Infertility is a fucking bitch.


There are two things at the forefront of my mind as I near what feels like the senior class of my infertility (or what some might more accurately say, sub-fertility”) schooling.

Is it worth it? and When will I know?

Five years, three miscarriages and all the investigations, interventions and emotions that go with it and I’m trying to build strategies and answer some big life questions.

  1. Why do I want a child? The word I used to use was children, by the way.  But really. Is parenthood really what I need to fulfil myself or it is motivated by some kind of fear of missing out?
  2. What should I do now, and next – and how can I ensure this fits with who I am, who we are and what we both want out of our lives right now?  I’m totally over the “everything’s on hold” way of living.
  3. How will my life / our lives turn out of I don’t reap what we sow?

More to follow.  Both treatments and introspection, that is.

I’m shitty at writing. There.

I feel like there is something powerful enough in me that can make a meaningful difference, to change things for the better.   This is not at all unusual for someone my age or younger, the difference is that I am rapidly gaining the means to do so in my work and in my own mind.  But until I force myself to learn to harness those thoughts into something readily digested by others, that this is nothing more than potential energy.

How frustrating is it to see what is there but not be able to unlock it?

So, what does one do about that then, learn to write? “No thanks” utters me, the inner hedonist.  Why would I make myself do something I hate doing?

But I orient so many other parts of myself towards doing more good.  I suffer through painful experiences, I grow as a person.  Why not this?  I’d like to get a pleasure out of writing that I know is there for me to behold.


As a scientist, I went through high school absorbing knowledge in a range of dimensions. Some things I considered a waste of my time and English was one of those.  As I had spelling and comprehension sorted to a level well beyond my peers and as an entirely sufficient utility to meet my needs, building upon my learning in this area was nothing other than superfluous.  I ‘read’ the novels I was assigned but only the chapters and passages I needed to complete the assignments.  I can’t tell you what Of Mice and Men or A Midsummer Nights’ Dream was about, nor recite more than two lines from Romeo and Juliet.


At work I create, constantly.  In the fast-paced world of big business there is little room for novel writing and I would say I’ve consciously worked toward conveying my message in the most succinct way possible, out of necessity.  In fact, words rarely cut the mustard any more. Communication styles at my organisation favour the visuals of PowerPoint or, if you have a budget at your disposal, audio-visuals.  I’ve graduated from writing paragraphs on slides, to bulleted semi-phrases and elaborate diagrams, to polished and visually pleasing models and photographs to convey my narrative, but this had taken several years and I need to get a lot better.


So here I am.  I started this blog when a friend suggest I set myself a challenge to write something every day.  I went months without writing anything for public consumption and since removed myself from all but one or two social media channels when things went south in my personal life, but as I get a better handle on that I find myself looking for mechanisms of self-discovery with higher meaning.  I’m notoriously flippant and my attention span is sporadic at best but this is something for the long term and I’m prepared to give it a crack.


Until I shift my obsession towards something else, that is.


….and whirlwinds.  My life is a series of these patchworked together in my mind. I respond to what happens to me quickly, I feel it deeply and go on to process it effectively, most of the time. 

Songs help when I can’t label my thought or feelings with words to better articulate them in my mind. It draws out the whatever into wherever.  Whirlpools draw me deeper into a hole to help me identify with dark feelings of anger, sadness or grief.  I don’t like staying there for long but for a moment I need to be there. The lyrics send me places and help the tears to surface and leak down my cheeks. 

Let go your heart, let go your head and feel it now

The screams all sound the same 

There’s someone in my head but it’s not me 

Whirlwinds lift me out of a whirlpool. I feel physically elevated, mentally free while I’m listening. My pulse slows down, my breathing deepens. I’m relaxed. I’m healed. 

I’m free

Like a bird 

Learning to fly

I’m up for another round of whirlpools, after having some life changing news and not of the pleasant type. Wish me luck. 


When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.
Viktor Frankl (1905 – 1997)

Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist

For me, sensory pleasure. 

Good food, great wine, meaningful music, introspective interactions and fulfilling experiences. 

