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The Childless Mother

Dealing with infertility and finding happiness

Introduction

For many years I have found writing to be a therapeutic tool. When I tried to process some of the most dark moments of my life putting pen to paper seemed to help in the way a pensieve does in the Harry Potter books. Carefully pulling the threads of dark thoughts and heart break out of my busy head and keeping them safe between the pages of my diaries. Blogging seemed like a natural progression from diary to internet.

I am by no means a professional writer and in truth a lot of what I have done was for me, that was until I started to share the story of our losing our babies. So many other women have since reached out to me that I finally feel like the last 12 years of heart break may have some meaning. I decided to separate my blogs and create one for our journey to become parents.

I hope you will find some comfort from our stories, I will share with you various stages of our journey as well as ways in which I have dealt with those awkward family moments.

To start this site I will give you a summary of who I am. I am 36 and I have been with my husband for nearly 14 years. I have PCOS and we have suffered multiple losses at very early stages of pregnancy. My life over the last 12 years has been consumed with baby making, I have felt broken and useless and totally alone. I have only recently started to pull myself together and acknowledge a future without children.

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Featured post

Surviving The Holidays With Infertility.

It’s almost impossible to get through this time of year without reflecting on the struggle to become parents. Regardless of it taking one year or like in our case 13 years. It’s painful and sometimes you wonder how you will get through it.

I feel that a certain amount of autopilot happens. The first few years I was still optimistic so we would have the “This time next year! Fingers crossed!!” conversations. As the years passed those conversations are less frequent and in truth because I am getting older I think people just don’t want to bring it up. That’s ok by me.

In the early years there really were some awful moments around the holidays where I felt like taking a holiday from interacting with people. So while I absolutely do not claim to be an expert in anyway, this is my guide to surviving The Holidays.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PLENTY OF ALCOHOL!

YOU ARE WELCOME. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

HAHA – only kidding. I actually don’t even drink! But use the advice where applicable lol!

Ok, so DAMAGE CONTROL – When I plan my social diary I look at what things would actually be fun and what things may be a fake smile and awkward conversations event. When it’s the latter, if I had to attend the event but I knew it would come with questions or “advice” I wish I had been more assertive, now I have no problem in saying,

“Can we just skip the baby talk” or “No just relaxing doesn’t help my ovaries don’t work”

Failing that a conversation before the event with the right people to say take the topic off the table completely. I have been known to completely ignore the question and change the subject. 😬😬.

I used to be so bothered by what others thought of how I reacted to things that the fact was I over compensated by being too OK with those conversations. Now if I don’t want to talk about it I just won’t. That’s ok to say nope – sorry not today!

If that’s not possible, or when inevitably the wrong things are said. Take a deep breath, smile and then I have a diary that’s full of rants that make me feel so much better – it’s now called my blog 😂😂. Preparing myself with what I may say definitely helps. I’m less likely to ramble or be caught in a day dream of head butting the person who upset me.

BE A LITTLE SELFISH: Putting the rest of the world before yourself – Don’t you find that you do this a lot? Why isn’t it OK to just skip it if you don’t want to do something. You cant do that all the time I know, but how many events do we do that we really wish we didn’t have to. I just sometimes want the two of us in a bubble no reminders of our issues, that’s just what you need to gain strength to continue on. Taking some time just the two of you is perfectly OK.

BE HAPPY: Find the happy in your life – So OK, another year has passed and we still have no baby. But what else has happened in my year that was amazing. I might not be attending nativity’s and school plays, or going on Santa trains but I have awesome days with my husband and fur babies, enjoying the season and there are lots of other fun things to do. Plan some things in that don’t involve “what if we had kids” moments. Even if we do something family orientated I can guarantee Ben and I are the biggest kids there anyway!! Don’t miss the now of it all because you are always thinking about the future. Live it now!!

LAUGH AND LET IT OUT – If it’s a night out (or even in) with friends. An activity that you enjoy. Plan something fun, find something to make you laugh! Find someone you can talk to and rant out the things that may have upset you. Almost like your Infertility sponsor!

HUGS – now I am NOT a hugger. My family and friends will tell you I pretty much avoid it at all costs! But a hug when I am low from my hubby or my Mam is pretty much the best medicine.

BE HONEST – if the thought of an upcoming event is causing you anxiety talk to someone about it. If you have to go at least having someone around you know it’s hard for you will help. Don’t feel like you have to shoulder it alone.

