You Capture - Hope

The theme for You Capture this week is Hope. Being a generally optimistic person, I'm always hoping for things. I hope, for example, that it will rain when I need to get the groceries, because I love walking in the rain (wish granted today!).

I hope that when peak oil strikes, instead of all moaning and groaning about how we can't use our cars anymore, we all gaily begin riding bicycles festooned with wicker baskets and flowers, therefore averting the need to invade oil-producing countries and/or start an energy war (admittedly I don't have very high hopes for this one, but I hope nonetheless)

I hope that loads of friends come around and drink tea out of my lovely vintage tea cups, which have been wrapped in newspaper and lurking around in boxes for far too long. None of the rental places we had before we bought this house were worthy of the tea cups, but now that are out. Hoorah!

I often find myself hoping to have more children. This is a very foolish hope indeed, since you can't actually have a child without a uterus (it was removed in an emergency operation when Grumbles was born - you can read the grisly details here, but be warned: this story is not for the faint-hearted). Yet still I find myself wishing for another little one. I imagine their sweet ducking hair, their chubby little fingers, their own particular quirks and traits. I imagine the clothes I would have made for them, and the way they might like to be tickled, or how they would like to crawl into our bed in the wee hours, and how their sweet eyelashes flutter as they snore gently through the night. I stand there, frozen mid-task, letting them run amok in my imagination for a few blissful moments before I remember, like a stab to the heart, that it's not possible, and I'd best put those thoughts back into a box marked "Do Not Open Unless You Want To Do Your Own Head In."

I hate that bloody box. And I hate how flat I feel after my thud back to earth. So I spend a couple of minutes hoping to feel better, and after a couple of hours have passed I usually do.

And then Grumbles tells me she wishes she has a brother or a sister, and my heart explodes in my chest into a thousand sharp shards of glass all over again.

I hope Grumbles has a happy life, but one with it's fair share of challenges to remind her that complacency can be just as much as a danger as a comfort. I hope that she knows that she can make the changes she want to see, and that she has the courage of her convictions when action is required. I hope that she continues evolving, and spends a wonderful life learning and marvelling at the world she is a part of.

I hope I make a difference to you, reading my little old blog. I hope that whatever I write somehows makes your day a little bit better. You've taken the time to come and visit - I hope that you like what you find. And I hope you keep coming back for more!

Happy weekend, folks. Hopefully on Monday I'll have a painted green dress to show you. One last hope: that it doesn't look as serpentine in the photos as I fear it might!

bt –   – (1:37 pm)  

Dear Jorth,
I have read this blog for a while and it does make a difference to me, so thank you.
And I am struggeling with issues of my own as a woman and the possibility that I may never have a child at all, so I get that too. I guess we all have some things that are harder to get over than others, and situations that we need to really work at to make peace with.
But we can all hope for that peace to come, and if you hold out hoping for that rain it is always extra special when you find that rainbow as well.
Peace and happiness to you

Robyn –   – (2:23 pm)  

That's a beautiful post - your comments always make me smile but this one is extra special.

love  – (2:32 pm)  

this is my first time to your blog. i LOVE the teacup picture.

not to discount what you say about longing to have a children, but i just wanted to say that we just had a child through adoption and i love him just as fiercly...just as viscerly...as the children that grew in my womb.

best wishes!

Fer  – (3:09 pm)  

Your blog is a joy to read, and can usually guarantee a giggle or two.

I read (or heard) a quote somewhere that if we have no hope, then we die. So I'll just keep on hoping.

I'm so sorry you can't have more children, it must make Grumbles even more dear to you - at least you have her. I've had a miscarriage since having my wee girl, and it's her that kept my spirits up (and hubby).

Fer  – (3:24 pm)  

Oh shit, I just went and read Grumbles birth story, and I cried. It's such a beautiful story though.

Lara  – (5:48 pm)  

You always make me smile, and I keep coming back :)

Rachel  – (7:12 pm)  

Knowing how bright and sunshiney you are in 'real life' after your experience is such a pleasure. Your family are so lucky to have such a lovely mummy/wife/daughter.

I can't imagine not having a lovely, happy and fulfilling life with a mum like you.

nikkishell  – (8:46 pm)  

You make me smile and those days that we work together all that more special ;)

nikkishell  – (8:47 pm)  

PS Can i have the yellow teacup when you invite me round for tea?

Jenny –   – (9:23 pm)  

Lovely, touching post, Jorth.
I enjoy your blog very much. You make a difference to my day/s!

Anonymous –   – (11:21 pm)  

Ahhh the box ..... how well you describe it. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Laura Jane  – (12:19 am)  

You make a difference to me, Jorth.

I read your story of Grumble's birth with an insider knowledge as a midwife, and my heart aches for you. I have been on the outside of the bed, in labour ward and in theatre responding to the emergency of catastrophic haemorrhage, and occasionally there is an outcome such as yours.

It is a bittersweet triumph for all concerned. One focuses on the life saved, and truly that is a major victory. It is a joy to hear of the life you went on to live, and the family life you nurture with your daughter, but I feel, most deeply, the sadness of women whose childbearing options are so cruelly limited. One woman had such an event after her fifth child, and she still felt ripped off.

