Category: Fertility

Mother’s Day shout outs.

I was just going to make a little Facebook post for Mother’s Day, but realised that I have soooooo much to say. Probably a bit too much for Facebook. Which wouldn’t be out of character ?

Anyway, I’ll start with myself (what an ego – kidding – just getting it out of the way)!

I am so grateful to be a mum. When I say that, there’s a lot of weight to it. I have truly realised in the last 3 years of secondary infertility hell that being a mum is not a right. Becoming one is not a certainty for anyone. You can do all the right things (and then some) but at the end of the day it’s nothing but a crazy, lucky privilege (even if it seems to come easier for some). And for all my struggles to add to my family, I am so ridiculously grateful that I get to be called mum (probably 50,000 times a day – more on weekends and school holidays). I am so glad I get to whinge about about how hard it is and so glad I get to celebrate how amazing and heart burstingly fulfilling it is. Whatever happens from here on out, I will always be so glad that I have the Little Mister – he’s made me a mum and I am so glad he was meant to be in this world, hanging out with me and being my kid. I wouldn’t change that for ANYTHING.

Now onto my mum. My mum is amazing. She (and my dad) went through infertility struggles too. These led to the history making decision to adopt. And bam – there I was – in her arms (followed 3 years later by my bro). Well, not ‘bam’. It wasn’t easy. It was a long wait, with a lot of gruelling hoops to jump through. When you adopt, you have to actually prove you are going to be a good parent. It’s like having to earn a parenting license. Not many people have to do that. Maybe more should! But here we are. My mum is someone I have not always got along with (those teen years were a bit rocky!) but I have always been able to trust her. If she says she’s there, she’s there. If she says I need to figure something out for myself, it means she knows I’m strong enough. She’ll never tell me a white lie to make herself feel better. She’ll tell the the truth so I know I can believe her. She’s strong, assertive and confident. That inspires me. She’s also pretty effing amazing at putting outfits together and fantastic for the fashion advice! She’s been there for me emotionally, especially through the infertility stuff. She’s been there physically too. Babysitting and driving the Little Mister to school. I’m so lucky to have such a supportive network of people around me. She cries at the drop of a hat when talking about how she feels about being my mum and that makes me feel kind of special (can you IMAGINE when we went to see Lion together?!). My parents taught me that family isn’t just blood. Because of my parents, I am the compassionate people person that I am. I have no doubts about that. I love you, Mum!

My mother in law deserves a mention too. She loves the Little Mister to bits. She will never say no to being there for him or us and while I insist that we never take advantage of her, it is so nice to know she’s there in our corner. She always calls me on my birthday or checks in if Mr Unprepared is away. Thank you!

To my mums’ group. The OG MG. You have helped to shape my experience as a mum. We met on a fateful day in early 2012 (after a few weeks of trying to get the hang of leaving the house with an infant) and we’ve never failed to support each other or be there since. We have laughed, cried and stood up for each other. We’ve celebrated milestones and we’ve found out we are good drinking buddies when we can get babysitting too ? Thank you – each and every one of you. For being exactly who you are and bringing together our crazy melting pot of personalities in the most wonderful way.

Now, onto you lot.

I wish all of my fellow mums out there an amazing Mother’s Day. I hope you are pampered and loved. I hope you feel safe and happy. I hope the most important people in your life have let you know just how special you are to them.

To all of the women who dream of being a mum, but have struggled. I am so sorry. This shit is hard. I hope that one day your dream is realised. I am sorry that today might be hurting your heart. I’m thinking of you.

To the women like me, who feel their family is yet to be complete – we are so lucky to have what we have, but it’s OK to want more. Our hearts are big enough. I send all of my love to you. I hope this year is our year.

To those who no longer have their mums around. I’m sorry. I can’t imagine.

Happy Mother’s Day to those who have stepped up to parent and love children who are not biologically theirs, whether through fostering, adoption, blended family situations.

