Today I’m allowed to feel like shit. I can scream and cry and laugh all at once. And so can he.
Last week when the 12 y o came home from his wonderweek of being spoilt, loved and generally worshipped in our homeland he was different. The usual casualness was gone. His carefree nonchalance normally visible when he gets off the plane was replaced with a teary-eyed hug. ‘I miss him. I really do,’ he choked through tears. ‘I wish I could have known him.’
Earlier that morning he’d been out to visit his daddy at the cemetery which he’s done countless times before. But he’s older now. Wiser. More aware of his loss.
He’d spent the week immersed in memories and laddish stories of his dad without any filter. Felt like he was there. He was finally getting to know the man he never will.
It’s okay to be angry, sad and helpless whenever you feel it, I tell him. All those feelings will always be there for the rest of your life. But we are so lucky your daddy found us the perfect guy to fill his shoes, take care of his wife and his boy exactly like he would have. It isn’t fair his only memories are the ones garnered by me and all his friends and family, nothing of his own to laugh over and reminisce.
Tomorrow he’ll crest the hill sitting in the back of a car with one his favourite drivers, the spirit of his daddy proudly watching on. It will be another step closer to the man he so wishes he did…but never got the chance to know.
To the memory of our Didley, who 3650 days ago, was taken from our lives but who will always always be in our hearts…lov’n’hugs Lady MamagG xox
It’s a muggy October afternoon in 2006. My phone rings and the voice on the other end is quiet, anxious even, as if the words themselves will cut like knives. Time will stand still. Words will come out. Words that will burn deep into my soul. Fear starts to flood through my body in gigantic waves, stripping away the ability to be rational…I’m lost in a blur of screams, of bewilderment, of disbelief…this can’t be happening.
Five hours later we’re in a room outside the doors of the ICU unit in Sydney…scared as all fuck of what lies behind them. We decide it’s better for him if our toddler is left behind with a friend nine hours away in an entirely different state from where I now stand. But I want to hug him. He should have come too. My head starts to question the choice to leave him. No. It’s too much, he’s too little.
More words fill the still air…cardiac arrest, spinal injury, critical care…
Even 10 years later I can still see the woman in the RPA Hospital, the one on TV with critical care patients being rushed out of an ambulance on a gurney down the corridors to intensive care. She’s hunched over, the heavy fear for what lies behind those doors dragging down on her shoulders. Fifteen years. That’s how long we’d been together before that long October day. Half our lives. Jesus Christ, we were only kids when we met. I don’t even recognise my own voice it’s filled with so much desperation pleading with them to please do all you can to save his life. I want the doctors to understand. I have a son, I tell them, he needs his daddy. You have to do everything you can, everything.
It’s three more hours before we’re let in to see him. Hours of twisting my hands inside out of fear painting all kinds of fucked up visuals in my head. Doctors say something about stabilising him…they’re doing all they can. You just need to wait…we’re sorry.
Each word spoken in quiet hushed tones.
Critical care. Nothing about those words is comforting. I’m aware there is very little possibility of a positive outcome and it becomes a one-sided waiting game and we’re stuck staring down the barrel of all the ammunition facing us at once. It’s a time suspension, the outcome in the hands of the doctors doing every fucking thing they can, they put tubes into him, monitors are hooked up, a tiny patch is shaved into the side of his head, some of the nation’s best specialists gathered shoulder-to-shoulder in that unit fighting for him…we’re all fighting for him but only fate will decide what happens next.
Seventy-two hours in ICU will pass like mother fucking weeks.
Sitting beside his hospital bed, my own needs pale into insignificance. I won’t eat. I don’t want to sleep, I can’t leave him alone in that ward, my hands tightly wrapped around his reminding him of everything we’d been through and all we had ahead of us. Hoping beyond hope his eyelids would flicker and beautiful blue eyes would open and look at me. Please don’t go. Don’t leave us.
For three days doctors will come and go from the room, mostly looking down when they exit as if making eye contact will make it all the more real. A group of our closest friends and family have flown in and we’re all holding each other helplessly in a room just outside the ward. I’m not sure I knew the true purpose of friendship before that day when each of them dropped everything in their own lives and flew to be by his side, by my side, trying to hold me together as the seams began to split. They did it then and for all the years after. The very same friends who, to this day, keep true to their promise made to his dad as he lay silent on a gurney to keep watch over his boy. No gesture can ever repay them for our survival.
How can life be so fucking cruel…? One minute he’s there laughing with your son, standing right in front of you living, laughing, breathing…the next they’re telling you he can no longer breathe on his own, his heart no longer beats by itself. There is nothing more they can do.
