Saturday, June 30, 2007

Your time is coming...

Don't be late!
( in the words of Take That singing "Shine")

Don't know what I'm talking about? It's the lyrics of a song! The tune is quite catchy, and it wasn't till a few days ago that the lyrics got hold of me. I just know these guys are not singing about TTC and IF, but if you go through the lyrics it is sooooo apropriate in our situation.

For those of you cycling, in the middle of the 2ww, thinking about/waiting for adoption, or waiting for life without children to start making sense, or just in limbo somewhere: this is for you!

You, you're such a big star to me
You're everything I wanna be
But you're stuck in a hole and I want you to get out
I don't know what there is to see
But I know it's time for you to leave
We're all just pushing along
Trying to figure it out, out, out.

All your anticipation pulls you down
When you can have it all, you can have it all.

So come on, so come on, get it on
Don't know what you're waiting for
Your time is coming don't be late, hey hey
So come on
See the light on your face
Let it shine
Just let it shine
Let it shine

Stop(stop)being so hard on yourself
It's not good for your health
I know that you can change
So clear your head and come around
You only have to open your eyes
You might just get a big surprise
And it may feel good and you might want to smile, smile, smile.

Don't you let your demons pull you down
'Cause you can have it all, you can have it all.

So come on, So come on, get it on

Get the rest of the lyrics *HERE*

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Golden Thread

I've visited so many new blogs during the past week or so, mainly thanks to Mel's Commentathon and the Great Cake Day. It was great fun "meeting" new people; sometimes the stories were painful, sometimes uplifting, and sometimes downright heartbreaking.

Later, when I thought back to everything I read, the people and their stories, I realized that Infertility wasn't the main thing binding all of us together. It's the starting point, yes, but it's not what is keeping us in this blogosphere of ours.

HOPE is the golden thread.

Hope is what makes us come back despite our pain. Hope is what motivates us to write about all the obstacles on our road to becoming parents. Hope is what makes us stay, even though our journey has ended in the eyes of the world. Giving hope to those still standing on the platform is what makes us stay if we're lucky enough to have a warm little bundle in our arms.

To all of you with hope in your hearts, no matter how faint a flicker it might be:

"Within your heart, keep one still,
secret spot where dreams may grow."
Louise Driscoll

Mel from Stirrup Queens and Sperm Jester wrote a post about the common thread that binds us all. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Aunt Sassy started this. No, actually she just made me go get the box down from it's hiding place high up in the back of my closet, carefully obscured by lots of linen I rarely use. I've been thinking of that box and it's contents for a few days now.

So I took it down, opened it up carefully, and took out the contents one by one. My cat jumped on the bed to come and inspect the unknown items up closer. She can't resist a cardboard box. A few sniffs when I laid them out on the bed, and then she flopped down on one of my pillows to view things from a safe distance.

I expected a tear or two, perhaps even a flood of them. But I was quite strong and calm actually. They were exactly as I remembered them. Some even more beautiful. Still so soft and cuddly. They still smelled faintly of the baby-soft I rinsed them in to get rid of the shop smell.

Click-click. Some people might think me slightly (ok a bit more: totally?) crazy and wacko, taking pictures of baby clothes, most of them bought more than 13 years ago. None of them have been worn. Ever. The receiving blankets I bought are still in their plastic covers, price tags on. The cloth nappies for my shoulder after a feeding, or just to wipe a little cheek, super-soft and silent at the bottom of the box.

Yes, I still have every single item I bought for our baby when I was pregnant in 1995. It was just for 8 short weeks, but it was the first time, who would not buy something? The first gifts we received just after we told everyone about the first grandchild in the family that was on its way are in there too. Treasured amongst enough naphthalene to scare away armies of insects to preserve it for when the dream becomes reality. (Note the present tense? Oh my...)

This was the first toy I bought for our baby.
I was 5 weeks pregnant at the time.

This little outfit was just too beautiful not to buy.
It's still one of the most beautiful set of baby clothes I've come across.
Below is another version in the same series, just as irresistable!

