Sunday, February 19, 2017

February highs and lows

If I had to choose my least favourite month of the year I'd pick February without a doubt. It's normally around this time that I just get fed up with winter! Not much happens in February either and it tends to be cold, grey and dark. The good thing is that it's a short month. When March comes around there's St. Patrick's day to look forward to and the start of Spring. However, this February two of my good friends from Dublin came over and we all had the best time! Now that we have the house there is plenty of room for visitors especially since our green room is still empty. We enjoyed showing the girls around where we live, cooking for them and we also took a trip to Baden Baden for the day and went to the thermal pools there. On Saturday night we went to a mexican restaurant for good food, cocktails and then we went out dancing afterwards. More fun than I've had in awhile!

In fact I had a really good few weeks despite everything. The GerMann even commented recently that "there are advantages to not having children". Usually I would hate him saying something like that but this time I agreed. If having children isn't in the cards for us, I could see how we could still have a very nice life. I can't say I don't enjoy being able to be spontaneous, go out in the evenings when we want and plan a big holidays like our trip to Australia in April. Hubby and I have also been getting on very well lately. We're both grateful to have found each other as corny as that sounds! He makes me laugh and we just click really well. He wrote me a nice message in my Valentine's card this year along the lines of whatever happens he loves me so much and will always be there for me.... I'd also written something similar in my card to him, that I know I'll have a lovely future with him by my side no matter what. It's a different message to our previous year's cards where we wrote along the lines of, "I can't wait to start a family with you" back when we still had more faith that IVF would work.

The past while, I'd also been so focused on my goal of having a baby that I think I had forgotten that it wouldn't be all rainbows and unicorns! I've been reminded from conversations I had with my friends who have kids lately how hard and stressful it can be. I think in my head I'd built the idea of having our child to this amazing magical thing. Hearing stories from my friends about babies screaming all night long, sick kids, toddler tantrums and so on, reminded me that my life at the moment is nice, in it's own way. I'm not saying I still wouldn't want to have children, just that I took the rose tinted spectacles off and could see how IF it isn't in the cards for us, we'd still be happy (down the line, as obviously if it doesn't work out, I'll still be very disappointed at first.) Maybe you could say I've been starting to come to terms with things.

Mali from nokiddinginnz wrote about how hope can change over time for those struggling with infertility, and I guess you could say that's been happening to me. I'm still hoping that it might one day happen for us but I'm also becoming more realistic and facing the alternative. My path to mommyhood and differentshoresblog wrote about enjoying life without children, "because I don't have children" and how that can bring up complicated feelings. We don't want people to think we didn't/don't really want children hard enough because we are able to enjoy the time without them or that or that our lives are somehow "perfect" either because it hasn't been easy ending up on this path but at the same time it's nice to enjoy ourselves when we can. Life is really so short after all- It's good to try to make the most of things and be as happy as you can with the life you have. So yeah I'm going to enjoy that glass or two of wine and sleep in on the weekends then have a lazy breakfast making pancakes with hubby, and try to plan trips and holidays and be spontaneous when I can.

However, despite the really good few weeks where I felt happy and more like myself again (I feel like going through infertility has definitely made me more world weary in general. Less carefree and positive than I'd like to be...), I started feeling really down last weekend. I guess there had been a few "triggers". There's a girl from my old neighbourhood back home, a year younger than me who recently had her second baby, and she keeps sharing the adorable pics on facebook, practically giving a week by week account. We visited friends of ours who did their first IVF round the same time as our second round and now have lovely twin girls. And there's a work colleague who's walking around with her lovely pregnant bump at the moment. Happy for them all, sad for us.

There can also be a disconnect between me and my friends here. All my close friends have kids now and there are times when I just feel left out. And since I don't have children I'd like to make the most of the "advantages" and go out for dinner, drinks and dancing for instance. However the girls can only meet day time during certain windows around baby nap times, and then only at kid friendly cafes. Plus children often get sick so they need to cancel or postpone a lot. I do enjoy spending time with my friends' kids, I'd just like to have more adult only events too. Look the thing is, I totally get it, of course if you have kids your schedule is different and you may have to cancel or postpone, I'm just saying it can be hard for the childfree friend now and then.

Recently we arranged to meet up for lunch and I ended up having to wait half an hour on my own as the others were late. Once everyone eventually arrived we had a really nice afternoon. One of the girls commented to me later though that she was glad it was me who had to wait the half hour and not her or one of the others as they wouldn't have been able to wait that long with the kids. I know she didn't mean anything bad by it but my immediate thought was "Right, because as a person without children my time is therefore less valuable". If any of my friends with kids read this, I want to stress that I love you all, I'm just trying to give an example how it can be hard when you're at different life stages to your friends.

