A plea to Mother Nature – Mystery Mum

bump question markMystery Mum is now into her second month of trying to get pregnant with her second baby. I think a lot of you will identify with her feelings of frustration and the emotional rollercoaster of trying to conceive, even at this early stage. We’re eagerly awaiting the next update!

So it turns out we couldn’t get lucky first time again.

Those of you who read my first post last month will know that we conceived our first baby almost without thinking, and I was still cautiously optimistic when I wrote that post that there was a chance it could happen again. Well, it didn’t, and I have learned my lesson for our second time of trying – Calm. The Hell. Down.

Riding on a wave of excitement and giddy anticipation I couldn’t wait to take a test, and did it as soon as I thought something might show up, about 4-5 days before my period was due. Negative. Not to worry, I thought, it’s still pretty early. I tested again on the day my visitor should have arrived. Negative again. And again two days later.

Now I was late, but without a positive test I just couldn’t relax. I felt emotionally all over the place, bursting into tears, then finding the whole ludicrous reaction to nothing in particular completely hilarious. I mentally ticked off each early pregnancy symptom I thought I was experiencing. There were more than a few. My nipples had taken on a life of their own and were protesting in discomfort at the slightest touch; I felt fatigued, bloated, anxious and more. If I wasn’t pregnant, what was going on?

At more than a week overdue, I caved and splashed out on a more expensive digital test, as if that might tell me something the cheaper supermarket ones would not. It didn’t. In fact, seeing the cruel words ‘Not pregnant’ spelled out in front of my eyes was about as much as I could take in my heightened emotional state. I resolved to wait until the following week and make an appointment to see my GP. Something must be wrong.

Maybe feeling like there was no more hope that I actually could be pregnant allowed me to relax just enough – the following day my period arrived. I had had a 37 day cycle, when I’m normally pretty regular between 26-28. Mother Nature had played a cruel trick – or had I brought it all on myself?

I was actually relieved that I had finally got my period – even as it meant we hadn’t got lucky – as it also meant that I had a resolution to over a week of emotional turmoil. We could move on. We could start a new month afresh. Maybe the fact that I felt so wound up about the whole thing had actually knocked my hormones out of whack from the start – had I ovulated late? Maybe. Did it delay the arrival of my period? Possibly. All I knew was I couldn’t go on like that month after month. We all know stress is not the friend of conception.

So this month I have learned my lesson. I’ve consciously tried to be more chilled out about the whole baby-making palaver, and kept my excitement and apprehension in check. I’ve stopped obsessively reading pregnancy websites, stopped symptom watching, stopped fretting about whether I am or not, and just got on with life. I won’t be taking any early tests. Hopefully all will be resolved again one way or another next week.

Maybe we’ll get lucky this time and maybe we won’t. Yes, I’ll be disappointed if we don’t, but not working myself into a frenzy about it has got to be better than the way I felt a few weeks ago. Let’s just hope Mother Nature’s on my side this time.

Follow Mystery Mum on Twitter @BlogsForBabies – look out for #MysteryMum

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What a difference a year and a half makes – Grace Hall

grace hall picGrace is a 23 year old, stay-at-home mum from Bedfordshire who loves to bake wacky cakes and make beautiful baby items for her children. She loves cloth nappies and is pushchair crazy. She also had a tough time of conceiving her baby daughter Emilia. Her story highlights the strains that trying to conceive can put on even the strongest of relationships.

Grace blogs at mumwithanopinion.com

One day 3 years ago we were sat there just casually watching television when my partner (42) said ‘why don’t we have another baby?’ Now I was shocked! He has 3 children the mothers don’t allow him to see, his eldest now 16 and my little boy now 4. He was always saying he was getting old and can’t keep running around, but sure, I wanted a little girl to complete my own little family.

So we set off trying; I’d previously been on the Depro injection but that hadn’t been a problem with conceiving my son. We used an ovulation calendar, so I knew when the best moments were for a greater chance of conceiving and got to it whenever necessary, but things weren’t happening. With my son it took 3 weeks and we were pregnant, but 6 months down the line we still didn’t have a baby. I’d been to my doctors, who told me the injection could take up to a year to clear my system and I feared another baby might not be for us.

With every friend that got pregnant my jealousy grew; our relationship wasn’t going very well either with the stress of trying too much and having specific times we could and couldn’t. A year had passed and I had done research, a lot of research! I had come across this drug called Clomid that doctors gave to patients trying to conceive but having difficulties; normally they only give around 3-4 doses before other methods are looked into and other possible difficulties.

So I went to my doctors and explained my frustration and how much it was affecting our relationship trying to conceive. She told me she’d contact the hospital who tend to deal with the drug process and that I’d have to go for blood tests and fertility screening. It had rather scared me that I had to go through this and I did start to wonder what had or hadn’t I done to prevent getting pregnant. Me and my partner spoke it through and we decided this would be our last attempt before finally giving up.

However the day before we were due to attend our Clomid appointment, my partner finally came clean and said he had worries about our relationship and the stress had got to him, and he no longer wanted to go through with it or the baby. My. Heart. Sank. I had wanted this for so long but maybe had pushed the limits too far and hadn’t realised my relationship had been affected because of it.

