5 Things That Shaped My Life

Cecily wrote a great post about the 5 things that shaped her, and invited us to do the same, so without further ado, herewith my 5 things…

  1. Killing my pet Tortoise by accident – I was all of 4 years old, we (my sister and I) got this cute tortoise as a gift and I loved that little thing!  It was winter and I wanted to make sure that Tortie (highly original name I know) was kept snug and warm and safe outside so I got a blankie from my cupboard, wrapped him up tight and put him in the newly constructed box house in the deepest darkest part of the garden.  I never realised that he would not be able to squirm out of the blankie.  I left him warm and safe and forgot to check on him.  My Mom often asked if we had seen Tortie during the course of that winter but tortoises have a habit of “getting lost” and wandering so we assumed he had walked merrily out of our garden.  Our gardener found Tortie the next summer still wrapped up tight in his blankie (cold weather stopped the decomopsistion of his body so no smell).  I was devastated as I remembered having wrapped him up at that moment.  I learnt to always find out the proper way to care for our animals and got an early lesson in “every action has an equal and positive reaction”.  I still feel guilt over Tortie.
  2. Attending 12 schools in 12 years of schooling – this is quite a feat when one considers that from halfway of Standard 6 (Grade 8) to Matric (Grade 12) I was in one school.  My father was in the military, and we moved A LOT.  Especially in our younger years.  I attended self teach schools, nice schools, bad schools and at one stage for about 5 months even no school.  Many people ask me if this was highly disruptive in my life and I can honestly say no.  I think because we moved mostly in the younger years when children are more accepting and clicks are not really formed I learnt more to be open and more outgoing than I would have been if we had not moved around a lot.  I made friends easily and learnt to judge others much more accurately from this experience.  I also learnt that I loved a diversity of people which is still a huge part of who I am today.
  3. Skydiving – I decided to skydive when I was 18 years old.  It was one of my first major ADULT decisions.  I did a tandem jump at the local skydiving club and only realised how much I freaked my parents out by doing this after the euphoria of the jump wore off.  They realised I *could* die doing this – I never entertained that possibility.  But they did, and they still let me jump out of a perfectly working plane.  They trusted me enough to let me do the one thing that scared the crap out of them.  That act of selfless love and trust is what I hope I can give to my children one day.
  4. My folks splitting up – my folks had always had a volatile relationship.  Mix and Irishman with a Scotswoman by descent and you’re bound to have some fireworks.  They fought a lot, made up a lot and had what I thought was a solid marriage.  And I suppose for a long time it was.  But it stopped being that.  And they split up.  I can honestly say it shook me to the core!  Here I was a measly 2 years into my own marriage (one that I hoped would “make it” like theirs had) and they split up.  Poor Cliff, he had to deal with a lot of “we better make sure we don’t end up like that” and “promise me we’ll work whatever is going on in our marriage out” and “my whole image of marriage is a sham, what are we going to do”… But they are better people without each other.  Sure they are lonelier now, but all in all better off.  I learnt that things are not always what they seem and that one needs to work HARD at your relationship. 
  5. Meeting, dating and marrying Cliff– I was SO not interested in men when I met Cliff.  Not sexually, but I had just barely recovered from a nasty incident with a stalker and was in the “men suck” frame of mind.  Meeting Cliff was a funny story, but suffice it to say there was instant chemistry.  He was persistant too and got my number off a friend and we went on a date.  I knew after date 3 that we were going to get married.  It took him 2 years to figure it out.  But marry me he did, and I am SO blessed.  Sure we fight (we fight quite a bit) but it is always over quickly and we work through our issues.  God knows a lesser man would not have put up with the infertililty, lack of sex life, bitchiness, mood swings and general craziness that is life married to Sam.  But for some reason he does.  I have learnt that I do actually deserve to be happy and to live out my life with the one person who loves me, frustrates me, fights with me, makes up with me etc etc.  He makes me a better person in many ways, but I also make him a better man in many ways.  And we work for each other.  I learn from our relationship everyday and cannot wait to see what else we have in store for each other.

