Hmmm …

Just watching the tail end of Sunday Night (which I never watch) and cried through Sally Obermeder’s story as her surrogate gave birth to Sally’s daughter. Following on from watching Drew Barrymore and Toni Colette in I Miss You Already. 

Two mothers with breast cancer. The birth of a baby. Lots of tears. 

And so this post is just about getting out the emotion. I know and I accept that I will never be a birth mother. I even understand why (serious lack of patience at this advanced maternal age) and I believe that in some small ways, I am much better off having never carried to term. 

But every now and then, I get a twinge of emotion. A sadness and still a longing for a life I will never experience (not in this lifetime anyway). And the reminder of the baby I lost; the potential never realised of a child who would be three later this year. 

I am okay with it. I know it is for the best. But I am human. And being human means I will occasionally feel it. Tonight is one of those times. 

Maybe today was just too peaceful šŸ˜‰. 

A Thoughtful Week

Generally, when I go quiet here it is for one of two reasons: flat out or processing something big. 

This week I have been processing. I have also had a cold, then gastro, and then a migraine (which is still here but permitting some function finally). 

Since finishing IVF a couple of years ago, and after my miscarriage, I have had ongoing issues with my menstrual cycle. Prior to fertility treatments, my cycle was regular as clockwork (with only a couple of exceptions in like thirty years).  Since finishing IVF I have experienced two runs of menhorragia (abnormal bleeding) with my last run of bleeding lasting from September last year through to February this year, virtually every day. 

As a result, I went to see a new doctor and he referred me for full blood work. The results came back to me on Monday. 

My iron, expectedly, is low. My sugars are high. My blood pressure continues to be high. 

I’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. A bit of a shock on Monday and it has taken some processing. I’m on meds for both now, hence gastro. 

It is reversible and I will reverse it. 

I hadn’t mentioned it here, but last year I attended an information session regarding weight loss surgery. I actioned my health insurance and had my initial consultation with Dr Zarrouk last week. I also booked in the surgery for later this year. 

With lifestyle changes and the surgery, my diabetes is entirely reversible. 

I’m okay with it; it is the kick in the pants that I needed. 

However, the diagnosis also forced me to track my journey to this point. And, as a result, I’ve had to focus on some negative things that cause shame (stupidly). 

There is family history of diabetes and hypertension, so I should always have been more proactive regarding prevention. 

I’ve had to revisit why I wasn’t. I don’t feel sorry for myself but I felt the need to acknowledge how I got here. I asked myself why I emotionally eat, when did it start, why did it start, why did it continue, when don’t I emotionally eat, why, etcetera etcetera. 

Childhood trauma, shame, silence, inability to form healthy relationships, poor life choices, work related stress, being empathic, alcohol, experimentation with drugs, self harm and suicidal tendencies, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, putting others’ needs first, failed IVF, failed fostering, and the list could go on. I don’t emotionally eat when I travel; travel equals happiness and comfort in my own skin. I like me when I travel. 

And as an emotional eater, last year was a horrendous year for me. Diet and exercise just didn’t factor into my choices; anxiety reigned supreme and getting through each day became an achievement. 

I’m an intelligent person. I could have prevented this. But I didn’t. And as a result, I’ve had to work through feelings of shame and fear all over again. Ridiculous, really. 

And I do trust that things happen when they are meant to. So I haven’t cried over this and I’m alright with the diagnosis. For real. 

I’ve modified my diet. I’ve read heaps. I’ve thought heaps. I’m taking my medication. I’m making appointments. 

I know I will beat this. 

My mum was diagnosed similarly at my age and she reversed it with diet and psychological strength. I’m her daughter; I will achieve the same. 

I am regarding this as a continuation of the wake up call I had already given to myself. And, as affirmation that the surgery decision was the right one to make. 

This year for transformation really is becoming a year of transformation. 

I’m blessed, really. 

What a difference a day makes … or sixĀ 

I leave Western Australia tonight for home. Molly, Max and Sammy wait for me there, as does a different path. A path that will require ritual, nurturing and above all else, patience. 

I trust that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this moment in time. 

When I arrived last Thursday, Mel and I created a mini workshop to complete with her cousin. The workshop involved affirming, I Am, and a manifestation of this through clay. It set the tone for the days that followed. I was open and excited to experience the opportunities that lay in wait. 

A huge thank you and bounteous gratitude to my buddy, Mel. She provided opportunities to try new things, meet many new people, see different places, and welcomed me into her life. I have met many people who are living their creative paths wholly. This has inspired and empowered me. Our friendship has grown because we have navigated hurdles with grace and honesty. I adore her, her beautiful family and her wonderful friends, many of whom welcomed me willingly into their worlds. 

What a trip! 

