I didn't do a review of the year last year. 2011 was an amazing year and I loved summing it all up on the blog. Last year around this time we had learned that we would never make a baby the conventional way. It was difficult to come to terms with and I just didn't know how to sum up a year of repeated disappointments trying to conceive followed by the shocking news that it would never work.
This year is really a year with two sides. I promise it's not all depressing but I thought I'd get the horrid stuff over with first! Although I've called it the worst year of my life, other than the obvious one big bad thing, it has actually been a pretty good year, it's taken me going back through the blog to realise this and I'm only sorry that I find it so hard to remember the good stuff sometimes!
So, this year we have come to terms with the fact that we will never get pregnant naturally, it's physically impossible. I also have the ovarian reserve of a 45 year old at age 31. It turns out there's something wrong with my eggs so without injecting sperm directly, they will not fertilise. It transpired that my cervix is all bent and twisted and too narrow to get through to place the embryos we did eventually manage to get. They weren't able to improve this access with an operation under GA. I've had 2 rounds of IVF drugs and egg retrievals. 7 eggs were wasted the first time. 6 embryos were frozen the second time. I've never had an embryo inside me. Oh, and we've spent a fortune on all of these unpleasant and seemingly pointless treatments while awaiting our NHS appointment for 14 months now. We're now facing a year where we may find out we will never get pregnant at all.
It is scary and utterly depressing. And yet...
This year I have discovered just how many real friends I have. And how caring they all are. Even when I have been useless and paid next to no attention to what is going on in their lives, I have always received messages of excitement, support, good luck and love from SO many people in my life (some even before I had come out and admitted what was really stressing me out). I honestly don't know how much more difficult this year would have been without them. You.
We've had Nik's exams to contend with (which he did manage to pass and became a Mr again!) all while dealing with these repeated "disappointments". Disappointment is not the right word but I don't know what is. It hasn't been an easy year by any means. We sometimes say to each other "at least we don't have cancer". And while that's true and we do have each other and there are many things in my life I am grateful for and I know I have been very lucky in other aspects of life, when it comes to saying at least we don't have a horrific disease, it really isn't good. I would happily give up our nice flat, lovely things and fancy holidays if it meant we could have a family. Sadly it doesn't and although we hoped in this case that money might just buy us happiness with IVF, if it's not going to work, no amount of money will change that.
I don't want to spend much time dwelling on it now. December is usually a happy month for me. I have written enough depressing and potentially boring woe-is-me posts about our IVF issues. So, on with the review of the year ignoring all the stuff that sucked! (I need to remind myself of the good things often.)
Some of these may feel like I'm clutching at straws but when life is shit, you just have to do whatever little things make you happy so you can keep getting up in the morning and carry on.
We started the year at a wedding with good friends of ours and had a brilliant time.
I reconnected with an old friend who I hadn't heard from for 9 years and he came to stay.
|Us in Jan 2013 and way back in 2000! [The afro fancy dress was for the Millenium party at my house. I still have that long cardi and those zebra wellies (see below!) and I wish I still had those legs!]|
We started Pin It Do It, a challenge to get us and others doing some of the projects we all pin on Pinterest.
I bought a nifty fifty lens and really improved my food photography.
I had an awesome weekend in London for the ballet themed AOW Hen Do.
We went to South Korea for an amazing week of fun in Seoul.
(Where I mostly wore my coral maxi skirt!)
|And had a very tiring trip home!|
I had my 15 minutes of fame ;)
|My magazine debut in You magazine - in my zebra wellies from 1999!|
(Also shortly followed by the same feature in Woman magazine.)
We went to Amy's gorgeous wedding in a field and met up with friends from all over the UK!
Nik and I went to see my parents in Malaysia and went diving, shopping, visiting friends and ate lots of sushi :)
|Claire, Bella and I|
We went to Nik's cousin's amazing wedding weekend in London.
We went to my cousin's fantastic wedding in Warrington.
Of course there was ODP2 for Halloween! Best party weekend ever with the most awesome people!
We went to Durham for the Lumiere Light Festival.
Nik and I had fun making some fab shelves to display some Christmas ornaments along with this years' tree.
We had a lovely Christmas with Nik's parents.
And I had a fab girls' night in for my birthday since Nik was on nights. I was so chuffed so many people made it given the awkward time of year :)
|Watching Pitch Perfect before the food arrived|
|The massive chai spiced chocolate cheesecake I made using 1kg of cream cheese!|
Complete with green burning candles ;)
The blog has really taken off this year with lots of new readers and we've been getting invited to some pretty amazing events, mainly involving food which, of course, I love!
I started craft club and set myself a reading challenge. There have been a few outfits throughout the year and even though I found out I have some more health issues, I have been trying to improve my general health again losing some weight and doing more exercise which will definitely continue into the new year and will most likely mean a return to more of my style on the blog as I get more interested in looking nice again.
I refreshed some of the pages on the blog this year with an index of our wedding as well as our IVF story and a new about page including Roz.
Life really isn't bad, it's just sometimes difficult to remember that when the one big bad thing takes over my thoughts. Writing this has helped, actually going back over my blog posts this last year has reminded me of all these small (and some not so small) things which are so good in our lives. I'm lucky to be surrounded by family and friends and be able to eat out and buy nice things, explore the world and share all of my experiences here. But by far the best thing this year has been all the new friends I have made and become closer to during this saga. I am so lucky and so grateful to have them. You know who you are, Mwah! :D
But still, fingers crossed that my body stops fighting against us in 2014 please, so we can be blessed with the family we so desperately wish for! :)