Could it actually be…?

I’ve sat down to write this so many times. It’s not often I stumble…but this is something entirely bigger than me. 

I’m in a public loo, bent over myself in two, staring down at a small plastic test kit on the floor below me. Shit. I promised myself I wouldn’t do this. It’s only two days out from my bloods and we all know early testing is a bad omen. You don’t do that shit. Fertility rule number one.

But fuck it. It’s 3pm on a Monday. Something inside my head told me to go and buy a test. ‘You need to do it. NOW,’ it said. But I am so fucking scared. I’ve had few symptoms and the only ones I have had sure haven’t been good signs. Angry. Hot sweats. Headaches. Insomnia. But oh so much hinges on this. Our last two embryos. All we have left. Every-fucking-thing.  The Vet didn’t want to use them up at the same time but I argued (because I am so ass-tearingly determined) that we needed to hedge our bets, ‘this is our last chance we need to chuck ’em both in and hope like hell they stick’, I convinced him. But now I’m beginning to regret that as I wait…my stubbornness might have just got the better of me. What if we’ve lost it all?

Fourteen rounds. That’s how many times I’ve stood here like this. Staring at a plastic pregnancy test hoping like all fuck two lines appear in that tiny pee-soaked window. For thirteen of them our hearts have been ripped apart. All except the one time it did work four years ago – only to be cruelly taken from us seven weeks later – just when we thought we’d won, we’d be parents again. Our elation gave way to grief. Loss. Again.

And I’m nearly forty-two. Like bloody ancient. Vintage, but not in a ‘everything that’s old is cool again’ way – more like a shit, you are seriously moving toward middle-aged way.

One thousand four hundred and thirty nine needles. And I’ve felt every single one of those fuckers pierce my skin. Over ten general anaesthetics – of which I’m terrified one day I won’t wake up from. Four surgeries. Weekly acupuncture sessions with my needle lady. I’ve taken Potions, lotions and all kinds of fucked up gravel-tasting ‘tea’ that truly does resemble something from the side of a dirt road mixed in with a few twigs and berries. I’ve taken that many ‘natural remedy pills’ I actually rattle like a tambourine when I walk. 

I’ve had people tell me they can heal me. That it never worked before because I wasn’t seeing them. Bitch, please. I’ve been told to try this doctor, that specialist, another acupuncturist, a naturopath, stand on my head, pray, meditate, use mind control, fertility massage, this diet, that exercise…but in the end it all comes down to me. And only me. I am the one to hopefully some day carry another tiny being inside my belly and welcome it into the world. Another perfect mini human just like the 13 y o. No matter who else, what else, it’s all down to the baby caravan and I’ve made it as ready as I possibly can. There is so much pressure on me.

And if I’m honest with you, this shit has almost got me beat. Fertility, you’ve stripped me bare. You’ve opened up my soul and quietly, silently over the past five years, eaten it all away. The little strength I have left has gone into determination because by fuck I won’t let you win. I’ve been through bigger shit than this before and managed to escape intact, well almost. What you’ve done to my family, my beautiful human of a partner, how you’ve torn his hope and shattered his heart. What you’ve exposed our 13 y o to – far more than any child should have to see. How you’ve consumed our lives, my life for 1825 days – each week, each month throwing out tiny drops of hope only to turn them into shards of stabbing pain. I’ve been dangling from your clutches like a puppet on a shitting string all this time…even if I wanted to, I can’t escape you. And you know it. You get us all in that way like some narcissistic cult. 

The test, the test. I can’t look. I really can’t look. I scrunch my eyes closed tight. My nerves are at their peak, adrenalin gripping at my throat like a hand. I open them slowly and look down at the floor. As usual, I expect to see one line…but no, holy snapping duckshit it’s two. ‘Two fucking pink lines, two fucking lines…there’s two lines‘. Yes I am screaming at the top of my lungs. Yes I am in a public amenity. Yes I look like a bloody nutter but you know what…? I couldn’t even give one fuck. I’ve got two lines. I dance a merry jig. I want to run outside and scream, ‘I’m pregnant y’all, look at it, proof right there, two pink lines. We did it’. But I realise as much as in my head I’m playing out a scene from Hugh Jackman’s The Boy From Oz, I need to get myself the fuck together.

I tell no one. Not a tiny soul. I really don’t want to upset the gods, not this time.