What a beautiful state; Australia’s best kept secrets reside here in WA. Such beauty and virtually untouched landscape. Whole foods abound – choice is vital for a healthy lifestyle – and regular commune with the divine is inevitable, consciously or not. 

I will return home, somewhat healed, refreshed, open and trusting. 

Forgiveness is a process. Trust is a process. But the return from both when given is monumental. A freedom of spirit and an enthusiasm for life that is unrivalled in the journey of personal growth, and fulfilling life goals and dreams. 

My life, since commencing my fertility treatments in the hope of conceiving and carrying and nurturing a child all of those years ago, has been frenetic and painful, but has landed me here. And here is pretty awesome. Renewed hope, renewed faith, renewed dreams and goals. 

What a privileged path and blessed journey. 

Namaste. 

Identity

I have been so busy. I wanted to make this year The Year of Living. I wanted to trust that the universe would provide what I needed to make my life happen. I wanted to reconnect with the people I love and adore. 

And, I have, am and will be. 

I saw the new year in at Eden, on vast acreage, overlooking the coastal towns with Donna, John, their cats Odin and Loki, and my two boys. Max didn’t cope with the wide open space or the cats so surprisingly, found himself happier on the lead whilst Sammy was fine to roam. I spent a few nervous moments thinking the eagles soaring and protecting the property would swoop and steal Sammy (thanks to The Proposal for this fear) but settled eventually. 

The three of us started planning a retreat we hope to host in June/July with building a scarecrow one of the feature activities. It sounds weird, but the mindfulness required and the act of creating something tangible and useful was highly therapeutic. Meet Hilda the Healer …


I drove home on the 3rd feeling hopeful but nervous. I love Nimmitabel, a village out of Cooma. I want to buy land there, lots of land. At the end of this year, it may easily be do-able. I’m excited about this. 

I am surrounded by reinforcers and inspirers. Ginny and Marcus, also moving in different directions, are also hoping to host and run retreats in the Mountains eventually. In a sense, we have been building our own community and seem to be on the verge of auctioning it all. Again, exciting. And terrifying. 

Lunch with Amanda, Nathan and newborn Brody, and when family has babies I no longer feel that sense of painful longing. I possess an inner acceptance of where I am and where I am not. And their willingness to accept me back has been a real blessing for me after a few years of necessary hibernation and healing. 

An then an important shift started to happen for me. I am seeing myself less as a high school teacher and more of a small business owner, life teacher. I am loving how the transition in identity feels. It is wholly empowering. And today, I’m feeling less terrified and more excited. 

Birthday celebrations for Karyn and more catch ups. Quality time with quality people, reinforcing old bonds. 

Time at Swansea, revitalizing my love for camping, and more quality catch up time with more extended family. And my obligatory summer burn. Once every year. I never learn. A childhood longing to be brown. 


Home to more catch ups on a bloody hot day …


And, this weekend working on promoting my first course for the year, assignments, planning before another week of catching up before cruising to see January out. 

My cousin comes to stay in February. I am heading to Perth to see one of my soul tribe from India. And somewhere in there I need to work to raise money to fund this new life. 

It is liberating. I had a vision for the life I wanted to be living. I’m heading there. The journey is happening. 

I am blessed. And exceptionally grateful that the trauma of last year has forced me to liberate myself. I feel alive. I am not just existing. Life is transition and flux and chaos and the unknown. I will not have regrets. 

Namaste šŸ™šŸ»

No Idea What To Call This Post

In the interests of living life because it is short, and in honour of all of those who have passed and can’t make the most of each day in this realm, I am trying to reclaim Christmas spirit and my friendships by spending time. 

I have, for the last many decades, put work first so often that I stopped living fully. At the time I would have argued that I was living fully, and maybe for some of it, I was. Maybe it’s only been since the IVF journey that I stopped. I’m not sure. It’s all a bit muddy. However, I learned this four years ago and it is only now that I’m attempting to do it all differently. 

I process emotion well but in the past I have shut myself off from others to do so. As a result, when one of my closest friends died four years ago, it had been a fair while [read, way too long] since I had seen her. I carry that regret. I can’t go back and change it, and I know that. I have to breathe and accept that that was the way it was. 

And, I have to learn from it. 

So today, I spent time with some of my longest serving friends who are family to me. We have experienced trials and times when we have been distant, but there have been significantly more beautiful and happy times. I am grateful for that, and for them. 

I think, that when someone dies our hearts never really get over it, but we learn how to assimilate their loss into our lives without them. We memorialize them in different ways. For me, it’s been four years in the making, but I’m trying to be my best self living my best life. Some moments I am more successful than others but the important thing is that I haven’t given up and I keep trying. 

