ivf babies

November 20, 2014

Sometimes other people’s bravery puts me to shame. I bumped into a friend yesterday who shared some exciting news – she’s going to have an IVF donor baby. Whilst that in itself is not earth shattering, she is doing it alone as she is not married nor does she have a partner.

But at the age of 42, she decided to stop ignoring the tick of her biological clock and has started the pre-process of IVF (In vitro fertilisation). It’s been a merry-go-round of doctors appointments, blood tests, counselling sessions, and lots of reading. She sounded like a medical dictionary with all the medical terms she was reeling off to me.

So yesterday she got the big tick and come January she will start her treatment. She’s got lots of supportive friends but it is still a step into the unknown. As she said to me today “a massive but liberating step”. And if it doesn’t work out, she knows she tried and there will be no regrets.

Brave … so very brave.


the pale blue dot

July 23, 2014

I came across this on Facebook a few months ago and I never get tired of watching it. It was written by Carl Sagan and its sentiment is timeless.

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

~ Carl Sagan


wellington earthquakes

August 17, 2013

The place I called home for the last 20 years is currently being shaken by more large earthquakes. Centred close to Seddon, it started with a magnitude 6.5 quake on July 21 and the usual aftershocks. They were then rocked again yesterday afternoon with a 6.6 quake and over 40 magnitude 4.0 or higher since then. That’s scary even for a seasoned Wellingtonian!

I feel guilty at the relief of not having to experience them – they are certainly something I was glad to leave behind when I left NZ.

But it does not stop me worrying about my friends who live there. Thank goodness for Facebook, because even if they are not happy status updates, they are updates nonetheless. Broken glass from a picture hung on a wall can replaced … people can’t.

The city was in gridlock with people trying to get home last night. One guy I used to work with picked up two total strangers and drove them out to the airport so they could catch their flight back to the US. It’s hearing about those sort of random acts of kindness that restore my faith in humanity.

So although I am not there, my thoughts are with everyone who is. Kia kaha my friends and whanau – you will get through this xoxo