Happy Mother’s Day to the single mamas out there. That shit is tough!! I won’t even pretend to know the half of it! You’re amazing. You’re strong. You’re doing the best you can and that is bloody good enough. Probably more than.

My thoughts are with those who have suffered the loss of a child of any age – from pregnancy to adulthood. They were so lucky to have had you as a mum – even if it wasn’t for anywhere near long enough. My heart goes out to you.

Basically, if you are a mum in your heart, I wish you the best. Not just on Mother’s Day but all of your days. No matter what your situation is, I hope you have/find joy and laughter and love.

*raises glass*

To us.

via GIPHY

Kez Gets Physical: Let’s try that again!

Look, I had great intentions when term 1 of the school year began. I was going to work really hard on being one healthy little mofo and have amazing success like I did at the end of last year.

Then life got in the way.

In hindsight, I really did have some odds stacked against me. While it could be argued that there is still no excuse for not living as healthily as possible, realistically, I was going to struggle. I was sick for half of the term and the other half, I was undergoing intensive fertility treatments (no – I’m not pregnant – feel free to spread the word ?).

The best I could do was maintain my post Christmas weight (an extra kilo or so) and then accept that my diet and exercise routines would be disrupted, with me eventually putting on a second extra kilo for good measure (medically that would have been hard to avoid – long story – won’t bore you).

As we close out term 1 now, I see another opportunity to kick arse. I have a decent gap between treatments and I am so excited to have the freedom and the energy to do whatever the f*ck I want with my body. That’s been the biggest thing for me. Feeling like my body is my own again for a bit. No tests. No invasive procedures or ‘look sees’. Bliss! Maybe my fellow fertility challenged peeps might understand this?

I need to optimise my time and put in the hard yards to get ahead again.

I want to feel fit, strong, leaner and more agile. I also kind of feel the pressure to fit into all my new (slightly smaller) clothes I literally just bought right before I puffed out in the last couple of weeks (most of which was medically unavoidable – again long story).

I am proud of myself because we just got home from a great trip to NSW. Despite indulging a little, I came home the same weight I was when I flew there. I even lost some body fat! Yes!

Moving forwards, here are a few things I want to commit to:

Doing ALL of the work outs

Often I’ve chosen to (or have been advised to) pass on some particularly challenging/awesome looking work outs I’ve seen online etc. It was disappointing but important that I listened to my body. Right now I have no reason to fear anything. That feels so good. I am going to do whatever takes my fancy. I’m going to work my whole body and have fun giving anything a go. I actually crave all the initial soreness that comes with trying new things and I look forward to moving past that soreness and realising that I’m getting stronger/fitter. When something takes my fancy, I will bookmark it and try it at my earliest convenience. I can’t wait to see the difference that occurs in my body when I can vary my routine more. No more holding back. YES!

Avoiding food that isn’t the best for me

I’ve rattled on about this before. I just need to cut down on processed food and carbs and excessive sugar. Same old story. I just need to be more disciplined. I really feel like my head is finally back in the right place to get started again.

Weight loss

While I have a specific goal I’m working towards medium term, I will be happy if I simply lose more weight than I have gained recently. While I have mentioned that I’d like to fit in my clothes better, this really won’t be so much about the numbers on the scale. It will be more about feeling really healthy (mentally and physically) and living really well.

Drinking more water

I admit that I can be terrible at keeping up my water intake. Recently I was medically advised after a procedure that if I didn’t, then I could become quite sick (it’s standard advice for all who undergo this). I forced that 2-3 litres in a day and I honestly do feel better for it and I am glad the habit was created. I am finally out of the danger zone with my health, but I want to continue this regardless. My skin looks less scaly and dry too. I love not having chapped lips – they look waaaay cuter when I put on my lippie!

Documenting my progress to stay accountable

You can follow the hashtag #kezgetsphysical on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, to see how I’m going! If you want to share something you’re up to that I might want to see/try/celebrate with you, then use the hashtag to get my attention! I’d love to share in your journey (yuck – “journey” haha).


