Five years ago, at the age of 17, I lost a baby. I was still at school, I was in the midst of my A Levels and Sean and I had been together for almost two years. Until that day I did not know I was pregnant, it was too early to tell. I had been tired, nauseous, irritable but I had put it down to PMS. We had not been careless, our contraception had just failed us and as it dawned on me that the horrific pain and bleeding was more than just a period I felt my heart break into what felt like a million pieces. We were so so young.
But from that day forward, I had this overwhelming need and desire to have a baby, to be a Mum. It was the first thing I’d think about in the morning, the last thing at night. Everything I did and every decision I made from then revolved around the ultimate goal to have a baby. I’d look around at all of our friends and close family who were falling pregnant and wonder why it couldn’t be me. Three years on and surrounded by other people’s babies and pregnancies, being asked time and time again whether we would be next, I lost the plot a little and made the decision to put my business selling baby products on the back burner and return to work. During this time, friendships with ‘mum friends’ became frayed and I went into self preservation mode, working all that I could and counting down the months & saving all that we could so that we would get ourselves into the ‘perfect position’.
It’s Tuesday 28th July 2015. I am home from work, taking a 10 minute break from Beebies and I’m on.
This time last week, I was totally expecting to be exactly here, in exactly the same position except now I am pissed off, drained and cross with myself.
Sean and I have agreed that it’d be best to wait until after Christmas to start trying for a baby. By then we should be at least 2/3s of the way towards owning our first home, meaning that by the time a baby arrives we should be living there and fully settled in. Despite my uncontrollable emotions and ridiculous waterfalls of tears at weddings, int he super market, watching EastEnders… pretty much any time anywhere my empty ovaries decide to overspill, I know this is the right thing to do. The practical thing to do.
I was due on on Saturday. Always Ultra and big knickers at the ready I was fully prepared. As the day passed, I played merrily with my friends children at their birthday party, skillfully batting off the looks of others wondering where my own children were, or whether my pre menstrual bloated tummy was actually an early secret bump.
Saturday evening came and still no period. Not even the tiniest hint of a cramp or twinge in my boobs. I had a bath, went to bed and waited for morning. It was going to come I was sure of it. Whats one day?
Sunday I was hit by dizziness, exhaustion and nausea. After a trip to Tesco and doing thr ound of Mr’s family, I came home grabbed the duvet and watched trashy tv on the sofa desperately trying to drown out the tiny little voice in my head which was repeating “maybe you’re pregnant” over and over and over again.
The morning of Monday 27th July was more of a struggle than normal Monday mornings. I could barely stand without feeling sea sick and light headed. My head was pounding and I have never felt such intense tiredness. I actually, if only for a second, fell asleep at my desk at work. Still no period.
How I made it through my shift I don’t know. I caught the bus home, debating in my head whether to buy a test at the other end, just to shut that stupid little voice of hope up which was growing louder and louder the later and later I became. I popped into the chemist but couldn’t bring myself to buy one, so walked out and came home
By Monday evening I was convinced I was pregnant. I’d designed the announcement cards we were going to give to our close family & friends to suprise them, made a secret pinterest board of things I plan to buy my baby and admitted my thoughts to one of my best friends.
At 1am this morning, I woke up to go to the toilet and there it was. The little red blob in my knickers which wiped all hope and excitement from my head and my heart.
Today I am inwardly screaming how much I hate Mother bloody nature. Why couldn’t I have just come on, on time, as planned? Why did she have to taunt me with those three late days? The sickness, the exhaustion, the symptoms of early pregnancy everyone seems to talk about having.
Here’s to another month of not trying for a baby and desperately clutching on to the hope of a slip up.
Mother Nature, you’re a bitch.
13th October 2015
As yet another friend announces her pregnancy online, I find myself sat here mid cycle, wondering what the hell I am doing wrong.
Well there’s the obvious thing. We aren’t trying. As everyone keeps saying to me, we aren’t in a position to be trying. But how on earth is everyone else?
I look around and very few of my pregnant or recently birthed friends are in a perfect situation. Granted, some are settled in beautiful big houses with beautiful big gardens, fancy schmancy jobs and a nice financial cushion behind them. But some – the majority – aren’t. They’re like us. Dedicated to their partners, getting by earning all they can, making the best of what they have and wanting to know the joy a little new addition will bring to their lives. They aren’t waiting. They’re doing. And they’re happy & excited & they’re okay.
Why is it that we have to wait? What makes us so different to them? No, fair enough, living at home with my Mum & sister isn’t where I’ve always planned to start a family of my own, but I look around and wonder why on earth it would be so terrible, just to start with?
We are very lucky. Both of our Mums will be amazing grandmas. Neither of them can get through a day without a conversation about how they are ready to have grandchildren. They are a great support network for us too. We’d never have to worry about not having anywhere to live with our baby, either one of them would go out of their way to make all three of us feel at home while we find our feet & save as much money as we can. .
We have a spare room off of our bedroom here which used to be my sisters nursery. I often sit & picture how it would be if we were to have a baby. I have decorated it in my head a thousand time over. It’d do us just fine for a year until we’ve built up our deposit and can buy our first little home.
We’d be okay money wise. I’m set for a promotion by the end of the year which would increase my hours and mean we could save as I go. Owning a baby business has its perks – trade rates & great contacts would more than half the initial costs. I already have a mountain of nappies. A moses basket. seemingly thousands of muslin cloths. I’ve collected them all as time has gone one. Trade show goodies & samples have been multiplying over the years and stored lovingly in a basket in the would be nursery.
I never ever ever saw myself being the kind of girl who waited ’til she was thirty before she started a family. Not even twenty five. I know deep down that all I have ever wanted is to be a mum. Sure, a business woman, a marketing guru, a size 8 skinny min millionaire, they were up there, they had their moments in my goals, but what it all boils down to in my heart of hearts is that I want to be a Mum. To have a family that is mine.
But still, despite all of this, I am told we cannot. We shouldn’t, just in case. And so I sit, and I smile and congratulate. And then when I’m on my own, in the bath or late at night once everyone is asleep and I can hold it in no longer the pain that strikes leaves me a blubbering mess with aching ovaries and an empty womb.
I don’t want to wait any more. I just don’t want to wait.
In late December 2015 we made the decision to start trying to conceive. It didn’t come as easily as we had hoped. The fear of not being able to have the family I had always dreamed of consumed me each time mother nature would rear her head and leave me with late period after late period.
After another suspected miscarriage in May, followed by an ectopic pregnancy scare I was diagnosed with a bleeding ovarian cyst which was removed in June. Three months later, almost to the day, I found out I was pregnant. My heart filled with a rush of love for the little salt grain sized being rresiding in my tummy. I would do anything and everything in my power to give her all that she needed and keep her there until she was ready to join us in the world. And that’s why I was so so anxious throughout those first twelve weeks, when the bleeding started at 6 & 9 weeks and why even now, at almost 24 weeks pregnant I still have trouble believing she will actually come and be ok.
Pregnancy following a miscarriage, no matter how early, is a wonderful but worrying time. Every day I hope and I pray that this little girl who wriggles and kicks inside my belly will arrive safely and stay. Because a person is a person, no matter how small.