Thursday, February 26, 2009


We are sick. Not super sick, just colds with running noses, sore throats and a general feeling of rubbish-ness.

We caught the cold off someone who is CLOSELY related but as my mother reminded me we don't play the blame game in this family so I will abstain from naming and shaming them. Closely related, that's all I am saying....

And after two days of being snotted on, sneezed on and drooled on by my sick tiny man, I succumbed. Thought those jolly South African genes would have been a bit stronger....

Luckily I am still working my way through the 300 boxes of viral and bacteria killing tissues from my buying frenzy caused by the possible bird flu epidemic. Remember that? We were warned to stock up on bacterial killing everything from cleaning sprays to tissue to masks (yes I got in the queue at the pharmacy to buy masks!). Because it was coming and no-one was gonna protect us. I even had water stock piled and spent months collecting it all.

The germs were coming. I don't think anybody told them they were supposed to arrive though.

So here we are years later and I am still reaping the benefits of my propaganda induced buying frenzy. And in a household that does not use any non-natural stuff sometimes the heavy chemical anti-bacterial doo-das (can't think of word- insert own descriptive word here) come in handy.

Like for colds, or cleaning potties.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Small mercies

My clinic is offering a $1200 rebate to couples doing their third cycle of IVF. This was introduced just after we completed our third cycle so we missed it.

I phoned and asked if we could have the rebate on our 4th IVF cycle as we couldn't take advantage of it earlier... they said yes! This is incredible as the cycle costs are about $11,000 so this will help immensely.

Yay, thank you God!

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P.S. A really good story... I designed the new premises for my fertility clinic (I am a commercial Interior Designer) WHILE doing the 3rd cycle of IVF. Yup, insane but a total God thing!

No-one knew but the clinic and my boss and it was the hardest thing I ever did, especially when the cycle failed. BUT God meant me to do it as I designed it for girls like me. It's soothing and calming and feels like a home.

The reception area
A recovery room
The house of pain

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A clarification....oooops!

In my world class "freak out post" yesterday I was musing about why I started blogging. I think it may have sounded like my blog is an exclusive club for Infertiles!

So let me say that I am thankful for those in my life who are beautiful "fertile Myrtle's" and read/ follow my blog. The lessons we learn along the way are similar even though what we go through may be different. So what I go through may help someone in a different journey just as I have been so influenced, challenged and inspired by blogs written by girls on a different path to mine.

So I celebrate girls like Penny, Nikkey, Becs, Simoney, Gail, Jeanie and others and would like to remind you (ahem...sorry!) how welcome you are at my blog....


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Saturday, February 21, 2009

IVF cycle update

Called the clinic yesterday and we are all systems go in the next couple of weeks. I need to wait for my "red friend" to arrive and then I go on the pill (ironic huh?). I wait for my donor to get her "red friend" and then they start to align our cycles and the true fun begins.

Part of me hopes and believes for a miraculous and natural pregnancy this month. Most of me knows that won't happen but there's a corner of me that cries out to God and believes for the miracle. Wouldn't that be wonderful....

Again most of me cannot believe that I am being this open about the IVF cycle. All the other IVF cycles have been done very privately with a small circle of trusted friends praying for us. This blog is public and I don't know who reads it. More frighteningly I don't know who from my world reads it and now knows our story. It's a very vulnerable time for us and if you know me in the real world please be easy with how (and who with!) you talk about it.

But I know why I am doing this. Why (as a very private person) I take the writings of my journal out and expose them to the light of day. It's because in some way I am writing to the me in years past. All I wanted was my journey, feelings, fears and pain to be acknowledged and then understood. To be acknowledged and then understood is a great gift.

You can love someone but not acknowledge and not understand. It takes people who have walked where you are are, visited the places you have been and seen the things you have experienced to acknowledge and then understand.

So really this is reaching out to those like me a couple of years ago, bewildered, hurting and looking for God. Looking for someone, anyone who understands.

And that makes it ok.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

A plug... for a baby blog!

Did not ever think I would plug a baby blog!!!! No way man! But this is special. This is my beautiful, courageous and just plain wonderful sister's blog. She is one of my all time favourite people and is an ultimate God-lover girl.

