Friday, 29 January 2010

The news sinks in...

Yesterday's blog was a toughy to write.

Today's is going to be just as difficult... but my view? This is a cathartic exercise for me. For those who might stumble across my humble blog, it may strike up a glimmer of recognition of feelings past or present. Or it may just act as (I hope) an interesting read. 

Whatever the outcome, my early miscarriage happened over a month ago and, although the feelings are still hot and painful if I think too hard or if something reminds me of them, I do not regard this as being the end of my world and I am certainly trying not to feel sorry for myself. I realise that people all over the world go through much, much worse than an early miscarriage (I know a few personally) but stuff like this hurts like hell on a purely personal basis.

Since I came home from the hospital, hand in hand with my precious husband, I have experienced a whole host of emotions (some driven by crazy hormones, some merely a spiritual reaction to our loss).

I've found myself longing to be pregnant again. Even though I only found out I was pregnant three days before it ceased to be, my sense of loss, as well as that of my husband, is shockingly profound. While my 'baby' was merely a clump of cells, to me it was a child, my child. An image of me and my husband. A beautiful life in waiting.

Floods of tears have engulfed me (and hubby if he were standing too close at the time) on countless occasions in recent weeks and one of the most over-riding feelings of all has been one of pure stupidity. How could I have got so excited at such an early stage and spilled the beans to our nearest and dearest only to have to retract that news again so soon? I felt I had ruined everyone's Christmas. Disappointed everyone and let them down. What was to be the most special gift we could give to our families on Christmas morning had instead turned out to be a bitter blow to all concerned.

Christmas came and went and a lovely time was had by all. The subject of our pregnancy was skated around with diplomacy (a fact for which I was eternally grateful) and quality time was spent with our families. I immersed myself in the affection and comfort of those I love the most and the world span on.

While I'm coping absolutely fine, side by side with my husband, and moving on with things in my life (writing has been a huge boon and a pastime that has helped me through a lot of sticky moments in the past) I have to admit that I do still stop dead in my tracks on occasion. Something will catch my eye or sneak its sneaky little way into my subconscious and poke, teasingly at those emotions I mentioned early. I know that time is a healer *puts down the cliché and backs away slowly* and I have faith in my own powers of 'bounce back' but I know I'll never forget potential bump number one as we move on and try again.

To those ladies who have been through similar and probably much worse experiences than mine: I doff my imaginary hat to you and hope you have drawn the (very difficult to find but no doubt existent) positives from a horrible situation. Personally I am proud to have called myself a pregnant lady (albeit in the confines of my own four walls!) for just a few days.

This time obviously wasn't meant to be (the human body is a remarkable thing) but I will be a mummy... Oh yes!

Potential Mummy B

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Giveth with one hand... taketh away with the other

When you know you want to, why hang around right? After all, we had no way of knowing how long it would take us to fall pregnant. I know a number of couples who have had to have help of one kind or another to conceive. I also know others who still need that help and have yet to see any results. For them the dream of a natural family seems to be fading with every passing cycle; heartbreaking.

So why wait? Especially, as my husband keeps offering, 'at my age'. He is just a little younger than I and takes great pleasure in reminding me of the fact at every available juncture. Oh how I laugh...

Here's the exciting bit.

When we fell pregnant within the first six weeks of trying our emotions were almost too enormous to contain. I refrain from referring to those emotions purely as positive ones because, undoubtedly, mixed in amongst the undeniable excitement and joy was a rather striking crimson shade of terror. While my husband's reaction was mostly restricted to the joyful side of the spectrum, mine swung like an over enthusiastic bungy jumper swinging over a river valley from overwhelming happiness to white hot terror and back again within minutes.

But pregnant I undoutedly was! And off to the doctors we trotted at a rate of knots to make sure we hadn't got it wrong. I don't know what I was expecting the doctor to do for us but I guess I'd expected him to double check our self-diagnosis. No need apparently. The pregnancy tests one buys over the counter are every bit as accurate as those available to NHS staff so he merely congratulated us and calculated our due date. I was officially five weeks pregnant.

Off we skipped, reminiscent of a pair of 11 year olds racing off to the sweet shop, to tell both sets of parents our happy news. We couldn't contain our delight and our beaming faces gave us away as soon as we stepped through the door. But both sets of parents stood by their duties to wait to be told the news before bursting with excitement and squeals.

Our world was a happy place.

All this happened on 21 December 2009.

Over the next few days I tried to come to terms with the fact that I had a life beginning to grow inside of me. At that time is was a mere cluster of cells but it was my cluster of cells and I loved it for the potential baby it was to become. Hubby and I raced out to the nearest book store to buy some guide books on pregnancy and parenthood. We even stopped by Mothercare for a pregnancy journal which I began to fill in as soon as I got home.

