Thursday, August 25, 2011


Now that Cohen is here is I have started to realise how much of myself was stolen during my battle with infertility. I guess it wasn’t so much stolen as that I allowed myself to lose it. Before infertility I was a confident woman who loved to get out and about, experimented with fashion, always made an effort to look after myself and make sure my hair was done nicely, took the time to play with my make up, wore heels. After infertility entered my life I let all those things slide.

Marie Claire was switched for the guilty pleasure of sneakily buying and reading Cosmopolitan Pregnancy. That was in the first year. The second year I started taking the fertility drugs and the weight started to pile on. We all know that fertility drugs have the sad side effect of weight gain and in my 3 years of treatment I gained a total of 6 kilos more than I was on the day we decided to start trying for a baby. Back when we thought it would be easy. All of a sudden I no longer made the effort to dress nicely or worry about how I looked because I wasn’t happy with my figure. I stopped wearing heels. My wardrobe consisted of about 5 different outfits I mixed and matched and I never brought new clothes because I kept thinking ‘Hopefully I’ll be pregnant soon and then I won’t fit it so it would be a waste of money’. 3 years later and I was still wearing the same old outfits again and again and again. Not to mention I couldn’t afford to buy clothes because all my spare money went into acupuncture and Chinese herbs in a last ditch effort to conceive naturally before moving onto IVF. And then even while I was doing IVF I would carry on spending money on acupuncture because I was too scared to stop in case ‘this’ was the magic cure. What if I stopped acupuncture (which by the way I spent far too much money on over the course of two years and saw me out of pocket about $74.00 a fortnight) and then my IVF cycle failed – would I look back and think if only I’d carried on with it then it may have worked? I wasn’t willing to take the risk. It wasn’t just my looks that I let slide either.

I’m not sure if it started when my mum died or when I realized I was having problems conceiving and it wasn’t going to be a quick fix, or if it was a combination of both, but all of a sudden I lost all confidence and I started to have silly little phobias that grew more and more every day. I wouldn’t walk anywhere because I was terrified of coming across a stray dog and being attacked. It started because there were a couple of stray pitbulls around the neighbourhood and I had one approach me one day and it gave me a huge fright. It got to the point I was too scared to go out to my mailbox in case one was lurking around the side of the fence. I didn’t want to catch the bus home from the train station because I was worried about walking from the bus stop to my front door (which was only a 2 minute walk across the road) in case the pitbull was lurking around. I didn’t have my license and I was too scared to get it because I had this absurd fear I would crash the car and I was just terrified of the idea of driving and had all these scenarios in my head of what might happen to the point I would psyche myself out. When I finally did get it I would map out the easiest route in my head to get from A to B and even then I was too scared to drive so I barely went anywhere and had my license for a good year and a half before I actually started to drive anywhere alone (and this wasn’t until I got pregnant which is when my confidence started to come back). It’s like infertility robbed me. I felt like a failure for not being able to get pregnant and lost all the confidence I once had in my abilities. A plane flew over our house one afternoon and it was extremely low and loud and gave both the HG and I a hell of a fright as it literally shook the house, but for weeks after that every time a plane flew overhead I would have an anxiety attack and think it was going to crash into the house. It was ridiculous. The internet became my refuge because I could have a social life without having to go anywhere. Going to new places was another fear – if I was told to meet someone somewhere I had never been before I would ask them to wait outside as I would be too nervous to enter the place on my own in case I couldn’t see them and I’d look like an idiot just standing there.

This is the same girl who at 19 years old hopped on a plane and went to the USA to work on a summer camp without knowing anyone. Who then went from there all by herself on a bus to NYC and stayed in a hostel and did the whole tourist gig alone and made friends along the way. Who hopped on a plane again alone at 23 to go to Europe and do a Contiki tour. And all of a sudden I was too scared to even go down the road to a place I’d never been to before. Infertility changes you. You go from this person who you look back and barely recognise, to someone else entirely whose only focus is to have a baby. That goal becomes your whole life and takes over everything and you lose the person you once were amid the uncertainty and heartache of broken dreams. 

The HG ended up having a break down during this phase of our life and suffering from anxiety. I got caught up in phobias.

