Compassion – where for art thou?

Long time no blog. What have we been up to? Well….life, really. The last six months have gone super fast – yes it’s been six months since Hugo was born. Happy six months beautiful boy ❤ Since then I have gone back to work, the kids have gone back to school and we have moved house! We drove down to Canberra for a week, I’ve also gone on a quick trip to Cairns to visit one of my besties whom had a baby and I’ve lost 15kgs! I think Christmas was in there somewhere too.

I was super keen to get back to work. Work gives me a sense of purpose and calm as it’s something I’m passionate about. I feel this profession is a part of my whole psyche, therefore I felt returning to work would bring me some ease and for the most part it did. I am happy I now have my routine back and I am working with my colleagues and the public again – what I didn’t expect was the way I interact with people to change. I have always considered myself a highly compassionate person. Hello!!! Multiple surrogate offender here, you can’t get more compassionate than that! I have always been quick to empathise with people who have experienced hardship and usually build an easy rapport with all the women I met through work. But I now find my level for compassion has drastically dropped. This is something that has unnerved me somewhat because I often felt compassion was one of my strengths.

After going through this harrowing life event of loving and losing Hugo, I have survived the largest grief event of my life thus far. Listening to people complain about their annoying partners, financial stressors or how bad I am at making toast really ticks me off when it previously would have been a minor blip on my radar. As Professor Farnsworth famously said in season 8, episode 9 “I’ve come down with a searing case of WHO GIVES A CRAP?”  I guess the small mercy here is that I have identified that this is happening right now and I can consciously aim to change it. Every now and then at work now I will have a couple I instantly connect with and I can feel my old self start to immerge and then I feel great. Other days I still struggle and I feel like I’m letting families down because the old me could have possibly given them a better experience. I don’t want to become a bitter person, therefore my aim for this year is to be more conscious of those around me and get back to the more carefree person I once was.

Now don’t get me wrong….I’m not going to do this to the detriment of my own health. I feel if I did this every day I would be walking the fine line that leads into complete burnout. The same thread of thinking that has gotten me to the point of knowing I need to work on my compassion has also made me aware that I need to dedicate more time and brain space to myself and my own family. It is because of this that I have handed over the reins of the surrogacy communities I volunteered for over the last 8 years. It was no small feat to get to this decision. I have been driven to help the community as much as possible over the years by providing my time, empathy and knowledge surrounding surrogacy to anyone that needed it. The community was also the core of our support network when we found out Hugo would not be long for this world, therefore I ummed and ahhhhed for quite some time before making the decision to take a step back. This step back could be temporary or it could be permanent; I’m going to just see what comes, but for now this feels like the right thing to do and I feel a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Life has been pretty good to us so far this year. My family is once again a happy little unit and we are loving our new house. Best of all is that Marian and David are coming to visit this weekend! It has been far too long! We’re going to eat some yummy food, drink some yummy wine and eat some super yummy cake, because that’s what we do. Oh and couch time…..we always have couch time…usually snuggled closely…..or spooning…..while watching Chris Hemsworth. Most of that is true 😝

Now for some gratuitous photos

Lily had an existential moment when she saw the neighbours have chickens!

Lily had an existential crisis when she saw the neighbours have chickens!

Life changing moment!

Life changing moment! She sat like this for 10mins

Sweating away in Cairns with my good friend Elle

Sweating away in Cairns with my good friend Elle. Good times

More sweating...this time at Baron Falls. I renamed it Baron Trickle

More sweating…this time at Baron Falls. I renamed it Baron Trickle


Awesome book sent to me from a beautiful Surro Sister

Family trip!

Family trip!

Oscar approves of the new house

Oscar approves of the new house

If anyone has any spare compassion lying around, please send


4 thoughts on “Compassion – where for art thou?

  1. I wish my cats looked at me the way Lily looks at chickens.

    Compassion evolves after tremendous loss. You haven’t lost it, it just looks different to what it did before ❤

    • So lovely to hear from you Rachel and read your post and know that you are in a way doing ok.
      It does take time ❤.
      Love Julie

  2. Hi Rachel
    I have also experienced loss of compassion, when I came back from a post case manging refugees. I just felt that ‘our’ complaints about every day so insignificant, when we are generally safe. I got it back, slowly and although your situation is totally different, I’m sure you will too. Saying that people can be so annoying and negative, and I think they lack sensitivity to other people’s experiences and situation. I hope you are feeling okay.

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