I have had many chats with my friend since she died. That is the liberating part of what I believe in, and it helps me to still have that contact. I’m still trying to make sense out of something that will never make sense but I’m also accepting that there will never be a satisfactory reason. So, I must stop hiding in work, stop needing to be the martyr and the perfectionist, and focus on building a calm, loving and happy life. 

I love all of my friends, past and present, wholeheartedly, and even after bad endings, I never stop loving them. I like this about myself. I focus on what existed that was positive, and the fun and laughter that was shared. Even if I don’t like them any more (one person only really). I remember the love. 

Man, thoughts are messy today lol. Yoga in an hour will go a long way to helping that. Hopefully. A little bit of a headache too – repressed tears methinks. The body is such a strong mirror to the mind. 

I am okay. The process of life is never smooth. And it’s beauty rests in the contrasts. Without contrasts we can’t appreciate what we have that is good. A paradox, and one that often stings on days like today. A necessary paradox. 

And on that note, time to fester a bit more before yoga … because that’s how I roll šŸ˜‰.

Namaste šŸ™šŸ»

Nothing ProlificĀ 

Anxiety and fear have passed. Gone. Faith in the universal order has been restored. Friday, my last day at structured and guaranteed work for a year, felt surreal. Yesterday, I hosted a partial family Christmas. 

Surrounded with reasons for gratitude. There was a moment that I sat back, and just soaked in the conversation around me, and felt truly grateful, peaceful and like, yep, this is what life is about. 

Nothing else really matters. 

It was my first Christmas being really present after Natalie’s death four years ago and my miscarriage three years ago. 

Time. Weird concept. There hasn’t been a single day where Nat hasn’t been in my thoughts. Her passing doesn’t feel that long ago. I try to honour her life by trying to live my best life. I’m not always successful; I am human, after all. 

Sixteen years ago, on the same day I miscarried three years ago, I woke up and went to work as usual. When I arrived, the day of Year 10 Graduation, we were all informed that one of our Year 10 students, one of my students, just hadn’t woken up. The kids, the staff, her family – shock doesn’t describe it, and then the grief. My. She, Erin, has visited my classroom through the years. Some of my more sensitive students have felt her presence and one heard her call out. An interesting lesson that was lol. 

Like Nat, life cut short way too soon. And then Luke and Steph, followed by Jamie, Nich and then, last year, another Nicholas. Lives all ending way too soon. 

In my head, it has become important to honour their lives by living. I think, in part, that inspired me to take leave for next year. I also promised myself when I stopped all fertility treatments, accepting that I wasn’t going to be a birth mother in this lifetime, that I would really do something in my life, beyond the every day; my legacy would not be in the realm of birth children. I would travel and have adventures. I would create a different life. 

A Tina type of life. 

One of the ways that I have already started to do this is by saying yes more, and making plans. If someone asks me or suggests to me something, and it feels right, I don’t pause to think of the practicalities, the anchors, I jump and am trusting that the universe will provide or know that my savings will be lost in travel next year. 

One of my inspirations for this is another ex-student, Justine. Justine was one of Erin’s friends. She created a bucket list of sorts, things to have done before she turned thirty. What a rich life she has lived in honour of herself first and foremost, but also in honour of Erin. Amazing inspiration. 

There are always ways to make money to pay the rent šŸ˜³šŸ™šŸ».

Hehehe. 

So, I’m going to write my book, I’m going to grow my business by sharing my strategies for healing and living, I’m going to travel, and I’m going to host game nights at my house. 

Living is more than safety, more than routine, more than working yourself to the bone. My ‘gap’ year is going to explore the potential for my life, for me. Not as youthfully as it would have when I was eighteen or in my twenties, or even in my thirties, but ‘appropriately’ for now. I will foster the things that I love and see where it leads me. 

Jumping is scary, dying unfulfilled and without passion for life though, well, that’s terrifying. 

Weddings and FriendshipĀ 

I never used to commit easily. To people, I mean. Vegetarianism, school and learning, I’ve never struggled with commitment there. No, just people. 

I realised yesterday though that some of the people, amongst the best people in my life, I have known for fifteen years. Firmly in each other’s lives for more than ten of those. Amazing. 

They are my family even though they are not blood relatives. I have friends too, but yesterday I realised the difference. We have had our ups and downs but we have grown together. They have seen me at my worst and my best, and they have loved me regardless, and when it was difficult to do so. And that goes both ways. Their presence in my life enriches my life. And I am grateful for that. 

That is family. 

Friendship doesn’t always endure like that. You are not as vital as family. Family offers, even in dysfunction, stability and security of sorts. You share the massive journey of good and bad. You cry, laugh, fight, learn and grow together, because there is no choice. When they are not there, your heart misses them. To function at your best, their presence or spirit enables that. We enable each other. 

