Friday, December 27, 2013

The posts that will anger the feminists

I have long admired the fashion and values of 1950's society. The gorgeous full-skirted dresses. The hairstyles. The homely values.

These next few posts will probably anger the feminists out there. I don't apologise either. These are my thoughts and my values. If you don't agree that's fine and I don't expect everyone to subscribe to my ideas either. Just saying.

I once went to a bridal shower that had the "Good Wife's Guide" from the May 1955 edition of Housekeeping Monthly. It was read out as a joke suggesting that this advice was the last thing the bride-to-be should do as a wife. I laughed along quietly but when I went back and had a good look at what the advice said - I must admit I kinda agreed with most of it.

Now I am not a perfect wife. Heck nowhere even close! I don't follow these things completely and don't manage to stick to these values very often. I do look to them though as a guide and think that it is a way I choose to be as a wife. My husband is not demanding this of me and would never ask it of me. It is a personal choice of way of life that I am attempting to use to guide my life.

I am going to start a new blog series - 50s Fridays Series. Over the next few posts each week I will address each of the points in the guide and offer my thoughts about them and where I agree and disagree. I hope to then continue the series with 50's living tips, advice, fashion and hairstyles.

I want to bring more of these values back into my home. I think there is some cross over with the Proverbs 31 wife of the Bible as well.

So without further ado, I give you the Good Wife's Guide...

1.Have dinner ready.
Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
2.Prepare yourself.
Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
3.Clear away clutter.
Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up schoolbooks, toys, papers, etc. and then run a dustcloth over the tables.
Over the winter months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
4.Prepare the children.
Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces, comb their hair, and if necessary change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
5.Minimise all noise.
At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
6.Be happy to see him.
Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
7.Listen to him.
You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the right time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
8.Make the evening his.
Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, and his real need to be at home and relax.
9.Your goal.
Try to make sure that your home is a place of peace and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
10.Don't greet him with complaints and problems.
Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone though that day.
11.Make him comfortable.
Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or a warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity. Remember, he is master of the house and as such, will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness.

Welcome to the 50s Fridays Series!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


We have had a couple of cycles now without taking fertility medication. I would say months but my cycles are longer than that! Last one was 7.5 weeks! sigh...

We wanted to give my body a chance to recover and be drug/hormone free after we miscarried baby #2. It does worry me occasionally that I am taking medication designed for women with breast cancer!

As you may remember, our fertility specialist wanted us to go to daily injections as our next step. We talked and talked about it and in the end I just am not ready for that step yet. It is costly (although not as much as an In Utero Insemination - IUI - or In Vitro Fertilisation - IVF). It also means taking regular trips up to the city to Hollywood Private Hospital here in Perth for testing and more injections. Nick would also have to undergo further testing.

So my Doctor decided that there was one more drug we could try before that step. It's called Tamoxifen. I take the tablets in a similar way to the Clomoid except twice a day - days 2-6. It works out to be 20mg a day. I have now finished taking the first course of medication and am very happy to say that I had NO SIDE EFFECTS!!! Wow! This is huge for me considering I ended up so sick with the Clomoid - especially that last round where I was on double dose.

I am also thrilled to report that I have now lost 12kg! What started as weight loss due to being so sick with the Clomoid and during the early pregnancy before the miscarriage (and lets face it - the 3-4 weeks afterwards that it took for my hormones to get back to non-pregnant levels), has continued and I am only 4kg now away from my goal! I had a goal of 16kg to lose. I am also excited that I am only 2kg away from being a BMI of 25! This is the recommended weight range for someone my age and height. Losing 4kg will put me in the middle of the recommended weight range.

I have managed to do this largely to eating smaller meals and eating healthier foods. When I say smaller meals, I don't mean starving myself! I realised while I was sick that my body didn't need to eat as much as I had been eating at meal times in order to be satisfied. I think I had been overeating by eating a large meal instead of having the smaller portions recommended. Now I eat about 1/2 - 2/3rds of the size meal I used to eat. It's still a decent sized meal and I find if I try to eat more I actually start to feel ill from overeating. I'm guessing perhaps my stomach has shrunken back to it's normal size from being stretched by larger meals? I have no idea if this is biologically correct but that's what it feels like :)

It has definitely been helpful to have our Thermomix. I have to give it a shout out - we are just eating so much more healthily than before. I cook from scratch making my own pasta sauces etc so we don't have the preservatives and other bad bits. It takes me as much time (or often less) as it would using a pre-packaged sauce/packet to cook and also uses all fresh ingredients which makes it taste just so much better! I'm so pleased to be able to get more fruit and vege's into James as well.

One final thing to note. I am feeling good. I mean REALLY good. Leading up to our miscarriage and dating back years now that I think about it, I was feeling so stressed, run down, depressed and anxious. All this fertility stuff really does impact your whole life. Since losing baby #2 (yet to be named) I have really focused on 3 things which have made all the difference in my life as so many of you have mentioned that you can see the difference.

  1. Spending more time with God. Reading my Bible if not every day then very close. Praying. Meditating on His Word. I feel refreshed in my spirit and soul. It's truly been like living water to a thirsty person. I am so thankful that what started out as something I really needed to encourage myself to do is now becoming something I really look forward to and can't wait. I am getting such a hunger to read more of God's Word, even though I am working my way through from start to finish as part of a 30 by 30 goal and am currently in the "boring" books such as Leviticus and Numbers.
  2. Gratitude. Thankfulness. Appreciation. I have been thinking about these things so often and most often in relation to Nick and James. I am so thankful to have a loving husband who cares for me, loves me unconditionally, looks after me when I'm sick, is romantic and passionate, loves our son to bits and will do anything for our family including working so so hard so I can stay at home with our boy these last few months before he starts school. I am so thankful for our amazing son James who has finally come out of the grumpy, angry, frustrated 4 year old stage where we were having mammoth tantrums 2-6 times a day and is the most caring, considerate, quick to say sorry and apologise for his behaviour, funny, energetic, compassionate, playful and just so huggable! Gratitude. Being thankful for what I do have and looking forward to the future.
  3. Getting healthy. In body and mind. Spending time relaxing when I am worn out rather than piling more things on my plate. Eating better. Trying to be more active with James. Taking more care in the way I dress and look. Going to sleep earlier. Keeping house better.
I look forward to seeing if we will have a baby to announce at New Years!

