“I Was Blaming Myself Because I Was The One Carrying The Baby.”

Bec and her partner have been together for 18 years. They travelled to Europe together and had the most amazing time. When they got back home to Perth, her partner J, finally confessed to Bec that he really wanted to be a Dad. She was a little bit surprised at first, but she embraced the thought of having a child with the man she loved. She went off the Pill, and fell pregnant with their beautiful daughter Kayla. Bec was 32.

Since having Kayla, Bec suffered 3 miscarriages, all within 8 months between each other.

She was 11 weeks pregnant when she had her first miscarriage at home. It was on a Thursday, and because she doesn’t work on Thursdays, she was so thankful she was home at the time it actually happened. She felt awful; she felt it was an “absolute nightmare”. She sat at home and cried her eyes out.

Her daughter Kayla, who was about 2 at the time, tried to comfort Bec by wiping her tears off her face. “What’s wrong Mummy, what’s wrong?”

J’s sister babysat Kayla, while him and Bec went to the Emergency Department.

“Well, we got back late that night, so the first thing I did was have a beer!” she chuckled. “I haven’t had a drink for a while, and you know what, (I thought) bugger this, I’m having a drink. We were stuck in the emergency department for ages and all the nurses kept asking me if I was okay. But no one really pays attention to your partner.” And when they got home, Bec asked J, “How are YOU? How you going?” He had just lost a kid as well. They chatted for the rest of the night, then told the rest of the family about it the next day and they were all really supportive.

Bec didn’t handle the miscarriage all that well. She started drinking a lot and doing “stupid things”. She thought she was okay, but she knew deep down, she really wasn’t. It was only after a few months later that she realised she wasn’t dealing with life all too well and so she decided to get counselling. It helped her, though she didn’t think it would at first.

“I was always against that sort of thing. I always thought how can someone who doesn’t know you, would have any clue how to help you?”

But when she started speaking to someone about it, “She helped me realize it was basically a self-confidence thing. I felt it was my fault that it happened and without realizing it, I was blaming myself because I was the one carrying the baby. (She taught) self-love, and the ‘look in the mirror thing and tell yourself you love yourself thing’. I still find that difficult to do!” she laughs. She started keeping a diary to get all her feelings out, instead of bottling it all inside her.

Her next two miscarriages, were just as awful. Since then, she’d been to the gynecologist and did all the tests, but there was nothing physically wrong with her or J. “There’s no REAL reason why it’s happening.”

I asked Bec how J coped with all the miscarriages. “Pretty good, he probably went a bit into himself but he does that anyway. He’s quite the introvert. He tried to be as supportive as he can for us. But he never blamed me for it or anything like that, I was doing enough of that to myself!” And J would always say, “We’re in it together, it’s crap for the BOTH of us.”

“We put it down to nature. Obviously there was something wrong with them. For some reason, they weren’t quite right and nature was looking after all of us as a family. So we are kinda looking at it like that, maybe it’s for the best.”

“Did it bring you and J closer?” I asked.

“Yes, especially right after it’s happened. Because really, we both lost another chance of being a parent again. It makes us appreciate Kayla more too! She might be our only one… And she’s pretty perfect so we can’t complain!” she giggled.

What Do You Want The World To Know?

“When people say you’ll get used to it, you don’t. It’s a LIFE you’re never gonna meet. You do sort of start planning and how they’re gonna be different or the same to what Kayla was. Are they gonna play together?”

“And they’re not gonna be there anymore. But I’ll always remember them. I’m always gonna remember the days I lost those three. I’ve lost what ‘could’ve been’. In some ways, it gets harder because you really don’t think if it’s gonna keep happening. And then it does. And then I think how and why does it keep happening to me? If you DO fall pregnant again, you’re constantly paranoid for that first 3 months – that you’re going to lose it again. You’re supposed to have this glow and excitement that your child is going to have another sibling, and instead; every time you go to the toilet, you look straight at the toilet paper, you’re waiting to see if there’s any spots, or something that’s not supposed to be there. You’re constantly in fear that it’s going to happen again. It’s something you’re supposed to be quietly celebrating but instead, you’re just paranoid. You think it’s not gonna happen again, and then it does, and then you think it can’t possibly happen again. And it does.” She throws her hands up in the air, “And I think WHY is this happening to me?”