Now I have my son I am working at regaining that confidence and getting back the girl I used to be and trying to move forward beyond infertility. I am not defined by my infertility but there were times in those 3 years that I forgot that.


  1. Haidee, Infertility and other "women" issues do change who we are, it creaps up on us in the dark, and does not announce that it is coming.

    As you come out the other side of this battle, with a SON in arms, a wonderful husband, the new you will emerge. She will take some time to get to know, and you will like this changes. Even if it takes a while to get there.

    I know you now see all these issues, but and this is a real but.......

    YOU ARE THE SUM (TOTAL, RESULT, OUTCOME ) OF ALL THAT HAS HAPPENED IN YOUR LIFE. If you change or take something away, you are no longer that person, you can't be you.

    I learnt this as i have walked my paths this last few years, that even with all the downs, I would not be who I am without them. I have learnt how precious life is, both mine and my families. I have learnt that it is not selfish or indulgent to take care of me. It is a necessity I have learnt that working and struggling to the what you want makes it soooooo much better in the long run.

    Look at that time of your life as a uni course that was expensive, the lessons were hard, the home work and challenges it made for you were almost impossible. And that a lot of pain and change in your physical body happened at the same time.
    The results are in.

    YOU HAVE GAINED THE TITLE OF "MUMMY" (sooooo much better than Dr!!!) and the pay rate? priceless.

  2. What an enormously brave post. I've been where you've been (even down to the driving issues!)and 13 years of motherhood later, I'm still amazed at the journey.


  3. Oh Haidee that was the best post you have written xxx

  4. This is a great honest post...hon I can relate to so much of what you've said, ....anxiety, the fear of walking into a new places, of driving certain routes...I'm so proud of you and glad you're getting your confidence back, and as well as that, being a great friend to so many while struggling yourself. (HUGS)xxx

  5. Definately I agree this is a beautiful post and open hearted....This is what infertility opens your heart to what life is really all about..well it taught me a lot about life and I am still learning...After all those traumatic events in your life you were topped with infertility but you know what its made you the strongest woman ever, the best wife and mother to Cohen xx..
    Everyone has some sort of trauma/tragedy in their life...some learn from it and others dont but you have definately grown and are a special person ...Universe gives you strength to keep on going

  6. Great post Haidee. Honest and raw. You are a survivor and I wish you all the best in getting back that confidence again. You are who you are because of your journey.

  7. Oh mate, Im glad I jumped straight on after our text to read this. My long Inspector Gadget arms are reaching out for you over the Tasman to give you a hug. And a firm hard squashy hug with all my heart. I hope you find yourself again. I hope Cohen can help you find your confidence and you can do it together. The lack of confidence comes from failing. Time and time and time again. We then doubt everything about ourselves, even what we see in the mirror.

    I can relate to this. This is why I have stopped ttc. YES YOU CAN DO IT. I will always hope for a pregnancy, but Im not planning on it. Im moving on, and I have. I feel much better, and even lost weight. Yes its only been 2-3wks, but it must be working, as the girl in the office pulled me aside yesterday and asked if I was pregnant, as I was glowing and looking amazing for the past 2 weeks. Funnily enough it coincides with my first cycle of not ttc, no stress, no drugs, no nothing. I am finding me again, Im more productive at work, Im better in the sack and Ive ordered a new spray tan colour for summer, ready to get the kini on.

    Fark you infertility, you wont beat us!

  8. I miss taking care of myself, too! I don't think I've ever seen this shade of pasty on myself before, and I'm at my top weight, too. I'm still not sure how to balance it all - it's a work in progress. But it's a joy figuring it out for my baby girl!
    Thanks for sharing your struggles. It's a joy that we don't have to go through this struggle alone!

  9. i may start crying from this post! haha. :) no seriously husband and I have been TTC for over a year and a half now...after we started TTC - like everyone, I immediately thought "oh I'll be pregnant sooner than I think, so _____ won't matter!" haha yeah. well. 18 cycles later and nothing. absolutely diddly squat. The docs have found nothing wrong with ME other than a partially blocked tube on one side (the other side is fine). However my husband has the infertility issues. :( and I hate how absolutely out of control that makes me feel! anyways - thank you so much for sharing your journey! I really need to start my own blog to get out my own thoughts and fears!