I learned straight off that doubts and worries are commonplace, especially in a first pregnancy which, while doing nothing to alleviate those doubts and worries, made me more comfortable in experiencing them: a strange kind of equilibrium.

I started a journal to record my thoughts, feelings, doubts, anxieties. I began to spot a little the day after we did the test but a second test confirmed our initial hopes so all was well with the world.

I woke on Christmas Eve 2009 with joy in my heart, a developing foetus in my womb and a lifetime of plans doing the rounds in my brain. 'This is the last Christmas we'll have as a childless couple', 'next year I'll be buying 'baby's first Christmas' gifts', 'this has to be the best Christmas present ever'... However, as the day progressed the spotting I'd experienced the day before became more insistent and I developed a nagging, incessant ache in the pit of my stomach. Deep in my heart I knew something was wrong but, like the ostrich, I buried my head, hoping it would pass on by, hastened by the spirit of the season, and leave us good folk to enjoy our pregnant Christmas.

By late afternoon however, I could no longer ignore the pain. I called NHS direct and was told by an out of hours doctor to get myself to the hospital as soon as possible. Before we left, my husband and I agreed, without words, to prepare ourselves for the worst. With a heavy heart and the best game-face I could muster we headed out in the snow and ice.

Four and a half hours later we arrived home again, exhausted, drained of energy, emotion and a little blood. But most of all, we arrived back home without our pregnancy.

It was confirmed. We had suffered an early miscarriage.

Apparently almost one in four pregnancies end that way in the early stages; a fact that did nothing to ease the sense of loss I already felt after only three days of knowing I was with child.

My heart broke just a little that day.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Babies to the left of me, pregnancies to the right...

Isn't it funny that when you start focusing on a particular something, you start to notice that that 'something' crops up all over the place? Like for instance when a friend buys a new car that you haven't seen around before. All of a sudden you notice them all over the place. I have experienced something similar with babies.

Not, you understand, that I haven't really noticed babies and children before; I would surely have to walk around with my eyes closed in order to miss them (or trip over them, one of the two!). It's just that babies seem to be the topic of choice wherever I go; toddlers dart out in front of me in the supermarket, as if trying to draw my attention away from baked bean shopping; babies gleam their adorable gurgly little smiles at me as I fill the car with diesel; I've received the news that many of my friends have become pregnant in recent months or have recently had children; those of my friends and acquaintances who don't have children seem to make reference to them with ever increasing frequency; every time I turn the television on there is a baby or baby-related issue being talked about somewhere; and since my fairly recent marriage, babies seem to be the staple diet in terms of conversation whenever I meet family friends in the street. They are, in short, everywhere! Maybe it's just an age thing. Not only has my baby radar become more sensitive as I approach that stage in life, but that of my friends has also gone into overdrive, propelling those with the means (and some without) to beat me down the terrifying yet compulsive road that is children.

Just recently, since I've been trying to get pregnant (obviously with the help of my willing husband), friends have quite literally beaten me to the punch. Not that I begrudge them their excitement - no, not at all. It's just that I want to be able to discuss my exciting journey too but have made a pledge with my husband (as well as with myself) that we'll reach at least the 12 week mark of pregnancy before we start clambering up to the rooftops to make our announcement to the world.

Anyway, from me, an anonymous congratulations to all you pregnant ladies out there. I hope to join you in the ever glowing, ever growing stakes very soon!

Potential Mummy B

To prepare or not to prepare?

I didn't take much advice when my husband and I decided to try for a baby. Looking back I probably should have done.

I went to the doctors to get my contraceptive of choice removed and mentioned that we wanted to start trying for a baby in the coming months. Much to my husband's consternation the doctor told us we should not be 'joining' every day as this would deplete our sperm count. Instead we should be aiming for once every three days or so to give the little 'fellas' a chance to regroup!

After what was rather a brief chat about pregnancy and being bundled out of the door with a scrappy pile of print-offs relating to pregnancy and alcohol and pregnancy and diet, we left the doctor's surgery and headed for home to cogitate.

Following on from that we decided to float about on the internet for a while to see what we could stumble across. Unfortunately my rather disorganised approach to pregnancy research resulted in a big, fat blank as far as information was concerned. I'm sure there's oodles of site out there with information for prospective mums and dads to wade around in, immersing themselves in the whole experience of trying for a baby; I was damned if I could find it!

So what about blagging it? Probably not a wise move but how many women fall pregnant by accident and just find their way through without harm to them or the baby? Besides, I have the wisdom of my Mum, my mother in law, my sisters in law who have both fairly recently had children of their own. Plus I have my fabulous husband to run around for me if I so wish! What more could a woman need... a support network within five minutes of her own front door.

