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The Childless Mother

Dealing with infertility and finding happiness

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depression

The loss of my fur baby.

It’s been a while since I wrote an actual blog, we have had a lot going on so it’s been hard to find something I could write about without spewing anger everywhere.

My goal for so long has been to get pregnant, to have our baby. It’s been intense for so long that I don’t know how I let it go. But I want to, very badly.

A month ago, just over. We sat with our fur baby as she took her last breaths.

I remember thinking when we lost my cousin a couple of years ago, as we stood around the room as he was taking his last breaths …. nothing can hurt as much as this. It felt like I couldn’t breath from the grief. I was wrong.

We had poured so much love into Tara, she had been there through all our losses. Sat with me as I cried and cried over them. Licked my tears, cuddled me, was there and loyal and beautiful all those 16 years. To make the decision to let her go was a awful one. Even though I knew it was the right one. To hold her beautiful perfect head in my hands as she went to sleep was crushing.

It feels like now I’m reliving all of the grief. All of it. My cousin. My miscarriages. Only this time I don’t have my beautiful old girl here to offer comfort. I do have my crazy collie, but even he’s suffering he misses his big sister. My husbands heart broken. We are struggling.

I know some people can’t understand the loss. I’m sure there have been many conversations of her being a dog and having a long life. It’s true she did. But I poured so much of my mothering instincts that I couldn’t use on children, I poured them into my old girl. She was the centre of our world for all that time. We loved her completely and she loved us more than that probably. And I feel my already broken hearts just smashed.

It’s made me release that I have to let go. I keep saying it. I keep saying that I want to move on, but really my heart just won’t let me. Even when I look at the good we have in our lives, so much good. Even when I know the financial nightmare it would be now having just started my own business. Knowing all of that it’s still hard.

I don’t want to still be feeling like this in another ten years, or worse that when my friends start having grand children that I relive this all again.

Enough already.

ENOUGH!!

I feel change coming, in small ways but I visualise almost waking from this nightmare anew, like a butterfly πŸ¦‹. Leaving all the hurt an negativity in that cocoon that’s held me so tight for all these years. Breaking free of the grief. Feeling content. I just don’t want to feel incomplete any more.

I know its strange to say having just wrote the above, but I do feel happiness. Even with this background of grief, it’s like you learn to live with it. It creeps out regularly but I can feel happy in between. My husband and I just celebrated 10 years married and 16 years together and we still happy. I’m grateful for that. That’s what I’m most proud of because I wouldn’t change that for the world. I don’t know what I would do with out him.

I know it takes time. Although hearing that doesn’t help. I can only get up each day and put my game face on like and old costume piece and get on with it and hope that one day I won’t have to act brave, one day I will actually just be OK.

How wonderful would that be?

Reintroduction

As we are approaching the 10k followed mark on the Facebook and blog, I thought I would do another little introduction for those who have just arrived.

πŸ‘‹πŸ‘‹

Hello. Welcome. Pleased you found my little page.

I started to write a journal some years ago, it vented my inner most fears and frustrations in the early stages of us trying for children. I never shared much online because it seemed like it would be wrong, like it was a dirty secret.

As the years passed I was slowly feeling like I was being left behind. As more and more of our friends and family had children, I started to worry this may never happen for us. I don’t think I had ever thought about it to seriously until that time. Then the scary question that all couples struggling to have kids are too scared to out loud. What if this never happens for us. What if we can’t have a baby.

I started to change. Small little withdrawals I think at first and now some 15 and half years in, now I feel like there is a gaping wide hole between me and the rest of the world. I got angry. The break came when we lost a pregnancy at the same time my cousin, who was like my little brother was battling and ultimately died of cancer. My world completely fell apart and what little of the old me I clung on to completely crumbled. I got white hot mad. I was sick of feeling like it was a dirty thing to be discussing, I started by sharing a blog on another one of my projects. I wrote from a place of pure pain and grief and the amount of reaction and support I got was overwhelming. Suddenly I knew what good could come from all this heart ache. The Childless Mother was born.

It proved that while it might be an uncomfortable subject for some to read, the people who need to feel supported are the reason I do this. The ones like me who are the only ones in their “circle” that are childless and feel completely alone. If I make one person feel a little better and less lonely I’m happy.

