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.

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Tomorrow

So OTD is tomorrow. My clinic don’t do beta tests so I’m just going to have to POAS and hope for the best. I’m now 10dp5dt and know I could have tested from yesterday at least. I haven’t for 2 reasons:

1)      DH wants to be with me when I do it. Good news or bad he wants us to be together  and so do I. He had a mega busy week at work and if we’d done it early and it was negative there is no way he’d want to go to work – due to his own mental state and mine.

2)      I’m too fucking scared.

Although it’s best to do the test with FMU (first morning urine…nice) I know I could do the test tonight and don’t get me wrong, part of me want to run upstairs, rip the million HPTs I’ve got in the cupboard open and pee on every last one of them. But I also know I won’t. See number 2 above. If it’s going to be negative I want one more night of hope, one more night free of the sadness.

My mental state the last 2 days has not been great. I started off the 2ww so well, so much better than last time. I was fairly crazy-free until about Wednesday. Yesterday it really hit and now I’m in a constant state of swinging between positive and negative thoughts. Every time my mind lets me think this could work, I get a crushing fear that I’m setting myself up for the same fall I had last time. I think this time I will be able to deal with it better, I hope that I won’t be quite as crushed. But…who knows.

I have daydreams of ringing my mum and sister and ….everyone and finally being able to give them good news. Then straight after I’m planning which wine I’m going to drink on Saturday and what disgustingly bad takeaway we should have.

I can’t call it either way. I’ve never been pregnant. I don’t know what it feels like. I have some ‘symptoms’ that could either mean I’m pregnant or that I’m getting my period. My boobs are big and hurt (well, to be more precise, a specific spot on my left boob hurts) – this happens before I get my period. I have on and off pre-period aches – which I know can also happen when you’re pregnant. I mean really, what I stupid stupid design! It’s like the day God was designing early pregnancy symptoms he wanted to knock off early so just decided to make them the same as period symptoms. Lazy.

Anyway, keep everything crossed for me guys. I’m off to try to induce a trance-like state by watching more Tudors and sewing. Thank god they made 4 series of this.

In shock

I was going to write a post last night about:
a) how on Sunday DH went to see our friend’s new baby – their second since we started ttc – and how I refused to go because I’m doing IVF and I can do what the fuck I want.
b) how the only good thing about IVF is that I can do what the fuck I want
c) how my stims drugs seem to have started doing something as I’ve been really bloated since Sunday and can’t use my tummy muscles to sit up.

And knowing me I would have spun these three points into an overly long post.

Then my brother phoned.

His finacee is pregnant. Ouch.

As a bit of history, my brother is divorced and has 2 kids (6 and 8) who live in Wales (we live in Kent). He is an amazing father to these kids and drives to Wales and back (about 4 hours each way) every other weekend to pick them up and drop them off. He has been with his fiancée about 4 years and they recently got engaged. They are both 39 and showed now signs of wanting to have children…in fact they have a pretty great life balance of lots of cocktails and lots of fun with the kids.

So that phonecall came out of the blue and knocked me for six. Thank god he told me on the phone because after being all sunny and happy for him on the phone I crumbled onto my hallway floor and sobbed. I spoke to my sister who had asked them, and apparently they’ve been trying for a couple of years….so I can’t even be pissed off it happened easily for them!!

And this is where IF really is such a shitter, because I’m going to be an auntie again but instead of being happy about that …

I feel angry that I have to inject myself everyday for the POSSIBILITY of doing what they’re doing

I feel pissed off that her old ovaries kick my behave-like-old ovaries arse and can just perform ‘naturally’.

I feel hurt that whilst sharing my ttc pain with them they were going through the same thing but didn’t say a thing.

I feel like an idiot that I do yoga, meditation, qigong, acupuncture, eat organic, gave up alcohol, caffeine and a normal life to try to make this happen. And they just carried on their lives and had fun and it happened.

I feel like maybe my mental ‘I HAVE TO HAVE A BABY NOW’ ways have worked against me and it might have happened if I’d ‘just relaxed’ like everyone fucking told me to. Like they did.

I feel scared that in all likelihood I will have to watch her belly grow whilst mine stays (not so) flat and barren.

I feel sad that what should be a wonderful joy to the family will always be a reminder of what I should have had.

I feel so bitter that I’m ‘always the auntie never the mother’….and also ‘always the bridesmaid never the bride’. Because I can’t afford to get married. Because I have to have fucking IVF.

I feel so so sad that I have these thoughts instead of just being happy that my brother has found happiness after his ex-wife left him and took his kids to Wales. That I can’t just be happy that my soon to be SIL is pregnant when she probably thought she’d never have kids. That she has joy in her life when her mum died very suddenly last year.

