Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Down In the (Hillbilly) Dumps

I recently found out that a friend of a friend is pregnant. I was shocked because I really thought they were one of those couples who would never have kids. Not because they couldn’t have, but because we sort-of thought they didn’t really want to have any. When I heard via the grapevine that they are pregnant, that old familiar companion, my horrible hope-ometer kicked into full swing again. First the rush of jealousy that accompanies any pregnancy announcement. You know, the ‘One Standard Issue Jealousy Package. Simply Add One Pregnancy Announcement. Especially Enhanced with an Added Kick for the “It Wasn’t Planned” Anecdote. Guaranteed to Work Every Time.’ Then it’s the rush of disappointment that it’s not me. That I won’t get to have an unplanned pregnancy. Ever. Then it’s the rush of self-berating. Reminding myself that they have every right to have a family, regardless of whether or not I can. Or can’t. Whatever. Then it’s the “Well, I’m glad they don’t have to struggle like we do.” And then, it’s the wondering if they really appreciate the pregnancy… if they were genuinely happy to look at that pee-stick and see a double line. I’m not talking specifically about this couple that we just heard is pregnant, mind you. Just in general. And then I torture myself with thoughts about how big the baby is already, if they have felt it move yet, if they got to hear the baby’s heart beating at that first scan and realize what a miracle that really is… and if they appreciate how friggin lucky they are. And then I force myself to stop thinking about it. Because honestly, I can drive myself crazy thinking about it. Dwelling on it. Feeling anger and resentment. And killing my joy. But, that’s not how I want to live my life. So I decided not to. Instead I decided to be happy for them. And I genuinely am. I wanted to go shopping for them today and buy them an enormous bunch of flowers and lots of baby things and send it to them so they know we really are happy for them. My insecurities and stupidities and jealousies are almost always very short-lived. Thankfully. Because, really, there is so much for me to live for. I don’t need to be miserable because I can’t have children. We have a fantastic new life here in the bush. Where I wake up to the sounds of cows moo-ing and chickens cluck-clucking. And birds chirping. Honestly, the only thing that could make me happier here in our little hellhole Hillbilly Dump would be to hear the sounds of my babies’ laughter. And that’s not far off either. One day, we’ll have our ducks in a row for the surrogacy… one day. And then, watch out cows and chickens – you’ll be in for some competition on the Hillbilly Dump!!!

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

One of the twelve

This past weekend I found out something terribly disappointing yes, terribly disappointing about myself. I really thought all my years of Bible study had taught me a thing or two. At the very least, I thought I knew most of the stories in the Bible fairly well, especially the New Testament ones.
And then we had a lay preacher doing the sermon, and his sermon was entitled "One of the Twelve." Talking about how Judas was one of them, but still betrayed his own friend. Judas wasn't a pariah. OK, he was a pariah at the end of the story, but during the story he was just a disciple. Very interesting. Makes you wonder if things might have been different if he hadn't become a disciple, right?
OK, so this is where I realized I don't really know my Bible. Who of you can name the disciples? Let me help you... tick the name of the person in this list that is NOT a disciple (but don't go and haul out your Bible now... that would be cheating). Do this from memory ok?

So, how many of you found the person straight away? I didn't... SHOCKING! OK, go and look at Matthew 10 v 2-4 for the list of who's who. I'll help you out. Mark is not a disciple. I never knew that! Seriously. Whenever someone asked me to list the disciples, I would go: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter... etc. Shocking.

Just goes to show that I really need to spend some more time studying my Bible. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" 2 Timothy 2 v 15 KJV I really need to do that again. Get my nose tucked into The Good Book and learn more for myself!