Like everything in fertility, my elation is short-lived. After I get home three hours later, I decide I need to take another test…shitfuck it comes back negative. I desperately email Dr Babies who, god bless him, answers my nutter emotional pleas at all times of the day and night. He asks me to send him a picture of the test. The first one with two lines. ‘That’s positive,’ he says. ‘No mistaking that. If a child can see two lines, it’s correct.’

Yaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssss (insert air punch here).

It’s worked. Halle-fucking-luleyah. 

I need to tell The Vet. I’m not exactly sure you tell your husband who’s waited just as long as you for this so I set about making a photo video to send him of all we’ve been through – the heartache, the loss, the hope. It has to be something special, we’ve waited so long, we’ve wanted this so much. He will make the most incredible father – hell, he already is and if anyone in the entire world deserves this – it’s him…this whole journey has threatened to swallow him whole. At the end of the video, I tie a series of cards to our supermutt who gives him the news. The news we’ve waited for so long but been too scared to believe. We did it. Our battleworn hearts are healed. We are having a baby. 

I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited to say those words.

We decide it’s best if we wait another six weeks before we tell anyone but that means week-in-week-out I’ll go through the fear of losing our tiny baby all by myself. My visits to Dr Babies become more regular than they need to be, I’m so frightened the spotting, slight cramps, sleeplessness means I’ve lost our little miracle.

By seven weeks it’s time to go for the heartbeat scan. I hold my breath, I’m so scared. Last time we got this far only to find no heartbeat. I sit up on the gurney and nervously lay back. Dr Babies inserts the probe and brings the image up on the screen. He fiddles with the screen for a moment. ‘Ah, there we go,’ he says. ‘Heartbeat nice and strong, all looks good in there.’ We hear it’s faint thumpety thump like a tiny drum and The Vet squeezes my hand tight. Tears trickle down his cheeks. ‘It’s real,’ I whisper quietly. ‘That’s our tiny baby in there…we did it’.

But much as I want to be excited, elated, joyful I’m just too scared to let myself believe it’s true. Too much has been taken from us I can’t bare to have it happen again. All we’ve gone through, the loss, the heartache, the pain – quite literally. The many many thousands we’ve spent. The trips we haven’t gone on. The life we haven’t lived. Everything has been on hold until this point and I’m just too scared to be happy.

It doesn’t seem truly real until I see our tiny jellybean moving on the screen four weeks later. But even then, the journey, the fear that choking feeling doesn’t stop when you get two lines. It doesn’t stop when you hear a heartbeat. It doesn’t even stop at the 13wk scan. It will only stop when I hold her teeny self in my arms.

By 10 weeks and with a positive NIPT test, we decide it’s time to tell the 13 y o and our immediate families. I write a card for our boy and fix a tiny ultrasound picture to the outside with a paper clip. I tell him how kind and generous and thoughtful he is. How beautiful he is with little kids, how his heart is so full of love and that he’ll make a great big brother – one day. We give it to him in the car on the way up to see our family and he doesn’t quite realise it’s from me. He reads it slowly and then reads it again. ‘Mama,’ he squeals. ‘Mummy are you…’ he pauses before adding ‘pregnant…?’ He bursts into floods of tears and throws his arms around the front seat to hug me. I never knew, until that point, exactly how much he’d been wanting this too. How much this process has affected his life. My face fills with tears. ‘Yes buddy, we’re having a baby. You’ll be the best big brother ever.’ 

Today we are thirteen weeks. We’ve made it through the first trimester hump that tests the very faith of every parent. We can breathe a tiny sigh of relief between takes. 

And our tiny jellybean is a pink one.

As we begin to share our news with all those who have waited just as long as us to hear those words, the tearful, emotional and utterly elated reactions from friends and family who’ve traveled this enormous journey with us is nothing short of humbling. I, we, have a village of support and love that has truly kept us going and our gratitude is far greater than my words can ever say.

To the tiny precious jellybean growing inside me, sweet angel girl we have prayed you would come to us for so long. Never could there be a tiny being more wanted, more loved. I knew one day you’d be sent to us, this tiny star of hope so this I promise to you, baby girl: I’ll spend my life making you the best you can be. Your daddy will dote on and adore you and show you how a woman should be treated with love and respect, you couldn’t ask for a better, kinder human. And your big brother, well he’ll be there to hold your hand the whole way. Always watching out for you, teaching you basketball and fishing and always having your back. Big brothers are good like that. I’m still scared, oh how I’m scared, I just can’t help it because I want you so very much. Stay safe in there, keep growing and wriggling and making our hearts full. Until we get to meet you…with all our greatest love, your mama, your dadda and your big bruv. Xoxo

Last words…

October 6, 2006 also fell on a Friday eleven years ago. It was an overcast day, scattered showers cloaked with deep grey cloud covering the mountain and stretching down her winding roads. 