FINALLY BE KIND TO YOURSELF – Do you know how many times I have told myself I am useless, that I am a mess, a failure that my husband could do so much better and should?! That inner voice is a bitch! Instead of letting her say those things now I tell myself. I am a warrior. My heart has been made mince meat and I am still standing. My marriage has endured some of the worse pains you can go through and we are stronger than ever. I put my brave face on everyday some days while in terrible pain and get on with it. We are so strong. That’s what you need to remind yourself every day!!

I know better than most after 13 years of wanting, this time of year will have its hard moments for you. The biggest thing I can share with you all is that I know how you are feeling. You aren’t alone. I know how it feels to be surrounded by people and feel empty and quite alone. It has gotten easier for me over the years. I have learned to cope. I have found a way to be happy again and when I can’t be happy I allow myself to feel sad, to stop trying to fake it as much. I know it may feel like you can’t face it, but look how much strength you have so far. Never loose hope.

One day you just never know ……❤️❤️❤️⭐️⭐️

I hope that you do have the best Christmas that you can. I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year 2018. May all our dreams come true. ❤️🌟❤️

When Does It Get Better?

I put a brave face on a lot of the time.

I pretend I am OK in the hopes that one day I may actually be OK.

The rest of the world can’t stop moving around me just because we can’t have children and I wouldn’t want it to. There are still moments however that sting, that I have to hold my breath and wait for the aching lump in my throat to pass before I can talk. Those moments are getting less frequent but they still hurt. It could be something someone says, an anniversary of a due date, a crazy month of possibility that I have given into the crazy symptom watching and pregnancy test, negative of cause. The following shame that I allowed myself to be swept up in the possibility, in the hope.

Time heals, so they say. First of all who’s they? Second of all “they” haven’t felt grief deeply if they believe this to be true. The passing of time doesn’t heal, we simply learn to live with it. But I do wonder.

Does it get better?

I don’t want to live with this ache, the empty incomplete pain for the rest of my life. I want to be able to move forward and heal. I just don’t think I can do that without trying everything. When we have tried everything if my arms are still empty, I have no idea how to begin to be OK with that.

My life is full of love, this is true. I am blessed in so many ways. I want to be content with this. I want for that to be enough. But still ….. always lurking ….. always waiting, this ache. The feeling that my heart is so broken it can’t be repaired. I don’t want to just “get on with it, just move on” I feel like that’s letting go of my babies. I can’t do that.

This blog, my pages, you beautiful people that take the time to read my rambling thoughts. You are the best thing to come from this pain. To feel that we aren’t alone, that you get it. It helps so much.

I am not ashamed anymore of my body failing me, I feel like we are freaking warriors. Fighting every day to get our family’s. Fighting for that moment that our arms are no longer empty.

Dear Santa….. we need to talk!

Dear Santa,

I have written to you so many times now. The joke has clearly been on us!  I watch as December arrives and the children in our life switch between angelic well behaved beauties to sugar fuelled demons with no inbetween in the sheer anticipation of your arrival. My heart aches for a child of our own.

At this time every year I make a private wish.

“Next year…… please let it be our turn and please, by next year, let us finally be holding our baby.”

I have tried many ways of getting this wish/Christmas request to you, I have written to you, I have burned a letter in an open fire, I have gazed up at those beautiful stars at night and closed my eyes tightly and begged you. I have been on my knees, pleading. Just one child. Let us be lucky to have one child.

It’s been 13 years now I have asked for just one thing. Only resulting in empty arms and brief moments of hope ripped away. Wishing has proved pointless. In reality I know we may only help ourselves. Faith can only take you so far.

I love to read, you know that, you have brought me many books over the years. I long to sit in a nursery cradling our child and reading to them the night before Christmas, to listen to the excited tone of our child’s voice asking for the millionth time when you would get here. To awake on Christmas morning to the sounds of excited whoops and yells.  “He’s been, he’s been!!!”

In the shops I pass aisle’s after aisles of advent calendars, reindeer food for Rudolph and his chums,  Santa treats for you, Xmas eve boxes and so much fun to be had making treats and decorations for your arrival. I have imagined many times my husband and I sat around a table creating the perfect ginger bread house, making our own decorations or taking our little one to a grotto to visit you so you can hear their wish for that Christmas. I would hope a solution to world hunger and poverty but more likely the latest fad toy!

As I sit now quietly writing this letter to you, we are still only a two. Do you know how many tines I am asked as a woman in her thirties by complete strangers

“are your kids excited for Santa?!”