OK, so there it is. I’ve so got this (again), right? I swear, if I get sick again, I’m going to get a bit stabby. But we’re going to think positive, aren’t we? Yes we are.

image: GIPHY

2017.

A little while ago, I took some time to reflect on the year that was: Oh, 2016, you were a complicated beast.

Now, I would like to look forwards in time. What will 2017 have in store for me? What are my goals? What would I like to continue?

I feel like I’m going to leap into 2017 feeling awesomely unprepared (see what I did there?) and oh my goodness, if the last couple of years have taught me anything, it’s that life will never cease to surprise me.

Still, here are some things I would like to see! Whether life has other plans or not, remains to be seen!!

Goals:

Fertility

While I don’t really feel like writing about it anymore (it can be draining), it would be neglectful to not mention this: Some fertility success would be ideal! While I can’t control the outcome so I don’t feel like it’s an actual ‘goal’ so much as a dream, I do hope I can aim for being much more pro-active in the care I receive. More assertive when it comes to dealing with specialists. I spent a lot of 2016 finding my feet. I hope 2017 can be about Getting Shit Done and making sure the right people are helping me to GSD (Get Shit Done).

Finish the Lady Cave

This epic saga has dragged on for so long it’s embarrassing. I bought most of the furniture. I cleared out most of the junk from the room. I just had trouble directing the moolah towards getting new carpet (by ‘trouble’ I mean I always found other things to do/think about), and motivation towards moving the last of the heavy furniture from the room. It’s a bit crazy, how slow I’ve been at this. I’m sure you could analyse me and find some kind of deep seated emotional/psychological block that’s been holding me back! Either way, I am so ready to make this happen. A little bit of Christmas gift money and Mr Unprepared being a magical furniture removal fairy yesterday while I was out, has made me feel much more enthusiastic!

Now that I write a lot more and I work on my computer a lot, I am more than ready to have my very own blogging lair.

*evil laugh*

Support more small creative business

I know I practically live at Kmart or Cotton On or some of the bigger chain stores. Sometimes my wallet (and my time) can only stretch that far. But there’s something I really want to do. I want to spend 2017 thinking more locally too. There are so many unique things out there: clothing, gifts, etc. Stuff that would not only make my life at least 67% cooler (don’t fact check that statistic I just totally made up), but that would allow me to support those who are out there doing their small creative business thing. I have some special peeps on my wishlist. I’m going to stop talking about it and I’m going to start doing. Because some of that stuff doesn’t actually cost an arm and a leg like I used to believe! It might take a little extra planning but I think it will be well worth it!

Record my happiness more

I’ve written a lot of happy lists on this blog, but they have been quite sporadic lately. I’ve decided to participate in #100happydays to keep me creative and in a positive frame of mind. I start on January 1st, 2017. You should join me! Just register at the website and get started – you can choose your own start date too! I really hope I can stick this one out. Or at least get to 100 within the year haha.

Things I’d like to continue in 2017:

  • Living healthily and striving towards my goal weight. I did so well this year, losing 5kg. I can’t wait to smash the final 3-4 I have left to lose. It really worked well for me, using the school term as a timeline for being really disciplined. If it ain’t broke!
  • It took me until the end of the year to get my shit together, but I finally started using online calendars to organise my life. I feel so much more in control now, so there’s no way I’m going to give that up! Note to self: figure out how to stop getting reminders via email. SO ANNOYING.
  • I’ve made some social changes in 2016. I’ve really enjoyed developing friendships that make me feel good about myself (and hopefully feeling like I do the same for them). I’ve redefined some boundaries and I’ve found my tribe/s. It feels good. I feel much more secure and happy friendship wise than I have in years. I want to stay on that path.
  • Adventuring. I did so much of it this year and it saved the way I look back on 2016. We already have a trip planned for March and we’re working on an idea for July. SO EXCITING.

What do you want to see happen in 2017? Do you set goals or resolutions, or would you rather poke your eyes out with a blunt object? 

Note to self: my struggles are a part of my story.