The blog is still under development but promises to be a goodie

Penny's blog

Love you Penpen xxxxx

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Victorian fires update

Praise God, my cousin and his family are ok despite the ordeal of the bush fires!!!

An email exerpt:

D & J have been through the mill during these last few weeks, as have thousands of others living in Victoria State. As a precaution, D moved all irreplaceable items, like framed photographs and certificates, legal documents, etc, from the farm to a safer haven. They have been living on a knife edge with cases packed and ready to be hurled into the car. At night, they have been taking it in turns to sleep while the other one watched for fire development closer to them. This means climbing up to the top pasture where they have a 360 degree view.

On the Saturday that the fires were the worst, D decided not to try and sit it out. By then, the horrific death stats were beginning to come in. He packed the family up and they went up to Gisborne to stay with J's parents. In temperature of 45-46 degrees, they spent most of the weekend in the pool trying to keep cool. As they sat in the water, clouds of brown muck floated overhead, dropping their murky load all over everything. As it turns out, Gisborne was not much safer then Wonga. J's two mentally disabled step sisters were at a bush camp not too far away and had to be dramatically evacuated which didn't do much for there state of mind. Both are deaf and autistic. Poor things must have been so bewildered.

There were some nasty fires pretty close to the farm and, in fact, there way out could easily have been blocked by fire. There is only one road out and most of the way is through typical Australian bush. One of the hardest battles for D and J was leaving all the stock behind. J has horses and D has 40 beloved cows whom he refers to as his 'girls'. There are also sheep and poultry. They left all the stock, except the poultry, in the bottom pasture next to the creek. When D returned to check on things on the Monday, they were all huddled in a long line in the creek - their instinct obviously told them it was the safest place. They are now back home although fires are still blazing here and there but are under control.

Now, there is a huge amount of work to do in terms of assisting those who have lost everything. The wider church is overwhelmed apparently, as are the Health Departments and Emergency Services. It's going to be a huge and long process of work to get back to something approaching normal. D knows a number of people, particularly farmers who have lost everything. Something that hasn't been considered yet is the number of people who were not directly affected by fires but whose livelihood depended on the forest, nature and farming industries. Many vets who depend on farming will lose their livelihood. Fortunately, D' speciality takes him out of Victoria quite a lot but he will still be greatly affected.

Please continue to pray for all those affected.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Banana cakey goodness

This is my super yummy-husband-pleaser banana cake. It's actually just the good old Edmond's cookbook recipe with a few twists but shhh! don't tell! It's always a crowd pleaser and if you jazz it up with chocolate butter icing, you get a standing ovation....

Sammy's Original (yeah right!) Banana Cake

125g Butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs*

1 cup of mashed bananas**

1 tsp baking soda

2 Tbsp hot milk

2 cups plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add mashed banana and mix thoroughly. Stir baking soda into hot milk*** and add to mixture. Sift flour and baking powder together. Stir into mixture.

Turn into greased and lined 20cm cake tin. Bake at 180d C for 50min or until a skewer come out clean. YUM!

*Use eggs at room temperature, it makes a difference, can't explain how, it just does!

**Freeze your old bananas skin off. Use 3 defrosted bananas in recipe. It makes the banana taste almost caramel-ly.

***This will froth up- it's meant to

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Bravest of the Brave

I have been really captured by a train of thought/ revelation on a couple of blogs in the last week. The train of thought has many levels and aspects and I count myself privileged that I have been able to follow along, be challenged and hear God speak.

(If you are interested the train of thought is found here. Read Meridith's post and then AllYouWhoHope's post and then follow the comment "conversation" below AYWH's post. Be warned it's deep and reflects the hearts and thoughts of long term Infertiles. I just wept and wept and had to go back again and again to absorb it)

I am in awe of these girls and am so challenged/ inspired by their hearts at the moment. These are women who are seeking to learn to live child free after infertility. These women are God-lovers, girls who seek Him and love Him and trust Him and are trying to come to grips with letting go.

