It’s been over a year since my last post, and a lot has happened. So I thought it would be a good time to reflect.

Becoming a mum has been intense. I always knew there would be things I would be able to handle just fine because of my experience in childcare, and it’s definitely helped already knowing how to change a nappy, handle a baby, different techniques for sleep and calming. But there’s definitely a big difference between handling your own one baby and eight baby’s that belong to other people. Being able to have a break is a big advantage in daycare, half an hour to an hour of uninterrupted adult time, to eat without a little one whinging at you for attention, or trying to steal your food. Having other adults there to support you is also major. The best thing about daycare work was knowing that if you needed a break from a kid screaming, or they were being constantly difficult, you could put your hand up and get someone else to take over for a while. At home, no such luxury. And of course, the obvious one: sleep. After 8 months, I truly, truly appreciate the sleep that I was able to have after coming home from work in the old days. The blissful, uninterrupted peace and quiet of resting your head on your pillow and knowing that the only reason you might have to get up is if you need to pee. Oh, I miss that.

But, of course. There are so many beautiful things about having your own child. Watching them master new skills and develop their own personality. I love the way my little girl pulls faces and reaches out for me when she’s hurt or upset, or just wants a cuddle. She’s at such a great age now: really curious about the world around her, and getting better at moving herself around. She’s still little enough that sometimes at night I’ll feed her and she’ll snuggle into me and fall asleep. And knowing that I’m her whole world, it’s such a joy, and such a responsibility. I want to be my best for her. But some days I feel like I let that down a lot. I try not to blame myself or beat myself up about it, it’s usually those days where she’s woken up every couple of hours overnight and I’m just feeling like a total zombie. Only the essential’s get done on those days, and that’s okay.

We’ve also moved house. We’re home owners now, and that’s pretty massive. We never would have been able to if I hadn’t inherited from my dad. Something I never expected to happen. It’s an amazing weight off our shoulders. We’ve got a mortgage, but it’s cheaper than renting was. We have a house we can change however we want, and a place for our daughter and any future babies to grow up in. We’ve got a couple of kittens, now that we don’t need to worry about getting the landlords permission, or whether they’ll be an issue with a new landlord if we needed to move.

It feels like so many things have just fallen into place for us over the past year. It’s strange to remember how shattered and broken I felt before I found out I was pregnant. I’d managed to find a really dark place in my psyche, but thankfully I emerged, and surely will only be stronger and wiser in the future because of it. There will always be problems, and I’ve discovered new obstacles in life as a parent. But I’ve also found many new perspectives and avenues of support (both old and new). I trust myself and my body more now, having come through pregnancy and childbirth. And I am reminded each day what a loving and supportive partner I have, he’s an amazing dad and husband, I’m so lucky to have him in my life.

Big news

Nothing like a personal post to offset a few about ideals and ideas.

It has been a massive couple of months.

My first big news (and it’s amazing to feel like I can shout it to the world here, even though it’s anonymous), is that I’m pregnant. Yay! It’s been so exciting and scary. We did the test at the start of February because I was a couple of days late and I figured I always get “that time of the month” the day after a test. So my husband brought a box home and it came up positive. We were in a major state of shock. Especially since, according to my GP, my day 21 progesterone test was apparently too low for me to have ovulated. But of course, after all our fears and the slow degrading of any belief that we could do it naturally, we actually managed it. We’ve had two ultrasounds to try and date the pregnancy, both have come back fine and normal, and I’m due around the end of October.

In another big development, I found out on the day of my first ultrasound, that my dad had passed away from a heart attack. It’s strange for me. I’ve never really known my dad, he was a paranoid schizophrenic and because of that my mum left him when I was a baby. So there isn’t the emotional loss of someone you are close to. But it’s still a strange feeling for me, I suppose just that he’s not there anymore. There’s no chance left to get to know him. He’s not “out there” anymore. And, given his condition, I may never have had the chance to get to know him. But it’s strange to know for sure now.

So, that’s all I really want to say at the moment, I’m very excited for the future. I’m looking forward to our family (and my belly) growing and finally being able to include this child we’ve been waiting so long for.


Feminism and Violence against Women

I’m getting very angry with people.

Particularly when these two topics come up together and everything gets twisted.

