Sunday, 10 May 2015

The good life

When we moved into our house almost 8 years ago, I loved that the house backed on to allotments and one of the first things I did was put my name down for one. I did not expect that 7 years would go by without hearing anything about it, until one day in February when I got a phone call asking me if I was still interested in having one.

 It was about the same time that we had decided to adopt so I had to think, will I be taking on too much but how fantastic would it be to be able to teach the children about growing their own food, also I have always wanted chickens and there may be a possibility that we could get some in the future. It would be hard work getting it straight but it would be rewarding. I finally got my keys at Easter and set to work on my plot, plot 2 which consisted of 7 raised beds, a green house with very little glass in it and a huge amount of raspberry canes growing at the end, I'd already spotted rhubarb and strawberries growing in the raised bed and a huge bundle of chives.
      This is what it looked like when I first got it.

I was off for the Easter holidays, so I went on every other day and with the help of my mum, my friend Sandra, Matthew and my nephews Joshua, Thomas and Edward we managed to dig over all 7 beds.

     So by the end of the week it looked like this.

There was still weeding to do but I decided to weed as I go, I put the potatoes in first, then garlic and onions. We moved all the strawberries we had found to next to the rhubarb and I bought two tayberry plants so I put them there too.

The next week I sowed carrots, parsnips, beetroot and Swiss chard seeds. I'm not sure how well these will do I've never been too good at growing anything from seed, but as with everything on the allotment it's going to be trial and error.

The following week I sowed broad beans against the trellis and made two wigwams and sowed peas around it, the lady from the allotment next to mine (who also lives next door but one to me) on the left of the picture has been really nice and helping me with everything gave me 4 baby corn plants to plant, everyone on the allotment has been lovely, offering to lend me tools and wheelbarrows there are only 5 allotments and everyone I've met are so friendly.  

Which brings us to this week and this week I have planted broccoli, cauliflower and Savoy cabbage that I got from b&q for a pound each, I also have sown some turnips and leeks. I have sown some courgettes in between the peas and planted another row of red and white onions. My garlic, onions and potatoes have started to grow and I have spotted a gooseberry bush in between my rasberries and what looks like it maybe an apple tree. I have made two rhubarb crumble with my first harvest from the allotment and have given 5 people some rhubarb stalks and they are still going strong..I might make jam with some next, much to Matthew's disgust! (he doesn't like rhubarb)

    5 of the 7 beds now have things planted in them,
    ignore the nearest one, that's just weeds!

                           Apple tree???
    If you look closely you can spot a Gooseberry! 

It feels really great when I'm over there getting muddy, pulling out massive weeds and planting things and watching them grow although patience never was one of my strong points! So at the moment it's just hoping they will grow. I also have a little robin who keeps visiting me and I like to think its one of the ones from the nest last year.

I will keep you posted on how things progress, thanks for reading! 
Abigail x

Monday, 9 March 2015

Looking forward to the future!

Since my last blog something wonderful has happened -Matthew and I have decided to adopt!

Putting my inner most feelings out there for everyone to see actually meant that people spoke to me more about it and not just in a 'oh I feel so sorry for you' way. I had people contacting me and tell me about how they have suffered with infertility and decided to adopt and how they had felt then and how they now feel and everyone I spoke to about it, adoption seemed to make sense a little more to me.

 I spoke to someone at work who is in the process of adopting at the moment to ask how it had been for her, she was so enthusiastic about it that as soon as I went home I spoke to Matthew about it, we agreed that we should try to find out some more about it, so we emailed the local council adoption service and asked to speak to someone about it. We were there for over an hour talking, hearing about the stages of the adoption process and asking questions when we came away I didn't even need to ask Matthew if he wanted to do it I could tell by the look on his face that he was as excited about it as me. We talked all night about things we had never allowed ourselves to talk about, about what it would be like to have family holidays in Cornwall, about school Matthew would be in charge of helping with Maths and I would help with English, I could teach them to bake and Matthew could teach them to play the cornet. We also just both felt it was the right time we'd done our grieving and had two years enjoying being together and our relationship has gone from strength to strength but now this is what we both want.

It was like a weight had been lifted off us, everyone I've spoke to whose adopted has said that they thought of the process a bit like a pregnancy, this time is to prepare for having a family and I feel exactly the same way. Since deciding to adopt I haven't felt sad for not being able to give birth to my own children just excited for the life I can give to an adopted child or children.