So there you have it!  5 major things that shaped my life and who I am today. 

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Big Bang Theory? (TMI S.E.X post ahead)

Yesterday I read a post called “the elephant in the room”.  It hit right home.  The one thing that I wish I had known beforehand was how much of a negative impact infertility would have on our sex life. 

Before infertility we had always enjoyed an active healthy sex life, but as the months wore on, and the years started getting ticked off the calendar, we have found that our sex life is no longer as active and is far from healthy.  In fact we are at the point where our sex life is hanging by a tangible thread. 

In the beginning of our journey we found that timed intercourse was fun and novel, but after several months of this with no result it became a chore and took the joy out of the deed.  Then we moved onto treatments and from my side of things the meds killed my drive to have sex.  What is it about those meds?  I just never felt like it, I was so dry and found sex so uncomfortable when we did muster up the engergy to get it on, that I was in the “just get it over with” frame of mind. (Anyone thinking of vestile virgins dreaming of England right about now? Only me?)

My husband has also suffered.  He became “afraid” to have sex, the pressure just became too much for him as he felt like he was expected to perform all the time and that he was letting me down.  So we avoided sex.  Sex was making us miserable right, so why not just not do it? 

That approach did not work, so we had a big sex talk.  How we needed to work on it, how we needed to fix it.  We’ve had that talk a number of times in the last 4 years but we are still limping along in this area of our lives.  And honestly I miss it, I miss us enjoying this aspect of our lives together.

The question is this – how *does* one fix this?  Do we see a therapist, and if so do we choose a therapist who specialises in infertility or one who specialises in “sick” sex lives?  Do we muddle along on our own trying to figure out the best way forward, trying not to get more frustrated at ourselves and at each other?  Do we forget the penetration aspect of sex and focus on the intimacy aspect only for a while?  Do we massage more and bath together more?  

I’m guessing that we’ll never completely go back to being that carefree,  “jump your bones cos you looked at me” couple that we were before infertility struck, but I sure would love to be that couple who managed to ride this wave and who at the end of it all still manages to willingly have sex and enjoy it. 

So, please help!  What have you found to have worked to “fix” your sex life?

 

Happy Friday MeMe!

I saw this one on Bee Cee’s blog and I liked it, so without further ado, here is my first Meme 😉

Here’s a list of things and you have to bold the ones that you have done. So here goes:

Bought everyone in the bar a drink
Swam with wild dolphin
Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
Been inside the Great Pyramid
Held a tarantula
Taken a candle lit bath
Said I love you and meant it
Hugged a Tree
Bungee jumped
Visited Paris
Watched a lightening storm at sea
Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
Seen the Northern Lights
Gone to a huge sports game
Walked the stairs to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Grown and eaten your own vegetables
Touched an iceberg
Slept under the stars
Changed a baby’s diaper
Taken a trip in a hot air balloon

Watched a meteor shower
Gotten drunk on champagne
Given more than you can afford to charity
Looked up at the night sky through a telescope

Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
Had a food fight
Bet on a winning horse
Asked out a stranger
Had a snowball fight
Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
Held a lamb
Seen a total eclipse
Ridden a roller coaster
Hit a home run
Danced like a fool, not caring who watched
Adopted an accent for an entire day
Actually felt happy about your life, even for a moment
Had two hard drives for your computer
Visited all 50 states
Taken care of someone who was too drunk
Had amazing Friends
Danced with a Stranger in a foreign country
Watched wild whales
Stolen a sign
Hitchhiked in Europe
Taken a road-trip
Gone rock climbing

Midnight walk on the beach
Gone sky diving
Visited Ireland
Been heartbroken longer than you were in love
In a restaurant sat at a stranger’s table and ate with them
Visited Japan
Milked a cow
Alphabetized your CDs
Pretended to be a superhero

Sung karaoke
Lounged around in bed all day
Posed nude in front of strangers
Gone scuba diving
Kissed in the rain
Played in the mud
Played in the rain
Gone to a drive-in theater