If you are angry about violence against women (and I certainly am) does that make you a feminist? Is violence against women only a feminist issue? No, violence against women is an issue that anyone can talk about and be disgusted by. It is not the sole province of feminists.

Now, I don’t have any particular problems with feminism. There are some bad examples, and people who say stupid things in the name of feminism, but that happens in every group and I don’t think it needs to reflect badly on the movement itself.

I do have a problem with talking about something really serious like violence against women, and having people ignore the issue in favor of their anti-feminist agenda.

Because anything to do with women in the media must have an evil feminist agenda.

It must be the feminists way of reminding everyone that men are evil and must be treated like dogs or worse….

Accepting that violence against women is most often committed by other men, to me, is a no-brainer.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics is clear on this: in 2012, 87% of domestic violence victims were women. Where women are the perpetrators, the violence is different: studies have repeatedly shown that it’s not as prolonged, and that men are far less likely to be living in fear. They’re also far less likely to be murdered: men kill women in four out of five intimate partner homicides. In the vast majority of cases where women kill their partners, the death follows a history of being subjected to domestic violence.


And that’s just domestic violence. Even if you add in the acts of random violence committed towards men, I very much doubt that you would find female violence outweighing male violence.

That’s not an attack on men. Those are facts. Very sad and frightening facts.

If we are going to do something about the unnecessary violence going on in people’s homes and on the streets, we need to work together to solve it. Men and women need to stand together and say ‘NO, we don’t accept this kind of behavior”. That is the one, and only message that people should be concentrating on right now.

We shouldn’t be hearing the police warn “particularly females” about the dangers of walking their streets in broad daylight. If I go for a walk nude it doesn’t make me responsible for someone else violating my right to safety. It is my right to be safe on the streets. It is not another person’s right to attack me for ANY reason.

And I don’t need to hear how one violent attack is just another platform for “feminist fear mongering” or that somehow means that all women are suddenly in danger. The recent attack was horrific, and it was random. That doesn’t mean that every man on the street is out to get you because your a woman. What it does say, is that the woman who died could have been any woman in that park that day. The attack wasn’t targeted, meaning that any woman, and possibly any man would have been enough. And that is not okay. We should be telling ourselves and each other, that whoever the victim, the actions of that man are not okay. That until we address the type of society we’re living in, where the message is that women shouldn’t be alone in public, that’s not going to change.

People who perpetrate violent crimes need to know that we don’t accept it. That they will be held responsible for them. That as a society we see them and we blame them for their actions. Not their victims.

I don’t need to be a feminist to have the common sense to see that violence against women is a problem we need to address differently. But I applaud feminists with the guts to address it themselves and publicly.


Honestly, I am so angry right now.

It began a few hours ago when I clicked on a link on my facebook for an article about exercising for enjoyment, not the end goal of losing weight. I enjoyed that article and felt the change of focus from weight-loss to enjoyment and health was both pleasant and would be much nicer in everyday life.

From there I clicked on a link about fat-shaming and thin privilege. Not really new things to me, I experience it pretty regularly and found talking about the definitions around thin privilege (or why it can be classified as such) to be well thought out and clearly understandable.

But reading about other peoples experienced of fat-shaming really really made me mad.

It’s so disgusting that people seem to think it’s okay to treat someone like less of a person because of something as trivial as weight.

Maybe you don’t find fat people attractive. You know what? Fuck you, nobody cares. If you don’t want to date a fat person, go take your shallow-asshole self elsewhere coz fat people don’t need your shit.

Maybe you’re “only concerned about their health”. Well fuck that too, it’s their health, and you can’t know whether a person is healthy or not just by looking at them.

And these things go for skinny-shaming too, people who are skinny don’t necessarily need to “eat up” because they’re “sticks”. It’s probably just the way their body is and what made you think it was any of your goddamned business anyway?

I’ve had some pretty bad shit said to me because of my weight. I’ve heard of a lot worse from others, especially after tonight, and it just makes me so angry.

I feel like if I ever hear any of this shit in person things will really hit the fan.

The people that do this are surely either incredibly misguided, have issues with their own weight, or are just assholes. Right?


