Thursday, 31 May 2012

30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Day 29

This week I got a phone call from a very dear friend of mine.  A girl who I have known since I was 11, have grown up with, and who I love as my own sister.  We talk all the time, but it's usually through Facebook or text message.  So when she rang my phone, I knew it was an important call.  She was ringing to tell me that her Mum, Deb, had just been diagnosed with a tumour in her lung, after four years in remission from breast cancer.  She told me that Deb was going in for further tests, but her xray had shown a rather large dark spot and it didn't look good.  Everyone was in shock.

The following day she rang me again, to let me know that Deb was being admitted into the private sector of the hospital I work in.  Deb was to have a biopsy and further PET scanning, and that she would ring me when she was back in her room.  I made my way over to them after work.  I hadn't visited my friend in about a year or so, but it made no difference to us, we loved each other all the same.  We sat and chatted about Deb's options, what the doctors thought the prognosis might be, and what she wanted to do with her treatment.  We talk about their family, and about how they wanted to celebrate whatever time they all had left together.  I was so glad that I was there.

The next day Deb went in for the tests. I sat with my friend in the hospital room, waiting for her Mum to be delivered back to her.  Doctors came and spoke with them, and explained the spread of the tumours was systemic.  There were dark spots in nearly all of her major organs and large bones.  It was devastating!  This beautiful woman, who a long time ago I called my Second-Mum, and is so full of life, was now fighting to save it.  The doctor couldn't give her a time frame, nor a treatment plan, until all the biopsy results were back the following week.  The only comfort they were granted is that there are medications that can slow the growth and hopefully give them more time together.  I held my friend, cried with her and her family.  This simply was not fair.

That night, as I sat crying on my bed, describing to Hubby the day just gone, I asked him to tell me what I should do.  I felt useless.  There was no way I could help them.  No way I could make any of it easier.  My heart was breaking, so I couldn't imagine how they must feel.  I told him how they had started talking about ways to share the rest of Deb's life; the adventures they wanted to have before it was too late.  And he asked me what I could do to help with that, and so I remembered a conversation I'd have with Deb's sister about wanting nice family photos to hold onto.  This was something I could give them.

I sent an email to my beloved Zan, from Zanabelle Photography.  I explained that I wanted to gift them portraits shot by her.  I wouldn't trust anyone else with such an important, very personal task.  Zan wrote me back, saying it would be her honour to help me help them.  And that she would do it all in the name of love.  I was moved to tears.  

Today, and always, I am grateful for my friends.  My friends mean the absolute world to me.  They are generous, kind and selfless.  I am truly touched that one will help me give to another.  Zan is helping me give Deb a gift that her family can treasure for a life time.  A picture they can look upon and remember the beautiful life she lived.  And a picture Deb too can look upon and know she was never alone.  

I am grateful for the years I spent in Deb's care.  Messing about with my friend, taking over living rooms with our sleeping bags, eating her out of house and home, and for loving me as her own.  This life she is living will be cut far too short.   But it has also been a wonderful life, full of family and friends.  I am grateful I get to share that.


30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Days 27 and 28

This week we've been lucky enough to have Hubby's parents staying with us.  The live in a rural area of North Queensland, so we don't get to go up there often and visit them.  That fact doesn't matter much, because with their work schedules and traveling for conferences, they are in Brisbane about once every month or so.  It's a bit of a running joke between Hubby and I actually, that we see them more now they've moved further away, then when they lived a short drive down the road.  Our spare room is pretty much always in use by one or more members of the family.  And strangely enough, they are always here just when we need them most.

This has been a really long, hard and emotional week.  IVF stuff aside, we learned of a dear friends newest battle, Hubby's job is going nowhere and I am currently in the middle of negotiating my own work possibilities.  I think I have spoken before about how Hubby's family are pastors for the Salvation Army.  So when things get rough, and they are conveniently staying at our house, they are always a great source of inspiration and insight.  We rely on them quite a lot and they have never failed us.  