I have PCOS, my husband is fine. He could have children but he chooses me. He’s never been bothered too much one way or another. In some ways that’s good, but I still feel guilt as I know he would be an amazing dad. It’s so sad.

Well, in summary that’s me. I’m late 30’s now and our only chance is IVF. We are loosing weight and it’s going well but slowly.

I hope this page helps a little. Even if it’s just a place to find others that can truly appreciate the pain.

Childless at Christmas ….. I’m broken.

I try really hard to carry on and don’t let the scars show but sometimes it’s hard.

I always find Christmas difficult although I absolutely love this time of year it’s bitter sweet. The reality of dealing with infertility has meant for me that I have built and armour around my heart. I tell myself I’m ok and to not think too much about the what ifs.

I do well at this normally.

Just now I’m failing miserably.

As my husband and I sat in our cosy little living room the other night, he was watching the tea time game shows he loves so much and shouting the answers (mainly right) at the TV like the contestant might hear him and I sat doing a 5D diamond art, I felt an over whelming sense of grief and loss. I don’t know what sparked it or why it flooded me with sadness but it did.

My mind wandered to what we may be doing as a family with children, certainly not what we were actually doing. Perhaps we would be doing homework or bath time and stories. Perhaps we would be colouring in with them or praying for a moments peace to be doing exactly what we were actually were doing having “me time” while they ran rampaged around the house. Maybe we would be watching a christmas movie together as we hung the decorations. ……. I can’t even continue to finish this line of thought in blog form. It hurts too much.

I bury those thoughts so deep that when they escape and I let my self wonder, I feel the crack in my amour and I cling on so tight to the tears that threaten. Not just the silent tears I have so often cried but the body wracking sobs that I hold in. I hold them so tight my head and throat ache from them.

It was made worse by reading a news article of a little baby around a month old murdered by his mother and step father while they were high. I’m completely broken by that little boy. The life he could have had if he was only born to someone like us that would have protected him, kept him safe, loved him. I don’t understand how the world is so cruel.

People often say that they can’t imagine how it feels to be going though what we and others like us have. I think the feeling is a simple one. To step back just for a few moments of your busy life, to look at your beautiful children doing what they are doing good and maybe the tear your hair out moments too. Now imagine what your life would be if they were never there.

I know some may glamourise our life, that we don’t know tired. We don’t know worry. We can just do what we want when we want but the fact is I would do anything to have my life turned upside down. No ones life is perfect. I know if we had kids we wouldn’t find it easy. It’s bloody hard. But nothing worth having is easy. I want so badly to know.

To hold a child that’s a little of me and my crazy family and part my husband and his family. It’s so sad that we may never know.

I know I’ll be ok. I will find a way of pulling my amour back into place and continue, after so long it becomes the norm for me. Still, every now and then, I do wonder just how it would feel to be complete. To have this hole in my heart repaired. I think that would be a relief.

Sometimes I just get so angry!!

It’s fair to say over the years I have felt the full spectrum of human emotions while trying for children.

As we are 15 years in some of them have mellowed over time others still burn brightly.

I want to say.

“It’s what life has planned for you embrace it and don’t be bitter.”

But then my inner bitch is also screaming like a three year old having a tantrum.

“ITS JUST NOT F-ING FAIR!!!”

I don’t have control over that feeling. It comes out sometimes in random burst of rage. The injustice of not being able to be a mum and the loss of our babies burns bright and bitter.

Sometimes the need to hold just one of our babies hurts so badly I want to scream. My heart aches and while most of the time I can put a smiling front on it, only mainly sharing my pain on these pages and focus on the other wonderful things in my life, I have come to accept that I may always feel this anger too.

I look around me at so many beautiful pictures of new families, of new babies and I feel a warm happiness for them but selfishly long to know what that feels like. To bring home that new baby and experience that happy exhausted moments. To watch as my husband sleeps with our child safely on his chest as our family come to meet the new arrival.

People will say to let anger go that it’s no good, I don’t agree for me sometimes my anger is all that’s got me through a day, because if I didn’t feel that raw white rage then I would feel the alternative which is the very deep sorrow.