I’ve lost weight recently, and I’m happy about that because I need to in order to get to IVF. It’s nice to be fitting smaller clothes again, though I’ve still got a lot to lose. And sometimes I wonder if it’s right that people are so happy about it. I mean those that know why I’m actually doing it I’m less worried about. Though I’ll still get “and you’ll be so much healthier” comments… like, I’m so unhealthy now? The worst part of my health at the moment is my mental health which seems to be slowly breaking down under the pressure of comments like those, and constant feelings of failure. But those that don’t know I need to lose weight must just assume that I don’t like being fat. And generally I don’t, but it’s mostly because of the judgement, shame (both from others and from self-criticism), and discrimination that I feel just doing normal things, not the fact of being fat.

It’s wondering if you didn’t get the job because unconsciously the interviewers assumed you were lazy because you’re fat. It’s disgusted looks walking around the supermarket, because how dare you invade this public space with your gross fat presence. It’s feeling self-conscious with your husband who loves you for who you are not what you look like, because “guys don’t like fat chicks”, because apparently I have nothing to offer a man besides a thin body, and boy did I fail at that! It’s hoping you don’t offend anyone on public transport for sitting down, or godforbid eating, when those comforts should only really be given to those with the “discipline” to be thin instead of fat.

And it’s all bullshit.

When I talked to my doctor about what I eat, honestly (because of course people assume that fat people can’t be honest about what they eat, filthy liars), she said to me, that probably the most likely reason that I’ve gotten to the size that I am – is that I DON”T EAT ENOUGH. That I eat so little during the day that even eating a normal meal at night it screwing up my body and tricking it into thinking it’s starving. Starving = store fat to prevent death.

I really feel for all the people that have to deal with this. Whether it’s fat-shaming, skinny-shame, or just general hatred/dislike of your body, men and women. It’s ridiculous that we allow ourselves to live in a world where we feel like we’re not worthy as human beings because of a number on a scale, or a lump of fat on our amazing bodies. I certainly can’t purport that I have embraced fat acceptance or am immune from the awful feeling of being unacceptable. I’m still trying to work on giving myself the same care I can so easily give to others. But I try to remember: I am me, not my weight.


When everything makes you cry

I’ve heard plenty about pregnant women being overly emotional, and that sensitivity carrying on into motherhood. I know plenty about depression and mood disorders. I also know that I’m a pretty empathetic person. But I don’t think what I’m experiencing is any of that. Obviously I don’t expect to be pregnant, it’s been so long I never really expect that anymore. Hope, a little; but expect, not a chance. And while I know I’ve been struggling with bouts of minor depression lately I can’t really match that with what has been happening lately.

Just everything makes me cry at the moment. My husband and I went to see Big Hero 6 at the movies the other day (and then the Hobbit) and it had a short film before it called Feast, about the life of this puppy. And it was a really sweet short film, but it wasn’t really sad. Yet by half way through I had tears streaming down my face and hubby looking quite worried. He asked me, ‘is it sad,’ and I had to shake my head because it wasn’t really. If anything it was largely a happy story; but something still managed to tug my heart strings in a way usually reserved for death scenes or proper tragedy in fiction. Like the beginning of the movie Big Hero 6 (which I won’t give away) which made me start crying all over again!

I don’t know what to think. And I don’t know what to do with myself. This over sensitivity and propensity to cry at the drop of a hat is making me fear interactions that actually do hurt a lot. I don’t like to cry in front of people, probably my husband is the only person I will freely cry in front of. I suppose there’s an aspect of feeling weak and vulnerable to that, but probably more so, I get scared that if I cry in front of others they’ll reject me and my feelings instead of caring.

Mostly, though, I just wish I knew why. Why am I feeling and reacting like this? How can I get to a place where I don’t need to feel like this anymore? What do you do when everything seems to make you cry?

Removal of GTAV

So when the whole Grand Theft Auto 5 being removed from the shelves of Target and Kmart first hit, I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know about it. That is, until someone I’m connected to through Facebook decided to post their thoughts on the matter. Thoughts which directly blamed feminism for the “ridiculous” ban.

It took me a while to sort my thoughts on the matter. Not in small measure due to the fact that I had yet to gather the facts of the actual story.

As it turns out I now think the whole ‘outrage’ over the decision is idiotic.