I didn’t know it. He didn’t know it. Our little boy didn’t know it but the day before would be the last time we ever spoke. Words which might have at the time, seemed routine, insignificant, normal…the same ones we so often use…words that will forever be etched in my mind. 

If only we knew those would be our Last Words. We’d cram everything we possibly could into one last call. Years and years of words tightly bound into one last conversation where you’d say the most significant thing you could ever say to anyone. You’d hope and love and be grateful for all you’ve had together. 

You’d say remember the time we did this, you’d say thank you for giving me a lifetime of memories to keep in my heart forever. You’d say I don’t want to do this without you. You’d say don’t go. Please don’t go…

We’d been at a restaurant in Noosa that evening, the one before blackness. Before grief. Before the end of that life. I called just like I always did. Asked him about his day, how qualifying went, how he felt about the car. Maybe we spoke about something quite mundane that I wouldn’t remember eleven years later. Then I handed the phone to our little boy. His face lit up. He so loved his daddy. ‘Hello my daddy, you go fast in the racecars?  I did lots of unders in the pool today,’ he said excitedly. 

Our almost-three-year-old had just mastered the art of confidently being able to jump off the side of the pool and swim under water. And he was pretty darn proud of his efforts. He chatterboxed his way through a few more possibly indistinguishable sentences before signing off with ‘loveoo my daddy’ just as he did every day. Just like he’d done the night before. Just like we thought he’d do the night after…

It’s a rule in our family, no matter what, how you’re feeling, if you’re going away for a short time or a long while. Pissed off or happy as a lizard in the sun, you tell the person on the other end that you love them. Always. 

I don’t know what words were said on the other end of the phone that night and I know the 13 y o would so love with every bit of his heart to hear that last conversation, his dad’s Last Words one more time but I know what he said to his boy would almost certainly have been ‘I love you too, buddy’ because there was truly nothing he loved more. 

It would be a gift, one of the most treasured, to know but we don’t. We get no warning when those we love are ripped right out from our lives so suddenly, so tragically there is no time before, only after. 

Never am I reminded more of how important it is to love and to tell the people in your life how much you love them than this time of year. These three days – today, yesterday and the day before eleven years ago, I said those words so many times beside his hospital bed as he began to fade out of this world. 

Today my heart is heavy with the ache of loss. I know he misses him. We all miss him. We wish we could hear those Last Words again and again and again. If only. Fly high, most beautiful soul, Didley you will be in our hearts forevermore. Lov’n’ hugs Lady MamaG xox. 

It’s our one job. To keep them safe from harm…

In June last year, tiny helpless six-month-old baby boy Chayse Dearing’s unresponsive body was found at a unit in Victoria. After smoking Ice that morning with her partner, Dwayne Lindsay, Chayce’s mother, Michelle, had gone out shopping, leaving her baby in the care of her partner of three months, the soulless monster and Ice addict who would then go on to mercilessly take his life later that day.

There had already been reports to child services of Chayse’s squalid living conditions and the drug use in the home some months before. But by the time Police were called to the unit where they found his tiny injured body and rushed him to hospital there was little that could be done to save him. The life support was turned off on his helpless little body two days later, bruising indicating he’d been possibly strangled, beaten had old injuries to his neck and genitalia and traces of Ice were found in his urine. His mother failed him. The one person who was meant to keep this beautiful baby boy safe from harm, stood back and did nothing.

A couple of weeks back I was sitting in Dr Babies waiting room next to a lovely woman and we soon started talking about what had brought us both there. We each had stories from the battlefields – as is the case with infertility, us girls, we band together and share our battle scars often so deep and painful and ongoing, so we know we’re not alone. She was a bright and bubbly lass (though I suspect that to be a front disguising her deep-seated pain hidden beneath…I know it all too well myself).

She’d just been hooked up to an intralipid IV and was awaiting the transfer of her 14th IVF cycle. She’d been through the wringer this girl, like bad. After initially starting her path into artificial reproduction at 30, she’d first used her own eggs and her husband’s collection. Somewhere along the line she’d had a few pregnancies but lost them fairly early on.

