Fairy tale wedding

I am ridiculously delighted to say that our ‘reassurance scan’ a few days before the wedding went perfectly, as did the wedding.  We really couldn’t have asked for a better day, it was just perfect.

I woke up on the morning of our wedding at the hotel with my bridesmaids to the sound of rain. Serious, serious rain. It continued to absolutely chuck it down all morning. Now, we booked a wedding in October so I wasn’t exactly counting on an outdoor ceremony but we were, in our heart of hearts, hoping that it might be nice enough to have drinks on the terrace overlooking a beautiful valley after the ceremony. It would have been fine if we couldn’t do that, but….its what I had pictured.

But the rain continued as my hair and make up was done, and as I stuffed myself with hot cross buns to ward off the nausea (must be the best fed bride ever!) Then just as I was ready to put on my dress, the rain stopped, the clouds cleared and sun started shining!! I arrived at the ceremony venue in beautiful sunshine and had some photos outside before going in.

The ceremony was beautiful, just so full of joy and emotion. The only sadness was that my step-dad was unfortunately unable to come as he was in hospital. I was so upset he couldn’t be there as he has been so wonderful to us all over the years, but it was much more important that he was getting better (and glad to say he’s now out of hospital and on the mend).2011_05 View from Rolley Terrace

By some miracle the sun was still shining afterwards so we all headed out to the terrace to enjoy the beautiful view over the forest. Once everyone had a glass of bubbly in hand we gathered them all together, DH and I stood on the steps of the beautiful old Georgian house we got married in and told our family and friends that there would be another addition to the family arriving in April. It was the most special moment….looking out at all the people we love and watching their faces turn from disbelief to joy. There were shrieks, there were whoops, there were a lot of tears! One of DH’s best men (he had three…don’t ask!) absolutely lost his shit! This guy is normally such an unemotional man, I’ve known him since I was 12 and I’ve never seen him so much as well up but he had tears streaming down his face. I will remember that moment for the rest of my life. It was absolutely perfect. The only downside was getting stubble rash from hugging so many people so much ….too many men have beards these days!!

The day carried on like a dream, everything just worked. For once in our lives, everything just worked. We had the pictures taken outside and finished just as it started to rain. We then moved onto the reception venue which looked so beautiful, just what I had pictured.

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One of the guest tables

The speeches lead to another round of tears from everyone – it was a seriously emotional wedding – and ended in the best men getting all the guests to join in a singalong to ‘Love lift us up to where we belong’. Now, I’m not normally one for forced public singing, and when it started my first thought was “lordy what the hell is this cringe inducing nonsense” but….it was brilliant. Everyone got into the spirit of it and it was really cheesy but in a good way.

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Our top table

The evening went by in a blur of dancing and laughing and chatting. I was very proud of myself to last on the dance floor until 11.30 but was pretty exhausted by the end of it.

After the wedding we went away for a few days to Bath which was lovely, we ate (a lot), walked around, went to a spa and generally spoilt ourselves. The day after we got home we had the ‘booking in’ midwife appointment and the official 12 week NHS scan where we saw the little bub’s mouth moving.

 

 

It truly was a fairy tale. From start to finish and I’m still pinching myself. I still can’t quite believe that I’ll get my happy ever after but I’m trying very hard to believe.

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One week

Today is one week until my wedding – ONE WEEK!! I am, of course, ridiculously excited. We booked the wedding a year ago. After 11 years together and 4 years of engagement we’d been putting off the wedding due to infertility, but after our second failed IVF cycle in September last year we just knew we couldn’t wait any longer. Even though it was a totally impractical time to have a wedding – we’d either soon need the money for further IVF rounds or a baby, we just wanted to be married.

Two more failed cycles and a freak natural pregnancy later and the big day is almost here: I’m so close to my wildest dreams coming true. On my wedding day I will be 11 and a half weeks pregnant and we will announce our pregnancy to our friends and family at the drinks reception after the marriage ceremony.

Hopefully…..

