The uncertain future of the world

On several occasions in the past Chris has asked me if we really want to bring a child into this uncertain, seemingly doomed, world.  War, terrorism, climate change, disease, famine and so much hatred.  It makes you wonder.  The terrorist attacks in Paris last night were shocking and showed terror in the West at its worst.  The Russian plane blown up most likely by terrorists was utterly cowardly.  The suicide bombers in Beirut who spinelessly killed innocent shoppers.  And the many more countless number of attacks on innocent civilians.  It makes me sick to the stomach today as much as it made me sick to the stomach when I was just about to begin my first year of university in 2001.  Watching that second plane crash into the other twin tower of the World Trade Center, live on TV, I could not believe my own eyes.  And last night hearing the live commentary of the attacks unfold in Paris was no different.

But I do not want to live in fear because then they have succeeded, the terrorists have won.  Like I told a journalist when I was interviewed in a London Train station the day after the 7/7 terrorist attacks – I am not afraid to use the public transport, I won’t be afraid, we should not be afraid. We must unite against terrorism.

I didn’t know when I watched those events unfold on September 11th 2001 that 14 years later I would have deployed three times to Iraq and Afghanistan, worked with countless inspirational commanders and leaders who serve to fight the battle against terrorism and worked on projects that enhance the future security of my friends, family, country and our allied countries.  And so now it is one of the drivers for my choice of career, but I would never have pictured myself in this world in my youth.

War and terrorism isn’t the only thing on my mind about the uncertain future for our children.  Disease, famine and climate change are all up there too on my list of concerns. I might sound a bit dramatic about it all, but it is something I do think about a lot.

So when Chris asks me do I want to bring a child into this world?  I tell him yes.  I say yes because I want my child to be a strong person who contributes something to making this world a better place…and even if I don’t ever have my own child, I will love, cherish and encourage the children of my friends and family to be that strong person…otherwise the terrorists will simply win.

Paris (2)

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Sorry, but being a mother is not the most important job in the world….

Sorry, but being a mother is not the most important job in the world….

Ha!  Got you thinking there with that provocative statement….well it certainly got me thinking when I read this opinion article from the Guardian.  Catherine Deveny tells us that we should drop the slogan “Being a mother is the toughest job on the earth”.

Well Catherine, apparently you would be going against the opinion of 92% of mothers.  According to a survey by ‘Parents Magazine’, 92% of mothers agree that being a mother is the toughest job on earth.  The other 8% must be rocket scientists and coalminers (well at least according to @JillFilipovic.) And don’t forget the journalists at The Guardian.

Why does Catherine tell us we should quit the slogan?  Because she believes it encourages mothers to stay socially and financially hobbled, it alienates fathers and discourages other significant relationships between children and adults.  Hmmmm, I’d never thought of it like that before.

When you really think about it, she is right.  In her article she explores what a mother actually is in this context, and argues that the slogan delegitimises the relationship fathers, friends, grandparents, and carers have with children.  And what about those single dads out there?

“If being a mother were a job there’d be a selection process, pay, holidays, a superior to report to, performance assessments, Friday drinks, and you could resign from your job and get another one because you didn’t like the people you were working with.  It’s not a vocation either – being a mother is a relationship.”

(That’s my favourite part of the argument!)

But is she getting a bit het up about it all?  It’s just a saying, a phrase.  Surely it doesn’t cause any harm?  Who actually cares?

Well, when you evaluate it at deeper level it contributes to building up the idea that nothing a woman can achieve in life matters more than having babies.