Five years into it, they discover her husband has testicular cancer which cruelly rules him out as a contributor to their hope of a family.

Soon it became clear using her own eggs wasn’t an option either. ‘Soul sisters,’ I tell her. ‘Me too’. You can learn about a person inside 15 minutes if you just give them a gentle ear to listen. She went on to have various rounds of IVF – using donor embryos – but all had failed too.

Though I’ve no idea how, she brightly tells me ‘that’s just all part of it, hey. You do what you have to do.’ Over the past two years this incredibly generous woman and her husband have also been permanent carers to three foster children from an abused home situation. ‘They call me mum but they still refer to their birth mother as their ‘real mum’,’ she says. I bristle. These kids – all under five – still see their birth parents, despite the fact they’d been abused in their care – regularly every week, due to government laws.

‘They’re good kids,’ she says but they have social issues stemming from their upbringing. ‘We try our best with them and are hoping for permanent placement. I see them as my own kids’.  It must be hella hard on her facing the emotional demands of fertility treatment as well as raising someone else’s kids and all the while lodging with the courts for a permanent safe and healthy home for them to grow up in. This chick is a circus qualified juggler with all she’s trying to balance.

‘It’s like a ready made family, so if this all doesn’t work out, we’re lucky we have these kids in our life,’. And they too are lucky for angels like yourselves who pick up the broken pieces of our society and help put them back together.

The cannula from her arm begins slowly feeding the intralipids through and she nervously awaits her transfer upstairs in a few hours time. It’s her last ditch, she tells me. No more options after this, the proverbial tank has run empty.

We talk for what seems like hours but really is only minutes learning about each other’s losses and all the different shit we’ve tried – from fertility yoga to naturopathy, acupuncture and natural remedies. We’ve both been enticed, in our vulnerability, into every single con that’s professed to ‘heal our infertile useless bodies and still ended up right the fuck back where we started, though with considerably less coins jangling in our pockets.

We laugh about how many world trips we could’ve gone on, or the sports cars we could’ve bought with all the gazillions of dosh we’ve dumped into our plight. She tells me their journey that spans a decade has had the odd break.  ‘At one stage we took a year off and just travelled, tried to attempt a normal life again. Took the elusive break everyone says you should so you’ll just fall pregnant without thinking about it…But it didn’t take long for us to come back and kept trying.’

At 39, younger than me, never having had the gift of her own kids this woman is a battler like none I’ve ever met.

We’ve been talking so much neither of us has come up for air and my new fertility friend hasn’t noticed her phone ringing. ‘Shit, it’s the lab,’ she says looking at the missed call register on her phone. We both know there’s only one reason the lab would call before a transfer and it sure as shit ain’t to wish you happy fucking birthday.

I try and reassure her it could be anything, maybe they’re just checking you’re on time I say. But we both know that’s full of shit. Her husband has called too. It can’t be good news.

When she finally makes contact with the lab, cannula still hooked up to her arm, they deal her the cruel blow. The embryo didn’t survive the thaw process. Her last hope vanished into thin air. There will be no transfer it’s all been a wasted effort. Hope is gone. ‘Oh well, guess that’s it then, that’s me done,’ she says far too upbeat that I can’t help wonder if like me, she’ll get inside her car and just scream and lose her shit till the tears stop coming. ‘Now I can go home early,’ she says. But Despite her bubbly smile she will be feeling utterly crushed. ‘At least I have my three kids, let’s hope now we get to keep them forever.’

This is such a fucked up cruel destiny. For ten years she’s tried to realise her dreams but life can stand back and slap you right the fuck in the face. Unfair. Not even a word worthy of her pain but it is just all so bloody unfair.

I gently rub her arm and in a fleeting moment tell her, ‘please don’t give up…you deserve this, keep fighting, keep going. The world needs better parents like you.’ She smiles and makes her way towards the exit.