We are grateful for you, MooMa and Dad.  We are thankful for your love and support.  We are grateful for all that you offer us, never expecting anything in return.  


30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Day 26

Forgive me bloggers, for I have sinned.  It has been 10 days since my last blog.  I am massively behind with my gratefulness.  So the next five days worth may be a little out of order, but they were written on my phone as they happened.  So here goes...

Having shared our good news about starting IVF with our families last week, we have received many wishes of success and love from many of them.  Many of them have known our story from the start, while some of them have only just found out.  My parents are among those who have only known the dot points of our journey.  This isn't because we don't love or trust them, it's mostly because we didn't really think they would understand.  

The relationship I have had with my parents since I married Hubby has been tenuous at best.  They thought I was too young to marry, too naive to be tied down, and too quick to "give up" my personal goals.  They didn't quite understand that one of my goals was to marry my best friend, and start my own family.  Instead, work and career was the dream they saw for me.  So when we married and sailed off on our own adventure, the relationship I had with my Mum grew strained and distant.  I never stopped loving her, and missed her companionship, but our chats became negative and our time together unpleasant.  So I made the decision to take a parental time-out.  Spending time trying to make them realise how happy I was, was too hard a job.  I was wearing thin and it was effecting everything about me, including my new marriage.

Letting go for a time was the best thing I did for us.  When my parent's needed us they knew they could call, and vise-versa.  But we kept a distance until we were all ready to have an adult, relaxed and accepting relationship.  They came to terms with Hubby as one of the family, and not the man who stole their daughter away.  I came to accept that my parent's will never change, and I a choice to either listen to their opinions or ignore them without it upsetting me.  This came in very useful when we had our miscarriage, and my parent's soothingly explained that it was for the best, as we weren't ready to be parents yet.

So over a phone call this week, as I told Mum that we were heading into IVF as we couldn't become parents on our own, she surprised me.  She was upset that she hadn't heard of our struggle sooner; upset FOR us, and not about me not telling her.  She offered us money, which we didn't accept, and more importantly she offered us prayers for success and told me how we'd both make wonderful parents.  You have no idea how touching it was to hear those words.

I am grateful for acceptance.  I am grateful for maturing relationships.  I am grateful for offers of kindness. 


Monday, 21 May 2012

30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Day 24 and 25


According to my home OPK I'm ovulating!!  Two months in a row, and this time I'm a bit earlier than expected.  So what does that mean?  Well, it means that in two weeks times I'll get my period AND I'll start the drugs for round one of IVF!  

At first I was super nervous that I was ovulating (?) early because it meant the house move and treatment would all start at once.  But, now we're not moving anymore and I'm super excited that we may get to have a little bit of a head start with it all.  PLUS, remember how I said that my doc was going away around the time we'd have to transfer embies?  Well, that shouldn't even be an issue now!  YAY!!

So if my pee sticks are correct and I ovulate in the next day or two, we'll be looking at starting drugs around June 4th and transferring about week later.  Let the biggest, most wonderfully, terrifyingly exciting countdown of our lives begin!


What's not to be grateful about that?!?!?!

30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Day 22 and 23

Ok, so house hunting is a nightmare!  We have been to eight open houses, applied to live in about six of those, and have been given no reply to any of them.  Each open house we went to there were Mums and Dads holding screaming newborns and fidgeting toddlers.  We really had no chance at all.  But I was determined not to let it get me down.  We were going to find the place for us!!

Now I do have to clarify one thing: we didn't HAVE to move.  I've said it a million times before, we love our home.  The reason why we decided it was time to is because we are squishing an office, music room and guest bed into our one spare room.  When the time comes to bring a baby home from the hospital there won't be too much free space to put a beautiful crib.  So, being the pain merchant that I am, I convinced poor ol' Hubby that the best plan was to move now; before I get big and pregnant, before there is three of us, while we have some cash sitting around. 

