Finn & Rebecca

Finn & Rebecca

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New directions...

A couple of things happened over the past couple of weeks to put my mind at ease and to reinforce my positivity and sense of purpose on this journey. I went to see a medium. I went to see my Prof. And then I went to see my intuition teacher who also does readings. It was a roadtrip of revelation. Each substantiating the other. All giving me peace and positivity.

My purpose for going to the medium was specifically to see if I could reach my mother in spirit. I got so much more than I expected and there was no doubt that mum was there and communicating with me. Without going into specifics, there was complete knowing that it was her due to the precise details she mentioned. I was completely blown away by the detail and the depth of the information coming to me. And how happy I felt knowing that she is okay and finding her way around her spirit home. Yes, there is a little soul waiting patiently for me and physically I will not be able to have a baby unless I use a donor. They also didn't believe that I would use my sister's egg as I need a stronger, younger egg for this to work and they see this from another donor. I have had to go through this long challenging path as I was not really ready and for some reason, I needed to learn all I have to become the mother I am needed to be. Her guides explained that it will still very much be my baby and all I need is the matter to start the process (donor egg), but that I will nurture and create the baby completely and will feel an immediate soul connection on implantation. This is exactly how it is supposed to be.

The peace I felt from hearing this was like being drenched in warm loving light.

Then,  I went to see my Prof and he recommended we go for as young a donor as we can to ensure success. We chatted a little about epigenics, which is ground-breaking research into genetics and dna where it has been proven that lifestyle can change your genetic destiny completely. So as the biological mother, this means everything! As the genetic source (a combination of genes from the egg and sperm) will implant in my body to grow, my body will feed it, stimulate it, my sub-conscious will send ideas and thoughts to it...all contributing to the creation of that baby. As the baby grows in me, those influences may have a direct bearing on how the baby develops. Those influences may contribute to the switching on of specific genes over others. There are epigenic marks which sit on top of your genes, and these determine whether the gene is activated or not. So lifestyle and other influences have a direct bearing on this. This is exciting new science which is completely changing they way we think about genetics and affirms that your dna isn't your destiny. There is more on this fascinating research in Bruce Lipton's "The Biology of Belief".


Anyway, we are on the same page now. And Prof wants to try match us himself to one of their donors. So the plan is as follows...we are going to proceed with an anon donor.


Prof will start looking at the donors already registered with their clinic. He feels that it is important he gets a feeling from knowing me and then meeting the donor to see who would be a best match for me. He wanted to know more about how I was in matric as he believes that after this we can be moulded in many different directions depending on the situation, but that in matric we are at the peak of our potential. We chatted a bit about what our most important criteria are in choosing the genetic contribution to what will become our baby. I told him that she needs to be a similiar look and height to me, preferably blue or green eyes and that she had to be bright! He promised to call me on 2 December with this selection and to chat about the next step. We are hoping to do a Feb, Mar, Apr or May cycle!!!!

The third visit was with Michelle, my intuition teacher and a skilled intuitive in her own right. While she knows me and has been part of the last 4 years of this journey, I felt it was time to come full circle with a reading from her. And it was amazing.  Again, everything her guides told her was in complete synchronicity with the messages I had already received. And she added even more insight, bringing to a close at last, my desire to understand why I have had to endure such anguish trying to have a baby.

Everything now points to this outcome with absolute certainty and I am completely at peace with our new direction. My fears of not co-creating our genetic child are fading and I am instead excited at the prospect of welcoming the child that was always supposed to come to me...just in a different and special way!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Faith and trust

I am not going to fight it. I am giving in to what comes.

If we have to go donor, then that is what we are going to do - we both still believe that we should carry on, and take the best shot at having a healthy baby as soon as possible. I will be meeting with the Prof soon, and we will have a POA to take us into the new year - 2011 will be the year of our miracle.

Friday, November 12, 2010

BFN

BFN stands for BIG FAT NEGATIVE in the lingo of an IF.

Seems as if I have run out of time for my DNA to procreate.

And yet we had two perfectly healthy conceptions just years ago...just in the wrong place. How close.

I am trying not to question how this child will come to me while mourning the loss of all that goes with saying farewell to my sentimental ideal.

Sad and tired.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2 More sleeps...

Until I know...

I have no idea what to expect.

I want to be positive.

It is time.

I am tired.

I might POAS on Thursday morning before the blood test just so I am prepared...eish.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Back on board the mothership # 2

So we have two embies back on board the mothership! I was so ready for bad news when I got there - you know I have had my share of it and started slipping on the steep hill of positivity and all that! Anyway, the 4 cell embie stopped dividing yesterday and the 3 cell had divided to a 6 cell - so we thought they would only pop that one back. The grade of the 6 cell was 4 out of 5 and whereas I thought this was badly fragmented - turns out it is actually great as 5 is the best and 1 the worst - yeah!

For those of you who haven't experienced an embryo transfer - it really is the most surreal experience...There you lie with your legs in stirrups, barely draped with a cloth and nether regions on full display under the glare of operating lights.  The doctor is sitting in front of this all...then inserts the speculum, peering at your cervix, the embryologist hovers close by and the sister pushes the scanner into your stomach (my uterus proves difficult to find!?) Then your cervix is washed, a quick trial transfer is carried out while the embryologist loads up the embryos and then quickly the dr transfers them to hopefully a great spot in the uterus!  All to the sound of seemingly elevator music and the hum of the lab. Then you are rolled off onto a bed and must stay put for an hour or so before being let free into the dreaded 2 week wait! Anyway, the dr wanted to put back both embies as he has had a case where a woman actually had a viable pregnancy from an embryo that had stopped dividing!  It actually started again in utero!  So back went both!!!

In 6 IVF's, this is only the second time I have actually gone ahead to transfer as we usually wait for day 5. I want to believe that at least one of these embies is going to make it this time.

So that is where we are...the 2 week wait. I cannot help but fear my embies don't make it but my heart is so calling for the miracle which is finally to be mine...

Blood test: 11th November!

The adventure of IVF #6...so far

So went in for egg retrieval on Friday. Got 4 eggs. Prof wanted to see me before I left the clinic so went in to see him - he wanted to run an idea past me - to split them into 2 batches of 2 and to IVF fertilise 2 and to ICSI the other  2. I agreed. Then he suggested that as this is my last shot, we should just do a day 3 transfer. What was quite strange is that I had been thinking exactly the same thing, so I agreed instantly - while science dictates that the embryos are happier in the lab medium which is closer to the fallopian tube environment and that if an embryo doesn't make it to blast then it would never be viable anyway...a small part of me believes that possibly embies are happier in the human body sooner than later.

That evening I had a call from the embryologist who told me that Prof had asked him to fill me in on my eggs...of course the first thing I thought was...it is all over. Then he told me that of the 2 put aside to IVF fertilise, they were both immature. So he looked at the other 2 and couldn't see the polar bodies meaning they could also be immature. So he stripped them and then saw that the 2 were mature. Later that day a 3rd egg matured, so he wanted me to know that he was going to ICSI all 3. Whew, at least it wasn't over.

The next day...waiting waiting for the fertilisation report. I finally phoned the sister. Only 2 eggs fertilised.

Sunday...waiting for the phone to ring...sister called...1 embryo has made it to a 4 cell and the other a 3 cell, both with stage 4 fragmentation (which if you torment yourself googling will know that the more fragmentation the worse...so this is not great). Then she tells me to be at the clinic at 11am on Monday for transfer.

So now, I wait to leave for the clinic. I do not know if my embies are good enough to transfer. I do not know what lies ahead - good news or bad.  I have been here before. It is hard. This is supposed to be my last shot with my eggs and I am praying so much that one magical perfect egg makes this dream real.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

House-arrest

Halo is under house-arrest.  I haven't detailed the latest of our escapades in trying to keep Halo safely within our 1000m2 garden, but in short, DH has installed an electric system all the way around the perimeter and Halo now sports a shock collar which we call Netstar Kitty, (all legit and made for kitties) so that if he tries to get past the wire, he gets a warning first and then a shock.  What we didn't factor in is that he may just grow resistant to this and determine that a small shock is worth it when trying to buck the system!  Yes, last week, DH spotted him dashing across the road...so clearly he has found a chink in the armour and is delighting in freedom around the neighbourhood. So, Halo has been under house arrest since...while we ponder what to do next. Keep in mind this is a cat with little street smarts, who on his first week out ventured into a neighbours garden and got mauled, breaking his spine and losing his tail!