My mom gave me these little booties.
You think if I lasted through all of this today without a tear so far, they would stay away. Surprise. You're not so strong after all Ms. O...

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Great Cake Day

I so wanted to bake my own cake, decorate it, take a photo and brag about it here. But now I can safely say I know of a great place to shop for really tasty cakes! And it's just around the corner. :)

This is my contribution to the Great Cake day celebration started by Melissa. For those of you who don't know about it already, we're celebrating anything we feel like today, be it just to be alive, making it through the Commentathon without too may blistered fingers, or because we had just one too many BFN's. Infertility is no joke, but being part of this community for the past few months has been wonderful!

The inspiration, motivation, snorts & giggles and encouragement I found on your blogs and which has become part of my daily fix & routine has meant the world to me. Here's to you, all my blog readers, not just those that are part of the IF community.

Patience, this is just for you! Anyone else for a big glass of red wine? Hope you enjoyed your visited down here in South Africa - this is turning out to be a journey around the world!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Rated Needs

Firstly, thanks for all you comments on my blog the past few days, especially the one about my mom and dad. I showed them the post and they were overwhelmed by what I said, and more so about your comments!

Many of the blogs I visited today had the following link and I thought it would be fun to see what my results would be.

Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

breast (2x)
shit (1x)

Hmmmm. They are terribly strict with their ratings huh?

Secondly I succumbed and did the "needs" thingy on Google. My name is so common and there are gazillion other Karen's who already posted this game on their blogs, so I decided to dig deeper and use only hits not from blogs. It turned out to be a bit more interesting!

Here is the list:
  1. Karen needs support in reaching her goal. (I have a few goals...)
  2. Karen needs something to boost her self esteem. (Oh yeah?)
  3. KAREN NEEDS A MAN. (I'm not kidding you, it was there in caps!)
  4. Karen needs to lose 25lbs. (It's actually a bit more but I'd be happy with 25.)
  5. Karen needs new haircut to make her look glamorous. (I can live with being glamerous any day!)
  6. Karen needs a strong man. We not be able to find that kind of man through us. Karen says she has tried all the online dating services. (Now you're making me sound desperate. And no I have NOT tried all those services!)
  7. Karen needs a flight over Kenya. (Now THAT sounds great!)
  8. Karen needs to write a lot faster to satisfy us fans who are ready to gobble up her books. (Aaaaw thanks you guys! Whoever wrote that (IF it was about me) lotsa cudos to you!)
  9. Karen needs to get hit by a car or something. (Hmmmmmm)
  10. Karen needs to learn the Fox Trot so she doesn't embarrass herself at her wedding. (OK now enough of this, what does google know that I don't?)
  11. Karen needs to drink less alcohol and more water. (No I don't! 3 liters is enough already. Water that is if you wondered!)
  12. Karen needs to cheer up and chill out about Britney Spears. (This one had me laughing out loud!)

Yes I know I only had to post 10, but the more I looked the better they got! :)

I followed a link (#2 in the list) and found the following. It's hilarious!


After I read Aunt Sassy's comment I read the above mentioned link again, and have to agree: it's funny only at first, when I looked for something connected to me. Reading between the lines, you see more about the hurt that woman might've had in her life too...

Friday, June 22, 2007

The next question

"I gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which I must stop and look fear in the face...I say to myself, I've lived through this and can take the next thing that comes along." Eleanor Roosevelt

If I could measure all the tears, the heartache and suffering it took me to be able to read the above without getting mad, feeling anger at the unfairness of it all bubbling up in me, I would be the proud owner of a Nobel prize for something or other.

When I read it today, I felt a quiet determination. No matter how many scars it left me with, Infertility will NOT beat me. It might've won a battle or ten in the past, but I am going to win this war. And I don't need children to be the crowned champion.

There were times when I felt so rebellious: I don't WANT to grow stronger, or have more courage or confidence, I just want a baby!