It’s Sunday, 5.45pm…the last time I’ll ever see his face, touch his skin. We’re sorry. We’ve done all we can…
Before then October 8 was like any other day. It was a Monday, a Tuesday, a sunny day, a cloudy day, a shitty day, a fucking fantastic day…a normal day. Now it’s a reminder of loss and grief and just how fragile life is. The day my life and that of all our family, friends and so very devastatingly my boy, changed forever. Grief doesn’t let go when you lose someone you love so tragically, you’ll carry it around with you in a pocket inside your heart and even though you want to so bad, you can’t seem to let it go. A stray dog that keeps coming back scrounging around for a little bit more of you, your heart, your head always hiding in the shadows.
There will never be normal again. Before I could control my fear, with no more fear than a mum would for her son, or any person would have for their partner. Now it’s impossible to let go of the cloud of fear over my heart when The Vet is late home from a ride, or work. When the 12 y o travels on his own. When he tells me he wants to do exactly what his dad did. Fear’s a constant companion all because of that day. The day that not only took my husband, his daddy, but the day that took my normal.
If I could go back to the doors of the Intensive Care Unit and talk to the broken woman standing before the greatest fear of her life, gently slip my hand inside hers and tell her it’s all beyond her control, nothing she can do will change what’s about to happen. The decisions she’s about to make will rock her to the core and haunt her until her own very last breath, that everything she’s about to do, every choice she makes will shape the lives of everyone she holds close…but they will all be the right one. It’s out of your control.
The weeks and months after that day were the loneliest of my life. A shitload of firsts were about to hit us. Telling your son his dad has gone forever. Burying the person you were meant to grow old with. Keeping all his clothes in the wardrobe just so you can remind yourself of what he smelled like. Sneaking your sleeping toddler into bed with you because the cold side of the bed is too much loneliness to cope with. Saving his voicemail message just so you can pretend he’s still there. Rebuilding your life. Selling your house and letting go of dreams. Opening mail that’s still addressed to him two years later.
Time has given way to pain and hurt leaving space to learn from loss. Keeping the people I love close and thanking them every day for being the blood pumping through my veins. It’s shown me everything eventually does get better and we all can heal with time…but mostly, with love. That someone can come and pick your life up and put it back together, show you it’s possible to heal, to love again. Who has the biggest heart of anyone you’ve ever met but who has an incredible humility to still let you honour someone who had been in your heart before him. A man who not just loves you but loves your baby like his own, who will make your heart burst when he tells him he loves him and never differentiates between blood and heart.
A decade on and the same tiny whispy-haired boy who climbed up and lovingly placed a hand on his daddy’s casket as it was loaded into the hearse is two just months away from being a teenager. He never got the chance to know his daddy who adored his tiny boy in every way possible, who said nothing would ever take him away from the best thing that ever happened to us. Next weekend the 12 y o will travel to the place I never can. He’ll visit the mountain, smell the octane, feel the throat of engines reverberate through his little frame. He’ll watch as the cars crest the hill where tragedy struck but without the fear in the pit of his stomach I have. It will be about tracing his steps, loving what he loved and living what he lived.
I can’t change this past decade but it has taught me about love, completely emptied my life with loss but it’s reminded me about the importance of living too. In a few days, his closest mates will come together to celebrate a man who left our lives too soon. The same group of guys who sank beers at his 21st, our wedding and his 30th. Who were there by his side as he took his last breath. Who have kept the memories alive for me and for the 12 y o. Who will honour a mate, a brother, uncle, son and husband…a man who still leaves a gaping hole in our lives, on October 8, and every other day after it too, I Will Remember You…forever and always. God Speed, good man, god speed. #10yearsinmyheart Lov n’hugs, Lady MamaG xox
We haven’t met yet but let me introduce myself. Don’t let the name fool you, as my 12 y o likes to point out, I am no longer thirty-something but rather just tipped over the other side of thirty, the grey side shall we say. I am a fertility junkie who is constantly looking for my next fix. I’ve spent the better part of half a decade…1465 days to be precise, trying to do my very best not to think about getting pregnant. And failing. Almost as much as my body has failed. I have heard the words from every person I know, and some I don’t, that ‘if I just take a holiday, stop thinking about it, quit everything, relax, drink, stop drinking, cut gluten, eat less, eat more, chart my cycles, stop charting, take herbs, prick needles in myself and meditate’…that it will work.
It hasn’t. Well not this far anyway.
I’ve pricked, prodded, bled and bruised my way through nine, yes n-i-n-e failed IVF cycles. We’ve thrown more money into trying to get pregnant than most would on a small house. I’ve sat in my specialist’s office and gazed wantingly at the soft pastel-hued birth announcements with tiny smushy faces of Luca, Imogen, Charlotte, Nate and countless others, hoping one day we’d be able to proudly nestle our own progeny’s welcome among those teeny little miracles.
But so far we haven’t.
I’ve woken up on a gurney so many more times than I’d like. I’ve verbally abused strangers from behind the wheel of my car for such a simple mistake as not indicating. My family has suffered more than they’d like. I’ve felt like the most useless woman on the planet. I’ve plucked at every godforsaken feather of hope and still zlichity zero has worked. Odds you see, are not in my favour.