We are on our way to buy some mesh stuff to close off all access holes that may be luring him out...let's see what happens...

I am on cycle day 10 of IVF#6....not sure what to say about this other than...this is it. I am only preparing for success and not success and failure at the same time which is what I usually do. I haven't been posting as my mind starts tearing around if I over think things...so have decided to just take each day at a time with a clear vision in my mind... If all goes well, ER will be on Thursday...more then....

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Baby Loss Awareness Week

During Baby Loss Awareness Week (9- 16 Oct), we remember all babies born sleeping, or whom we have carried but never met, or those we have held but could not take home, or the ones that came home but didn't stay.  

I copied this from a FB posting.  I didn't even realise it was Baby Loss Awareness Week.

I heard today that a friend of friends, just lost their 5 month old baby this week. The baby apparently fell off the bed in a childcare in Pinelands - paramedics tried to rescucitate the baby but to no avail.

My mind cannot describe the pain she must be feeling right now and I do not believe there could be any worse experience than losing your child. And she left the planet in Baby Loss Awareness Week. Her short time on this earth and to leave during this week will almost certainly shine light on this issue. Was the childcare registered? Where are our children? I remember my intuition teacher telling us that when a soul has chosen to come to this world as a child who dies so young - often it is to raise awareness or to spotlight some issue that needs to be addressed.

I have respect for a soul's journey, however, how do you, as a parent, live with the pain when the accident is such a freak occurance and completely unexpected. Spiritual reasoning does little for a mourning heart. It is true tragedy for the baby's parents. What is their lesson? I can't even contemplate how to begin to understand.

My heart sends love and light to this woman, the father and to the little earth angel that left them.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Eat. Pray. Fight

I am so incredibly ratty at the moment so I assume my oestrogen levels have plummeted and I am blundering into another monthly PMS state-of-irritability. Of course, my DH delights in winding me up when in this state as I believe he finds my lashes of snappy retorts rather amusing! I have also been so clumsy today, even knocking over a case of Cobra at PnP this morning! I mean really...it probably would be best to just stay indoors for the rest of the day. Had thought about pottering in the garden with a pair of shears...but maybe not.


So to the title.

Watched Eat. Pray. Love yesterday and I really enjoyed it - think Julia is just a prefect Liz in her way. And YES to Italy again...watching the scenes in Rome, I really need to go back to explore more. Bali also looks amazing.

To eat.

Today has so far included a delicious scram B at the Empire and a plate of provolone, tomato, basil and avo drizzled with olive oil and balsamic with a lightly toasted seed roll. Mmmmmm. Later, I will be making garlicky crunchy chicken breasts with organic pumpkin and cauliflower cheese. With chocolate frozen yoghurt and black cherries for pud. Uh huh. Yum.

To pray.

I said a prayer this morning when I saw a little antique wooden and wicker child's chair.  It just spoke to me, so I prayed and then bought it. Then I said another this afternoon when I read an old friend's post about her birth story. She lost her first miracle while still a baby some years ago and has just welcomed a son into the world. Love and light to them.

To fight. love.

Love is a much better word...I am going to stop fighting, acknowledge my irritation and send myself a little love too.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My time

I am really starting to believe that it is my time to become a mother. This morning DH and I were chatting and I said that we should go to Europe again in June/July and DH answered "You'll be pregnant by then". And.....for the first time, I didn't feel my body go tense and respond with an internal shriek.  I simply replied, "yes I will be but that doesn't matter as we can still go if I am in the 2nd trimester"! I welcomed the nice feeling of assurance.

Where it came from I have no idea as until now, I have been so protective of myself that I do not allow myself to actually believe that it will ever really happen.  Yes, this is because of the vast lanscape of disppointment and trauma I have been through....but it is time now.

Time to move on into complete acceptance.
Time for renewed positivity.
Time to embrace the power of miracles.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Be at peace my mother

"Zebra's", watercolour painting by my mother.

My mother passed away. Quite suddenly it now seems. A year's long battle with terminal small cell lung cancer ended with a fall. A broken femur and heart-wrenching pain. A quick exit from a relieving morphine haze into a coma. A non-responsive body, shutting down with us by her bedside. Blank stares and limp hands held. Shallow breaths and silence. Letting go, alone in her hospital bed and white gown. A final breath in solitude.

I wonder if she knew we were there. Was the brief grip when I held her hand just a reflex? Were the murmurs a cry for help or a stifled cough? Was her blank gaze seeing or in darkness? Did she hear me when I told her it was okay to let go? When I told her I loved her so very much.

How can the space be so vast when a person dies? The vacumn in energy so deep. Her spirit so light, I cannot feel it near. Is she near?  Where is she?

Why can I not feel her?

It feels like a bad dream and in time I will awake and she will be at the end of a long telephone call. But I know she is gone. I did not go to be with her when she expected me to. I lost the time for talking about unspoken truths. I did not ask her to write a letter for her unborn grandchild. She will never see me become a mother.

Perhaps from the other side, but not in this life.

I like to think she will see everything from the light. That she is at peace and in a time and space so gentle, free and content. That she will be able to be near when we need her, and bear witness to the special days she will now miss.

How I miss her already.

In my mind, with the recent therapy sessions, I have held her in contempt and then forgiven all the wrong my child heart has held onto. I released her and forgave her just a few weeks ago. And now she has been released from all the pain and fear of her earthbound life dis-ease. How brave she was. How in awe I am of her strength and calm towards the end. How thankful I am to St Jude who was with her all the way along the twisted path to death.

What a brilliant, bright and unconventional woman she was. Her talent as an artist, an intellectual, an intuitive was exceptional.  Not nurturing in the conventional sense, but a special inspiration to those that loved her. I will always remember her light on spirituality, common-sense, practicality, general knowledge, art, literature, and life. She taught me to lie on my back and look at the stars at night. To ask questions and to enquire deeply. To hold onto my freedom, always. To explore any subject and search for meaning. To be open to experiences. To appreciate music, nature, beauty, animals and the underdog.

She did not teach me to love unconditionally, to trust, to be patient, to protect my inner-child, to be kind to myself, to care for my needs. I took on the role of caring for her, even if she was unaware of it. I over-developed a thick, heavy layer of responsibility to protect her, me and my sisters. I became a pleaser to all. A performer. Needy of attention and acknowledgement. Serious, sincere, loyal. I pushed the child-me into corners and under cover so I didn't push her buttons. I absorbed her anger, her hurt, her shame, her sadness. I witnessed her self-destruction, her cry for help, her pain, her healing, her growth.

And now she is free.
And the gift she has given me is life.
My journey continues. 
She is part of me, I am part of her.
We will forever be entwined in lifetimes ahead.

Be at peace my mother, until we meet again.
With love forever
Cammy

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New look blog

Inspiration came along in the form of a new look...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Calling for inspiration

I have been quiet on this blog...words are dormant.

I am in a period of contemplation. Of reflection. With nothing to share as yet other than a brief update of my life's recent happenings in staccato sentences...

Mum is stronger and back at home doing okay. Decision to do more chemo or not is her next challenge...
I have released a lot of anger...more on this process perhaps later...
Our new Bengal, Halo, soft boy kitty was mauled by dogs next door who broke his back...a sacral fracture, a tail amputation, nerve damage and R6000 later, he is slowly recovering, but I fear for his future as he is so not streetwise...why did we give him a home only for this to happen!

Work is hectic and I have added stress and pressure which is not filling me with enthusiasm...
A warm fire every night is getting me through winter...and the days are getting longer...
Mala, our ridgie puppy is growing day by day and I want need one-on-one training sessions with a dog whispering puppy trainer...
My personal trainer says my progress is great but I need to get back on the healthy diet wagon to shift another 10kg...and I just bought a marzipan Dutch cake...so much for that...
We are extending our off-road parking area so 4 cars can park behind the stone wall...
After vowing not to buy a single item of clothing this month, I just acquired a melange mini..so much for that as well...

