a new beginning

Those who know me, know that I do not like change. I have my routine, and I stick to my routine. Yes, I am lazy and procrastinate something awful, but I stick to my basics, and that keeps me sane. Well most days anyway.

I made a huge decision last November; I decided to stretch my wings and see what else was out there, job-wise. I have never cried so much whilst resigning. I have never felt such immense self-doubt in myself after I had resigned. I had not felt fear like I did in those first few days after resigning, that I did back in November. My emotional state was so bad that I ended up going to see my psychiatrist a month before I was supposed to, for an emergency appointment to try and figure out if I had or hadn’t just screwed up my entire life. And I’m so glad that I went and saw her, that I asked for help. That in itself was a monstrous step for me.

Today I started my new job. It’s back in the industry that I love, in the industry that I’m qualified in. It’s daunting, and chaotic, and busy and frenetic and I am honestly so excited to see what I can achieve here. I must admit, I’m easing into the job as the factory only opens next week Monday, so it’s me and 2 other people here, literally! But it’s giving me time to go through policies and procedures, to try and familiarise myself with this new environment.

I’d be lying if I said that I woke up this morning ready to conquer the day. I was nervous and my tummy was really sore. I had a silent drive to work (apart from the gps telling me to turn right in 500m and then me almost missing that very obvious right turn) and when I arrived, there was no one else here. I was early, which was good, but when 8am arrived and there was still no one here, I started to panic. I wouldn’t have put it past myself to have mixed my dates up, and be the only chop reporting for work today! But, as luck would have it, two colleagues arrived, and welcomed me in.

I really do feel like I’m going to be ok, that I’m going to fit in here. I know that it’s early days, and I have no idea of the chaos and work-load that’s coming my way, but I am secretly so excited for it, that I can barely keep it in! I miss my old colleagues, I miss my old boss. But even he knew, in his own way, that it was time for me to move on, to be more.

So, I’m not going to say that 2017 is going to be my year, because I don’t know if it will be.

But I’m certainly going to give it everything that I’ve got.

G

nurturing the gift of life

I regard myself as a blessed woman. I have 3 children who are generally healthy (apart from the odd runny nose or bum rash) and I had no issues whatsoever in conceiving them. In fact, my youngest 2 children were conceived at the same time, without any modern intervention at all! Needless to say, my factory was closed within minutes of our twins entering the world.

One of the many things that sets a woman apart from a man, is her ability to hold and nurture life in her womb. For so many women, this is sadly not to be. So many women and families spend thousands and thousands of Rands, Dollars, Pounds, even tens and hundreds of thousands in order to achieve the dream of a family, but it just doesn’t happen. IVF is normally the first step, followed then by maybe surrogacy, and then maybe adoption.

But there is another option.

I am an egg donor. I have been since 2011. I only recently told my mom about this, as I respect her thoughts and feelings on this subject, as with her childhood, I know that this is a sensitive topic for her. But she supports and applauds me, and that feels pretty damn awesome!

I am registered through an amazing agency called Nurture. I came across their website back in 2010, via an ad on Facebook of all places! By February 2011 I had been selected by a family, and my first donation process was under way.

It’s no walk in the park, I’ll tell you that right now. You are injecting yourself daily with hormones to increase YOUR hormone levels, to get your little ovaries to work overtime to produce more follicles, and ultimate more little eggies. You then have to get a rather nasty burning injection just before the eggs are retrieved, to stop your body from naturally ovulating them. So essentially you walk around like you’re 6 months pregnant for a few days. Well I did anyway!

Because of the current laws in our country, total anonymity is required. And that’s honestly ok with me. I don’t see it as giving up a child; I see it as giving away some of my DNA. I know that there are twin girls currently in the UK who were welcomed into this world in December 2011, because I was chosen. I am currently waiting to hear back from another recipient who chose me a few months back as to whether or not she will be a mommy soon. You see the thing with egg donation, is that it is not a sure-fix, guaranteed way to become a parent. There is still the possibility that the pregnancy will fail. What I find so amazing is that if it is a heterosexual couple, my eggs are fertilised with the father-to-be’s sperm, and then the fertilized follicle is inserted into the mother-to-be’s womb. Then if all goes well, a baby (or more) is welcomed into the world 9 or so months later. If it is a same-sex couple, then either 1 of the women will be the carrier, or there will be a surrogate involved.

I have given my consent for my follicles to be used for same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. You see, I don’t really care if a baby has 2 mommies or 2 daddies; all I care about is that that baby is loved and honoured and nurtured and protected. And the ladies at Nurture are so incredible; everyone (recipients and donors) are screened and asked intensive questions including full medical background and history, family background and history and and and.

Looking at my children, holding my children, welcoming my children into the world are the absolute highlights of my life. Yes I am tired, no make that exhausted. I’m broke, and frazzled and frustrated, and I cannot imagine my life without my 3 little people in it. The hugs, the kisses, the tantrums, the learning, the grasping, their lives forever entwined in mine.