I’ll likely never cross paths with this mightily strong and kind soul again but I hope one day her wish comes true, in the meantime she’s doing her best to make a difference so there are less utterly tragic stories like that of Baby Chayce’s…may his tiny soul now be riding high with the angels… Lov’n’ hugs Lady Mama G xox

a million gazillion…

‘How much do you really want this…like how much of you wants this to happen?’ That’s what some chick dared tread very boldly on shaky ground to ask me the other day. Well I don’t know, you know the stuff that goes in your gob and fills up your lungs, what’s it called again…air, yep, that’s it. Well think about how much you need that and you should have your answer. Or thereabouts. What the fuck? Is she kidding?! Is she actually the holly-mother-of-god bloody well kidding? How much do I want this…I don’t think it’s possible to ask a more fuckass question, nope it really isn’t.

How much do I want to be sitting here in a day hospital with a harpoon-sized needle hanging from my arm feeding me shitty synthetic soy intralipds for the next four hours. For the fourtneeth time. Not all that much thank you please.  And I dear say, neither do the other five women in for the exact same reason as me, all of us hooked up to IV’s, liquid dripping through our veins like something out of Mad Max’s breeding programme.

How much do I want this….

Okay so let’s go right back to the beginning. Long ago, oh so long ago, I met this super good-looking, super-kind, super-smart and super-funny rooster and I thought, ‘yep, I’ll keep him for myself’. Childbirth, or even my reproductive system couldn’t have been further from my mind at that very point…though I may have secretly suspected he would breed some very high quality genetics. Back then, my eggs might’ve been a darn sight healthier than they are now and my body as a whole, less unaffected by the fourteen hundred-odd needles full of hormones among other things, invading it over the coming years.

After what can only be described as the most. incredible. day. ever. (sorry Kimmy, but my day shit all over yours and I’m still with my bloke) that was our joining of souls a couple of years later, followed by the ceremonious binning of my birth control stash the very next day…it was game the fuck on, sista. Hello ovaries in there, time to wake up from your long-term slumber and do your best. Strap on your rollerblades and spit out eggs like torpedoes, girls.

Hello, hello, wake up give me some of that good shit i know you’ve got in there. You’ve done it before and hit the jackpot. You can so do it again. Get in now and we’ll throw in a set of steak knives absolutely free. But yeah, nah. Ovaries, womb and general girlie bits decided around this time to turn on me like a disgruntled Bachelor contestant and have continued to do so for the past sixty months…ain’t nobody getting a rose in here.

Which is why I’m sitting in an orange vinyl chair, tears streaming down my cheeks, waiting for the last 100ml to slowly drip through, cold as fuck and desperate for a pee but holding on so I don’t have to wheel my drip into the loo with me and awkwardly park myself on the throne one-handed, careful not to step on the plastic cord and rip out the canula that’s taped to my inner arm. Because yes I want this. Yes, I’m willing to go through hell and back trying everything womanly possible and then some. Dr Babies made a brief appearance to insert my needle (thank the fucking lord cos my veins have all but collapsed) before telling me he’ll see me in the morning. ‘Yep, here’s to hoping these lil fighters are the ones,’ I tell him and very likely, myself too.

Five years ago I married the man I wanted to be in mine and the 13 y o’s lives forever. His heart – generous and kind to a fault, his compassion and empathy to want to help and to heal all he encounters, his ability to keep going day-after-day when he’s more worn out than a brothel’s washer and still be by my side with a hug and a smile, is absolutely every reason why I keep coming back for more. Every fucking reason.

IMG_0309

my boys…right back at the start

But me too. I want it. The 13 y o wants it. Even the gorgeous golden supermutt wants it.

And sometimes I’m not as strong as I want to be. But fuck it you go back for more and more and more and more until you get what it is you’ve been hoping for all this time. So we’re putting two in…if we get so lucky as to have two lil’ frosties safely come out of the fridge and hatch their way into the petrie dish that is, they’ll both go in.

Eleven days from tomorrow.

This time next year, there is nothing I want more than to be holding a teeny little human, our baby. More than the air in my lungs. More than all the tea in China. More than every single thought that’s occupied my headspace since that day five years ago. How much, you say? More than everything and then a bit more…lov’n’hugs, Lady MamaG xox

 

 

 

 

 

Ever heard of facon? Nope, me neither

As I sit here drinking my velvet almond mylk hot chocolate (yes that is milk with a y) and a side of acai bowl – the contents of which I’m not certain I can even identify (and I ignorantly refuse to pronounce correctly because it will always be ak-kye to me) – to genuflect on my week gone by, I breathe a rather big sigh of relief. And not because I won’t be consuming any dairy this morning.