Lately, quiet acceptance replaced the anger. The pain is not so sharp anymore, and I can talk about my Infertility much easier than in the past. This quiet acceptance does NOT mean I'm going to take this lying down.

I'm not going to get mad anymore. I'm going to get even.

How? Well that's the next question!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rainbows & Bluebirds

This song has been playing in my head for a few days now. You know it well, and perhaps some of you see it as an IF anthem of sorts. Here it is:

Over The Rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

Some day I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemondrops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can't I?

It has me thinking: we all know the story about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This song says it's somewhere over the rainbow.

My question is this: Where is that wicked, wicked witch that moved the gold without telling us?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My awesome dad

Both my parents are totally out of this world, but since it was Fathersday a few days ago, I decided to dedicate the topic to my father today.

My mom had breast cancer 9½ years ago. She was lucky and they caught it early enough for her not to have a mastectomy. Her lymph nodes were removed; she had chemo and radiation therapy and went into remission. 5 years later the nightmare returned to our family: my sister L. was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32. (I'll tell you more about her struggle in a different post.) For 4½ years everything went hunky-dory.

On Valentinesday this year the top part of my mother's right lung was removed due to a tumour that turned out to be cancer. We were devastated. She took a long time to recover from the operation, much longer than we anticipated. It was terrible to see my active, always-on-the-go mom struggling for breath after getting up from her chair.

During the past 9 years she lost 3 very dear friends to cancer. She was the one who took them to fit their wigs, who pushed them in their wheelchairs through the shopping malls so they could get out a bit. She picked up their medicine from the pharmacy and sat by their beds encouraging them through their struggle.

My mom is like a ray of sunshine wherever she goes. Always smiling, always positive and always seeing the bright side of life. For a while after her operation she had a difficult time being her sunny self, understandably so.

During her first struggle with cancer years ago, she was fortunate enough to keep her hair. The oncologist told her it's going to be a different story this time around. She needs 18 chemotherapy treatments, spaced out during a period of 6 months. It's almost certain she'll need a wig.

My dad took her to find a perfect match so it could be ready when her hair starts falling out. He joked about it, asking her to please choose a reddish wig because even though he loves her light brown/greyish hair, he always thought red-heads looked hot! He has been so encouraging about it - trying to make light of a very sensitive issue.

About 2 weeks ago my mom's hair finally started to fall out. Even though we knew it was coming, it was a bit shocking. It didn't happen last time, maybe this time it wouldn't either... No such luck. She told us how she felt when she combed her hair, or washed it, and I can just image the sickening reality when she woke up in the morning to find lots of hair on her pillow.

Her scalp became incredibly sensitive a week or so ago, and she joked and said it was the remaining hair, digging in their roots and biting into her skin to keep from falling out. It was time for the last of them to go. Rather shave it off than to wait for them to fall out whenever they felt like it, prolonging the inevitable.

My dad made a deal with her: he'll shave her head if she shaved his first. His argument: "We're in this thing together. I'll get rid of my hair to show you that we'll do this together till we beat this monster."

Maybe men doesn't feel about their hair the same way women do. And maybe there are thousands of men in the world who did the same thing for their wives. But this is MY dad, doing it for MY mom, and I think it is totally awesome!

Since Monday evening I'm the incredibly lucky child of two bald parents - more in love than I've ever seen them before!

My parents rock!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tertia's Survival Kit

Yesterday I came across this post on Tertia's blog. I loved it so much I just HAVE to tell more people about it! The only thing I'd like to add to it is the ability to be able to order one for all the BFN's I've had in the past when it wasn't "available" yet!

These Survival Kits are for people who just received a negative result on an infertility cycle. Here is a sample from her post. Please visit her blog to read the rest of it - it's really great!

