2013- for Troy and I , it was a year of profound loss, grief and hardship. I should mention too, that it did bring us some moments of extreme happiness and excitement, but the loss, grief and hardship experienced certainly outweigh the positives and have left an everlasting mark in our hearts and on our lives, and certainly makes 2013 a year we are happy to see the end of.
2013 began, we’d only been trying to conceive for 6 months. We weren’t worried about our fertility, for we were told that for an average couple, it can take up to a year to conceive. We were carefree, living our lives, working hard, and had planned in our minds that this would be the year we’d become parents.
The end of January was the start of it all. The hardship began. It was the Australia Day weekend. We were headed to the beach for some quality time together, and had booked a unit with beach views. We knew driving there that night, that our chances of even going to the beach that weekend were slim. It rained heavily that whole car trip. Like cats and dogs. And the rain continued. It seemed Ex Tropical Cyclone Ostwald was unleashing its fury.
That weekend something else happened. A tornado. The coastal town we were holidaying in, was hit by a massive tornado causing extreme damage to many peoples homes and livelihoods. We were lucky- the apartments we were staying in never felt the force of the tornado. It was at that point though we knew that whole weekend was doomed. A tornado also hit Troy’s Gran’s house that weekend too, also destroying it, but luckily she was safe. We had been without power for over 24 hours as emergency services continued to try restoring power to the battered town. The rain continued. The next morning, a phone call from my Dad back in our home town which confirmed our biggest fear. They were told to evacuate due to the Burnett River experiencing a massive downpour and huge river rises. The town had only experienced a flood 2 years ago but most homes were spared, so the taste of fear was still fresh in everyone ‘s mouth.
We had a decision to make. Stay where we were with the risk of ultimately being stranded there for up to a week, as the water from upstream would eventually make its way downstream meaning there would be no way for us to escape, or leave now while we could, with the possibility of roads and bridges already being flooded and not even being able to get home. We took the second alternative, as all we wanted to do was help my parents, and yes, we got stranded by the side of the road, 10kms from home, where my parents livelihoods had been stripped from them, in a 1 in 100 year flood event. Thankfully our home was safe, but theirs not. We felt so helpless not being there to support and help them. Once the floodwaters receded, we were able to cross the bridge we were stuck at (after a 3 day wait!). Luckily we knew some people nearby and were able to stay at their house . We finally made it home to help in the clean up efforts. My parents stayed with Troy and I for a month while their house was cleaned and restored after the flood. This was a devastating start to the year for many in our community, but it was amazing how everyone banded together to help each other out! It was hard as we couldn’t just snap our fingers and have their home and possessions back, but at least everyone was safe.
February brought quite literally, a rainbow after the storm! We had been so busy cleaning up post flood and were busy doing other stuff that when we discovered that I was pregnant, it came as a massive surprise! Finally! It was one of the happiest times of our lives, and we were elated to say the least. We couldn’t wait to become parents. This was soon taken from us in April. A missed miscarriage. Meaning that no signs or symptoms of miscarriage were evident. I still felt pregnant, and as though nothing was wrong. Although this was perhaps one of the most difficult and emotional experiences we have experienced so far, it has been one of the most valuable experiences. We became parents. Parents to an angel. And we are proud of that. We have learnt to never take such blessings for granted, and value what you have.
April also brought another positive milestone. My 28th birthday. It was also the day that I became engaged to my best friend. He had supported me so much, and it just felt so right after everything we had been through. I can’t wait to marry him and become his wife! I love him so much!
In August, we started the harrowing journey of fertility investigations, and it was discovered through an AMH test that I have a very low egg count, and it was also discovered via laparoscopy that I had Grade 3+ endometriosis. It came as a huge shock, and was hard for us to process, as we had conceived once. This meant we were fertile didn’t it? That’s what everyone kept telling us after the miscarriage. “At least you know you can conceive”. Not only had we lost our baby, but we were faced with loosing the possibility of even having children!
In September, I had the endometriosis removed via another laparoscopy, and had another laparoscopy in October to ensure the organs were all healed and not adhered together.
In November, we started looking towards starting IVF and planned for our first cycle in December. Unfortunately this was not successful and I only made it to egg pick up stage due to only getting one egg, which was immature and deformed. As of the end of 2013, we’ve now been trying for our blessing for 18 months. At the beginning of 2013, we had no idea we would travel this path. That infertility would be plaguing our minds, and would consume our every thought.
We are glad this year has passed to say the least, and had our 2014 calendar hanging long before 2013 had even finished!
We spent New Years Eve by spontaneously driving to the top of a hill, enjoying the sunset view over some nearby mountains and a glass of wine, reflecting on the year that had passed and looking forward to the New Year to come. It was calming and relaxing.
I have set some personal goals for the New Year. They really are nothing huge like loosing 10kgs, travelling the world or quitting smoking like some people’s New Year Resolutions, but to me would make such a huge difference to my life! They are simply goals. They may come true, or they mightn’t. For I know how easily dreams and goals can be shattered in this trying to conceive journey. They include:
- To focus less on what others say or don’t say- Throughout the last year, I have become so emotional and anxious about the stupid things others say or don’t say. I feel like they just don’t get it, but I need to realise, they haven’t walked the path that I have, and felt what I have felt. I need to focus on my health, and eliminate such anxiousness that others may cause, and put it to the back of my mind. I have read some positive affirmation techniques to help me achieve this goal.
- I want to be that carefree woman again, who never worried about her fertility. I know this will probably be the hardest goal to achieve, as I really have no control over it. Especially considering the invasive procedures and doctor visits I have already been through! But it would be so nice to not “worry” about my fertility. Perhaps the one small thing I can do is to not Google everything, and stop wondering if there is anything else I should be doing to boost my fertility. My fertility is a part of me, and the only thing that can change it is me.
- Not work so hard- On reflection, I usually work a 10-12 hour day, 5 days a week and only get paid for a measly 5 hours a day! Not to mention weekend work I do at home. Throughout the journey we have traveled this year, I have realised that I need to care for and nurture my body more, instead of running it into the ground and working so hard. Years of grueling hard work has caused my fertility problems. 4 years of hard slog uni study followed by a hectic Teaching career has done this to me. I need to focus more on doing things for myself. Continue my acupuncture treatments. Start meditating. Continue on with my Chiropractic treatments. Just generally, doing things for me. Getting my mind into a more positive place. Believing that I WILL be a Mum someday. Hopefully I will see a more positive outcome on our second cycle of IVF as a result.
- Lastly (this is perhaps my BIGGEST goal), I hope to set “the date” for our wedding in 2015, as 2014 will be devoted purely for continuing on with our fertility treatments and HOPEFULLY becoming a MUM!
May 2014 be a year of good fortune, happiness, luck, love and blessings for many!