“I’m obviously not alone. I realized that after reading your blog. You do kinda feel sometimes that you’re the only person that this keeps happening to. You know people who have had one or two miscarriages but you don’t usually come across any more than that. So you kinda feel alone. And that’s just not the case. And since reading your blog, I’ve realized there are a lot of people who are going through it. Don’t give up. You’re not alone. We will have to give up eventually because we’re not getting any younger. We are going to keep trying until early next year, otherwise just one (child) it is!”

Bec has been given a prescription for progesterone for when she does fall pregnant again. And when she does, the first thing she has to do is to take them, then see a gynecologist straight away. They will start monitoring her “right from the get go”. She will have to get scans straightaway, and whatever else they deem necessary, in the hopes she doesn’t suffer yet another miscarriage again.

 

My Thoughts

I wish Bec, J and Kayla all the best in their journey to expanding their family. Whatever the outcome, they will always have each other’s support, including support from their family and their closest friends. I hope Bec’s story will help others who have suffered miscarriages and know that whatever emotional turmoil they are going through, that they are certainly not alone.


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“Dad, Open Your Eyes, Why Aren’t You Opening Your Eyes?

3 years ago

It was about 7 am when Amy heard the kids wake up. Their normal routine was to come out of their bedroom, head to the lounge room to wake Joe up. He slept there most nights as he would have to get up early for work, and didn’t want to be woken up by Amy, who had to be up several times a night to breastfeed their 6 month old baby, Mia.

Amy heard the kids say, “Dad, wake up…” quite a few times. She continued to lay in bed with Mia, listening out for her two older kids, Henry (aged 5) and Ruby (aged 2.5).

She heard Ruby asking, “Dad, open your eyes, why aren’t you opening your eyes?” Henry and Ruby started coming down the hallway, yelling out to Amy, “Mum, Dad’s not waking up!”

Amy still didn’t think anything was wrong. Instead, she was thinking, “Why isn’t he getting the breakfast ready?” like he usually did. She got out of bed and saw Joe lying on his back, on the lounge room floor. She ran to him… and screamed.

“I was hitting his face to wake him up… but I could feel… that he was actually dead. He was cold and already going a bit stiff. I was screaming and yelling out his name the whole time. I was lost for a minute, and then I thought – oh my god I need to ring the ambulance.” She ran back to her room to grab her phone.

She sat on the floor with Joe, while stroking his face and rang 000. She screamed out to the operator, “My husband’s not breathing, he’s not breathing!” He asked her to check Joe’s airways but his teeth were together. She told him she couldn’t get her fingers in his mouth. She heard the operator go silent… That’s when Amy realized, “I think he knew… He said don’t worry, help is on the way.” She forced herself out of her hysterical mode and gave the operator her address. She tried to give him CPR. She panics again, “How many breaths? How many compressions? I can’t remember?!” The operator said, “Look, just keep doing what you’re doing.” Blood started coming out of Joe’s nose. That’s when Amy threw her phone to the floor and thought, “This is not gonna him help anymore.”

The kids were crying for their breakfast.

The next few hours were a blur. The police came, followed by the ambulance. Her neighbours rushed over. Her brother-in-law, who was driving past on his way to work, had seen the ambulance and police at their house. Little did he know then, that tragedy had struck the family.

The police advised Amy and the kids to go over to their neighbour’s house. She can remember saying, “He’s gone. He’s gone.” Over and over again. She was numb. She felt her body physically melting down. She threw up in the toilet several times. But she couldn’t really cry, she said. She was in utter shock. That was Day One.

Amy and Joe in Thailand, 2004

Joe died on a Tuesday and the funeral was about a week later. The celebrant for Joe’s funeral was the same celebrant that married Joe and Amy. “He married us, and he ended us.” Amy and Joe were both aged 36.

I asked Amy to describe the months after Joe was gone. “The hardest was not knowing what to do with myself. Anxiety was horrible. I didn’t know what to do, as in, do I speak to someone? Like a psychologist? People were saying I needed to speak to a counsellor or to a psychologist. But I felt sick talking about it. I almost didn’t want to talk about it but I felt like I HAD to. It’s the thing that you do… Someone’s died – Talk about it. And I found that really hard because it was hard to talk about. I got huge anxiety. I would leave the sessions and come home and take a Valium. I felt like everything lost its purpose.”