There are two reasons, I believe, that you would be angry about the Coles-Myer group decision with relation to these two Australian stores. The first, is about the practical problems with banning the game: ergo, it’s unavailability in-store.

From this perspective, “gamers” (and I use the quotation marks because it is my belief that this label applies to a rather select section of the actual cohort) are complaining like greedy children. Target and Kmart aren’t exactly popular stores for gamers to hang out and get a fantastic selection of games anyway. The game is, however, still available at all of the places I would consider to be actual hubs of gaming culture – EB Games and JB-HI-FI. I would also note that this game has been available for purchase for over a year. So the hardcore fans would, largely, have already bought it. Therefore, there is no reason to complain about two stores removing this game from their shelves, regardless of their reasons.


The second, and more insidious argument, is based on the principle of the ban. These people say things like: “the game isn’t about violence against women” or “this is just feminism gone mad trying to control everything”. The worst offenders of this type of opinion even threatened women who signed the petition for the removal of the game, presumably knowing that many of those women petitioned because they had experienced violence in their real lives. But we’ll discount that group of idiots for the meantime, they represent a much larger problem in society and gaming.

Now, personally, I don’t believe that removing this game (distasteful as I find it) will make much difference in regards to large issues such as male violence, entitlement, or violence in games. There has been no solid evidence that violence in games can be linked to increased violence in actual behaviour and so I do not subscribe to such fear mongering. I have no interest in playing a game like GTAV so I haven’t, I would not need a ban to make that so. Many of the arguments made for banning this game are illogical or untrue. But, I am much more on the side of a group of people who have gone through horrible experiences trying to find a way to make a positive change in the world, than people who would mock or put those people down over a game they don’t even play. And then blaming feminists – who are clearly not involved in the petition, just seems to me to be an excuse to knock down a movement that seems to be constantly under attack in our current environment.

Surely, if you’re going to get angry over the principle of a thing, something actually meaningful would be a much more worthy use of your time than joining a group of immature “gamers” in a vendetta against a group that didn’t actually make the decision anyway. Target and Kmart listened to their opinions, and if they were selling heaps of copies of the game they probably wouldn’t have. Grow up people.


Staying Positive

I suppose my last few entries have been a bit depressing. I certainly wouldn’t say that I’m bereft of hope. I think that mostly I’m in a processing stage of this journey, and I don’t want to shy away from the hard parts just because they are hard. I also consider myself a realist and to tell myself or anyone else that this is easy or won’t cause any pain would be a lie. These emotions are part of me, and I wouldn’t be the same person I am if I couldn’t acknowledge and then try to deal with them.

But it’s still good to balance that with more positive thoughts and feelings.

At the moment I am feeling more hopeful, and probably more hopeful than is technically wise for me as well. You see, I’ve fallen into the trap of having a “feeling” about this month.

It started a couple of weeks ago when I had weird tummy pains. It reminded me of the cramping I get with my period, although less severe and mostly focused in my abdomen (I tend to get back pain as well). Not being too sure about why I would get this feeling, and not being able to relate it to other stomach pains like indigestion or gas I did consult some fellow TTC*ers on a forum I’m involved with. A haven through all this if anyone is in a similar situation, I highly recommend finding a forum you feel comfortable with and sharing there. I asked them what ovulation pains felt like to them, as I thought to suspect that could be the cause. While no-one can say for sure, it sounded like that could have been what was happening. Just in case, my husband and I made the effort and I silently prayed for a miracle.

Since then I haven’t felt any particular symptoms or reasons to feel hopeful. I haven’t tested yet, and will probably wait a while longer before I succumb to the invariable madness of peeing on a stick. Nevertheless, a small kernel of hope has been growing inside me for the past fortnight and it has helped me to remember my positivity. It has also reminded me that even in this, the capacity for hope is hard to extinguish.

My weight has been trending down nicely, and even if this isn’t the month for us. Even if we still need to go through IVF just to get pregnant. At least I can see that I am capable. I can get there. I will do whatever it takes to get us to where we need to be.

I will still be sad and disappointed if I’m not pregnant. That’s always the dream that I want to become reality. That hope, however, hasn’t been nurtured for nothing. It has renewed my determination should this not work out, and given me pleasant thoughts to send me to sleep at night. For both, I am grateful.