Excuse me, but I’m going to get a bit deep right now. The last month or so has been pretty tough, emotionally. BUT…I think I’ve faced those struggles for a reason. Because now I’m in warrior mode. And I’m OK with that.

It’s been a challenging couple of years dealing with secondary infertility. I have found myself feeling the pressure, physically – it’s my body that isn’t doing what it should. I have felt emotional pressure – pretending that I’m OK on days when I really am not. I have felt like I have not been participating in my life – through no real fault of my own.

On top of that, I’ve obviously had all the usual pressures of real adult life and parenting.

I’ve been saying things to myself about how I have no ‘life’ and have been feeling depressed about it.

But that’s the thing. How do I define ‘life’? I’ve been defining it as that thing I cannot have. I’ve been defining it as all the things I could have done if my situation was different.

If my situation was different, I’d be able to say yes to so many more social opportunities. If my situation was different, maybe some of my friendships would be thriving instead of barely even there. If my situation was different, I might be fitter and slimmer (you can work harder if you’re not afraid of rupturing something important at certain times – and if you’re feeling better you tend to not eat as many feelings). If my situation was different, I wouldn’t have to pretend I was OK at the school gate when I’m not (because it’s just too awkward if you answer “how has your day been?” with “not good – I’m super infertile today thanks”). I could do more drinking of wine. I could take better medications when I feel sick. I wouldn’t be sick as often. I might be a lighter, brighter person.

But my situation is not different. It is what it is.

And I am finally beginning to embrace that. I can’t spend my time yearning to be the old me. The me from before all of these struggles. I can’t spend my time in a futile fight to be her again.

I am learning to embrace and empower who I am now. The chick with the battle scars. The one who is still standing, despite all the shit she’s had to deal with. What’s with talking about myself in the third person?

I was too scared to join support groups online because I thought that would mean this shit defined me or that I might be obsessed. I didn’t want to be that person who got ‘crazy’. But one day I realised that I am crazy. Because that’s what this stuff does to you. No matter how much you try to not let your life revolve around it, the sheer volume of tests and results and effort that goes into trying to have a baby ensures that ‘positive distractions’ are merely that – distractions. May as well be crazy with women from all over the world who actually understand what I’m going through.

I was sad because I could feel my friendships changing. Some have thrived and others have faded. I have decided to stop scrambling to pretend to be the old me so that I can keep everything the same. I am going to do what I can, when I can, but not so I can stave off the fear of being left out or because I’m killing myself worrying about what others think of my flaky social abilities. I am going to do these things because they feel good (hopefully for all involved) and keep me mentally healthy. And when I can’t do them, I won’t beat myself up, because true friends will understand, will check in, rally around, and won’t judge me for it. I’m in this situation whether anybody likes it or not!

I’m going to choose the way I look at my battle scars. I am going to take my power back. I am even seriously considering my first ever tattoo! Something that symbolises my strength and my open heart. Something to look at when life gets tough. Because it is. A way to show the world that I have been through some shit but I’m fucking rad and kicking arse. Just like everyone else, I have a story and this is mine. I earned those scars and it’s what I make of them that matters. Not to mention how strangely appealing it seems to choose to have a whole bunch of needles in my skin that will create something beautiful, after spending so long being poked and stabbed for reasons that aren’t so beautiful. I am going to wear these scars (whether designed by an artist or a surgeon) without apology. Pretty or not.

So I present to you, the new me. She’s not better or worse than before. She’s just different. And both versions of herself were/are awesome in their own ways and had/have flaws like everybody else. Oops – more third person talk. I can’t help it.

One thing I am is stronger. I have dreams and plans and I have back up dreams and plans and I have back up plans for the back up plans. I am going to land somewhere awesome no matter what. Because life doesn’t always go to plan and I know that better than anyone. I think it makes me more compassionate. More real. More able to roll with the punches.