“I was at the shops and I’m like, what am I even doing here? What am I buying? Why am I buying clothes? My husband is dead, and I’m out buying clothes, this seems ridiculous. And I’d just go home. I’d be like, what’s the point in all this? And I did that for such a long time and I struggled with doing stuff. How can you function? How can you go on with your husband dead? It just seems wrong. So to me, that was a very hard thing to do.”

“I think what got me through, was having to get through with the kids. I HAD to get up. I HAD to feed them, I HAD to send them to school, I HAD to pack lunches, I HAD to feed Mia. I was still breastfeeding. I just had to do stuff. I just put up a wall and do what I needed to do. And not really think about what I had to do tomorrow, the next day or the next week. The best advice I got from a grief counsellor, was to just, at the very beginning, literally take everything hour by hour, then eventually day by day. As long as I get through today, that’s all I need to do. And that helped me because I didn’t have to think about tomorrow. That was too hard. And certainly not next week, that was too far away. So the advice of just getting through day by day was probably the only thing that got me through the first few months.”

Amy and Joe had been together since they were 16. She had never lived by herself, she had never been on her own. She always had Joe as her security. As tears streamed down her cheeks, she cried softly, “Losing him as my security, was the hardest thing for me. It still is. How was I ever gonna bring up 3 kids on my own without him? How could I live life without him? It was a really scary thought.” It was very raw, and she felt so lost. But she knew she HAD to keep moving. There was no escaping it, she had to deal with what she’d be given.

She described it as, “I was left out in the snow, completely naked, with no blanket, nothing to keep me warm and I had to find my way back to shelter.”

So she took things hour by hour, day by day, and then week by week. She took sleeping tablets to help her sleep. And after a few months, she was able to fall asleep without them.

There were adjustments Amy had to get used to since Joe’s passing. Putting the bins out, picking up the dead leaves, cleaning the pool, doing all the “man” stuff. The decision making. Not having him around to bounce ideas and concerns off. “It’s just me now. Where do I send them (the kids) to school?”

She talks about their son Henry, who is hearing impaired. “Joe and I used to talk about Henry all the time together, we were the only ones who understood Henry. He’s different… He’s just quite hard to get your head around. How to handle Henry, what set him off, why did it set him off, what do we do about it? So that was very difficult, I didn’t even want to talk to anyone about it because no one knew Henry like me and Joe did.”

Amy & Joe’s kids – Henry, Ruby & Mia

Amy still sees a holistic counsellor. She feels that it is much better for her than seeing a clinical psychologist. “I think I very quickly discovered myself. It probably took about a year that I started feeling ok about being by myself. And being able to make decisions and not be scared about it. Actually feeling empowered at the same time. I actually got through the first year of the worst entire time of my life. And I got through it. And I haven’t resorted to drugs or alcohol. I was happy that I was able to come through it in my own way, without people telling me how to do it.”

Just before Joe passed away, they had just finished renovating their home. Their house was a blank canvas. There were white walls everywhere. And so, Amy started painting. She let her imagination run wild with what she wanted to do with the house. It started off with the kids’ room, which was about a 2 week project, and she LOVED every minute of it.

“It took me to a place where my grief wasn’t there. And all that was there was… I was just IN THE MOMENT, enjoying doing what I was doing. I had to learn how to use a drill. I learnt by myself. When I finished that room, I cried. It was the biggest achievement I’ve ever done in my whole life.”

“I’ve never really felt like I had a passion for anything. And all of sudden I was doing something that I was totally in love with. It was therapy, I just let my mind go where it needed to go. I stopped thinking, which was for me – a huge relief. It was a confidence builder. And I finally said to Joe… ‘There you go, I just found my passion, Joe.’ He’s always wanted me to find my passion. His was surfing and he always encouraged me to find mine. We tried everything together but I never stuck at anything because I never liked it!” she laughed. “Nothing made me want to go back and do it even more. Except now… Interior design. It’s the path I’ve found myself heading. And I’ve never looked back!”

