Sunday, February 27, 2011

Icy and sugar free

It's an icy lemon squash kind of day here in Queensland today. And I found one that is sugar free and actually does not taste like aspartame's ass.

What is it about the term sugar free that induces instant piousness? Like the fat chick who orders a supersized Whopper meal - with extra cheese and an ice-cream sundae...and then orders loud-voicely "just a small diet coke also please". Good girl, watching your calories like that.

Thing is, give it 10 years and Lancet will be printing studies about the various dangers of all the other shit they put in these sugar-free drinks to make them taste, uh, sugary. You know the ones, they end in -alanine and -oxydotol.

But if they contain all those acids and preservatives, won't we live longer? They are essentially pickling us, after all.

Anyway, sugar-free lemon squash is my beverage of choice while blogging this afternoon. Just thought you'd like to know.

Yesterday's beverage du jour was beer, Stella in fact. Just one schooner, as I was driving, but goodness I could have had at least four more.

And that is saying something as just six days before I was doing the "I'm never drinking again" thing, hungover as shit after my partner's 40th. (Happy birthday darling.) All it took was eight Asahis and I was a bed-ridden cactus that threw up twice the next day. Trust me, that is not a cactus you want in your garden.

Flaming Mojave Desert, I was sick.

It was buggeringly hot last weekend and I swear I ate a dodgy Ho Mai concoction (although that is unfair to Ho Mai, makers of the finest fake supermarket yum cha selections in history, so I take that back - but I am lying to myself and to you: there was no dodgy food poisoning here. I am simply soft and unable to hold my liquor.) There I said it - and yes alright I will admit it outside the comfort of those brackets back there. I. Am. Soft.

But a schooner here or there is ok. The occasion yesterday was a wonderful catch-up with two gorgeous friends, former workmates - the ones who have seen the light. Haha.

I have blogged about one of them previously. We were pregnant at almost exactly the same time until I lost the baby.

She is mere weeks away from giving birth so her girth is cause of much mirth. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Well it was generally mirthful until she started reacting to the baby moving, causing our other friend to put his hand on her belly. I was sitting on the other side of the table and thought for a split-second about reaching over for a feel, but withdrew.


Well, at that moment, it was confronting. I could see her top shifting a little as the baby's limbs moved under her skin, causing the slightest slide up and then down, casting a miniscule shadow to break across the fabric of her top before disappearing.

I felt the tiniest tear well up at that point and stayed silent. I think...maybe I talked about something else, or looked at the boats on the water nearby. I can't remember, but a sudden, gripping feeling of..."I want that" just choked me.

And I am sorry to write this down, because I suspect these two amazing people will most likely read this and feel bad. Don't. Please.

So you didn't give that a second thought at the time? You didn't notice anything at all afterwards? Good. I don't want you to.

As I have explained before, that is no sort of friendship if one party feels they have to censor themselves.

Stuff has been building for me this past fortnight. And again, like the weeks after we lost the baby where I would see baby-related things literally EVERYWHERE I turned, and so it is happening again now: near to my due date.

I came to work on Monday last week to hear three people I knew had had babies over the weekend. Then a high-profile contact at work announced she was pregnant, someone else got a positive pregnancy test, heavily pregnant women seem to cross my path with unnerving regularity and just this morning as I walked through the markets my nan pointed out a random sign on a stall warning about the dangers of mobile phones when you are pregnant.

Now I absolutely rationally know that nan, like my friends, would in no way have thought a completely innocuous gesture like that would make me feel terrible. So I cannot rationally A) make them aware of that (except via this blog, um?) or B) be angry with them about it.

And I am not suggesting that I take away from my friend that amazing experience of having her baby move inside her, and wanting to share it with her friends. That's what pregnant people do.
The thing is, it's all so fleeting. Maybe on another day, I would have reached over to feel her belly and been completely fine about it. And as I have explained before, whatever "bad" stuff I might feel is not something I hang onto.

So the tears started for a nanosecond there yesterday...but they were gone in a flash. Alright part of that is self-preservation, but part of it is trying to stay healthy mentally...and of course continue to honour the fantastic relationships I have with friends and family. I know I would absolutely hate it if people I liked to have around me felt they were on egg shells whenever we met.

Maybe I am stupid for writing it down here...and I am probably selfish for doing so. Because, like last year, Blogger is better than any therapist I've ever known. So, sorry, but don't take it on board or make it alter your behaviour around me.

This is a glimpse into how I felt for a fleeting moment one Saturday afternoon. Know what? Next Saturday, I am sure it will be very different.

Hmm, I am clearly formulating my application letter for Ramblers Anonymous here, but I hope some of this makes sense.

The next few weeks will be tough. March 5 will be tougher. But it is a mere moment in time. I'll be right.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Letter to the editor

I was compelled to take angry fingers to increasingly yielding keyboard this week upon reading a letter to the editor from one of the many right-wing bigots I am unfortunate enough to share my part of Australia with.
Here, first is the letter and below is my reply, which appeared in today's paper.