I still have my shit days. I will melt down and I will cry my eyes out. I will feel sad. I will feel frustrated – angry even. I will have to pretend I’m OK during small talk sometimes. I’ll get lonely. But I will use those tough moments as fuel for my fight. I will wear my struggles like a badge of honour and not a sign of a secret shame.

These struggles are not all of me. But they are a part of me. And trying to pretend they aren’t just makes me feel worse. And it’s taken me two years to realise this. To truly realise it. The old me is gone. There’s a bad ass mother who’s seen some shit standing in her place. And I’d better not forget it.

The Happy List #43

Hello! How are you today? I’m OK. Had crappy sleep all weekend, but I’m excited because today I plan on getting back on the treadmill for the first time since forever (my health kept getting in the way). I AM PSYCHED. Gotta get my endorphins and stop feeling so wobbly haha.

Anyway, it’s time to share with you the things that have made me happy in the last week or so. Not the cliché stuff everyone feels they have to say, but the stuff that has really made me feel good. It’s my way of reflecting on the week that’s been, before diving into a new week full of possibilities (and probably school mum fails and other ridiculous stuff)!

So here is my happy list!

Buying concealer for the first time

I mentioned a little while ago that my confidence had been shot to pieces with recent events. One of the things that really bothered me was my skin. All the mixed up hormonal stuff and the constant sickness before my surgery meant that I was sprouting a billion (slight exaggeration) zits every month. I felt like an awkward teenager and not the self assured 32 year old woman I would have liked to be. While I’d love to be super awesome and realise I am much more than what’s on my face, I am not really there yet. So I did the next best thing and researched googled concealer (which I knew nothing about) and made a plan.

That simple purchase has changed everything! Now I don’t mind as much when I have a pimple and even though you can never hide spots perfectly, I have stopped wanting to hide in general! That’s progress!

Feeling recovered from surgery and optimistic about the future

I am finally starting to feel good, physically. I get a little bit sore at times, but I am stoked that 3 weeks later, I am able to go through the motions of a normal day without crashing halfway. I can work comfortably. I’ve caught myself sleeping on my stomach for the first time in weeks. I feel ready to do some light exercise. I can wear jeans for almost a whole day! Yippee!

Also, most importantly, I feel good about life again. That surgery answered some questions for me and while only time can tell if it will help the fertility issue, I am so glad to at least feel a sense of hope again. I realise these hopes could be dashed over and over like they were for the (almost) two years prior, but right before surgery I truly was feeling despondent and negative. It’s nice just to feel optimistic again. I worried that I never would.

At the very least, just knowing that my endometriosis has been removed is quite a joyous thought.

Taking the Little Mister for a haircut

I took the Little Mister for a hair cut the other day, because he tends to look a little wild. His hair has a really funny crown which makes his hair grow out all swirly and haphazard – it’s a real pain! His school is quite strict with uniform/dress code etc and while I’m sure they are a little more relaxed with kindy kids, I did not want to be the first kindy mum to find out that they’re not haha. There was no way we were going to make it through the last three weeks of term!

His hair grows ridiculously fast, so he’s been getting hair cuts since forever. He’s really used to it. He is getting so good at sitting still and he’s starting to get to know the ladies at the barber’s. This week, I almost died from the cuteness. He’s always answered the chatty questions he is asked while he sits in the chair, but this was the first time he initiated conversations. He was so earnest and he used the exact tone and timing you’d expect of an adult. I was blown away and it was so funny coming from a person so small they had to sit on a massive booster seat!

Afterwards, the lady who cut his hair (magnificently) told us she loved the chats and it made her morning. It made mine too!

Witnessing the Little Mister’s first ‘solo’ ferris wheel ride

We took the Little Mister to a country town festival over the long weekend. We’ve taken him every year and it’s so much fun seeing how he’s grown since the previous times we’ve attended. It’s good old fashioned family time and I love it.

