Dear body: I forgive you…

You’ve been my sidekick for the best part of, okay well actually, for four entire decades now. We haven’t always been the best of besties and lately I’ll admit I’ve been blaming you for a lot of shit. It’s no secret we haven’t seen eye to eye or even seen each other at all. 

You’ve let me down. You’ve changed. You’ve stopped doing the things you used to let me do so easily without even blinking an eyelid. You’ve made me bat shit crazy at times and sent me almost to the brink, dangled me over the edge with nothing but my fingernails to hold on with. 

You’ve made me know things I didn’t want to know. Forced me to ‘discover’ so much shit about myself that at best is an overshare and at worst is fucking downright cruel. 

 Yet now we’ve become closer than we ever needed to be and I fucking hate it. You share far too many of your monthly secrets with me. You fire out hints of happiness and then just as quickly yank the buggers out of my hands before I can hold on tight enough to believe in them. 

  You make me feel so utterly inadequate sometimes I wonder what the fuck I did, or who I mistreated in a past life to end up with you. 

       There’s been far too many nights I’ve woken up, or not even made it to sleep for worrying about your stupid self so damn much. Shit there’s been moments I’ve been so angry I’ve thought I needed to harm you a little bit just to snap you the fuck out of it. But of course I haven’t. I can’t. We’re too close for that. 

Last weekend I went to a function for spinal injury research and I listened. I drank in the stoic atmosphere as an incredibly courageous group of people – those who’ve had a much more difficult relationship with you than me – shared their humbling but tragic life stories of being confined to wheelchairs, of being involved in horrific accidents. Of having their lives irrevocably changed involuntarily. 

I sat intently listening to a woman tell of her life spent conquering battles after an accident almost all but took her hopes of becoming a mum. She’d spent years trying before and continued to traverse the IVF terrain for seven years after the accident and then finally falling pregnant naturally to a healthy baby boy

She could breastfeed her beautiful bundle but she couldn’t hold him. She managed to bring a life into this world but will never run, climb or carry him to the swings. 

But she wasn’t looking for sympathy just help. Help for her and the most amazing group of talented scientists, specialists and researchers who make it their life ambition to cure spinal injuries. It was both humbling and awakening to hear her’s and those of her compatriots’ plight. It’s something close to my heart having lost someone I loved with all my heart from a spinal injury. 

So I’m sorry, Body. I’m sorry for blaming you and being so angry at you all the time. You’ve tried your best and you’ve been the pilot at the helm this whole time. You haven’t always let me down and the times you have I can forgive you for. You’ve carried and brought into the world the most spectacular mini human in the 12 y o. So thank you. At least when I feel like shit in the morning I still get to put my feet on the ground…to live my life mostly like normal. There’s an awful lot of people who don’t get that choice. 

Promise I won’t take you for granted again. For the team at the Griffifth university Spinal Injury Research thank you for not just the incredible job you do…but for opening my eyes and making me forgive myself. Lov n’hugs, Lady MamaG xox

You just have shit luck…

At least you have one. A throwaway comment but it sliced like a box cutter when someone said to it to me last week (after I’d already told them our last cycle had failed, but she’d seemingly forgotten). ‘At least you have a healthy boy, you should be happy with that.’

Shit, lucky you told me because had you not pointed out this fact to me I would have completely forgotten I gave birth to the world’s most perfect tiny human twelve years ago and who has been and always will be the absolute light of my life ever since. Just as well I have people like you to tell me the most blindingly obvious stupid fucking facts. Don’t you think I know this already???!!!


There are some things you just don’t say to a girl hiked up on fertility medication like a crack whore. And ‘at least you have a child’ is one of them. The other is ‘it’s so easy for me to get pregnant’. If you mention these lines to a woman coming down from a cycle you may want to wear protective eyewear…And possibly one of those Joan of Arc-style chainmail vests before doing so.

I was already feeling like a bucket of shit-stained undies at that moment in time and I felt like spitting staples at them. I didn’t say anything. Instead uttered under my breath the shitfulness of people’s ignorance.

What I wanted to say is, I’m quite sick of being Fertility’s bitch locked up in her dungeon of pain. I want out, I’m using my safe word, let me go. Let me goooooooooo. And I want all the people who think what they say is helping to shut the fuck up. It doesn’t help. There is nothing about ‘oh you have a child already’ that could possibly help someone who has been trying to make a small version of herself and her beautiful husband for the past four years and has been utterly consumed by it. Not ever. If there’s any kind of mind altering hypnosis/medication/therapy that can magically erase your ability to think about fertility, fertility and nothing but trying to get pregnant every waking day then I’ll take it. Shit I’ll even sign up for vintage-style electric shock treatment if you reckon it’ll make me forget about every single thing that isn’t working and blowing our dreams up like a hillbilly bonfire.

