lovely.  On my actual birthday, my Mum, sisters and auntie took me out to lunch at a cafe, which was absolutely wonderful. 

JourneyMan and I had our seventh wedding anniversary on the 29th of July.  A week or so before our anniversary - we took the boys up for a day to the snow at Mount Donna Buang - it was one of the most fun days ever and it was very reminiscent of our first wedding anniversary when JourneyMan and I went to the snow - it was the first time that he had seen snow.  We were in the midst of our 4th IVF cycle (4 in one year, foof, how did we do it!!) and when we were tobogganing, we were still hopeful that I was finally pregnant.  Fast forward to this year and after seven years of marriage, we took our two gorgeous boys to the snow and watched them discover it for themselves.  We had goes on the toboggan's together, though JBB wanted to go by himself (which we let him do after he had a few goes) but Boo2 was getting teeth and wasn't hugely happy - we have vowed to go again next year to experience it all over again.

It is hard to believe that all of this time has whizzed by.  Most of the people's blogs that I followed are now predominantly inactive - I think everyone has gotten their dream and gotten busy with their lives.  We sure have too but I think of you all and I will you all the best with your lives and your dreams and I hope that you are all going super well!!

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