All I feel like doing is reading and watching movies...bring on the escapism...
On the 16 August, my DH and I will have been together for 14 years!!! And I still think he is cute...and so so so special...
My creative senses are dulled at the moment...so I am calling on inspiration...

Calling on inspiration to...
Meditate every day
Finish my scrapbooks
Complete my recipe books
Work in the veggie garden
Finish my editing of dvd's
Finish my layouts for prints on canvas.....and and and....

All in time...and more later...

Friday, July 9, 2010

DHEA, POA and a sprinkle of hope

Since the cancelled IVF, I have been doing some work on the way forward for me on this IF journey.

Firstly, I went to have my SCIO Biofeedback done...interestingly, he said my stress levels are in check and my brain waves are running at an above average frequency which not only points towards an above average intelligence (mmmm thanks!!!) but means I can handle higher levels of stress comfortably...(mmmm right?)...so far so good. Then up popped my pituatary gland reading a little out-of-whack, which I would have expected considering the abuse it is put through being stimmed so radically with IVF. He suggested I take some Pituaplex to balance this out. On the risk front, "Trauma" spiked the charts meaning unresolved trauma issues on a cellular level - need to be resolved. Mmm, good thing I had already decided to make an appointment with a therapist then. So off I went...

And it went well. If you can call blubbing your way through 3 hours of some hard hitting unresolved childhood emotions and past traumatic memories from the ruptured ectopic that I had cleverly tucked away. I have agreed to work with her to sort through this all and help me clear all the blocks that may be limiting me on this journey to motherhood. Amazing how the teacher only arrives when the pupil is ready and what has to happen to get to this point!

Then, we met with our Prof...and the ball is in our court. Prof went through my increasingly poor track record but added it was still puzzling due to our natural conceptions albeit ectopic. It boils down to how much time, money and emotion we have to push into this slot machine (me!) with poor odds. Prof has put me back on DHEA as there is increasing evidence that this really can help, even though it did nothing last time. DH and I still want our genetic baby, so we are going to give it another go with my own eggs. And then....we will see. One step at a time. One hope at a time. We have options. No rush. No anxiety.

So for now, I will carry on with this new course of preparation...be calm...be positive...take one day at a time....start gathering up the hope again...get stronger...take the plunge...and pray for a miracle all the way.

Mum is not doing well at all and has been in hospital since Sunday with a bad infection, low sodium levels and a very low white blood count after the last chemo. She is weak and disorientated and we are worried about plans for care once she is home. Please get stronger again mum. Angels be with her and help her to get through this. I may need to go to Knysna next week to help sort things out so mum can be at home...this is very scary.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Introducing Halo

Despite hoping for the past 3 months that Asia would return. He never did. I told the breeder that he had gone and he made us an offer we could not refuse. He had Asia's half brother who is just over 1 years old, an F3,like Asia and needing a loving home. So we adopted him and I brought him home on the way back from Addo. His original name was Harley (named as such because he purrs like a Harley Davidson). We have re-named him Halo.

Wheh he arrived we were nervous as Persia did not approve and hissed at him when near as did the two grumpy aunties. But over the last few weeks he has settled in so well and Persia has a new friend. We checked his pedigree certificate and saw that not only is he Asia's half brother, he is Persia's half sister! So Asia shared a mum kitty with him and Persia shares a dad kitty with him...sweet hey.
Here he is...all the fur-kids together on one sofa - very unusual - Halo is on the arm at the end.





More of Halo in the bliss of warmth in front of the fire! He is such a sweety and already it feels as if he was always here....














Saturday, June 26, 2010

On DHEA again...

So, after the cancelled IVF cycle, and trip to Addo, I have been a bad blogger.

I have been in what I can only describe as a scatty place...partly distracted, partly confused, partly disillutioned and yet partly in a state-of-surrender. I just didn't have anything to share. With myself, or my blog.

Now I have an appointment with Prof. Next Wednesday. He called me last week to say that he had spoken to colleagues in Norfolk but that they had nothing to suggest. All I can do is either to go back on DHEA for 2 months, as there is increasingly good research about this, or as a second option to go directly to donor eggs. I asked if we should perhaps chat about things and he said yes. He also said I must come pick up some DHEA and take it for 2 months (so that must mean he feels we should try again with my own eggs???) So we have an appointment. And yet, I know he will repeat what he has already told me above. We will decide to proceed with another if possibly the last attempt with my own eggs, and in all likelihood, we will start IVF 5 in September...

What will make IVF 5 (or 6 if you take the fact that IVF 4 was two takes!) different? Is there anything I can do to improve the outcome? I will not go there...I am surrendering to what will be.

And yet, I am still in quest. And found two things which resonated strongly with me. The first was a contact for a private therapist / hypnotherapist who does work clearing old blocks and also offers womb cleansing for anyone wanting to fall pregnant. So I am going to see her.

And secondly, SCIO - quantum biofeedback, which has been posted about on the forum. This therapy "is a sophisticated computerized system that both tests and balances the body at the subtle energy level. SCIO stands for Scientific Consciousness Interface Operation system and is derived from the Latin, meaning “I know”. This can be used to test and report on: Allergens, Amino acids, Bacteria, Blood Chemistry, Bones, Candidas, Chakras, Chromosomes, Digestion, Disease, Brain wave, Fatty acids, Fungi, Hormones, Meridians, Minerals, Muscles, Organ sarcodes, Parasites, Physic Energies, Prions, Spiritual Energies and Toxins.

Will report back on both these experiences.

And I have been asking. Wasn't going to but as every psychic reading I have ever had has told me that I will have a baby and imminently, I have always held onto that hope that it is so. And yet, 6 years of the same readings and still no baby to speak of does make one pause and wonder if the psychics only relay what they see so vividly in my mind. So I asked. The last psychic I saw (got a reading as a gift so I went) again confirmed that yes I will have a baby, soonish. But when???? And I was still on pause regarding my suspicion above. So last week I asked him if this was true? And he wrote back with a reading - he had actually done another reading about the matter and this is what he said amongst other things: "I still feel the baby will come from your eggs, and you must try to let go and go on with IVF"..... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My hopes are up.

But cynicism looms over me and the dark shadow obscures my outlook.

Be lighter. Surrender. Let it go.

Working on it...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Elephants here we come


Well, I am off with my two sisters to take mum to the Addo Elephant Park this weekend! I am leaving my DH and DP's (dear pets) at home...will miss them madly! My sister arrives tomorrow and then we drive down to Knysna on Friday, then to Addo Sat and Sun and back to CT next Wed.

Have been feeling peaceful, strangely. Haven't been to see Prof yet and I think I will only worry about that when I get back. And it is okay. I have just read The Journey by Brandon Bays while simultaneously listening to Caroline Myss' new book "Defy Gravity" on cd...both discussing how we can heal at a soul level / cellular level..all tying in with the latest course I attended called QEC = Quantum Energy Coaching and TRE = Trauma Releasing Exercise...more about this later...

For now, I am peaceful and centred and opening up again to my own spiritual power and what that means for the next stretch of my journey...

The road is open and it stretches into a glorious adventure...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Not meant to be...

It seems as if it is just not meant to be...again....

Am so sad at the nothingness you feel when it fails...the empty, hollowness of disappointment.

It gets worse with every failed cycle. It's that space between possibility and despair - the widest cavernous space of sadness. Sadness at having the very vital purpose of being a woman on this planet reduced to a game of chance. Sadness at wasting so much vital energy, money and emotion on holding hope in your heart. Sadness at the lost possibility that it could just have worked. This time.

But it didn't.

Embie is still only a 5 cell and seems too slow to be viable. Unless a miracle happens, transfer is cancelled again. Prof wants to meet with us tomorrow to discuss a new plan. I know he is going to say we can either carry on trying with my own eggs on the off chance we get lucky even though this is a remote possibility, otherwise we can move into a higher chance of success next with donor eggs now...

Somewhere along this 12 year journey...we have gone from conceiving a baby twice to a serious decline in egg quality.... This makes it even harder to accept. Why didn't we do IVF 5 years ago when we still had a chance? But, there is no point in looking back.

Back to the beginning, when I had no idea this is what lay in store for me....I always believed I would be a mother of at least two by 35. I always thought I would be a good mother and that embracing non-conditional love and welcoming responsibility would come naturally to me. So many projects have been shelved as I was waiting for a child to share it with.

