My Busted Stork

The travails of an infertile…and no, I won’t just relax!


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A salute to my TTC journey

It’s been almost 2 years since I posted last. I had to approve a recent comment so came back for a little visit and reading my posts have done so much for me.

When I was TTCing I read a lot of blogs and one of my pet peeves (gees, did I have a few!) was following a blog that I really identified with, and then the person went and finally got pregnant and became a mom (continued to blog) and I no longer identified with them at all. They just became another person of which my life is filled – mommies. I was very clear that this blog was about the travails of infertility so what would I have to write about when I came to the end of my journey? I loved the small amount of blogging that I did do but I didn’t think it was fair on anyone reading that I just write about being a mommy. Eeugh!

But in reading my story again yesterday I felt that I hadn’t quite ‘closed the loop’. And I also hadn’t acknowledged how my battle with infertility has been part of my story and a part of who I am today.

So this post is about doing just that. However, I will allow myself one sentence of gushing (here goes). Isaac (AKA Zac) is one year old and is the chubbiest, happiest, cutest baby boy ever known to man and I am one ecstatic, fulfilled and completely smitten girl. There.

While reading this post yesterday it struck me that although I do my fair share of bitching and moaning about sleepless nights and snot in my hair it never leaves me that this is what I so badly yearned for and it is everything I hoped and more. I stare into Zac’s cot and watch him sleep – I actually risk waking him up by going in to see him because I miss him. I don’t think I would quite appreciate him in this way if I hadn’t have gone through the journey I did. I am not for a moment saying that other Moms don’t appreciate their offspring in the same way. But in my personal journey it gives me a perspective that I don’t think I would have without having gone through that kind of pain.

I lost my Mom a month ago. In a cruel twist of fate she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Cancer a few months after moving down to Cape Town to finally be the Granny she always wanted to be. She died 4 months later as a thin, frail shell of her former self. Yes, I know I must be grateful that she at least got to meet Zac. But to be honest I am still pissed off that after all her prayer and sacrifice (like this) she wasn’t able to be Granny at all. Zac will never know the awesome lady that could have been his Granny all through his childhood. She was the one and only person who gave a damn about every small tiny detail. We argued about what to feed him, when to change him, when to stop breastfeeding, what time he should sleep. She wanted to be part of all of it and now she can’t be. But in all that anger there is gratitude. As she lay dying I whispered to her that I am so thankful that God blessed me with Zac before she died because it meant that I could understand her as a Mom. I could understand her love for me in a way I never could before. I could understand that her love for me caused her physical pain and that she wished and prayed for my happiness above her own. To have missed out on this understanding would have been so much harder to bear.

On a lighter note I have become all that I detested! Yes, that is sad to all those reading that are still TTCing. I know I would have said – “can’t one of you smug mommies just hold on to one iota of strength and bitterness and not buckle under the pressure to be gooey about your offspring?” Well, I wish I could but we are not built for it and I am not going to profess to be stronger than my emotions. I talk about poo, I don’t sleep well, I boast about Zac’s genius, I band together with other moms for support. I am my own worst nightmare and I love it.

But I am also aware of the thorn in my side. That ugly little devil is not dead yet.  Now all my mommy friends are going on for number 2 or 3 and I sit quietly calculating how I am going to have to cash in a policy or sell my house to go for number 2. After the horror of that FET cycle I was the happiest, most excited pregnant woman on earth and I have to, need to, have that one more time.

So until round 2 strikes, good luck to all of you out there and please keep in touch.

(I leave you with a picture, I’m sorry, I physically couldn’t resist!)

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Houses, Moms and weird, scary baby dreams

We are in the process of buying a house which is very exciting. We weren’t planning on doing this until the end of the year but when we got notice from our landlord we decided to look and see. We didn’t want to move into another rented house. The first house we looked at we really liked. Then after looking at several more we saw the first house again and then loved it because compared to the rest of the crap it was a real gem. So we put in an offer and was accepted.

But the downside is that the house is small. Only 2 bedrooms and the second one is small. I have to try and visualise a baby living in that room at some point otherwise I why would be putting myself through all this hell. And it will be fine for a baby – who needs guests if you have a baby!

I would say that the last few months have been much darker than times before. I have had times of feeling utterly hopeless. In my dreams I sometimes have a baby in my arms but it isn’t my baby and I never know how to look after it. Then in each dream I always have this weird realisation that babies need to eat and I haven’t fed it at all. The baby is always fairly chipper and chilled out so I stuff it down the front of my shirt and carry on with my day – isn’t that weird? I wake up feeling like some sick freak who doesn’t deserve to ever have a child.

But I have to pour myself another glass of Chardonnay and put a smile on my dial and get on with life because…what other option do I have? When people say “you are so strong” it always leaves me asking what choice I have other to grin and bear this. That’s just the point – I don’t have a choice.

I flew up to see my Mom for the weekend. We went on a long walk and had a good chat. What I realised is the reality of her own hurt and pain about my infertility. Yes, she has 3 kids and she knows she is lucky and although she can’t really put herself in my shoes she feels pain because she sees the pain I go through. She is a really strong Christian and believes in the power of prayer. She wanted to take me to a famous pastor who has prayed for quite a few infertile couples and seen all sorts of miracles. I am also a Christian although my faith is fairly low-lying at the moment – but I will try anything! Being prayed for is a lot nicer than being poked and prodded and pumped full of hormones. We didn’t get to see the pastor but I know Mom prays for me daily.

She mentioned that she had a run-in with a good friend of hers. The friend came to stay and showed my mom hundreds of pictures of her new Granddaughter. My mom was feeling a bit strained after it all but was polite. Then her friend said some kind of sanctimonious crap about how God gives life and he takes life away – and that’s when my Mom hit the roof. She turned on her friend spitting fire and demanded that she take it back and how dare she imply that God ‘favoured’ her daughter more than me. Even my quiet step-Dad jumped in and told the friend to be more sensitive – hilarious! The next day there were all sorts of apologies from the friend and then my Mom actually sent her the Vita Alligood piece on Infertility Etiquette! It felt so good to know how much my Mom cares and how she feels what I am going through as much as she can.

All I can hope for is that one day I will have a bouncing baby who will squeeze into the tiny room in our new house and be surrounded by joy, laughter and a fiercely loving Granny!