I like that. 

I miss being more present. 

Part of healing from infertility became working. And part of the working load is changing government requirements. It is time for me to reclaim my life though. I’ve talked about wanting to for at least a couple of years and then, despite the best intentions, I allow work to consume me. 

I don’t want that anymore. I don’t want to find ease in hiding in the work. 

I had photos taken at the wedding yesterday. I usually look at photos of myself and see ugly. Not yesterday. Bizarre. I think being surrounded by people in Varanasi who continually told me I was beautiful, has impacted the way I see myself, like I have seen myself through the eyes of others for the first time and believed what they say they see. 

Empowering. 

What a wonderful day yesterday was. 

How blessed is my life. 

Living the Alternative Life

I had an amazing, yet rather run of the mill conversation, with my friend Elizabeth during the retreat concerning motherhood. She said that she keeps befriending women like me: childless yet desiring to be a mother. 

Elizabeth said that she firmly believes that some women are born to be universal mothers; mothers to everyone. My friend Mike has said something similar in the past, I think after my miscarriage. Elizabeth also mentioned some other things like shamanism but for now, I’m focusing on universal motherhood. 

It has been two years since my last attempt to become a birth mother to someone. It has been a tough six years. I would not wish infertility on anyone. I do not wish childlessness on anyone. But, if I’m being honest, and looking back maturely, whilst the journey has been very lonely and very harrowing, I am grateful for it. Grateful for every second, every tear, every tiny little thing. 

I’m in a good place now. I see the potential for my life. My ‘fertility’ is leading me towards new horizons. And I am strong, and resilient, and a survivor. And I am embracing new challenges. I am a universal mother, an earth mother. And, as a result, I will share my ‘maternity’ with a lot of children and a lot of people. 

It was difficult at times, to believe that life could be good again, that I would laugh and smile without a sense of longing, that my path would take shape and be just as valid as motherhood in my eyes. It was very difficult at times. 

But what I have learned is that motherhood, fertility, raising children does not have to be restricted to reproduction in a human sense. I will still feel a twang every time I hear that someone has fallen pregnant but I am okay. It’s taken a long time, been a long journey, but I am grateful for where I stand. I am grateful for the creation of the other in my life. 

I am blessed. 

PS. At the time I didn’t realise the long term impact on my psyche of the drugs used in the IVF treatments. They say there aren’t any, but there are. It impacts us, the entirety of the journey, whether successful or not. If you are doing IVF and don’t feel quite right, trust it. But you will be. It requires work, patience and faith, but you will become you again. And, if you’re lucky like me, a better version of yourself. More whole. Happier. A survivor embracing regeneration. 

Body TalkĀ 

As anyone who has ever dropped in here knows, I have always had huge problems with menstruation. This is what this post is about. It might not be for you so feel free to stop reading at this point. 

I started seeing a Body Talk practitioner in April or May. I didn’t know much about it but after my first session I was hooked. My practitioner, Mel, uses Body Talk as a base and has/is developing her own, very intuitive style, encompassing more than Body Talk. 

It is highly effective. 

Perspective. I have never known periods without huge blood flow, cramps and migraines. I managed to get the PMS under control in terms of emotions but Body Talk has eradicated the physical signs. It has also stemmed the bleeding. 

For the first time in thirty plus years, I have had consecutive ‘normal’ periods, as described by my sister who has never had my type of period. I still have migraines (we will work on those next if the magnesium fails). But heavy blood flow, excessive bloating, continual discomfort – gone. 

Mel is amazing as a healer. If I had known earlier, I would have used it earlier, and for my IVF cycles even though I trust I am exactly where I am meant to be. 

If you want her number, message me. 

What is normal?Ā 

Offspring is one of my favourite shows and nothing can break my heart so easily. Tonight has raised a grief so deep that I am surprised by its depth. 

I’m going through something, some type of transition in my life, that will completely turn my world upside down. I’m okay with that. But it would appear that a part of it includes grieving over my childlessness that little bit more. 

And man, that’s hard. 

I am okay with my life without children. I’ve created something, or am creating something, separate to that. 

But a deep part of me cannot let go of the sadness that sings inside my soul every time someone falls pregnant, or gives birth, or celebrates their children. 

These are things I will never have, never know. When I die, that is it. There will be no child to mourn my passing or to carry my line. As I age, there will be no one to put me in a home, or to share their home with me. I don’t have, and won’t have, the magical Christmases with excited kids rushing to the tree after Santa has been. I won’t coach their soccer team. Or go to boring school presentations, assemblies, performances. 

I am it. That is all there is. 

And tonight the grief has taken over. Another thing I couldn’t control. Another reminder I don’t belong. I’m not normal. And I won’t ever be.