Amy was always under the umbrella of Joe’s big and strong personality. She said people would always see her, simply as – ‘Joe’s wife’. But she’s now a very different person to who she was 3 years ago. They would say to her, “Amy, I don’t know how you do it.” “Well, I actually don’t know any other way.” she said. “I don’t know if it’s come through Joe or whether I actually, deep down, AM this person. It’s just – I wasn’t able to BE this person with such a strong personality over me… I feel like I’ve really found myself. I’m now very perceptive of my feelings and my emotions and my thoughts.”

I asked Amy what it was that actually killed Joe. She explained that Joe had a blocked artery in his heart. There was some plaque in his artery, and a tiny piece of it broke off. It was just enough to stop the blood from coming through. She was told by the medical team that his death was near instant. Her spiritual counsellor had also told her that he passed over very, very quickly. But Amy adds, “He had no symptoms of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or was overweight. Very, very healthy. Very fit. He ran to work or rode his bike every day. Hardly drove to work, surfed all the time, ate normal food, probably ate too much salt and fat but his body could handle it. He was young and fit. However, anyone that knows Joe, knows that he was quite highly strung. On the edge a bit, and stressed. He always was quite stressed. He was worse at home, than what he showed anybody.”

What Do You Want The World To Know?

“I know I have friends there but what a lot of people who have gone through grief would say; that if you haven’t been through it, you JUST don’t know. And even if you can imagine it, it’s just not the same. So in the early days, I found myself only wanting to be around people that have lost a husband. I almost wanted to seek it because that was all I wanted to know about. That was a very strong emotion that I so desired to get. But I never got it.”

“What I need my friends for – is almost like an escape. I need them to make me laugh. I need them so I can let my hair down and have some fun, and escape the life of having three children. Escape a bit of motherhood. Not too crazy but I do love to have a laugh. I’ve got a new appreciation for girlfriends. Now I really appreciate the time I spend with them. I’ve had a few friends that have dropped in and talked to me, and I think I’ve helped them, through just talking about me and what I’ve been through, and also how I see life now in a very positive way.”

“And I was told this by a spiritual person and I truly believe it… Is that our whole lives together, Joe was up on the stage. When he died, he pushed me up there and said ‘It’s your turn now. It’s your turn to shine.’ So I feel like he’s given me a gift and it’s his gift to me to say, ‘You deserve happiness. You deserve life. You deserve the path that you’re meant to be on. Go find it.’ And I did. I thank him every day for giving me the life that he did with him. There’s no way anyone would’ve travelled the world like he did… And I got to go along that journey with him. And I consider myself so lucky. I’ve travelled the world, I have 3 children, I have a beautiful home, I’m looking at a new career which I love. I’m content, I’m happy. Life is good. So without Joe dying, I may not have had all this appreciation and love for life and myself.”

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Some of Amy’s creations!

My Thoughts

My husband Adam was best man at Joe and Amy’s wedding. Joe was one of our groomsmen at ours. I remember the day Joe died. I got home from work and Adam was home early. I asked why he was home early and I could see tears in his eyes. “Joe’s gone. Joe’s gone. He’s dead.” I was shocked, speechless and we both held each other in our arms and cried. All we could think of was, “How could this happen? He was so young… What’s going to happen to Amy and the kids?”

I recall having coffee with Amy a few months after Joe’s death. She saw a friend from Henry’s school at the same coffee shop and I remember her saying, “She doesn’t know about Joe. I don’t want to have to say anything. I just can’t.” I felt so much pain for her, but like she said in our interview “If you haven’t been through it, you JUST don’t know. And even if you can imagine it, it’s just not the same.” I understand that now.

While we all miss Joe dearly, I’m so proud of Amy. So proud that she has been able to blossom, with Joe’s death, she found herself. She found strength, passion, contentment and self-love. I wish Amy and her 3 beautiful children – Henry, Ruby and Mia, all the best in the world. And I love that she believes Joe will always be watching over them.

Let’s all appreciate the life we have now, the people we have around us and always, always be grateful. Find the positives in what we have now, and be thankful for it all.