My dear Friends, I am not saying that being a mother (in whatever guise) or even going through motherhood, isn’t tough, it is.  I have seen it and it isn’t pretty.  I’m looking forward to the challenge AND reward of being a mother someday.  But I’m not going to kill myself over this infertility, I’m not going to dig myself into a hole of physical pain and emotional suffering. At some point in the future we may have to make a choice of being childless and I don’t want to feel like I have failed.  Chris said this to me in the car yesterday after my HSG test.  “It’s not giving up, it’s not failure – it’s a decision”.  This slogan “Being a mother is the most important job in the world” will make me feel like I failed and will perpetuate a hole of sadness and depression in me, and I don’t want that.  And I also don’t want that for anyone of my friends and family, child-free, now and in the future (or anyone else in the world for a matter of fact).  My feelings are pretty much in alignment with Catherine…

“If you are using motherhood to assert that you care more about humanity than the next person, if you’re using it as a shorthand to imply that you are a more compassionate and hard-working person than the women and men standing around you, then feel free to get over yourself.”

NaBloPoMo November 2015

I survived!

Of course I survived…no one dies from an HSG right?!?!

As I sat on my own in the procedure room waiting for the doctor I noticed just how dated everything in this room looked.  I also noticed two capsules stuck with cellotape onto the wall behind the head of the bed and the other on the needle disposal box.  I was intrigued because they said ‘amonia’ on them.  I wondered why these capsules were stuck there.  As more time passed I finally figured out what it was for – smelling salts for passed out patients! There was a piece of paper stuck on the wall that gave steps of what to do in an emergency – the kind of emergency when  patient passes out and you have no clue what is wrong with them.  The first step said: Keep calm! I found this quite amusing that a doctor/nurse needed to be reminded to keep calm first of all.  One of the other steps described how to use the ammonia capsule to see if the patient ids responsive. There was another sheet of paper stuck on the wall next to these emergency instructions, giving instructions for what to do if a patient was having an allergic reaction.  I suppose some poor people in the past have found out that they truly are allergic to shell fish or iodine as a result of this HSG procedure! So I guess you can die from an HSG afterall.

After waiting for 20 minutes ready to go, the doctor came in and introduced herself – as if I had never met her before.  She didn’t recognise me at all.  Even with my British accent she didn’t recognise me and proceeded to ask me questions as if I was a new patient.  Considering the number of times she has seen my vagina and cervix (I can count 8 monitoring appointments and 2 inseminations) I was a bit upset by this fact.

So we got down to the business….and the procedure hurt so much that I had tears in my eyes.  It was all over after only 5 minutes, but they were a painful 5 minutes.  I peeked at the video of the x-ray as she was cleaning me up.  I could see my upside down uterus and the dye free flowing through my tubes.  And then something weird happened – my uterus flipped upright at the end of the procedure!  I felt her do something weird, did she manipulate my uterus? Or was it just the xray moving to a different position?  Logically the latter doesn’t make much sense…but then again neither does the manipulation! I’ll know exactly what happened when I go for my baseline ultrasound in the new year.

Good news is that I passed the test!! IVF round 2 is on in the new year!!

After the procedure I went back to the waiting room to pick up Chris because he wasn’t allowed in with me.  And there sitting in the waiting room was someone I knew.  It was funny because Chris was sat with his back to them and he didn’t realise he knew them.  It was a bit of a bizarre moment because I guess we didn’t really know what to say to each other.  I don’t know why they were there specifically, but I feel a little sad that infertility affects so many of us around us we just don’t know about. Today was just another reminder of that fact.  Infertility – you truly are a sneaky bag of crap.

The sugar monster

Hello, my name is Dani and I am a sugar addict. Phew. Glad I got that out into the open now :-s

After reading ‘It starts with the egg’ by Rebecca Fett I decided to give up sugar about 2 months prior our 1st IVF cycle.

It starts with the eggActually what I really gave up was simple/refined carbohydrates.  The science behind it all is rather compelling so I thought I’d give it a go.  It turns out that women who follow a diet of low-glycemic/slow carbohydrates have a much lower rate of ovulatory infertility.  Research shows that high blood sugar and insulin levels significantly decrease egg quality.  This in turn reduces the proportion of embryos that can successfully implant in the uterus, reduces IVF success rates, and increases the risk of early pregnancy loss.  As we have no clue what causes my infertility, I thought it has got to be worth a shot.