The BFN Survival Kit would include:
  • 1x Bottle of the best wine around. Decadent, expensive wine because ‘f. that, this infertility shit just cost me an arm and a leg and I deserve to drink good damn wine’.
  • 1x platter of sushi, because you just spent the last month not eating it, just in case.
  • 1x hamper of the softest cheese you can find (as above)
  • 1x sinfully huge box of chocolates. NOT FOR SHARING.
  • A flask of heavily caffeinated coffee.
  • 1x large packet of chips (MSG and preservatives a bonus). With or without dip.
  • 1x box of tissues.
  • A box of smokes. Even if you don’t smoke.
  • A voucher for a massage.
  • 2x DVD’s to watch while drinking the wine and eating the chocolate. Neither of them have any children or pregnant women in them, at all.
  • 2x pain pills – one for the period pains (oh thank you for the reminder) and one for the morning after the bottle of wine.
  • 1x sleeping pill so that you can go to sleep and not have to think about the 20k that just went down the drain. Literally.

I need at least one of these Survival kits ASAP - even though my last BFN was over 9 years ago!

PS: My mom will read this post some or other time, and since she does not tolerate certain words, I had to edit out a spiced word here or there - my sincerest apologies Tertia! Go on, visit Too Close for the unedited version - it's great stuff!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Checkers anyone?

No school today, so I'm blog-hopping and doing my part in the Commentathon. I came across My Reality's post about "Everything is changing", and suddenly saw myself in a whole different way.

She said: "I want to know when my everything will change. I want to know when I can move forward with my life plans. I don't want everything else to change and leave me behind."

I'm somewhat ashamed to say that I've stopped wondering about when MY everything will change. It shocked me when I realized that. Am I getting complacent with my situation or is this how it feels to be coming to terms with the hand life has dealt me? I'd rather believe the latter please!

There was a time when I ran like crazy to try and catch up. I fell flat on my face most of the time, but I got up and ran again. I didn't want to stay behind but I got tired of the chase. The gap between me and the people in front of me grew bigger and bigger.

So I stopped.

I stopped running, TTC, trying to win my husband back, trying to tell myself I will fall in love again and that things will get better soon.

Now I'm just sitting at the side of the road watching the rest of the world go by: I've stopped running because I won't ever catch up.


Don't get me wrong here: I haven't given up on life. I've stopped running the race of trying to live the "normal life" I've dreamed about: the life of being married and having babies that grow up into children and then into adults that would in turn give me grandbabies.

It's time to find something different to do: running is NOT for me.

Anyone for a game of checkers?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

What would you do?

The past few days I’ve been talking to myself a lot. Not out loud where other people could hear and think me mentally slightly off, just quietly inside my head. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “You’ve got to stop sitting here with limp arms, just staring into space.”

Myself: “Leave me alone. Go bother someone else.”

Me: “Oh please, feeling sorry for myself again? It’s getting really boring you know!”

Myself: “Ok, Miss GoodyTwoShoes, any bright ideas today?”

Me: “Uhm. Well… mmmm.”

Myself: “Aha! Got you! Now take your smile and turn out the light before you shut the door.”

I: “Stop it you two! It’s enough that we’re here talking to ourselves! Make a plan and make it fast; straight-jacket white is NOT my favorite color!”

So the three of us started reading and found this question:

"What would you attempt to do
if you knew you could not fail?"

And reading a bit more, we came across this quote:

"While one hesitates
because he feels inferior,
the other is busy making mistakes
and becoming superior."
Henry C. Link

We’re a bit scared of starting something and failing miserably. Again. Like with the TTC phase a few years ago. Trying to save the marriage. A few other things we’d rather not mention…

The processes in my mind are still working on the answer. There are a lot of choices I’m contemplating. I’m still looking for that ONE THING that would be the ultimate for me to do now. I still have to learn to think of failure as "just-not-yet", because final failure only happens if you don’t get back up to try again. You have to get up and get going again. Every single time.

I’m still thinking about my answer, but do YOU know what you’d do if you knew you could not fail?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Buttered Cat

I started a new blog. No, I'm not tired of this one, I just thought I'd keep this one Infertility related, and about my growth on the road to total acceptance.

