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I received lots of lovely messages on my birthday last Friday and have so much to be grateful for in the year ahead.

But there was no call, SMS, card or e-mail from my mom.

I called her on Saturday to check that they’re OK. And yes, of course they were. My parents were having fun at dad’s school reunion. I didn’t mention the forgotten birthday and Mom finally called yesterday to say she realized that she’d forgotten. I changed the subject to my little girl as soon as possible, as I didn’t know what to say and would rather talk about sunny, happy things (our long history taught me this survival tactic).

Surely it’s no big deal when your mother forgets about your 37th birthday. I’m a big girl. I have a husband who loves me dearly, a delightful baby girl and a tiny blessing on the way.

It’s just that my relationship with my mom seems best explained by these words of a Laurika Rauch song.

DIE BOOT WAT IN DIE SEE VERDWAAL
DIE WIND WAT DEUR DIE BRANDERS MAAL
SONDER SEILE TEEN DIE WIND
SKOMMEL ONS
SONDER OM MEKAAR TE VIND

IN DIE WATERS WILD KAN ONS VERSINK
IN DIE DONKER SEE SAL ONS VERDRINK
SONDER SEILE TEEN DIE WIND
SKOMMEL ONS
SONDER OM MEKAAR TE VIND

KAN ONS WEET OF SAL ONS RAAI
HOE VIND ONS OOIT ‘N KALM BAAI
SONDER SEILE TEEN DIE WIND
SKOMMEL ONS
SONDER OM MEKAAR TE VIND

SAL ONS OOIT DIE LAND KAN HAAL
IS ONS IN DIE SEE VERDWAAL
SONDER SEILE
SKOMMEL ONS

Woorde en Musiek: Pieter J. Swanepoel/Peter McLea

(You can listen to a snippet of the song here – select track 10.)

Now that I’m a mom who totally, absolutely adores my little girl, I feel even more distant from my own mother. It makes even less sense that I so seldom felt loved by her. Her journey through post-natal depression wasn’t tempered by anti-depressants, as mine was – but still, was I really such an unlovable baby, tot, child, teen, woman..? Or was I emotionally so warped that I was unable to recognize that she loved me?

After the birth of my baby, those childhood memories that still haunt me seemed to become more vivid, alive and taunting than ever. I so intensely remember the years of tiptoeing through our house and through my life, of being scared I would be noticed. Scared that mom might suddenly and without warning lash out and start screaming at me like a berserk banshee.

All I know for sure is that I’ve given my all over the years to try and make my mom like me – as pathetic as this might be. I’ve even named my beloved little girl, the most precious gift I’ve ever received, after her – largely because it was the right thing to do as per our strong family traditions.

Also, I know that in her own way, she tried to be the best mother to me and my (too many) siblings that she could be.


I choose to look at it like this: My mother might not be the best mom there is, but she’s the best mother I’ll ever have. Therefore I’ll try to always be the best daughter to her that I can possibly be.

Surely any other path could only lead to more regret.

About two weeks ago I squeezed into my sexiest pair of jeans again. It was the first time I wore them since I fell pregnant with my ‘babaliefie’. I’ve been wearing most of my old clothes again for some time now – sadly, including my tiny bra’s. (How I miss those exuberant breastfeeding boobs!) My weight has been back to my pre-pregnancy weight for a few weeks now.

When I looked at myself in my trusty pair of jeans, I realized that my body felt as if it had never been pregnant. It’s a strange thought. My baby angel is living proof that my whole life has been turned upside down, yet my body had forgotten all about it already. (OK, all those spider veins that appeared on my legs during pregnancy tell a story of their own, but still, they don’t make my body feel any different.)

I guess I’m lucky. On the other hand, I miss the softness of my post-pregnancy body. Since I’m thin as a rake, I felt wonderfully sexy and curvy during pregnancy and breastfeeding. And yet, it also feels nice and familiar to have my own ass back again. To be ‘just me’ again.

Later on that skinny jeans day, I almost forgot to pick up my baby angel at daycare! It’s the first time that my mind was so focused on other things that auto-pilot driving caused me to miss the turnoff to the daymother. I felt guilty for a few moments, but then I realized I didn’t have to. It was as wonderful as always to see my baby’s face again when I arrived at the daymother. It’s just that I finally seem able to immerse myself in my own life again to some extent – that is my life away from my precious baby.

Someday I hope to teach my baby angel how to fly high, high, high and as far away as she needs to in order to reach her dreams. It’s the most beautiful, but also the saddest thought.

It’s reassuring to realize there should still be a ‘me’ left behind on the day that my beautiful baby leaves the nest. A doting mother, yet someone with some hopes and dreams of her own.

My baby angel has been crying at daycare. I’ve been crying at work. She would cry when I drop her off in the morning. When I call her daymother during the day, I could hear her crying in the background. She’d be crying when I pick her up, until I would hold her in my arms and wipe those tears.