Well fat lot of good that did me!  Although, as it was my first time doing both the diet and the IVF, it is difficult to know what would have happened had I not followed the diet.  I mean, it was the first time I ever saw two pink lines, so there was definitely something that helped!! Whether it was the IVF or the diet we will never really know. I’m not willing to experiment.

Chris helped me and we made some general food choice changes.  We swapped out white rice and pasta with the brown and black stuff.  We bought quinoa, lentils and whole wheat cous-cous….all slow release carbohydrates.  Our portions also became smaller because we got fuller quicker.  I bought a bread machine and we made our own whole wheat breads. We got rid of the chocolate, cookies and other bads and replaced them with nuts, fruits and plain yoghurt.

After the news of our unviable pregnancy the comfort food came out and the diet went out of the window.  At first, everything was too sweet and I couldn’t eat much of it!  But it soon became easy to eat the bads, and we treated ourselves to whatever we liked.

Today we are back onto the path of a low glycemic diet and exercise.  I got a call from my nurse co-ordinator who went through some dates with me for our second round of IVF and we are looking at starting Birth Control Pills around my Birthday (yey!  Happy Birthday Me!  Have a BCP!!!), starting stimulation injections around about 7th Jan 2016.  So that is 2 months of healthy eating (minus Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays).

At the weekend we bought a new book called ‘the sugar free kitchen’ and we have stocked up the cupboards with the good stuff.

sugar free

Does it seem ironic that there is ice cream on the front cover of this ‘sugar-free’ cook book??!

Our menu for the week looks like this:

Breakfast:

  • Toasted oats cereal with banana and milk

Lunches:

  • Chicken salad (no change this is what we usually eat, we just vary the meat and vegetables week to week)

Snacks:

  • carrots, celery, pistachios, wholewheat cracker bread with butter

Dinners:

  • Avocado, bacon and chile frittata with peas
  • Quinoa, squash and pine nut salad
  • Flat bread pizzas with garlic zucchini ribbons and salad
  • Squash and chorizo quiche
  • Italian meat sauce with whole wheat pasta

Homemade Treats:

  • Raspberry and mascarpone ice cream, frozen yoghurt cups, Ginger and oat no-bake cookies.
Quinoa, squash and pine nut warm salad.  Actually pretty darn tasty and easy to make.

Quinoa, squash and pine nut warm salad. Actually pretty darn tasty and easy to make.

We are generally healthy eaters and cook all our own food from scratch anyway, but the biggest change is the treats.  I get the sugar-low cravings in the mid-mornings and after coming home from work….this is when I typically snack and eat a lot of sugary things.  So for the next week or so my body will hate me as I come off my sugar high.  Hopefully it won’t be quite as bad as last time :-s

We are also getting back onto the exercise.  I was going to be playing dodgeball this winter season, but the league was cancelled.  And our local yoga centre shut down.  So we have to motivate our butts to get moving.  Chris is still recovering from his sprained ankle earlier in the year so we can’t do anything too energetic like insanity….but we will do some P90X again.  We won’t follow the programme religiously, but enough to get a bit fitter than we currently are. So, here we go!

Bodies………………. ready??!?!?! Three….two……one…….*Whistle blows*

(If you ever watched the gladiators you should shout that sentence out loud in a Scottish referee type accent, if you have never watched the gladiators, I am sorry for my randomness but here is a video to help explain it)

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Coping with the holiday season when dealing with infertility

Resolve – The national infertility association – posted an article today on ‘tips for coping with the Holidays’.

I thought I’d take a look because the last article I ‘Pffftt-ed’ from Resolve I ended up regretting – coping with Halloween. I ‘Pfffft-ed’ it when I saw the headline ‘Coping with Halloween’ on my facebook feed because I honestly thought it was a ridiculous idea. Why would it be difficult to deal with Halloween? And then Halloween came along and by the end of the evening I completely understood.