I never would have thought I would be a bitter person. I am always glass half full. I am working hard to not let the grief turn my heart to stone just so I don’t feel anything. I wish I was ok with that but I am not. So a compromise is letting the anger out sometimes. Accepting that it’s ok that I feel that way.

If you have anyone in your life that doesn’t understand this then you often have to be a little selfish sometimes. You just have to understand why you feel that way not others.

One thing that sets the anger off is seeing so many people on my pages hurting because they are being pressured to go to family baby events.

I see a lot of messages and comments from our community of people frustrated because family members, friends and sometimes even their partners don’t understand why they are angry or maybe don’t feel like they can face events.

I will repeatedly say it’s not anyone else’s responsibility to make sure we are happy and ok but really is it so bad if your friend/ family member doesn’t come to a baby shower/ event? Because they literally want to crawl into their bed and cry?

People will say … “can’t they just be happy for us? It’s not our fault they can’t have kids!” – actually a comment someone made to one of our community.

Here’s the thing, no, no it’s not your fault but by saying this you are suggesting it’s theirs. IT ISN’T. From the moment you announced your pregnancy that person would be very happy for you but equally sad for themselves and wondering how they will make it through the next 9 months and beyond trying to be a good friend to you while dealing with the crippling grief of wanting so badly what you have.

They will fake it a good deal of the time. Why would you want someone to force them self into a situation where the event is literally all about the very thing they can not have and to do that for you to make you feel more comfortable and happy. Yes you may only have one baby shower etc but I guarantee you most of the other people in your life are running and jumping for joy at your new arrival. It’s a wonderful and happy time for you and those close to you. Enjoy it. That one couple loves you and your baby but they are struggling.

I didn’t want anyone to feel bad for me although I understand why they did, I want them to enjoy their happy time. It sucks that sometimes I can’t embrace it completely with them but neither side should feel bad and for that. No one has made a choice for us to not be able to have kids, it’s medical. We are all just dealing with it the best we can.

A rather crude analogy someone said to me recently

– you wouldn’t expect a diabetic to eat a chocolate Birthday cake to show they celebrated your Birthday – so why do we ask couples with a medical condition that’s ripping their hearts out to endure events baby centred so that they don’t make the new parents feel bad.

We can be happy for you and support you in other ways that don’t involve me playing party games and changing a nappy on a doll blind folded while everyone talks baby’s. Can you understand how awful that is for us to sit through? In reverse I wouldn’t want anyone to do that for me if it hurt them so badly. Your friend that just lost her baby, that just had a failed round of IVF, that has been trying and trying with no result, she is basically trying to hold her shit together and not let the hurt and grief and anger out. I don’t think it’s so much to understand that pain and say,

“I know you love me and my baby, but it’s ok for you not to do this! I understand!”

Give them a choice.

It’s a lonely label to be under and yes hard sometimes to understand if you haven’t been there. People are awkward and don’t know how to talk about it. It’s actually ok to admit that.

I’m lucky I am surrounded by people that do get it and are hurting for me. I think if we ever do get pregnant and progress to having a child it will be celebrated as a king or queen. Somehow that knowledge makes the rage build πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. Lol.

Or maybe I’m just an angry person now. My battle scars leak rage. I’ll accept that for my sanity.

Handling Random Bursts of Sadness

This morning, for no reason, I woke crying. It’s possible that I dreamt about something that I don’t remember I don’t know but I think it is just a random burst of sadness.

I call it this because I do so well making an effort to be happy that sometimes the sad bubbles up and leaks out. I don’t know why it does that either.

Those blissful moments between awake and asleep usually protect me from how I’m really feeling. I forget we lost Gavin, I forget it’s nearly his 30th Birthday and how angry I am he’s not here thanks to cancer, I forget I’m not a mum and how hard we have been trying. In those blissful seconds I’m just content.

Most mornings that’s ok. I get up and the bad stuff slips in a little at a time. In manageable lumps in time I am used to.

This morning random burst of sadness before I’d even opened my eyes. Brick load dumped on me.

My monthly’s on the way so hormones are all over the place but really. I am not able to have kids so why am I being tortured every month with that?! Not fair!!

I had such a lovely day yesterday and the day before for my birthday and then with our nieces and family. Maybe it’s Birthday Blues πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ.