I didn’t intentionally wait to have another child. Tragedy took that chance from me. But lucky for me, Lady Fate delivered me a second chance in the most divine human that is my better half (The Vet) and we’ve been trying to create a tiny piece of us ever since.
Every time I’ve thought, ‘this is it’ we’ve waited for the call only to be left deflated and broken. Baron is not just a high-faluting dude in tights with loads of dosh, it’s a motherfucking curse.
There’s no need to bore you with my list of ailments – but I will say they are far reaching. As are the medications I’ve been prescribed to treat them. The first time I heard our specialist Dr Babies mention those blasphemous words ‘donor eggs’ I wanted to punch something. He knew from the start there’d be a high chance I would need to use the eggs from a much healthier, younger donor. I deftly ignored him. I, you see, have a biological child and that’s where shit gets real.
There’s the little mole we both have on our chest that we like to affectionately refer to as the cocoa pop due to its resemblance of the chocolate cereal. My mum has one in the exact same place. It’s our identifiable mark, I used to tell him. If we get lost, we know who you belong to, just need to look for the mole. Except I no longer have mine. A skin clinic offered to whip it off for me for free a few years ago and I obliged. It gets in the way of a bikini anyway.
There’s the fact he has my dad’s ears and slight build. That we have the same smile and our faces are the same shape. He has a big head circumference too, poor bugger. And yes, I know what you’re thinking…fortunately for me, heads are super pliable during the birthing process.
Mostly, there’s the fact he’s mine. I grew him from a miniscule itty bitty egg all of my own.
If I’m honest with you, yes it’s been hard, fucking hard to accept I might never be able to do that again. And I want it, we want it, more than anything in the world. Me, my beautiful, caring loving amazingly wonderful bloke, The Vet – who deserves to be a dad from the start more than anyone I’ve ever known, he’s been poked and prodded, and copped a beating as he’s rollercoastered through far too much hope and devastation. Then there’s our incredibly loving and kind-hearted 12 y o, who has so much to give as a big brother…
And that’s where you come in, Ms Donor.
Maybe you’ll look nothing like me. Maybe you won’t be 5 foot 10, blonde, love handbags, shoes, chocolate almond clusters and KFC skin. Perhaps there won’t be any identifiable features in the both of us. Maybe you’ll be everything I’m not and I think I’m okay with that. I’ve got friends with the most beautiful kids who don’t share their genetics or even their race, yet they are the most incredibly tight-knit family you could ever meet.
But what you will be is kind. I know this much. Because it’s quite simply one of the most generous things one girl could do for another. For me, like the other one-in-five at my clinic who are anxiously awaiting the loving generosity of someone like you, kindness is what we’re counting on. It’s all we have left.
I have given this everything I have. It has almost beaten me and if the odds are to be believed, you are our only hope.
To ask for your help is not easy. It’s letting go of one dream. But maybe too, it’s holding on to another…so here I am, just a girl with a wish hoping you can grant it…
With love, hope and the gentle wave of a Chinese brass cat (apparently lucky), Lady Mama Gxox
Maybe it’s a little bit ironic that one of my true ’80s loves Jon Bon Jovi would throatily beam through my car speakers to ‘Keep the Faith’ as I drove to my appointment with Dr Babies yesterday. I wasn’t scheduled to see him for another week but the clinic phoned and said he had ‘a free slot come up this afternoon, if I could make it’. I wanted another week. A bit of time to gather my shit together enough to face my real true fears. Like bungy jumping without the cord. It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen the only other man who is allowed to insert giant phallic-shaped probes into my lady bits and it’s taken almost that long to recover from what was our last ditch attempt at a viable pregnancy. By shit, I’m trying JBJ…but believe you me like trying to separate an egg yolk, that faith be slipping further from my grip by the fucking second.
Dr Babies doesn’t bullshit. He’s good like that. Doesn’t puff wind up my bum by telling me that if I keep on trying, hoping, praying like Tara Reid of a career resurrection, one day it will happen. He says I’ve/we’ve given it our absolute best shot. We’ve thrown everything we possibly could at it but just can’t seem to hit the bull’s eye. My poor wee eggies were in such a hurry to shrivel up and disappear it’s a bit like an apocolypse had hit my ovaries. says he hasn’t seen such a rapid decline in egg reserve. And that ain’t any stats to be proud of in any kind of sing-songy voice. What that means is there is not really a lot of hope…and sweet fuck all faith left.
Dr Babies knows I’m not up to any more general anesthetics or massive loads of hormones being pumped through my body. He says I am one of those who hasn’t responded well to copious amounts of medications. My body says no. Fuck off.
Instead it’s time to think of other options. We can try ovulation induction and IUI which are far less invasive and require zilch catheters to be inserted into my wrist. Totally up for that. We can keep going on the herbal remedies, the needles and the pilates. Which if nothing else, at least have me fitting all my old clothes again (major fucking bonnnnnus!). We can try and be healthy little vegemites and stupidly (or is that naively) optimistic. Whatever we do and however long we give it…reality will be the one to determine if we ever get to hold a tiny baby of our own.
