Happy New Year!

January 1, 2013

Ten years ago, in the last days of December, I took a series of shots (including the following) with a borrowed Polaroid camera. My sister was overseas – whom I missed terribly – and she wanted to see a photo of me getting near the end of my pregnancy…as soon as possible. We reasoned that this would be the fastest way.

I know it sounds stupid, but that’s just the way it was.

No digital camera. No scanner. No FACEBOOK.

Although we can do this now in the click of a download, you only had two options just a mere 10 years ago (for me, anyway):

E-mail and real mail.
We went for real mail…

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…after all, I had two weeks to go.

Well, no I didn’t. An hour after watching the midnight fireworks over Sydney Harbour on the telly, I went into labour. I gave birth to my first child – a daughter – on the first day of the year.

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I write this today because I am feeling a concoction of emotions.

My baby girl is 10. TEN.
I know many of you have passed through this milestone with your children – sometimes more than once – but this is my first time and I can practically see her growing – right before my very eyes. I can’t help but see the flashes of the soon-to-be teenager, as well as the giving and loving young woman she is deep inside.

I also feel overwhelmed about the job I’m doing with her (and my younger daughter) – whether I’m royally screwing things up some moments and doing amazing stuff at others.

It feels like a pivotal time and I’m fastening my seatbelt.

I’m starting to fasten my seatbelt with life too.
I feel a buzz about this upcoming year – like there’s a change approaching. I can smell it in the air.

So in these remaining few minutes of the 1st January, I want to wish everyone a fantastic 2013.
May it present a fresh start in an important area of your life; or a new and more positive perspective.

May it be a year of positive change.

May this year be the one that sees a shift in our humanity.

In the words of John Lennon:

“You may say I’m a dreamer;
But I’m not the
only one.”

I’m also looking forward to the year ahead with you.

Lots of love,
Paula x

Barren.

May 20, 2012

Now here’s another post that has been hard to write. It’s funny that when I discuss people I know and love, it becomes difficult to ensure I get it right – to respect them.

I feel a little ashamed about my last post – carrying on about the difficulties of motherhood – when there are SOOO many women who would give anything and everything (and financially, they generally do) to be able to have a baby.

A very close and dear friend of mine, is in a horrible, heart-wrenching, never-ending roundabout – desperately trying to fall pregnant and it’s getting towards the end of ‘trying’ through IVF…and she’s so very, very sad.

She used the word barren.

It’s such a confronting word – like a slap – and it pained me to hear her say it about herself, with such anguish. I didn’t know how to console her. How could I? When I know that if I were in her place, I’d be devastated…just like she is.

My friend is not someone who ‘left it too late’ – although she is 40+ – she just met the perfect, love of her life in her mid-30s. They are a beautiful couple who are so blessed to have found each other; it’s such a cruel irony that they seem unable to conceive and take that natural next step.

In her place, I’d be wallowing in a murky sea of, “Why?” As she put it, on paper everything looks right – but it just isn’t happening and in this day and age of advanced technology – they can’t tell her why.

To add salt to the wound – she is friends with a couple (two males) who have two children, through surrogacy. They are close and my friend is not only delighted for them but is also God Mother to one of the children – but the surrogacy door is closed for her because here in NSW, it’s a criminal act (as of last November) to pay someone to have your child:

“It will impose penalties of two years’ jail, a $110,000 fine, or both on parents who pay for a surrogate here or abroad to carry their child.” *

…unless my friend moves to Victoria – where it’s legal. So we are a divided nation on the topic of surrogacy, it seems.

And what does the future hold for women in this situation? Well, they see a bleak and lonely one – one where they can’t pass on their lessons on life to their child, wrapped in unconditional love. Worse still, they wonder whether they’ll be enough for their partner – not being able to ‘give’ them a child.

Question #45: Are there any of you out there who can bestow some wisdom and support on this matter?

I’ve known quite a few women throughout my life, who have found pregnancy – such a natural and seemingly easy thing to do – skip past them. They’ve had to go through the pain of seeing their period arrive, over and over again, and get that sinking feeling – a hole where hope was bubbling only a moment ago. I felt that stomach plummet sensation twice – once before each one of my girls decided to join me. Each time I thought, “Oh no.”

But if I multiply those two nothing moments in my life, by the countless times these women see their period arrive, before they decide to try IVF and suffer egg extractions, needles, pills…and STILL see their period arrive…well, I can’t know what sort of grief that brings – but I did hear it in my friend’s voice.

It’s an understatement to say that I feel fickle and ungrateful, complaining about my children…simply being children. I know that many women would swap with me in a heartbeat.

My heart goes out to all the women who experience these soul-destroying months.

… and I send out my deepest love to you, dear friend.

Deep Breath.

x

* http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/how-what-nicole-kidman-has-done-will-soon-be-a-crime-in-nsw-20110118-19v10.html