I am about to embark on this journey again, and I am so excited. I have the opportunity to help complete a family.

I may not be able to end world famine or bring about world peace, but I can help to complete a family.

And I’m pretty ok with that.

G

*This is not a sponsored post. For more information about donating through the Nurture program, please have a look at their website via the link above.*

Picture found on http://www.tertia.org/so_close/2005/10/egg_donor_ivf_i.html

so what next?

2016 for most that I know, has been one helluva year. It has been full of trials and turmoil and pain and anger and loss. It has also had its positive moments, but the general consensus from most is that 2016 needs to just be wiped from memory. It would be easier trying to live life with an entire blank year for a memory, than rehashing all that 2016 has brought.

2016 has been very trying for my family and I. From job uncertainty, to no jobs, to heath scares and issues, to hospital visits at 3am and facing eviction, I can’t pinpoint one exact moment in this year that I would like to wipe from my memory.

But.

Through all of the misery and heartache and anxiety and depression and panic and chaos that we’ve faced in the past almost 12 months, looking back on it all now, I am weirdly grateful for it all. I have discovered a strength in myself that I didn’t know existed, and I have also discovered that it’s ok to be weak, that it’s ok to ask for help, that it’s ok to fail. Because from our failures we learn how to do it right the next time around; quite simply, we learn.

This year has seen me contemplate taking my own life a few times, twice quite seriously. It has seen me in and out of psychologist’s and psychiatrist’s offices, and has seen me placed on several different types of anti-depressants and mood stabilisers and sleeping pills and and and. But that’s ok. I now don’t feel like there’s something wrong with me when I do ask for help. I willingly went and saw my psychiatrist 3 weeks ago after I could feel myself losing control again, and slipping into the darkness. That was huge for me. I asked for help. And I didn’t hate myself for doing so.

For those who know me, they know that I am a routine person. I kinda do the same thing every day, every night, every weekend. I like the “normality” that that brings. I battle with change, and I battle with being the “unknown factor”.

I resigned from my job of almost 4 years on the 18th of November, finishing up at the end of this month. This was not a decision taken lightly, nor was it a decision made because I hate my current job. I love my job. I love my company, I love my colleagues and I adore my boss. This was purely a financial decision, coupled with the fact that this new job is in an industry that I both love and am qualified in. What also aided my decision, was that I have applied for, and been rejected for 8 various positions at our Head Office, since September last year. There is only so much rejection a person can take, before being forced to take a step back and ask “what is going on here?” I personally don’t think that I’m doing anything wrong, but that it’s more along the lines of needing to gain more corporate experience, needing to grow and mature more. But this is a huge thing for me; this is a position of greater responsibility, and I’ll be the new person, all over again. I have to make work-friends, learn my boundaries and limits in this new workplace, and rediscover who I am, all over again.

Everyone at work keeps asking me if I’m counting down the days to my new job, and I honestly cannot answer that with a truly happy heart. Yes, I am so excited to be going back into the packaging industry, and I’m going to give this new position everything that I have. But I feel like I’m leaving a part of my heart behind, like I’m leaving behind family. I have grown and matured over the past 4 years into someone that I don’t even recognise, in such a positive manner. I stick up for myself more, I defend others more; I’m not afraid to make my voice heard. This is all due to the people that I have been surrounded by in the last few years. And in just 3 short weeks, that all changes.

So what next?

I honestly don’t know. There is so much going on in my head and in my life right now, that I’m just exhausted. Both mentally and physically. From working 3 jobs, to trying to keep our roof over our heads, to crunching numbers with my amazing family to KEEP our roof over our heads, to realising that my life is changing, I’m tired. Really, really tired.

So, yeah. 2016 can end right now.

But I am also really glad that it happened.

G

Cheers to 2016 x

Cheers to 2016 x

change

A silent burglar slinking through my thoughts
Snatching what happiness I have
Filling the voids with questions and self loathing
Placing doubt everywhere I look

Uneasiness settles over me
My thoughts scatter
My breath catches in my throat
And my eyes glisten with the pain

My heart lurches from my chest
Desperate to continue beating
But my mind knows that the end is near
And calmly pushes back

Change is something that scares me
It causes me to panic
It causes me to fret
Change is something that scares me

But then again

Change is the only constant in life
And adaptation is key
So in order to adapt
I must learn to accept change

to breathe

Unfocused
Unsure
Unrelenting
Unable to

My fingers clawing at the invisible cell
The inability to fully breathe
A prisoner of my own mind
My heart numb, empty

Life continues
We still cannot breathe
All we want is for one pure breath
To not feel suffocation

And then

My mind pauses
My heart stills
My breath calms
And I inhale, deeply, peacefully, completely

Oh to breathe
Without fear of consequence
Without pain
Without longing

Oh, to just breathe