*TTC = trying to conceive

Time wears

I feel like infertility is a unique situation in a lot of ways. Medically there are no other procedures, that I know of, where you can spend so much money and end up with nothing. It’s something that a lot of people can’t relate to, and it’s hard to talk about. Even when you have a close network of family or friends that know, it doesn’t protect you from the vast majority, or make it any easier to tell them about it. But so far the thing that I’m find the hardest, is the time.

I was speaking to my aunt a while ago, and she was saying that we were lucky to have gotten to this stage so quickly. We were investigated a year after beginning to try and had answers a year and a half after starting this journey to try and conceive. I can understand why she feels this way. She and my uncle experienced unexplained fertility when they were trying to conceive their first child, and were told repeatedly to just keep trying and not worry about it because they were so young. It took them four years to conceive my cousin. They then had two more children naturally.

At the same time, this was 25 years ago, and I think our understanding of infertility has come a long way since then. Most people are told they should see their GP after 1 year of trying, and I think even younger people are more willing to insist than be told just to keep trying.

But the thing that I find hardest about this, is that for me, it’s not just the time we’ve been trying. I started trying to convince my husband that we should try for children approximately two years before we officially started trying. I was worried. I knew I had PCOS (Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome) and that it could make things harder for us. I also knew because of my aunty that even healthy people with no obvious problems could have trouble conceiving. I didn’t want to wait until we were ready and then not be able to conceive. Getting pregnant early felt like much less of a risk to me.

Unfortunately, he didn’t agree. He had seen how easily his parents had conceived and couldn’t really comprehend it not happening the same. It’s almost ironic that he has a low sperm count and 3% morphology and that’s why we need to go straight to IVF. I don’t blame him for worrying about what he saw as the more likely situation. Really I’m lucky to have such a responsible man who wants to do what’s best for us. Most of the time when I think of all this I just wish I had pushed harder, that I had trusted my instincts more and at least got us tested. Mostly I’m disappointed in myself.

Because it’s not just the time trying to conceive that wears me down now. It’s all that lost time when I wanted to but wasn’t. Even then I felt the cold heartbreaking disappointment when my period came, because it was a reminder that we weren’t even trying for what I already wanted so badly.

I think infertility is so unique because it is grief. It’s the type of grief that people can’t really understand because each month you’re not mourning something that actually existed. You’re mourning something that hasn’t happened. You feel the loss of your hopes and dreams, you wonder if you’ll ever get to experience a pregnancy, a child, a family. You silently curse the people that got pregnant easily, or naturally, because it’s so unfair that you have to experience this. And for me, I think of all this time that we wasted worrying about contraception, all this time not knowing, all this time I wish we had been preparing instead of bothering with all the things that don’t even matter to me now.

I’m sure that when we finally get there, and we have our baby, none of this will matter anymore. But right now, that baby feels so far away, so impossible to reach…

all I have is time. Wearing me down.

Why I can’t bring myself to hope

I recently had a friend ask me, “don’t you think you’ll get pregnant?” after my rather lack-lustre response to her determination that I would get pregnant in the next year at least.

I know she means well, and I appreciate her confidence, it’s probably hard to understand my less than optimistic view of my future motherhood. And in answer to the question, I don’t know. I want to think I’ll get pregnant eventually. But I have to face the cold reality of IVF and the uncertainty inherent in it.

When each cycle has a 30% chance of success, and after 3 cycles some claim that your chances begin to decrease; along with the different statistics around getting pregnant and actually having a live healthy baby making it hard to know whether even 30% is a correct figure; I can’t help but try to protect myself from the trauma hope can cause.

I’m trying to be realistic when I look at the amount of weight I need to lose and the time it’s going to take for me to do that. Not to mention the pressure of that weight being the only thing (besides money) that’s standing between us and beginning out first cycle. Then, after I make it through the hopes and pitfalls of a weight-loss journey, I get to look forward to a demanding medical intervention with absolutely no guarantee of success and a hefty financial cost.

Now, I try to avoid the “why me’s”, they don’t help me and are too easily interpreted as whining, and I’ve got a lot of fantastic things in my life. My point here, is that I have a hard road ahead, and I don’t want to kid myself that it’s going to be easy.