I want to believe it is still possible. But today, it still seems so far away.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hang in there little embie

Today, we had: a 2 cell (suddenly started cleaving but too slow so not viable), our 2 cell from yesterday became a 3 cell (also too slow so not viable) and our awesome little 4 cell is now a 5 cell - also a little slow as lab would prefer a day 3 embie to be 8 cells (well anything from 5-8, but preferably 8 cells).....so....we have all our hopes on our little 5 cell.

Prof says he wants it to start compacting otherwise no transfer....so we have 24 hours to get to 8 cells and to start compacting.

I am so scared it is happening again...embryos all stopped before 8 cells....my heart is so sore just thinking about it and I am trying so hard to keep positive. I have tried pleading, bargaining, asking, releasing, surrendering....am not sure what else to do....

Yes, what will be will be...but in the meantime I keep telling myself to believe it is possible...it is possible...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The waiting game...

Of the 4 eggs, 1 was immature as I suspected....and 2 of the 3 mature eggs fertilised by yesterday. Just got the call from the sister....one is a 2 cell and one is a 3 cell today...hang in there and grow little embies.....oh please could one make it to blast so we get to transfer...oh please...let it be possible....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Eggs in the dish

Had egg retrieval today....yes, been quiet this time around, but felt the urge to put it out there...we have 4 eggs in the dish after 13 days of stimming! I think one may be immature, but let's see. I don't have any expectations. DH says I must be positive. BUT, I need to self-protect. I do believe. I really do believe it is possible. I do believe in miracles. But I have been hurt.

This is IVF#4 take 2.

Now comes the scariest part for me...waiting for the fertilisation reports...day by day...no expectations remember. But my heart is aching so already.

Our dearest Asia never came home. Mala is growing like a weed and is the most gorgeous puppy. I am taking her for her first puppy training class tomorrow.

The best news of the last week is that my mum's brain tumour has disintegrated! Yes gone! Seems the neurological problems she has been having are all due to being over medicated / her diabetes / something else....but not the tumour! Lung cancer tumour has also reduced in size again after the latest radiation....all buying her more more more time! Great news....I am so very very happy for her! She is going for blood tests on Monday.

Here's to good news Monday...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Beloved Asia Sky Glitterkatz

My heart is aching as I write this...our beloved Asia has been missing for 2 weeks and 2 days now...we know we will probably never see him again and we miss his gorgeous attitude and fiesty character so very much...oh my Bengalbabykitty....

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Gratitude for the last warm Autumn days...

The cold nip on the air even on a warm day...memories of chilly Winter creeping in quickly now.

While I love the peaceful cool of Autumn days and the wind-free reprieve, I do not look forward to the damp, cold days of Winter. That feeling of days going past without a ray of sunshine on my skin, the coldness that creeps into your bones. If ever there was a person who would thrive in moderate to hot temperature climates, it would be me. I am most comfortable in dry warmth. My acupuncturist would tell me that this is because I am a damp, clammy body...mmm sounds great doesn't it? But with the classifying body-types, TCM uses these terms as guides for specific treatments.

So with gratitude for the last warm Autumn days, I will prepare for the next 5 months of chill.

Of course there are delicious soups, stews, baked fruit puddings, sherry and cosy mornings in bed to look forward to...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gratitude for having found Love
















As we celebrated our 12th anniversary beneath the vast starry nights and during the hot dry desert days in the beautiful Biedouw Valley....I contemplated just how lucky I am to have found true love.

Love which only strengthens as every day passes. Love which only grows to new heights and dimensions as I learn more about the man I am with. The man I found, the woman he found and the love we found together.

He asked me on this day...would you do it all again? Yes, I would do it again and again and to infinity my love...if it meant we could have more time together in this life.

I know in my heart that we needed these years together, just the two of us.
To heal. To explore. To discover. To learn. To love.

To love...and to gratitude for it eternally.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gratitude for Non-days

Do you ever have those days when you are feeling completely non? Offish, low energy, not-really-in-the-mood-for-doing-anything?

Well, I felt just like that today. So while it was not a productive day at all, it was a day of complete rest and nothingness. Fantastic.

Took Mala to the beach for her first walk next to the ocean. She took to it immediately but got tired quickly after about 200m. She is only 8 weeks old so but being a big puppy you almost forget just how young she still is.

She is all tooth and claw right now so lots of chewing, biting and shrieking from me getting attacked on the lawn. I growl to tell her to stop...not really working LOL.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gratitude for Puppy Love

It gives you just a glimpse.

Puppy Love.

Of how it would be when your 6 month old baby reacts when they recognise you after a time apart. That response of unconditional love and happiness at seeing you again. That moment of warmth and connection.

I so want to experience that one day for myself. Soon.

But until then and for now I am just grateful for puppy love...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cancelled on CD8 & Puppy

Yes. My IVF#4 was cancelled on cycle day 8 due to poor follie growth...it seems the low dose Washington Protocol is not going to work with me. I had one dominant 15mm follicle and another smaller 10mm one. Prof said if the gap between them was less, we may have continued, but that if he had to make the call, he would cancel. He did ask me that if I had a feeling we should go on, then we could - he was willing to let me make the decision, but as I said to him, "honestly, I don't have any "feelings" anymore about this journey, so could he please make the decision as it is in hands..." So he made the call. Prof wants to start IVF#4 Take 2 in April - next cycle...he will be changing the protocol back to higher dose stims and he still wants as least 3-4 follicles before proceeding to ER...over to you....

We picked Mala up in Stellenbosch on Saturday - what a little cutie. She was really nervous and trembly for the first while, but is getting more confident by the minute now. The first night I had to sleep on the small bed in her section of our bedroom as she would howl the minute she was left alone. During the night she was whimpering so I pulled her up to lie next to me, and she slept like a log until 7am the next morning...not a peep.

She still howls now when you walk away from her but stops quite quickly especially if she needs a little nap. She loves playing in the garden. Asia is extremely curious and wary of her while Persia has actually come right up to her to sniff her and this morning even slashed poor Mala on the nose. Persia gets freaked out everytime Mala howls and looks at her general direction in horror. Asia is still keeping his distance and hotfoots it if Mala approaches him. As for the two oldies, Aunty Pye and Aunty Lullie, they both look at Mala in disgust.

I hope at least that Persia and Mala become buddies. Am loving the puppy love...

Here is Asia and Persia checking out little Mala...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gratitude for the Now

Mum's tumour has grown. Doubled its size since chemo stopped. I finally got hold of her oncologist and he was not overly pessimistic saying that for now she is still doing well. He wants to do a course of radiation and focus on keeping it under control and try to shrink it again. There is no definitive answer to what is coming.

Mum had asked me to call her dr with a list of questions as she was really still in a state of shock at the news that the tumour is growing aggressively. But for now, the message is loud and clear - mum must live in the now and focus on each single day, one at a time. Every moment must be treasured and lived fully. By living for what may come, you miss the moment you are in and there may be so much beauty and gratitude in that moment. Her dr told me that this is the lesson people living with cancer learn but one which we should all live by as none of us know what is coming. Wise words.

Yesterday mum in a panic had called on St Jude for help. Not a few minutes later, she read a passage in an article in the paper she was reading about a man waiting for news on a growth that was being tested and how he realised how important it was to live in the now and not to lose even one moment as it may hold so many things to be happy for....and now her Dr had the same message...synchronicity still suprises me and how wonderful for my mum that she knows her St Jude is close to her and listening to her calls for help.

So today and for all the past days of the week and for all future days to come, I have gratitude for now, for living in the now, for coming to the realisation that now is all that is actually important.

So I will take that lesson close to my heart as I wait for my follie scan tomorrow. At my scan on Tuesday, I only have one rather dominant follicle and a couple of real smallies. Prof was wavering about cancelling, but decided to wait until Thursday and relook. So we may have IVF #4 cancelled before we even get to ER... But. I will not worry as I have handed it over...and I am staying in the now...for now.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Gratitude for Escapism

Sometimes, we all need a little escapism. You know the kind I mean...like you've had a hectic day at work and you get home and flop out into a fantasy world of TV. Or you have too much on your mind and you need to immerse yourself in a good book or better yet actually get around to do an hour of mediatation. Or you need distraction from a worrying thought that you can't shake, so you have a few glasses of wine. We've all been there.