So we searched and searched, we upped our usual charm and spoke to agents and current tenants, traveled all over Brisbane, and we still have come up with nothing.  As we sat defeated on our lounge on Thursday night, and looked around at the home we have made and come to love more than anywhere else on the world, we made a decision.  We don't HAVE to move, and deep down we didn't really WANT to move either, so we're not going to move. At least, not right now.  

Instead we are going to have the biggest clean up and clean out this place has seen in the three years we've been here.  All our wonderful sorting and donating we'd already done prior to packing boxes would continue until we have streamlined our belongings down to the essentials.  So far we've donated over two car-fulls of clothing, homewares, and furniture to the local Salvation Army.  We have also thrown away the same amount of rubbish.  Don't ask me why we held onto any of this stuff for as long as we did, because I simply don't know!  All I do know is that it is truly invigorating to throw things away.

The last two days we have totally redesigned our second bedroom.  No longer is the guest bed pushed into the corner, surrounded by Hubby's music equipment and wall to wall book shelves.  Instead, it is neatly made (new linen and all), sitting proudly in the middle of the room, with floor space to spare.  The book shelves have been tidied, the carpet shampooed and drapes washed.  Now it feels like a real guest bedroom.  Hubby's music gear still lives there too, but it no longer takes up the majority of space.  One day, there might even be enough room for a crib!

I love our home, and I am falling in love with it all over again as we start to shape it into a family environment.  I am grateful that we don't have to move.  I am grateful to be able to help others by donating our things.  I am grateful to be able to start fresh.


Thursday, 17 May 2012

30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Day 21

Today, after two months of our 'baby hiatus', we finally went back to see our doctor.  After the longest stint between appointments we've ever had, he was surprised to see us.  First thing he asked as we walked in the door was if we'd been away so long because we'd had good news, we both laughed.  Nope, not THAT good news anyway.

So the idea of this appointment was mostly so that Hubby and I could sit down with him together, since it's such a rare occasion that happens, and discuss what comes next for us.  Obviously, despite the fact that we make good eggs (while on meds) and great sperm, we just can't put two and two together.  So IVF is the next option.  The thing I love most about our doc is he never assumes what we want, he always asks first what we've been thinking.  So when we said we were ready for IVF, he simply smiled and nodded.  

We sat in his office for about half an hour, while we calculated when my period was due next, then when I'd start meds, and then scanning and egg pickup.  He explained that he'd make sure we got this all done before he went on his annual leave in July.  Adding that if the cycle did run long, we'd have a joint consult with his colleague who would take us on, so we didn't have to wait til he got back.   He then made us an appointment at the nurses clinic to discuss medication cycles, and to help us with payment options.  

We had a chance to finally air some of our biggest concerns, such as egg collection numbers (how many was too many, or too little), whether we'd do IVF or ICSI (IVF for us), and what he recommended about transfer numbers.  Overall, it was a really great appointment.  I know going into it, we were both uncertain about a lot of things.  I guess in our minds all we could think about was that it was such a big step up from IUI, and how our finances might impede how quickly we could try IVF, and keep trying if we needed to.  But now we feel much more settled.  I think as this last few weeks count down we will become far less uncertain, and far more excited about what a huge step in the right direction this is.  

So today I am grateful for our doctor.  I am grateful for God's direction, because it led us to his office and into his care.  I am grateful that my Husband kept his mind and heart open to accepting what needed to come next.  I am grateful for the time we've had away from this all-consuming part of our lives to just be together.  And I am grateful for HOPE!  Without which, we would not have made it this far.  And now the journey really begins...


30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Day 20

*Written on time, Posted in retrospect*

Sitting home alone on the couch sick today, I am grateful for entertaining TV.  I know, I'm pulling a swifty and being a bit lazy about my gratefulness today, but I don't feel well so I think that gives me a free pass.