Tomorrow I have booked a ‘reassurance scan’ at a private clinic to check that all is ok. And I’m terrified. Absolutely terrified. We had a scan at 5 weeks and all was fine. We had a scan at 7 weeks and all was fine but…..our plan is so perfect. Our wedding day would be such a fairy tale dream….how can it go right? After so many disappointments and failures it seems so unreal that this could be our happy ending. I’ve been feeling less and less nauseated this week and I’m so scared its because something is wrong – my boobs hurt less too. I’m hoping this is just my symptoms lessening as my first trimester comes to an end but….ugh. Scared. It would just be so so crushingly awful for it to go wrong now, 5 days before our wedding day. I honestly don’t know how I’d cope.

I was speaking to a wonderful twitter friend recently about our fears – she is 30 odd weeks pregnant and still has the fear – and she said we’re traumatised. And we are. After so much pain and hurt and it all just turning to shit every time it’s so hard to believe it can work out. That I could get the fairy tale.

In the words of Julia Roberts in one of my all time favourite films*: “The bad stuff is easier to believe.”

 

*Pretty Woman, obvs. If you can’t quote the entire script of this film, you probably shouldn’t be reading my blog.

Busy

So it’s been quite a while since I last posted and there are a load of reasons why….there’s 2 weeks left until my wedding and I’m crazy busy with arrangements, work is mental, and I’m so god damn tired in the evenings. But mainly I think it’s probably because I don’t really know what to write…..what do you write in an infertility blog once you get pregs?

I could moan about symptoms, but I won’t. I could bang on about how worried I am but that’s pretty obvious. I could tell you how stupidly lucky I feel blah blah but none of you want to hear that really!

So….guess I’ll tell you what’s been happening in my life. A few weeks ago I had a follow up scan (at 7 weeks) after I’d had the scan at 5 weeks after I’d had some bleeding. I was so scared waiting for the scan I burst into tears in the waiting room. But I had the scan and there it was – a little bean with a tiny little heartbeat. The nurse had to ask me to stop crying because I was shaking the ‘wand’ too much. She had to give DH tissues as he was sobbing harder than me.

No more bleeding so far. I’ve booked a private scan for a few days before my wedding to check all is ok as my ‘official’ NHS scan isn’t until after the wedding and I really need to know all is ok. On my wedding day I’ll be 11.5 weeks and (all being well) we will ‘announce’ after the ceremony. Oussssccch. It still all seems rather unlikely and unreal.

Glamping

Our yurts

Other than that life has been pretty hectic – so many last minute arrangements for the wedding. And of course I had my hen do. It was a lot of fun, although rather more civilised than it might have been a few months ago. I think I managed to get away with ‘fake’ drinking and none of my friends guessed – or if they did they didn’t say anything. We went ‘glamping’ which was so much fun, and made it easy to tip out the glasses of Prosecco onto the grass and drink from a wine bottle filled up with juice. Did have a few close shaves – at one point we were playing a drinking game and my sister accidentally filled up my glass from a normal wine bottle so when I got the question wrong I got a mouthful of wine. Then later in the night one of the girls found my ‘fake’ wine and topped up her glass with it! Luckily she was pretty drunk by then so just kept saying ‘this wine is weird – so sweet’ but still don’t think she clocked on!!

My cosy bed

My cosy bed

As a side note, if you’ve not been glamping you should go! I had a proper bed, with an electric blanket!! I’m never going normal camping again!!

I’ve got another hen do tomorrow night with family members from both sides, as well as some friends that couldn’t make it glamping. We’re going for dinner in a place that turns into a club later and to be honest I’m kind of dreading it. My poor maid of honour booked it all months ago and has been wonderful at making last minute modifications for me and I don’t have the heart to tell her that the idea of dancing around until at least midnight (about the earliest I think I can get away with leaving!!) is really the last thing I want to do! I’m in bed by 9.30pm most nights at the moment but I’m sure it’ll be fine once I get going…won’t it?!

That girl

I’ll start with the headliner – I’m 6 weeks pregnant. If you want to skip this post, go ahead…been there many times.

For those of that are ok to read about it, this is the story of how I found out I’m that girl.

Since my last (forth) failed IVF cycle in May I’ve been attempting to ‘forget about it all’ and have a summer of fun in the lead up to our wedding in October. As you can tell from my last post this hasn’t really been going that well. I did fill my summer with fun things but the pain was still very intense and I was filled with an all-consuming sense of dread that this was never going to happen for me.