This year we felt he was old enough to go on the kiddie ferris wheel by himself. He normally rides on stuff with his dad (ha – I totally dob him in) and has a ball, but that ferris wheel had been taunting him since he was old enough to be excited about rides. His day had finally come. He was so excited and he gave the ticket to the ride operator by himself (a totally big deal haha). He was sat with a little girl who was also going by herself for the first time and her mum and I almost lost it making “AWWWWWW” sounds – Mr Unprepared stood a safe distance away!! Seeing his little face light up each time they went around was just priceless. Stoked is an understatement!

Having a big cook up day on the long weekend

Last weekend I was able to rekindle my love of cooking. I spent ALL day in the kitchen. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to! There was no real time pressure like there is during the work week. I made chicken pot pies, some pin wheels for school lunches, a cake. BLISS.

Now that it’s winter, I am loving this stuff. I am a big fan of roasted veggies and soups right now.

Other stuff that has made me happy: 

  • Figuring out how to make emoji move in snapchat videos. It’s a simple pleasure haha. Do you know how? Hit me up (kezunprepared) and I’ll tell ya haha.
  • Feeling a bit yuck about something I found out and then feeling the liberation of realising it’s not my circus and certainly not my monkeys.
  • Having a new healthy living challenge to look forward to – it starts tomorrow and goes for two weeks! Click here to find out more. Let’s just say I am going to have fun trying to eat a truckload of vegetables each day! Bring it!
  • One of my besties getting a fitbit so now we’re fitbit buddies too and it’s SO exciting! #addicted
  • Red wine. I have never been a red drinker, but I have recently realised it’s perfect in cold weather, all snuggled up at night. I’m grateful that one of my lovelies left a bottle at my house a lifetime ago and told me to keep it!
  • Laughing with the Little Mister and my parents as we tried to fly a kite in no wind yesterday. Hilarious.
  • The Judd Apatow show ‘Love’ on Netflix.

So, your turn! What has been making you happy this week? 

Endometriosis.

I want to have a little chat about endometriosis. Because I have just been diagnosed with it and, quite frankly, I am still learning about it. In some ways it’s a big relief to know I’m not just being a wuss each month – when I’m not leaving the house when it’s at its worst, and dreading my period like you would not believe. In other ways, it’s tough because it’s a relatively new problem to me (it seemed to get really inflamed a few months ago – going from a really small ‘not seen as a problem’ cyst to my current diagnosis) and I just want it to be gone.

So what the hell is it?

Here’s my most concise definition, gleaned from my basic internet research (i.e. Wikipedia – my old uni lecturers would not be happy haha)…

“Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows outside it.”

Simple right? Apparently my main issue is the endometriosis in my left ovary.

Here are some of the symptoms I’m primarily dealing with…

  • Bad cramping both before and during menstruation.
  • Very heavy period – to the point where I can’t even comfortably leave home for a few days. Trust me, you don’t want to know.
  • Obviously it’s not helping with fertility (I feel like that’s an understatement).
  • Social and psychological effects. I’ve been a hermit recently, when I’ve had symptoms, and it does get you down. Also, talking about periods all the time is considered to be quite gross, so it’s a bit embarrassing. You don’t want to be all, “Sorry everyone – can’t make it to that thing because I’m BLEEDING EVERYWHERE.” Thank goodness I at least have a name for it now. I also feel really guilty because I often don’t know how well I’ll be until the day of an event, which makes me look like a big flake when I have to cancel at the last minute. I hate letting people down and I hate the fear I have of being excluded next time or not having people understand. I also suffer from a lot of mummy guilt because it can affect whether the Little Mister gets to do fun stuff with me or whether he gets stuck at home too. Another psychological issue is the pure dread I feel about getting my period. It weighs on my mind for at least half of my cycle because I know it will disrupt my life so much and it affects the choices I have to make and how I plan my work/ school mum/exercise routine/social life. I don’t like it taking up so much of my time, energy and brain space. It’s stressful – things feeling like they’re up in the air, pending more symptoms, when I know my period will be due on certain dates (although I’m grateful to have a fairly regular cycle).

As you can see, the psychological stuff is what I’m struggling with almost more than the physical stuff right now.