Legislation for same-sex marriages has been tabled in parliament. This is a recipe for disaster that will have far-reaching consequences.
The strength of society’s fabric is to large degree in the strength of the family unit.
The homosexual community would like to redefine society to suit their self-interested agendas which will be to the detriment of all that we value dearly – family and marriage.
Our government is based on the Westminster Legal System which is based on the 10 Commandments of the Judeo-Christian Faith. These laws are the foundation to a society that works well and has the blessings of the Almighty God. Marriage between man and woman has long been God’s idea, as has been procreation.
Shall we also toss out our current legal system one brick at a time and have the homosexual community rewrite it their way.
I certainly won’t be silent as they steamroll their way under a thin guise of “tolerance”. They are certainly not tolerant of anyone who has a difference of opinion.
Do we really want homosexuals running Australia when the majority of us value marriage and family as it has always been known?
I’m certainly not homophobic and I for one understand the sexual brokenness that underpins the choices they make. For many of them their brokenness is too painful for them to even contemplate.
All the same, I am a mother and I also have the right to advocate for what are better choices for our children. Same-sex marriages are certainly not about children and the children’s needs. Hence I will protect the values I hold dear to – marriage between a man and woman to the exclusion of all others. This creates a solid foundation for a stronger society in which to raise children.
What the homosexuals do in their private lives should not become a public endeavour for all to accept their choices by legislation. Let it remain as a private matter and let the definition of marriage remain as that of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. Our children deserve the best.
I strongly urge all citizens who value family and marriage to speak up about these attempts to redefine who we are in Australia.
Together we can avert this disaster and protect what we value dearly - marriage and family.
LEA JOHNSON, Noosa Heads.

Now, I could have gone for the throat, I really could have...but decided against vitriol.

So Lea Johnson believes marriage between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others “creates a solid foundation for a stronger society in which to raise children”.
Not sure what planet she is living on, but I don’t particularly see marriage working brilliantly out there in the community.
So, the “majority”, she says, value marriage and family “as it has always been known”.
Not sure which majority she is referring to, especially when current data proves a lot of people don’t in fact value it at all.
Ever heard the oft-quoted “one in three marriages ends in divorce” line?
There were 120,118 marriages registered in Australia in 2009, according to the ABS.
In the same year, there were 49,488 divorces. Almost 50,000 people who clearly don’t value marriage as highly as you naively do.
You claim you are not homophobic in the same panicked breath as declaring some rot about a homosexual movement steamrolling its way into “running Australia” and daring to be treated the same as everyone else.
News flash, Lea, we are all human. No other person, church, authority or state has any right whatsoever to decide one person is more entitled than another. Unless of course a crime has been committed, and last time I looked, homosexuality was not a crime.
“The strength of society’s fabric is to a large degree in the strength of the family unit.”
I couldn’t agree more. So why deny two people who love each other? Why deny two people who want to make a commitment to having a go at creating their own family unit?
Some might not get it right, like those 50,000 others, but some might do it well and stitch a defining thread in that social fabric of which you speak. You know the one, it changes all the time, to reflect the colours and textures of each generation.
This is not a self-interested agenda. This is an attempt at equality. An equality that has been enjoyed and sometimes destroyed by heterosexual couples for hundreds of years.
Why not let them in? Who knows, that divorce rate may actually decline...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wait, breathe, settle

Pop quiz.
Would the following five things inspire A) confidence, B) indifference or C) shit-scaredness in your new IVF doctor.

1. Hearing him say, upon noticing a connection to the suburb in which you live. “(Suburb), hey? I was there only last week. Friends of my wife have a house up there...spent the whole weekend getting pissed.”
2. Watching him drop a pen, drop a file, drop a pen again and then ask our names three times because “I’ve got another donor insem. couple coming in right after you and I don’t want to get you mixed up.”
3. Listening to him go off on a Groucho Marx riff after he has asked you to hop up on the table for an internal exam because he is a gynaecologist and he can’t let an appointment go by without a bit of a spread-eagled visual and besides, in his line of work, he charms the pants off the ladies – and their knickers too.
4. Asking what T did for a job and, upon hearing she was a hairdresser, boomily remark that he needed a “fucking haircut”, followed by a cursory glance at our three-year-old, who was staring up at him in timid bafflement.
5. Watching as his Ada and Elsie receptionists greet you as a new patient and then make you stand at the counter for, oh, four score and 20 lifetimes while they painstakingly write down your details in a pen-and-ink cardboard-type fashion as if you are back in Year 7 and watching the library lady draw up a new card for her lovingly maintained filing system.
Holy Huey, Louie and Dewey Decimal System, Bat Man!!


If you answered mostly Cs, you and I are as shit-scared as each other. But comically in, I am laughing now, but I am only a few teeny facial muscles away from that laugh turning to a grimace of holy shitly proportions.

I walked out of our appointment last Wednesday with one thought: sweet Lordy Brown, that man is going to be good fodder for this blog.

However I have to hope that we won’t be seeing him for more than the two more appointments we need to have another transfer.


We are aiming for April.

Trying again.


Always means Easter to me, and all those years in Catholic school weren’t for nothing, with a double negative emphasis!
Easter means new life.
Says so, right there in that Bible thing.


