Friday, 24 December 2010

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Four years ago, I spent Christmas Eve curled up on the bedroom floor in floods of tears at the thought that I might never get to fill a stocking for my child, or eat the mince pie he or she had left out for Father Christmas, or watch his or her face as s/he opened her presents.

Three years ago today, I started my first cycle of IVF.

This afternoon, I helped my daughter place the fairy on top of the tree. I saw the tears in my father's eyes as he watched his granddaughter riding the tricycle he made for her. And I remain deeply, deeply aware of just how blessed I am in those moments.

Happy Christmas to all of you who may still be reading. May 2011 bring you your hearts' desires, whatever stage of the IF journey you may be on.

Thursday, 17 June 2010


  • I went back to teaching part-time after Christmas. Shinejil is right. It is extraordinarily difficult to juggle motherhood and academia. Fitting in all the preparation and marking nearly did for me. But I also learnt that, much as I love being a mother, I also need to think, and write and teach.
  • Little Miss is now fourteen months old. She's just at that inbetween stage: not really a baby any more, but not yet a toddler either. She doesn't want to go in the buggy, but isn't yet steady enough on her feet to get out and walk. She doesn't want to be spoon fed, but hasn't quite mastered self-feeding. All this leads to much frustrated screaming.
  • But she is nevertheless the most enchanting little being. I don't think that I will ever take the miracle of her being here for granted. Things could have so easily worked out very differently for us.
  • We went away on holiday to Cornwall, where I discovered that I may be turning into a gardener. I made notes about planting combinations, and fretted about how my nasturtiums were doing in my absence.
  • Which leaves me with a dilemma about what to do about this blog. Increasingly, what I want to write about is my garden and the other things in life that give me pleasure. But there are also things that I'd only feel comfortable saying to others in the IF community. So I was wondering, if I started a new blog, would you all come and visit me in my new digs as well as continuing to read this one? Could I maybe try cross-posting from time to time? How might it feel to maintain two blogs?
  • If I am going to start a new blog, should I stick with blogger, or maybe try wordpress? Any thoughts?

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

On Losing Your (Blogging) Mojo

Sooo. It goes a little something like this. You spend years and years longing for a baby, and then you finally have one. And despite the fact that you've had all that time to think about it, you discover that nothing can really prepare you for life with a newborn. The first few months whip by in a blur; you barely have time to clean your teeth, let alone shave your legs. And then it slowly begins to dawn on you that it's been a really, really long time since you were intimate with your husband. You make a bit of an effort to initiate things in that regard, but you're tense because you're worried that the baby's going to wake up at any minute, you're still healing after a c-section, and it just hurts. And so you think to yourself that you'll try again in a few weeks' time, but somehow the right moment never quite arises. And the longer you leave it, the more of a big deal it starts to seem. You make excuses - you're tired, you want to finish your book, you fancy a soak in the bath. You begin to notice yourself tensing up every time your husband touches you, in case that innocent cuddle turns into something more.

And it's really rather similar with blogging. The longer you leave it between posts, the more difficult it starts to seem to write anything, and so you're reduced to writing slightly odd posts in the second person. You feel similarly awkward about commenting; it's been so long since you did so that you now feel almost as if you're butting in on conversations to which you're no longer party.

Mr H took a lot of video footage during the first few months of Little Miss's life. I remember thinking at the time that he was like one of those foreign tourists in the Louvre, who are so preoccupied with videoing the Mona Lisa that they do not stop to look at the painting itself. I decided that I did not want to be like that - to be so busy trying to document my impressions of my daughter that I failed fully to live each moment with her. But now I find myself completely transfixed by that early video footage. As mothers, we spend so much time with our children that the changes in them are so gradual as to be nearly imperceptible. It is only when I look back over those videos of Little Miss that I can really grasp how much she has changed over this first year. How on earth did that tiny baby kicking about on a play mat turn into a little person who can empty an entire box of tissues out onto the floor in the time it takes me to pop upstairs to the loo, and who can devour a huge bowl of stew and mash for her tea?

In some ways, I do regret not having written more about the first year of her life. My memories of those first few heady months are already beginning to seem increasingly hazy. But I feel determined not to let any more time slip through my fingers, and so this is my first attempt to regain my blogging mojo.