Reblog – Start asking friends and family for support —

Day 4 of the Bloggers Unite Conference at missconception.com!  I don’t know who this lunatic blogger is, she is harping on about something for infertility awareness week…..oh wait….it’s me! I’m excited to be part of the bloggers unite conference this year, and very grateful to Miss Conception for hosting it!

I discuss how we opened up to our friends and family about our infertility journey and yet had never actually asked for support from them.  I assumed I didn’t need it.  But I was wrong. People find it hard to know how to help their infertile loved ones, so if you ask, they will leap, I have no doubt about that as we have experienced.  I suggest ways you can ask for support from your friends and family.  You don’t need to be as open about your infertility journey as we have, but knowing when and how to ask for support will help get you through those tough days. Click the link below to read more!!!  XXX

Hi! My name is Dani. My husband, Chris and I, have been trying to conceive (TTC) since December 2013. We were diagnosed with ‘unexplained infertility‘ in January 2015. I decided to blog about our journey of TTC as I quickly realised that talking to friends and family about our situation can be difficult. It can be hard for them to […]

…..read more of my blog post here via #niaw – Day 4, Bloggers Unite Conference – Start asking friends and family for support —

NIAWBLOGGERSCONFERENCE

‘Tis the season…Pt 1.

‘Tis the season to be jolly.  True.  But my feelings can’t help but be a bit up-and-down like a see-saw.  So I decided to split my post into two.  Depending on how you are feeling this season, you may only want to read one or the other.  Maybe you feel a little bit like me, so read both!

Pt 1: ‘Tis the season to be jolly

Pt 2: ’tis the season to be not so jolly


Pt 1: ‘Tis the season to be jolly

I don’t know why I love the festive season.  Maybe it’s the food, maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the gift giving/receiving, maybe it’s the family coming together or maybe it’s just that time when the year is coming to an end where you can draw a line under the past 12 months and feel excited to start afresh with the New Year.  Or, in my case, perhaps it’s because it is also my Birthday ;-p

This is the first Christmas we will spend in Virginia.  The first Christmas in the US we spent it in Vermont skiing, this is where we decided to make a go of becoming parents.  The second Christmas we returned back to the UK and rented a cottage so both our families could stay with us for the holidays.  This third Christmas is less exciting in comparison, we are staying put.  But this is exciting to me because I can finally buy Chris a gift that is bigger than my suitcase!!!

This past week has been filled with festivities abound.  Not just in the physical sense, but the emotional sense too.  Here is a summary of the amazingness (or jolly, if you like) that I have experienced so far:

1. Home made mince pies.  If you read one of my previous posts you will know that these are not easy to come by in the US.  I made Nigella Lawson’s Domestic Goddess Cranberry studded mincemeat pies (recipe here).

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Home made Cranberry Studded Mincemeat star topped pies

My goodness, that pastry was so flaky and the mincemeat so juicy I couldn’t believe that I actually made them.  I shared them with some of my non-British colleagues at work who were intrigued as to what these ‘mincemeat pies’ were.  They didn’t spit it out in front of my face so that had to be a good thing 🙂

2. Decorating my house with a CHRISTMAS TREE!!!  The first time in the US!  OK so we still didn’t buy a real christmas tree, we wanted to see how our terrorquisitive cat Diesel would deal with one.  So we bought a small fake one.  He eats anything that has a dangly bit or rubber on it.  So far so good…everything remains in one piece and the tree still stands.

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It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas!

I also treated myself to one of those German wooden spinning pinwheels.  I have wanted one for aaaaages.  Every time I go to Germany I go to buy one and realise I don’t have enough room in my bags.  Plus they are quite expensive!

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I don’t know why I love it so much!!!

When the lady at TJMaxx rung it up, she exclaimed -“$40 for that!!!!”, I pointed out that in Gemany these were usually over $100.  Anyway, I love it.

3. My first Resolve support group meeting.  Resolve is the US national infertility association and they provide various forms of support for people with infertility. I picked up a flyer from my clinic about this local Resolve monthly meeting about 8 months ago when we were going through our third IUI procedure.  I left it in my ‘to do’ pile of paper work and each month thought about going and never got round to it.  Finally I got round to it!!!  I am so pleased I did.  I met some lovely ladies who just get it.  It was good to talk, and good to listen to their stories too.  I will definitely be going again.

4. The #TTCMugExchange2015.  I participated in the Mug Exchange that Chelsea from Starbucks, Peace and Pursuit of a Baby organised.  This week I received my mug and a few extra lovely goodies!

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I was spoilt with a box of goodies as well as a mug, cosy socks, an Irish Angel of Hope and a travel journal.