100 Books - 30 by 30 list

  1. The Hunger games - Suzanne Collins
  2. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
  3. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
  4. Divergent - Veronica Roth
  5. Insurgent - Veronica Roth
  6. Allegiant - Veronica Roth
  7. The Fault in our Stars - John Green
  8. The Constant Princess - Phillipa Gregory
  9. City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
  10. City of Ashes - Cassandra Clare
  11. City of Glass - Cassandra Clare
  12. Cross Stitch (Outlander) - Diana Gabaldon
  13. Dragonfly in Amber - Diana Gabaldon
  14. Voyager - Diana Gabaldon
  15. Drums of Autumn - Diana Gabaldon
  16. Let's Stand Up Straight - Bruce and Nellie Litchfield
  17. The Fiery Cross - Diana Gabaldon
  18. A Breath of Snow and Ashes - Diana Gabaldon
  19. An Echo in the Bone - Diana Gabaldon
  20. Written in my own heart's blood - Diana Gabaldon
  21. City of Fallen Angels - Cassandra Clare
  22. A Game of Thrones - George R. R. Martin
  23. A Clash of Kings - George R. R. Martin
  24. A Storm of Swords - George R. R. Martin
  25. Four: A Divergent Collection - Veronica Roth

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Our family trip to New Zealand 2013

We have just returned home from a trip to New Zealand to celebrate two family weddings. My sister Katrina married Richard and Nick's brother Sam married Sam (yes you read that right!)

Our trip was loads of fun and good times. We had delays on EVERY form of public transport we used (count 4 planes and two boat rides!) but we can look back on those times with laughs now that we aren't sitting in an airplane for 3.5 hours longer than we should have!
Tired travellers
Marlborough Sounds on the ferry boat
Visiting Christchurch for the first time since the Earthquakes
We got to catch up with our great friends Bruce and Treena along with their boys Ben and William. We also had a lovely BBQ at their house and caught up with friends living in Christchurch.
We got to visit Nick's cousin Stacey and James loved playing with all the toys at her house!
Spending time with my Grandparents was great and I'm so excited they are moving here to Perth this month!
Then it was time for the first wedding! We got dressed up for my sister Katrina and her husband Richard's wedding.
Aren't they a stunning couple!!
We spent some more time in Blenheim and headed to the Aquarium in nearby Picton that Nick worked at when we lived there. We got to pet Tuatara!! A very rare priviledge!
Then it was back on the boat and off to Levin for the second wedding...
We got all dressed up vintage style for Nick's brother Sam's wedding to his wife... SAM! Nick was a groomsman.
James was the page boy :)
James and I at the reception - SOMEONE ate the lollies from 4 people's lolly box placecards...
James danced the night away with his 'princess' - new Aunty Sam!
The new Mr and Mrs Sam and Sam Dight!
My new sister :)
It was so so good to spend time with Nick's parents while in New Zealand. James misses his Nana and Grandad. Hopefully they will get to visit in 2014!

The Constant Princess - Book Review

This is the first of six books by Phillipa Gregory written about the life of the wives and daughters of King Henry VIII. Here we look into the life of Katherine of Aragon - Henry's first wife.

I am not sure and have not researched the historical accuracy about these books but I found this insight into the life of Katherine and what she experienced to be really interesting. I did not know that she was first married to Henry's older brother who died of an illness when they had only been married a few months. I also did not know that she then was forced to wait years in difficult circumstances before being given to the younger brother Henry in marriage. This book covers from her childhood through her first marriage to Prince Arthur, her time in waiting (a constant princess) and through her marriage to Henry and subsequent miscarriages, births and deaths of their children. What a life this woman had! The novel really made you feel for her pain.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Fault in our Stars - Book Review

This was a book once again on the list of 14 books to read before Hollywood makes the movie. I am trying to read all the books on this list before I watch the upcoming movies. So far, so good.

The Fault in our Stars is a book narrated by a 16 year old girl with terminal lung cancer. It follows her daily life which includes a dull therapy group, distance education at tertiary level, and the daily struggles to breathe. The book is told so well from 'Hazel's' point of view that it is remarkable that the author is a 36 year old male, John Green. I haven't read any of his other works but after reading this book I am definitely going to seek them out.

I felt this book had a somewhat slow start. I read the first 5/6 chapters over a week just casually picking up the book every now and then. I thought it was going to be a book a struggled through. As a love interest developed with a fellow cancer (although in remission) therapy group member, I became more and more interested in this seemingly tragedy-destined relationship. The book is raw and doesn't gloss over the effects of cancer on Hazel and her friends. It doesn't hide her depression. It somehow has hope hidden amongst it's sometimes depressing themes. By the time I got to the last third of the book I read it all late into the night - desperate to finish it. I had to stop several times, sobbing, to have a tissue break. I am surprised I didn't wake my sleeping husband beside me as I was inconsolable! I would only be able to read half a page before dissolving into sobs again.


This book is an incredible read. Well worth the time and tears. It is a glimpse into a life that seems to have no meaning yet the book gave my life more meaning. Bravo John Green, Bravo!

The movie adaptation is set to be released June 2014 with the lead actress from Divergent (Shailene Woodley) also cast as the lead actress in this movie. I expect that she will be an actress to watch as she is gaining more and more significant roles.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Divergent Trilogy - Book Review

I discovered the Divergent trilogy via a list of 14 books to read before Hollywood makes the movies. I read the first one in a day and then rushed to the store the next morning to purchase the second book and read that in a day as well! I was devastated to discover that the concluding book was not to be released for another 2 months! That day has come however and once again I read the book in a day.