 

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My Other Father, Gone Too Soon

Me and my father-in-law on my wedding day

 


It’s 4am. I’ve had to force myself to wake up from my dream. I’ve woken up with my eyes and my pillow soaked in tears. So the only thing I can do now is put my feelings into words. I’m still laying in bed, with my phone in my hands and the glow on my face, blinding my already swollen eyes.

I dreamt that you had already passed and everyone around me were giving me gifts that reminded me of you. And every single gift I unwrapped made me miss you more and more. It made me fall to my knees and cry, my heart ached so much as I cried. It wasn’t only an emotional pain but also a physical pain in my chest. I so badly want to wake from this dream.

I dreamt of your voice, your deep fatherly voice. Your voice that made me laugh, your voice that always assured me that everything was going to be ok. In my dream I knew you were already gone but I can’t understand why I can still hear your voice.

In my dream I knew you were already gone but I still kept looking for signs of you. I searched and searched but couldn’t find any signs. I wanted to feel your strong arms around me when you told me you loved me and my children. Your grandchildren.

I force myself to wake up from this dream. 

I miss you, dear father in law. You were such a big part of my life and now there’s a void in my heart and it cannot be filled. Yes I do tons of things to occupy myself, but, that void will always be there.

Your wife, my husband, your daughter and your grandchildren struggle every single day knowing that you’re no longer physically here. All we have are incredible memories of you. We miss you so so much. So much that it’s crazy. We think about you every day.

I really hope we’ll cross paths again. Because I didn’t get enough time with you in this life.

All I have now are the memories of your strong yet soft personality, and I see it through your son, the love of my life. I can’t thank you enough for raising him to be the man that he is.

I must try and go back to sleep now. And I hope writing this down will make me feel better, but at the same time I don’t know if I want to.

Til we meet again.

 

 

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I Was Not Always This Old

 

When you come into my room, just who do you see? You see a grey haired lady, looking back at you with a tired and weak smile. You look around and see a bunch of photos and trinkets that I’ve collected over the years. But is that all you see?

If only you could’ve gone back in time and met me when I was your age. Like you, I had big dreams. The world was my oyster and nothing was impossible. I walked with purpose, with my head held high. I had so much life in me and I was unstoppable. This grey haired lady you see in front of you, was once a stay at home mother, champion ballroom dancer, a nurse, a midwife, a teacher. I might have even protested in a rally or two.

I’ve had wonderful friends. In my group of friends, I’m pretty sure I was the funny one. We laughed so much, our bellies ached. We would sit and talk on the phone for hours. We went shopping, tried on the latest dresses, did our own hair and danced to Jailhouse Rock

I’ve lost touch with my old friends. And as I sit in my great big arm chair, I find myself wondering where they are right now. Do they ever think of me? I wonder if they miss me? Oh my god, we had so much fun.

I had my insecurities and had days where I lacked confidence in myself. Like you, as confident as I was, I’d look in the mirror and asked myself, “Am I too fat? Am I too skinny? Am I too short? Am I too tall?”

I was strong and I was beautiful, but that’s not what you see right now, is it?

I’ve had my heart broken and cried myself to sleep. I’ve also loved with all my heart, and fortunate enough to have someone love me back. I’ve looked into his eyes and thought, “How did I get so lucky?” But I’ve also looked into another man’s eyes and thought, “I can’t live like this anymore.” 

My husband is gone. The man I’ve spent nearly my whole life with, is now gone. I now watch TV all alone in this room, and sometimes, I still turn to see if he’s there. Like you, we had children, dreams, goals and plans together. 

Like you, I was a daughter, a grand-daughter, and a mother. But I’ve surpassed you now as I’m a grandmother and a great-grandmother. I see a lot of myself in my daughters and grand-daughters. I see, in their eyes, the same worry, pride and happiness for their children that I had for them when they were younger.

Now I’m old. I’m very old. My bones creak when I try to walk. What’s happened to me? I used to dance, swim and run around with my children. Now I’m lonely, I’m weak, and I need your help. I wish I didn’t need your help, but I do. I haven’t got a choice. Please know that I get very embarrassed when you have to take me to the toilet. 

