Meet Elsabe, also a blogger, who has something special to teach us about not letting your life hang in the balance while waiting for your child, and treasuring every moment with your kids when they are here. She is my latest in the series Mothers After Infertility.
About Me: Tell us some background about yourself, if you work, and what your interests and passions are.
I’m a Blogging mom that’s suffering from (but mostly enjoying) ADD… Some people think I’m flaky but mostly I think it makes me fun and interesting. My interests go as far as the deepest ocean and as high as the sky, maybe because I can’t focus on one thing at a time but mainly because it involves art, history, sports, parenting, literature and entertainment. Oh yes and I’m a photographer and designer… Makes sense that I would blog come to think of it!
My husband loves to tell this story… We were in the same school in Robertsson, Western Cape (also where I was born and matriculated) so one holiday we went to the same Land Sevice camp at Marloh Nature reserve in Swellendam. He (then in 11th grade) sat under the stars alone one night, praying about his future wife when I, the hyper social 9nth grader butterfly saw him sitting there alone and thought I just had to go and ask if he was ok. I joined him in conversation there under the stars and he fell in love immediately.
I was a little between guys but we did go out a little until things got too serious for me. After five years of him trying to get me back and me being very nasty to get him OFF my back he decided to let me go. I was in Namibia dancing and singing for my second year (oh did I mention that) in a musical theatre company called C-Kruis (now 13th Floor) when I suddenly realised I can’t stop thinking about him. It hit me like a rock… I’ve always been in love with him, my best friend!
I told him as soon as we got back to SA and of course he had to pull my leg. He told me that I’ve been dodging him for five years, so we should rather wait another five years to make sure that I’m really into him. I totally went with it… He asked me out the next day! After 7 months, in my third year of musical theatre we got engaged and got married right after.
About Infertility: Tell us your infertility (or loss) story. It can be as brief or as long as you feel comfortable sharing.
This story still breaks and shakes my heart… I wanted children since I can remember. As a child I always played I had twins, a boy and a girl and I started babysittling as soon as I got old enough. When we got married we agreed to wait two years. Two long years for me until the actual waiting came. After almost 6 years of trying and a terrible miscarriage inbetween that involved me knocking down a pedestrian with my car, we eventually got pregnant via IVF. We put back two remaining embryos on day three after fertilization after five others faded away quickly… We had to move fast to keep them. Thank God both took and I further had a fairly eventless pregnancy and birth.
We are a family of four and yes, pretty sure we’ll keep it that way… everyone asks cause we got a boy and a girl. Blessed beyond measure! We love doing things together… We have a quad bike on the farm and we go cycling with the kids on carriers and on a children’s bike trailer. I love to see us as the Incredibles… We’re awesome but I have to think that, I’m the mother 😉 The twins are two and a half and they love a lot and they fight a lot. I do lots of toddler activities with them which I share on my blog when I can… Don’t tell anyone but I love it so much I think we’re heading towards a homeschooling family!
How has infertility affected your parenting?
I think I’m a lot more over protective then I would be. I waited and waited and prayed and prayed for them, and after that I looked at them when they were fertilized eggs and prayed over them to multiply. When they were put into my uterus I prayed for them to hold on and snuggle deep into my lining and when they were 7 days old I got the positive test. I was aware of them from the beginning so it makes me want to protect them and cherish them so much. The fact that I had IVF made me sure I never want to go through the trying and the miscarriages and the struggling again and the fact that I ended up with twins due to infertility also makes me treasure every moment because I know I only got to be pregnant once and won’t experience it again. Every phase I will experience for the first and the last time and the kids will leave school at the same time. They only have 18 years in my house and I’m making it count!
How do you find it affecting your life, even now?
I think I still have some scars that has to get healed in my marriage from before the children. I also sort of waited for 6 years and can’t help to think what I could have done in those years… some of my best years wasted by waiting. I have to get up where I left now and are only starting to put all the pieces together now that my children are getting bigger and I have more time to get up!
My Advice: What is your advice for those still in the trenches of infertility, or for those trying again?
Don’t wait but never give up! Don’t wait your time over by focusing so much on having children that you leave everything else in your life hanging… there’s so much you can do in that time, try to make it count. About not giving up… For as long as you don’t have peace, don’t give up but if you eventually have peace to go in a certain direction, do it! Even if you choose to adopt or stay childless it won’t be giving up, it will be a choice. Have peace and be free in your choice.
If you’d like to participate in my series, email email@example.com. Thanks!