I wonder how many of us cry the silent tears I do while everyone else sleeps? By the time it gets light I will have pulled myself together like this didn’t happen. But for now I’m sharing it with you so I’m not alone. ❀️

Am I strong?

I talk about us being warriors a lot. I believe that 100%. How else do we get through the day like it’s all ok. When some days it just isn’t.

I do however think it’s ok to admit when you can’t be strong. So many people will say that, how brave, how strong we are and I appreciate those words so much. They give me actual strength. It doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t fall apart.

That’s ok too.

In the first few days after my last miscarriage it felt like I was sitting watching the world happen. Like I was removed from everything around me. Every time I tried to grasp what was happening I would feel the ache and loose control.

People talk about broken hearts. They use it to describe break ups and hardships. I have done this. Nothing compares to that pain, it’s not a metaphorical pain. It’s a physical one.

All the cliques feel true. It is a unique pain. Loosing a child you desperately long for. Going from a lifetime of possibilities of plans, to nothing. Worse than that for me, because I have lost our babies so early there is no record of them ever existing. No one would ever know their little hearts did beat at one time. Now mine beats slightly off, it is missing the beats of our children.

To survive I have built a shell almost, so that I don’t feel the pregnancy announcements, I don’t feel the words misspoken and I don’t feel the loss of the unlived life with our children. That’s by day.

Then by night, when it’s quiet and my thoughts are my only company my shell cracks. Often in the middle of the night I can be found silent tears falling onto my pillow. The bathroom is another place my shell crumbles.

Grief is a strange experience. I have heard it described as waves. I can relate to this. One moment I can be perfectly fine and then a wave hits me and I fall apart spectacularly. I’m not ashamed of these moments. I’m human.

I absolutely believe that we are warriors, but it’s ok for us to feel the pain we need to to move forward. I don’t want to forget that I was ever pregnant and only look forward, I can’t always be looking back either of cause but I owe it to my babies to not forget them.

I don’t have them in my arms. I never will. My nursery may always be empty. My arms may never know the joy of holding our children. It then becomes about how we survive it.

It’s really simple for me. I am able to continue. I am able to keep the strength to share to help others because I may be a broken warrior, but I’m a warrior all the same. I get most of my strength from my husband, we are a team. Life may not be going how we planned but even with what we have been through, we laugh far more than we cry.

I’m always going to fight to keep going, but it’s ok to allow a little sadness out. It’s perfectly acceptable to mourn what we have lost. I don’t need to be strong all of the time. I’m ok with that too.

The DUFF, weight loss for ivf and PCOS

Loosing weight for me is so desperately frustrating. I have all these reasons I should be doing it. Mainly because we want IVF but everything just seems like it’s gone to pot since my car accident in March.

I have always felt like the DUFF in my circle of friend. I don’t say that for cry’s of “no your not!!” It’s just the facts. I have carried a lot of insecurities over the years for the way I look and I spend a lot of time judging what is wrong with my appearance. I can honestly say I have never felt beautiful, no matter how many times my mum or husband tell me I am. They have to right?

What pisses me off is that I am a strong woman. I have faced some of the worst human experiences and am still standing. I have put a brave face on and worked through loosing my pregnancies and continued to try. I have dealt with the knowledge that I would probably never be a mother even though it’s a dream I have had from being a child.

I carried on the day before Gavin my cousin died after spending a night with him, the same night he was told he was going to die. My hearts never been so broken watching him struggle with that information. I loved him so much and cancer ripped him from us. I continued to breath after he actually died even though it hurt to even do that. My grief screams silently everyday. Mostly no one would know. I continue on.

I have it in me to fight. So why do I find it so hard to fight for myself? For my self esteem. Why do we look for the faults? It’s so easy to do that. I know I need to continue with the weight loss but equally I know that I need to find acceptance no matter my size. Find a way to feel like I look good, to ooze confidence. I am beginning to realise no amount of weight loss will do that for me. I have to do that for myself from the inside.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so they say. So I might not have a skinny arse, tiny waist but does that mean I am less than? Why does that make us feel so bad that we don’t always make that standard of beauty around us.

I have been struggling to keep motivated since the accident. I have since changed my job I’m doing more physical work now which means my appetite is insane so it’s been easy to eat off plan.