Friday, 13 July 2007

So you can understand too


And you all thought I would be pushing up daisies by now. Truth be told, so did I. Thank goodness that bite was all bark. I'm alive! And excited beyond belief, because, besides being alive...
... my hubby comes home on Sunday! Talk about excitement!!! I am over the moon. Only two more sleeps in my lonely abode. It's been the longest two weeks of my life! I can't wait to see his gorgeous face and hold his hands again. His hands are always warm. I love that about him. And I love the sound of his breathing after he's just fallen asleep. That, to me, is the sound of home. I love how he loves children. And pets. I love his naughty laugh. And his bad sense of humour. By bad I mean - not bad bad... but that type of bad that's all about being naughty. Not bad, as in he doesn't have a sense of humour. Well, you know what I mean. I love how he hugs me. I love that he doesn't bring me flowers on special days. Because that would be "expected." I love that he can't really dance. I love that he laughs out loud. Often.
I love that he wants to do every mountain bike race ever created. Even though most times he limps over the finish line! I love that every child he's ever met remembers his name and that he's a load of fun. I love that when I phone my nephew (three and a half year old), the first thing he asks me is "Is Wobin there?" I love that he knows how to tease. And that he has clear blue eyes. I love that he's adventurous with his hairdo's. And by hairdo's I mean facial hair. Seeing as he's bald and all. Robin reckons that God only made so many perfect heads, the rest He covered with hair! haha. And when that comment becomes old he says that grass doesn't grow on busy roads. haha. And I love that I know him well enough to know that that's what he would say. Even before he says it.I love that he encourages me to play the piano. I love that he's been trying to play the harmonica for about four years. And can still only play Amazing Grace.
I love the way he always wants to take "toys" with him wherever he goes. Like his mountain bike. Or his longboard. Or his sector nine skateboard. Or his hardley. I love that he tries to make up the bed when he wakes up. But I always have to straighten the
linen out after he's left. I love how he loves Jesus. I love that he's passionate about mission work. I love that he's thoughtful and kind. And that he loves me.
I love that he's never been angry at me for being infertile. I love that he always tries his best. And doesn't give up easily. I love that he's adored by my family. All of them. Aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, friends. I love that my friends have become his friends. I love that he isn't perfect. But he is perfect for me. I. Just. Love. Him .

Thursday, 12 July 2007

The monster under my bed

I thought I'd take this opportunity to thank all of you for reading my blog. Because I might be dead by this afternoon. Seriously. Something's bitten my arm and left an ENORMOUS ugly pussy red lump there. Which just goes to show that ...
  1. I really do live in deepest darkest Africa, where deadly bugs roam at night;
  2. Life is unpredictable and you could get bitten by some venomous monster while blissfully unaware of it and wake up to find that your arm has fallen off, or you could even not wake up at all!
  3. I need my hubby back so he can hunt the blasted bug down and exercise some deadly force.
  4. I probably need to admit that I'm a bit of a hypochondriac, after all.

Being the blood and guts pimple popping lover that I am, I've been dying to squeeze it and pop it. Just to see what happens. And to make sure that it is, in fact, a bite, and not a nest for some bug's eggs. Which would make me an incubator. Ew! OK, I'm even grossing myself out.

(I fuzzed out the picture because this is a family friendly site, after all! And because there were all sorts of body parts in the pic as I played the contortionist to capture that image...)

So anyway, just in case I do in fact perish today, farewell fair friends! Adieu! I hope life treats you kindly.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

The Granny Club

Just call me granny. I don't mind. Because see, since Robin's been away, I've taken up a new hobby. Chrissy, you're going to love this. You do the quilting, I'll do the crochet'ing. And together we can make the Rocking Wrinkle Raver Club. I've crochet'd two scarves, well, actually one and a half, since Robin went to Dundee. And today I went to the wool shop and bought bunches of new balls of wool. Enough to keep me out of packing crochet'ing till Robin gets back. Even as I sit here typing I'm wishing I could rather be crochet'ing. With my cat, a cuppa tea and a good movie in the background, of course. It's a package deal, see?
Clearly my life has been exhilirating since Robin's been away. And you're all wishing he'd arrive back already so I can get my groove back, right? Me too. But at least I'll have a scarf to match every outfit by then!