It’s highly possible I’ve turned into one of those fucktards who omits dairy from her diet in the name of ‘inner health and well-being’…well until tomorrow at least when I return to my wicked ways of indulging in dairy, gluten, sugar and actual real-life bacon.

Unbeknownst to me I’ve entered a non animal Bi-product eatery because I liked the look of it. Pardon me but what on god’s fucking earth is ‘facon’?! There are two things certain in life – death and nothing ever comes close to tasting as good as bacon. But nonetheless I attempt to suck it up and make like I belong here among all the other free-spirited yoga junkies sipping their vegan smoothies. Namaste to the almond latte lovers on my left who ironically look like they could hold together the cracks in the brick walls with the fillers pumped into their noggins. At least you’re not eating any animal bi-products, loves.

The reason I’ve come to this weirdly wonderful little possie is because I’m early for my acupuncture session so need to kill a bit of time after the madness that is our new school drop off. It’s been an entire week since I actually thought I’d vomit from nerves watching the 13 y o, school blazer fifty sizes too big because I refuse to buy a new one every year n’ all, walk through the gates of his new school. Fuck me I don’t even remember being that afraid for him when, as a giant schoolbag with a teeny pair of feet and hat sticking out beneath, my boy started his first day of prep.

Starting a new school, halfway through the year when you know a grand total of three other kids and you’ve spent your entire prior schooling at the one place, has to be right up there with delivering an inauguration speech naked on the fear level scale. But bless the champ, he strapped his new bag to his back, flicked his stiff new akubra on his head and darted off toward the grounds (that look just like a scene out of Harry Potter) without so much as a look back. Off he goes. Not a care in the world.


Proud much? Hells to the motherfucken yes I was and and still am, just quietly. A few hours after drop off, my nerves getting the better of me, I text to ask how his first day was going. The response not indifferent to any typical of my 13 y o, a simple one-word reply but enough to settle what was fast turning into a severe case of neurotic mother syndrome. ‘Awesome’. That’ll do me thank-you-please.

Over the past week he’s gained a few new mates, picked up a spot on the basketball team, scored a great mark on his first assignment and slotted right into his new school as though he’s been there since the beginning. Every day now, he’s happy about something and as a mum that’s all you really ask for. I’ve got my boy back, unscathed. And shit it feels good.  

The kid’s resilience is nothing short of fucking stupendous. He’s faced some pretty hard shit storms in his life, been dealt a fair share of heavy blows but he picks himself up and plants the smile right back on his face. As if you didn’t know already but boy, you make my heart sing like Julie Andrews how darn proud I am of the wonderful small human you are. It’s my job to look out for you and sometimes I worry so much I think I can feel the wrinkles come out in my face but even though there’s haters who will try and break you down, destroy your spirit, always know there only needs to be room in your heart for the good.

My vegan hot chocolate – which I’m not gonna lie, actually tastes a shittonne better than it sounds – has come to an end so I thank my tattooed hipster waiter and head for the door, quietly fairy clapping myself for joining the ‘movement’. My needle lady, also a non-dairy consumer tells me I look thin and drawn out. Must be the vegan shit I just ate, I tell her. No you’re just very stressed you need to relax and not worry she says. Hmmm, I silently eye-roll to myself, yeah sure.

We agree to boil up some more of her ‘compost herbs’ of which I must dutifully take daily (but very rarely do) in the form of dirt-coloured tea for the purpose of diminishing the stress in my life. Good luck with that.

We are just about to embark on our 14th – yes Ma peoples’ fourteen – round over the next few days and something in me says I have to keep going even though my resilience has all but faded into non-existence. We’re back to the choices of medicated or non-medicated round. One embryo or two embryo transfers. Do we start now or hold off until the stress dies down? Who the fuck we kidding that ain’t never gonna happen. They’re decisions we can never know will actually make one blind bit of differenc but we still have to believe one day, might.

So I must be the little engine that could. Take some of my own advice I seem to dish out but not always be able to follow. Get up and try again, not be scared, keep climbing and maybe one day I’ll eventually make it to the top, well I sure as fuck hope so. Lov, luck n’ wonder, Lady Mama G xox

Day 1825 of waiting…

Fuck I love it when people have opinions. Especially ill-informed ones. I happened upon one the other week while recovering from an umpteenth surgery to fix my ever depleting shitful fertility which has now left me with three handy little holes in my abdomen – should they be required for three point-chain accessory at any stage. Unfortunately I’m the girl who tends to vomit like the kid from Poltergeist on waking from a GA which is why the anesthetist should’ve remembered to give me some of that really good shit to stop me hurling ma’ guts up every five minutes. Not only was I discharged clutching my little white fold-up vom-filled plastic sleeve like Queenie’s handbag but for the following 18 hours, could. not. even. hold. down. water. Fun times specially coupled with having your insides flipped around, flushed, stripped out and cut away.