Do you know that mainly I lie?  I tell them “absolutely”!! I do that because I can’t face the look of pity when I say we can’t have children and equally I can NOT face telling them we don’t want them to save their feelings. My mouth will not say those words no matter how much easier that would be, it feels like I am dishonouring our angel babies.

I would just like the festive season to welcome us, to for once feel like a normal couple. To feel less of a failure.  To take part in all the parts of Christmas that are meant for happy families! Because we are a happy family. My heart may be Swiss cheese and I may be often crippled with the grief and loss. But I am happy all the same, we are happy. I am so blessed to have my Husband, he’s really the other half of me.

For that reason this year, I am not asking you to give me a baby. I am working on making my body more healthy and strong to do it myself. Instead I am asking you to look over all of the people out there struggling with this journey this year. Help them to find the happy in their own lives. Help their hearts to heal and when they can’t find that happy, surround them with love and support so they know they are not alone. Can you do that?

Good luck with the big night, and even though we don’t have any children we will still leave you some cookies and milk ……. it’s just in our house you might find the milk is spiked with a little (or a lot of) whiskey 😉😉 .

Merry Christmas and thank you for listending ❤️❤️❄️🎄🎅🏻🎅🏻

 

Christmas And Still A Childless Mother

It’s been a year since I wrote “The Childless Mother at Christmas”, a blog that poured out the frustration I was feeling at that time. I have connected with so many wonderful people over the last year. I feel less alone in this journey.

As the last of days of summer are coming to a close, I can start to feel the knot in my stomach. It starts because of my birthday because when it arrives, I know there is another year passing without a baby. This time of year seems worse than others as the focus is on Children.

Halloween, social media fills with adorable and some slightly disturbing images of children ready to tackle trick or treating. I still buy the sweets, we never seem to get any and let me tell you mixing that feeling of loss for not having a child to take part in the events happening around us and that big bag of chocolates never ends well. Usually it ends with me face down in a mountain of empty Cadburys wrappers promising to do better next year.

When the last cobweb is swept away on we go to the sparking lights and bangs of bonfire night, events all around me take place with chunky little faces, red noses from the cold and wrapped up like the marshmallow man, excited to see the displays with their families, meanwhile I am at home trying to convince my 14 year old neurotic Labrador that the world isn’t ending, it’s just fireworks and she can come out from under the quilt!

As the shimmering sparkles disappear then the dread really does eat away at me, the windows around my town start to shimmer with twinkle lights and the children in my life are at defcon one of excitement as the big man’s arrival is imminent, Christmas is coming. Christmas as a childless couple in our mid-thirties is not what I was expecting to be dealing with. I thought for sure by now we would have a family.

You see every year around this time even if I wouldn’t ever say it out loud, I made a little Christmas wish, I wanted Santa to bring us just one thing. A baby. At first I was optimistic it felt very possible that we would get our baby someday …. Just be patient.

As the years rolled by and we stood among our friends on New Year’s Eve watching Big Ben ring in the New Year. I would think ….. please be next year. Please don’t let me have to go through another year of this. Just one success, just one baby.

This period of time is hard. There is an urge to shut yourself in at home and wait for it to pass. To stop looking at the nativity pictures wondering what our child would have been. To not feel like we are missing out on the Christmas fun at Santa’s grottos and Polar Express steam train rides, after all if a childless couple turn up to sit on Santa’s lap alone….. Question’s get asked!!

The sad fact is we are big kids, we love Christmas. Imagining what Christmas morning would be like us sat around our living room, excited cries of thank you for the latest in technology, for them to then play with the box it came in!

Enough is so enough!

For the first time this year we are being a little selfish, we are locking ourselves away at home just the two of us, for many reasons but mainly the best of all is that we like so many other people out there run around all festive season and don’t get to really enjoy the bits we want to. We want to have a little alone time just the two of us. Is that so bad?

I refuse to let us not being able to have children define what we are for the rest of our lives, we have to find a way to move forward. I am so luck that my marriage is a good one, we still have so much fun together even after 15 years, he’s my best friend. This year we are going to spend the day at home, maybe in our PJs who knows. We might not even have a Christmas lunch. Maybe we will just eat chocolate. Because we can!

It’s time to start to try and embrace the cards we have been dealt, to find the things that are good and meaningful in our lives. As hard as this journey can be, there has to be a way of healing and finding a positive in it. We have to find a new version of the life we imagined, a one without children.

Maybe I will put my doggies into a nativity this year, who knows!