There are so many fun facts I’ve learned this past four years. I have a massive brain explosion of shit I didn’t really need, much less want, to know. The biggest piece of shit I is the statistics, mostly my own. It’s disparaging to know that your body will let you down. The body you thought could help you and your incredibly beautiful husband create this tiny piece of you and him. The body who has done it before, changed your life and rewarded you with the world’s most amazingly fantastic mini human. The body that is meant to do what women’s bodies all around the world since the beginning of the human race are supposed to do. Procreate.
And fuck me, this is the hardest thing to ever admit to both myself and The Vet but it be getting far too close to the time to accept as much as I’ve thrown every ounce of my being into trying to make a baby of my own, that is part him and part me…there is now very little chance of that ever happening. My body has let me down. I am not the woman I thought I was. Our hopes are slipping too fast to catch. The times when my body would work like clockwork and created one of the most incredible mini humans on the planet, have gone. The dreams I’ve had of growing a little piece of us are just that. Dreams. Hopes and Faith. But those alone don’t make a baby. Eggs, viable ones do. I have jack shit of them. In the words of a 12 y o, fail…epic fail.
Now it’s time to accept the words I’ve tried so fucking hard to block. The reality that is so searingly painful it scorches my heart to even consider it…but if we want to hold a baby in our arms, it won’t be using my own eggs. And that hurts like all shit.
Having given birth to my own creation. Having loved him with all my soul and seen how incredible it is to identify yourself in someone else. Having wanted to give him, me and The Vet another person in the world that shares the same blood, the same genes, the same traits…a tiny human to link us all, the finishing touch on our own little nucleus of a family. To accept I can’t do what I want to do with every drop of blood inside me has stripped me bare.
No amount of wishing, hoping, wanting will change it.
So we are on the search. We are looking for donor eggs. I will join the one-in-five women in my fertility clinic for which using their own eggs is not a chance.
A few days ago I was saying goodnight to the 12 y o and something he said flummoxed me. ‘I don’t feel like I’ve got any of my dad in me, I’m worried that I’m not really like him that much…’ Oh child, I said. ‘Every teeny drop of blood in your body is so much the same as him. All your best bits – your beautiful personality, your kind heart, your generous nature and loving spirit, your cheeky chops and quick wit are all because of your dad. Every bit of you is good, but there are especially good bits inside you and those, they come from the man who made half of you.’
It’s true there is so much of his daddy’s blood running through his veins that keeps me both on my toes (due to his mean negotiating skills that never EVER give up), his ability to open a fresh bottle of milk when there’s a perfectly good half-full one beside it and his addiction to shoes (loads and loads of bloody shoes and they all look the same), but it makes me warm in my heart too when his beautiful loving soul comes out.
This wee soul-searching revelation is due, in large part, to incessant bullying that’s been plaguing his school year so far in his debut into high school. It’s all about fitting in and finding out who you are but what if you’re not entirely sure who that is? The little shit who is making his life at times unbearable clearly is also struggling to find his place in life and therefore finds the 12 y o the perfect target because he’s a good kid. He’s kind, generous, clever but he’s not cocky, conceited or conniving. There’s no meanness inside his soul which is why I tell him not to let the hurt in. Those other shits will get their own. Just stand back and give it time.
When I first became a solo mum I read a book written by Steve Bidulph, called Raising Boys. I’m not much into guide books for parenting, I believe you have to trust your instincts but when you’re flying solo, sometimes a bit of help doesn’t hurt. He says boys will need their mums until the age of about 4-6. After that they’ll begin seeking out a male role model for which to base their own life on. That male would usually be their dad. Except his was present only in spirit form.
Blood is a strong bond. The strongest. It’s what makes us who we are. But it can come in another form that doesn’t involve blood or biology…one that’s compiled entirely of love.
On Sunday night, The Vet came home from being away for five days. He’d been on a course about poking needles into animals and the 12 y o leapt up off the sofa where he’d been watching a movie, flinging himself into his chest full force. They hugged hard and he was so excited to see the man who has been the most exceptional role model in his life he could hardly get the words out fast enough, launching into a five-minute tirade of basketball facts, fishing tales and his shiny new kicks we bought.
I’m not sure if I tell him often enough but there is something entirely incredible about The Vet’s role in our son’s life that makes my heart do little flick flacks inside.
It might not be the blood pumping through their veins that binds the two of them but in every other way they are father and son. He loves him, provides for him, protects him and cherishes him. Even after the longest shittiest day at work, he still finds time to shoot hoops, help with his homework, give him advice and laugh over their stupid boy jokes that involve bulldozers falling out of trees. No I don’t think it’s funny either. Totally a boy thing. And generally be the most important person in his life. I love the shit out of watching the two of them do stuff together. Even if it means they both take each other’s side pretty much most of the time.