My mum called yesterday to tell me that she has been coughing up blood. She was diagnosed with lung cancer 9 months ago and has been doing so well, responding to chemo and her treatments. In January, her oncologist told her that the tumours had shrunk and that she only had to come back in 3 months for scan. Now she is going tomorrow as he is also concerned about the coughing. I don't feel good about this. So for some major escapism, we are going to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D this evening...that should just about do it for a few hours of escapism. I pray that the news tomorrow is nothing drastic that will affect her fragile state of hope that she has been clinging to for the past months....

I am on CD4 and started stimming on Thursday. Went in for my antral follie scan on CD2 and there were 3 follies on the one side and 2 follies on the other - nothing unusual there, always about the same. So Prof wanted to start stims immediately and I had a 150 shot of Gonal F at the clinic. I go back for next scan on Tuesday CD6. This is my "I've got nothing to lose" cycle...and as I said previously I am always hopeful of course...but not manically so this time around. More of a meeting halfway...

So today I have gratitude for escapism...when we need it....to bring welcomed relief to worrying times...and a pause to frenzied thought...and hopefully when the short reprieve is over, we are calmer and ready to face whatever is coming.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gratitude for Hope

Okay, I have banked a few gratitudes for this one too.

The days are flying past so fast...I am still waiting for cycle day 1 so IVF # 4 can begin...maybe tomorrow.... Picked up my stim meds this afternoon but the sister told me I still need to come in for a day 2 scan...sigh.... Anyway am on low dose stims this cycle with Fertomid tabs and one 450 gonal f pen until day 7 when I would have my first follie scan.

I say gratitude for hope because without hope, I would've packed it in by now. It is only hope that keeps one on the journey in this crazy game. And when your balloon of hope is popped with the very sharp point of disappointment, you relunctantly fill another one and carry it with you every day during your 14-28 days of cycling.

So I have gratitude for hope. And yet, I am telling myself not to be too hopeful. So this time, my balloon is a little pap...so if the sharp point of disappointment stabs at my little hopeful balloon, it will make a soft poof noise rather than a big loud bang.

I surrender. I meet you halfway. I hand over control. I know there is divine timing. I trust there is a plan. I will know when to stop. I know it feels right to try now. I can see my baby. If I couldn't, I would know I have to give up....

I am filling my blue balloon. With hope.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Gratitude for Mala

We have found our puppy!

She is in this pack of gorgeous puppies....

She is the daughter of two beautiful ridgebacks, Nallah and Chip. We chose her today from the last two last females in a litter of 11. I think she was meant to be ours and the only reason she hadn't been chosen yet is because she is the smallest. But she has a lovely calm and sweet nature so we think she is just perfect. Her name shall be Mala.

So I think I need a week of gratitudes just for her. Okay, I have been slack with my postings but have had a hell of a week....had to bank my daily gratitudes for something special!!

We originally wanted a rescue ridgie and then also a puppy, but no rescues are available at the moment so yesterday I visited the official Ridgeback International foundation page for SA and there they were...in Stellenbosch! So off we went this morning to see them and of course, Mala just crept into our hearts. And she was born on the 30 Jan, the day after me...so a little Aquarian pup.

So she comes home to us in two weeks... I wonder what Asia and Persia are going to think of her! Hopefully they all get along just perfectly. Savannah has left such a gap in the family and I look forward to some dog energy around again. Of course, she is not going to be scary to intruders for some time, but hopefully we won't have to worry about that again!!!

Here is her dam (mum):And here is her sire (dad):

Sire: Calibre Blue Chip Asset (HD:A2 ED0:0) BY019988
Grandmother: Nomvuyo Breede Breeze of Calibre (HD0:0 ED0:0)
Grandfather: Roodedraai Encore (HD0:0)

Dam: Excalibur Nallah (HD:A2 ED0:0) BZ108734
Grandmother: Pleasantview Giza of Excalibur (HD0:0 ED0:0)
Grandfather: Excalibur Pharoah (HD0:0 ED0:0)

Not sure what her registered name will be but I think it is Excalibur Mala....will post more soon as well as a pic of her!

And I am on CD 27 today...tick tock...tick tock......

Monday, March 1, 2010

Gratitude for the Angels of Protection

My sister stayed with us on Sunday as she was in CT for the weekend to be a bridesmaid for a friends wedding. So wonderful to see her and to see her so happy. Makes me happy.

There was a heat wave in Cape Town yesterday...everywhere except on the False Bay coast which had crispy fresh sea winds blowing away the rays of the hot hot sun. The weekend ended too soon, as usual. Snap, and the new week arrives. And a new month! How quickly 2010 is tearing past, or towards...

And this morning, we had an intruder on our property. First time so it is a bit shocking. Hopefully an opportunistic attempt and not one to be repeated. Our housekeeper saw him trying to open a window and shouted at him. He ran away and she pushed the panic alarm. Chubb were here very quickly. Hopefully he got the message. Of course, I hope it is not a case of watching and knowing that Savannah is no longer here to protect the house. After all this, I think we should get a rescue dog and a Ridgeback puppy sooner than later. Horrible feeling, knowing your sanctuary has been violated. I often ask Archangel Michael to help my home angel, Misty to protect and keep our home and animals safe when we are not here. I ask him and the angels of protection to also keep us safe here...I don't like this feeling of fear and I don't want to worry as I fall asleep.

Thank you for quick catch-up visits with my sister and for the angels of protection as they surround us in their embrace of love and light.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gratitude for the week that flew by

And it did. Fly by. The week. Thank God as it was a hectic one. Work is becoming interesting again with increased stress and anxieties, demands and challenges - all just dandy for Type A personalities which I am. However, my ranking has slipped up somewhat I feel, down to the lower end of a true Type A. I am less affected by previously rankling irritations, I sweat less about the small stuff, am less concerned overall about issues which in the past stressed me out. Is that a sign of boredom? When you stop caring about your work, is it time for a change? Not sure. Just hope that time will ease me into whatever direction is in my destiny. I still desire success, but not as strongly as I used to. Perhaps I am nearing change?

So for the week that flew past...

Tuesday: Thank you for the beautiful sound of the raging sea as I went to sleep.
Wednesday: Thank you for the moon, getting fuller every night.
Thursday: Thank you for the tinkling sound of the bells hanging in the tree in our garden.
Friday: Thank you for Persia getting through her sterilisation operation without any glitches - just in time as a big ginger tom has been hanging about!

And today...thank you for all the beauty in our garden with its birds, bees and butterflies...

And so we head towards IVF#4. Will the next 2 weeks also fly by? Will I feel more ready this month? How will I approach it this time? What should my strategy be? How do I protect myself? I will gather my strength up again, hand it over to the universe and take it one day at a time. Again.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gratitude for Cardiologists

What a divine Dr. Divine as he has declared me fit and also such a cheerful, friendly fellow.

I am not going to die from a heart-attack, thank goodness. I have what is called supraventricular paroxysmal tachycardia. Not a serious form of tachycardia which essentially means heart palpitations - caused by a dodgy electric circuit connection on my upper ventricle that then loops and starts making the heart beat really fast. This does not cause long term damage and can respond to certain methods like holding one's breathe or massaging the carotid artery in the neck or even splashing one's face with cold water. Pills can be prescribed if the palpitations happen more regularly and eventually a small procedure, called an ablation, using a catheter through the groin to laser the dodgy electric connection in my heart can be done...but not yet.

So thank you for cardiologists...especially sweet ones that tell me my heart is just fine.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gratitudes for the week that was

I seem to be waning a little but time tears by and while I am thinking about my gratitiudes on a daily basis, I haven't been posting. Will just have to post the collection then for the week that was...

Thursday: Thank you that I didn't drop dead from a heart attack at the age of 37. My heart starting fluttering after a hectic session at gym, and together with lightheadedness, a little nausea and a feeling of something sitting on my chest and general displacement - very strange...all not great signs according to Dr Google. I found out years ago from my GP that I have a heart murmer (why, I am not sure) and about 6 years ago went to a cardiologist as I was spinning 4 times a week at the time and getting continual heart palpitations that would last for hours. Anyway, he wasn't that concerned and told me to come back when I am 50. I still get palpitations now and then but what happened at gym was new. And scary. So off to a cardiologist on Monday for a check-out...mmm. He better not tell me to stop exercising - just as I am starting to take shape!