Last Monday it was time for my routine debrief with Dr Babies after our failed IVF I’m going to call the Worst Motherfucking Cycle Ever, I asked the question we all nervously mumble knowing full well we’ll never get a straight answer to. ‘Why didn’t it work…?’

It didn’t work because it wasn’t ‘our time’. It didn’t work because my eggs are shitfully old and shriveled into tiny caper berries. It didn’t work because The Vet is too stressed and exhausted. It didn’t work because I hadn’t detoxed for long enough. It didn’t work because I didn’t have acupuncture regularly for 18 months beforehand. It didn’t work because I waited too long between cycles. It didn’t work because I had six wines on Christmas day. It didn’t work because I didn’t drink the bin juice the naturopath prescribed me two times a day. It didn’t work because the protocol wasn’t right for us this time. It didn’t work because I rode my bike that one morning. It didn’t work because my body’s getting too old to reproduce. It didn’t work because I haven’t eaten enough leafy green vegetables. It didn’t work because my tongue is white and apparently that means your liver is fucked. It didn’t work because I waited too long. The biggest reason it didn’t work…ass-achingly shitfully bad luck. That is all. He didn’t have an answer because there really is no actual answer. It either works or it doesn’t. A fifty per cent gamble and our horse didn’t come in. It was a stupid fucking donkey.

The next words he asked have to be – apart from being told you are infertile – the single hardest words for a woman TTC to ever hear…’have you considered donor eggs?’ Bless him, it’s not Dr Babies fault, he’s clutching at whatever straw will help him make our dreams come true but I felt like tearing my eyeballs out of my head. ‘No, no, we won’t’ I answered a little too quickly. When you’ve brought a tiny piece of yourself and your partner into this world and you get to see little mannerisms, looks, features and personality that remind you a little bit of you or him, it’s a hard thing to get your head around. Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t love myself that much but once you have had your own biological child it’s kind of hard to have that right taken away from you.

I had never considered it before. Ever. Yet we’d talked about adoption – of which our chances are zero to zilch. Donor eggs were not on my agenda but all of a sudden they might have to be. If it means the difference between actually having a child that is at least half ours, and not ever realising this dream…well I’d be a dumbass idiot to not at least try it. And while it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to get my head around I’m slowly beginning to realise it might be our only option left.

For now we’re trying one last little glimmer of hope called Ovulation Induction – which at least involves no general anaesthetic, limited drug injecting and a bit of good old-fashioned rooting. Our chances are as slim as Kendal Jenner’s waist, I know but we have to try our luck.

Grief…so much bigger than a five letter word

I hadn’t known much about grief in my early life. Growing up we’d lost a pet or two. When I was in my early twenties, my cat, Tyson (god rest him) died and then my grandad (a truly great bloke – hard as nails but soft on the inside) was taken a few years after that.

Before I turned 30, I didn’t know much else of grief. Bit of a first time caller, long time listener you could say. My thirties have not been all that kind to me, belting like a Queensland hailstorm with more grief than one woman can possibly handle.

I’ve got a close friend who has her own shitstorm brewing in her life right now. She hasn’t lost anyone in the true sense of the word of actually losing them to death but she’s pretty cut up nonetheless. She’s lost the life she knew. She’s lost the future she thought she had. She even feels as though she’s lost her identity and now, in her very early forties, has to start over. She says she feels empty, alone, defeated. And possibly pretty shit-assing ripped off. As if everything she knew has just gone up in smoke. Her life unplugged. It’s all too familiar.

She asked me something I’ve heard so many times I could almost stamp it to my forehead but when you’re plunged into grief head-on, it feels better to talk to someone who’s tread the waters before you. ‘How did you do it…how did you keep going?’ she asked quietly. If you’ve got a spare thirty-eight hours or so, I can go over it in absolute blow-by-blow days of darkness but like everyone else who is going through their own pit of grief, you just do. Shit, you might not even feel truly a human at times, no actually make that all the time. Days go slow, nights even slower. Especially Sunday nights, which are utterly the most shitful day of the week. Everyone’s tucked up on the couch with their family – a spag bol in their belly and a glass of red in their mits. You’ll never quite know loneliness as much as when you no longer have that person who used to occupy the space beside you.

