so … this is 40.

Here I am.

Standing somewhere far away from the curious young lass that nearly ten years ago travelled the yellow brick road to down under only to wander back to her small hometown years later to plant seeds; to see her roots grow.

Here I am.

Leaning into the woman I am intentionally becoming while reminiscing about childhood reels of sweet sisterhood and summertime camping; adolescent memories of blue and gold; and twenty-something nostalgia of beautiful ambition, lost love and broken hearts.

Here I am.

Embracing my final hours as a tenacious tricenarian; gently and graciously reflecting on the past decade that inspired many new chapters in this gift that is my life. A chapter about recovering loudly and proudly sober. A chapter about becoming an entrepreneur, good cause enthusiast, community advocate and politician. A chapter about navigating my mental health through tireless therapy and igniting my physical fitness. A chapter about connecting my head to my heart and opening myself up to loving a kind, endearing man who unearthed in me the desire to be a mother. And thus the journey began.

Here I am.

Writing this on the eve of my 40th trip around the sun overcome with melancholy and mad love. Melancholic for what we’ve endured these past two years. Madly in love with the humans that make up my village and for who my heart beats. Happy I am for my place and purpose in this universe yet emotionally fatigued from the fertility challenges we’ve faced in our pursuit to welcome a wildling into our lives. I did not expect our path to parenthood to be easy nor did I imagine it would be this difficult, lonely and complicated.

So, here I am.

Sharing this part of our story for the first time out loud because it feels right. And because I need a release. I need to connect with others who are on a similar journey or who have experienced infertility themselves. Perhaps someone reading this will know that they are not alone. Writing has always been a cathartic practice for me. An open journal for healing. For grieving. For understanding.

For letting it go.

No one walks the same footsteps this I know. I’m mindful too that I barely have a clue what motherhood, pregnancy, labour or raising a child entails. But I know I’ll make a good mother and Dames a good father. You should see him with little ones. He’d be so proud as a dad. So loving and warm. It aches that he isn’t one yet. A vision of our future family keeps me going.

I acknowledge that every situation is different. I’m very aware that that we can’t control biology or nature. My eggs are old and we’re working with post and pre cancer frozen sperm. I’m proud of us because we’re doing everything to influence a positive outcome but after two years of financial, emotional and relational burnout, one round of IVF and four IUIs we’re nearing our last precious moment – our final attempt to conceive.

Last year, just before Christmas, our fertility specialist told us that our chances of getting pregnant using our goods was 5% if at all. We were presented the option of trying IVF with a donor egg to which we said yes. Thus our precious moment. Our whole future in the fate of a stranger’s egg. I’m trusting the process. I’m holding faith. I’m hopeful for a healthy embryo and eventually a wee babe.

Unfolding in parallel to our fertility chronicles is our adventure into adoption. With time passing it made sense to open this door too. Regardless of what happens next we will not close it. We have already walked through. Intensive and invasive as it is we’re not turning back. We’re persevering, determined to become parents. How that happens we don’t know but we do know that it will happen.

It just has to.

So, here I am.

Gazing at the moon on a river boat while the sun sets on the final hours of 39 glorious years. And while the last two have been heartbreaking and devastating they’ve also been enlightening and fascinating.

The realization of wanting to be a mother well beyond my most fertile years. Colliding with my northern star and love of my life. Understanding my body and strengthening my health. Seeking spiritually. Practicing patience and grace. Cultivating the courage to write these words. Exhaling as I turn the proverbial life page.

To celebrate a birthday.

To continue this chapter.

To accept this journey as part of our story.

To continue to play, rest and build community.

To move forward as we plan for a family.

To dream of the day when we get a positive pregnancy test or an adoptive parent match.

I am fortunate to know love in so many ways. As a sister, as a daughter, as a partner, as a friend, as an auntie. As a woman warrior.

And some day soon it’ll be an honour to know love as a mother too.

So, here I am.

40 years old. Telling my story. No longer at the beginning rather somewhere in the middle. The part where hope floats and stars shine. Where the space in between idles and the wind blowing is from the wings of a stork that is flying towards us. It’s compass will find us. It’s just a matter of time.

While we wait and do the work I’ll continue to smile. And cry. Take the vitamins. Read the books. Go to the appointments. Pay for the (very) expensive treatments and applications. Apply the cream. Sleep with the crystals under my pillow. Say some prayers. Write my affirmations. Go to acupuncture. Take the shots. Complete our Homestudy. Appreciate my fiancée. Envy the mothers around me. Learn from them. Look up to them. Respect them. Have joy for them. Hug my nieces and nephews. Ask my mama for a hug. Wipe the tears. Love on. Remember to Keep Going as the Modest Maverick says.

Here I am. Right now. Becoming 40. The year of reflection and optimism. I don’t regret any of it. And I look forward to everything that has yet to happen.

Gratitude to you for reading along. Whatever you may be going through please know that I’m holding space for you too.

Mad love, Nicxo

This winter was transformational for me – a seismic shift in perspective and attitude. I took it all out on my xc skis and thankfully the forest and the snow comforted me with their glacial beauty.

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