I hope this holiday season isn’t too difficult for you, I hope that you can find joy in what you do have and that next year does bring you your dreams. Until as always I am here to lend a hand to hold xx

The Hoops We Have to Jump Through…..

Once upon a time there was a prince and princess. They fell in love and married in a wedding that would have made cinders jealous. Soon after they decided they wanted a baby, soon after that the test turned positive and so began the fairytale. Or maybe the next part that Disney doesn’t tell, the part about sleepless nights and dirty nappies but most of all the unconditional love felt by those parents.

In this version of family. All the parents had to do was fall in love, the rest happened naturally, quickly and without one single test or hick up.

For couples dealing with infertility this is pretty much the furthest version of their story. Sure it starts with falling in love, maybe even marriage and then waiting and waiting and fear and worry until we get to tests and more tests and heart break. It still doesn’t end.

For me to be deemed good enough to be a mother and for my husband to be a father we have to jump through hoops. First of all it’s a intrusive line of questioning about how often we have sex, how we have sex and if there are any issues when we do.

We had to fight to get an appointment to even be tested because of our age. 13 years later this makes me chuckle, ironically. How many doctors said we were young and it would happen in time.

We were able to receive one line of treatment that in the doctors words

“Wasn’t too expensive to try”

But then came the list of things that we had to not be doing or be doing in order to get further treatment.

My weight. I was six stone over the bmi they would accept. If we had smoked. It would have been no. If we had drank too frequently it would have been no. If we had sex less than a couple of times a week we would have been turned away until we had done that for a period of time even though it was proven that my ovulation wasn’t fully functional.

I am still so angry at these hoops. I am loosing the weight now, have never smoked and don’t drink. Boring huh? But it’s taken me so much time to loose this weight the longer it takes the angrier I get.

I know the collation between a healthy pregnancy and being within the healthy weight range. I understand that of cause. But it still pisses me off that we have to be judged by these standards as to if we would be good parents or not when simply having the natural function to do so qualifies everyone else to have a child no problem. To be forced into these tick boxes for someone to decide this huge thing for us based on a one size fits all approach. One size doesn’t fit all.

I know many women that would be over the bmi to have treatment. They have gone on to have healthy beautiful children and here’s the shocker. They are good parents 😱😱😱. Imagine that.

I don’t let the rage out very often now. Believe it or not I am in a good place but at the moment I am fighting to stay on track with my weight loss. Again I am battling my demons, demons we all have in various forms. But I wonder sometimes….. why is it fair I am judged on mine. Why does this get to be the deciding factor for me being a mother? That thought. That truth allows the rage to seep out.

If I had a penny for every time someone has basically asked;

“Well if you wanted a child you wouldn’t you just loose the weight?”

To have to go into how PCOS effects my body and it end up sounding like an excuse. For people to understand just how hard I have to fight as many others like me, to loose even one pound on those scales. If they knew that, they would never say such things to me.

I know a question we all ask while on this journey is “Why us?” Why do we have to be the one couple in eight? Why can we not have just had the Disney version of marriage and family.

It’s cruel to give a couple the instinct to want to have a family, a yearning that’s deep within you. To not allow it to happen. It’s even crueller to dangle the treatment and help but to make it difficult to achieve it. Making one of the hoops something that’s a symptom of the illness you have.

One woman’s rage wont change it. The criteria is what it is and I am getting there, I have three stone left to go. It doesn’t stop me from feeling that anger. Anger as those hoops we must jump through to get our baby.

Biological clock, Birthdays and Fertility Warriors

When we first started trying for children, it never occurred to me that I would be nearly forty and childfree.

As time ticked on I started to dread the turning of each year and the anxiety it brought so in all honesty, I run away from it. I pretend it isn’t happening and well, we take a vacation.

Tomorrow I am 37. I can’t believe that I am. My brain still tells me I am 16 and I am not adult enough to be dealing with this shit. But it’s true. There’s a twinge of sadness with each passing year that we seem to be further away from our dream of having a child. So you know what.

FUCK IT!!

I’m not spending another year pining for what I can’t have I am going to enjoy what I do!!

I have finally gotten the motivation to loose some weight. 2stone 9 lbs gone and another 3 stone to go! But it’s coming off!

I still have an awesome marriage and he really is my best friend. Even if sometimes we want to murder each other. ….. that’s normal right?

I have a fab mother who’s always there for me even when I’m a grumpy pants.

The best friends.

Beautiful nieces and nephew. One brand new niece just born today ❤️❤️

Is my heartbroken? Sure! It always will be I think, but tomorrow for my birthday. I am taking the day off!! ( well not literally I am too busy at work 🙈🙈😂😂) but mentally!