I am booked in to have laparoscopic surgery for it next month. I’m nervous, but I am starting to really come around to the idea, because I just want my life back. I am really hoping it will help me. At first, all I could think about was the fertility side of things, but right now I just want to feel better each month. I guess we’ll figure out the rest later. If I let my mind dwell on the setbacks, it’s not a good place to be. I’m trying to just take all of this one step at a time.

If you have any of these symptoms, don’t feel like you have to soldier on like it’s normal. I’m lucky I’ve been closely monitored, but if I wasn’t already having really regular check ups/scans, I probably would have been less kind to myself, thinking I was just not matching up to those girls in the tampon ads – the ones who can do kickboxing and go clubbing in white pants, even though they have their periods. It can be hard enough to do the shopping or turn up for work sometimes! I can’t give you medical advice, but do get things checked out if you feel like your period is ruling your life.

If you have a friend who has a similar diagnosis, please be kind and patient. She’s not just being a princess complaining about her period. It probably is everything she says it is. Every case might be a little different, so try not to compare her unfavourably with others. Try to find other ways to make her feel included, if she has to cancel on stuff or feels like she can’t commit, knowing her period is due. Don’t stop inviting her out. If she’s like me, she might be feeling insecure about being a lousy friend. Check in. We need to have more conversations about stuff like this and shake off the awkwardness.

Thank you so much for reading. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that I am better by the weekend – I have a super rad trip to Sydney coming up and I plan on enjoying it!

Have you ever had endometriosis? Just wanna vent about being a lady in general? I’m all ears/eyes x

I’m calling for a revolution: ASSUME THAT NOBODY IS PREGNANT UNLESS THEY TELL YOU OTHERWISE.

I’ve realised that there are so many things that I censor/defend myself about in my daily life, in case someone incorrectly thinks that I am knocked up. I am so good at it now that I hardly notice I’m doing it anymore. Because on those rare occasions I let my guard down, the questions start.

ARE YOU PREGNANT?

Actually, you could say just about anything to someone who really really really wants you to be pregnant (bless ’em) and all they’ll hear is “I’M PREGNANT!”

So I am standing up today and saying – NO MORE. From here on out, I will say whatever I want, whatever I’m feeling, without worrying about what people think. I have been through enough to know that even the opposite of pregnancy (i.e. that bloody hell that occurs each month or so) can produce symptoms similar to pregnancy symptoms – isn’t that evidence enough that we just do not know jack about someone else’s fertility status, based on a few reportings of out of context symptoms??

So where was I…from now on, I will let myself be bloated without trying to hide it (it’s real life y’all – I eat and I get PMS – what can ya do). I will laugh about the lengths I will go to in order to satisfy an obscure food craving because that’s who I am. A ridiculous lover of food. I will turn down that glass of wine because sometimes (haha probably rarely but still…) I really don’t feel like it and I’m sick of drinking just to avoid questions (I think my liver and overall health will thank me for it). I will go into a shop and buy gorgeous little baby clothes without looking over my shoulder for people who know me and might get the wrong idea – THEY’RE FOR MY RELATIVES’ OR FRIENDS’ KIDS FFS. I will nest because it brings me comfort when the whole secondary infertility thing is getting me down. AND I WILL TALK ABOUT IT IF I WANT TO. I will reminisce on my first pregnancy (in real life or on my blog) all I like, because it brings me comfort and life changing memories and has no bearing on my current situation.

If some pharmacy/supermarket check out operator I’ve never met before comments out loud on my purchase of ovulation tests (or other such items), I will not politely answer them like I always do (seriously – my lady balls shrink up and fail me every time). I will give the coldest look I can muster and I will say, “That. Is none of your business.”

I will then complain to management. And probably shop online – BUT I shouldn’t have to. Which is my point.

I will stop using disclaimers constantly of the “before you get excited, I am NOT pregnant…” variety on my blog. I shouldn’t have to explain myself. Just take my writing for what it is.

