Happy Thanksgiving to all those of you who are celebrating!
We don't have a Thanksgiving holiday over here, either now or at any other time, but I think it's a wonderful holiday, so I'm taking it as a chance to reflect on some of the things that I have to be thankful for at the moment.
First, I'm thankful for my husband. I'd given up on ever finding someone to share my life with when I met him, and now I can't imagine my life without him in it. He is sweet, loving, hugely knowledgeable, totally undomesticated, and the more time I spend with him, the more time I want to spend with him.
Second, I'm thankful that I have such a wonderful family and friends. They're a blessing in two ways - firstly, in the love and support that all of them give me, in good times and in bad. And secondly, even if DH and I end up never having children of our own, I have nephews, nieces and godchildren that I'm very close to. I still get to go to nursery school nativity plays, I still get the notes in wobbly five-year-old handwriting that say "I love you", and I still get the hugs from tiny little arms and the text messages from bored teenagers.
Third, I'm thankful that I live in an age and in a country where I have central heating, an automatic washing-machine, hot and cold running water and a reliable electricity supply. I spent several years in my twenties living without any of those things, and it made me realise what a luxury they are.
Fourth, I'm thankful that I live in an age where infertility is something that can be diagnosed and discussed. I can't imagine how hard it would have been just to keep trying and hoping as we were, month after month after month, until I went through the menopause and realised that it was all over. To know what the problem is and to have a chance, however slim, of overcoming that problem with the help of technology is a wonderful thing.
Fifth, I'm thankful for the internet. I'm hugely grateful for the connections that it creates between people on opposite sides of the world who are going through similar experiences and are able to realise that they're not alone and offer each other advice and support.
Equally, I'm grateful for the contact that it gives me with my own family. Only a century ago, if a member of your family emigrated to the other side of the world, you might have expected never to see them again. Two hundred years ago, it would literally take weeks even to exchange correspondence with them, and you could have nephews and nieces, or even grandchildren, that you never even knew about.
Now, I almost take it for granted that I can pick up the phone and talk to family in the US and South Africa. When each of my nieces and nephews was born, on three different continents, I was able to see photos of them the day they were born. And my youngest American nephews even think it's perfectly normal to be able to chat to us live through the computer screen and show us what toys they're playing with and what pictures they've just drawn, thanks to Skype.
Sixth, I'm thankful that I have a good job and a (reasonably) good work ethic and am able to earn enough money to be comfortable and enjoy all of these things. People who think money isn't important have obviously never been short of it, and I'm grateful that DH and I are not hugely extravagant and that we have built up enough savings to be able to make certain decisions without money being a major factor in those decisions.
And finally, because I have to stop somewhere, tonight I'll be doing my first jab of this second ICSI cycle, and I'll be thankful that the needle isn't bigger, and that I'm not needle phobic!