Now for us, it’s also a big time of hope. But hope with a lid on it. Hope with a “throw your gut feelings out the window” and this time actually do what you tried to tell everyone you were doing last time: just take the ride where it takes you.

Let it go.

And try not to think ahead. Don’t worry about the 12-week scan. You are not there yet, lady!

Wait, breathe, settle.

And for god’s sake don’t stress about the doc. This is what it says about him on the website:
"A founding member of QFG, Dr John Hynes has over 25 years of experience in infertility treatment. He is well known for the great rapport he establishes with his patients, and he is particularly popular among same sex couples.
A genuine pioneer in infertility, Dr Hynes achieved his first triplet pregnancy from IVF 21 years ago and one of the first successful frozen egg pregnancies in Australia in 2006."

Ahh, I feel better already.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hello February

And hello to my good mate with the stunningly stylish blog sign-off font, Toushka.

Like Clayton's, the fake scotch that carried the tagline "the drink you're having when you're not having a drink", I am on Twitter, but I'm not on Twitter. If you know what I mean.

After much in-principle resistance, I signed up as a way mostly to plug blog posts and chat to a few friends. But unlike some people I follow who seem to take much joy in Tweeting their existence ad nauseam and on the second, days and weeks can go by without me even so much as clicking into the site. Some days, I must admit, I forget it's there and thank god I did the autofill thing on my computer, because I have no idea what my password is.

Anyway, I hopped on there tonight after an email alerted me to a new follower (yay Vote4Africa! Um?). That's right, Twitter. And thanks to the marvel that is the "new" Twitter, I am able to type in my user name and check out who's saying what about me - it's like my high school self has hired an all-seeing and all-knowing invisible PI, it's great. Haha.

And there, the lovely Toushka has alerted me to her version of a bloggy award. That's right, she gave me one! Naww. Shame it was two days ago - sorry!

Firstly, I must say thank you with as much intent as I can muster. And for me, that involves reproducing the word in as many languages as I can think of at this moment (and given the horrid humidity, my tiredness and lateness of the hour, do not expect the list to be long): danka, grazie, merci, xi xi, m'goi, grazias, and that's about it. Thanks! Did I mention you are lovely?

My dear, I humbly accept. Both the award and your challenge. Here's a bit of a rundown in case you didn't click on the above link:

"I will accept the awards - tell you 7 things about myself and then list 10 blogs I love and why I love them and am passing the awards on to). The writers of these blogs can accept without doing anything. Or they can chose to play the game and play by the rules"
Smart, huh?

Seven things about me. Easy, I'm a Leo: are you sure you only have time for seven?

1. I adore musicals. Yes I am gay. No I am not a gay man. I regularly go to sleep at night imagining myself as the lead in Chicago. Regularly. I often fall asleep with a smile. And a wicked point-kick-ball change-pivot flourish. And a black bowler hat sliding to the floor from my fingers as I drift off...pop! Six! Squish! Uh huh! Cicero!

2. I adore words. I'm a journo, it comes with the territory.

3. I am a gay woman, as previously noted, but I am in love with a boy. He is three, he is my son and he is the most spectacular centre of my universe. I would be lost without him, so let's stop talking about it!

4. I adore tuna, but DO NOT DARE CONTAMINATE IT WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES, OIL, BRINE or any of that other weird shit. Make mine springwater, man, and NOTHING else.

5. I wish I had more time to paint and play piano. Oh, and the weeds in my veggie garden need urgent attention also. (These activities listed in priority order.)

6. Speaking of wishes, I desperately so to be pregnant. Some of you know it happened, and then stopped happening last year. I feel that experience is defining me less and less. Some sort of progress.

7. That desperation has turned to quiet intent and a much more relaxed approach to it all. I am looking forward to 2011, literally and figuratively.

So, here's my top 10.
Rosie at Rosie's Growing Snow Peas. Haven't heard from her in a little while, but wonderful musings from a fellow same-sexer on IVF and now pregnancy.

The gorgeous Nikki at Styling You. This chick is switched on to fashion and has a fabulous take on life. Plus her blog is funny, easy to relate to and looks damn pretty too.

The gorgeous Stacey at Veggie Mama. One of my best friends, so I'm biased. Say a bad word against her food blog, and you'll have me to deal with. (And I came *this* close to getting my taekwondo black belt, alright??)

Sunshine Coast artist Denise Daffara is whimsy personified and a delightful soul.

A Story of Two Moms who happen to have TRIPLETS!

Lori at Random Ramblings of a SAHM has been to hell and...actually I'm not sure she's back yet. Compelling reading here.

The completely lovely Ash at Mm is for Me who has no flaws and is an amazingly giving and beautiful soul.

Stephen at The Australian Gay and Lesbian Law Blog. Vital information.

Sass at Life Of The Bees is so down to earth, you are mixing with the plant roots. Funny. Brilliant.

And finally, Dusty Dexter (not her real name). Funky crime novel soon to start continuous play in my local newspaper.

You are all brilliant and I am proud to bestow this enormous* honour upon you!

I am now exhausted. Now to click Publish and see if all these bloody links have worked.
*ok so it's not that big.