One minute you’re 20 years old taking the contraceptive pill religiously, praying that your partying days aren’t over; and the next you’re counting your fertile days, peeing on ovulation sticks and jumping on your partner every spare second you get in the hope that this month is THE month. For many women, that positive test comes quickly, but for many others the waiting game is tough and soul destroying.
We tried for 4 years before I fell pregnant and they were the toughest 4 years of my life. I cried, I laughed, I spent a lot of money on a lot of shit to help me fall pregnant. I pressured my husband in to sex day in day out and I prayed, (something I’d never done before). I was a woman on a mission. Wanting a baby and not getting pregnant is a lonely place. It consumes you and you can only really understand it if you’ve been through it. It’s strange how the second you decide to try for a baby, every one else in the world becomes pregnant. Beatrice from school who I hadn’t seen for 20 years popped up on my Facebook announcing “surprise we’re having a baby” everywhere I looked there were bumps, baby showers and baby reveals, just to make me feel a little bit worse and remind me that I was most definetly not pregnant.
Pregnancy tests became the enemy…an expensive enemy. I got almost used to looking at a stick praying that there would be two lines. I’d even sometimes see a line that wasn’t there, desperately standing by my bedroom window turning the test in the light to see if the result was different….of course it wasn’t it was just a big fat negative each time.
I decided to come off the pill at 33 (looking back I am so glad I did). I told Matt it would take us at least a year to get pregnant so it was best we started trying now, even though I never believed that would be true. Little did I know that the journey would be a lot longer than anticipated.
The first month off the pill, I convinced myself that I in fact was pregnant. I was adamant I could feel the symptoms they say you get once the egg has implanted. I was a little smug and thought to myself that I was obviously just one of those extremely “fertile Freddie’s” the ones that don’t even have to actually have sex and get pregnant (god I wish I could go back and slap my then self).
I need to also point out at this time that my journey is by far not the worse that I’ve heard of during my time of trying for a baby. I came across women and stories that made me cry myself to sleep. Some of the things people have been through to have a baby are crazy and I have so much respect for the strength and determination of any couple fighting for their dream to have a child, especially when it’s such a simple dream and something you take for granted until it doesn’t happen.
So I came off the pill. We tried for just under a year and nothing happened so we decided to go and see a doctor who was great and said that we would get to the bottom of what was wrong. Two and a bit years later we didn’t have any answers. We had sperm tests, a HSG
(which checks your tubes) and numerous blood tests under our belts and everything looked perfect (annoyingly perfect) which to be honest was even more frustrating. They checked my ovulation which came back showing that some months I skipped ovulation and others I didn’t so they decided to start me on clomid for 6 months which did nothing apart from make me bloated and grumpy. I was then told there was nothing more they could do, that the next steps would be IVF and I was sent on my way.
After much deliberation we decided to go down the route of IVF although just before we did we found out we were pregnant naturally. Unfortunately, that pregnancy ended at 6 weeks and again the painful process of accepting this wasn’t our baby began.
Eventually we did get pregnant naturally after nearly 4 years. I still remember the morning so clearly that I sat down to do a wee and take a random pregnancy test. When the 2nd line came up I was in disbelief, I was tired of it all and I remember not feeling excited because I associated pregnancy with sadness and disappointment and didn’t really believe that it was real or that it would actually last this time.
My fertility journey is something I want to talk about in more detail and something I probably can’t cover in one blog post. As I sit here writing I can see my little boy next to me smiling and it still makes me feel like the luckiest Mum in the world.
I think the main thing I have to take from all of the years of trying is that now I appreciate more than ever my little boy. I count myself so blessed even through the sleepless nights.
It’s hard when you are trying and not getting pregnant. At times I really believed it would probably never happen for us. I know it’s easy for me to say now but people going through something similar need to be kind to themselves and honestly don’t give up, know that it will happen and that sometimes the best things come from the toughest situations.