It made me write this:

My world has moved, yet my desk hasn’t noticed my metamammamorphosis

My desk becomes a door to a city of endless, grey streets
through which I wander bleary-eyed
all day long while

my heart searches and searches
“Where is my baby angel? Where is she?”

my ears remain pricked-up
“Do we hear her calling?”

my empty arms hunger for her warm softness

my breasts weep with yearning


The hours drag their feet

Finally, I get to take her from the other woman!

Here she is! She is safe.

I bury my mouth in her wispy baby shampoo hair

I draw the curtain on the world and her thirsty lips find me

She moulds onto me, we melt into each other

I’m whole again

Today my thoughts keep skipping back to this day last year.

As I left the FS’s office a year ago, those monthly disappointments were suddenly no longer just bad luck. It was called IF. I could no longer make myself believe that nothing was wrong. The FS’s scan and (invasive) exam gave away the endometrioma and other nodules that were most likely severe endo.

I went home to pack my hospital bag as we had scheduled the lap two days later. (In the hope of avoiding another horrible episode of ovarian torsion.) Would my hope of someday holding our baby remain a dream? There was no way of knowing.

Today I wonder whether I would have reached this current happy space if I started popping babies the moment I first thought I felt ready? Or what would have happened if I could have peeked at the happy ending of the chapter rather than having had to battle through those fears and the feelings of failure and loss?

Would I have been as grateful for the little blessing growing, kicking and hiccupping in my tummy? Would I have appreciated my wonderful DH as much? Would I have been as amazed at the wonder and fragility of a tiny new life?

Or would I (like my mom, I guess) possibly have viewed pregnancy and childbearing as little more than divine punishment for Eve’s mistakes?

I believe that there are journeys and nightmares in this life that could never make sense to us while we’re on this earth. Yet today, as I look back, I know that things have worked together for good – for me, my DH and my little ‘meisiekind’. I have such a grateful and humble heart.

As I look back at IF from the ‘other side’, one immense sadness remains: knowledge and understanding (at least to some extent, since I’ve ‘only’ had to walk the ttc road for 18 months) of the pain of those who are still waiting..

Beta = 39 = BFP!

So please, please, please beta 2#, if it’s not too much to ask..

It’s so very early still. I’m determined to only tell my family once we’ve seen a heartbeat on a scan. Hopefully just before Christmas!

So yes! Wow! How grateful and in awe could one person be!? Guilty, really, to receive such a blessing on petty IUI #2..

TBH, I’m feeling so emotional. I always thought that getting a BFP would turn one’s tears into joy. While true, I guess one could never forget what you’ve learned on such an incredibly hard journey.

Even if (by God’s grace) today’s happiness grows into a healthy LO, the tears, darkness, unfairness and humiliation of IF and ART will remain a memory etched in my mind.

I saw that you updated your signature on the forum to show that this month’s ZIFT ended in a BFN.

Driving to work in the Cape of Storms this morning, I pictured how you’d have received that result in a sunny, warm Durban. And I thought to myself how terribly unfair it was.

Firstly, it should of course have been BFP. Secondly, when you received that BFN, then at the very least the wind should have been howling and raging – like it is now outside my office window in Cape Town. The skies should have been weeping, soft drizzle and torrents of rain in turn.

Yet, I know that if a star fell from the sky for every BFN or AF’s visit that’s ever shattered a woman’s hope, then the night sky would be dark and empty. So we make the most of everything we still have, while fighting the darkness and emptiness that’s stuck inside.

You’re such an strong woman, dear friend. Your ability to hang onto hope and continue soldiering on always amazes me.

Take care of yourself, your DH and the hope that I know still lives in your heart.

I’m so sorry it didn’t happen for you this month.

I’m still not really sure what happened. It was after 8 months of ttc..

It was the first month I used an ovulation prediction kit. After getting the surge, we had giggling, optimistic BD.

Lo and behold, AF didn’t come as per schedule. Up to then, she’s never been more than 3 or 4 days late in the previous 20 years.

My luteal phase was holding out, holding out.. DH was starting to look really happy and went out to buy some of the sweetest little baby clothes. I was sending him e-mails and love from me and the MaybeBaby.

We were still worried, since the HPTs didn’t want to play along. My GP wasn’t too worried though. She said she had a woman that same week whose bloods only turned positive at week 6..

I started feeling 100% pregnant: I would wake up twice in the night to go pee. I felt emotional, weepy and got hopping, steaming mad at anybody who did anything as ‘terrible’ as say, parking badly and across two spaces. I would unbutton the top button of my jeans when nobody was looking.

Then, on day 25 of my luteal phase (CD 39 only), it was DH’s birthday. I was hoping to surprise him with a positive blood test that day..

Instead, AF turned up. It was horrible and I was doubled over in agony all night and all day. I called in sick and spent the day (Friday) and the weekend in bed with a hot water bottle, bawling my eyes out.

Who knows what went wrong? Why didn’t I ever test positive? Will it happen again? Does my body not make it possible for a LO to implant properly? I mentioned to my FS that I think I’ve had an m/c, but he didn’t have answers as to why I didn’t test positive.

It’s hard to mourn the loss of a little one that was maybe not even ever there.

On the other hand, I’ve been doing a little bit of that every month since we’ve started ttc in any case.

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