Friday: Thank you for the power of the ocean. sitting next to the crashing waves at the Bell with a Windhoek draught. Nice.

Saturday: Thank for you being to able to share the joy of two people in love getting married. Very special. Love.

Sunday: Thank you for the smell of baking banana bread, brisk sea winds and snoozes on white sheets. Bliss.

And tomorrow another week begins. And I am so grateful to be here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gratitude for Basil and Olive Oil

When you don't know what to cook for supper - as long as you have pasta in the pantry, basil in the garden, olive oil and a few other basics - you can create the most scrumptious meal.... Whip up some homemade Pesto using basil, garlic, almonds, olive oil, feta, salt & freshly ground black pepper. Toss this through some hot cooked pasta and serve with a salad sprinkled with a few cashews...yum yum. So today I say thank you for these mouth-watering ingredients and the scrummy dinner we just ate.

And yesterday, I felt overwhelming gratitude for the beauty of the mountain behind our house. I admit that I may just have more than one day of gratitude for this natural wonder - just close enough to see detail on the cliff face and watch the mesmerising cloud whisping over the peaks. I had given DH a lift home from work as his car was in for a service and as a perfect ending to a long day and hours in the traffic, we took a walk up towards the mountain, along Boyes Drive and then back down home. The views are so glorious from up there, the sea rippling onto the shore, False Bay glinting in the purple sunset. Our hearts were beating with flowing energy and our minds soothed by the evening meander.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gratitude for big cloud skies and skyscapes

The sky outside is beautiful. Pink, purple, blue, grey, orange, puffy, fluffy, flowing, streaky, sculptures of cloud. And the view from the stoep is perfect for big cloud skies. So thank you for beautiful skyscapes.

I was feeling rather down last week...in general. Just not my usual cheerful self really. But I am feeling better now. We were supposed to start IVF # 4 this cycle, but Day 1 suddenly arrived and it just all happened so quickly. I realised that I wasn't ready. So March it is. And I am not going to over prepare this time. I am going in with the outlook that it could work but it probably won't and I REFUSE to believe that this will have any effect at all on the actual outcome...It is time, the universe knows I am ready and I am utterly convinced that it will happen when the time is right. A sentiment easier said than practiced, but I am giving it a shot...

And back to my gratitudes for the week past:

Friday - Thank you for the escapism of movies...took my team to see Valentine's Day instead of working - fab!

Saturday - Thank you for our wonderful vet and his care and sweet words as we fetched our Savannah's ashes. We are going to bury the urn beneath the angel in our garden.

Sunday - Thank you for the fabulously productive day we had! DH and I pottered about the house doing odds and bits that we have been wanting to do for ages - had a great day at home feeling the love...

Despite feeling a little out of sorts, having a scratchy sore throat and going through a clumsy patch...it was still a week filled with so many things to be grateful for.

Yesterday also welcomes the Year of the Tiger....let's hope this tiger goes easy on us this year.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Time out

I need a little time out...but promise that I am still remembering my daily gratitudes and will post the week's collection on the weekend. In the meantime, I am grateful for my blog and the ability to express my reality...just need to suspend it for a few days.

Thank you for all your kind words about Savannah xxx

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Gratitude for our beautiful Savannah

Today, I had to hold my beloved dog, Savannah as the vet put her to sleep. It went so quickly. From pain to peace. Her eyes vacant and unseeing. Her spirit free and walking with her old friends.

I am grateful for the 13 years we had with her and we will miss her brave, loyal and loving spirit so very much.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Gratitude for the week off

We had a wonderful time on our week off! Family, celebrations, friends, adventures, great food, great nature - lovely break! So my first gratitude is for the week off. I said I would collect gratitudes for every day we were away, and as I am only posting now, for this week too....so here goes:

Saturday: Thank you for the beautiful drive to Knysna...
Sunday: Thank you for my mums incredible progress with her cancer and for the reprieve she now has...and for being able to spend her 61st Birthday with her...
Monday: Thank you for the Goukamma river and the glorious swims we had...
Tuesday: Thank you for the very special 50th Birthday we had for my DH with great friends and family and the wonderful sunset cruise on the Knysna Lagoon...
Wednesday: Thank you for being able to spend the day with my mum and enjoy a delicious seafood lunch together...
Thursday: Thank you for the crisp fresh fabulous blue sea at Buffalo Bay and apple pie and cream at the Knysna Heads...
Friday: Thank you that I was surrounded by special people on my Birthday and for the amazing alchemy of spices dinner we had at Firefly...
Saturday: Thank you for the last special morning in our magic hideaway overlooking our own vlei and for the special memories of swallows and my new drongo friends...
Sunday: Thank you for the discovery of a new klein karoo jewel on the Gamka River and for spending the night celebrating another family Birthday...
Monday...Thank you for our home waiting for us and a gentle day at work...
Tuesday...Thank you for the burn at the gym even though it was tough work and for the shark spotters who asked surfers to get out of the water...one of whom was about to be my DH...
Wednesday...Thank you the incredible musical talent...watching the Grammy's which I had taped was awesome...in fact thank you for our PVR...love that machine...and being able to fast-forward past all ads and silly stuff - so cool...
Thursday...Thank you for the pending arrival of Mish & Aidan and to looking forward to more fab family times this weekend...

A lot to be grateful for...and I am.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gratitude for Time Out

Bliss...9 days off...it is almost as if I had forgotten that we were going on leave for a week and suddenly here it is...I was looking forward to my weekend, but in fact it is a whole week and two weekends! Yeah yeah yeah! So thank you for holidays, long weekends, short breaks and long lazy lulls - a beat out of your daily rut!

I am so grateful for this week off and we are heading to Knysna for a week long celebration of birthdays. It is my mum's 61st on Sunday, my DH's 50th on Tuesday and my 37th on Friday! Celebrations here we come.

A week's worth of gratitudes will follow when I return...I shall be gathering them up everyday until then.

Thank you for my Time Out.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gratitude for Wednesdays and Great Jobs

When you get to a Wednesday and the middle of the working week, the weekend seems so close. I know we shouldn't be wishing time away but I treasure my weekends so much that when I get that delicious weekend tickle on a Wednesday, I start to look forward to my two days of doing what I want to do rather than what I need to do. Mmmm...even though I have a great job and love most aspects of it, I wish my work could be something that I can't wait to do - that I jump out of bed every morning saying "great, I get to xyz today".

Does any job make anyone feel like that all the time or is there a degree of drag in everyone's work? Do we all rate our job happiness quotient in degrees? Sort of like, "I enjoy 60% of my work while the other 40% is a real drag!" I often have the feeling that while I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now, there is still some other career in my future that I am going to love even more and that will give me more satisfaction that I have ever had before...so all in divine timing then. A small voice is also always saying to me "work for yourself, your land, your life" so hopefully that will fit into my future somewhere too.

For now, I am so thankful for my great job and yes....for Wednesdays.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gratitude for Medicine

Today is significant in that my mum is getting the results of her scans after 5 chemo sessions. She was diagnosed with terminal small cell lung cancer in July last year and has been doing so well and keeping as positive as she can. Without the chemo, her prognosis was extremely poor and so far she seems to have responded well to the chemo as at her last scan the primary tumour had shrunk. I can only pray that today, she gets news that will keep her going.

A colleague at work who has been feeding a somewhat neglected dog in her neighbourhood found him this morning after a dog fight some weeks ago and he has a badly infected leg. Without antibiotics, he wouldn't make it as the infection has spread too far. We are all chipping in so she can take him to the vet to get treatment.

And Haiti. All the amazing organisations that are sending over medicine, resources and doctors to assist with the thousands of injured survivors.

And of course...all the incredible medical assistance and drugs that help us become mothers and without which, we would never have any hope at all of ever conceiving our babies.

Without the miracle of antibiotics and other medicines, many would never make it. So thank you for medicine that helps disease and infection and restrains the spread of cancer, even if only to give us some more time with those we love.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Gratitude for my Sharp Chef's Knife

I love cooking. But I didn't know until now how incredibly marvellous it is cutting with a proper genuine chef's knife! Wow. Even the most daunting tasks are despatched without any fuss. This knife slices through pumpkin skins like butter.