The next day telling family and friends about our decision was a wonderful experience, seeing how happy our family are and how excited everyone is for us was amazing. I also felt quite emotional that I could at last talk about all these feelings I'd be suppressing about being a mummy.
The adoption process could take 6 months or longer, we are eager to get started and we have our first home visit this week. We have worked hard for the past two weeks, the house looked a bit like a bomb site we had dry rot in some of the floorboards downstairs so we had to take them out and replace them. We decided that whilst we were doing this we might as well do some much overdue decorating that needed doing. We are still not completely finished but we have done so much in this time that in the past would've taken us much longer, because it's given us a purpose, a need to get it done and the reward at the end of it all will be a family! 
Thanks for reading, 
Abigail x

Saturday, 24 January 2015

I sometimes wish people could see inside my head at the constant turmoil I have with myself. If I had more money I would do IVF again. It caused me so much pain and anguish but the hope is calling out to me again, I am finding it so hard to give up that we will never have children of my own, I will never know the feeling of a baby growing inside me, I will never go through that life changing experience of holding a new born baby and knowing that it's yours, I will never get to see what our baby would look like or which of our characteristic it would have. People might say it's only money, do it! but we cannot afford it, we would have to go into debt, being childless doesn't make you rich, we have spent money on holidays, experiences things that make us feel better but they were all frugally spent. If we had saved up for the last two years instead of these holidays we actually still wouldn't have enough for IVF and we would probably have gone mad. 
As a childless couple you feel like you don't belong anywhere in society, your on the outside looking in at what life is supposed to be like, for self preservation you distance yourself from people with children so it doesn't hurt so much, you can't join in with conversations about having kids. I have built up a shield I want to travel and try new things, somethings that people with children may find difficult to do and whilst we are travelling and doing all these different things I feel great and I wouldn't trade it for anything but you can't do these things constantly. 
When you're at home in the day to day you realise there is something missing and it hurts, it's like a grief but there is no death, no body to mourn, nobody sees the pain or understands it. I still have not come to terms with it, I try not to think about it or look on the bright side of life but it effects me daily. I'm not looking for sympathy I just want people to understand why I am like I am, why I find it so hard to be around pregnant women or babies or people with children it's not because I don't care it's because I'm sad and yes I'm jealous and it makes me feel like a horrible person.
We could go into debt for a chance to have a baby, We might try and try and try and never have a baby then I would have nothing left at the end but a debt that I have pay back and that stops us getting on with our lives.
On the other hand I could try and try and try and it could work we would still be in debt and struggle having all the extra cost of bringing up a child and paying off a debt.
Not enough is done to help people who go through IVF, the first IVF was funded through the nhs, when we first started trying the funding was for three lots of IVF but by the time it came around to us having it it had been cut to one. This put immense pressure on us hoping that everything would go right the first time. The second we only could do with by doing egg sharing to keep the costs down and Matt's mum and dad paid for it. Egg sharing can halve the cost of IVF but you have to give away half of your eggs that are retrieved at the egg collection -if you get an odd number, say 7 the person you are sharing with will get 4 and you will get 3 this is obviously before insemination and there is a chance that the fertilisation won't work, out of 3 we had two embryos which we had put back. The other thing that is quite hard is that you have to write a letter to the child that could be born from the donated egg explaining a bit about yourself and why you donated the egg, this is because upon their 18th birthday they can legally find out about you. This is awful it feels like you are writing a letter to a child you have given up. Something I'd never want to do. I could, if I wanted find out if my donated egg resulted in a birth, I have not yet done this and I don't know whether I will. So if I decide to do it again I also have to decide whether to go through this. 
You might think 'just adopt a child' but it would still mean coming to terms with not being able to give birth to our own child which is also so hard to think about.
I flit from one idea to another of what to do, all the time I'm getting older and will I at some point look back and regret my decision if I don't try again. Or someday realise I've been thinking about it so much I've missed my opportunity. I wish we didn't have these decisions to make, we are so indecisive at the best of times. I don't know what I hope to gain from telling you all this, no one can help us or tell us what to do we just have to make that decision ourselves. I think I just hope to be understood a little bit better, it's not something that's really spoken about so it can feel very lonely at times.