If you feel like reading something different, please visit "
The Buttered Cat". See you there!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Dear Fairy Godmother, I have a request!

Commenting on a recent post of mine, Pamela Jeanne asked me: “With all you've been through, what are the most important traits for you in a mate?”

At first I thought it a difficult question. Why? Because I wouldn’t want to limit my choices OR your understanding of what kind of man I would like to fall in love with some day. But by limiting my choices I make it so much easier to find him. It might take a bit longer, but it’s so worth it in the end!

I fell in love with J when I was 20 years old. Being 3 months my junior, he was still 19 at the time. Looking back it was a head-over-heels thing that changed into something we both took for granted as the years went by. Getting used to each other so much so that we couldn’t imagine a world without the other person. We got married the year we turned 25 just because it was the next natural step, NOT because we were still in love. We never worked hard on our communication skills. We actually never discussed anything deeper than why he was unhappy about everything that went wrong on the golf course that particular day.

That’s the first and most important trait in a future mate and relationship: we simply HAVE to be able to communicate in a very special, deeply intimate and open way. I believe that if you’re able to discuss intensely personal subjects with your partner, there wouldn’t be much time and place left for misunderstandings and drifting apart.

My favorite writer of all times, Anaïs Nin helped me out with two of her quotes:

“I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”

“I do not want to be the leader. I refuse to be the leader. I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness. I want a man lying over me, always over me. His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone, the command, my pivot. I don’t mind working, holding my ground intellectually, artistically; but as a woman, oh, God, as a woman I want to be subtly submissive. I don’t mind standing on my own feet, I do not want to cling, I want to be all that I am capable of doing, but I am going to be pursued, loved and possessed."

The second quote is basically the same as her original one, but I modified it a bit to fit in with what I want.

But then! One other very important thing: (she said tongue-in-cheek-trying-to-look-very-serious) my man simply has to be taller than me. I don’t ever want to let go of this dream I had since forever: standing on tip-toes to kiss my man goodnight. That eliminates about half the men on earth (Sorry Tom Cruise – you’re one of them!) because at 1.74m (5’8”) I’m falling into the group of women that are seen as taller than average.

One other thingy: he must preferably not have the looks of Georgeous Mr. Clooney. Sharing is a very honourable trait, but I don’t like sharing my toys! *grin*

I’d rather be alone for another 7 years than to settle for less than what is important to me, just because I want to share my life with someone. The price you pay is just too high to be worth it.

And until that special man comes along, I’ll be living and loving and sailing the seven seas! (OK, make that dreaming of sailing the seven seas - its just not possible on a teacher's salary!)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Heart vs Spirit

It amazes me how messages of affirmation keeps popping up, dropping into my lap. Before I'm starting to sound a little bit daft, let me explain.

During the days following my post about praying, the daily quotes I received via email, all seemed to be about praying, and not losing hope or faith. This is one example from a quote by Frederick Buechner: "Faith is not being sure where you’re going, but going anyway. A journey without maps." It wasn't the only quote or article that came my way during the days that followed. They kept appearing, as if they were strengthening each other's message, building it up into an even stronger voice. And I was listening in wonder.

I believe that if you open yourself up to experience life, you will attract to your soul the answers that you are seeking.

The past few days I've been motivating myself towards thinking less about where I come from, the fight with Inferzilla, the scars it left, and more about where I'm going to. And as it happened so frequently in the past, a positive affirmation arrived through my inbox:

"When the heart grieves over what it has lost, the spirit rejoices over what it has left." Sufi epigram

I know there will be days in future when the painfull longing in my heart weighs heavier than the growing light in my soul. But I will be patient with myself on those days. I'm waking up and the sun is shining.

My spirit is winning slowly but surely.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Happiness is...

I don’t even want to downplay it: today is a wonderful day!

No, nothing spectacular happened. I’m not in love or even just a little bit infatuated. No windfall like finding a lost R100 note or winning the UK lotto.

It’s a great day because I can truly say that the mist is nowhere to be seen. I don’t even want to blog about IF.

