Making Lemonade


I never really understood the expression: When life hands you lemons make lemonade! But I think I’m learning a little bit more each day what that means. I had tea with a client this morning, we were sharing some pretty personal and deep stuff, she’s going through a rough patch, battling a bit in all area’s of her life. We were talking about our beliefs and our coping mechanisms. Some words came out of my mouth which at the time I didn’t think too much of, but now that I think about it, they seem pretty profound and I guess its what infertility has taught me. I was telling her that I believed that each individual has his/her own crosses and burdens to bare in life, that nobodies life was perfect but that the greatest victory we could have in our lives was to be happy in spite of our burdens. No easy task but I’m learning each day that its possible.

Yesterday Monica wrote a great piece about When Plans Are Screwed. This post really struck a  chord with me, I so relate to what she was saying, to all the plan making, to all the dreaming and hoping and planning and then landing up with something quite different. I relate to this I guess because that’s exactly what infertility does, life hands you a basket of lemons when you were hoping for a basket of sweet oranges. I spent my life dreaming about the day I could have a baby of my own, I planned for it, I thought about it, I longed for it. Finally after much planning and hoping and praying, things fell into place and I was ready for it – at least that was the plan right? I was 30 years old, I was getting married, we were financial secure, we had drawn up wills and testaments, we thought we had all our ducks in a row. What we didn’t count on was our plans going awire.  So there I was with this gigantic basket of unplanned and unwanted lemons!

A couple of weeks ago, we were having lunch with my MIL & my husbands Gran. I love his Gran to pieces, both my Gran’s have past away, so W’s Gran is like my Gran, I just adore her. We were talking about our infertility, what our plans were and both W and I were saying that we honestly weren’t sure. That it had reached a point in our lives where we couldn’t imagine children being part of it. We knew we could adapt if we were lucky enough to have a child, the question was more of did we want to adapt and not if we could adapt. And wouldn’t you just know it… W’s Gran turned to us and said what I’ve heard said about childless couples my entire life… that people like that are SO SELFISH! I was so hurt by her statement and so angry with that sentiment, I don’t understand how people go around sprouting off that we should live with the hand we’ve been dealt, make lemonade when life hands us lemons and then make a statement about how I’m selfish because I’m trying to make lemonade with the gigantic basket of lemons I’ve been handed.

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  • Reply Abbey

    Geez Sharon, I’m shocked that after your very long and very honest journey through infertility that someone who knows you and W and your history could say something so insensitive…those comments hurt the most, when it comes from those closest to you who should understand. Sorry for your hurt Shaz, but dont stop squeezing those lemons!((Hugs))

    July 30, 2009 at 12:48 pm
  • Reply Denise

    I’m of the opinion that people who have children because its the “right thing to do” are far more selfish than people who decide not to have children for whatever reason.

    In your case you’ve decided to make lemonade from lemons and make the most of the hand that the universe has dealt you (so far without children) and I admire and respect that in anyone. I know you only from your blog and I can see that if you were given the opportunity you would be an amazing mom, that may or may not be your path, but I am sure that whatever your path is you will follow it wholeheartedly and be an amazing woman and inspiring woman.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:59 pm
  • Reply Rach

    I’m sorry but Gran is WRONG.

    Think about it. When people have children, they do it because THEY want children. The child has NO say as to whether or not they want to come into this world. To do something because you want it is the definition of selfishness.

    So to sum it up. All parents are the selfish ones, they had a child(ren) because THEY wanted to, which makes their decision a selfish one.


    July 30, 2009 at 2:04 pm
  • Reply Adi

    I like the first part of your blog a LOT. I’m so sorry about the last paragraph… we go through so much personal growth and we learn to cope with so much, and accept so much, and then someone comes around that never has had to face a teaspoon of what we just went through, and wham bam slam words like those into your face. I guess it sadly means that, oi, we have to grow some more to swallow that type of crap and turn the other cheek… sigh. I’m not quite there yet.

    July 30, 2009 at 2:22 pm
  • Reply Kristin

    W’s Gran is so wrong. That is not a selfish outlook at all.

    July 30, 2009 at 2:24 pm
  • Reply monica

    That’s funny, Shaz. I was actually thinking, the whole plan-making thing SOOO relates to infertility woes. I mean, infertility treatment is, in and of itself, a plan. And when that plan doesn’t work out, you have to make more plans to pursue parenthood, or at some point, even alter that plan altogether.

    Nice post -and thanks for glorious image of lemonade.

    July 30, 2009 at 7:44 pm
  • Reply Lea White

    Firstly I love your post… up to the last bit about W’s gran’s hurtful statement.

    Wow, that must have been so incredibly hurtful. But you know it just comes to show how ppl often criticise without having a clue what it is like walking in your shoes. You did not choose your path.

    I admire you for having a positive outlook, for living life despite what you have to deal with and I don’t think you are selfish at all.

    You keep making that lemonade with your basket of lemons and before you know it you will find a sweet orange hidden somewhere in your basket.

    July 30, 2009 at 8:46 pm
  • Reply becomingwhole

    You so often inspire me.

    So many people are able to mindlessly (and often selfishly) have children. Anyone who believes that everyone who has children does so out of selfless motives is fooling herself.

    Here’s to lemonade, whether or not anyone else will drink it with us!

    August 3, 2009 at 5:28 am
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