If I go into IVF able to be realistic and know that there’s more chance of it not working than working I can be completely overjoyed if it works and everything would be great. But if I go into IVF blindly optimistic that everything’s magically going to work out because other people have a feeling, I’m not going to be able to avoid the crushing disappointment if it fails. Maybe that’s not sunshine and roses enough for some people, but they don’t have to live through the actual experience. They probably didn’t have to experience a year and a half of monthly disappointment hoping that this month we’d finally be pregnant and the overwhelming fear that maybe we couldn’t either.

Hope is a dangerous feeling for me. Disappointments have abound in the last couple of years and sometimes just the time involved in this journey is enough to weather down my resilience and leave me in tears. I’m finding it hard to even imagine myself pregnant anymore, even though I want it right down to the core of my being. So maybe I don’t want to react to well-meaning hope with feigned enthusiasm.

But I’m willing to take the chance on IVF, so maybe that’s hope enough.

It’s not the shirt, it’s the assumption

Well, I’m actually going to do something kind of current for a change. I’ve been reading some comments about this shirt, and whether it’s racist or not, and thought I might share my two-bobs.

When I first saw it I suppose I started with the most obvious. For the question of racist or not – not really. The shirt in and of itself could be worn by any race and be directed at any race. However, I believe the assumption behind the shirt is very racist. It’s directed at a very specific part of the population – the ‘unAustralian’ haters.

I’d like to add at this point that I hate John Howard’s whole ‘unAustralian’ thing. It’s diabolical in the way it pits people against each other. It makes such huge assumptions about what it means to be Australian – most will picture things like a BBQ, beer, maybe church, probably sport and the beach, and, you guessed it – white people. It’s a pervasive myth, the blonde, athletic, tanned, young, white Aussie, going about his carefree day. But the fact is, it’s just not true. At least half the population are either 1st generation Aussies or weren’t even born here. Let that sink in for a second. HALF.

We’re a culture of many religions, many languages, many cultures and many colours. This type of t-shirt is predominantly aimed at white Australians with some version of – ‘nerr they made that place halal the whole countries going to shit, their taking over’ blah blah blah. These people, tend, ironically, to be the ones who take Australia and what it offers them for granted the most. They complain about a shop that sells halal meat, but neglect to take similar advice and simply go somewhere that doesn’t. In terms of business’ it’s simple, if they don’t get enough people buying halal meat it won’t be profitable to sell it and they’ll stop. For it to be becoming more common doesn’t show that ‘they’re taking over’ it shows that selling that type of meat is more profitable for the business than not selling it. But people complain and whinge and act like the way the meat is killed/prepared is so important, even though they don’t even know how it’s killed/prepared when it doesn’t say halal.

Or arguments over ‘losing Christmas and Easter’ will pop up. Because of course it’s impossible for people to individually celebrate Christmas here if they choose to, what with a public holiday, freedom of speech, and private areas where you can do pretty much whatever you want. Never-mind that the many other religions in our country don’t get any public holidays or specific spaces within which to celebrate their beliefs. We ‘Australians’ must be so hard done by, we’ve just got no Judeo-Christian moments left… As well, of course, as this also implying that white Australians all have Judeo-Christian faith, discounting the many atheists in our communities.

Because of this the shirt has an implied direction, and it assumes that it’s targets are immigrants or refugees, people who ‘have a choice’ about whether to live here, and should ‘go back home’ if they don’t like it. This therefore creates a strong ‘us’ ‘them’ mentality among those who choose to adopt this type of slogan. We assume that to be good enough to live in this country you need to be ‘one of us’ and as I’ve discussed, the ‘us’ that they’re referring to, is white Australian-ism. Which on it’s own fails to recognize the way that we took over this land from the Aborigines and forced them to adopt Anglo-Saxon beliefs and behaviours. But we can disregard that information because we are already in ‘us’ ‘them’ mode, and therefore anything that is not white Australian is foreign and not to be trusted or empathized with.

This is the real problem with the shirt. It allows for a series of assumptions in the minds of many people already partial to racism, and encourages it to bubble to the surface, instead of engendering a country of people with tolerance and compassion for others.

Personally, I would feel more comfortable leaving this country I know and love than being the kind of dick that thinks a shirt like this is okay.