I had actually never experienced the Halloween fun since moving to the US because I had been on work travels the past two years. This year I was excited to actually be in the country because Americans go all out when it comes to Halloween. I had to yet to experience American Trick-or-Treating.

I bought a couple of pumpkins and two of the biggest bags of fun pack sized sweeties (candy) I could find. I made Chris go and dig out all the halloween decorations from the shed. I wanted to get into the spirit of things.  On the eve of halloween we dressed up as ghost muskateers and went to a friends party – adults only! It was so much fun.

halloween

On halloween night itself, we went to a friends house to chill out. We sat outside in their front garden around a fire pit, making ‘smores and giving out candy to the tiny terror trick-or-treaters. It was everything I imagined trick-or-treating to be in the US. The kids had fantastic costumes – some kids even turned up in a limo! After a bit of questioning we found out that the kids in the limo were from a neighbourhood that perhaps one wouldn’t go trick-or-treating (the adults followed in a different car). It was the sweetest thing, and they were by far the politest children too. Adorable. All this cuteness around – our friends have a newborn baby too who dressed up too! It was a bit too much for me and I felt a bit sad by the end of the night.

If we do fall pregnant with the next round of IVF we might have our own newborn to dress up in a cute costume. Chris said that next time we will just have to borrow a kid for the night and actually go trick-or-treating with them if we haven’t successfully produced our own by then!!

So now I actually understand what the Resolve article was all about. Halloween is not an easy holiday to cope with when dealing with infertility. I just had no clue.

Resolve’s article today contained some useful tips for coping with upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I won’t replicate them here, you can take a look for yourself here.  They are worth a read.

But I will mention the one tip that really stuck out for me:

“Begin your own family traditions: a special ceremony or ritual that says that you and your partner are already a family, and that you can rejoice in your love for each other, with or without children”

I liked it because it is so true. In particular as we are thousands of miles away from our family it is even more important to create our own family traditions. Chris and I brainstormed ideas for what could be our tradition – we talked about food and drink (making our own things), activities like volunteering at a shelter, going for walks etc. And playing games….

One of our favourite hobbies together is playing games. We even have our own games night tuesday where we switch off the TV and play some games. We also have our own cribbage league. The day after we got married we started counting the cribbage wins in a little notebook. We carry a deck of cards, mini travel fold out cribbage board and the little score notebook where ever we go. It’s a bit of a talking point in cafes and restaurants as we get our crib board out and play away! Each year there is a decisive winner (Chris is currently winning!!!)…we will continue this tradition forever! We also hold games night dinner parties too. As you can tell, we like playing games!

But what has all this got to do with coping with the holidays? Well, we decided to create our own family game. It will be called “‘Insert Our Family Name Here’ Fluxx”. Fluxx is a card game where the rules are constantly changing – it is a lot of fun.

There are many themed variations of this card game e.g. Pirate Fluxx, Monty Python Fluxx, Zombie Fluxx, Oz Fluxx etc…So we will create our own Fluxx like card with the theme of…us!! And this will be the game we play at Christmas. The great thing about Fluxx is that it is suitable for all ages, so it really will be a family game. I am so excited to get started on making this game – just in time for Christmas! A small thing to get us started on creating our own family tradition over the holidays 🙂

NaBloPoMo November 2015

The Legal Alien

It was almost 3 years ago that I handed in my security pass and said goodbye to my office of 7 years.  I actually shed a little tear on my way out.  I was about to leave a job that I really loved.  But a new world was calling us – we were about to move to the United State of America!

My initial contract for working overseas was 3 years, and now that we have been living here in the US for almost 3 years I have been offered an indefinite contract.  So we signed another year’s lease on our house…and unless something crazy happens, e.g. World War 3, we will be here in Virginia for another year.

