We don’t do Thanksgiving in Australia. We don’t have anything remotely similar. In fact, it’s not even Thanksgiving Day anymore here because we’re a day ahead of the USA, so I’m currently enjoying my Friday afternoon (hi from the future, you should see our flying cars!).
But everyone else is posting lists of things they’re thankful for and I feel like I’m missing out on both a delicious turkey dinner and the chance to be thankful. That just isn’t very fair now is it?
Then I realised that this is the internet. There’s no rules here. If I want to post a list of things I’m thankful for ain’t nobody going to stop me! So without further ado, may I present my list of the things I’m grateful for in 2013….
My Aussie non-Thanksgiving list
- My husband Doug. For sitting by my bedside every time I’m admitted to hospital, even though he constantly reminds me that catheters freak him out and he shouldn’t have to watch me pee into a bag. For changing the television channel when babies or pregnant ladies come on the screen, steering conversations with friends and strangers away from danger areas, and sticking up for me when I can’t stick up for myself. For patiently letting me talk for hours about the merits of different IVF protocols, even when he is clearly bored. For making me laugh, though only sometimes deliberately. For making me happy when I’m sad, making me feel loved, making me feel beautiful. For being my best friend.
- My dog Arnold. For being my little replacement baby, 2.4kg of black poodle fluff, and the tiny light of my life. For loving me wholly and unconditionally, all of the time. For always falling asleep when I flip him on his back and rock him like a baby while I sing lullabies. For never running out of licks, especially when those licks can be angled so they go up my nose. Because who doesn’t love it when their dog sticks his tongue up their nose? For being my constant shadow, lying on the bath mat while I take a shower, following me up and down the staircase all day long, and sleeping by my bedside every night (and sometimes spooned in front of me when Doug doesn’t catch him hopping up on the bed).
- Two little pink lines. For allowing me to experience the joy of a positive pregnancy test. Even though those pregnancies have been fleeting, and I have been devastated to see those pink lines fade twice this year, I am grateful that I am now able to say I have been pregnant and hope to be pregnant again in the future. I know some women in this lovely online community who are yet to see those two glorious pink lines appear on a test stick. The unlucky few will never see them. My doctor reminds me that 80% of women who can become pregnant will carry a child to term. Those are good odds, and that’s something to be thankful for.
- Nemo, Peanut and Butters. For having a small amount of time with each of my three little battlers this year. Even though I lost Nemo at 5 weeks 3 days, he will always be my first pregnancy. From 34 eggs he was my only remaining embryo on day 6 and he was such a strong little AA graded blastocyst. I’m thankful for the few weeks I spent with him, and the hope that he symbolised. And I’m thankful for my little twinnies Peanut and Butters, one of whom I lost before implantation and the other who struggled on to 6 weeks, 2 days in an unknown location. I’ll never know which one kicked on those few extra weeks with me, but I’m grateful to know he/she was such a fighter it took a dose of methotrexate to quell their spirit. I’m so glad I was able to document their short little lives, so that I can remember them and tell my future children about them. My angel babies, whom I loved so deeply despite never truly knowing them.
- The chance to try again. We have our little Jelly waiting for us in the freezer. I’m so thankful we have another chance to become parents. And I’m also very grateful that the government subsidies in this country mean we can afford to go through another cycle or two of IVF before we run out of money. We aren’t near the end of our journey yet, we still have the opportunity to achieve our dream of having a family.
- My family. My mother for always being there for me, even when I’m a bitch and take out my hormonal mood swings on her. My cousin Phoebe for sometimes acting as my replacement husband and attending appointments with me, even when they involve vaginal ultrasounds. My father-in-law for caring enough to cry tears of joy every time we have an egg pick-up, and tears of sorrow every time we lose a pregnancy. My brother Alex, who I communicate with predominantly through the use of pop culture references (which still confuses the hell out of my husband who was never a fan of Adam Sandler, Saturday Night Live, Monty Python or Judd Apatow) and for being the only other person on this planet with the exact same sense of humour as me.
- This online community. I never thought I would find such joy and comfort online. I know none of you personally, but I feel like I know you all so well. And I feel like you all know me. This is such a safe space to express true feelings without fear of persecution. It’s a place to vent and share bitter disappointments, as well as to celebrate achievements and the good times. You are my support network. You get me through the darkness of my infertility journey. You give me the opportunity to express myself. For all those things, I thank you.
- Chocolate. Thank you to Cadbury, Nestle, Haighs and every other chocolate manufacturer. Thank you to the Spanish for creating the word ‘chocolate’ and bringing it to Europe, so that it could then be brought to Australia. Thank you for the industrial revolution that brought with it machines that enabled chocolate to be hardened and sold en masse in it’s current form. Just…so much thanks. I love you chocolate. I love you.
Happy Thanksgiving guys, from your friend down under!