But I can feel the happiness creeping in and the bitterness (although still very much there) fade a little. I know I will be happy for them. I know I will love that child as much as I love my nephews and niece. I know that they will be a wonderful addition to our pretty great family….. I even, in a crazy moment of reckless thinking, have allowed myself the dream of me having a baby a few months later and them being close cousins.

I know all this will come. Just maybe not today.

Particularly since I have a scan at 11am to check if my follies have grown and I can have EC this week…but with my AMH I’m not holding out much hope for good news….but quite frankly universe, you fucking owe me one.

Pre-TTC

My sister had her 2 children in quick succession in her mid-20s. Being 5 years younger than her and only 21 at the time I absolutely adored her boys, but motherhood was definitely something for the distant future – especially since DH and I had just started dating.

By my mid-late 20s I was pretty broody, but still not quite ready. We enjoyed our lifestyle: we socialised all the time; out for drinks; clubbing; holidays etc. We lived in a small but cosy flat (certainly no rooms for kids!) We spent most of our time with our group of very close friends we have known since teenagers, some since birth. In a group of about 7-8 couples we were by far the most broody and spent many drunken evenings almost ‘talking our friends into’ the benefits of having kids – after all I was going to start a family in 2 or so years time and I wanted other mummy friends! Most of our friends would say things like “I don’t know if I want kids and definitely not until my mid-30s” or “I’m not sure I want to give up my whole life”. This seemed so alien to me – I knew I wanted kids and although I wasn’t quite ready yet, I couldn’t wait until I was.

When I hit 29 I said to DH* (who was perhaps a little behind me in the ‘baby ready’ stakes) “lets do it when I turn 30”. I thought this would give him enough time to prepare himself for fatherhood. I really didn’t want either of us to rush into it as having lots of children in both our families, we had at least some insight into how hard, tiring, messy, noisy and all consuming having kids is. We knew we had to be totally ready when we started ttc** because it was pretty much a given that we were going to get pregnant straight away.

Our families are fertile: really fertile! DH has 6 siblings, none of whom have had problems conceiving their children. All but one of them has kids and the only one who doesn’t – his twin brother – has opted for 3 abortions with repeated ‘accidents’ (don’t even get me started) with 3 different women, one of whom had PCOS***. His eldest brother had recently had a baby and he’s in his 50s (another ‘accident’). The word fertile doesn’t cover this family!

On my side, my brother has 2 kids, no problems. My sister fell pregnant by ‘accident’ with both her boys with no problems, but then when she went to have her 3rd child things started to go wrong. At 5 months she very sadly miscarried. It was obviously just so devastating for her, such dark, dark times. But she picked herself back up – she had to having 2 small children to look after– got on with life and tried again. Again she fell pregnant really easily but again she miscarried at 5 months. This happened another 3 times. The doctors could never tell her any real reason why – she was given all the injections, scanned all the time to make sure the babies were fine, but each time it was the same: one day the baby was strong and healthy, the next it had died. Understandably she became a shell of a person for many years. Normally a very lively and bubbly person, she was lost in a sea of depression and despair. I lost my sister for a long time – we all lost her. In the end she decided she could no longer go through it and accepted that 2 kids was her limit. Although she has come out the other side of the pain and loss, it has left a mark on her soul forever.

Even though my sister had gone through such hardship I didn’t want to dwell on what that could mean for me– afterall she had her boys with no trouble. I was nervous about miscarriage, but to be honest I thought I’d cross that bridge when I came to it and just wanted to start off positively. So by the end of 2010 we were pretty ready: we’d got engaged, bought a house near our family and friends in the suburbs of London (it even has a primary school right behind it “won’t that be handy in a few years!”), we’d got rid of our old banger and got a nice new, safe car. We redid the bathroom and bought a toilet seat with a baby one built in for the inevitable potty training to come…everything was in place.

I was secretly quite pleased we were going to be one of the first in our group to have kids (a few of them had got in there early, but mainly everyone was still childless), I liked the idea that in the future I’d be able to give tips to our friends when they had their babies. Then in early January 2011 one of my close friends told me she was pregnant – I was shocked! I actually asked her if she was joking! This was one of the people who had been most unsure about kids, and adamant she wanted to enjoy her 30s first. Once I got over the 2 mins of shock I was delighted… in a few months I’d be joining her, we’d probably be on maternity leave together! By March another announcement came. Again I was pleased… another mummy friend I’d have, although a little disappointed not to be the mother hen, I could learn from their experience … and get their old maternity and baby clothes!!

According to our plan we’d done all the steps to prepare to start ttc in the May 2010: we were ready!

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* ‘Darling Husband’ (although we’re not acutally married!)

** trying to conceive

***Polycystic ovary syndrome