I was never able to contemplate living child free. The closest I ever got was to say to God: "It's not ok God (to be child free) but it is ok (Your will be done). There was a part of me that cried out at the very thought of being without a child. I can't imagine that these girls are any different and yet here they are, laying this dream down on the alter and surrendering.

I ask myself "how do they do it?" But then perhaps that's a stupid question and one I personally hated to hear. Because here you are. In the trial. You can't move away from it, or to be honest we all would. You have to come to terms with where you are, submit and seek God where you are. People constantly said to me "oh you are so strong, I don;t know how you do it". Well, there I was and I could lie down and despair and refuse to get up... but I would still be there. Or I could look for God, look for my Jesus and be strengthened and refreshed and comforted by Him. So no choice really.

Still, it's the laying down of the dream with no expectation of God breaking through that humbles me. It's more than the laying down of the dream that I did, where you lift God up above the dream and surrender to His will. Knowing that you still desperately want this dream but trusting that he will give you the strength to survive if He doesn't. This is the total surrender of a dream and the end to even wanting the dream. And even though I may not be explaining myself well, it's different to where I ever got to.

Meridith uses the garden of Gethsemene as an example of once again how Jesus gets us and the situation they find themselves in. Her blog explains it better than I could ever so I won't even try. One of the comments at the bottom of AYWH's post has a link to a (catholic) newsletter that had an article on suffering and acceptance of it. This section explains how Jesus went through agony before acceptance and that's where these girls are.

The Moment of Grace
About a month before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was murdered for his moral bravery, he recounted one of the many threatening phone calls he received. He said the phone rang and a person said, “If you come here we’re going to kill you.” And he said, in telling the story, that he had heard those life-threatening calls many times before, “but that night, for whatever reason, it shook me to my roots. I couldn’t go back to sleep. I brewed some coffee. I drank the whole pot.” He said: “I began to cry at the kitchen table, and I lost all my courage.” He said: “I put my head in my hands and I thought, I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to die.”
And he said: “At that moment I felt this strength in me that I had never felt before. I knew what to do, what I needed to do.” You see the Agony in the Garden, and it’s only after the agony that the angel can come. See, then Jesus got up. Then he was the athlete who was ready. Then he could walk to his passion.
When Jesus left the Last Supper room, he couldn’t do it. That was the great transition. Only after he had broken down, had sweated the blood, had told his Father many times, “I don’t want to do this,” he finally broke down and accepted it. How many of us, in our own way, experience that frustration, that same sense of abandonment? Yet, at the moment of acceptance, God’s liberating grace flows. As Luke says of Jesus in the Garden, the angel comes. That’s a deep theology of grace.
Fr. Ronald Rolheiser is a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate and president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas.

I wish I could lift the burden off them but that would mean that The work God is doing in them would be compromised. And He has promised beauty for ashes.

So all I am is inspired...and challenged. And that is a good thing!

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Friday, February 13, 2009

91 days

91 days ago a little boy came home. God knew where he was meant to be and even though he didn't start life at home, he was always meant to be here, home with us. God picked us for each other.

The last 91 days have been the happiest of my life. I am transformed and wake every day with a song in my heart. Yes, we still face many challenges but I am the barren woman who sings. I am Sarah who laughed. God heard my cry and I am a mother.

Rupi is an utter joy. He is so happy and is completely and utterly attached and bonded to us. This little man is someone I will love with all my heart forever. He is my son and I am his mother. There were times I thought I would never have the chance to say those words. I am Rupi's mother. I am Rupi's MOTHER!

I am so grateful. The gratitude never stops. Today I lifted him out of the cot after his nap and tears poured down my cheeks as I thanked God for him. One of the meanings of his name is "renewer" and that is so true.
My little miracle is 15 weeks and 4 days old today. Here he is! Gorgeous and scrummy and delicious.

I love you Rupi, I love you so much.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Black Saturday

The horror of what has happened in Victoria over the last couple of days cannot be imagined. The worst natural disaster in Australian memory will claim in excess of 300 lives. Read here.

Think of 40m high walls of flames coming over a ridge at you travelling faster than a car can drive. That was the reality for whole towns in Victoria. Unable to escape by road, communities waited for the fire, not knowing when it would arrive as radio reports were unable to keep pace with the fires and so were out of date. The stories emerging are horrific.