I’m both excited and sad.  I’m excited because we get some time to do more travelling and keep working at the infertility treatment.  But I am sad because I miss my friends and family.

There also the more material British things that I kind of miss too…..

I miss Greggs (the bakers).  I miss their iced buns and even the sausage rolls.  People of America, your corn dogs suck in comparison.  Why have you yet to discover the sausage roll?  Someone at the New York times has realised the error of their ways and yesterday wrote an article about them.  There was a bit of interest on twitter.  But I am not sure it was enough to start a sausage roll revolution.

sausage_roll

Will the sausage roll gain as much traction as craft beer has?  I hope so if I am going to stay here for any longer….

Christmas is coming and mince pies are top of my wish list this year.  What’s a mince pie I hear you ask?  They are beautifully crumbly pastry pies filled with juicy, spiced raisins, sultanas and dried fruits typically eaten around Christmas time.  They can be served hot or cold, eaten on their own or with Brandy butter or cream.  To be served with hot mulled wine. Mmmmmm, I’m just salivating at the thought of them.

mincepie

Lastly, I am also getting a bit bored of having the same conversations over and over again! Sometimes I fake an American accent just so no one notices I am British and asks all the same questions.  This video shows the struggles…for real.

By the way, if you are an American and like British culture, the BBC American has a webpage called Anglophenia that might interest you: http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/

You can also follow them on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/anglophenia they post a ‘British word a day’ which is rather amusing!

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Paranoia

It’s not always an easy subject to talk about – abortion. It’s not an easy subject to talk about in any country, but for some reason it is something I feel is even harder to talk about in the US. Why? Because it is so politically charged here. It comes up in political debates a lot, and as much as I can debate my socks off about the subject, I don’t really like confrontation. Particularly in front of strangers. Actually, I just don’t like to upset people. So my blog post yesterday about “abortion and the grey space” made me a little bit nervous….talking about abortion publicly, I was afraid I might upset someone –unintentionally of course. Not because of where my points of view on abortion lay, but just because I started a conversation about abortion.

I talked it through with Chris what I was planning on posting. He thought everything I was talking about was interesting. We ended up having our own debate against the world. (I love that we can do this together).

So in the end, I decided to press the ‘publish’ button because I promised this month I would write about things on my mind and open myself up a little…go a bit deeper.

I am now completely paranoid that I have upset someone. Not on purpose of course. But I am also paranoid about attracting haters! Have you ever used the key word ‘abortion’ to search for blog posts about the subject? Probably not, but I can tell you that there are some haters out there. I once got so emotionally upset about one post I ended up correcting someone on their blog. I immediately regretted it.

If I ever see an article about abortion on facebook I like to read all the comments because it educates me on both sides of the argument. But really, I get sickly engrossed in how intense other human beings get towards other human beings who have never met. It has heightened my awareness (or made me paranoid) of just how nasty people can get online. I have never experienced trolls on my blog or facebook page, but I know that if I did I would probably consider giving up blogging quite quickly. As I said, I’m not one for confrontation. I only meant to highlight some issues I’ve experienced as a direct result of experiencing loss and not upset anyone.

Abortion and the grey space

We hear this word used in everyday life – abortion. We can all formulate an idea of what abortion is….someone choosing to end the life of their baby. But this isn’t a wholly accurate or fair description and is certainly not what medical professionals use the word ‘abortion’ for.

According to Wikipedia, the term ‘abortion’ can be defined as:

“The ending of a pregnancy by removing a fetus or embryo from the womb before it can survive on its own.”

The unintentional expulsion of an embryo or fetus before the 24th week of gestation is called a ‘spontaneous abortion’. This is the clinical term that is used by medical practitioners in their notes to describe what most lay people would understand to be ‘miscarriage’.