Things are finally settling down into a routine after a couple of months setting my company up. It’s going so well, actually smashing my targets but I’m worried I’m taking my eye off the weight loss plan.

I want to do it. I need to do it. I’m getting angry at myself for giving in to bad food choices and justifying them because I’m doing so much physical activity. I run much longer ….. my joggers are still as tight. Argghhhg!!!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.

I need to get a grip!!

Tomorrow is a new day ….. oh my goodness wish me luck. AGAIN πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ.

Be Strong, Be Brave, Keep Going…….until you can’t.

So it’s been a little while since I have posted anywhere. You guys have been a big part of my support network for so long that I feel I need to post this.

I talk about how strong we are, how like warriors we are to take the hits and keep on going and I truly believe this, but recently I also believe there is a time to admit that you are drowning. To admit that you can’t be strong anymore.

Regular readers and followers to my blog and pages will know it’s been a rough couple of years. Starting with my cousin being diagnosed with Leukaemia and his battle for a year that saw it sadly return and take him from us. Within that time I lost a pregnancy, I thought I grieved picked myself back up and carried on.

When Gavin passed away wrapped in all our families love, I thought my heart would never stop hurting. It hasn’t yet time just moves on that’s all. I worked in a high pressure sales environment and while they were brilliant I felt the pressure to get back so in all I took four days to grieve. Four days off to wallow in the loss of someone I loved like a little brother. I kept going and kept strong.

The cracks started to show quickly looking back, my brain didn’t handle situations too well.

Since loosing our baby and then Gavin, seems like there has been layer upon layer of stress and problems. Then my husband had a motorbike accident. He’s self employed too so there was financial worry at that time.

I reminded myself how strong we were, to keep going.

The cracks turning to complete breakdown were there I just didn’t acknowledge them. I am strong I can keep going. I kept saying, “I’m fine thanks!”

It’s only when we are forced to stand still, to reflect the seams really started to fall apart. I was involved in a bad car accident two months ago. Again in my head I thought I was fine, physically the injuries seemed superficial at the moments after but quickly became clear I was more injured than I thought, because I didn’t break anything I thought I was fine, I was not.

The pain grew quickly, my whole body was agony, I was black and blue and I started a very slow recovery. Within a few days of reflection I started to realise something wasn’t right. My brain was stuttering almost, I would loose conversations mid way and drift off. I relived the moments of impact and the aftermath over and over. I spent a lot of time in tears, not just a little but massive sobbing fits.

Sleeping is a problem. Leading to hours of staring at my iPad frustrated and tired but not able to sleep. The bad dreams have been vivid. Not just about the crash but everything, the last moments with my cousin, the last time we talked, of him holding my baby telling me he’s taking care of them. It feels like my brain just hasn’t shut off. It’s like the crash has cracked open the box I shut all my stress and grief in. I’m drowning in it.

Just as there is a taboo about infertility so there is with mental health still even with all of the amazing work being done. The stiff upper lip and carry on attitude or worse those who think you should just give your head a shake and get on with it. There are also those who will take advantage of that, for no other reason than to be unkind and enjoy the drama of it. Equally there are those who get it and will show you so much love and compassion.

Admitting that I’m not ok wasn’t easy. I haven’t ever suffered with depression or anxiety but right now it takes so much strength to get out of the house and driving is a massive problem. I hate it.

There are physical effects of it. I feel ill.

I believe we are warriors. But putting that big smile on and big personality and facing the world month after month, failed cycle after failed cycle, other pregnancies around you, drowning in the pain of not being a mother, of feeling aimless now that the future you envisioned is gone. I also believe it shows strength to admit you are not “Fine” that you need help.

There’s only so long that the pressure cooker will cook for before it explodes. It’s ok to admit you are not feeling like a warrior sometimes, because that takes strength too. It’s ok to ask for help. To take some time to process the events that have unsettled your life.

I’m working on getting better physically as well as mentally now. Talking about how bad I am feeling has helped. If you feel like that too please find someone to confide in. Don’t do what I have done. You can’t be strong for everyone else all of the time. Take care of yourself, but most of all be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can. No one can ask more of you. ❀️❀️

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