things get better, so much better...

things get better, so much better…

I’ve been doing it so long I don’t even realise. Shelving grief might not be everyone’s idea of healing – and certainly not a qualified psychologist’s view…but what’s the alternative? What do you tell your teary toddler who asks why his dad can’t get out of the six foot mahogany box he’s shut inside? Who asks if heaven has a door because he wants to go and find him. How do you keep going when you’ve had five cycles of IVF, nine failed embryo transfers and one early miscarriage that you thought really was the one that would work this time? As a widow and as a mum, you attempt to do as best you can and hope like shit you make it through another day. Each one is a tiny brick in the great wall towards healing. The pain won’t get any easier and the loss won’t ever go away. Grief will permanently occupy a firm position in my heart till my last breath.

Even though her pain is different to mine there is a certain sameness that comes with a woman’s grief when she loses the partner she knows and loves like a limb, an extension of herself. I’m no expert but all I can be is an ear and a voice. A voice of experience that life will one day be better. So so much better (a greater soul in The Vet who found me and helped me back on my feet again sure is testament to that). To anyone who has ever known grief like a second skin, big biggest hugs, Lady MamaG xox

Life doesn’t seem so bad…

This happy lil' vegemite is the air in my lungs...

This happy lil’ vegemite is the air in my lungs…

Why not give it another shot…? At least that’s what I told myself this month even though I’m damn sure last year I swore off Chlomid (and drinking, and KFC for lunch…and buying jeans). Pretty certain we decided to stick to trying ourselves until the Big Day comes when we have our last actual true blue IVF cycle. But things change, like the seasons (as does my mind), so like a good girl, I took my four little white pills each morning, as well as my good friend prednisolone (steroid) who has turned out to be not such a good friend, actually and then we thought hey, why not go all crazy ass on this cycle and whip in a little trigger shot too…you know, just to spice things up a little.

The trigger shot is meant to help boost your chances of actually ovulating and because I have currently also sworn off those stupid ovulation test kits (I cannot for the life of me work that little doowacky thing with the mini microscope) Fertility Gods Be Willing, this might be a better option. On day twelve, I stop in at the clinic and my favourite nurse – a lovely Kiwi girl – tells me she’ll quickly give me a shot of pregnyl. ‘This one might hurt a bit,’ she says before stabbing into the (once firm) fold of my tummy what may or may not have been one of those flying daggers they use in the circus. I don’t know because I never watch when the needle goes in. Hurt? FM, yes it flipping hurt! Not only did it sting but as the liquid goes in to my body I begin to wonder if I might just faint. Tough it up, chick I say silently in my head, you’ve had your nether regions disected by the somewhat large head circumference of your son you can handle this shit for sure. I pull my top back down and climb off the injection chair. ‘All good’, I tell her through clenched teeth…who am I kidding? It bloody aches for five hours afterwards.

Now it’s just a waiting game…like every month you sit tight for twelve days and try not to go bat shit crazy while resisting the constant urge to search up every possible early pregnancy symptoms you can feast your demented eyeballs upon. Not that I feel sorry for myself, there are people so far worse off than me.

We’ve got the boy and we are lucky. When I look into my 11 y o’s eyes…like the bluest blue of the ocean on a clear day, I couldn’t bare to ever not see those twinkling peepers again. A piece of me. My most treasured gift. My heart tenses when I think of the inconceivable grief suffered by a relative last year. There was a horrific fire involving her and her young children. Two made it out. Her and her youngest son did not. As she crouched on her bathroom floor trying to douse the heat from her own and the skin of her beautiful little three-year-old boy, somewhere during that time due to smoke inhalation, she passed out. If it weren’t for a neighbour breaking in to get to her, she would never have made it. She was rushed to hospital and placed into a coma in the ICU. For three weeks she lay still in a hospital bed before the doctors thought it would be safe to bring her out. The words she heard when she was woken would, I’m quite sure, have made her not want to wake up. Ever. Her little boy, the youngest of four, did not make it. Her gorgeous little brown-eyed boy had been buried while she was helpless and bedridden. She never even got to say good bye. This is not my story to tell but there is nothing like watching from afar as someone goes through the greatest grief of their life to make you realise your own problems are actually jack shit.

There is nothing more certain that death and nothing more crippling than grief. I hold the 11 y o just that little bit tighter when I think about that poor girl and what she has gone through and more so, what she faces ahead as the months and years slowly edge by.