The intentional expulsion of an embryo or fetus is called an induced abortion. Reasons for intentionally inducing abortion are either therapeutic or elective:

  • Therapeutic abortion is performed to save the life of the pregnant woman; prevent harm to the woman’s physical or mental health; where indications are that the child will have a significantly increased chance of premature morbidity or mortality or otherwise disabled.
  • Elective abortion is voluntary when it is performed at the request of the woman for non-medical reasons.

And then there are the methods of abortion, including medical abortion and surgical abortion:  Medical abortion (sometimes also called chemical abortion) is induced by drugs or pharmaceuticals.  Where as surgical abortion includes procedures such as vacuum aspiration, Dilation and Curettage (D&C), Dilation & Evacuation (D&E) and hysterotomy.

The use of methotrexate to terminate my pregnancy of unknown location or ‘ectopic’ pregnancy is described as a medical abortion and can also be described as therapeutic abortion. Clinically, I did not miscarry.  Although I am sure I had started the process of miscarrying before I took the methotrexate, and would consider it to be a spontaneous abortion – or – miscarriage – or – early pregnancy loss. However you want to ice it, in my medical notes it will be described using the word abortion.

For those who are not aware that this is actually a clinical term it can come as quite a shock to see those words on their medical records.  For example, here is a link to a news article: “Mom to be shocked when miscarriage called ‘abortion’ in medical records” that shows how easy it is mis-perceive the term abortion.

But definitions of abortion vary across and within countries as well as among different institutions. Language used to refer to abortion often also reflects societal and political opinions and not only scientific knowledge. Popular use of the word abortion implies a deliberate pregnancy termination, whereas a miscarriage is used to refer to spontaneous fetal loss when the fetus is not viable (i.e. not yet unable to survive independently outside the womb).

Paul Freeling and Linda Gask* explain the problem well:

“As children many of us learnt the old rhyme “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”. As we grew older we discovered that the adage was untrue. For most of us whose profession involved interacting with other people it became obvious that clumsy or inapposite use of language could cause pain. An attempt to avoid such pain has provoked…to suggest that distress in women who have miscarried would be reduced if changes were made in the language used by professional carers…the word “abortion” should be avoided because the lay public interprets it as applying to a termination of pregnancy.”

And then there is the grey space in between all of this. This is where in the US definitions and clinical descriptions are all important for insurance companies.

I recently read about a lady who fell right in between this grey space….

At a 13 week scan several doctors told her that her baby had a heartbeat, but the organs were not inside its body, the hands and feet are curled, one limb was missing, the neck was not right. Overall, the baby was unlikely to survive and should be removed as soon as possible before it could cause serious health issues. By definition, in Ohio, this situation was considered by the insurance company as an optional abortion because there was still a heartbeat, therefore, they would not cover the cost of the $10000 operation at the hospital. Planned Parenthood would be able to perform the surgery at a cost of $800.

Eventually, after the doctors re-worded the case, the insurance company agreed to cover the costs. But it came at a cost. You should read the whole article to fully appreciate what this poor woman went through: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tamara-mann/heartbeat-involuntary-miscarriage-and-voluntary-abortion-in-ohio_b_2050888.html

This blog post is not about pro-life or pro-choice. It is merely a brief peek into the complexities of the use and definition of the term ‘abortion’.

For me personally, the insurance company did not initially cover the cost of my methotrexate treatment because it was being used as an abortion drug. Eventually we managed to claim the cost back directly via our European insurance provider.

I don’t have a solution to propose, I just know that abortion – whether it is spontaneous, elective, optional, surgical, medical – is a confusing grey mess of an area in the US.

* Freeling, P. & Gask, L., Changing terminology is no substitute for good consultations skills BMJ 1998; 317 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7165.1028 (Published 17 October 1998)

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Being Chipper

Today two people commented on how ‘chipper’ I seemed to be.  Was it a coincidence?

The first, my husband: At 0645AM this morning as I was bouncing around the kitchen preparing our packed lunches, Chris pointed out how chipper I was for first thing in the morning.

