An Open Letter To Prime Minister Gillard

Dear Ms Gillard

I’ve never written to a politician before. I don’t really know much about politics so forgive me is anything I say is a little too simplistic.

I’m worried.

I’m worried that you don’t have much time left as Prime Minister. Which is a shame, because I think you’re pretty awesome (despite the fact that I don’t agree with all of your policies). I think you’re strong, I think you’re determined and I think you’re gutsy.

But there are changes that need to happen in Australia. Changes which I fear will not happen if you don’t win the next election.

We need equal rights for all Australians.

This includes allowing same-sex marriage and allowing same-sex couples to adopt children (which is only legal in some of Australia’s states and territories).

Australians want same-sex couples to have the same rights as everyone else. I believe you can do something to make this happen. Stand up for your people! Do something memorable! Do something which will make people remember who you are and what great things you did when you were Prime Minister!

We all know an Abbott-led government will not allow same-sex couples these rights so if something doesn’t change soon, then who knows when it will change.

I do not believe in discrimination. Surely allowing one part of our Australian population to marry and adopt and telling the other part “Too bad” because of their sexual preference is discrimination? There will always be hateful people who say that allowing gay people to marry and adopt children will ruin the institution of marriage and family values, but I don’t believe that allowing more love into our communities is a bad thing.

Ms Gillard, please make the necessary law changes and let this happen soon, before your chance is gone.

Yours sincerely


Just Be

It’s official – Husband and I have decided to try to have a baby.

We are both thrilled and excited and shit-scared at the same time – we both have no idea how to look after a tiny little baby who will change life as we know it and depend on us for everything. Every now and then, when we’re cooking dinner or pulling weeds out of the cracked concrete which (unfortunately) covers our front garden, one of us will say to the other, “So we’re actually doing this?” The other nods and then we both laugh.

It’s surreal to think I might get the chance to grow another human being inside my own body.

Now, rest assured I won’t be taking my temperature in the hopes of conceiving in the first month. It doesn’t bother us if it takes a while to conceive. Now that we know everything that could possibly go wrong, we feel we can take things at our pace, rather than one dictated to us by the public health system.

Since we received the obstetrician’s last letter, it took a few days for the results and prognosis to sink in. A 35% chance of having a healthy pregnancy followed by a healthy baby is frighteningly low. But it’s not 0%. We have a one-in-three chance of getting what we want.

Some things are worth the risk.

We have not discussed if we want all of the screening tests done during pregnancy or what to do if we find out if the baby has severe medical complications. We will discuss those things eventually. Because that’s what Husband and I do – we talk about things until we’re blue in the face.

I also want to organize a will – just in case.

But not yet. For now, I just want to enjoy this time in my life and not think about the things that can go wrong. I don’t want fear and anxiety to infect what should be a happy and (relatively) carefree time in our life.

I just want to be. Be present. Be quiet. Be still. Be silent. Be happy. Be in love.

Just be.

The Results

It’s been a hugely emotional week. On the weekend I was very, very blue – the fact that I STILL hadn’t received the results of my ultrasound was on my mind. It also marked 18 months since I came to the realization that I wanted to become a mother. 18 very long months of discussions with Husband, discussions with my GP and then that agonizing wait for an appointment with an obstetrician. It felt like my life was on hold and it was really getting me down.

But today, the letter came with the results of my ultrasound.

It states exactly what I already knew – that my uterus is wonky. (There is a technical term that was used, but to me, it’s just wonky and lopsided). The obstetrician is confident that if I can remain pregnant until the 16 week mark, then the rest of my pregnancy should be okay (if you don’t take into account the blood gene mutations.) However, the first 16 weeks will be touch-and-go.

She also embellished on the blood test results. Apparently one of those mutations (the one that causes neural tube defects, Down’s Syndrome, cancer, etc.) means I’m going to have to take 5mg (that’s 10 times the dose usually recommended to pregnant women) of folic acid during pregnancy and a low dose for the rest of my life.

At the end of the letter are the words, “I have not made any further appointments.”

The obstetrician does not need to see me again until I’m actually pregnant. The wait for an answer is over. We can officially start trying to have a baby.

So there are the answers in black and white in a crumpled letter from King Edward. I’m super-duper extremely high-risk. There’s a large chance of having a baby with a neural tube defect or Down’s Syndrome. I have a very high likelihood of recurrent miscarriage during the first 16 weeks.

Despite the rather confronting results, I’m actually very relieved to have ANY results. I feel like I now know this pregnancy road is going to be long and bumpy with no guarantee of a healthy baby at the end of it. But at least I know. I can plan. I can prepare myself. I can come to terms with it. And I can work at not getting my hopes up in case I do get pregnant, because the chance of a normal healthy pregnancy with a normal healthy baby at the end of it is down around the 35% mark.

I’m going to have to work at the whole “not getting my hopes up” thing if I get pregnant, but right now – with all the cards on the table and knowing the risks – I’m okay.