So for months in the back of my mind sat this feeling – every time I saw a new baby I thought that could have been us, we could have had our little bundle by now. I hadn’t spoken of the subject since my partner said he didn’t want another, but I started to think ‘he’s just turned 40, we need to have one now or never’.

I sat him down and explained I was sorry last time hadn’t gone well and the pressure had been too forceful, and at the end of the conversation, he simply got up and said OK. OK he was fine with it; he didn’t feel we needed another one but if it’s what I really wanted and felt strongly about he would be prepared to do so, but on the understanding we tried on our own, no pressure from doctors or ovulation charts.

So it was back to trying hard and secretly I still had my ovulation charts as I couldn’t seem to shake the want for a little girl. After another 4 months we still were struggling and by now had left it to pot until…

One night out for our friend’s fancy dress party – and 4 weeks later, I was sat there staring as the faintest blue line stared back at me from a stick; far, far too early in the morning, a couple of days before my partner’s birthday. I was in complete shock and almost felt to cry out in sheer joy. I bounded the stairs and came down with two sticks of pure joy as an early present, of which he said ‘what does that mean?’ LOL – men, they haven’t a clue.

20 weeks and 2 scans later revealed I had indeed, after nearly 2 years of trying, got myself that little pink one I had stressed and cried about for so long. She weighed 6lbs 2oz and came with a dramatic 9 minutes to spare before her cousin’s birthday, taking just under 12 hours to make her appearance.

I will say I feel I’m the luckiest mummy. Sheer desperation, lots of tears, a near break up and so much bedroom talk, but see it was worth it all. I felt like I’d never see the day but the trick is: Never. Give. Up.

Follow Grace on Twitter @tinkerbella3456

Our bumpy journey – Sarah Knott

Sarah Knott picSarah is our very first Blogs For Babies contributor! She is a 26 year old mum-to-be, currently 32 weeks pregnant with her first child. Sarah is originally from Scotland but grew up in the Middle East and Holland and now lives in London, where she works in the international division of a retail head office. She is married to a Royal Navy sailor and is obsessed with cats!

Sarah blogs at theknottbump.blogspot.co.uk

I decided to come off the contraceptive pill in September 2012, two months after we got married in August. If he’d had his way, the husband would have had us trying earlier – he was the broodiest man alive! I suffered from anorexia as a teenager, and into my early twenties, and had been made aware that my hormone levels might have been affected as a result. The fact I’d been on the pill on and off for ten years was in the back of my mind as I wasn’t sure how much of an effect that would have had too.

Even though I knew my hormone levels might be affected, nothing could prepare me for how messed up my cycles became. The first cycle was over 100 days and the symptoms of coming off the pill mirrored early pregnancy symptoms, which was bizarre – nausea, dizziness, sore boobs, etc. I had read that you should give your body a few cycles to get back into the swing of things before trying properly. My problem was I wasn’t really having cycles. They just went on and on with no signs of ovulation and it became the most frustrating thing trying to figure out what was going on.

I was reluctant to go to the doctors because of my age (25 at the time) as I felt that I wouldn’t be taken seriously. I investigated a little online and decided to try some herbal remedies – mainly agnus cactus and evening primrose oil. These didn’t seem to do much for me and I tried tracking my basal body temperature instead. That was all over the place and didn’t tell me anything either. I also invested in a digital fertility monitor from Clearblue but there was no pattern in terms of fertility readings.

After a couple more months I relented and went to my GP. He did blood tests to see if that brought anything to light and when that came back looking ok, he eventually referred me for an internal scan of my womb/ovaries. That was an interesting experience! Everything came back looking normal though which was a relief.

The doctors advised the next step was for Rob to get tested before any further testing would be done on me. After talking it over we decided that we’d give it another couple of months which would have meant almost a year of trying before we considered any further testing. We were tired of constantly monitoring and worrying about everything and to be honest I was getting exhausted by the disappointment of negative tests.

We went on holiday to Ibiza the following month, had an amazing time, came back, tried to carry on with things not thinking about trying for a baby and within a month I had fallen pregnant! The only thing I’d been kind of looking at in terms of signs of ovulation was my cervical mucus. It had gotten to the egg white fertile stage earlier than it had done in previous cycles – around day 25 – which made me think my period would come earlier than it had been. It didn’t come and I waited ages to test because I didn’t believe I could be pregnant…but I was!

Despite being absolutely over the moon at being pregnant, early pregnancy didn’t treat me well as I suffered from bad morning sickness until I was around 20 weeks. Nothing I did calmed the symptoms; I tried every trick in the book! I also had a bleed and had to have a scan to make sure that everything was ok at around 9 weeks. Next, I was told at my 20 week scan that my placenta was low lying and that it would have to be monitored to see if it moved up in time for a natural birth or not.

We carried on as normal and I started to feel a little better at around 22 weeks. Unfortunately, at 28 weeks I had another bleed and had to call the labour ward as instructed by the midwives. They wanted us to come in and it led to me being admitted for 4 days for investigations. There is a separate, more in depth post on this on my blog if you’re interested.

But after all this here we are now; bump and I are doing really well and I’m settling into the third trimester well. I love all the kicking and constant reminders that baby is in there and continuing to grow and thrive. We now just have to focus on the big house move from London to Portsmouth when I go on maternity leave and of course…the even bigger event…the birth!

Follow Sarah on Twitter @KnottBumpAndUs