I am going to celebrate the wonderful life we do have, start to plan our next holiday and generally be thankful for the fact I get another birthday when others aren’t so lucky.

So often we are wrapped up in the negatives of this journey. We batter ourself for what we can’t do. For what we feel is failure. When in fact we should be taking a frickin bow!! We are warriors. We earned our stripes not from the pregnant bellies we would give anything to have, but the slashes through our hearts.

We take disappointment and loss month after month and keep going. Even when we are at our lowest, we find a way to paint on a smile and continue because what other choice do we have?

Tomorrow I turn 37. I am still childless. I can’t change that, I can’t control it. So I’m not going to feel bad about it anymore! Here’s to a fun day 😃😃🎉

Walking In My Shoes – The Childless Mother

I know it’s impossible to know what’s going on behind anyone’s smile. People fight battles every day that their nearest and dearest know nothing about. If you are lucky, and I am. You have a support network in your partner, family and friends that will get you through the worst time. Even so it can feel lonely under this label that we stand, I am infertile. Me.

My husband stands with me as a couple we are childless and he suffers the ups and downs every bit as much as I do but the reality is, it’s me.

When a stranger looks at me they know nothing of our struggle to be parents, often when we meet someone new one of the first questions we are asked now we are in our mid-thirties is how many children do we have? My 13 years of training for these questions kicks in and we delicately tell these strangers, none for us we love to travel…..are too selfish…. It just didn’t happen for us. After all the awkward spluttering’s that follow telling the truth are just not worth it.

The world is obsessed with owning who you are at the moment, hundreds of tell all stories often with photographs telling you to be proud of who you are. Go You! I totally agree with this, be who you are and apologise to no one for it. So why can’t I get there myself? Admittedly talking about infertility and our losses is difficult. When I first picked up a pen to write down how I was feeling it was for me, when I openly shared one of the miscarriages we had online I did it because it felt like the only way to get the pain out.

I didn’t realise I was giving a voice to others in pain. My blog was born.

I receive many messages from both people trying to support their friends or family members through a loss or infertility as well as from the couples going through it. There is no one size fits all but there is a common theme to what those people walking in our shoes are saying.

Please, please don’t tell me its ok, don’t tell me things happen for a reason. My time may not come.

I wanted to try to articulate my experience to try and help others to know if they can help or offer comfort, not just with words. Sometimes just by being there. If you haven’t been through this it is hard to understand the ache that comes with wanting a child you can’t have, or finally getting that dream and it being ripped from you.

I wanted to be a mother, I knew that from a young age. Some may say that’s because the world expects it of me. I was born in the 80’s and still very much felt the right thing to do was get married and have children. I didn’t want that in the conventional sense, I wanted to travel, I wanted an equal to do that with but I knew I wanted a family.

I read somewhere that infertility is like the death of a dream. This is perfectly true. I imaged my life with a child, with my husband. This perfect little person that was half me and half the love of my life.

When we first started to try for children, excited and optimistic the picture starts to build in my imagination. You discuss names, nursery ideas, looks, schooling, and family values etc. Pretty soon you have an image in your head of what that little person would be like. For most couples the longing is brief and very quickly they get their bundle of joy and start to live their dream, all be it slightly sleep deprived but what they planned all the same.

For couples like us, over time the dream builds into to a knot in our stomach, a screaming question that neither of you really dares to speak out loud.

“Why isn’t it happening for us?”

It takes time to accept that you may need help, the longing grows and grows and takes route inside. It twists and pulls at your confidence. It whispers lies that make you feel less than, it tells you the worst things you may already be thinking. I’m not good enough to do this, I am failing.

The first steps into your doctor are hard to take, for a woman testing for problems is an intrusive and long process. Starting with blood tests and followed with internals and scans and painful procedures to see if you can indeed carry a child. I remember once someone telling me, be thankful you haven’t had any children yet, you lose all dignity. If she only knew. I probably had to bare my private parts many more times than she ever did to get her children and there was no beautiful reward for me at the end.

For my husband the tests were less intrusive but equally as embarrassing, especially as the specimen room was right next to the break room while nurses discussed their weight watchers soup. Not. Fun.

Finally we were diagnosed. It was me. I had PCOS.

I always knew it was me in some ways it was a relief that I wasn’t crazy, we had the reason but we had no baby either. A glimmer of hope starts to return at this point as you weigh the options up and discuss treatment options. The doctor talks about the next steps and you start to think….. Finally this might happen.