These books move me. Not only are they a thrilling read but they are filled with fascinating characters that are well written and diverse. The heroin 'Tris' is something of a 'Katniss' (Hunger Games) type character. In fact the books are of a similar feel and content - a post-apocalyptic world with a new society order. The fact that the books are written by a young writer makes me more in awe of her talent. Veronica Roth published the first book when she was just 23 years old and the last one just released when she is 25. Wow! Inspires me to put myself out there more!

The society Tris finds herself in is divided into 5 factions based on what the people living in those factions value above all else - Amity (peace), Dauntless (bravery/courage), Erudite (intelligence), Abnegation (selflessness), and Candor (honesty). At the age of 16, each citizen must make a choice of which faction he or she wishes to belong to. This decision is not to be taken lightly as the young person will then leave their family and live with their new faction members if they choose a faction that is not that which they were born into. A simulated test is administered before the young people are given the choice and is meant to help them discover the faction they are most suited to. Tris however discovers that she is suited to 3 different factions which is not the norm and considered dangerous. She is told she must hide her 'divergence' by the test administrator as this could lead to a life-threatening situation for her. When Tris decides to leave the faction she was born into, she finds herself in a new and challenging world.

These books are incredible. I will read them again and again. I can't wait for the movie which looks to be amazing as well although as always I'm sure I will prefer the books.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


We don't know. We just don't know why things happen the way they do.

I am struck today by so many different emotions. It has been a week of up's and down's for so many dear friends of mine. One gave birth to twin girls only for them to both become angels within minutes. Another friend lost her newborn triplets this week. Yet another friend found out happily that she was pregnant. And another friend found out she was pregnant only to now be miscarrying just days later.

Our precious babies. Our little angels now not with us. My heart aches thinking of these families going through tough times. My heart also rejoices with those families who finally have their dreams in sight.

It's hard to know what to say at times like these when you just feel so helpless. The best thing we can do is just be there and be willing to walk to journey with them as long as they want and need you to.

Angel Moms

We have shared our tears and our sorrow,
We have given encouragement to each other,
Given hope for a brighter tomorrow,
We share the title of grieving mother.

Some of us lost older daughters or sons,
Who we watched grow over the years,
Some have lost their babies before their lives begun,
But no matter the age, we cry the same tears.

We understand each others pain,
The bond we share is very strong,
With each other there is no need to explain,
The path we walk is hard and long.

Our children brought us together,
They didn't want us on this journey alone,
They knew we needed each other,
To survive the pain of them being gone.

So take my hand my friend,
We may stumble and fall along the way,
But we'll get up and try again,
Because together we can make it day by day.

We can give each other hope,
We'll create a place where we belong,
Together we will find ways to cope,
Because we are Angel Moms and together we are strong!

Judi Walker

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

10 TV shows that ended too soon

I have been re-watching TV shows while all the current ones were on hiatus over the Northern Hemisphere Summer. Several shows that I absolutely love could have continued on for much longer I feel. Here is my top 10 list:

1. Roswell
Roswell to me is my teen years. I loved this show! I have rewatched it's 3 seasons several times and always get so sad when I come to the end. I love seeing the fashion that I used to wear (mini-skirts over pants!)

2. Private Practice
I loved seeing the Grey's Anatomy spinoff that carried on with Dr Montgomery Shepherd. It was great how they did the cross-over episodes between Grey's and Private. Sadly after 6 seasons the show was cancelled. 

3. Firefly
When my husband first brought this DVD set home and told me it was a "Space Western" I laughed. I laughed even harder when I saw the opening credits song. But I sat through it with my hubby and by the end of the final episode (14) I was crying that it was over! Such a great show that didn't even make it to one complete season. Tragedy! Thankfully we got a movie to tie up the loose ends but still...

4. Stargate
Yes, after watching Firefly I became curious about the Sci-Fi world and eventually watched one or two episodes of Stargate with hubby. I loved it so much that I went right back to the first season and binge-watched all 10 seasons in about a month! (I had a newborn who kept me up all night feeding so plenty of midnight hours to watch tv!) Stargate got an impressive 10 season and it had two offshoots - Stargate Atlantis (5 seasons) and Stargate Universe (2 seasons). Both of these shows could be on this list as well but my favourite was definitely the original.

5. Gilmore Girls
This was my bedrest tv show while I was on one month bedrest at the end of my pregnancy. 7 seasons was definitely not enough of this witty show! Lorelai and Rory became people I'd love to know. I could still watch this show over and over and over and over...

6. Better off Ted
This little known comedy was so unique and different. It followed a guy named Ted at his workplace - Veridian Dynamics - where they created bizarre and completely weird products. Hubby and I loved watching this show and especially waited for the funny Veridian Dynamics tv ad in the middle of the episode. Sadly cancelled after just 2 seasons.

7. Eureka
Oh Eureka! Oh Colin Ferguson! Again - Sci-fi. Again - hubby introduced me to it. Note to self - always try the tv shows hubby likes! This was set in a fictious town called Eureka in America. This town housed all the top scientific minds who worked at Global Dynamics - a research facility. From talking A.I. houses to bizarre inventions, this show had it all! It was funny, moving and had you wanting to live there. I had the priviledge to meet lead actor Colin Ferguson at the Perth Comic-Con this year and he was so lovely and down to earth. Waiting in his line took ages because he made sure to have a conversation with each person waiting for his signature rather than a quick sign and "thank you". I got all flushed and speechless as we first caught a glimpse of him near the front of the line causing my hubby to laugh at me. I managed to pull it together though and try to think of something creative to say when it was our turn.

8. Lie to me
I came across this show by accident looking for something to watch when I was bored one day. It follows Dr Cal Lightman who is an applied psychologist - interpreting body language and micro expressions. His firm help the police with solving crimes and also a bit of private investigation. I loved this show and it was really interesting to see the science behind it.

9. Happy Endings
This funny almost "friends" style sitcom is something I've only recently found out has been cancelled. Like Friends, it also follows 6 friends in their late 20's / early 30's in their daily life. Sadly ratings dropped during their 3rd season after a really bad scheduling issue with their time slot in the states and the show was cancelled earlier this year.