We continued ‘trying’, albeit half heartedly – not testing for ovulation just DTD around the time I usually ovulate. Last month it fell on a Monday, I was knackered and told DH I really couldn’t be bothered and what was the freakin point anyway? It was hardly likely to be lucky cycle number 42. But DH convinced me we should….oh the romance!

Day 32 of my cycle came around and still no AF. I quite often have cycles of 31 days but I checked my tracking sheet (yes, I’m an obsessive infertile) and noticed that I’ve never got to day 32 and there is always spotting for days before if I have a 31 day cycle and I hadn’t had any spotting at all. So despite it being ridiculously unlikely it was still on my mind…that little voice that says ‘maybe’ can never be crushed despite so many disappointments. So I decided to do a test so I could stop thinking about it and just get on with making dinner for the three 14 year old dance students I had staying with me.

I peed on the stick, and then cleaned the bathroom a bit (14 year old girls are messy) and my eyes swept past the test and I saw 2 lines. 2 LINES. I’ve never seen 2 lines, not even a hint of second one. My first thought was ‘there must be something wrong with this test’. I was shaking but I just couldn’t believe this could be right. I rushed out and bought 3 more tests of different brands.

By the time I got home one of the students was having a shower and then dinner was ready so I couldn’t retest. DH came home I didn’t say anything, still sure it couldn’t be right. I sat through the longest dinner of my life and then rushed to the bathroom and did 3 tests – all said the same. The digital test said 2-3 weeks. I went downstairs and told DH and he sobbed his little heart out once he’d got over the sheer disbelief.

The next day I called the GP to book an appointment – I was cheerfully told that I didn’t need to see the GP, I just needed ‘decide where I want to have my baby’ and call the hospital. What the hell?!! Fucking fertiles. I don’t have a baby, I have maybe. Its the strongest ‘maybe’ I’ve had so far but its still a maybe. I insisted on seeing the GP, who also talked about ‘my baby’ willy nilly and refused to give me an early scan.

Then on Tuesday (a week after finding out) I had some brown spotting. It wasn’t much so I tried not to panic – I know how common it is. Wednesday morning brought more so I phoned the local midwife who told me to go to my nearest early pregnancy unit, which really freaked me out because if the professional is worried its bad news right? As I was at work I went to St Thomas’ EPU, DH met me there and my mum insisted on getting on the train from Kent to be there too. After a very anxious 3 hour wait for a scan we went in. It was too early to see much but there was a sack and yolk in the right place and all looked as it should. DH and I cried, like alot. The nurse looked at us like we were mad, although surely she sees this all the time?! But then she did ask me if I’d ever had an internal exam …look at my notes lady- 4 rounds of IVF – I’ve had more dates with dildo-cam than you’ve had hot dinners!

Today is the first day since Tuesday that I haven’t spotted so I’m hoping I’m done with that. I’m trying to be as zen as possible about the whole thing. My boobs hurt. I feel sick in the mornings. I’ve got to try and trust my body, no matter how much of an a-hole it’s been in the past. If it does go wrong I’ll have plenty of time to be sad and feel like shit. Although it is quite worrying that the longer I’m pregnant, the closer I get to my wedding day leaving less time to recover from a miscarriage. It really is ridiculous timing …my hen-do, the wedding, the honeymoon…but if this little miracle sticks around I couldn’t give a shit. And if nothing else, it proves that my body CAN get pregnant, something I was very much doubting.

So for now at least, I’m that girl. The girl that everyone tells you about, who takes a break from IVF then gets pregnant – I’m like an urban myth. And of course I’ve already been told by my mum and MIL that its because I ‘relaxed’ and ‘focused on something else’. Except I wasn’t at all relaxed. I was miserable and stressed and having a baby still filled so much of my thoughts. Also, I totally stopped all of the good stuff – healthy eating, no drinking (wine was becoming one of my 5-a-day), mediation, positive thinking etc etc. My mum is convinced its because I started taking these vitamins my aunt had taken after numerous miscarriages that, she believes, helped her to go on to have a baby….I’m still sceptical (although I’m taking them religiously!!) but if nothing else my hormonal acne has totally cleared up for the first time in 3 years, so if you’re interested this is the company, but be warned – it ain’t cheap: http://www.foresight-preconception.org.uk/Default.aspx

Keep everything crossed for me people.