First step for us was Chlomid, an angry hormonal infusion of crazy lady that helps you to ovulate regularly. We were given six cycles and told to baby dance….. a lot.

Infertility is a pain emotionally and I would guess there would be some people that would say, wow lots of sex poor you it sounds awful. Anyone that has struggled to conceive will tell you, eventually it sucks the romance out of it. There is nothing romantic about a frantic race to the finish line, the pressure to get there and then acrobatics to get your hips into the air or maybe even a hand stand because you read somewhere that may help. It’s not pretty and eventually it stops being fun.

I agreed to take part in a study to help others with PCOS so had bloods done regularly. I was convinced that this was going to work I had a feeling. So month one, cycle one, we did everything right. The date of my scheduled monthly was approaching, my crazy brain convinced me I was experiencing every pregnancy symptom going, and I went to the bathroom a 100 times a day just to see if it was game over. I was two days late. Out came the pregnancy test.

I did it alone as at this point I didn’t want to disappoint my husband who kept telling me that he would be happy with or without children he just wanted me.

I sat in the bathroom what felt like an hour with a flashing test, my hands and feet cold with anticipation……. Then -: NOT PREGNANT. Game over for yet another month, almost 6 years of this at this point. The disappointment hits you like a blow to the stomach, fresh tears fill my eyes and I allow myself a brief moment of self-pity. Sadly I am by now a seasoned trier, so I know I must dust myself down and prepare to try again.

On we continued until month five. Month five was different. I didn’t seem to have as many side effects except a feeling of total exhaustion. I put that down to what we were putting ourselves through, we promised to take a break from everything if it didn’t work this month. Again I was waiting with the pregnancy test flashing in my hand, prepared for another negative…. Flash…flash…flash…PREGNANT! I dropped the test, immediately dug out the remaining two under our sink…. PREGNANT….. PREGNANT!! I couldn’t believe it. My heartbeat hammered in my chest, I felt a little dizzy. I sat back on the toilet.

I was terrified, I cried, I wondered how I would tell my husband. We had been here before and it had ended so badly that I decided to wait until my hospital appointment and blood tests. They were all confirmed, I told my husband that night. He was cautious and had a wait and see type attitude which annoyed me at first, but deep down I understood why.

A couple of weeks passed and we were booked in for an early scan, again I decided to go it alone. Looking back now I just think I was nuts but at the time it felt like it was my issue to deal with because it was me that was defective. I was convinced that my period was on her way.

At the scan, they found the sac but no heartbeat. Could be completely normal they said with the timing so they took some blood from me and arranged another scan for a week later. There was no need.

The cramps started through the night a few days later, the bleeding started soon after.

I don’t think I can fully explain the complete emptiness that follows a miscarriage. The helplessness that you feel watching the life leave your body. In the middle of the night while everyone else around me slept. I lay on my bathroom floor in our small home and wept. I remember quietly singing twinkle twinkle little star to myself quietly as I sobbed. As if it would make the passing easier.

The next day, it was confirmed that the baby was no more. My body was doing its job well however. For once. I could go home and rest, they could help me but I didn’t want that. I wanted to do it alone, I think sometimes that was my way of punishing myself. Dealing with that pain.

Once the physical pain is passed, you are left with the “what ifs”. What if I had rested more? What if we had been to the hospital sooner? What if I had eaten differently? What if, What if What it.

The following weeks, I was told “It’s just not your time”, “Its mother’s nature’s way of weeding out the defective” “At least you know you can get pregnant” “At least it was early, it wasn’t a proper baby”

My young and polite head nodded along with these statements, while my heart screamed at them…. “HOW IS THAT HELPFUL!!!” While all well-meaning, I just wanted someone to acknowledge the life I had in me for however brief a moment, to tell me how sorry they were.

Looking back at this one moment, sadly there have been other since, I have come to learn that there isn’t anything anyone can say to make this better. The worst thing to do to me is to make it seem less than, not as bad. My heart was broken, my husband didn’t know what to do and through all of our losses I think sadly he has been overlooked. People feel terrible for you and just don’t know what to say. I want to say to anyone dealing with this now, “I’m so sorry” is enough. That’s it.

A dream of a life we haven’t ever gotten to live has gone with each loss we have experienced. The pain I don’t think will ever go, we just learn to live with it. It’s important to me to find a voice to share my story in the hopes that others never have to feel like I did, less than, a failure, like it was our fault, like we had to make it easier for others so they didn’t feel uncomfortable.