The second, my boss: At 0900 as my boss logged into his computer, I gave him a brief update on what had happened whilst he had been away for the past two weeks (not much).  He pointed out how chipper I was.

Wow.  Apparently I am chipper today!  I know it had absolutely nothing to do with getting a good nights rest, because I had a crappy nights sleep due to our dear cats  running around in the middle of the night like there were 500 mice loose in the house.  But actually, I did feel quite cheerful and energetic today.  Perhaps there really was something in the process of writing down about how I wasn’t  depressed, just lost. in my blog post yesterday evening…may be thinking it through and ‘labelling’ where I was at helped me feel just that little bit chipper today?  Or perhaps I have just been a bit of a grumpy old cow for a while now and that the simple act of smiling is a change for me!?!

I don’t know….but today I was just expressively happy!

Woohoo!!

(But knowing what I know about what the phenomena of ‘coincidences’ and what they truly are – they are not really coincidences, but rather events that happen to be similar because we like to look for those patterns that are important to us…for example the old saying, bad luck comes in threes…only because we look for the bad luck we find that it comes in threes. … Now if 4 people had said I was chipper…..)

Chipper bear

Depressed or just lost??

My husband asked me last weekend if I thought I might be a little bit depressed.  It wasn’t a surprising question because I had been moping for most of the day with very little to do around the house.  He also pointed out to me that I have mentioned depression a couple of times in some of my more recent blog posts.  I quickly said, ‘no, I really don’t think so’.  I was able to answer it quickly because I have spent some time thinking about.
I have had “training” with all three of my deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan on recognising the symptoms of depression in other people.  I also have to complete annual training with my Army reserve unit on mental health awareness (although because I live in the US at the moment I have missed this over the last few years)  I googled the symptoms a couple of months ago just to be sure.  I don’t really fit.  But if Chris is asking me, perhaps I should reconsider?  Or is this one of those self-perpetuating moments where I end up actually becoming depressed because I think I might be depressed.  And so I couldn’t help but think about it whilst at work today.
I am an ambitious woman.  But my ambition has never been to be the greatest at everything.  Somehow in my life I have managed to be successful in achieving whatever I want to do.  I like to try new things, but I am not an innovator.  I like to win, but not at the expense of others.  I like to be busy, but rarely to exhaustion.  I like change, but I don’t like surprises.  I like to develop myself, but I rarely put my head out of the cockpit.  Overall, I’d say these things have helped me to achieve success in everything I do, but there is always room for me to do better…and so I keep on going to achieve great things.
I have two degrees, various extra-qualifications, a successful career in defence, I’ve given something back to my country with my reservist duties, I have been awarded an MBE, I have various commendations and awards to my name.  In my personal life I have an amazing husband, an amazing relationship, a supportive family, kind and loving friends, a ridiculously big house, a car, two of the cutest kitties, a nice pot of savings in case of a rainy day.  I have travelled the world, I get to meet fascinating people and go to fascinating places.  I have a body that is capable of achieving pretty much anything I want it to do – whether it is climb, ski, snowboard, hike, play softball, volleyball, squash, run a race, do yoga – do insanity!!!   OK enough of my bragging, that is not my intention…my intention is to say just how damn lucky I am.  What more in the world could a girl possibly want inlife?
Of course there are many more material things I could always ask for….but….
Two years ago we decided we wanted to grow our family and this is the one thing I want and can’t have right now.  And it is completely out of my hands.
Previously I filled the void with my ambition, I compensated by taking courses, being busy at work, travelling, making new friends, planning epic holidays, buying new cars.  And now…I’ve done it all.  Really?  Have I done it all?  Of course not.  But it feels like it.  And now I am suffering.  I’ve never been here before.  Chris has never seen it in me before.
So, until I find some redirection, please forgive me whilst I wonder aimlessly (probably talking to myself).  I’m OK.  I am not depressed.  I am just a little lost.