And that’s making me feel a little bit panicky.

What on earth am I going to blog about if not IF? That’s the one thing that I’ve experienced thoroughly. I’ve lived it, got the t-shirt and the rest of it too.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not making light of the experience. I’m also not so naïve as to think that I won’t ever want to blog about it again. Coping with it is a life-style adjustment, (goodness me, what an understatement!) and then it becomes your life-style.

Today is the first day in a very long time that I want to blog about something uplifting and light and funny. And it feels so good!

Happiness is… being me today!

PS: Lady Macleod’s blog helped widened the smile on my face and in my heart today. Go read her soon-to-be-made-into-a-movie-straight-from-the-bestsellerslist-if-I-get-my-way rendition about her Moroccan adventure, and don’t forget to vote for her on Blogpower. (Category 3!)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Surfing the waves

Most of the people in my life, family and friends, don’t know about this blog. My sisters know about its existence, but I told them I’d share it with them once I’m ready. Besides, they have more than enough struggles on their separate plates at the moment, to be burdened with the things in my life that I’m trying to come to terms with. I don’t know if I want to tell anyone else. Maybe some day, maybe never.

Deep in my mind I had this notion that I would send them my blog address once I’ve arrived at the place where I could assure them: “I’ve been through some seriously rough times, but I’ve written all I could about my sorrow and longing, and now I’m OK. Don’t worry about what you will read, don’t be concerned about me, I organized my thoughts and feelings and it’s all sorted out.”

What’s been nagging me is something I never wanted to admit. I really believed that I could beat the after- and side-effects and come out smiling at the end of this tunnel.

I am never going to be OK with being Infertile.

That doesn’t mean that I’m still fighting against the reality of what it did to my dreams. It doesn't mean I've surrendered either! It also doesn’t mean that I’ll be living with a grudge against Fertiles, Life in general or just for the sake of being mad because I’m hurting. It doesn’t mean that I won’t ever feel sad about not having children of my own, or that I won’t feel that burst of anger and/or frustration in an unguarded moment.

It does mean the following:

  • I accept that I’m a woman who wanted to be a mother and couldn’t be one.
  • I accept that some days the longing and disappointment will hurt like hell, no matter how far on the road of recovery I think I am.
  • I won’t think of myself as cold and bitter or a 100% healed on the days when the quiet acceptance replaced the hurt in my heart.
  • I will rather embrace my emotions - the whole range from sadness through hurt to anger and back to depression – than to fight against experiencing them when they visit.
  • I’m going to be patient with myself, and I will patiently teach others to be patient with me too, without making their life more difficult having to deal with my pain.
  • I’ll learn to translate hurtful statements and situations in such a way that I keep them from hurting me.
  • I’ll keep on confirming to myself that I am a successful woman, even without children, and that not being a mother does not make me less feminine, less of a woman, less responsible or less anything.

The waves are not going to crash over me anymore - I will learn to ride them like a seasoned surfer!

PS: If they do crash over me again on the days my foot slipped off the surfing board, I’ll just spit out the salt water, smooth the wet hair out of my eyes and - if I feel like it – run into the waves again for another ride to the shore.

Friday, June 1, 2007


"Do not turn and run, for there is nowhere worthwhile for you to go. Do not attempt to push ahead into the danger ... emulate the example of the water: Pause and build up your strength until the obstacle no longer represents a blockage." Marsha Sinetar

Is this what I'm doing at the moment? Pausing to build up my strength? Maybe it's what I've been doing the past 7 years.

Infertility is a monstrous blockage.

It overshadows everything in my life. It punched me in the face and knocked me out breathless. I listened to the count going up to ten, heard the gong, and the silence around me is more difficult to bear than the roar of any crowd in triumph for the winner.

I've been lying and waiting silently for too long now. My strength to fight against this cold, heartless monster has dribbled away into a kind of quiet submission.

Will I ever possess enough strength to let my life just flow around this obstacle in my path?