It’s entirely possible to love someone you didn’t genetically help create but that you came into their life when they needed you most.
You are more than an every day ordinary hero in his eyes, and in mine.
I love that you want to take him on a special lads trip on some African safari when he turns 18. That all you do and have in your heart always includes not just me, but him too. Equally. I love that you love him because he’s mine and a part of me but has now become a part of you too.
There’s not a human on this earth as wonderful and kind and beautiful and loving as you…well except for the one you’ve got a hand in raising.
Sometimes blood isn’t thicker than water…and I love you all the more for it my Superbloke. Lov’n’hugs, Lady MamaG xox
It’s her fault. She should’ve done something. Stopped him. Grabbed him. Why wasn’t she watching? How did he climb up and fall in? Poor parenting. Blame blame blame. Hate mail. Death threats. Blame blame blame. Online abuse. Protests. Blood boiling anger. More blame.
We are all devastated by the horrific and tragic ending that saw the death of beautiful Harambe, a 17-year-old western lowland endangered gorilla being shot at Cincinnati zoo this week. This majestical beast should still be alive. It should never have happened. But it did.
We are mourning the loss of this incredible species and everyone is an animal behaviourislist/zoologist/parenting expert/ zoo keeper with their vitriolic 10c worth to add to the shitstorm that’s brewing on social media like a southern hurricane.
Why didn’t they tranquilise him? He was protecting the child, not harming him. He wouldn’t hurt the child….ahh, hindsight its so much easier from the heights of an ivory tower isn’t it? I mean we know better right? Of course we do. Perfect, every single one of us.
Animal experts are there for a reason. What might seem like a simple solution to us could have held more harrowing results.
Yes, it was his habitat. Yes the child fell into it. Could they have risked a ‘wait and see what he does’ attitude. No. Unfortunately for Harambe, the risk to human life was greater than his own.
We want answers. Want someone to blame. To pay with their guilt…but really is a witch hunt for the head of the woman whose child was being flung like a rag doll by this beautiful primate the answer?
If the internet trolls are anything to go by, then yes. People want their blood. There are petitions for the little boy’s mother to have her child removed from her care. She’s a terrible parent. I mean she has to be, right?
Shit if it were any of us there’s no way in hell we’d ever let our kid out of our sight long enough to climb up into the enclosure of a 220kg wild gorilla. Not a shitshow. Fuck no, eyes in the back of our head, at all times.
The mother of this little boy should have been watching her kid. No question. He should never have been able to climb up there in the first place, this is true. But really…this much hate? Judgement? Persecution? Imagine if it was your child in there, his tiny body being tossed around. Would you want to ‘consider the options’? I suspect not. They had to act quickly. They did. The aftermath was catastrophic but was the only outcome to a tragic course of events.
She has suffered death threats, been stalked, harassed, abused – even her workplace has had to shut down their accounts due to a meltdown of tirades from angry revenge seekers. And look out if you share the same name as this woman, cos hell for leather you’re in the firing line too.
At times we get so bloody caught up in the clutches of a social media furore ‘damn them, they must suffer’ mentality you’d be forgiven for thinking we were back in the times of public stonings.
There’s no doubt about it this woman was fucking irresponsible and a beautiful animal died because of it. But deliberate it was not. She fucked up. No amount of public abuse and shaming from behind keyboards will bring him back to life. Time to stop blaming this mother who is only too glad her boy is safe and leave it well enough alone. Nobody wanted this outcome. Ever. #restinpeaceharambe
One in six. Those are the stats. So before you’ve even pulled off your knickers, you’re already fucked (don’t worry, the fun part of that sentence packed its bags and left long ago). Which means if you count on two hands all the women you know, chances are at least one of ’em is about to discover, or even worse, knows already that her chances of having a baby are more slim that Em Rata’s waistline.
It would seem that for some of us, our uteruses (don’t say that with a stutter, you’ll need a brolly) and ovaries were not put in our bodies simply to reproduce…but rather just to sit there and observe the very lovely non-reproductive work they are doing by instead delivering something resembling a very severe form of internal Chinese torture every month.
And for one of those one-in-six chickadees, them stats won’t be the first to deliver a flat out upper cut to the face. No siree, that’s just the beginning. Fertility is all about numbers from the very outset. You’ll be given numbers and stats about your age, about your egg count, about your hormones, about your weight, about your ovarian reserve, about the odds of anything actually working, about the age of someone’s sister/friend/cousin who miraculously cured herself and got pregnant, about how many days it’ll take to fertilise, about how many cells you need for a viable embryo, about how many days you’ll have to wait to know if your embryo took (which your hormone-ravaged brain will neurotically divide into nanoseconds). About how long until you can have your first scan, about the odds of you having a chemical/non-viable pregnancy, about weeks until your second, third, fourth and fifteenth scan. About the likelihood of some sort of birth defect. About whether you’ll have multiple babies…numbers fucking numbers not even Count Dracula would like.
