My time overseas feels like so long ago.
This year feels so old and hard already, as I’ve already been through a fully stimmed IVF cycle and started a new job. But when the clock ticked over to 2014, I was standing on a beach in Penang laughing and dancing and happy. That was a moment I’ll never forget.
I don’t have the strength or energy to write about my very first trip outside Australia, so I’ll just share some photos at the end of this post and fill you in on a few highlights. These photos are from both Penang and Kuala Lumpur. They’re certainly nothing fancy (I ain’t no photographer) but they’re my memories and I treasure them.
Our New Years Eve was perfect. We shared drinks with two Italian girls who were also holidaying in Malaysia. We quickly made friends with them and after a few hours of talking and laughing we all headed down to the beach together, clutching our shoes in one hand and our drinks in the other, to welcome 2014.
All of the occupants of the local nightclubs ran out onto the beach too for the countdown. At midnight there was lots of whooping and yelling and kissing. It was quite euphoric. After the fireworks and celebrating, we looked further down the beach and noticed a large group of people had gathered at the other end of the cove. At first we wondered what they were doing, then we saw the lanterns launching into the sky. I can’t even describe to you how beautiful it was to watch hundreds of fire lanterns drifting up over the water and disappearing over the horizon. I felt like we were starring in our own Disney movie.
Our little party of four headed down the sand to observe the lanterns, and found that you could purchase the lanterns for a small amount of money. My husband Doug bought three – one for us, one for the Italian girls and one for us to take home as a souvenir. For a while we watched other tourists trying their luck with their lanterns. Most of them drifted up for a few moments then sank into the sea.
After a while the locals showed us how to light the lantern and demonstrated how to launch it, then explained that as we let it go we should make a wish for the year. No guesses what I was wishing for…
I was petrified that our lantern would sink into the sea and it would mean our wish wouldn’t come true. After a few seconds sure enough it started to fall rapidly. But then something awesome happened. Just as it was about to hit the water, a young local boy ran out into the shallows and caught it just in time. Then he helped us to relaunch our lantern. This time it drifted up and up and up and up and floated on forever until it disappeared over the horizon. Here’s a photo of our actual lantern as it floated away:
I felt like it was an amazing metaphor for our lives, and what I hope 2014 has in store for us. We tried our hardest to make a baby on our own, but even though we wished so desperately to succeed we couldn’t do it on our own. But then an expert jumped in and rescued us, and just like our lantern went all the way so will our dream to be parents. Together, we will make it through this and weather the storm. The wish I whispered into the lantern will come true. We are fighters, just like our lantern. With the right amount of help we will succeed in the end.
When we arrived in Kuala Lumpur I found out that 2014 was the year of the horse. I bought a pendant with the Chinese symbol for a horse on it because I’m trying so hard to feel strong and positive, and believe that 2014 will be our year. If this isn’t the year I have my baby, it will at least be the year I fall pregnant and stay pregnant.
I am keeping the pendant by my bedside, and every night I touch it and remind myself that 2014 is our year. It’s tremendously helping me to remain calm and positive. I even wore the pendant to the hospital this week when we had our egg pick-up. I felt comforted knowing it was there with me. It’s completely silly, especially because I don’t believe in religion and don’t have any real faith, but it’s helping me and that’s all that matters.
I will update you all on my IVF cycle tomorrow and how things are progressing. For now, here’s some photos. That’s kind of the same thing, right?
(the Italian girls launching their lantern)
(my first alcoholic cocktail in 3 years!)
(we had dinner beneath this tree!)
(relaxing afternoons at our hotel in Penang)