I had a beautiful home. It wasn’t much, but it was still my home. I had lots of wonderful and even sad memories in there. I’ve cooked and cleaned and wiped up spills that my children and grandchildren made. I’ve now lost my home and all I have now – is this room, this room was allocated to me. I no longer have the freedom to do what I want. I’m only allowed to have my most precious things with me in this room, to remind myself of the life I once had.

When you see me, please remember, I used to be like you. I was not always this forgetful, not always this weak and I was not always this old. 

 

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It’s Better To Have Loved


Death is inevitable. Some fear it, some embrace it, some look forward to it and some won’t get a chance to fight it. 

There are different beliefs on what happens after death; you might go to heaven (or hell, if you don’t eat your veges), you might reincarnate (and be famous like Kanye), or maybe once you’re gone, you’re gone. *poof*

I have dealt with death for a long time. I work in a nursing home, so I see it a lot. People come, and they eventually go. We all know it’s their last pit stop. 

The first death I experienced was the loss of what would have been the most significant person in my life. It was my mother. She died of cancer when I was 5. While many mothers (not all of course, I know I’m not unique) live long enough to buy their daughters their first bra, teach her about periods, how to put on make up and how to cook, I had missed out on all of those experiences. But most of all, I missed out on loving her. 

Knowing that we will all die one day, we still continue to form loving and strong relationships with each other. That seems a little crazy, doesn’t it? We all know we eventually will have to leave the people we love behind, and yet we STILL CHOOSE TO LOVE. Wouldn’t it be easier if we never loved at all? 

The human spirit is a funny one. We make monumental sacrifices for the ones we love. We create tons of fond memories with them. Even when we know that there will come a day, when we will have to depart this earth. 

So I ask, is it worth loving someone then? 

I think it is (actually, I know it is). 

Grieving is vital. Grieving reminds you of how much love you had for each other. The amount of pain and sadness we go through when we lose someone, just shows there was equal or more amount of love you had for each other while they were still alive. 

I know I’m not the first to write about death, and I certainly won’t be the last to write about it either. 

The last couple of weeks have been a little bit hard for me. I’ve lost quite a few people. 2 of which I had time to mentally prepare for, but 2 came as quite a shock to me. I thought about the love I had for them. They were different levels of love, but still, it was love. I’m grieving and it pains me that they’re no longer with me, but I find solace in knowing that I was lucky enough to have them in my life and that we shared love, a connection, and a strong bond. 

Go ahead and keep on loving. Make wonderful memories. Forgive each other. 

So is loving someone worth the pain of inevitable death? Yes, yes it is. And I have to end this post with a quote that sums it all. 

‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

– Alfred Lord Tennyson

“It Was Hard, Everyone Around Me Was Getting Pregnant”

Nicole’s favourite past time: Mahjong


Nicole, aged 40, is unable to have children because of existing pre-cancerous cells in her womb. And because of this, she is not eligible for IVF treatment. This is Nicole’s story.

Nicole was 32 when she got married to Andy, and that was when they started trying for a baby. For the first 3 years of them trying, her periods were very irregular and she would experience excessive bleeding for more than 20 days at a time. Her doctor told her that it was due to “hormonal changes”. She brushed it off, not thinking much about it, thinking she was invincible. “I thought nothing was going to happen to me.” she said.

She was then put on medication to regulate her periods. Her womb was scanned and was told her Fallopian tubes were clear and that her eggs were healthy. At that point, she started blaming her husband Andy, saying it was because of his (very slightly) low sperm count. She said, “But all we needed was ONE sperm to make it work.”

During that time, a lot of Nicole’s friends got married (and she snapped her fingers), “They got pregnant, just like that.” Then her friends had their first kids, and everyone would start asking her, “Hey, so when’s your turn? Have you seen a doctor?”. She took a deep breath and said, “It was hard, everybody around me was getting pregnant.”

“I used to think what’s wrong with me? I used to cry myself to sleep. When I turned 37, my biological clock was ticking. I felt anxious. I kept asking myself over and over again, what have I done wrong? Is it because God doesn’t want me to have a baby?”

When Nicole turned 39, she started bleeding heavily again. She shared two experiences of her having bled so much, once having a coffee with one of her best friends, and another time, just after her holiday with her husband. And so after that, she went to see a specialist. When the results came back, Nicole, accompanied by her god-sister, went back to see the specialist together.