Our rainbow babies will be with us always, they have shaped who we are now. I think we would have made pretty great parents. But I will always grieve the life that we didn’t live too. Maybe one day we may still get that dream, you just never know.

Time Heals Nothing ….. I Am Always Waiting!! 

The passing of time is something none of us can control. It’s become my enemy over the last few years. Starting with us trying for children and then moving to heartbreak when we lost my cousin to cancer in 2016. Time moving forward caused pain, it’s frustrating and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.

Grief is a weird experience. True gut wrenching, not knowing how you are still breathing grief I have only experienced once. For two reasons.

I loved my little cousin like a brother, our family adored him. When he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer it felt like I was watching something happen on a TV programme. Like I was removed from it. We never believed we would actually loose him. How could we? We waited for treatment. We waited while he endured gruelling chemo. We waited for remission. We waited for news when it came back and worst of all we waited at his side when he took his last breath.

I read somewhere a meme that said

“I didn’t die with you that night, but a part of me left with you”

it best sums up for me how it felt. I wasn’t the same person, none of us were and we have managed the best we can. Nothing is the same. So now we wait for breathing and moving forward to not hurt so much. We wait for the mythical time to heal our wounds.

During the time he was undergoing treatment I found out we were pregnant. It was a wonderful, terrifying and guilty moment. How could this be happening now?!?  The happiness was sort lived, we lost our baby. It happened quickly but again we endured more waiting while nature took its course. Mother Nature is a cruel bitch.

How could I process the loss of another baby. I couldn’t hold it together and for the first time I fell to pieces. I felt every loss in the previous years that I had packed neatly away in a box in the back of my mind.

I waited for the pain to pass. When we lost my cousin a few months later I thought the grief would bury me. My already Swiss cheese heart was shattered. My grief screamed silently day after day. There are no words of comfort or words to articulate that feeling.

I am still waiting for that pain to pass. I have again learned to live with it, but that grief screams on silently all day everyday.

I get so frustrated with myself sometimes. Each month that passes, when my monthly arrives there is still a brief moment where I wonder what if. What if this is the month.

When we were in the thick of trying, we waited a lot.  We waited for the ovulation peaks, the doctors appointments and tests or worse the two week wait so that we could do a pregnancy test, mean while watching out for symptoms like a crazy women.

I haven’t done that in a while. The more hope disappeared so did the crazy urge to symptom watch.

Since loosing some weight it has messed with my cycle. Last month was less days this month it would appear it’s going to be late. I know logically that I am not pregnant. I know this. But guess which crazy lady is back?!?! That would be me!!

Every month used to go the same. It would start with the disappointment of another failed cycle. Push through that to get to optimism of a new month, symptom watching continues for ovulation not to mention the tests to see if you actually get a peak this month. Peak arrives and you have scheduled sex, a lot of scheduled sex!! No pressure!!

Then follows the dreaded two week wait. This is a fun moment where your logical sensible brain says

“You can not be getting symptoms crazy lady!!”

But my whakado voice says

“Did your breast just hurt???, are you peeing more?? I’m sure that stabbing pain feels like implantation??!!”

This would be followed by thousands of google searches on “early symptoms of pregnancy” even though in reality I could probably write the pages myself!

Then there is the final stage…. when she arrives. I could be found sat on our toilet at home or at work ….. or randomly in a shopping centre toilet even once. Sat silent tears falling into my lap. Another month gone. Another month no baby. Another month of waiting.

I had to stop the crazy for my sanity. I had managed to do this after the grief of loosing my cousin put things into perspective. There had to be more to life than this.

Since loosing the weight it’s becoming more possible that we might be able to have further treatment and I think that has woken the beast. Today I am officially due for her to arrive. I have already talked myself out of buying yet another test that would undoubtly be negative. I can not look at another negative test!!

I know that she’s on her way, but my oh my have I watched for those symptoms today. I am trying to brace myself for the inevitable disappointment. You would think after nearly 13 years I would be better at this, but the truth is the dream is still so deeply seeded inside me that it hurts. I think it always will be. No matter if we manage to get our baby or not. Nothing will take the grief or loss away for the babies we have lost.

13 years seems like a long time to have to wait, I wish I could stop. I guess until that time comes I take comfort from our little community on my pages, to know that we are not alone.

So when she does show her face again. I will dust myself off and try again. I won’t give up hope, not just yet. Xoxo

The Childless Mother At Rest – Thank Goodness for Rockliffe Hall! 