The Family Picnic

Last weekend was ‘The family picnic’. Many years ago, my grandfather and his brothers and sisters (and their kids) all met in a park in Enfield, North London near to where they lived at the time and had a big picnic to celebrate my great-grandmother’s 60th Birthday. They decided that this was a pretty nice thing to do as they all got to see their cousins and second cousins and third cousins and the only other time they did this was at funerals.

The family picnic

The family picnic 2014

And so a family tradition was born, and ever since then on the last Sunday of July, without anyone needing to check, come rain or shine, we all make the trip to Enfield and meet under the same tree for a picnic. I think only one of the families still live in Enfield, the rest come from far and wide – Kent (my family), Norfolk, Brighton, the Isle of Wight, France and even Australia. It’s a really lovely thing but also kind of weird. It’s really nice to see my cousins and aunts and uncles, but also all my mum’s cousins are there which is kind of weird as we only ever see them at The Picnic so we have awkward “I only see you once I year and I’m not totally sure if you’re Janice or Susan” kind of conversations. It’s the sort of thing you groan at when you realise next weekend is  The Picnic, but also secretly love.

I didn’t go last year – it was a month after my first failed IVF round and I just didn’t have it in me. This year I was determined to go, especially as some of my cousins that I hadn’t seen for ages would be there.

So I went, I chatted awkwardly, I ate sandwiches and had an icecream. I watched all the relatives of my age group play with their children, tell their children off for not sharing or sulking at having to be at the picnic, pick them up when they fell over, share an icecream with them. And guess what? It fucking hurt. To see my family with their own little families. To see them pass on the tradition to their kids and the thought that I’ll probably never have anyone to pass this onto.

For the last few months I’ve thrown myself into the ‘summer of fun’. I’ve tried my hardest to enjoy life and to let go of all the hurt and pain. But it’s impossible. There is a huge burning hole inside me and no amount of cocktails will fill it. People tell me to put it out my mind and to focus on the wedding, and I’m trying I really am. And don’t get me wrong, I have had some really fun times recently. But you can’t think about a wedding 24 hours a day – the fear and the pain creep back in no matter what distractions you organise. And even when I’m not directly thinking about it all, I can feel it. It’s physical. This gnawing hole deep inside – the same place where a baby should be.

Summer of fun

I was going to start by saying I’ve been a bad blogger as haven’t blogged for ages and what’s the point of having a blog if you never write anything….but then Barren Betty got there first and said all that earlier this week. Yeah, thanks for stealing my thunder BB.

Sooo anyway…where have I been? I’ve been bloody busy doing a million things that’s where! Organising bits and pieces for the wedding, booking a honeymoon (Sri Lanka- eeek!) and, well, getting drunk a fair bit too.

Last time I left you on a cliff-hanger (well, more like on the side of a low ledge) as I had my WTF appointment the next day. And as predicted it was more of “we don’t know why it didn’t work, you should try again, it should work at some point!” Well ‘should’ is all well and good but so far it just doesn’t and it’s all getting rather expensive, not to mention fucking heartbreakingly awful. Basically, we’ve tried every trick they have, so we should just repeat…but honestly, after 4 failures how can it work? Surely it’s just that they don’t know what the problem is, not that there’s not a problem?

DH and I have decided to give the whole IVF gig a rest for the year. We’re getting married in October and going on honeymoon over Christmas so we’re just going to ‘forget about it’ (yeah, right) for the rest of the year and see where we are and how we feel in the New Year.

Instead we’re going to have a ‘summer of fun’. We’re going to drink, we’re going to eat, we’re going to visit loads of places we say we’re going to but never do. We’re going to get our lives back again. And I have to say I’m rather excited about it.

And yes, I still get miserable, and yes I have days where the pain just stabs me in the heart and the god-awful realisation that this really, really might never happen kicks me in the tits, but I’m determined to enjoy this year.

So far we’ve been doing pretty well – we’ve been for a walk along Regents canal….

Little Venice

Little Venice

Although IF is still never far from our minds – this was DH’s wish on a ‘before I die’ chalk board by the canal:

before I die

We walked up to the top of Primrose Hill before going for a lovely Greek dinner at Lemonia (where John Torode from Masterchef was having lunch too!)

Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill

 

There have also been rather a lot of cocktails…..some up high….

View from the Shard

View from the Shard loos!

And some in posh hotels with lovely Twitter girls…

cocktails

And this is pretty much my plan for the summer…drinking cocktails and having fun (and definitely not being heartbroken and empty)! Fuck you IF. Fuck you.

I get knocked down…

…but I get up again. Isn’t that how the shit 90s song goes? Except I’m not really sure how to get up again.

This week is definitely up there in the list of worst weeks of my life. After my friend’s pregnancy announcement burst my denial bubble last Sunday I worked at home on Monday, feeling fragile and tearful but making it through the day.

On Tuesday I went to work and had a very stressful meeting in the morning, the outcome of which was basically that out of a team of 6 people I was the only one left to do any work on a very big and difficult project (one of the reasons being my Director is going to Bali for 3 weeks – alright for some!) I then realised I had forgotten to do things on 2 of my other projects and then had one of the women I manage (who is overly dramatic and anxious) haranguing me about what I was going to do about a problem on her project which is essentially unfixable.

And I snapped. It was just too much for me and I felt so overwhelmed, all this stuff was going on at work and all I could think was ‘I’m never going to be a mother. I’m never going to have children. Work will be the only thing in my life and I hate it.’ I went to the toilets and sobbed. This is not an unusual occurrence but normally I go in, have a little cry, if anyone comes into the loos I stop or cry quietly until they leave, then dry my eyes and get on with my day.

This time I just couldn’t stop. People came in and out and I continued with huge gasping sobs. My work friend came in and asked if I wanted to go and get a coffee and chat but I sent her away – there was no way I could think about leaving that cubicle. It was so scary, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that out of control of my emotions – such a huge wave of grief that pushed me down and wouldn’t let me up again. After about 10 minutes or so my boss came in, by which time I was a little calmer. She took me away for a chat where I told her I just wasn’t coping and felt so overwhelmed. She told me to go home and work at home the next day and she’d have a think about what she could do to help. I then had to walk through the office with a tear stained face and collect my things – of course there had been an all-staff meeting that day so everyone from my company was there. Awesome.

As I waited at the bus stop on the way home I was on Twitter on my phone when I saw an email pop up from my friend that had a miscarriage shortly after our spa trip entitled ‘Our exciting news’…..well, we can guess what that was about! Of course I’m happy that after having a miscarriage she has now got to 3 months with her pregnancy (meaning she must have got pregnant again the month after her miscarriage) but when I saw that email, after the day I’d had it just tipped me over the edge again. I sat on the bus with tears rolling down my face, as if I hadn’t humiliated myself enough that day. I managed to stop crying by the time I got on the train but felt like I was going to hyperventilate. What a fucking day.

On Wednesday I spoke to my boss who said that I should go off sick for the rest of the week….but there was an all day meeting on Friday for the big and difficult project and if I didn’t go to it it would have made my work over the next few weeks almost impossible so I said I’d go to that. She then said that she’d spoken to my 2 Directors and they all agreed my workload should be cut in half for the next few months until I feel more able to cope. I just can’t express how bloody awesome my work is…it definitely helps to work for psychiatrists/psychologists at times like these!

Thursday night I realised that the meeting on Friday was being held at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists! Cue another meltdown! I felt really anxious Friday morning before going into the building but it wasn’t too bad, I just made sure I didn’t look at any of the artwork.

The weekend has mostly been better – Friday night I drank wine with friends in the sun in Regents Park which was lovely and chilled, and then yesterday I went shopping with my Bridesmaids for their dresses, which went very well so that’s another thing ticked off the wedding list.

But today is, of course Father’s Day. I hate that I’m stopping DH be a father. I went to my mum’s for lunch and my brother and SIL were talking about filling in a ‘baby’s first book’ for their daughter and everyone was talking about the different things their kids did and the stories/memories they tell their kids which made me lose it again. I took myself off to my old bedroom and sobbed. I just can’t get the thoughts that I will never be a mother out of my head. I will never fill in a ‘baby’s first book’. I can’t think of other options: donors, surrogates, adoption. I can only think that.

Have my WTF appointment tomorrow so we’ll see what they have to say…more shoulder shrugging I’m sure.