But I digress…our focus here was on a thread I found (between my cursory chucks) on one of the (possibly far too many) fertility groups I follow where a bolshy young upstart who couldn’t have been more than 22, took it upon herself to declare to its followers they should all be adopting and fostering, fertility and IVF is not a right, that they needn’t be defined by motherhood, nor should they carelessly be adding to an overcrowded population by haphazardly injecting their wombs with countless embryos they’ve ‘bought’. Blessed be the thoughts of the ignorant. Whaaaat? Girl, you be a brave lil poptart. Floods of  fury erupted in the replies as they started to spread like a western bushfire threatening to put her right back in the little glass house she crawled out from. These are women you do not fuck with.

I’m sure there are plenty who might themselves wonder why the fuck someone like me would expose her body, mind and every inch of her soul into the abyss of fertility treatment…lemme shine a little light. While adoption would certainly be an option – though a highly unviable one given the amount of children adopted in Australia each year falls below 200, a 75% decrease over the past 25 years – there are two things preventing me from doing this. One is the law (incredulously) states there must not be more than a 39-year age gap between mother and baby. Oops that’s me out, sista. The second reason why I can’t just ‘go and adopt myself a kid like you see in the gossip mags’ is you cannot be undertaking fertility treatment and also actively pursuing adoption. Sorry kiddo but it’s one or the other. And sadly for us, bringing home a baby in a muslin sling after a visit to Cambodia, Malawe or Thailand certainly doesn’t work quite the way you might think. Not unless your name rhymes with Pangelina Solie.

You name it, I’ve got it, honey. Low egg count, low egg quality, endometriosis, blocked pipes, high NK cells, and coupled with motility issues, we are basically what you’d call well, shall we say completely fucked fertility-wise. We need all the help god – and Dr Babies – can send. Which is why I went in for another laparoscopy to remove the creepy noxious weed endo spreading its nasty self across my uterus, as well as a hysteroscopy, curette and flushout of the pipes – a full panelbeating before our last-ditch attempt at our final pair of frosties who are waiting ever so patiently in the freezer to meet their mama n’ daddy.

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Sadly, nothing is as simple as a choice when it comes to fertility. Those of us on this ride have already been through every possible tangent you could think of. Including sleeping with a fertility stone blessed by the ancient monks of Nepal wedged under my mattress. And that’s exactly why opinions like why someone would undertake fertility treatment in the first place burns like a motherfuckering hot poker. It isn’t because we ‘put other things first’, nor is it because we’d like to ‘plan when our baby comes’ like an online shopping order. IVF is an absolute last resort for anyone. Full. Fucking. Stop. It isn’t a process any of us wish to go through.

Having now been a card-carrying member of the infertiles for over 1825 tedious ass-shitting days, having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying every different kind of way a hundred times over to make my body go back to how it was, having lost all hope for what keeps the very evolution of the world going. Losing our only glimmer of hope at just 7.5 weeks. And then being helpless as our dreams get sucked away in a vacuum of pain. Having my body and my very existence overpowered by 3462 needles, fucked up levels of hormones and steroids pumped into my body and emotions I didn’t even imagine possible. Thirteen attempts on a high-speed rollercoaster with no breaks. Dealing with the enormity of loss upon loss upon loss upon loss. And quietly yet reluctantly pocketing a grief no one else unless they’ve been there themselves, could ever begin to comprehend.

Nope you have absolutely no idea which is exactly why my reply to what you think girls like me should be doing didn’t come in the form of venom – though what you wrote infuriated the living shit out of me. It is merely a hope if and when you reach the crossroads of motherhood in years to come…you not be afflicted by the absolute curse that is infertility. It is not a fucking choice. It is not an option. It is our only hope. And one that keeps on being taken time after time. Sucking you in with a tiny bit more only to snatch it back off you in a hit and run two weeks later.