The mug I received was so beautiful.  Quite honestly, I think it is the best one I have seen 🙂

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My exchange partner is a bright and bubbly girl from Northern Ireland, she was originally told she would have to do IVF privately but just found out that the NHS will do IUI, so she is preparing for her first treatment!!!  She doesn’t blog, but is on Instagram.  As a result I’ve taken to trying out Instagram you can follow me @thegreatpuddingclubhunt if you have an account!

5. Just feeling the love around me.  We have received lots of invites for Christmas day so we are not alone; we have received lots of cards sending us well wishes and Christmas pressies that now sit under our tree.  And sometimes, it’s the little things that make a difference.  At a work gathering our big boss spoke about a whole bunch of work things and then he turned to talking about the holidays.  He pointed out that this is the time to look around at our neighbours and check they are doing OK.  The holiday season can be difficult for some people, and if we notice someone looking sad, down or simply stressed, take a minute to stop and ask “Are you doing OK?”  then listen.

love

Ignorance is Bliss

Has anyone ever said something to you along the lines of: “If you knew how much responsibility was involved in parenting you wouldn’t ache so much for a baby?” or worse, “Here, take my children then see if you still want a baby so much.”

People who say this to you most likely care for your well-being.  It’s kind of like your bestie asking you just before you walk down the aisle – “are you absolutely sure you want to do this??”.

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My Bridesmaids asking me: “Now are you sure you want marry this man?!?”

But what these people do not realise is that their message also comes across that we are ignorant.

If anything, I am more certain of my future responsibilities because I have had much more time to think about them.  I am lucky in the sense that I have the time to prepare.  Some women may only have 9 months to prepare for their future responsibilities.

I understand that I will never fully appreciate the responsibilities involved in parenting until I become a parent myself.  But please, let me dream about it for now.

Caught in a friend gap

Moving to a new country thousands of miles from friends and family has been a mixed bag of emotions.  Three years ago when I applied for my job in the US, Chris and I thought very hard about whether leaving the UK was the right thing to do.  We had only been married for about two months, and in the three years we were together preceding our marriage, I had spent one of those years in Afghanistan and another half a year traveling with work.  So as you can imagine, it might have seemed a little crazy to be moving half way across the world so soon after we tied the knot.  But it was our dream to live abroad, at the least before having children.  So we went for it, and on 1st January 2013 we packed our two suitcases and got on a plane to Virginia, USA.

We have missed weddings, birthdays, births, parties, funerals along with just missing friends and family in general.  But we have made new friends, and experienced weddings, parties, birthdays and births here in the US too.  At the ripe age of 32 years old, we are not the socialites that we used to be.  We pretty much like being in bed by 10pm, some nights you will find us in bed at 9.  We even joined a sports and social club where we have met some very lovely people, and made some very lovely friends.  But I can’t help but feel in friend limbo.  We haven’t been here long enough to have established the types of strong friendships that we have in the UK, whom we have known since childhood or university.  I think part of this is our age.  We are old enough that we don’t bond with people who like to go out drinking or partying, but people who are our age tend to have children, and it’s difficult to bond over something you don’t have yourself.  Dreaming of having children isn’t quite the same.

In the US the average age of a parent is 25.1, in the UK it is 30.  And that statistic sums up our predicament.  Maybe I am mistaken behind this reasoning, but I feel like we do not bond quite as well with people our own age here in the US because they typically have children.  We have a couple of friends who have children, but I can’t help but feel like our bonds haven’t fully sealed.  Just as we started to make friends with some younger people, but they have moved on, just like we did….to other parts of the country, or even other countries.  And I really honestly have reached a point where I feel like not bothering to make new friends.  Working with the military, I am now getting a bit tired of making friends just for them to move on after 2-3 years.

With infertility looming over our heads, I sometimes feel lost without good friends by our sides.  Fortunately, I have some amazing friends back in the UK who have been so incredibly supportive through everything so far.  I am so lucky.  But I have hardly told anyone here in the US about our infertility treatment.  And so this is why I am considering going to our local RESOLVE meeting; I hope to actually meet other couples similar to us.  Friends in the UK are great, but it’s not so great when you just want a hug or just fancy doing something random and spontaneous to help get you out of hole.

Without knowing if my contract will be renewed at the end of the year, we are on a weird cliffhanger.  This may be our last summer here.  We may only have 6 months left to see and do everything.  But we may be here longer.  We keep telling ourselves that we should live in the present and not hold back.  But even still, I can’t help feel like we are caught in a friend gap right now.  Why does it feel like as we get older, having a kid is the ‘get out of jail free’ card?  It just doesn’t seem right.