I am blessed.

And so, when it comes to planning, researching and preparing, I'm sure there is a lot to be said, if that's the way you want to do it. Me? I'm more of a 'fly by the seat of my pants' kind of girl. While never putting me or my unconceived child at risk, I have taken the decision to roll with the punches, as it were. I'm relatively fit and healthy. I've had a blood test recently, which came back with a clean bill of health. What more can I do?

Perhaps a quick trip to the local bookshop for some pregnancy help books might be in order, just in case...

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

My baby adventure begins - the big decision

I want a baby.

No, hang on, let's not be too hasty. Do I want a baby? Yes. No, wait...


Is this such a big decision for everyone? I mean, deep down I've always known (since I was knee high to that proverbial grasshopper) that eventually, some day when I was 'growed up', I would want a family of my own. My dream has always been to have two: a boy and a girl... in that order. My husband thinks he might want three but I'm yet to decide whether to let him have a say!

A few months ago, when my husband and I were making the decision to actually start trying for a baby the conversations were reasonably short. They went something like: "When do we start trying?" asked he. "November? December? January?" replied I. "How about now?" asked he. "OK then, why not?" replied I. Could it be much simpler?

Well surely I'm not the only prospective mummy-to-be to have secret, internal struggles with this decision, even after the decision has been made? No, I can't be. After all, it is just a slightly large step to take..?

Now, I'm a thirty-something (never ask a lady!), I'm married with a very loving and supportive husband and our own home. Since we first got together we've been in complete and zen-like harmony on the issue of children (that is aside from the aforementioned number of said offspring).

So there we have it. The decision was made (at least externally!) to start actually making some progress. But don't worry, I'm really not going to go into the... *thinks carefully how to phrase this... ups and downs (NO)... ins and outs (absolutely not)* trials and tribulations of actually making the baby - that's for some other kind of blog which, I'm almost completely certain, will already exist somewhere on this inter-hyper-global-mega interweb thingy!

Anyway, I digress. My husband and I are trying for a baby and, I'm sure I'm not alone in these feelings, I am on a constant pendulum swing between pure, unadulterated excitement at the idea of becoming a mum and absolute, white-hot, earth-shattering terror at the enormity of it all. And while my husband is incredibly supportive of all of my (sometimes terrifyingly random) changes of mood, he fails to comprehend the enormity of my slightly less than positive feelings.

I mean, I'm used to having a very busy and enjoyable life. A baby will change all that to an unbelievable level. I'm not sure my husband understands that. He isn't the one whose body will change beyond recognition, whose career will have to be put on hold (at least for a while), whose drinking habits will have to be repressed and locked away until a later date, at which point I'll have to start all my training again from scratch! He gets the 'fun' part then gets to sit back for nine months!

But then I think about having a perfect little being, a combination of me and my gorgeous man, to love and cherish and introduce to the world. To teach to read and write or ride a bike. A future generation of my fantastic family; a grandchild for my amazing parents and in laws. The pride is already starting to build, even as I type.

OK, so it's a massive decision and one that can't be taken lightly... and believe me it hasn't been. I'm still terrified at the prospect of actually putting my body through pregnancy. But millions and millions of women have done it before me so I'm sure I'll cope somehow! So the decision is made. My husband and I are definitely going to have a baby. And soon I hope!

Now, where did I put my folic acid?

Monday, 25 January 2010

An introduction

Hi! I'm a first-time blogger so I'm a bit nervous but I'll press on regardless.

This is my blog. I hope to maintain an interesting, occasionally humourous and sometimes helpful record of my big adventure - having a baby.

I'm not actually pregnant yet but that doesn't deter me from pursuing this particular path. You see I'm a writer and I love to document things. I usually write under other people's names and for the purpose of other people's companies but now I'm turning the tables and writing from my own point of view, about my own experiences.

Without a doubt having a baby is going to be the most exciting yet terrifying adventure of my life so far and I've decided to keep a record of it. Even if no-one else reads this I'll always have my own personal story to recount to whoever wants to listen when the time comes.

While I'm not actually starting from scratch (all will become slightly clearer later) I'll be providing a chronological account of the twists and turns of decision making, potential pregnancy and early parenting right here on this blog.

So, from a complete blogging virgin, thank you for passing by and I hope you'll be back should this blog catch your eye, tweak your interest or just help you pass the time!

Yours with a hop, skip and a jump (while I still can!),

Potential Mummy B

Thursday, 21 January 2010


This is a lovely list of lovely blogs that I like to keep up with and read as often as I can... I suggest you take a look - they really are smashing!