10. Chuck
This series followed a "geek" guy working at an electronics store who is accidentally imprinted with top government secrets in his brain. This causes all sorts of mayhem as two secret agents are assigned as his bodyguards, one of whom he falls in love with. I love Zachery Levi and enjoyed this show which was cancelled after 5 seasons.

So there you have it. My top 10. What show would you put on the list??

The Hunger Games Trilogy - Book Review

I have just spent the week reading all three of the Hunger Games books to start off one of my goals on my 30 by 30 list to read 100 books before I'm 30. I have read these books before and seen the first movie (second one is out in Nov 2013).

The first time I read this series I was struck by how sick and twisted the idea is. Sending 24 kids aged 12-18 years old into an arena to fight to the death with one victor. The books are so well written that you can feel what the lead character 'Katniss Everdeen' is feeling. Reading this series for a second time allowed me to really look at the main themes behind the story. War. Poverty. The unfairness of a society that is hungry for entertainment that they will go to any length to satisfy their need. The perversion of a society that can watch children die and then go on to eat their dinner and socialising.

While we don't have the Hunger Games in our world, we do have the news. Whether we want to admit it or not, we do watch children die and then continue on with our day with only a brief moment of thinking "oh how sad and awful!" The wars and genocides that have wracked our planet have been covered on the news which we watch at dinner time. What about those children? Who helped them? Who's helping Syria? What about the child soldiers in Africa? Are they not children being forced to fight to the death?

We can sit around and feel comfortable that the atrocity of children killing other children doesn't exist. Some children and families in this world can not say the same.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Updated 30 by 30...

Just over a year to go until I'm 30!

This is my revised list (including those things I've already completed). Enjoy!

  1. Travel to Cambodia again. COMPLETE!
  2. Sew an evening gown. COMPLETE!
  3. Have another baby. (Up to God with this one) COMPLETE!
  4. Go camping.
  5. Read all of Jane Austin's novels. IN PROGRESS
  6. Travel overseas to a country I haven't been to before.
  7. Go out to dinner and eat dessert before the main meal. COMPLETE!
  8. Make and auction off a quilt for charity.
  9. Get my blog to 10,000 page views.
  10. Sing on stage again.
  11. Take James and Oliver to the snow.
  12. Read 100 books.  25 down - 75 to go!
  13. Give blood. I am terrified of needles. Enough said. COMPLETE!
  14. Read the entire Bible from start to finish. IN PROGRESS
  15. Spend one whole day without talking. Those of you who know me know that this could be a tough one! 
  16. Witness a birth.
  17. Breastfeed - this is dependant on task number 3. COMPLETE!
  18. Learn to Crochet. COMPLETE!
  19. Eat Sushi. My hubby has been trying to persuade me to try it for years but I'm too chicken. hmmm... maybe I'll try the chicken... - COMPLETE!
  20. Surprise hubby with a weekend away somewhere. - COMPLETE!
  21. Climb Jacob's Ladder.
  22. Change a tire by myself.
  23. Set up our Christmas tree with only handmade ornaments I have made on it.
  24. Own a dress makers mannequin. - COMPLETE!
  25. Complete a postage stamp quilt. IN PROGRESS
  26. Watch Breakfast at Tiffany's. Yes I admit it. I've never seen it! COMPLETE!
  27. Watch an All Blacks game live.
  28. Create my own pattern and make a dress.
  29. Holiday trip with friends. - COMPLETE!
  30. Complete 30 acts of kindness during the week of my 30th birthday.
So what do you think of my list? What would you put on yours?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

International Pregnancy and Child Loss Month

We lost our first precious bundle at 9 weeks pregnant. We lost our third baby at 6 weeks. It was a traumatic and horrible experience. Unless you have been there yourself, it is hard to really grasp the depth of feeling and trauma.

This is a song I found written by Pink about her miscarriage. Stay strong everyone.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Praying for a natural conception

As you know we've been doing fertility drugs. They have been helping me ovulate as I have PCOS

Yesterday I finally started my first cycle after the miscarriage. I really felt that I want to pray for a natural conception this month. I can't get a script for the clomid I usually take until it's too late for this month. I've been really trying to get back closer to God and this idea just came to me yesterday. I don't know if it's a prompting from the Holy Spirit or just me but I think it's something that I should do. Nick is on board with this too. 

Can you join with us in prayer if you feel led? God can do anything! I know I have conceived twice without fertility drugs - our first miscarriage and then our James. I don't often ovulate on my own but I am going to pray that everything fits into place this month.

I am praying for a "normal cycle" of 28 days this month. I am usually anywhere between 5-11 weeks. I believe that God can help me have a regular cycle. 

I hope to write this month about things I come across that help me with our prayers and believing this month. I will start with the story of Hannah later this week. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Looking forward...

Options, options. Too many options.

I really don't know what I am thinking at the moment with moving forward with our plans for a family. On one hand I can't imagine being a one-child family having come from a family of 8 kids myself. On the other hand - maybe it would be nice just us and James?

We have so many options to consider. It's easiest if I bullet point them:

  1. Just have one child. This as I said is hard for me to imagine. I love coming from a large family and always envisioned myself surrounded by my children. It would be nice in some aspects and would allow for a lifestyle of travel and luxury in a way that having more kids would possibly hinder (unless you have money and nannies like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt...)
  2. Continue with Clomid. This is I guess an easy option in some respects. We know it worked (even though we miscarried). My main concern with this option is that I got really sick on this and it makes trying to make a baby difficult when you are vomiting! I asked my specialist if there was anything I could take at the same time to ease the nausea and vomiting - he avoided my question. Will have to try asking again maybe?
  3. Injections. This is the recommended course of action by the specialist. Daily injections from day 4-15 of my cycle and then a booster shot two days before ovulation. This option will be more expensive for us. I hate needles and the thought of giving them to myself daily gives me the willies! 
  4. Foster care - Home for Life. This is a program run in our state that involves placing a child in 1 home until they're 18 years old. The government has 3 years once a child comes into care to decide on the long term plan for the child. If there is no chance of the child going back to his/her parents permanently, then they are placed in a "Home for Life". This option is similar to adoption in that you become their family permanently. However, the government retains the guardianship orders. There is a possibility with some children to adopt them once they have been with you for 3 years. We have already had an interview considering this about 4 months ago. We were told that with our background in foster caring (in New Zealand) and the desperation they have for families here, we could have a child in our home within 3-4 months. Then they asked us if we would be willing to have a newborn! Of course we would!
  5. Adoption. This is sadly a hard long road to take here in Australia with time frames of 5-7 years once you start the process. It can be very expensive. In Western Australia there are usually only 30 adoptions a year - 25 of those are international. Until Australia starts to realise that there are children out there desperate for families and families here desperate for children to love and comfort, this is not a very viable option for us.
    Flowchart of all Australian Adoptions 2011-2012
So now you see the choices. How on earth do we make a decision?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Life after miscarriage - stages of grief