Advanced adulting

I’ve been looking at expanding my repertoire of drinking occasions, or more specifically combination of drink+occasion.  To do this I’ve been paying special attention to how I feel when I’m drinking, what I like about what I’m drinking at the time and mentally log that drink for other future occasions and experimentation. Because, I’m still a scientist after all. 

Three recent finds:

Gin and elderflower.  Elderflower is versatile and has such lovely flavour that goes with so many white drinks.   One of my favourite liqueurs is St. Germein.   It’s heavenly in plain soda water, on a hot summer afternoon so when I saw a gin premix at the store I had to try it.  

Completely the wrong occasion (cold afternoon at the beach) but nevertheless I’ll file this intel under “Friday after work drinks” with a view to experimenting with the mixer because tonic and me are never going to be friends. 

Scotch, neat.  Thanks to my work, I have a fully stocked booze cabinet that would make the average person salivate.  Several 12/18/21 year old single malts that I just don’t ‘know’ very well yet. So I’ve made it my business to get to know them, but first I need to work on myself.  A good friend of mine almost scratched his eyes out once when I ordered a whiskey dry and lime after dinner.  That look of disapproval was enough to make this journey a priority.  

So I’ve started pouring myself a wee dram every now and then, just to sip and savour.  I’ve tried whiskey rocks to introduce the cold but not the dilution.  I usually skip the ice and the rocks these days in favour of a tiny dash of water just to open up the nose.   The last occasion was cold evening at the beach (after the gin mixer) and unlike the prelude, this choice was fabulously warming. 

Thirdly, and perhaps most exciting for me – Cognac.  Just this.  

I do enjoy a glass of Cognac from time to time.  

Is this advanced adulting? I think so. 

I like it at room temperature , in one of those round bottom glasses with a short stem that you can just hold, sniff, sip, repeat.   I simply love how smooth this drink is, and how refined the whole drinking experience is.  I probably had three, maybe four of these over the course of an evening with friends. We spent time looking at an old newspaper from 1939, reading out the funny sounding articles and my words started to slur a little bit so I knew it was having an effect.  But I didn’t feel any of the other signs of drunkenness which I found strange. Often I’ll notice a slurred word well after I know I’m heading there, and the word is a signal to slow right down because decorum or some shit.  But I never felt drunk, and this morning, Mr. hangover is nowhere to be seen.  At my age, this feels like a remarkable feat.  

There was also the small case of limoncello slushy – one shot of lemony liquid goodness poured into a frozen lemonade but I simply can’t go further with that story after calling this post Advanced adulting. 

So this occasional (low volume, moderate frequency) boozer is enjoying this new phase of experimentation.   Now I feel like I’ve got two or three new ‘go to’ experiences up my sleeve that really work for me, I can start trying different variants and compare the individual aroma and taste profiles to see what I like and don’t like about them.  

I do have one thing on my wish list though – a properly shaped whiskey glass. 


Sharing something about yourself isn’t always as scary as you think. 
Take a punt. Let them see a clearer glimpse of the real you.  Be a tiny bit vulnerable in that moment.  Overshare a little. What’s the worst that could happen?
Probably nothing much.  
But do yourself a favour. Ask yourself before you hesitate once again, what’s the best that could happen?

  • You make a new friend. 
  • You learn something new. 
  • You discover something about yourself. 
  • You learn how to deal with something better. 
  • You emote more easily. 
  • You grow. 

Whiskey for warmth

The twelve year old scotch had been sitting there half empty for months. Into a small tapered glass. Add a dash of water to open up the aromas. 

Whiskey instead of beer instead of wine instead of tea.  Warming. Steeling.  Infiltrating, adulting. 

I’d rather be someone’s shot of whiskey than everybodies cup of tea.


I couldn’t help but notice everything that is moving in this picture. The colours. The sounds.  The smells. 

How many ecosystems must be hidden away out of sight, how many species live here. 

How much joy this place radiates at busier times of year.  How many lives are touched by simply being here. 

Yet others might look at this and see only emptiness.