I don’t want the honesty of my recent posts to make anyone think I’m not grateful what for I have and for the amazing living child I get to watch growing up and thriving around me. My life is quite perfect from the outside; all the darkness is within. I know this. So here’s a post about this little spark of light and wonder that I live with.
Last month Sparky turned 5. He’s amazing. He loves cuddles. His best friend is his Monkey George (Monkey was a 2nd birthday gift and so has just turned 3!). He’s in kindergarten so is learning numbers and is starting to read. He has a billion best friends and is always making more. He loves dancing just because dancing. He’s climbed the walls of a Japanese castle (oops!) and patted a penguin. He adores babies. He loves Weird Al and ABBA. He and my precious girl dog are finally beginning to play with each other – although they will never be close as neither wants to relinquish being the centre of the universe. He’s appalled by the idea that now he’s 5 I’m requiring him to wipe his own bottom. He can fall in love with a rock if it is a colour or shape that appeals. He adores Spider-Man, Batman, etc just because they’re cool (I wish there was a better reason, but he’s his own self.). This year he has added a new country to his travels, Japan, and has visited our capital city, Canberra. My Sparky.
No – not that kind of rich or thin.
Over 9 years ago now – HOW?! – my beautiful dog died suddenly of kidney cancer. This was in the middle of failed cycles (7 stim and 3 thaw at that point), happened suddenly, and coping was difficult. One of my strategies at the time was to teach myself to knit. I knitted a scarf and hat for my husband. They took forever, but they weren’t bad. And it was a good strategy. I was concentrating hard on what I was doing, so gave my brain a break from grieving.
After Blobby had died but my friend whose baby was due the day after he should have been born was thriving, for some reason I took up quilting. I lost myself in trying to figure out the measurements and colours – and used it as a way to make her a gift that I hoped said ‘it’s not ok, but of course it’s ok’. She understood.
I’ve kept at both crafts and have increased my skills a lot. These are of course on top of other things I like to do to occupy my time, such as photography, gardening, etc and now of course being Sparky’s mum.
I’m using this rich selection of pursuits to try to ‘drown my sorrows’, however I need to rethink my approach. I constantly have too many projects on the go, and I’m spreading myself too thin. I think I’m cluttering my day and becoming addicted to not having any down time. While this used to not give me space to let evil thoughts in (this doesn’t work any more), it also leaves no space to just be.
So I’m trying to organise my time and try to bring some balance. I love all of the things I do, but in order to enjoy them more I need to step back. Prioritise. Put myself and my enjoyment of them into the centre rather than an ever growing project list driving me. I can’t spread myself so thin that I’m at breaking point any more.
I’m in this dark, comfortable place.
Maybe if I looked around, I’d notice that there were horrible things lurking in the corners – horrors without faces or names. Maybe if I looked around, I’d realise how cold and dank it is. Maybe if I looked around, I’d notice that this is no place to live; it is not doing me any good. It is doing harm.
However it is familiar.
Maybe if you were passing buy, you’d tell me that I’m not in a hole. You’d tell me that I just stepped off the kerb. I don’t even need to climb – only step up. You’d probably even extend your hand. You’re good like that. I do appreciate it.
However to really do this I need to see my dark, comfortable place for the dank hole that it is. I need to engage the muscles in my leg all by myself. I might reach out to your hand then – I might even eventually join you on the sunny side of the footpath – but it must be initiated within myself.
WOW as in ‘WOW, has it been that long?!’ and ‘WOW, that’s a whole lot of silence!’.
It didn’t feel that long, especially as I’m constantly writing posts in my head. If only they could automagically post here.
I’ve had an interesting few months. I’ve gone through wanting to be so devoted to this space as well as considering deleting the whole thing. I’ve considered changing my ‘name’ and URL as I guess I must admit I’m no longer doing IVF.
I think where I’ve settled is that I still need this space. It holds a part of my heart. And although I’m no longer doing IVF, IVF and loss have changed me. I’m still dealing with that.
So this space will remain. I’d like to focus on the impact of IVF and loss and trying to heal. I think I’ve been living less deliberately than I should. I’ve been trying to keep my head above water for so long that I’ve come to consider treading water OK. It was for a while, but I think I need to start looking at the next part of my life, of our lives.
This post is inspired by Mel’s Microblog Mondays #85. Join in!
Oh why oh why did I blog about having one perfect day? Why did I open my window wide and practically call out for Nemesis to fly in?!
At school drop-off a week or two ago Sparky’s teacher let me know that he’d been a bit naughty at school lately – not listening to adults, doing things that require at least one time out per day. And this after an exhausting weekend that had been hard as he’d been especially demanding, i.e. probably the home version of this behaviour. Sigh.
It’s like a kick in the guts. He was perfect when he was born. So perfect. And I’d gone through so much to have him. What is this now – normal, or have I ruined him before he’s even 5? Yeah I know, silly, but it is where my brain goes.
I wish I could be the oue to have time outs. I’d use them wisely, i.e. drink and sleep.
This post is inspired by Stirrup Queen’s MicroBlog Mondays 81.
Through those long years of treatments I hoped that if I finally had a child I would be a great mum. Actually, I expected it of myself. All of this waiting and pain would ensure that I didn’t take a day for granted and that I would always be patient, loving, and present.
I was on a lot of drugs at the time, most of them hormones, so obviously I was delusional.
Being a mum after IVF et al is, unfortunately, less like being SuperMum and more like being a mortal human. You know, the sort who gets tired, who doesn’t like being ordered around by a tiny tyrant, and who sometimes would like to go to the toilet alone. I know, I know – when I was doing treatment I would have loved to have had not just my dog as an audience while I urinate but also my offspring, but I’ve gone all soft. Most days feel more like a struggle than something worth having wished for for so long.
But last week I had A Day. A Magical Day. Maybe not a perfect day, but a day that gives me hope that maybe I’m not as bad at this thing as I’ve been telling myself.
It was one of those very RARE days when parenting looked almost like I imagined it would before becoming a parent. We went to playgroup at the park in the morning so Sparky could ignore lots of colourful and creative activities to instead play in the bushes with his friend and fall out of a tree. Then we went home to bake biscuits together without either of us getting too frustrated. (Sparky did wander off after the first batch, but that’s probably what kept it civilised.)
Sure, Sparky wouldn’t have a nap, so by the time my husband came home I was ready to hide by myself in my sewing room and not talk to anyone. But the majority of that day was good.
Maybe I am worthy of this tiny human.
This post is inspired by Stirrup Queen’s Microblog Mondays.
I have a couple posts in my drafts folder about the fact I’ll never be able to try for another child. They’re too painful and will probably never be published. Let’s not talk about it.
I’ve read a few posts from people about the pain of not having another child. It feels like a horrible thing to mention when so many others are struggling to have one living child or have given up the dream of having one.
However this is real pain. I’m sorry to say it; it feels selfish to say it is. As much as I hated the stupid IVF torture, I miss the microscopic bit of hope that comes with it.