As I type this I can hear a gorgeous model who, when asked if she has any baby plans in the near future, has all the grace and complacency of a 28-year-old with all the time in the world. ‘No way, not for a long time,’ she quips. And why wouldn’t she? She’s got #life #goals before she even contemplates reproducing. Oh to afford that decadent nonchalance once again. Take me back to my mid-twenties when I conceitedly and perhaps ignorantly thought pregnancy and children were my woman’s right and would be there waiting for me whenever it would eventuate that I should need them. I’d like to share my more recent stats with her, or even those of women I know much younger than her who’ve battled with infertility for years, to share my Mr Miyagee-like wisdom that the simple fact of the matter is, one-in-six is some pretty fucked up odds. But I’ll keep my shit to myself. No one likes a know-it-all twat so pull your head in.
Right now I’m in the midst of some sort of (totally wanky) reboot. After what was the terrible awful most fucking pitiful failed IVF cycle ever I told myself that maybe if I stopped drinking and instead swapped it for two cups of dandelion root tea (yes it tastes as shit as it sounds – think ground up gravel with a hint of horsesweat), swore off shit food (all except chocolate, that’s just sacreligious) and took up pilates three times a week, this little health binge might kickstart my body into thinking it could possibly have the teensy ensiest slither of reproductive potential if we just meet in the middle somewhere, have a quiet coffee and talk about our feelings.
Six months later and we’re still not talking.
There’s every chance that it won’t make a blind bit of difference but at the very least it’s seen me shed my ‘IVF kg’s’ that really weren’t welcome anyway so high bloody five to me (insert fairy clap here). And yes that is Drew in caramello you see dangling from my shoulder🙂
And I promise not to name it North, Rocket or Pear
I’m still completely haunted by our last ditch at a ‘super cycle’ which turned out to be an even shittier comeback than Basic Instinct 2. The emaciated little group of eggs that were so dusty they couldn’t even get themselves together enough to make anything even close to an embie has given me the worst kind of stage fright ever.
We have every intention of doing Ovulation Induction but I’m even more scared of that than I was of our last cycle. Probably because I was naiivly (stupidly) more positive than Charlie Sheen that it would work. There is only so much disappointment two people can take and it tears huge fat gaping holes of fear all through my heart that it might not work either. I’ve been procrastinating with a whole bunch of bullshit excuses – which while some are completely vaildated – most are just really full of shit. There was the trip to Hawaii, there’s the fact we’re selling our house, and then building a new one. Then the fact The Vet is ridick busy, stressed off his face and exhausted. And I forgot to take my multivites for two weeks. I could bore your face right off and write an encyclopedia of excuses but most of them would come back to the same thing…fear.
I would love my identity back. No really. I’d love for almost every conversation that comes out of my mouth not to begin with the words, cycle, failed, embryo or ovulation. If the little teeny fertility people who live inside my head and occupy most of the space could kindly just fuck off and leave some room for creativity, kind thoughts and normality to move back into their old room, it’d be real swell.
For the one-in-six fertile-challenged who read this, or to anyone just going through their own sort of shit on any level, to those who are stuck inside a pit of pain with 10 metre high walls, to those who feel swept under the current of fear, loss, grief and panic who find on some level my crazy bloody ramblings give you any sort of comfort or sistahood like warm hug and a hot milo…I sure be humbled. Love, hugs and supercalifragilisticexpelia-fucking-docious luck, healing and strength to anyone with numbers of any sort hanging over their head. Lady MamaGxoxo
As the night fell on what was my fourth Mother’s Day caught up in the fucktard clutches of infertility where I’ve watched everyone from Kimmie K to the gorgeous actual Duchess herself sprout out a couple of lil Angels, saints and compass directions, and friends, family and even hairdressers welcome their beautiful bundles… I could have so easily felt woe is me.
But bullshit to that.
I spent the day wrapped up in the safe clutches of my darling boys – all three ov’em and felt nothing but blessed as the holy mother Theresa herself. They spoilt me senseless with love (and a bloody beaut handbag) and I got to choose everything all day…much to their disgust as it did involve being stuck inside a shopping centre most of the day (they did ask, fools).
And when the 12 y o asked what’s the best thing about being a mum? I said, never take it for granted. I’m one of the lucky ones.
Everywhere I’ve looked lately – even in The Vet’s copy of bloody GQ mag for fuck’s sake – there is a big puff of black smoke choking those of us infertilee’s.
But there are the good stories too. There’s my very dear friend who spent many years before me strapped to the fertility coaster, years full of battle and heartache and fear, and is now about to welcome her fourth baby into the world – but this time, pure luck and rather than the need for medical intervention. And another girl I know who spent many light years, and so many more than me, locked in the grief filled stranglehold of babylessness and has just had her second daughter in three years. There’s the friend who thought both her daughters might never have the chance to have children of their own and now she’s got baby grandsons coming out her ears…and another very beautiful friend who thought she might never have another baby is now floating in a cloud of pink with her gorgeous second tiny baby girl.