When I was feeling down those few days I did have a nice Skype with my sister which helped (she said I could be experiencing "friend withdrawal" after the fun visit!) and hubby noticed something was off and suggested I tell him everything that was bothering me (it wasn't only related to our problems building a family though that was probably the main thing upsetting me at that moment..). I ended up having a good cry. Getting it all out and having his support helped and I felt a whole lot better afterwards, and lighter even!

I actually have a lot more friends back in Dublin without kids so in some ways if I were still living there, not having kids wouldn't bother me as much. I've booked a trip back to Dublin by myself for a few days the end of this month. I had some extra leave I'd carried over from last year which I have to use up by end of March so I figured why not go back for a long weekend. I can try to meet up with some of the friends I didn't get a chance to meet up with over Christmas and just spend time with family. We're going to go out for afternoon tea as well at some point which is one of my favourite things to do. I've even considering having a section on my blog where i review all the best places to go for afternoon tea in Dublin, haha! Full of photos of cakes and scones of course.

I was chatting to one of my best friends here who had a baby after her third round of IVF and she totally gets some of the things I've been feeling lately. It's the not knowing the outcome which is really hard! If I already knew that we won't be able to have our own biological children, then I would be able to start coming to terms with that and accepting it. However since I don't know yet, I'm still living in this limbo land with the hope that it might work, therefore I keep imaging a different future for us. I was also telling her about x,y,z I read about recently wondering whether this or that might be the problem why it hasn't work for us. (For instance, should I get my blocked tube clipped/removed/dye put through it again, or should I get a sample from my uterus in case there's an inflammation and I need antibiotics...etc etc) and she said she remembers being the same way.

It's frustrating not knowing IF it will happen and the exact reason of why it hasn't happened so far (no doctor can really tell you why, there are just so many unknowns in the land of fertility! It's a wonder people manage to have children at all considering the amount of things that need to go right in order for it to happen!). The IVF cycle that worked for that friend was the one she did with the new clinic we are getting a consultation at in March. We just sent off all our paperwork including a very detailed eight page questionnaire last week. Our plan is still to wait and see what they advise us and then we'll be able to come up with an action plan.

In the meantime though, I can say I've mainly been making the most of our childfree life, and that can only be a good thing!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The dress #MicroblogMonday

Wedding season is starting. We only have one to go to this year unfortunately (since I love going to weddings), unless anymore of our friends get engaged! Oh yeah, actually there's another wedding that we might be invited to we're just not sure! I guess we'll find out soon enough.

I had a browse around the shops here recently looking out for a dress and ended up finding a potential one (the right one in the picture above). It looks really nice on, clinched in at the waist. I'm not sure if it's quite fancy enough to wear to a wedding though. While I was shopping I ran into a German friend and showed her the dress. She looked at it, looked at me, then said she thinks it's nice, but she can't imagine me in a dress! Jeeze, German honesty! Maybe I did eat too many easter eggs over the holidays!

I also had a look through my wardrobe for other options and found the other two dresses. That's when I noticed that they all look very similar, flowery, in at the waist, flow-y at the legs. Either flowery patterns are in at the moment or I need to branch out and buy some different styles for a change! Dress shopping here in Germany can be difficult though as German girls tend to dress very casual and not wear dresses that often so there isn't a great selection.

Sing Street #MicroblogMonday

One of the movies that stood out for us last year was "Sing Street", a low-budget Irish movie. Often I find that there are so many huge blockbusters full of special effects and fight scenes these days that I miss the simpler films with more of a story to them! Sing Street is set in Dublin in the 1980s and as someone who grew up around then, I enjoyed feeling nostalgic watching it. A bit like how "Stranger Days" the Netflix series was also set in the 80s. Both reminded me of the time before smartphones and constant access to internet, when you would go out all day with your friends on adventures.

Sing Street revolves around a 16 year old boy who moves to a new school. Life is hard. There's a bully, a principal who has it in for him, and to top it off his parents might be getting a divorce. He soon falls for a 17 year old girl who wants to move to London and become a model. In order to impress her he decides to form a music band and make videos together. That's all I'll say without spoiling anything. The music was really good. I've even been listening to the soundtrack since ("drive it like you stole it" is the name of the catchy theme song). Dublin also looked lovely in it. Overall it was just a fun film that left you in a good mood after watching.