It has been almost 3 weeks since we found out that we had miscarried for the second time. I've been slowly slowly getting back to normal but it's been a hard journey and continues to be. One thing that hasn't helped is my energy levels. After bleeding for 3.5 weeks I expect that my iron stores are way down. I tire quickly and no amount of rest or sleep seems to help. This has made coping with my extremely energetic 4 year old (HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMES!!) a challenge. Thankfully a couple of friends have had him over for play dates which has given me some respite.

Thank you so much to those who have helped us out with meals, babysitting and your kind thoughts, flowers and cards. We greatly appreciate it!

I think I've gone through almost every stage of grief lately. Here are some examples...

Denial: The day after we were told that we were miscarrying, I went to a vintage market. I did my hair and makeup and dressed up nice. I spent the day with my sister and then helped her out with a re-purposing craft she wanted to do. The day was full and I kept denying that I was exhausted and could barely stay awake by the end of it.
I have had other days where I have gone out and pretended that I wasn't breaking on the inside as well. Days where I've put on a brave face and told myself I wasn't going through anything serious at this time. I've had thoughts that perhaps I wasn't pregnant after all and was just making it up. Denying our baby existed.

Anger: The day after the vintage market I fell into a deep state of anger. I was furious! How dare God let us get pregnant only to take it away. Why bother letting me get pregnant at all? After trying so hard to conceive for over 3 years - was this some kind of sick joke? I was shaking at points and it took all within me to not throw something to smash it and wreck my house. I wanted to tear down my house and scream! I stayed in bed all day and cried at the smallest thing. I cried when I saw that Nick had (thoughtfully) wiped off our excited comments on the whiteboard about being pregnant, in case it upset me. I cried when I got stuck in the bathroom because I had forgotten my pads in another room and had to call for help from Nick. I cried when James asked me about "baby in mummy's tummy". Basically I cried all day. 

Bargaining: This is the stage of grief when people think things such as "if only I had..." or "maybe if this hadn't happened..." I think I have been having more thoughts about the next time we get pregnant. "Next time we should..." I have wondered if I had done something wrong that caused the miscarriage but can't think of anything that it could have been. 

Depression: This is the stage I'm at now. I feel as if the whole world is just asking too much of me. I want to hide away by myself and shut out the world. I can't seem to bare being around babies. It terrifies me! After having an already emotional day at church on Sunday, a lovely well-meaning friend asked me if I would like to hold her tiny newborn. To my horror and embarrassment, I just burst into tears! I can't seem to control my reactions and it leads to embarrassing situations. My way of trying to cope has been to try to avoid all young babies if possible. I'm sorry to those of you with young bubs! I am tired all the time and nothing much seems to motivate me. My deepest desire at the moment is some real rest. I long for a weekend completely by myself to just sleep, relax and recharge. Unfortunately that doesn't seem likely to happen anytime soon - I'm working the election this Saturday from 7.30am until approximately 10.30pm after counting finishes!

Acceptance: I am looking forward to this stage. I know it will come in some form eventually. It did with our first miscarriage although it still saddens us to think about it. 

Through all this, I still have my faith. I still believe that God has a plan and purpose. I may never know why this happened. I may never truly get over it. But I know and trust completely that God is still with me in my time of trial and need. That He knows and understands what I'm going through. I believe that something good will still come of this situation. I am just waiting.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Miscarriage number two...

Round 3 of Clomid worked. I got pregnant!

The day after we found out, I started having some complications. My hormone levels were rising well but I had some bleeding. After spending some time at the hospital at an awfully early hour of the morning and returning two days later to do the hormone blood test again, we got some relief that things were going well. In fact - we started to wonder about more than one baby being in there as my hormone levels were going up so quickly! We were told to return 5 days later to do the blood test again. My bleeding stopped and my morning sickness continued. I had a great week.

Friday came and we were back up at the hospital for the blood test. The numbers should have doubled twice. They barely doubled once. Being assured by the medical staff that this sometimes happens, we headed home. I started bleeding again tiny amounts after my internal ultrasound.

The following Friday, we headed back up to the hospital for another round of blood tests. The night before my bleeding had increased a little. The test showed that my hormone had more than halved. We were told we were losing the baby.

I managed to hold it together fairly well at the hospital. The Doctor was so lovely and kept saying over and over "I'm so sorry this is happening to you". We made it to the car before I collapsed in tears. Nick drove us home where I crawled into bed and messaged our family and friends our news.

It's hard to explain what it feels like. For three years you try every month to get pregnant. You go on fertility medication to help. It makes you feel like a truck ran over your body and you have a bad case of food poisoning - but you keep at it. Finally, you get a call from your fertility specialist to tell you that your recent blood test showed a faint positive! You pee on a stick and get double pink lines. You go to pick up your husband from work with a card saying "Parent's to be" on the front with "I'M PREGNANT!" written inside with the precious pregnancy test. You cry together and laugh together. You tell your family that night because you don't care that it's early - surely after all this time and heartache of trying, nothing will go wrong! Who are you kidding? Everyone would have guessed by the sneaky smiles you give your hubby and the wide grin on your face anyway!

What makes it worse is that it's not my first miscarriage. Now I am a mother to three children - two of which never made it into my arms. I never got to hold them. I hold my precious almost 4 year old son in my arms each night as he falls asleep, terrified something will happen to him too. It's comforting to have a child to hold.