We download most our TV from the USA because Australia takes so darn long to pick up good series, and the consistency of the programming is rubbish.  So here's what's on my hard-drive (most of this is now re-runs):


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Day 19

*Written in retrospect*

Today I am under the weather, again.  Since having the flu last month I seem to get sick at the drop of a hat, which sucks since I'm a nurse and around sick people ALL DAY LONG! 

Breaking all the rules, I went off to work anyway, hoping I'd be able to hide my sniffles with a lie about having allergies.  Not long into my shift my head was throbbing, my nose was running, my neck was aching and the whole ward was spinning around me.  I attempted some dinner, thinking maybe a little sustenance might make the difference, only to add nausea on top of it all.  Luckily, one of the beautiful women I work with took one look at my face and told me to head home.  She explained how she'd had the same bug for almost as long as I had, and coming back to work when she wasn't well felt like torture.  She sent me home, and reassured she'd look after my bunch.

This week is also International Nurses and Midwives Week.  Today, and always, I am grateful for the caring women and men who I work with.  We don't just care for our patients, we care for each other as well.  Without good, hardworking nurses to support us, our jobs would be a million times harder than it already is.


Monday, 14 May 2012

30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Day 18

*Written in retrospect*

Today I am grateful for all the Mothers in our lives.

Mother's grow us, birth us, and swaddle us.
Mother's adopt us, foster us, and yearn for us.  
Mother's hold us, guide us, and teach us.
Mother's support us, protect us, and defend us.
Mother's share us, dream for us, and pray for us.

Just because we grow older doesn't mean they stop being our Mummy or Mama, Aunty or Grandma.
And if we're truly blessed, we marry into another maternal relationship that is just as special.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mothers in our lives.  
You are so very special, each and every one of you.

Sunny xx 

Sunday, 13 May 2012

30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Days 16 and 17

The last couple of days I have really needed a distraction.  I finally feel like I am at my stress tipping point, and could lose the plot at any minute.  House-hunting has sucked mostly because of the fact that agents use REALLY old pictures in profiles and open homes prove that they are big fat liars.  We have been, well mostly me alone, to three open homes and all have been rather disappointing.  Mind you, I am rather picky as I love our current house and don't want to downgrade to another other than loveliness.  

So after all the stress of having to travel around Brisbane finding these places, the whole application process, and then the waiting, it's nice to come home and have something to do to take my mind off it all.  We are up to day 'M' for our photo a day fun.  Every day I am finding it harder and harder to think of something super creative and original to photograph.  Here's what I've come up with so far (that aren't super personal)...

A is for Anna Sui (my favourite)
 B is for The Boo
 C is for clouds
 D is for design
 E is for eggs (high protein, weight loss super food)
 G is for garden
 J is for jewel
 K is for knitting

Thursday, 10 May 2012

30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Day 15

Today I am grateful for sunshine.  

It seems like a very simple thing to be thankful for, and it is in some ways.  But today the sunshine means being able to open our windows and doors, letting in the warm breeze and sunshine.  It means The Boo gets to curl up on her cushion in front of the door and toast her belly against the rays coming through the trees outside.  It means hanging the washing on the line and filling the yard with the smell of clean linen and fabric softener.  It means my kitchen is basking in a rainbow of colour, as the sun hits the jewel sun-catcher given to me by a best friend.  


30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Days 13 and 14

*Written in retrospect*

My grateful posts are developing a common theme.  Not something I am doing intentionally, but still, makes you realise one of the things I cherish most.  Sleep!  

These last two nights I haven't slept very well.  I think with a dodgey work roster, our new game plan, and the fact that this year is flying by way too quickly, I've got all these excess thoughts that pop into my head late at night when I'm trying to switch my brain off.  Instead my brain plays its own little game of jump rope, hopping from one subject to another, obsessing over tiny details until I finally give up and read my book instead.  Hubby has always been a night owl.  He stays up way later than he should, but when he's ready to sleep he's out like a light.  Bombs could go off at the foot of the bed and he wouldn't even flinch.  Usually when I'm tossing and turning this attribute of his bugs me.  Mostly because I want him to wake, wrap me in his arms and transfer some of his calm, restfulness to me by osmosis.  But these last two nights have been a bit different.  As I lay wide awake last night, fidgeting intentionally to wake him, I realised that he too probably worries like I do.  He just doesn't tell me every little detail because he knows that would intensify my own anxieties.  