It’s times like these I realise my own pain is nothing but a tiny distant blip in the radar of life. I count my blessings. Love n hugs, Lady MamaG xox


The last time…

all you need is love...

all you need is love…

Walking through the shops the other day, 10 y o asks me, ‘What do you want for your birthday this year?’. He was probably expecting me to say a new clutch (that’s of the handbag variety, I haven’t driven a manual since the ’90s.) Or maybe a new bracelet and if you’re reading men in my life, these will be greatly appreciated. But no, my answer was simple and relatively costless…that is if you don’t count the years of IVF, pain, emotions, mood swings, needles, anesthetics, nausea, aches, disappointment, grief and excessive weight gain (my thighs don’t normally touch, thanks quietly).

‘I’d like a baby,’ I tell him quietly. ‘I’m sorry I can’t give you what you want,’ he says with all the heart and love you could possibly ask for. ‘But I’ll wish and pray and do everything so that next time it works and we can have a baby.’ Yes, tissues may have been required around this time. ‘But you know what buddy, I’m still the luckiest girl in the world cos I’ve got you and The Vet,’ I tell him. I love the ‘we’ he uses. It’s not just me, it’s not just us, it’s WE. When The Vet and I got married, 10 y o kept saying it was ‘our wedding’. Everything we do is about our family and yes I want a baby, hells shit I want a baby but I can’t lose track of what I’m really lucky to have…some people don’t even get it ever and I’ve got it in bundles. Love, love, love is all you need.

Next month we go for our last round of IVF. When I say last, I mean last. I mean no more after that. Not even a Cold Chisel reunion tour. Not even a Star Wars Episode Fifty. End of. Shit just got real. It’s time to jump off this crazycoaster and go back to our Life Before Infertility…not that I’m even sure I know what that is it was so far ago. We will need every bit of the love, luck and wonder we’ve been getting from our friends and family. I’ll need all my strength to end the Chapter. Close my book and move on. I don’t want to say it got the better of me, because as you know I really hate losing. BIG time. How about we meet in the middle and call it a Conscious Uncoupling between Me & IVF or something?

Hells to the yes it’s been a rough couple of years. But it’s all the lovely phone calls from both the friends who’ve only recently come into our lives and friends who’ve been in my life since I was the same age as my son, younger even. Friends who know me almost better than I know myself…who even though the Tasman sea separates us, keep me in their hearts daily. They tell me I’m strong, and they should know, they know I’ve been through bigger, tougher, harder stuff than this and I’ll get through it. There have been times I haven’t wanted to answer my phone, gone into radio silence as a close friend likes to call it. But still they care. And it’s all those messages, the flowers, the support, the hugs, the calls and the love of all the beautifully incredible people in my life – especially The Vet – that remind me how lucky as a camel with two humps I really am.

We go into this last round with every single droplet of that love and hope and most of all a lot of my own that this might just be our moment… Oh, aThe nd thank you to the friend who offered me her fertility slate, blessed by the Buddhist monks of Nepal for luck. Let’s hope it works miracles, baby! Lov n hugs, LadyMamaG xox

Three little girls…the greatest victims of all


Tonight as they get ready for bed, brush their long hair, read their books and get a kiss goodnight, three little girls can rest easy knowing their mummy never chose to leave them. Throughout the Allison Baden-Clay murder trial there have been so many things that have disturbed, devastated and angered me but none more than the fact her husband, Gerard would rather have the nation, the community, her friends, her family but most tragically, her three daughters believing she intentionally took her life. But she never did. He took it from her.

Two years ago, on April 19, Allison put each of her girls in bed, the youngest she sung a song to before turning out the lights and closing their bedroom doors. They would never see her again. From the very first day when he reported her missing, Gerard seemed to me nonchalant, fake even. He was stoic, but then he had no reason to think his wife was dead…or at least that’s what he’d have us all believe. As soon as he emerged, two deep and bloody scratch marks carved into his lower left cheek…the crucial evidence that would later convict him and have Allison’s own mum Priscilla Dickie declare that even in death, her daughter was brave enough to leave a clue – the public was weary of him.

Ten days later, her body washed up on a creek bed, found by a local kayaker. Gerard was immediately on defense. The whole nation learned of her apparent ‘inability to cope with the pressures and demands of motherhood, of a marriage’. He wanted us to believe she was troubled, on medication, stressed and depressed. His family even buoyed his case reportedly recalling times when they’d visited her house and her curtains had been drawn. How many times have you forgotten to make your bed, fold the laundry or pull up the blinds before you’ve left the house? How many of us have sat around in our PJ’s until midday just because we felt like it?