Every month of my life over the past five years has been methodically split into two week blocks – the first spent dreaming of implantation ‘twitches’ and possible onset of nausea. The second waiting for the day to come when we can start all over again. I literally live in fortnightly episodes that even if I wanted to, I can’t escape from. No lovie, it ain’t no way to live and yes, yes, you’re right I don’t need to be defined by motherhood but if you have a want for something so deeply embedded in your heart…if you’ve so often dreamed of your little soul, smelled him even, seen her giggle. Fought so hard to keep yourself from falling into the fucking pit of depression that keeps on appearing at your feet at the end of each month. If you’ve ever questioned what the fuck you did in a past life to keep getting dealt so much disappointment…maybe you might understand.

Nothing about IVF is a choice. You get all those taken off you the minute you find out you can’t do things yourself anymore.

Maybe find someone else to pick on…cos we sure as fuck do enough of that to ourselves…love n’ hopeful hugs to all ma’ girls out there who know what 264 hours feels like, Lady MamaG xox

Wtf did I ever do before…?

Thirteen mother’s days. No actually more like 4745 of them. Before I turned into a master finder of all things lost. Before I turned into a chef, a knower of all things Wiggles, a Lego master builder and nerf bullet dodger. Before I became a Viewer specialist of Nemo, then Cars, then Toy Story…all the way to Madagascar and beyond. 

Before I turned doctor, nurse, diet expert and teacher. Before I turned insomniac and stealth listener. Before I turned psychologist and maker of all things right. Before I turned cycling expert, advanced transformer repairer and costume designer. 

Before I turned storyteller, imagination consultant and mindful creativity enthusiast. Before I turned cross country marathon running spectator guide, goal specialist and singular cheerleading squad…before I turned NBL league researcher, Jacque Cousteau level oceanologist and mechanical expert to rival a Top Gear producer. Before I heard my name called three hundred gazillion and forty two times a day…before all of that plus a shit tonne more…what did I do? No, honestly what. The. Fuck. Did. I do?

Are you nodding your head knowingly? Yeah cos Today might be Mother’s Day butas mums be well aware, so is every other day. 

Before I knew my name would become the second most used word in the English language I might have relished the time I could take a pee in peace without having to find a missing item of school uniform at sparrow’s fart on a weekday morning. I might very well have enjoyed eating whatever I wanted at a time closer to midnight than mid afternoon. I could even have skipped round the supermarket flinging things in my trolley like tofu, anchovies, Camembert and fois grad with gay abandon laughing to myself at my freedom of food choices. Not even a what is that to be heard. I might have slept acrossways in my bed kicking left and right whenever I felt like it. And taking all the pillows. 

Yep. Probably. I could have done all those things. And more. I really don’t know. Because I don’t remember. Who of us ever could? My life before I got this job all but deleted from my memory files…the least paid, most demanding, most heartbreaking, most terrifying, at times even frustrating… yet utterly most rewarding and prideful gig a girl could ever ask for. I have no idea. Time before motherhood has stood still, eclipsed by the enormity of the role I now hold so dear and have done my best to keep these past thirteen years. 

Dunno if I’m good at it. That’s the thing with this job there ain’t no handbook, no meeting with the board to discuss your progress just a blindfold and a hand grenade then you’re set off into the mummyhood wilderness. All alone, carefully negotiating the track so as not to detonate. 

I’m pretty sure I was told it’d get easier but I think they were full of shit. Or they’d never heard of teenagers. Just like when they said the sleep loss would eventually make way for sleep ins. There are some in our household copping a lazy Sunday morning only trouble is it’s not this someone. Even when the lights go out my mind is up late working in the moonlight, worrying, worrying.  

Having now spent a good half a decade trying to convince my body it really truly does have the capability to produce another of these somewhat demanding, yet a whole lot incredible miracles I wouldn’t trade a single second of it. Not a one. Every day has brought a little bit more sunshine into our world I never thought possible. From the times I’d pick up a giggling toddler from his cot to hugs that now squeeze my shoulders in tight…to being told I’m the best mum in the world is praise enough. Even if it is before his request for a fourteenth set of new kicks. 

Just to be given the chance to do it all over again even just once would make my heart even more full than it already is. And oh please oh please Genie, today more than any other I’m asking this one wish…

I’m totally Celebrating the mini human I part created and maybe just one day real soon, might be given another super creature to cherish and you betcha little ass I’m chuffed. Happy Mums Day to the already’s, the passed over’s and the hope-to-be Mama’s out there. Lov’n’hugs always, Lady Mama G xoxo