Since learning of our infertility and making plans for our future, timelines have become very important to me.  I guess I could blame all the cycle charting and appointment making that comes along with treatments.  Who knows?  But there is something so determined in me to achieve a goal in our designated time period, that I will go out of my mind crazy trying to make it happen.  Doesn't even matter the goal, really.  It could be as mundane as having to have all the washing folded by 5pm every Sunday night.  If it's not done on time, it throws everything off balance.  Believe me, schedules are important in my calculating brain.  Problem is, not everyone and everything sticks to MY schedule.  In fact, I can't even stick to my own, somewhat unrealistic schedules (take this blog a day, for example).  ANYWAY, Hubby also picked up on this fact, and has had the monster task of calming my crazy self when I flip out for no apparent reason, and he's doing an AMAZING job too!

So, the last two nights I have lay in bed, wishing he would wake and comfort, but instead have let him sleep.  I have listened to the sound of his breathing, deep and heavy in dream, and this has brought me all the comfort I needed.  I am so grateful for my Husband.  I am so much a better, calmer version of myself in his presence.  He is teaching me how to be this in his absence too.  I am grateful to have my beloved lay next to me every night, and to feel safe and secure in the sounds of his breath.  I am grateful to share our burdens and not feel alone.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Day 12

Today is an important day.  It is International Bereaved Mothers Day.  A day when those of us who didn't get the opportunity to bring our babies home from the hospital, see our babies take their first breaths, or hold our babies in our arms, are honoured as Mothers.

 I want to say a very big thank you to Carly Marie for organising such a wonderfully warm, open and caring event.  I am grateful that we are not forgotten.


30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Day 11

*Written in retrospect

I've been doing a lot of late shifts lately.  Because I get home so late from work, I tend to sleep in longer, get up later, and then organise my day from there.  Today I got out of bed at about 10am, put on some washing, pottered around the house and then made myself some brunch.  I sat down on the couch, my scrambled eggs in front of me, PJs still on, and began eating.  Then my phone rings...

"I hope you don't mind, I invited some friends round for lunch" says my Husband on the other end of the line.  "Ummmm...WHAT?!" I say back, my mouth full of toast.  "It's alright, I've already explained how messy our house is and that you're probably in your PJs" he responds.  I hang up and in a mad panic tidy the immediate area of all identifying slobness.

When the doorbell rings I am still in my PJs, Hubby isn't home yet, and I am standing embarrassed greeting our friends.  They walk in happily, comment on my cute pajamas and give me a giant hug.  When Hubby gets home we sit around the table eating lunch and discussing upcoming plans for both our house moves.  Later, I excuse myself to shower and dress and leave for work.

Today I am grateful for low maintenance, pajama friendly, non-judgmental friends.  Those friends who don't care what your house looks like, if you're wearing your favourite PJs or trackies when they visit, and who feel comfortable enough to do the same if you dropped in on them. 



Friday, 4 May 2012

30 Days of Grateful - Day 10

Today has been a busy little day here in the Sunny household.  Last night Hubby and I sat down and made ourselves a new and improved game plan for the remainder of 2012 (can you believe it's May already?!).  We did this at the start of the year too, with a set of goals we wanted to achieve in the 12 months between last Christmas and next, however, now that the year is almost half over it's time to reassess.  

We have been putting off moving to a bigger place for the last year and a half.  I love our home, absolutely love it.  We moved in before we got married, spent our first night as man and wife here, bought furniture and created our own style of cosy.  But our two bedrooms have been stretched to fit a main bed, guest room, home office and music room.  Not to mention accommodating countless family and friends.  Our garage has become a storage facility. And our lounge/dining room, my office.  The idea of creating a nursery among all this makes my head spin.  But, as you can imagine, the lengthening time it has taken us to fall pregnant has made an awesome excuse to stay put.  After all, who loves to pack and move house????