If you take a look inside any normal family, you’re bound to find a mum who at times, struggles to cope. You’re going to find a mum who feels it’s all getting on top of her. It was just like that in Allison’s home. When she uncovered her husband’s affair, she turned to counseling. She chose to confide in her diary because she needed to write it down, get it all out. Ask questions, seek answers. She decided she needed to seek a doctor’s advice and medication. But what you wouldn’t have found in Allison’s home was a woman who was willing to take her own life. To abandon her children, her friends, her family.

Gerard wanted everyone to believe his wife was unstable. At times even an unfit mother. And certainly not his picture-perfect wife. He wanted us to believe she took her life.

Today as a jury of seven men and five women found him guilty of Allison’s murder, Gerard Baden-Clay has fifteen years to think about the lives he’s destroyed. He is guilty of murder, of lying, of deception but most of all of depriving his children of their mum. He is their father, it was his job to protect them, to love them, nurture them and keep them from harm. He did none of these things. Instead he took the person who meant the most to them.

Now three little girls have to live a life without their mummy, shadowed by the deep grief of their loss every single day. She never wanted to leave them. They were her world. As they tuck their heads into their pillows and sleep under the night sky there’s a bright star watching down on them, she knows some justice has been served and she knows her girls now know the truth…To make a donation to the Baden-Clay children you can help through the Late Allison Baden-Clay Children Appeal. Sanction Number CP5609 BSB 084 737 Account 133196502.

Mourning for the Daddy he’ll never know…

Blissfully unaware: the day tragedy struck…

I remember exactly where I was on Friday, October 6, 2006. I could tell you everything about that day piece-by-piece. Painting my toenails Chanel ‘coral’. Reading a gossip magazine. My pink and white bikini strapped under my shoulders so I wouldn’t get strap marks. I remember it like it was yesterday. This picture was taken on that very same day. My 8 y o was just two-and-a-half in that photo. Look how happy he is. Look at that cheeky little smile. Look at the chocolate smeared all over his face. He is a typical toddler. Chubby little squishy arms, rounded cheeks and his too-long fringe tickling at his eyelashes. He is young, innocent and sweet. Just like a little boy should be. But he is also utterly oblivious to the world of horror unfolding thousands of kilometers away in Sydney’s Blue Mountains.

This week will mark the sixth anniversary since we tragically lost his Daddy and I will always get shivers through my spine when I look at this photo. For so many reasons, most of which that I wish I could protect him from a world of pain and sorrow but also I am glad that on the worst day of both of our lives…he is happy. He’s not in the ICU unit of the RPA hospital watching his Daddy hooked up to machines helping his heart to beat, his lungs to breathe. He is not surrounded by people we know and love all praying that his Daddy will come out of his coma. He doesn’t have to watch as his Mummy keeps a bedside vigil, hoping and praying with each passing hour that the broken man beside her will open his eyes. He won’t have to hear the screams and cries as the doctor’s tell her it’s just no good. He’s not coming back.

He was too young to remember that day. Not even old enough to go to school, or to ride a bike. And sure not old enough to understand that his Daddy was never coming home. Ever. It was my job to protect him from harm, from grief and from sadness. I left him behind with a friend when I flew to Sydney to be beside his Daddy as he lay dying. I’ll never regret that decision because that is what a mum is supposed to do. I couldn’t bring his Daddy back to life but I’d make damn sure I spent the rest of mine shielding him from the grief we would both have to live with.

As he gets older, he wants to know more. He wants to look at pictures of his Daddy, wear the same clothes as he did and even likes to listen to the same music. He is almost entirely made up of the genes of his Daddy and I see it more and more with each day. He wants desperately to be around anyone with any link to his Daddy, as if trying to keep his own faded memories alive. There will never be a time when I don’t look into his eyes, the exact same eyes of his Daddy’s, and wish I could change things. Wish I could bring his Daddy back. There’s never going to be a time that I don’t mourn for the Daddy he never got the chance to know. All I can do is be grateful I have my strong, courageous and cheeky 8 y o to remind me of the beautiful soul his Daddy left behind.

Oh but we are lucky. We are lucky that his Mummy has found the most incredible man to fill our lives with happiness again. A man who respects the shadow that is left behind, while doing a mighty fine job at standing in – for us both. While we may have seen great sorrow and sadness in our lives, we will never ever forget to be grateful for what we’ve got.

Hugs, Lady Mama G x