After one miscarriage, you are scared each pregnancy that something will go wrong. You scrutinise the toilet paper each time you go to the bathroom, terrified you will see the red dot of doom. You monitor your every feeling and twitch of your body, waiting for signs that it's happening again. How is it going to be next time, when I've lost two children?

They are not embryos to me. They are my children. I 100% believe that once a sperm and an egg combine you have created a child and that child has a soul, spirit and personality. Many women will tell you that they could tell their child's personality from how they acted in their womb. My mum knew my brother would be a rugby player by his forceful kicking before she had ever set eyes on him.

I know from previous experience that this grief too shall pass. I know that it will dim with time. I know that people will move on quickly while I remain stuck here for a bit longer, alone with my grief. I also know that each year I will remember on the day we lost our precious children and they day they were to have been born. Our first "Jessie" died on August 12th 2007. Our third child which we have yet to find a gender neutral name for, died on August 16th 2013. Seven years and four days apart. Jessie would have been due the same date I myself was due to be born - March 25th. Baby number 3 would have been due April 9th.

So for now, here I sit. Barely moved from the solace of my bed all day. I will get up sometime. Hopefully it will be sometime soon.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Double the fun...

Currently I am day 14 on round 3 of Clomid. Since I didn't get pregnant last month, my specialist has doubled my Clomid dose to 100mg (2x50mg pills a day).

This is also the first month that I am not doing monitoring! It is kinda weird that I don't know my stats (e.g. the CD8 blood test and CD10 ultrasound) to see how many eggs may be getting ready to ovulate. I guess this is what normal people feel like when they try to get pregnant without the intervention! I hate not knowing!

So double the dose has been double the symptoms - more headaches, more tiredness, more moodiness (sorry everybody)! I had a very hard week that week that I was on the clomid. Very emotional and crying at the drop of a hat (or perhaps sewing needle). I am slowly coming out of the fog but still remain tired. Gosh this stuff isn't too friendly on my body! I am hoping and praying that this month is it - no more meds. If I don't get pregnant this cycle or the next then I will possibly go up to 150mg clomid with also an HCG shot around CD12 to boost that hormone. Sigh. The things we do. The step after that is IVF...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Clomid - Round 2

Well last month was a bust.  Nick ended up going away for work right around the time I should be ovulating and the day he got back I got gastro for a week! Needless to say, no chance of conceiving that month!

I did get my blood work done on day 21 however to see if my progesterone levels were higher than 30 which would indicate if the clomid had worked and if I had finally ovulated.  My results came back at 33 - yahoo I ovulated!!

And so started month 2. Cycle one was 32 days in length - a vast improvement from my 11 week cycle the previous cycle! Thanks very much clomid! I didn't suffer from side effects this month like I did in the first month - nausea and headaches whilst taking the clomid days 1-5.

I had my CD8 bloods done and went in for the CD10 ultrasound.  Again the doctor had trouble finding my left ovary! Apparently I have a retroverted uterus - my uterus is angled backwards instead of forwards onto my abdomin. It's estimated 25% of women have this condition and it isn't a problem for fertility or pregnancy.  Just makes it harder for my fertility specialist (FS) to find my left ovary hiding behind it!

My CD8 bloods were 200. Last month was 335 so this month my estrogen isn't as high.  My FS said that if I don't get pregnant this month he will up the dosage of clomid next month.  He found two eggs measuring 1.1mm and 1.52mm. He thinks only the larger one will ovulate. 

All go for round 2! I kidnapped Nick for two nights over the long weekend and am so thankful he is home this time. I'm pretty sure I ovulated today (thanks to an ovulation-pee-on-a-stick test). Here's to the 2ww - 2 week wait!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Oww! my ovaries!

Ok. So excuse the obscure Simpsons reference, but Ow!

For some bizarre reason, I tend to turn into a try-hard stand up comedian when I visit my Fertility Specialist. I guess I just get nervous and try to make light of the situation by making witty comments. Such was the case today.

I had my CD10 ultrasound today. My specialist is such a lovely guy and always puts me at ease, even when I'm baring all on the table! He tends to ignore my nervous attempts at jokes - such was the case today.

After giving me my blood test results (336), I jump up on the table, ready to do an invasive ultrasound - the kind with the magic wand - and immediately notice my unshaven legs. Ali! Really?!

"Opps sorry for the legs! I mean I really should have shaved for you"

Dr: "It's ok, it doesn't bother me." - oh great. So he noticed.
"Right.... here is your right ovary... a few small follicles... nothing of note here... and now for the left ovary..."

Prod, prod, poke, poke....

"Hmmm... Umm...."

Oh come on Doc! Give me the news! I can take it!

"I can't seem to find your left ovary..."

Me: "I swear I have one! I've got pictures to prove it!"

Dr: "uh huh..."

Prod, push down on stomach area where ovary should be, poke, prod....

Dr: "oh there it is... way up there..."

Thankful that he found it, we discovered I had 1 significant egg measuring 13mm in diameter! Hurray! Yay! I have an egg ready to ovulate!

Me: "So when do you think I'll ovulate?"

Dr: "Oh I'd say it would be about 4 days time given the size of the follicle"

Drats. Nick just left today for a 5 day trip...

Praying and hoping that this little egg is running behind schedule!

My little egg...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Have you tried...?

"If you stop thinking about it, it will happen."

"Just relax and don't stress"

"You need to pray about it more"

"You need to trust God more"

" You need to ......"

For someone who suffers from infertility, you sure do get a lot of advice handed out by (usually) well meaning people. I came across a funny picture today which made me laugh and I thought I would share it with you all so you know what we have tried!