So, when we got an email from our estate agent asking if we'd like to renew our lease again, we finally made the big decision to move.  Within a day, Hubby had ordered the packing boxes which were delivered straight to our front door.  And today, we began the arduous task of packing up our belongings.  Hubby attacked the DVD and TV cabinets, while I packed boxes full of books.  We don't move for another five weeks, so packing will be a slow and steady process while we sort and de-clutter.  But as I went through our rooms today, devising a schedule for the whole process, I started to feel a little sad.  I have loved this home.  It has been OUR first home.  Here we learned what it takes to be married, to cope with the ups and downs, to stick together.  It has been warm and inviting, and the place I've wanted to run to when the rest of the world seems so dark and scary.  This house has opened up to us, given us room to grow and breathe and create our own space.  For this I am very grateful!    


Thursday, 3 May 2012

30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Day 9

Today I am grateful for something truly simple; a rainy day spent in my PJs.

Well, last night went from bad to worse.  My spotting turned to clotting and my cramps turned into a full blown stabbing sensation.  I was up half the night trying to keep from waking my Husband as I rolled around in agony.  All my usual pain meds were doing nothing and not even my trust heat pack could help me out of this ache.  So I spent the night on the couch.  Only when Hubby got up for work, did I make my way back to our bed and had a good nap.

There were so many things I was going to do today.  Having my weekend on a Thursday-Friday means I can potter around without bugging Hubby with my cleaning and sorting.  But instead, I spent the day in my PJ's listening to the rain from the warmth of our bed, watching TV and downloaded movies, and made a casserole for dinner.  All my plans don't seem as important.  Today is just for me and my failing body to recover.



30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Day 8

*Written in retrospect*

Today I am 14 days post ovulation.  I have been feeling crappy all week with cramps and swelling and back pain, but we have made it this far.  The day started off well with all of these symptoms actually going away.  I got up, got ready for work, put in my liner (just in case) and headed to work. Work was rubbish; super busy, no lunch break.  But I made it to knock off time relatively unscathed.  I spent the day running in and out of the bathroom "just to check" I hadn't started bleeding.  I did one last mad dash to the loo as I was leaving work, so I wouldn't pee myself on the drive home, and there is was: spotting.  Damn it!!

I felt instantly deflated!  14 days in and still this happens...  I tried not to let it get to me straight away.  I tried to convince myself it was just implant spotting or merely my imagination.  As I was driving home though, the real cramping started.  I told Hubby what was going on and he recommended I go have a warm shower and take a nap, so I did.  When I woke up a couple of hours later, the spotting was heavier and darker.  I messaged our Mum... "Say a big prayer for us" I begged.  And so, with all of Hubby's family present, they did.  I posted on my FB page the same, and the responses were instant.

Today, I am grateful to have such a wonderful, willing, support network.  This amazing group of people who stand by us, pray for us, care for us.  This may or may not be our turn, but we know we have people who will drop everything and call to the heaven's for our cause.  I am grateful for your support.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

30 Days of Grateful Blogging - Day 7

Today I am grateful for hobbies shared with friends!  Every May my friend Zan and I do a photo-a-day photography challenge.  Last year we didn't pick a subject and had a blast taking random photos every day.  This year we've chosen the alphabet.  So, starting today on the letter A, we set sail on our challenge.  

Zan has a slight advantage as she's a very talented, and popular, photographer here in Brisbane.  You can check her out at Zanabelle Photography. You'll even get to see her photo-a-day albums from the last couple of years (there might even be a sneaky picture of me among them :D).

If you'd like to join in the fun I'd love to see your alphabet of photos.  Feel free to post them on my Facebook page.  I won't be adding all of my mine to the Sunny Side Up page for privacy reasons, but you can follow Zan along via hers.

Have fun!