My cousin lives on a farm with his family north of Melbourne. Without word, we can only pray that he and his family are safe.

Please help. Gails blog has details as does Bec's. And please please pray for the families and communities affected.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A little piece of faith

I am a bit of a Faith girl and believe in acting in faith. Before we got Rupi I would make a faith statement each month. Every month when my red friend showed up and it was impossible for me to be pregnant that month, I would make a faith choice.

I would go along and buy something for my baby as if I was pregnant. It generally didn't cost very much, like a little book, a baby-gro or toy. But the point was that I was faith-pregnant!

One month was particularly awful as we had received some (more!) bad news from the fertility doctor. I went into a little fancy baby store in Auckland and bought a toy. It cost more than I would normally spend but I just didn't care.

I kept all my "faith choices" in a couple of drawers and every so often would go and sit in front of the drawers and go through them all. This toy became a bit of a symbol of my faith and I would often pick it up and hold it for a while when looking through the drawers.

It was the first toy that came out when Rupi came home and as he has grown he just loves it. I mean really loves it! His little hands reach for it over all the other toys and he looks for it if it's not there. He holds it for hours turning it over and trying to stuff bits of it in his mouth. It's light enough for him to lift it and he holds it above him and looks at it with such intense concentration!

I can't tell you what this does for my heart. My little miracle playing with my little piece of faith. God is so good. He remembers the details and comes through for us in ways we can't even imagine.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

A letter to Those Who Love us

This is a letter I wrote a while ago in my journal to the people in my world who love us. Often people have no idea how to relate to us and have no idea how much their love and support means.

Dear Loved One

Thank you for loving us. We need your love more than you could ever imagine. You are so precious to us and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for loving us, carrying us and praying for us.

Your cards and texts and phone calls and emails are a life line to us. Please don't worry about saying the wrong thing, the likelihood is that you probably will, if you haven't already! We know you love us and do not mean to hurt us. We are super sensitive and are likely to be hurt by seemingly innocent comments. Its ok, just be there for us.

Infertility can be savage and can rip the breath from us at times. This is a journey like no other and unless you have walked this, there is no way to fully understand what its like. It's like we are standing still and life is moving on without us. As couples meet, get engaged, married and finally start families around us, we are still here where we started. Its like we are stuck in some terrible slowly sinking quicksand.

This has been described as reverse grief. Grief that intensifies over time instead of subsiding. We trust God and press into Him and He may give us healing from the pain and allow us to move on. This is not always the case and the longing we have for a child gets stronger and stronger over time.

When you see us going through a bad time please remember that you are seeing a snap shot of our journey. What we look like on the outside does not reflect our hearts. We love God and while we may be angry and frustrated with Him at times, He is Sovereign and we love Him.

Please understand that at times it will be hard for us to be around you if you are pregnant or have children. Pregnant women and new borns are the hardest for us. We long to feel undiluted joy but sometimes the pain is just too much. We acknowledge that this may be hurtful for you and are so very sorry. The last thing we would ever want is to bring you pain.

Celebrations are very hard for us. Christmas, Mothers Day and Fathers Day are particularly hard. We may not be able to celebrate in the way that you would like. We want to, but the pain of our lack or loss eclipses the joy we feel.

Please remember our husbands. Their pain is as real as ours. They are often carrying us and so need your love and encouragement and support even more than we do. This is a family affair and our parents and siblings are often suffering along side us.

Thank you for praying and encouraging and supporting us. Words can't express how much that means to us. Sometimes the faith that you have for our breakthrough is the only thing that keeps us going.

Please don't give up on us and please don't walk away from us. We need you and we love you.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

25 Random Things about Me

I've been tagged by the lovely Nicole (read her blog- it totally rocks)....

You are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 3 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.Dont forget to link it back to my blog..

  • I am South African and grew up under apartheid and watched it being dismantled. At 18 years old I voted for the first time in the referendum for change. I voted yes and it was one of the proudest moments of my life.

  • I hate racism with everything I have and refuse to see skin colour.

  • I want to be a "yummy mummy" and continue to wear my heels whenever I can!