It’s no surprise to anyone that knows me that I do like a little luxury. We work hard and travelling and taking some time out are our escapes from the real world.  It also won’t surprise anyone to know I am happiest when it’s just my husband and I somewhere we can relax. 

It’s a test to any marriage dealing with the loss of your babies and infertility. I am sure it could easily rip you apart. I feel down time together is so very important as well as talking to each other. 

Through every loss and disappointment I fight the urge to curl into a ball and never leave the house, my mum would tell you that I never take enough time to heal. I don’t think that’s true. I feel like if I don’t keep moving forward and dwell too much on the what if’s of a situation I would never be able to function, to simply live my life. I perform my part well, and unless you read my blogs I doubt very much you would even know how broken I am. 

What and If are two of the most haunting words for people in our position, what if our babies had lived, what would our lives be like now? What if we were a “normal” couple. Whatever “normal” is, what would that feel like? 

What we will do every now and then is find a way to escape through travelling. We love to spend time at nice hotels and feel pampered, to look at the positives of our life. To enjoy each other. To be together and not be thinking about the stresses this life can throw at you. This weekend we did just that at a beautiful hotel near to us. 

Driving away from the town centre of Darlington in County Durham, out into the beautiful English countryside there is a treasure set back away from the rest of the world. This is one of my favourites places to go – Rockliffe Hall. My escape and safe haven. My new addiction.   

The impressive red brick facade whispers of the history of this 18th century building.  The interior is rich, beautiful and pure luxury. The attention to detail is incredible. I felt the stress trickle out of me before I even have the room key even in my hand. 

The room we had was in the New Hall, they spacious and oooze indulgence as well as wonderful little touches such as a hand written welcome note on the dresser. There is even a TV in the bathroom! A TV IN THE BATHROOM!!!! 

It’s at these moments, when I allow myself to stop that often the pain does resurface. I do allow myself to let my mask slip. I don’t think that’s a bad thing,  I need these moments to sort through the painful memories that I normally have safely tucked away in a box at the back of my mind. 

We all deal with such things in our own way. I do what I do everyday to survive it. There is no right or wrong. I like to relax and I enjoy this sort of experience, I feel like it recharges me for the challenges ahead. 

This time not only did we experience the spa and treatments to take care of that relaxing. We ate at all of the restaurants (sorry Slimming World!).

The food is just amazing but more than that, the staff are exceptional. From check in to check out they make you feel so very comfortable and that nothing is too much. I can not sing the praises enough. They really do make the experience. 

I love food. I am trying to loose weight at the moment for treatment but there wasn’t any way I would go to Rockliffe Hall and stay on plan, sometimes you just have to choose life! Enjoy it! Then get back to it! 

The breakfast was lovely. We have a little in joke about poached eggs. I love them but often when eating out they are never “right” my husband holds his breath while I cut into them for the first time and is pleased when the beautiful yolk spills out 😂😂! It’s amusing to watch and this weekend they were so good! The choice was extensive and I did have fruit to start with! So I was a little good 😬😬. Also when you get ketchup in a jar, you know you are in for a treat! 


The Orangery is the flagship restaurant and is hugely popular. With 3AA rosette there is no wonder why. My husband is SUCH a fussy eater. I was so nervious to take him there as I was positive he would look at the menu and walk out. He was very brave and agrees to try the chef Richard Allen’s nine course taster menu. While not all of the dishes were to Ben’s taste, the experience would be one we will never forget. It’s so much more than just food! It’s like a stage show you get to eat. 

The personal touch is outstanding. The Food and Beverage Manager knew our names and a little about our stay, our waiter was knowledgeable taking us on a delightful journey with him through each beautiful course. It was exquisite. My particular favourites being the desserts!


Every detail of this evening was beautifully prepared and presented. 

We ate in the other two restaurants the Brasserie and The Club House. Again the food was scrumptious but the real stars were the staff. 

We stayed three nights. We laughed, we ate. It was perfect. 

While on this journey, you can get caught up in the end goal. Sometimes it’s easy to not enjoy the life around you. We are nearly 13 years into this now. How much more time would we give to getting a child? I don’t know. I refuse however to not enjoy the journey where we can. 

I love my husband, we make an amazing team. We deserve to take some time to enjoy ourselves. I know this may not be possible every weekend, it’s not the cheapest activity. I do however believe in value for money and I do believe you get that at Rockliffe. A rare treat for sure, but one I hope to repeat again very soon. 

I am already dreaming of my return….. until next time Rockliffe Hall xoxo

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