We have tried:

  1. Vaginal Ultrasound
  2. HSG/Hysteroscopy
  3. Blood tests - 16 viles in two days!
  4. Laparoscopy
  5. 2-hour Glucose
  6. PCOS Panel
  7. Semen Analysis
  8. Pelvic ultrasound
  9. Hormone Testing
  10. Clomid
  11. Metformin
  12. Temperature recording
  13. Intercourse recording
  14. Saliva ferning recording
  15. Low fat diet
  16. Chia seeds
  17. Low-cholesterol diet
  18. Pre-natal vitamins
  19. Vitamin B
  20. Nurse practitioner
  21. Midwife
  22. Family GP
  23. OB-GYN
  24. Fertility Specialist
  25. Radiologist
  26. Exercise
  27. Prayer
  28. Meditation
  29. Visualization
  30. Promises
  31. Bible reading
  32. Fasting
  33. Crying...
  • at church
  • at baby showers
  • at grocery stores
  • in hospitals
  • everywhere
  • in the car
  • in the bathroom (after negative pregnancy tests) CONSTANTLY
  • in Hubby's arms
  • hugging our son
  • storing away James' baby clothes
  • dismantling the cot
  • giving away baby items
34. Different positions
35. Just relaxing
36. More sex
37. Less sex
38. Thinking about adoption
39. Thinking (and applying for) Foster Caring
40. Not thinking
41. Researching options
42. Giving it time
43. Hoping more
44. Hoping less
45. Getting a pet (Hello Mr Darcy!)
46. Worrying less
47. Worrying more
48. Being happier
49. Being thankful for James
50. Being thankful in general
51. Being less selfish
52. Trying to be a better mother to deserve another child
53. Elevating my hips
54. Taking a holiday
55. Stop trying for a month
56. Denial
57. Grief
58. Bargaining
59. Depression
60. Considering just having one child...

So there you have it - 60 things we have tried. I don't mean this post in anger or bitterness. It is just meant to be an enlightening of what couples with infertility can go through. So support your friends and family who may being going through this. It is a long and hard journey to travel through. Be kind to us :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Round 1 of Clomid

I made it! I'm through!

I have just finished my first round of 5 pills of clomid. I had to take the Clomid once a day for 5 days from CD2-6. This little pill will help my system produce more of the hormones it needs in order to mature eggs to ovulate.

I had a fairly smooth ride with the Clomid thankfully. I have read of people having shocking headaches, nausea, hot flushes... Thankfully I only really experienced one symptom - nausea.

I didn't start to experience the nausea until CD4 (2 days into taking the Clomid). I then experienced it each day after that until the day after I finished the meds. It got worse each day culminating with the 5th day of taking the pill. I ended up with my head over a public toilet while shopping at Harbourtown! Eww! Thankfully I wasn't sick in the end but yuck it wasn't nice! I drove home with an empty shopping bag in the centre console of the car ready just in case.

So now it's on to the tests to see if I am likely to ovulate this month! Today being Monday (CD7), This is what's in store for me this week:

  • Tuesday CD8 - Blood test. This is to check my hormone levels which will indicate if I am likely to ovulate and also whether it looks like I will release more than one egg. If my levels are greater than 2000 then we will be advised against trying to conceive this month as the chance of multiple pregnancy will be greater.
  • Thursday CD10 - Ultrasound. This is to measure any eggs (follicles) that are present. If there are greater than 3 eggs measuring 16mm or more, then again we will be advised to avoid trying to conceive due to the risk of multiples. 

So that's what I'm doing this week. What is happening in your world?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Clomid Cycle

I have started my first cycle of Clomid (Clomiphene).

I'm both excited and nervous about starting this journey. Clomid can give you some side effects such as nausea, breast tenderness, headaches and abdominal pain. Your body is doing some pretty significant stuff while taking this medication! Clomid works by stimulating an increase in the amount of hormone that helps to grow and release a mature egg. Basically, I have eggs but due to the hormone imbalance and other factors, my eggs just don't mature enough to release - ovulate. This medication will give it a boost of good hormones in order to make an egg mature. 

So my month is pretty much mapped out for me and detailed by my specialist. I've talked about CD's in the last post but just for a refresher - CD = Calendar Days - the amount of days since the start of my last period. 

Here is what a month of Clomid looks like:
  • CD1 - Start period.
  • CD2 - Start Clomid - 1 tablet/day x 5 days.
  • CD8 - Blood test.
  • CD10 - Ultrasound visit to the specialist.
  • CD21 - Blood test.
  • CD29 - Pregnancy blood test.
Phew - are you tired just looking at how much work and visits to medical facilities I have to do? They really do monitor you the whole way through the month!

Here is a breakdown of what each of these tests are looking for:

  • CD8 Blood test: This blood test is to check my levels to see if it looks like I have eggs that are going to be mature enough to ovulate. If my levels are higher than 2000 then we will be advised to cancel trying to conceive that month due to a risk of multiple pregnancy!
  • CD10 Ultrasound: This ultrasound is to see if there are any eggs ready to release by measuring the diameter of eggs seen on the scan. If there are more than 3 eggs measuring larger than 16mm in diameter then again, we will be advised to cancel trying to conceive. 
  • CD21 Blood test: This blood test is to see how my progesterone levels are. A high progesterone level will indicate that I did indeed ovulate! Hurray!
  • CD29 Blood test: To check if we are pregnant!
I am currently on CD4 (3 days of taking Clomid - 2 to go!) So far I have only had some nausea and a bit of fatigue/grumpiness. Nothing major thankfully but the smell of my favourite herbal tea this morning nearly sent me to put my head over the toilet bowl!

So - here we go!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


PCOS. What on earth does that mean?

My diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome makes a ton of sense. After all these years I can finally put a name to what is wrong with me.

Ever since I began my monthlies I have been irregular. I never settled down to the 4 week cycle and it bugged me to no end. With cycles anywhere between 3 weeks to 11 weeks, I always knew something wasn't right. I saw a gynecologist when I was 17 who performed a laparoscopy but had no findings.

The Encyclopedia defines PCOS as:

Endocrine (hormonal) disorder in women, characterized by high levels of male hormones (androgens) and infrequent or absent ovulation. It causes a high proportion of female infertility cases. Symptoms vary but often include increased serum concentrations of androgens,insulin resistance, hirsutism, acne, and obesity. Menstruation may be irregular, absent, or excessive. The ovaries are usually enlarged and contain cysts.

