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We're Having a Baby!!!

by - Tuesday, February 04, 2020

This is a post that I'll be honest, I had started to wonder if I would ever get the chance to write. After 3 long years (that have also somehow flown by!? - It's scary how quickly the years rack up), copious tests, a fair few tears during the harder moments and a LOT of desperate chasing, we finally began our IVF journey back in April last year. We attended our first three appointments for all of the assessments, the tests, the slideshow presentations and consultations about exactly what we were about to embark upon (and put my body through) and we were feeling positive and ready to go.

I know from observing other couples at the clinic that this isn't always a process that leaves people feeling so upbeat - but we were just so grateful that we were finally here, getting the help we needed, with a rough date in mind of when, if successful, we would be finding out we were finally pregnant - the first week of August.

Instead, on the 5th August, we found ourselves sat in the ultrasound clinic of our local hospital watching the small but defiant flicker of our 12 week old baby's heart beating. Tears rolling down my cheeks, we watched in awe as our little tiny baby lifted it's arms, stretched it's legs and made us the happiest people in the whole wide world...

How we found out

So, heading back a little - we learned of our wonderful news the day before we were due at the IVF clinic to start the invasive course of drugs that would put my ovaries through a gruelling process of growing to 3 times their size in order to produce as many eggs as possible, ready for harvesting.

My period was four days late, but that had happened once before - and when you've been trying for 3 solid years, why would this cycle be any different to all the others that had ended in disappointment? Either way, the stress of waiting for that disappointing news was killing me so we bought a test on the Monday night and tried to put it to the back of our minds. At least this way I could stop letting my hopes creep up (yet again - despite my trying not to) and come to terms with another failed month. The main reason for doing the test was actually because the clinic needed to know the date of my last period in order to work out my course of drugs - so at least if we saw a negative test, we could let them know I was due any day.

But honestly, something felt different this time. It sounds like a cliche but I had this flutter of a feeling deep, deep down that this month could well be different.

But I also knew that when you've been trying for this long, it's incredibly easy to convince yourself that you feel different this month or have certain symptoms - you're on the lookout constantly and every tiny little thing makes you obsess over a thousand questions. So while my heart had a feeling that was impossible to ignore, my sensible head told me that I was simply looking for reasons to believe. - And in a way, it's nice to know that I never truly lost hope.

I woke up early the next day having barely slept, and crept off to the toilet to take the test. A part of me kept saying, 'you're kidding yourself, why even bother?' and another, smaller part of me gently whispered, 'this is your time.' And when that faint pink line appeared in the little window, my first thought was a very quiet 'I knew it!' followed quickly by, 'HANG ON, have I definitely read that right!?'

I knew I had, I'd read the instructions over and over, not to mention that I already knew exactly what it all meant from the many times before that the window had remained blank. I also just knew, I had known all along that it would be positive, but I just hadn't let myself believe it because my head was trying to protect my heart from yet another heartbreak.

Somehow, probably out of shock, I calmly walked back to our bedroom and perched beside Paul who was sleeping soundly and none the wiser to this life changing situation we were miraculously in. (Again, after 3 years of trying, I stopped involving him in the tests because why put him through the agonising 3 minutes to then have to have both your dreams shattered?)

He told me later that he'd never forget that morning; when he woke up to my face above his, tears in my eyes, the biggest smile on my face and declaring, 'I'm pregnant!' I can't even remember what he said back to me - everything sort of happened in this hazy, happy blur.

I can't describe the total and utter joy, relief, gratitude... so many feelings that we felt in that moment. We were pregnant, finally! After what I'd found to be the hardest journey of my life, we finally had a little life growing inside my body, and it was all ours. And it was NATURAL! No injections, no procedures, no worrying about 40% chances and postcode-lottery funding. We'd only gone and done it, all by ourselves! Our bodies HAD known what to do and they'd just been waiting for their moment.

Of course we didn't feel like we could believe it until we'd seen the actual words 'Pregnant' on a test stick, so Paul dashed out to get us a Clear Blue test with the weeks indicator. Time felt like it had completely stopped for us - fortunately because I couldn't sleep, I had got up much earlier than usual and this ended up giving us all this wonderful extra time before we had to head to work. I was fit to burst by the time he got back from the shop, and as I sat and waited for the window to develop, a part of me started to fear that it would appear blank... but nope, as clear as day, the little window instantly told us that we were 1-2 weeks pregnant. It now felt official.

And then, after all that, and some time sitting on the bed with Paul's arm around me staring at that little tiny word in the window that meant the greatest thing in the world, we both somehow calmly took ourselves off to work for the day!

I had to try so hard all day not to let my smile spread up to my ears, and we spent the day texting each other about our wonderful little secret, almost just to make sure it was real! Of course we'd both taken hundreds of photos of the test sticks before we'd left the house, and I sat at my desk secretly staring at the photos to remind myself that it hadn't been a dream.

Sharing the news...

That same weekend, we began to share the news with our closest family members and as you can imagine, there were a lot of tears and endless hugs. One of the things that had originally broken my heart a little about the IVF process was that our family knew we were going through it - and so we had lost that lovely opportunity of being able to announce our pregnancy and it be a shock to our loved ones. But against all odds, the Gods decided to make this possible for us and I couldn't have asked for more - in fact, I think it was more of a shock than it would have been had things happened the 'normal' way!

We also had the magical coincidence of Father's Day being just 5 days after we found out - so with the help of a lovely, lovely seller on Etsy and a quick trip to the shops, I managed to pull together a present for Paul's first ever Father's Day - it felt so surreal being able to do this for him when the news was still sinking in! Especially when the seller on Etsy messaged me back saying 'Congratulations!' when I asked her to do a rush order for me - and I couldn't tell Paul how wonderful it was hearing that word from someone!

Babygrow from H&M, Muslin Set from Primark, Card from Lula Bird Designs on Etsy
And then the 1st trimester kinda whizzed by in this wonderful blur of secret keeping, pinching ourselves and secretly watching my changing body as it developed and grew our precious little miracle. Not to mention collapsing on the sofa the second I got through the door every night, Paul breaking his arm playing baseball (not mandatory! 😂) and the intense aversions to foods that I'd been desperately craving a day or so before.

And here I sit, finally finishing writing this post at 39 weeks and 1 day, (finding the time to blog never has been my strong point!), and every now and then I STILL have to convince myself that this is real, I am pregnant and our opportunity to become parents has finally arrived...

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