Because the thing is, if I was lucky enough to be pregnant I would not be revealing it just because someone is the first nosy person to ask. I would reveal it to my husband, my doctor, my beautiful firstborn son (but not until I knew the pregnancy was pretty safe), the grandparents, the great grandparents, the people in my extended family, my closest friends, the rest of the damn world, in that order! Nobody else gets to decide they’re above the order of things!

There are several compelling reasons not to ask someone if they’re pregnant:

  • They may have just experienced a loss, which they’re not ready to share with anyone. It can be hard for people to talk about.
  • It may not be the time or place and it isn’t up to you to decide if it is.
  • They may be feeling self conscious about their weight and you’ve just basically told them you’ve noticed they’re ‘fat’ (even if that’s not why you asked).
  • They may be dealing with infertility and congrats – you’ve just reminded them of the one thing they’d love the most but can’t have for now.
  • Don’t you think that if they wanted you to know, they would have told you already? See above for the ‘order of things’ – everyone has their own way they want it to go down.
  • A lot of people do not like to reveal they’re pregnant until they’re in the ‘safer’ zone of the second trimester. It would be really unfair to disrespect their wishes.
  • Some people choose to be child free and are sick of being made to feel like they are somehow lesser people because they don’t want to be pregnant or have children.
  • Other people might have decided that they’ve had enough children (yes sometimes ‘just the one’) and are sick of people implying that it’s not ‘normal’ of them to not want another, or assuming that every person wants more than one (or however many they have at that point). Or that everyone can even in fact have more than one.
  • They may not have even discussed the idea of children (or how many) with their partner yet (or may be dealing with some issues in their relationship which prevent them from trying), so why would they want to discuss it with a tipsy person at some dude’s birthday party (because those are the kinds of places that people tend to ask – are they not)?
  • Someone might be struggling with some other difficult, personal,  physical condition, completely unrelated to fertility.

I know this ‘asking everyone if they’re pregnant’ thing has been around since forever, and despite all the funny Facebook memes and blog rants, no-one seems to pay attention, BUT…

I urge you to consider these two things moving forward – the part where I call on you to help me with this revolutionary new way of thinking/behaving:

  1. Let’s not ask anyone if they’re pregnant (or speculate about them out loud behind their backs so it gets back to them). Let’s wait for them to tell us (or not tell us because we could be SO wrong and they might not even be pregnant or want to get pregnant). Repeat after me: It’s none of my business until they make it my business.
  2. Let’s talk about our NON pregnancy ‘symptoms’ openly (if we want to) and stop censoring ourselves or adding disclaimers. It’s someone else’s problem if they assume we’re pregnant. Let’s be rebels and let people make their assumptions (if they’re silly enough to). We know the truth and we’re allowed to share our truth. It shouldn’t be our problem if people are insensitive. We can call them on it, by saying simply “I am not pregnant.” and let them feel uncomfortable – not us. Repeat after me: It’s none of their business unless I want to make it their business.

I hope that by doing these two things, we can let women just get on with living their lives without being scrutinised. Non pregnant women should have nothing to feel embarrassed about and pregnant women who haven’t told you yet – that’s their choice. Respect it! Also, let’s not steal anyone’s thunder! It’s not our moment to take.

Are you in?!!

We all have moments where we suspect someone might be ‘with child’, but it’s how we deal with that curiosity (and excitement) that matters. I personally like to keep it inside my head, put it aside and wait. I’ve been wrong before and have never been more relieved that I did the right thing and kept it to myself!! I’d love if more people could do the same.

This post hasn’t been designed to shame anyone and I am certainly not passive-aggressively singling anyone out (so you can breathe out now haha). This is just something I know is an issue, not just for me but a lot of women deemed to be in their child bearing years. I just hope it inspires us to all move forward, looking out for one another 🙂

Have you ever been wrongly accused? Pressured like crazy to start/grow a family by well meaning people? Outed before you were ready to make an announcement? Have you ever accidentally accused someone and it was super awkward? I’d love to hear your stories – comment below or share this post! x