Monday, 9 July 2007

The New Me

I'm a bit embarrassed about my outburst the other day... It was so feral and raw and angry. And so NOT what I'd like my blog to be. It's been plaguing me since I posted it. And really, my conscience has been shouting a monologue at me about how that's not what a Christian's reaction would be. And so, I've asked God to change me. To help me (oh no! - I can't believe I'm arriving here...) accept being infertile. I have fought against accepting it for so long. It's hard to accept it. Because it's not what I want. What I want is to be a mommy. And praise God for Marie-Jeanne! I will be one day. I don't know how to explain it, because I just know I'm going to sound like an ungrateful sod, but my feelings about being infertile haven't changed with the knowledge that I'll get to be a mom by some other means anyway. It's like I still feel betrayed by the flesh I live in. Spanglish described it well when she said in my comments that day that sometimes it's no fun to live in a traiterous body. I couldn't have put it better.
You know, I keep telling myself that I shouldn't be so upset about infertility, because after all, it's not cancer. Or Aids. Or some other life-threatening illness... it's just infertility. That's all. It's not the end of the world. And sometimes I agree with myself. It's not THAT bad. Other times it feels like the end of my world. Luckily today is not one of those days. Today, the sun's shining; I'm enjoying a yummy bowl of tofu, mushroom and tomato; and a steaming mug of cappuccino. Today it's one whole week less until I see my hubby again. And today - it's the start of a new attitude. A brand new shiny attitude with happy faces and sparklies. Just for today. Tomorrow I'll conquer my bad attitude again. With a little help from my friends. But for today? Today I choose to be grateful again. And not bitter. And happy. And dependant on Jesus. Today I choose to listen to my conscience - to God's voice whispering admonitions and love in my ear. And so, today, I choose to be happy again. After all - I'm not dying. I'm living. And I'm going to be stuck in living in this body of mine, as traiterous infertile as it may be, for as long as God chooses to give me life. So I may as well accept it. And love it. Wobbledy butt, scrambled eggs, faulty plumbing and all.
As for tomorrow? Jesus says I shouldn't worry about tomorrow. Today has enough cares of it's own. (Matthew 6 v 34)

Friday, 6 July 2007

Sticks and stones

I know you're probably all sick of hearing me harp on and on about infertility and how horrible it is. Well, if you are, too bad. Go and read someone else's blog. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Char, this is my blog, and I'm infertile. Which means that every so often you'll find a horrible blog post like yesterday's. And maybe today's too.
Being infertile means that once every so often the anger all wells up. And you have an outburst. Like yesterday's. If you're lucky, your outburst results in many awesome comments from amazing people. And believe it or not, those comments really DO help! (Thanks guys!) On the other hand you also get one or two really stupid insensitive ones too, that really hurt. (Luckily I have the ability to delete comments... and chat boxes too....)
But infertility has taught me something. It's taught me how to listen when someone's hurting. And it's made me more careful about how I respond. Because I've had some really stupid stuff said to me, I know what it's like to be the dartboard for really stupid people. Well, for their comments at least. I'm usually quite tactful. And respectful. Or at least, I try to be. Because after all, if they had a CLUE what infertility means, they wouldn't be saying such stupid stuff. But there are a few comments that I don't quite know how to react to... Maybe some of you can help me? What do you say or do when people say things like :-

Why don't you just adopt?

Question 1 out of 6

Incidentally, thanks for all the comments yesterday, and also for the emails I received. You guys are awesome. And I'm really feeling a lot more on my feet again today. It helps having so many amazing friends. Thanks guys.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Morbid Me

Warning: Horrible Post below. Go away if you want to preserve your lovely happy mood today.
Maybe it's that Robin's been away for a few days already and I'm missing him madly. Maybe it's being so annoyed with The Dog That We Adopted That I Still Have Not Been Able To Housetrain And Still Thinks The Lounge Is The Toilet.... Then again, maybe it's just that I'm back in that dark place again. That horrible rush of infertility that slaps me silly every now and again. The deep discontent with my broken body. Wait, edit that to say: the hatred I have of my bits. Those stupid bits that I have stuck in me that I can't change and that I'll have to live with for the remainder of my days on planet earth and that I can't do anything about fixing. Maybe it's the helplessness of it all. Maybe it's that even the surrogacy has enormous challenges. Like the fact that we are struggling to get answers about me having to adopt the baby after it's born and whether or not the Belgian government would allow a South African to adopt it. Uggghhh... I am just SO SICK and TIRED of having to struggle with this. I am so sick of being infertile. I just can't get over it. No matter how far I run, it's always there. And I'm sick of it. Hating being me right now.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Little Joshua

I am rushing around today, but I just couldn't resist posting these beautiful pics of little Joshua (see yesterday's post for details). Isn't he just the cutest little thing? I'll try my best to post later again today.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Absence makes the heart grow fonder...

