Where on earth has the last year gone? I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I went on maternity leave and nearly 11 months since Baby Flat was born! Time has flown by and I’m really not sure where all the days have gone. To be honest, they have all sort of blurred into one.
Motherhood is fantastic. I don’t want to bang on about it too much, as I know how much it hurts to read that when you’re still trying to become a mother (or father). All I will say is that I still don’t understand parents who constantly moan about how hard life is with children. I still cringe at the Facebook posts about how grateful parents are that school has started again and they can “go back to work for a rest” and I still want to smack my head against a wall when I see memes like this (which I have seen most days over the past few weeks):
Maybe I am still far too sensitive about things, but I was never so exhausted as when I was desperately trying to have a child, waiting months to go from one fertility appointment to the next, having an invasive operation and having our IVF halted at the very last moment (all while trying to hold down a very demanding job and crazy commute). And none of that even compares to what so many people went through/are still going through in their fight to become parents.
As I have said before, I don’t think I will ever stop being grateful that things worked out for us and that we have a healthy child. I do find it odd when friends who also struggled go on to plaster Facebook with parenting nonsense like the meme above. I don’t mean the friends who put up pictures of their babies
(I secretly love the babies that were conceived after a struggle that little bit more), but the ones who will update about how much they want a break from the baby or how their baby is a “great contraceptive” because “nobody would have a second”. I know I sounds harsh and sanctimonious, but how have they forgotten so quickly?
As it turns out, perhaps I should be a little less sanctimonious about the whole thing and stop waving my “it’s not always easy” flag. Apparently, I am the most fertile infertile there ever was, as I am currently 16 weeks pregnant. I know. WTAF?
Baby Flat the Second
When I blogged a few months ago, I explained that we decided to start trying for a second very soon after Baby Flat was born. We had been advised to wait at least a year because of the C Section, but after researching it and finding there wasn’t a huge increase in complications when a conception happened at 6 months post C section compared with 12 months, we decided to crack on. Our logic was that it OBVIOUSLY wouldn’t happen any time soon, if at all, as we had taken years to conceive Baby Flat, we were both older, I’d been butchered by the C section and I was still mostly breast feeding. We felt that if we were not able to have a second, we didn’t want to look back and wonder if it may have been possible if we’d started trying before the 12 month mark.
So in the end it took us three months. What even is that? That’s not even verging on trying. It’s embarrassing and makes me cringe even thinking about it! Yes, we timed things and used OPKs and all that, but in our experience three months is the interval between each fertility investigation, not the entire time it takes to conceive a baby.
I fully appreciate that I am now a walking cliché. I am the girl who fell pregnant the month her IVF was cancelled. The girl who fell pregnant on holiday (although I did ovulate pre-holiday). The girl who fell pregnant after she said she’d never go on birth control again, as Baby Flat was the miracle baby she never thought she’d have.
Seriously, I hate myself. I do have had to deal with my fair share of inane comments though (“You fell pregnant so easily because your body now knows what to do”, which is pretty offensive anyway but also stupid considering the most serious of our fertility problems were male factor!).
BUT, I am once again so incredibly grateful to be pregnant. I can’t believe this is happening a second time and we will hopefully have a second child.
So far this pregnancy has been quite different. With Baby Flat, I felt pretty well until week 35 of the pregnancy but gained a heap of weight (about 5 stone / 70lbs!). With this pregnancy, I haven’t gained any weight (I was fat to begin with though), but I have felt so unbelievably ill. I am still sick and keep coming down with every viral infection going. I have also had some nasty scares and have ended up in hospital with bleeding twice. It is every bit as nerve wracking this time round, and I am certainly not taking anything for granted.
The Great North Run and Tommy’s
(*Trigger Warning* – I am about to talk about stillbirth, so please do not read if this will be triggering).
Although I am feeling awful, I am still hoping to run my half marathon this weekend. My family don’t want me to do it as one of the bleeds I had was straight after running 10k. I must admit, I do have reservations about attending the race and running and really don’t want to do anything that could harm the baby. I feel I have to though, as I have raised money for Tommy’s (a charity that supports those who have suffered miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth and which funds research into these issues) and I just don’t want to let the charity down.
Last month, a couple who are two of our best friends had a stillbirth. I won’t say too much about their story, but this came after two miscarriages and over a year of trying before they became pregnant with this little boy. They were so blissfully happy throughout her pregnancy and I just can’t get my head around how one couple can have so much suffering. I know there is nothing I can do or say for them, but I feel like raising money for this charity is about the only proactive thing I can do.
Werk, werk, werk, werk werk
The other big thing that has affected me over the past few months is my job. It’s a shame as I should have been allowed to enjoy my maternity leave and return to a supportive working environment.
I can’t face even wasting a tiny amount of energy writing down everything that happened with work over the past few months. All I will say is that they did a lot of really awful, illegal things and pushed me to the point where I simply could not go back. I ended up taking legal advice, and the employment lawyer was absolutely gobsmacked at some of the things they had done. Not only because they broke so many laws, but because they were so brazen in the way they did it and because they left so much evidence (many professional services firms do similar things, but most know not to put incriminating things in writing!). Anyway, the end result is I settled with them and left my job.
The whole experience was awful. My confidence has been completely crushed by them and I am going to struggle to find work in that field again (a field I had to study for many years, do unpaid work to get the experience required, then work my arse off 24/7 to prove myself as a junior) . In this line of work, they expect you to only take a few months of maternity leave at most. As I will hopefully be off on maternity leave again from January 2018, and it’s unlikely I can find interim work before then, it will be a good two years of being out of work at the point I start applying again. It makes me incredibly nervous for the future, and it also makes me incredibly angry that this is happening in 2017.
Still, I am trying to remain as positive as possible. If it’s a choice between having a good career or a healthy child, let alone two healthy children (neither of which I thought possible two years ago), I know which option I’d pick!
x x x