Yep there are so many shit sodden tales to tell of fear and hopelessness and what ifs and when do I stop. But there are a whole lot of great ones too.
For all the new mummies, almost mummies and one day will be mummies…we all have stars we wish upon, some of is will just be waiting a lil bit longer for the one that picks us.
The best part about being a mum is that I am one. And you lil nugget will always be the best thing that ever happened…the brightest star in the night sky who picked me…
As I write this we three are bout to board a plane Hawaii-bound where I can take my leave of absence from stupid-ass fertility and just be loved. Aloha and lov n’hugs, Lady MamaG xoxo
Sure, being a mum is one of the best things a woman could ever do, it remains and always will be, my greatest achievement in life. But with the territory, along comes the shitful too. And so far I’ve learned there are two things you dread doing as a mum. Hell, there’s a giant elephant’s shitload more than two, I know, but right up the pointy end of things you’d rather pluck your eyelashes out one-by-one than do is 1. have your child go through grief and 2. be the one who has to tell them.
Nine years ago, when I was first taught the hardest lesson in MY LIFE EVER AS A MUM, I was given a book by one of my best friends, who’s also now a paediatrician and helped bring my baby into this world. What Colour Was the Car, Mummy? was a little book not more than 100 pages, with a yellow cover. Back then (and I doubt much has changed now) there was little to zilch written by young widows, and even less for young widowed mums. No road maps, I was just driving blind. It was about a doctor from New Zealand who had also lost her husband in a car accident when her baby was just days old. One of the questions her little boy asked some years later was ‘What colour was the car?’ That’s all he wanted to know. Not how it happened, when it happened or even who was involved, just simply the colour of the ‘other’ car who hit and killed his dad. A simple line with so much to say…a message of a child suffering from grief-far-too-y0ung.
As I began raising my own boy through his fuckful sea of grief, I soon realised there’s no way for a tiny mind to truly digest death as a real and finite thing like an adult would (or at least an adult might attempt to). He’d pick out tiny bits here and there, when was he coming back home from heaven?Who would wear his clothesthat still hung in the wardrobe for months afterwards. What would he eat for his dinner up in heaven?
It punches holes right in the middle of your heart when you see how a three-year-old kid doesn’t think the same way as a five, or even a 10-year-old. When you’re so little there’s just today and tomorrow. There’s blue cars and favourite cups. There’s Spiderman backpacks and your favourite little red shoes with the velcro you can do up all by yourself. There’s photos, books, pictures and newspaper articles. There’s videos and stories you hear adults telling all the time, sometimes in hushed tones so you can’t quite hear. There’s footage on the web and articles in magazines. Photos all around you, on every wall, of the person who left your life far too early. There’s tributes on a concrete wall far away from your home and the names of fans you’ll never know written on a flag. Little reminders and messages everywhere but you’re too little to see them.
A few years later when we lost our beloved family mutt, our golden retriever who’d made the journey over with us when we moved here, the then-six-year-old completely fell to pieces. He was devastated. I’d taken the dog to the vet in the morning and couldn’t quite deal with telling him the inevitable, so I lied. When he asked me why the dog was in the back of the car, I said he was just going to see the vet. ‘He’ll be fine,’ I told him. He wasn’t. He had to be put to sleep that night and my little boy never got to see him again. Grief had come back into his life, back again so soon he’d hardly had a chance to notice its absence. Maybe he would never forgive me or trust me again when I said everything would be fine. He still worries too much like his mum does and holds everyone close in his life, tight to his chest. He’s terrified of losing The Vet, or me. Grief will do that to a person. Even a little one.
When you’re a mum there are a gazillion tonnes of incredibly wonderful.
But some of the time there’s a whole lot of shitful too…
For every minute of these 12-and-a-half years I’ve had someone so much more important than myself to love. Someone who comes first above all else in the world, who I’d walk to the ends of the earth to protect, who I’d cut my arm off for if I had to. Someone to make me see the best in everyone and who with one single smile, can make everything in the world shine like gold…if just for a moment. For nine of those years I have hiked up the mountain of grief, I’ve waded through mud-like fear up to my fucking earlobes, felt every tinge of his pain and tried to wish it away…worried every minute of those years if he would be okay. It won’t ever stop.
And I would do every second of it all over again because I am his Mum. I am the person who delivered him into this world. Fuck it, I’ve done the bloody best I could. I’ve fought emotional wars and ridden great whopping tidal waves of fear…and so far I’ve managed to keep him bouyant and healthy and safe. We mums catch the falls…we wipe the tears and we fix the hearts. We protect our babies even well after they’re old enough to protect themselves.