It wasn't until I went back and read the symptoms of PCOS when the light bulb went off in my head and the last 13 years of my life made more sense!


The symptoms of PCOS can vary from woman to woman. Some of the symptoms of PCOS include:
  • Infertility (not able to get pregnant) because of not ovulating. In fact, PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility. Check!
  • Infrequent, absent, and/or irregular menstrual periods Check!
  • Hirsutism (HER-suh-tiz-um) — increased hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes Thankfully no!
  • Cysts on the ovaries Check!
  • Acne, oily skin, or dandruff Sigh. Check.
  • Weight gain or obesity, usually with extra weight around the waist *looks at latest photos of self* Check.
  • Male-pattern baldness or thinning hair I don't think so?
  • Patches of skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs that are thick and dark brown or black  check.
  • Skin tags — excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area a couple - check.
  • Pelvic pain check.
  • Anxiety or depression check - at times. I had bad Post-natal Depression with James but not sure that comes under this diagnosis.
  • Sleep apnea — when breathing stops for short periods of time while asleep Hmmm will have to ask Nick if he's noticed anything...
I also found out that many women with PCOS go on to have a higher risk of miscarriage and pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) - both of which I have had. James had to be born a couple of weeks early due to my blood pressure levels being at dangerous levels and platelet count dropping (I'd bleed out). 

Everything just makes sense now. All these things I thought weren't connected actually came from the same problem! Finally I can move on and start to work towards treating (there is no cure) what I have and working towards another baby. No wonder we weren't getting pregnant if I wasn't ovulating!

If you or someone you know has many of these symptoms, I would encourage you to catch up with your Doctor. PCOS is not just a problem if you are trying to get pregnant but can also lead to some serious problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol, heart attack, endometrial and ovarian cancer. Treatment is available and a healthy lifestyle can help. 
If you suffer from PCOS I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Trying to get some answers

James was growing and becoming a fun loving little boy. We were enjoying (almost) every minute of it! Sure there were hard nights when he wouldn't sleep, breastfeeding didn't work after 12 weeks of trying and expressing full time, and we had some hard times with reflux - but all in all it was awesome!

Around James' first birthday we decided that we were ready to start to give him a baby brother or sister. The waiting game started all over again. When we had been trying for number 2 for just over a year we went to the GP to ask for some help. I had an ultrasound done. It came back showing several cysts - 5 on one ovary and 7 on the other. I was told that I didn't have "enough" cysts (at least 10 on one ovary) to be able to be diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - PCOS. We were referred to a fertility specialist in our area. I rang to make the appointment and when I was told that it was $260 for the first appointment, we decided to try to wait a bit longer. We just didn't have the money like that at the time. 

So we waited... and tried... and negative tests... and waited... and tried... and more negative tests... You can see the pattern.

We got down. We got upset. I cried many months when the tests came back negative. Nick had to pick me up again and again. When were we going to get pregnant?! Lord why are we not having another baby yet? What is wrong with me?! I can't do what a woman is meant to be able to do!

James' 2nd birthday went by. No baby. His 3rd birthday went by. No baby. It's time we have to suck it up, save money, and see the specialist. 

This was absolutely me!

September 2012 we visited the GP again who did some blood tests. They came back with Insulin Resistance and higher levels than normal of testosterone. The Dr perscribed Metformin - a drug that manages and treats insulin resistance and is often used with diabetic and PCOS patients. I was on that for a couple of months until she gave me a referral to the specialist. 

In Jan 2013 after waiting two months for an appointment we finally saw the fertility specialist. At this stage we had been trying for number 2 for 2 years and 5 months. I was so nervous about what they would find out. The specialist was so nice and put me at ease - even though he was a male looking up there! He took a couple of swabs and ordered a full slate of blood tests, an ultrasound and a test nicknamed HSG - Hysterosalpingogram. 

I had to do the blood tests in two lots as they needed to take so many different viles! I also had to do a glucose fasting test which meant no eating from the night before - get a blood test taken when I arrived at the pathology lab before drinking a horrible yucky sugar drink - sit there waiting for 1 hour and do another blood test - sit for another hour and do another blood test! My arms were aching at the end of that! I ended up with a big bruise on one arm from the sympathetic nurse taking blood in the same spot twice!

I had to do my ultrasound on CD4 (calendar day 4 of my cycle eg 4 days after I started my period). It came back with several cysts again on each ovary. The same mostly as my ultrasound a year and a half earlier. The HSG test was something I was nervous about!! I had been told by the specialist to take 3 codeine before I had the test done. A radiologist inserts a spectrum (the duck lips they use on you to open your vagina up when you have a pap smear). Then they clamp your cervix and open it in order to insert a tube into your uterus. Once the tube is in they blow up a little balloon inside to hold the tube in place and prevent it from slipping out or moving. Once everything is in place they insert a dye. If your tubes are clear the dye will show up on the xrays as filling your uterus, down through your tubes and then spill out in a cloud into your abdomen. If you have any blockages then the dye will not show up spilling out of the end of the tube.

I expected pain and yes there was some. I think perhaps there had been a small blockage as the pain occured when they pushed the dye through. I had clear tubes but the radiologist said that the pain may have been pushing some debris out of the way before it cleared the tube. This test was done on CD 8 (needs to be done between CD7-CD10). 

Last week - 18th of April 2013 - I went back to the specialist to get my results. Yes I have cysts but again not quite "enough" to be diagnosed with PCOS. The HSG showed clear tubes. The blood tests however showed more than enough data to diagnose PCOS and so the diagnosis was made. I have high levels of insulin resistance and high levels of testosterone because of it. 

I have been put on a medication called Clomid or Clomiphene. It is a common fertility drug used with PCOS patients. I will be starting this today - Tuesday 23rd of April 2013. I will detail more about this later this week and will follow through with posts about my experiences. 

I want to say a quick thank you to those of you who have written to me to express how reading our journey so far has encouraged you or someone you know who is going through fertility issues. I really hope and pray that you will get some answers for yourselves soon! I love reading your feedback and stories so please - keep them coming!