I have sat with husbands as they wait, stricken with shock, unable to respond to their newborn child so avidly awaited, as the teams work on the wife to limit the damage, and preserve fertility. It is a confronting time, where the marriage vows are played out as they face the possibility of losing their soulmate.

Oh, darling, it sucks all around, except in one direction (that you're here). I won't say be grateful for that, as it is a separate issue. I hear your pain.

Thanks for sharing.

Lena  – (4:25 am)  

What a raw and beautiful post.
I'm sorry you've been dealt this hand, moms are a strong breed, and I'm sure you'll make the best of the situation with time.
There are never dead-ends, just opportunities to redefine our understandings and beliefs.
In the meantime, I hope those heart wrenching moments come less frequently and you continue to find joy in your little girl!

Life with Kaishon  – (10:12 am)  

I am afraid to read it. I can't handle grizzly details. One time I saw a picture of a brand new baby being born and I had to look away. I mean it is amazing and wonderful but also ... well you know : )

Maybe you could adopt. I think it is the single greatest blessing of my life.

Violet and Rose  – (7:54 pm)  

I think that sometimes we live out our lives in our minds and we have preconceived ideas as to how it will play out.

Sometimes, it lives up to our expectations.

Often, it doesn't. When it doesn't, I go through all the how's, why's.

And then I remind myself that I am not in control of this ride. Who said it had to be how I wanted it to be?

And sometimes, when I least expect it, it turns out even better than I could ever have imagined.

I love reading your blog. And stalking you via McDonalds commercials.

I hope you keep blogging for a long time to come X

cherri  – (11:45 pm)  

As a follower of your delightful blog I am saddened to read that your heart is breaking. Wanting for a child is all too consuming. I hope that somehow you will find a way to move on...you do need to. I think you have been blessed in many other ways though, a very pretty daughter/model for your very pretty creations, a wonderful talent in writing, a wonderful humour and obviously a wonderful heart. Take care and try and stay positive.

Cherri

Anonymous –   – (6:26 am)  

Thank you for sharing such personal thoughts Jorth in such an authentic way. It's always surprising to find out that someone who is beautiful, slim and also suffers like the rest of us.

I'm so sorry for your pain. I am 45 have a fully functional uterus and yet I don't have any children.

The reason is prosaic: bad luck with men and marriage. Even if Mr. Right walked into my life tomorrow and by some miracle I became pregnant immediately, a pregnancy in one's mid 40s is high risk. So, it's nearly guaranteed that I will never be a mother to even one child. (I can’t afford adoption either.)

No matter what our problems, things could be worse. I'm fortunate to have three whacky kids under the age of 6 in my life whom I've know since birth. They are my nieces and nephew and they squeal with delight and attack me with hugs whenever I see them.

My eldest niece (age 5 1/2) has a Grumbles vibe to her (in fact, she could certainly be nicknamed Grumbles The Second or Grumbles in G Minor). I want to sew for her but I'm afraid of making something and then having her hate it. (She's quite opinionated.) So I've been showing her Japanese pattern books and photos online trying to get a sense of what she'll go for.

Recently we went through your Grumbles pics. My niece loved Grumbles! One of the first things she asked when we started to look at the pics was "What's her name?" I told her I didn't know and what did she think her name was. Without hesitation, my niece said "Daisy!" So that's what we called Grumbles from then on.

I'm a big believer in rational emotive/cognitive therapy to get me through the rough spots in life. This type of therapy is one of the few scientifically proven ways to lift depression. But it can also help lift an ordinary blue mood.

I am currently reading "How to Make Yourself Happy and Remarkably Less Disturbable" by the late great Albert Ellis. (Terrific title and the book delivers on its promise.)

Ellis, a prolific author of books for lay people and professional therapists, is commonly known as the father or rational-emotive behavioral therapy (REBT). He posits that nothing in life is truly awful (I know, sounds harsh, but stick with me). By saying something is awful, we are basically saying that it should never happen. But since it *does* happen, calling it awful (or horrible or whatever) does us no good and usually leads to unhappiness and depression.

REBT helps people dispute the irrational thoughts that lead to unhappy/dark feelings ("Not having kids is horrible! I can't stand it! I would have been a great mother, why is life is so unfair?") and replace them with rational thoughts ("This is not what I hoped for, but life is just life. The universe has not singled me out for punishment. It's unfortunate I don't have kids of my own, but I do have delightful nieces and a nephew who truly love me. I can be a great aunt.")

If the issue of not being able to have another baby is causing you unbearable sadness, please consider cognitive therapy or REBT from a trusted professional, or reading some of the excellent books written by reputable authors. I recommend the work of Martin Seligman ("Authentic Happiness," "Learned Optimism") Albert Ellis and David D. Burns. (Btw, reading such books is called "bibliotherapy" and has been shown in a published scientific study to be beneficial in helping lift mood.)

Psychologist Dan Gilbert teaches one of the most popular courses at Harvard University. No surprise: his class is on happiness. In this brief TED video he challenges the notion that if we don't get what we want, we won't be happy http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy.html

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