I am a 40-something European woman doing what I once thought wasn't possible: finding happiness after infertility. While it's been a long, difficult and emotional journey (10 unsuccessful IVF treatments), each day I take another step down the path toward a fulfilling new life. This is my story of reinvention.
I will be happy to hear from you: klara.soncek (@ ) gmail.com
Have you read any book of Paolo Giordano? I love his books, I've read all the novels he has written so far.
I had hard day at work yesterday - mainly because the numbers of new coronavirus cases are increasing so steeply. 180.000 new cases in one day only. It is scary to think what the future will bring. How many lives and jobs will be lost.
So it was the perfect way to spend my evening by reading Paolo Giordano's latest book that he wrote during lockdown: How contagion works.
I like the book - you get the insight of an Italian's thoughts and feelings during the lockdown.
I love how he ends his book. He says he thinks a lot about Psalm 90 lately, especially these lines:
Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
I googled the psalm 90 and read it for the very first time. It is beautiful.
Since I got some emails / comments / compliments regarding my bread I decided to share my recipee with you. If you wish to see a video (in my language) from a lady who bakes her bread, just send me an email to: klara.soncek (at) gmail.com ... and I will happily send you the link.
flour (usually I put 400 g white wheat flour and 100 g spelt flour, but you can
put any flour you wish) ·13 g freshyeast ·1/3
teaspoon sugar ·2
teaspoons salt ·about 0,33
l of lukewarm water ·1 or 2
tablespoons olive oil
Grid the yeast into a cup, add a 1/3
of teaspoon of sugar and a little lukewarm water.Stir and allow the yeast to rise in a warm place.
Sift flour by dumping it into a strainer over the mixing bowl (this gets air bubbles into the flour). Make a little
space in the middle of flour and put there risen yeast. Mix with electric mixer
for 1 minute. Then add the water, salt, olive oil. The exact amount of water
depends on the flour itself.
Using an electric mixer, knead the dough until you
get an elastic dough that just deviates from the bowl.
Then knead it by hand into the desired shape and
leave it to rise in the rising bowl until it almost doubles in volume (aprox
When it has risen enough, shake it on a floured
surface and knead it with your hands
I love to decorate the bread with the
help of flour, thread and Swiss knife***.
Leave the bread for another 20 minutes
to rise on a tray covered with baking paper (cover the bread with cotton cloth).
Place the model in a warm place so that the dough rises again. I leave the
bread in the kitchen and I make sure that no window is open.
Ialways use my steam fan oven: 180°C for 50 minutes.
(other advice is: bake it for 15
minutes at 220°C and then another 20 minutes at 200° in ordinary oven where you add a pot with
water – this creates steam that makes bread crunchy and delicious).
Using the baking paper, take the baked bread out
of the oven and place it on the wooden desk to cool, covered with cotton cloth.
Dober tek! Bon appetit!
***Swiss knife was a gift from my
bloggie friend from Switzerland. So baking bread in a way always reminds me how
beautifully I am connected with many kind souls around the world who – just
like me – are trying to find their own version of happiness in a life after infertility.
My hands are almost healed. I got my job back (for now only part-time). The epidemic in my country is over (at least for now; I am very certain that there will be a second wave as soon as all the borders re-open).
There were small things that gave me pleasure during the lockdown times.
The new Rolling Stones' song Living in a ghost town. I love it!
Four novels by Elena Ferrante - My brilliant friend.
I tried to go to shops as little as possible. So I have learnt to bake my own bread, it is delicious! I am so proud!
Working on my vegetables garden. I cooked the very first meal with the first vegetables this year: peas.
Having time just to observe. Like this bumblebee on the lavender that we planted this year in front of our home. It is so pretty!
Having enough time to go for a long walk literally every day.
Learning how to use Zoom. I love Zoom dates!!
Childlessness is just part of my life. It is there, but it doesn't bother me any more. As the years are passing by it became as an old wound. You know it is there, but it doesn't hurt any more.
I avoided women who were during the lockdown, when the schools were closed talking constantly how terribly difficult it is to home school children. I was fed up listening to the complaining. I would give everything to be able to homeschool my children.
At least once a month I got an offer from some surrogacy clinic - they wish that I publish their ad on my blog. I just delete those emails. What I think is that surrogacy is morally wrong.
I am happy that a couple got a baby after 10 years of infertility. I am very sure that Manu will have a happy childhood, I wish all three all the best.
But there are also other stories - Bridget's story. A girl who wasn't born perfectly healthy so her American parents decided not to take her home. It is just sad that Bridget has to live in orphanage. I hope she finds a family who will love her and take care of her.
I love how Marian Keyes talks about her childlessness. I agree - wanting too much is not healthy. I never had any councelling, but I think I had an IVF addiction. If I hadn't had an addiction, I wouldn't have had 10 IVFs.
And I agree with Marian - nobody gets everything.
Most of the time I am at peace with my childlessness.
I have only three wishes now.
To fully recover after the accident that left me with severely injured hands.
Coronavirus crisis to end.
And to get my job back. I am currently without work because of coronavirus lockdown.
There are so many topics I want to write about that it is difficult to know where to begin.
Perhaps with the most important news. I had a regular check-up after the cancer operation. Everything seems fine so my next control is next year.
I had my last period 14 months ago so I guess I am now officially menopausal. I am only 46 so I don't feel comfortable with that. Not that I miss having periods - I still (and always will) remember how heartbroken I was many times when getting it. But being without it for good opens a new chapter in my life and I am still getting used to it.
This week I spent one working day with an older coworker with whom I usually don't work closely. He spent whole day telling stories about his three grown up children and his ways of helping them. He went on and on that the children are his main meaning of life. Later on in the day we briefly discussed something about cooking and leftovers and I said that since I cook only for two, I master the quantities necessary so we (almost) never have any leftovers. Only then he realized that he doesn't even know if I have any children or not so he asked whether I don't have children. And I said no. I could see that he felt sorrow and pity for me when he apologized.
It didn't hurt, I got used to awkward moments like that during the last 17 years of infertility. It was actually the moment that I realized how easy it is for people with kids know what is their meaning of life. And I still actively think about it and create my own meaning of life.
I would like to conclude this post with some photos of beautiful Venice. I spent a whole day there just few days before the coronavirus outbreak. I wish Italy (and also the rest of the world) a fast recovery from the caotic situation.
Many readers commented over the years how much they like my travelling photos. So I am attaching few. I took them few weeks ago, on my business trip. I hope you like them.
I wish I could stay in Madrid longer, I loved it.
How fortunate I was that the trip was scheduled only few weeks before the Europe (almost) stopped due to coronavirus. There isn't any confirmed case in my country, but there were cases in all the countries around us, so it is only matter of days when the virus hits also us.