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What to expect when you are NOT expecting… AGAIN!

Anyone who knows me knows that our parenting journey hasn’t been smooth. 

A bit of history. Hubby and I both had children from previous relationships before getting together. We married in 2009 and then suffered 4 miscarriages over 2 and a bit years. We then fell pregnant with Nathan, who was born with severe disabilities. We then got pregnant again with Alexander who was born sleeping (stillborn) at 23 weeks. We then underwent 2 rounds of IVF with special genetic testing, we had one miscarriage and then our Jesse was born. We have been incredibly blessed and I am well aware that our journey was a breeze compared to others. 

I had never felt comfortable writing about our journey publicly whilst we were in the thick of it. However I discovered a few things on this rollercoaster ride that I only feel happy enough to share with you now that the upward climb is over and the fun part is in full swing!

  1. Acronyms 

There are hundreds of them! If you just Google ‘trying to conceive’ you will get thousands upon thousands of pages, forums, advice, adverts, medication  and other types of results. In the last 8 years I’ve scrolled through so many looking for the magic answer. What I discovered at first was a coded message I could not work out. After a while, like text language, I got used to them. But just to give you an idea here are just a few of the more common ones:

  • 2WW – Two week wait (between ovulation and AF)
  • AF – Aunt Flo, in other words your period
  • BBT – Basal body temperature
  • BD – baby dance, uh hem *sex*
  • BFP / BFN – Big fat positive/negative pregnancy test 
  • CD – cycle day, day 1 being the first day of your period
  • CM – cervical mucus (ewww gross, but it gets worse)
  • CL – Corpus Luteum – a pocket left in your ovary after ovulation that releases hormones
  • DPO – Days past ovulation
  • DTD – Doing/did the dance/deed *sex*
  • EW – Egg White, the perfect consistency of CM for fertility (told you it gets worse)
  • FET – frozen embryo transfer
  • hCG – pregnancy hormone
  • HPT – home pregnancy test (FRPT – first response pregnancy test is a preferred one in the forums I’ve been to)
  • IF – Infertility
  • IUI – Intra Uterine insemination 
  • IVF – In Vitro fertilisation 
  • LMP – Last menstrual period
  • MC / MMS – miscarriage / missed miscarriage (where you don’t actually miscarry, often resulting in surgery to remove the baby)
  • O or Ov – Ovulation
  • OPK – Ovulation predictor kit
  • PCOS – Polycystic ovary syndrome 
  • POAS – pee on a stick
  • TTC – Trying to conceive

There are so many more!

2. That everyone around you is getting pregnant

Nothing new there, but it just seems like everyone is taking the piss a little!

3. That you can look at a pregnancy test in a hundred different angles and still not be convinced it’s really a negative

I’m not ashamed to say that I even broke a few tests apart to get a better view of the panel that had the indecency to tell me I wasn’t pregnant, well maybe I’m a little ashamed… And then you have the multiple revisits to the test over the next couple of hours, just in case the result has changed, which you know it won’t.

4. The baby aisle is off limits

Everything in me is screaming to pick up baby booties and just hold them, cradle them until I fall in a weeping mess on the floor. For obvious reasons, it is avoided!

5. Everyone will ask you when you are going to have a baby/another baby

It’s a nice conversation starter, you see a woman of child bearing age, she doesn’t have a newborn in her arms, totally appropriate to ask when she is going to fill that void. I’ve actually done this myself at the same time as internally kicking myself and screaming it’s none of my business! To us Brits it’s like talking about the weather!

6. All of a sudden you have a use for that diary you never used

Asterisks, colour coded messages that to the untrained eye look like nothing, but to the fellow TTC woman reveal way too much information! Ovulation, cervical mucous consistency, days you did the deed, slightest changes in your body all accurately and obsessively recorded in a book you take EVERYWHERE!

7. Everyone knows someone who’s overcome infertility

Doesn’t everyone like to remind you how cousin Brenda’s friend’s daughter tried for eleven billion years to have a baby and it was only when she ‘gave up trying’ that she miraculously fell pregnancy, well woopty  effing dooo! Thank you so much, makes me feel so much better. Oh don’t forget to tell me I’m still SOOO young so I’ve got PLENTY of time to get pregnant!

8. You are desperate to know the reason for your infertility, until you find out, and there is very little you can do about it.

When we found out that we were losing babies due to a genetic condition we couldn’t control it felt worse than not knowing. We just had to keep trying, have miscarriage after miscarriage until we get the right combination, like we were trying keys in a padlock trying to find the right one. But then when Nathan was born with a genetic condition causing him to need heart surgery, kidney surgery and other medical intervention you curse the Drs for making you believe you could have a healthy baby. They promise you that it is unlikely to happen again and the unthinkable happens and you find yourself giving birth to a silent still baby, and then you bury him and life will never be the same. It was then we pursued IVF.

9. Everyone thinks it’s easy to adopt

Have you considered adoption? Well actually yes, I have. And do you know what? It’s flipping hard! No adopting from abroad isn’t easier. Yes I know if you foster you get paid for it, and if you think THAT is why I want kids there is something wrong with you!?

Everyone is in a different place in their journey and everyone’s experiences are different. I hope this has amused you and maybe opened your eyes a little to the world of trying for a baby.
This is just my personal experience and like I said I’ve been incredibly blessed with our boys. Our TTC journey is over and now we can focus on our feisty little brood and watch them all grow!

Lazy bank holiday blues

This is my first blog entry and I’m not quite sure what I’m trying to say. It’s more of a diary entry than anything of any motivational value, maybe one day I’ll read it and see how far I’ve come?

I often wake in the morning with this urge to change my life, sort the chaos which is the house and clean up our garden. Bank holiday Monday seems like a perfect day to spring clean my family!

But whatever my intentions are, when I see the huge pile of washing, the filthy kitchen, mess everywhere, overgrown garden and no space to move, my motivation crumbles. Sometimes I wish I could just chuck everything into a skip and start again!

The kids want to ‘do something’, the husband sees a day tidying is a day wasted, the baby is crying and clingy and even if I put him in a wrap I’ll get barely anything done, and a job half done isn’t worth starting!

So, we go for a walk and a play in the park, put on a load of washing, fill the dishwasher but as the day disappears I feel like I’ve done NOTHING. The house is in a worse condition than this morning, the kids are still bored, I feel miserable and the day is wasted! And now I can barely peel myself from my sofa, my hands instinctively grab my phone and open Facebook and before I know what is going on God only knows how much time has melted into oblivion and I’m a zombie mum who seems to faze out the noise of my children.

It’s only when my husband comes over and puts his head on my shoulder that I remember who and where I am. He brings me tea and I see that the kitchen is tidy and he’s started to sort the washing, the children have been fed and entertained.

I feel irritable with guilt at how rubbish I feel as a mum and a wife and at myself for allowing a blessed day to fade away.

So, what do I do? I sit here and blog about it! Ha! Instead of giving myself a big kick up the behind, I’m wallowing in self pity!

What am I waiting for? What magical motivation will make me change? I feel like screaming at myself to get a grip, have some pride! I promise myself that I will start tomorrow. But I know I won’t. Tomorrow isn’t a bank holiday.