I've been having flashbacks to when Robin and I were still dating, and living thousands of kilometres apart. The enormous phonebills that would arrive at the end of every month. And the pining. Oh, the pining. He has only been away for two days so far, and I'm suffering some severe withdrawal symptoms. Oh well, that's two days less until I see him again. The countdown begins.
Good news, though! My friends Hanlie and Jair had their little boy today! He arrived at 10h34 weighing 3.3kg's and is 50cm's tall! They have named him Joshua. Welcome to the world, little Josh! And congrats to Jair, Hanlie and Bella (Joshua's older sister).

Monday, 2 July 2007

Home Alone

Last night was officially my First Night Home Alone. And so I did what any self-respecting South African would do. I locked and bolted the door, closed all of the windows, set the garden beams and the indoor alarm, then spent most of the night listening to the noises. As luck would have it, it was one of those really windy, whistly nights too. And we have trees with branches that creek. And a dog that likes to scratch the side of the bed. Often. And wake me up to go outside for wee breaks. Which basically means that I had to muster up some of my daredevil tendencies to play chicken with the monsters that lurk in the shadows of my garden, to let her out. It turns out that being Home Alone can also be quite a spiritual experience. I spent quite a lot of time talking to God. Mostly about the noises. And about how much I admire that He can protect me. And would He mind sending an angel or two my way. Et cetera. You know. All of the standard Home Alone stuff.
Needless to say, my Beloved Cappuccino's are certainly making an enormous comeback in my life today.
I'm doing surprisingly well though. I actually did get some sleep last night. If you count those few minutes between when you've dozed off and when the book slips through your fingers and nosedives your face. Being the eternal optimist (haha!) I am confident that tonight will be better. Seeing as I'm now totally exhausted and all.
But anyway, what I actually wanted to talk to you about today is something that's been bouncing around in my head for a little while. I read someone's blog recently (no names mentioned)... and it really made me think. The gist of the blogger's post was something to the effect that as Christians, the main focus of our blogging should be Christ. And I agree. On some levels. I also happen to disagree a bit. Maybe it's because I think as Christians it's important to be balanced. It's no use we're SO Heavenly minded that we're no Earthly good. If you know what I mean. Yes, definitely, as Christians, our lives are wrapped up in Christ. We love Him, worship Him, and can't wait to see Him when He returns. And the result of that love is that our lives are changed. My witness to people around me is no use when you can't see my life. My posts could be all glory! hallelujah! and no substance. I am constantly aware of my calling to be a witness. Constantly aware that I am called by His name. Therefore very little sensorship is necessary when I blog. I don't really need to think twice when talking about stuff, because Jesus is so wrapped up in my life that He knows all of this about me already. I am no hero, nor am I perfect. The perfection God would see on judgement day is simply the blood of Christ that covers me. It's Him that saves me. It's all Jesus.
But I am also human. I am still in this world. And we are not called to live isolated lives. We are called to LIVE! And to live life abundantly! To experience joys. And sorrows. And to share what we've experienced. I'm one of those "open book" people. What you see is pretty much what you get, when it comes to me. I suppose you could say I'm quite shallow. And I don't mind.
But I do agree that I long to be more Christ-centred! And most probably, when that happens, this blog will change too... Because definitely, what the heart is full of, the mouth overflows with (very paraphrased, but you get the gist of it). And I really do need God to keep working on me!
So that is that. I might need to write about this again some time soon. And I'll most probably have changed my mind on a few points. I am a woman after all. Which basically means that I reserve the right to change my mind. A few times. Per minute. And this is my blog, after all.