Yes, I am the proud new owner of a genuine chef's knife and loving it. Thank you for this wonderful revelation and for making cooking even more fun!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Gratitude for Fresh Herbs

As I write, I have lamb shanks on the stove. The smell is driving my tastebuds wild. And thanks to the latest addition in our garden, a lovely herb garden right outside my kitchen door, I could take two steps and pluck handfuls of parsley, rosemary and thyme...mmmmm.

And oh wicked of all wickedness...I have been thinking about a recipe for banoffee pie for so long now - sounds a tad ridiculous, but I assure you it is the height of taste delirium! So I made one. Crumb base, layer of caramel, layer of sliced banana, topped with whipped cream with Baileys and peaked with shavings of dark chocolate! Basic yet unforgettable. Not sure why couldn't restrain myself and go for fresh fruit instead, but, I have it in my fridge. Clearly my treat barometer was shooting off the chart this afternoon and it simply had to be appeased.

This sounds more like my food blog than my fertility blog, but hey, thank you for fresh herbs and banoffee pie!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gratitude for Red Wrigglers

So today we started our worm farm! This has been a new years resolution for some years, so I can proudly tick that off the list. These little red wrigglers are just the most incredible creatures. They convert tons of organic waste into the richest compost, producing enzymes, vitamins, hormones and antibiotics which increase the immunity of plants against diseases and pests. They are about the best secret weapon of any garden and your plants will love you for their vermi-compost and worm tea!

These fantastic earthworms have many more incredible benefits to the earth, and our soil is in bad shape. So lets all be doing our bit to help the piece of soil we live on right now? And thank you for red wrigglers!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gratitude for the Red Cross

So today our CEO came into the office and asked us to contact the Red Cross to see how we could participate in assisting the earthquake victims in Haiti. I have been feeling saddened but yet so removed from the disaster and so largely uninvolved. Then I saw the images on Google Earth. Suddenly it was so real, you can almost feel the pain and suffering through space. While I have been sending love and light to all the families dealing with such horrific conditions and losses, I was suddenly struck by just how lucky we are not to have been involved in such a massive catastrophe. I am so thankful that my family is safe and sound right now.

The opinion of many scientists and those working in the light is that these natural disasters will increase. The scientists with their theories and the lightworkers believing that earth is almost purging herself of all the strain humankind is placing on her. However, on the frontline of the reality of these disasters, the Red Cross is doing incredible work. The head office assured us that the time will come when they want to collect clothes, blankets and food however at the moment, they have absolutely no way of getting this to Haiti or distributing it as the airstrips are unsafe and planes cannot land. It will take 3 weeks to get mobilised and in the meantime, money is hugely welcomed. I see that you can make donations on Google direct to other organisations working to assist the poor people of Haiti. Thank you to the Red Cross and all the organisations working tirelessly to help people in need. I am sending my prayers and love and light to them all.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gratitude for the world wide web

Oh how wonderful...information at your fingertips, whenever you need it, whatever subject you desire, www whizzes it up in seconds - a host of sources you can wade through at leisure - factual or fiction, whatever takes your fancy. Suddenly everything is revealed and knowledge unveiled. I am so grateful that we live in this age of awareness and have no doubt that the internet is a manifestation of humankind's desire to be more conscious and aware - of sharing information and connecting with each other. It mirrors the reality that we are of the same source and closer to each other than we think. Suddenly boundaries defuse and social media links us all - interests and what we have in common bond strangers who may never have met. Imagine.

I connect with women everyday that I have never met and get real emotional support from them. They are my "tribe". We understand each other. Yes, me and my fellow "infertiles" or fertiles with issues as I believe we should say instead (let's put out positive intent rather than the label "infertile"). The internet is a vital source of information and comfort on our journey most of the time. So thank you for this amazing tool we get to use in our lives and for the cyber-relationships that are made possible.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gratitude for delicious food and porta pools

Oops...yesterday slid by and I didn't remember to post. However, we had the most delicious supper last night and I remember thinking, I really am grateful and thankful that I get to create and eat scrumptious food everyday. For life is too short to eat bad food.

And today...it was 40 degrees. Cape Town hasn't been than hot in months if not years! It was like walking out into an oven after work. We had bought a very large porta pool last December and have spent so much time enjoying it - DH and I both love to swim and it is a true indulgence to be able to have a dip right in your garden! So thank you for porta pools on 40 degree summer days!

Splash!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Gratitude # 4: Thank you for the team I work with

First day back at work. And the first thing that struck me this morning was how fabulous the women (and man) are that work on my team. I was welcomed back with hugs and kisses by some and genuine chats with others and I really felt missed and realised I had also missed our interactions.

So thank you for the great people that I work with - we spend more time with each other (and asleep of course) than we do at home with our loved ones! So it is pretty special when you enjoy the people you work with everyday. Let this be a great year for each of you.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gratitude for Westerly breezes and warm summer days

So today, there was a slight Westerly breeze.

In a season of intense South Easterly winds that seem relentless sometimes, a soft Westerly breeze is a welcome change. Usually bringing with it overcast conditions but so be it. This morning, we awoke to a gentle day, a real Summery morning even though it was a little grey. The air was soft and heavy, feeling so delicious on skin. Languishing in bed reading a new book, I relaxed into what was promised to be a blissfull day.

And it was. I baked rolls and we ate breakfast in bed. DH had a morning swim while I lazed in the morning sun. We decided to head down to the beach for a sea swim. The sky looked darker and more ominous further along the mountain, but after lying on the soft sand contemplating the sea, we both went for a swim. It was icy fresh and green. Utterly chilling but oh so refreshing. Just after one, we headed to a roadside restaurant in Kalk Bay and feasted on grilled Yellowtail and prawns. So divine.

The remainder of the afternoon included languishing on the lawn looking up at the giant mountain, dipping in the pool, reading, drinking tea, snoozing...

Thank you for the most spectacular day and for the Westerly breeze and warm summer days.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gratitude for the animals in our life

Thank you for the animals in my life.

Savannah, our aging ridgeback/irish wolfhound cross alsation, Tallulah, our eldest cat (13 years), Pye, her daughter (12 years), Asia, our firey Foundation 3 Bengal (1 1/2 years), Persia, our baby Bengal (4 months), our various birds and our tortoise Neroli.

Animals give such unconditional love to you everyday, especially dogs who really just want to be loved and love in return. Our cats, each a different character, bring something unique to the relationship we have with them. Persia, still the baby, is quite the sweetest little kitten with an adoring pur and a spirited will for adventure. Here is the latest pic of her having a snooze on our bed...

The hardest part is saying goodbye and I know that time is coming for our dear old Savanah. It is simply the most heart-breaking moment and I have yet to be with an animal who passes away. So while she is still with us, I bless her and will appreciate her everyday - for protecting us so bravely, for providing us with company and committed love always.

I am thankful for the amazing energy each animal brings into our lives and look forward to the many years of connectedness still to come...

Friday, January 8, 2010

A year in gratitude

So I had a flash of inspiration last night. The thought came through very clearly so I have decided to act upon it. Instead of wasting time on my cyber farm and cafe, I need to commit to a more meaningful creative process. One that either produces thought and therefore energy or one that results in an actual project that I can feel with my hands. The thought that pushed its way into my consciousness was that I need to start a daily gratitude post on my blog. In addition to the ramblings of my fertility journey, (I think we need to stop using the work "infertile" - using the negative is not really putting out a great intent is it?) I will now be posting a daily "gratitude".

Having gratitude reminds us of all the simple things we take for granted. It moves us away from what we do not have to expose the blessings already in our lives. A pause. A moment to focus on what makes our day special. By simply saying thank you for something that gives you pleasure or helps you or makes your day easier, you stand in the now. It can be something simple like the smell of freshly baked bread or something big like the love of your partner. It grounds you and gives you perspective, changing a negative to a positive. So I will say thank you for something every day this year.

There is so much to say thank you for so I am not going to over-think this or make lists and lists, I will choose just one thing - the first thing that pops into my mind everyday.

So be it - my project for 2010.

And my first gratitude is for...