These days there’s a rolling supermarket docket full of different things to worry about. It’s hormones and pecking order. Fitting in and being on the sharp end of bullying. It’s social media and popularity. Making the top team and scoring the most points. Exposure to drugs, alcohol and suicide…it’s wishing you could shrink them back down to itty bitty when all you had to worry about was how much formula they’d swallowed in their tiny bellies. Or if your baby was happy eating lamp cutlets and mushy peas for the nineteenth night running. It’s wanting desperately to make him so little I can carry him around on my hip, keep him up high enough so he’s out of danger. But I know I can’t.
This mother’s day I’m celebrating the incredible little life I’ve raised so far. I’m even more proud than a mother fucking hen of the beautiful 12 y o I’ve raised…to be kind, loving, thoughtful and generous. To think of others and always be considerate, charming and true to himself. I couldn’t ask for a better kid. You are my number one, lil nugget…lov yah guts forever and always. Keep being you. Lady MamaG xox
The proposal came somewhat unexpectedly one Friday night we were sitting on the couch watching telly, he passed me his laptop, said he wanted to show me some pictures…oh okay…right here’s you climbing this huge mountain in Nepal, and here’s you swimming underwater with dugongs like Jacques Cousteau. And here’s you in some far away land apparently searching for something. Just quietly, WTF does this have to do with me? Look closer, he said. At the end of the slideshow was a picturegram. I was clearly a few sheets to the wind because I still didn’t get it. In the middle, was a ewe, a picture of the royal wedding and him. Must I spell it out for you…? Click, click, click my brain catches up with my eyeballs and…hold the fucking phone, you’re asking me to MARRY YOU, shit yes!! Yessssssss. He even turned it into one of those photo books. Yes I did Marry the hell out of him. And no, there’s no more of him. Mine for keeps.
Our wedding day arrived about five months later on April 12, 2012. It was full of emotion, elation and an Indian taxi driver (don’t even ask). It was the most incredible day as The Vet kept his promise to the-then-8-y-o and I that he’d be in our lives forevermore, that he’d be my love, my life, my, our all…through good shit and bad.
I expected nine months later to be celebrating a little mini Vet. How wrong I was.
The first month, nothing. That’s okay it’ll take a while for everything to get going again. It had been a bloody long time since my body had thought about anything even closely resembling pregnancy. Two, three and four months later and still nothing. I knew something was up, I could feel it. After five months my smug ‘I’m totally fertile’ look was bitch slapped right off my face. You are infertile, the doctor told us. You have about a 10 % chance of having a baby. Exce-fucking-llent. How did that happen?
And ever since, like a dirty great fucking black cloud, infertility has been hovering over our married life. Pissing it down with fear and loss. It’s sat in the corner of every day, of every week of every month like a cockroach you just can’t stamp on. I really wish it hadn’t. That our life together so far had been free of the emotional turmoil I know you’ve suffered at the hands of my hormones. But like a blown out tyre we don’t know where it’ll end up.
When I was little I had pictures of brides blu-tacked to the back of my wardrobe door (between posters of Madonna and Sebastian Bach – do NOT judge). Partly because I loved fashion but I knew when I grew up I wanted to have a partner who was in my life and my kids’ life, something I’d missed out on – well a solid family life at least. I came from a bitterly divorced home where my parents words were not so much spoken as slung at each other at high speed.
I’ve learnt marriage isn’t just about cohabiting with another human. It’s having that someone who believes in you and all that’s different about you but all that’s bloody shit hot too. It’s listening to them go on about their shit and acting as though you want to hear it. Again. About letting them be right even when you know they’re not. They’re still right (okay, me). Ignoring their stupidity and encouraging their great. It’s not about material shit. That novelty burns off pretty quick leaving nothing but dust in its wake. You need the foundation of someone who never waivers his love, who’s thoughtful, loving, caring and respectfully stays out of the way when you’re ranting and swearing at the top of your lungs because the bench hasn’t been wiped properly, or some stupid fuck pulled out in front of you at the school carpark and nearly took out your wing mirror jesusbloodychristthatwasclose.
I’ve learned so much about my husband these past four years. I’ve watched him become an incredible father. A hero. A saint. I’ve seen him as the most compassionate and empathetic human to all those around him in his daily work, devoting long nights and weekends and physically exhausting himself. I’ve seen him brokenhearted every time we’ve witnessed a loss in our battle to make our family whole. But still every day a warm smile comes over his face and he tells me how much he loves me. Yep, that’ll do me.
I knew the day we met you were a keeper. Despite the fact your hours long dutch courage had you a little more conversational than you would normally be, you made my heart jump rope double-dutch style. You still do. Every. Single. Day.
To the man I’m lucky enough to call my husband I’m just as in love as the day we met. Actually no, even more. Thank you for being in my life you beautiful human, thank you for being By My Side, always. Lov n’ hugs Lady MamaG xox
This is my IVF diary. My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for four years now, and have a diagnosis of 'unexplained infertility'. We have finally reached the top of the waiting list for IVF - a form of assisted conception. I'm blogging about what happens as it happens, as a kind of therapy for me and as an awareness raising exercise of what IVF is all about.