  • My favourite colour is RED.

  • I grew up as an Anglican and love the way Anglicans honour and revere God in church.

  • I am a hand bag freak. Well, a carry bag/ lugagge freak. Any kind of utensil to carry something else rings my bells!

  • My absolute God dream is to earn money to help the AIDs orphans in Kwazulu Natal. They have no-one, are vulnurable, at risk and will soon number 1,000 000. They break my heart.

  • I have hippy tendancies (hence the eco cleaning products/ cloth nappies etc)

  • I had my first crush on a boy when I was 12 and used to pray that God would "make him love me"!!!!

  • I am a cat lover but once had a german shepherd dog who was the boss of me.

  • I learned German & Zulu in school.

  • I was a naughty teenager! Really really naughty......

  • I love being a New Zealander and getting my citizenship was incredible. I love this little island, its peaceful and safe (relatively) and is a good place to be.

  • I can't bear to be shouted at. I shut down.

  • Light and fluffy is the order of the day when it comes to movies and books. Life is dramatic enough for me without adding further drama to it. I have a very active imagination!

  • I am one of 3 girls in our family. I am also the eldest but we don't do the whole "eldest and in charge" thing at all.

  • I am a Daddy's girl and looove my Dad (don't get me wrong, I love my Mom too!)

  • I hate violence anytime anywhere.

  • I am an absolute neat freak and love to do washing.

  • I love Jesus more with each passing year

That's 20 and I can't think of anymore and now will tag 4 people. As you can tell another fact about me is I listen to the rules and then proceed to do what I like (within reason!!!!!)

  1. Becs

  2. Simoney

  3. Lena

  4. Jodi

If you have done this before and I haven't been paying attention, sorry! I will read through your blog and pay more attention next time :-)

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

How lucky am I?

This is a little game I play a lot (which really if I was struck by a religious spirit (eugh!) should say how blessed am I...)

It's a great game for when you are feeling like:

  1. Nothing ever goes right for you

  2. God has seriously forgotten you

  3. Nobody likes you (I know it's not just me who sometimes thinks all my friends have suddenly gone off me...)

  4. Your heart is hurting

  5. You have PMS

You make a list of all the things you are thankful for and then at the end say in an outside voice How lucky am I!

So come on and play at my bloggie house! Either make a list of your own or leave it in a comment... I would love to hear from you!

My list

  1. My husband who calls me various times a day at the moment as I am struggling with my little man and his sleeps

  2. The man himself, Rupi, who even with red rimmed eyes and and very loud voice, manages to be oh so cute!

  3. My family- they seriously rock

  4. My friendies- I know despite my ongoing paranioa really love me

  5. My new bloggie friends!

  6. The cat herself, the honourable Tamtam

  7. The hot hot weather at the moment

  8. Frujus the pineapples water ices

  9. Cherry tomatoes picked off our own plants and still warm from the sun


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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Waiting for the Rain

I feel like I am waiting for God to say something to me (I know He's always talking but you know, something for me here and now). He's got something to say and I wanna hear it NOW. As you can tell I have learned a great deal about patience in my 6 year journey....

I am so hungry for the Word and feel like I am starved when I sit down to read my bible each morning. He's saying amazing stuff, read what he's been saying to Lena. Wow.

O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water. Psalm 63:1

I am searching for a new identity in this season. I am half of one season and half another. A foot in both camps. Infertile and a mother. I know how to be "pushing for break through girl" or "suffering girl" or "persevering girl" but do I know how to be "victory and yet needing breakthrough girl"? Nah.

Side note (not unusual as I am rather random at times- proudly so!) I heard Anne Rice on Focus on the Family this morning talking about some novels she has written from Jesus' viewpoint. His childhood and the time of going into ministry. They talked about how lonely Jesus must have been going into the desert to be tested. And how He went from the amazing high of being baptised and being lifted up by God the Father, to being tested alone, hungry and thirsty. And how alone he may have felt. Again, he gets us. Loneliness is a major part of infertility especially if you have walking through it for a while. Go Jesus, you are incredible (once again)

Boy am I thirsty for Him.

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