Friday, June 17, 2016

I am a gift?

I got an excellent news this week. The 16-year-old boy whom I taught English & German this year got good final grades. I didn't really like that boy at first, when we started, more than a year ago. He was a terrible rebelious teen. But during the last year he changed, I really like him now. I guess that during 100 hours of learning together I got used to the kid. I won't see him now for three months and it is silly, but somehow I miss him.

I got a beautiful text from the boy's mother (only two years older then me)  few weeks ago, saying "You are a wonderful gift for our family." I was deeply touched. And since then, this thought hasn't left my mind.

This was always the concept how I envisioned my life: I always did the right things, was hard working, finished with good grades secondary school and then university. I started to work (and have been working now without a break for 18 years). Met the love of my life, got married. And somehow I just expected, since everything always went so smoothly, that I am just entitled to get a gift. Our child.

I got it all wrong. There isn't such thing as being entitled to a gift.
But, perhaps I can be a gift to someone?
Perhaps I already am?

(I definetely was a gift for the snail that I saved from a road today, when cycling : )

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Childless sister & aunt no one cares

Somebody googled today "childless sister & aunt no one cares " and found my blog.

As always, I wonder who this visitor is and where she comes from. I hope she found some comfort in my writing. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Grey hair

Not that long ago, whenever colleagues at work were discussing problems with raising kids they usually commented something like "You will see when you have kids."  I never commented anything, I just smiled (I guess it was either a sad or a bitter smile or both).

This week, two coworkers were discussing how was their night. Both children were vomiting so they slept very badly. One coworker looked at me and said: "We should stop talking about these details, Klara never needs to hear about it, it is boring."

Her comment was so matter of fact. We never discussed anything really personal. But she just said it - between the lines - matter of fact - that I will never have children. Since I am too old to have children. This is absolutely true. But it still hurts to realize that somewhere between waiting for a child that never came I got old.

All coworkers of course know I am over 40. And they see my partially grey hair (somehow I can't decide to start colouring it, perhaps I don't want to look younger than I really am).

There was no malice in my coworkers comment. It stung a bit. But it didn't really hurt. It is what it is.

A day later,  I went with this colleague (32, mother of a 2-year old child) to a business event for two days. We had a lovely time together actually.

Since I was driving this time, I drove her home with company car. She invited me to go to her home to meet her husband and a baby. My first instinct was that I should decline invitation. But somehow that seemed impolite, so I went. I played with her beautiful daughter for ten minutes, it was nice. In the darkest days of infertility I couldn't play with someone else's kid. But now, that I am almost cured, I really know and feel that because what my colleague got (=a picture perfect little kid) I didn't loose anything. There is no such thing as limited number of babies.  But there are something as broken tubes because of swimming in polluted swimming pool in Australia and ovaries that got too old to produce anything.

Monday, June 6, 2016

On Hope (written by Elaine)

In general, hope is considered as a positive concept. In my country (Switzerland) we say: "Where there is hope, there is a way". I do think it is often true, but not always.

Actually, I even think that hope can become destructive. Especially when this hope has not been fulfilled for a very long time. It somehow turns bitter. At least that is what it did in my case when we could not have children after years and years of trying.

Towards the end of infertility treatments, I realized that continuing treatments would have kept the hope alive, but it would never have been a guarantee for holding a baby in my arms. Before that, I kind of thought I paid that price (i.e. the operation, the treatments) for the baby itself. But all we got was the hope. And honestly, that hope got smaller with every cycle and every disappointment, while the price seemed to rise higher and higher. I even came to the point where I caught myself thinking "Why should it work this time? It didn't work last time either."

So when we said goodbye to hope, it was a relief in some ways. Giving up this hope also meant that we had to grieve. And that was no fun at all.

Thankfully, I got through the worst of the grief. I started to feel better. Then, something unexpected happened. I wonder whether others have experienced the same? While I had given up hope, a very close friend of mine would not. She continued mentioning that she still believed I would be a mother one day. She would look up alternative treatments, natural medication and things like that. I told her that it was okay if she wanted to keep that hope for me, but that she should please understand that I had to let it go. It was a question of survival. She said she understood. But she kept mentioning it all the same. Again and again. Until the day I told her that this was doing no good to me.

Then there was my aunt. I have not seen her in years, but we do write each other for Christmas and birthdays. Last December, I wrote to her that the year 2015 had been a tough year for us because we had to let go of the dream of having a family. I am sure my aunt meant well. She answered "I would not give up just yet". As if that hope had only been there for a short time. As if it had not been honoured the way it should.  
I never responded to that. I do not expect her to understand. Some people do not realize that by the time you are able to tell them that you will never have children, a lot has happened. Years of hoping, of treatments, tears and continuous disappointment. It is not like we got our diagnosis and accepted it right away.

Somehow, in our society, people think that hope is always the right answer. It is not. Sometimes hope is just plain wrong.

I still think that the healthy kind of hope exists. The hope I have now is completely different: I hope for a fulfilled life, even without children. It's the kind of hope that makes life better, not worse.

written by guest blogger Elaine