Freshly laundered crisp white sheets. The smell, the feel, the luxury of them. Thank you that I get to have a clean, fabulous bed. Thank you to the amazing woman that helps me in my house. Thank you to the washing machine for working so hard. Thank you to the warmth of the sun for drying the linen and to the iron for making them crisp....I love my bed, especially after a long day when I am tired and can slip into sleep between fresh clean sheets.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2009 under review...

A fellow blogger put this together so I decided to do it too...my summary for 2009...

1. What did you do this year that you’d never done before?
Started blogging, went snorkelling in the Caribbean.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Mmmm, I really really thought 2009 would be the year I became a mother...but that's not really a resolution is it, so let's keep that thought as a wish for 2010. I also want DH and me to spend more weekends away - camping - at least once every two months. I want to keep my Personal Trainer and get more toned that I have ever been in my life and then I want to stay that way. I want to find my health balance - between food and exercise and keep it! I would like to knit more, scrapbook more, paint more, and start on all the creative projects that are waiting for me. I want to keep my food blog going because one day I may write a cookbook. Mmmmm...think that's enough for one year?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
2 Colleagues and one good friend. Torture each time even though they are the sweetest little sausages.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer but she is beating the odds and I pray she stays with us for much longer.

5. What countries did you visit?
We were lucky to combine a work conference in Florida with a trip to Miami and Mexico where we travelled all around the Yucatan Peninsula and saw the Mayan Pyramids, experienced the islands and stunning Caribbean. Part of me was guilty that we spent so much money that could have been kept for IVF but another part of me thought we wouldn't need it! Anyway, NO regrets! And this year, we want to do a trip from Richtersveld across to Southern Namibia, across and through Mata Mata to Kalahari and maybe even up to Botswana...but will have to see what happens...Of course, I would rather fall pregnant...but life cannot stop and adventure calls to me all the time.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? Trust that everything will work out in divine timing. Positive thought which I find so very very hard considering all the hard knocks of disappointment. And, finally being pregnant with a healthy baby.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 12 May: Mother's Day as I would have been a mother three times already if I hadn't had such crappy fertility issues. 4 April: Our 11th wedding anniversary at Chichen Itza, Mexico, when my DH gave me the 12th charm for my anniversary charm bracelet and it was a tiny gold engraved penknife as a symbol of me to "cut the cords" to the little souls we have lost - he is such a special man. 26 June: My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. 3 August: My 2nd IVF cycle was cancelled. 4 August: I had an AHA moment of understanding which helped me process what was happening. 2 November: My 3rd IVF cycle was cancelled and egg quality questioned. 9 Dec: Prof gave me a prescription for hope. Gosh was a year!!!!!!!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Loosing 12kgs! Becoming a shareholder in the company I work for. Winning an international marketing award for one of our (me and my team) initiatives.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not going away on more adventures with my DH - we are at our best when it is just the two of us in the bush or mountains or desert.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Had a killer flu for the first time in 4 years. Had toncillitis. Got an eye infection...twice! Had an infestation of ringworm from my kitten and had to take a course of chemotherapy for fungi - great! NOT. For someone who is pretty healthy...I had a crappy year healthwise - maybe due to all the stress!!!!!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My new Bengal kitten, Persia....she is simply the most special little kitten ever.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Sharon has my vote too and I cannot tell you how very happy I am that she has little Ava right now and how it all unfolded. Also my DH for putting up with my suppressed positivity and sadness and disappointment - always with a hug, words of compassion and positive affirmations...he always has believed and still does no matter what...I aspire to be like him....

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? Anyone who doesn't understand IF and makes frivolous comments about it. If you know someone who is having fertility difficulties, then go find out about it or ask before making silly comments!!!!

14. Where did most of your money go?
USA and Mexico trip....and two IVF's.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting my new kitten. My sister getting engaged. The trip to Mexico!!!!!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
We are the People by Empire of the Sun.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer? a) happier (I am determined to stay in a good space this year) b) thinner (woohoo and I am determined to stay that way!) and c) richer (I am putting this out there as I need as much dosh as I can get for IVF's 4, 5, 6, 7... but hopefully I won't!)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Just letting things be. Expressing how much I love my DH - yes exactly like that you naughty readers! Spending quality time with my mum. Having more adventures! Doing completely new things...

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Crying, complaining, criticising, controlling.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my mum and sisters for the first time in 5 years....very special.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Yes, with my kitten Persia. And with my husband again and again.

22. What was your favourite TV program?
Like SO Greys Anatomy (starting again Jan - YEEHA) and also Private Practice and Brothers & sisters!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is a strong word and I don't like using it.

24. What was the best book you read?
Definitely the Millenium Trilogy! And yes....I was also caught up and engrossed in the Twilight series!

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Empire of the Sun and MGMT.

26. What did you want and get?
A chef's knife - my favourite xmas pressie!

27. What did you want and not get?
My baby...but he is coming...

28. What was your favourite film of this year?

Most definitely and undoubtedly it was AVATAR in 3D - WOW WOW WOW WOW - my first 3D experience and what a brilliant movie!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 36, reluctantly....really do not feel closer to 40 than 30! We went away to a private spot with a secluded rock pool in the Cederberg and spent most of the weekend kaalgat - bliss!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Agree with Mommyinwaiting...if my IF treatment had just worked so no more pain, sadness, money, emotions etc would need to be wasted...

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Tad hard to be keeping up with fashion when you have to wear a uniform to work in black and stone EVERYDAY! (our CEO's great idea...NOT). So my style leans towards jeans, t-shirts, cargo pants on weekends.

32. What kept you sane?
My DH. The great women on fertilicare and my good friends. My animals which bring such wonderful and unconditional love to us everyday.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Mmmmm....really can't think of one!

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Try not to let politics stir me...but any cock-ups with health and education make me sad - seeing the state of the hospitals and lack of funding is absolutely shocking.

35. Who did you miss?
I still miss my old BF who hasn't made contact with me even though she lives in CT. I worry about her and think about her often but it seems she is leading a different life now and doesn't need our friendship. She has two kids. I have tried to get in touch but nothing really comes from it...very sad. I have decided to let her go. I also really miss my BBBF and cousin who I do not get to see often enough as she lives in Mossel Bay.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Didn't really meet anyone new but have made special connections with some of the amazing Fertilicare women - would like to meet some of them soon!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
That everything happens exactly as it should. Without believing this, I would go insane.

Thanks to Mommyinwaiting for the above...if anyone else reads this and decides to do it too, please leave a comment with your blog link so I can read yours xxx

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Welcome 2010

Welcome 2010!

This is me celebrating with a pair of flashing lights 2010 "glasses"...my New Year's party trick.

We have just returned from 10 days in Knysna where we had a special Christmas with my mum and sisters for the first time in 5 years. We then spent New Year's eve in Gouna with the drizzle over the forest, our cousins and some friends. All the women went into the forest and beneath a 600 year old Yellowood, we did a special blessing for my sister Jen who was to be married on 2 January (more about this suprise below) The partial lunar eclipse was hidden by cloud but just as it ended, the clouds parted and the last blue moon of 2009 appeared.

2010 was ushered in with much hilarity and some distress caused by an unsavoury and rather sloshed character...however, I welcomed the year with my own reverence and peaceful sentiment. As I gazed out over the moonlit and misty forest canopy, I wished for...

A year of hope and positivity. Of trust and faith. Of progress and adventure. Of compassion and forgiveness. Of release and understanding. Of healing and rejuvenation. May we all be ready to bring new consciousness into our lives and to embrace the many challenges we are presented with this year. No matter what may come, let us be surrounded by the universes' love and light always.

The holiday had become rather eventful....and suddenly a wedding was on the cards! On the Monday, after taking my mum to the small chapel on the way to Buffalo Bay, where she stated that it was the place Jen and Nick would get married, my sister decided to go have a look as it sounded like a really special place. They returned agreeing that it was indeed the perfect place to be married. I mentioned that Adi had said it would have been so amazing if they had planned the wedding for this visit as everyone was here. My mum then turned to my sister and said, "Why don't you". My sister paused and smiled and said..."Why don't we?" !!!!! I became aka the wedding planner and we organised everything in 3 days flat! It was a very special day and mum gave Jen away which was extra special. Here are some pics from the day...

Here's to love and light always xxx