Easter/ANZAC Day break…..take 3 days off work and end up with 10 days off. Bliss. It’s fantastic when public holidays fall just in the right place. So we’ve taken the three days off and have headed to my in-laws holiday home on Great Barrier Island with my in-laws. What?!? With the in-laws you say?!? Yes, and I’m pleased to report that, while things are not quite back to the way they used to be, we’re well on our way to being a cohesive family once again. In fact, things have been really lovely. There’s a small feeling of everyone being on their best behaviour but overall it’s been a nice relaxing break.
We’ve been out on the boat fishing (successfully), we sent the boys in snorkelling for crayfish (the NZ kind, similar to lobster), we’ve wandered along multiple beaches, explored rock pools, paddled in the waves, been out to collect shellfish (cockles, pipis, oysters and mussels) at low tide, had copious amounts of reading/relaxation time (hence the multiple blog posts)….and so far we’ve only been here 4 days.
I’ve been having a marvellous time but, as always, infertility and children are never far from my mind. Despite the numerous enjoyable experiences we’ve had over the last few days, during nearly every one of them I’ve thought “I may never be able to teach our child this” or “I may never get to experience this with our child”. Digging in the sand for cockles and pipis, their first snorkelling trip, learning to catch fish, frolicking in the waves, checking out various animals (like the cool little octopus we found) in rock pools. I find it sad that, no matter how hard I try, infertility is taking even my happy moments away from me. Or, maybe not taking them away but tarnishing them with a shadow of sadness, a grey cloud on a sunny day that momentarily blocks out the light.
I’ve also had the misfortune of choosing books that focus around kids when picking my holiday reading, particularly ones revolving around the mistreatment of kids or families. It’s not at all on purpose or even conscious – I was given a Kindle loaded with books for my birthday and have been selecting books at random to read without investigating the book description. Am I subconsciously drawn to covers or titles that highlight the deficit in my life or enflame my horror at the wrongs done to children? I don’t think so as looking back at them now they give no indication of the drama within. Perhaps it’s just bad luck….or not bad luck as the books were really good reads. It’s extraneous anyway, my mind is never far from our childlessness regardless of what appears in front of me.
I think the lesson here is to try to focus on the good and accept that while this journey continues there will always be some aspect of sadness that colours each occasion. We’ve packed a raft of different fun things into a short amount of time. The weather has been fantastic even though the forecast was for thunderstorms. We’ve dined to excess on fresh ocean delicacies. And we’ve rebuilt the relationship with my husband’s parents (definitely one of the main highlights of this trip). So regardless of infertility’s loaming shadow I’m determined to make the most of this holiday. Fuck you infertility, this is me attempting to reclaim my life.