Friday, 23 August 2013

Gifts of infertility

To someone contemplating ending their infertility journey, facing a no kidding life, when they had dreamed of a noisy life full of children, the idea of infertility being a gift is probably offensive.  And I understand that.  But there are positives and negatives out of every situation, we all know that.  Mothers complain about lack of sleep and loss of privacy and spontaneity, at the same time as we complain about feeling ignored by society, or having a house that is just too quiet.  Equally, our lives all have gifts, if we know where and when to look for them.  Knowing that there are gifts, and looking for them?  That, in my view, is what acceptance means. 

This week, it wasn't hard for me to look at two of my life's gifts.  Out of some bad luck, as many of you know, we had free time and decided to make limoncello out of lemons, and so we're currently in Italy for three months.  And that is a gift we would not have if we had children in school.  (Though actually, I like to think I would have been one of those parents who would have pulled her children from school to take them to see the world, learn other languages, etc.  Easy to say now of course!)  

But the second gift was that of new friends.  I have met many wonderful people on-line as a result of my ectopic pregnancies and infertility.  Some of them I have been lucky enough to have met in real life.  And on Wednesday, another virtual friend (and her husband) became real life friends.  My husband and I visited Slovenia - only three hours from where we are currently staying in northern Italy - and we were lucky enough to be hosted by the lovely Klara and her hospitable husband.  We ate lunch and drank wine, and talked, and looked around their beautiful* town  This is the part of travelling that I have always loved - learning how people really live, away from the tourist traps.  

Whilst Klara and I had both hoped one day to have children, we would never have met if we had kids. I hope one day to be able to host her and her husband in NZ too.  We may live on opposite (almost) sides of the world, but our shared experiences and lifestyle have brought us close.  And that was a gift.

*Watch Lemons to Limoncello for an update on our all-too-brief time in Slovenia.

16 comments:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree that the meaningful bonding resulting from a life-changing experience is a gift. So happy that you and Klara and DHs had a chance to enjoy time together. I've walked those same streets in Slovenia and felt equally the warmth and love of friendship that comes from connecting with the heart.

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  2. dear Mali,
    it was lovely to find your new post and read it.

    dear Pamela,
    it was lovely to read your comment.

    How lucky am I to meet both of you (and your DHs) in person. And - I am already looking forward to our next meetings.

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  3. I am really hoping that with some distance I can identify the "gifts of infertility" in my life. Right now I cant see any except I'm a lot poorer than I used to be. It gets better, right?

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    1. it gets better, I promise!
      Hugs!

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    2. It takes time. But gradually, you'll find the gifts.

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  4. Unfortunately I am similar to Erinvns, I can only see what I don't have and what I spent to get here. :-(

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  5. This is so cool. I have had the opportunity to meet a couple blogging friends in person and it has been such a gift. So glad you had a similar experience.

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  6. AWESOME!!! Wish I could have joined you! :-D Maybe someday...:-D

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    1. Amel, wish we could have come to Finland to visit!

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    2. As long as we have breath left, who knows perhaps someday? If not here in Finland, then somewhere in the middle of the three countries we live in? :-D

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  7. Hi Mali, As of yesterday, I am now an infertility survivor. We received our last BFN and made the decision to discontinue treatment. I enjoyed reading this post and new friends and travel were already gifts that I could see in our future. I'm grateful to be able to see a glimmer of the positive side amongst the heartache. I look forward to reading more of your journey.
    xx

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  8. I wish I could that. I am poor and infertile :(

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  9. But the true gift was the one of friendship, and that cost nothing.

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  10. Coming from a country as vast as Canada, it's sometimes hard to realize that in Europe you can drive a couple of hours & be in any number of different countries. So glad (albeit slightly jealous...!) that you & Klara had a chance to meet!

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  11. I think new friendships with other couples who know they are living this same life is invaluable. I'm currently surrounded by only family-types, and have been for a long time, but the odd occasion we encounter another childless couple, it's like a whole new world exists where we feel 'normal'. I hope to do as you are one day in the next decade!

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