Visited the Great Wall of China
Started a business (hope to soon)
Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
Toured ancient sites
Taken a martial arts class
Played a computer game for more than 6 hours straight
Gotten married
Been in a movie

Crashed a party
Gotten divorced
Gone without food for 5 days
Made cookies from scratch
Won first prize in a costume contest
Ridden a gondola in Venice
Gotten a tattoo
Rafted the Snake River
Been on television news program as an “expert”
Got flowers for no reason
Performed on a stage
Been to Las Vegas
Recorded Music
Eaten shark
Had a one-night stand
Gone to Thailand
Bought a house
Been in a combat zone
Buried one/both of your parents
Been on a cruise ship
Spoken more than one language fluently
Performed in Rocky Horror
Raised children
Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
Picked up and moved to another city
Walked on the Golden Gate Bridge
Sang loudly in the car and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
Had plastic surgery
Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have
Wrote articles for a large publication
Lost over 100 lbs
Held someone while they were having a flashback
Piloted an airplane (with help from the actual pilot but yes)
Petted a stingray
Broken someone’s heart
Helped an animal give birth
Won money on a TV game show
Broken a bone
Gone on an
African safari
Had a body part below the neck pierced
Fired a rifle, shotgun or pistol
Eaten mushrooms gathered in the wild
Ridden a horse
Had major surgery
Had a snake as a pet
Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Slept for more than 30 hours over 48 consecutive hours
Visited more foreign countries than US States

Visited all 7 continents
Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
Eaten Kangaroo meat
Eaten sushi
Had your picture in the paper
Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
Gone back to school
Parasailed
Petted a cockroach
Eaten fried green tomatoes
Read the Iliad
Selected one important author who you missed school to read
Killed and prepared an animal for eating 

Skipped all of your school reunions
Communicated with someone without sharing a common language
Been elected to public office
Written your own computer language
Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
Had to put someone you love in hospice care
Build your own PC from parts
Sold your own artwork to someone that didn’t know it was yours
Had a booth in a street fair
Dyed your hair
Been a DJ
Shaved your head
Caused a car accident
Saved someone’s life

That was fun – do it too!

Balance?

I met my Dad for lunch the day after I found out our first IVF had failed miserably, and he said something to me that has had me thinking quite seriously since then.  He said that I was letting having a baby completely take over my life and that I was losing the essence of who I was in the process.  It was hard to hear that, cos I know that in a very real way it is true. 

Before this journey, I used to be a “glass half full” girl, I was genuinely happy for other people who got their hearts desire and I used to be a lot more carefree.  I laughed more easily.  I played nicer.  I was the kind of girl who used to be the life of every party and the one who people used to come to for advise and who people loved talking to cos they knew I would always give them my honest opinion to their situation.

Now after walking the ttc road for just over 4 years, I find that I am not so easily persuaded by the “glass half full” theory (though I make a concerted effort to hang onto this aspect of myself, cos I like it, I like it a lot).  I am a lot more suspicious of goodness and I question the use of positivity to guide the outcome of situations.  Deep (very deep) inside I am happy for people who get their happiness easily, but closer to the surface sits the jealous harriden whose first thought is “why them and not us?”.  I still laugh, but not as easily as I used to.  I think a lot more dark thoughts.  And while I can still obvivously can be the life of a party (see my 30th pics) I find that at some point during the party I remember that I am not the girl I used to be, I remember that I am more jaded and mostly a little broken inside.  Instead of being the girl people seek out to chat with, I am the one that they now avoid, because talk of my failure will result in tears and uncomfortable silences, and talk of their happiness and children will cause me hurt (not as much anymore but sometimes) and might result in tears and uncomfortable silences (not so much anymore but sometimes the buggers still leak out my eyelids).

More often that not I find myself trying to find the tenacious balance between my obsession desire to be a Mother and the person I used to be.  I know that I will never be able to go back to being that girl, but I also know that I need to try and find the good pieces of her, the pieces I liked, and knit them into the person I am now. 

How do you find the balance?