The specialist asked, “Is your mum or husband with you?”

To which Nicole replied, “No, but I do have my god-sister with me.”

“I actually haven’t got very good news for you, it looks like you might have to get a hysterectomy.”

She felt like it was a death sentence. Her god-sister started bawling her eyes out. The doctor was trying to explain it to Nicole but she was in shock, she just couldn’t understand it. They were brought into a little room, and that was when it hit her. “If I have a hysterectomy, that’s going to completely deplete my chances of having a baby, ever. There’s no turning back if I do it. Then I started crying as I realized the severity of the decision.”

Her world collapsed. She said she will only ever be able to feel the desire and the yearning to have children. She described herself as “barren”. She felt it was so unfair, she loved kids, and she knew she would have been a really good mother. She said she can never be complete. “I’m never gonna be a mother, ever…. My family has no history of cancer, so why me?” So for nearly 3 weeks, she cried her eyes out. She started blaming herself. She went and got a second and third opinion. And they all said to her, that time was working against her. They all said she needed a hysterectomy.

Tears rolled down her cheeks, “Andy and I would fantasize about what names to name our kids. We were going to convert the study into a nursery. A friend suggested we buy little clothes and onesies. We even tried different types of superstitions, but they were all false hopes.” Then she said, “I grieved, then I had to face reality. I couldn’t keep moping. I started playing golf and mahjong. I did whatever I wanted. But at the back of my mind, when I see other peoples’ kids, I know I’m never gonna be a mother. So I pour all my love to the kids around me. It doesn’t change the fact that I still love children. I’m very lucky to be working with children. But the void is there. It’s something I can never give Andy. I can only look at other peoples’ kids and imagine what it would be like.”

On her husband, she says, “My heart aches for Andy because I know he wants a kid. You can see the joy in him when there are kids around him. Kids gravitate towards him. He’ll play games with them. He even has toys from when he was a kid that he has saved, for when he has his own. I know he longs for a child too, and I can’t give it to him. I’ve asked him to remarry (she laughs). But he says we have each other and that he wants to grow old with me.”

What Do You Want The World To Know?

“It’s not the end of the world. Life still has to push on. I’m still allowed to go to a corner and cry. There’s no shame in it. I’m allowed to have those times to cry in front of my friends. There are ups and downs, but they’re mostly up. I don’t like going back to that place (depression). You can still plan your life without kids. After I opened up about my situation, I realized that there were people who were going through similar issues. You just gotta make the best out of the situation.”

Nicole and her husband Andy


My Thoughts

Nicole and I known each other since we were in our late teens, so this interview was hard to do, as she is one of my very best friends. She has been coming to Perth to visit me and my family every year. During the interview, we both cried. My heart ached so much. And as I wrote her story, I found it hard to fight back my tears. She is my friend, she is in pain, and there’s nothing I can do to help her. The only way I know how, is to help her tell her story. I find peace in knowing that she has a husband that loves her dearly and has stood by her this whole time. I also find peace in knowing she has a supportive family and a wonderful network of friends around her. Til we see each other again, I love you Nicole xxx

Best friends!


 

 

 

 

 

I Wish You Peace


I’ve just been to your home. 

It’s silent, but, it’s a different type of silence. 

Everyone in your home has kept their voices down, so it can be peaceful as you lay in your bed. 

I’ve often thought about you, your husband and your children. I’ve thought about the pain they’re going through, I’ve thought about the pain you’re going through. 

I’ve thought about the first time I met you, and yet I never knew. Because your smile would light up the room. Your genuine smile, that hid everything else. 

But today. I met your mum. And she invited me in for a cup of tea. But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. I wouldn’t have been able to hold back my tears. I’ve been thinking about your husband and children, but I had forgotten to think about your mum. How your mum would be feeling, and how she would be coping. And so, when I met her, I crumbled inside. 

I got into my car, and I cried. I cried so hard. I felt so much pain for your husband and children, but now, I feel so much pain for your mum too. 

Beautiful, beautiful woman. Beautiful wife. Beautiful mother. Beautiful daughter. 

I wish you…. Peace.