Tag: Pregnancyafterinfertility

Life at the (almost) 11 month mark

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):

Meme

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

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Hello 2017

Well I doubt 2017 will top 2016 for me!

I know 2016 has been a pretty sh!tty year in many ways (Generally: Brexit, Trump and the rise of the far right. Personally: the death of a very good friend of mine and my beloved dog), but it was the year I became pregnant and gave birth to a wonderful little boy.  I couldn’t have really asked for much more!

I am not sure what to expect in 2017.  I think most of the year will be winging motherhood and trying to be the best parent I can for Baby Flat.

Here are a few things 2017 has in store:

Driving again

In January I can start driving again.  I can’t wait to have a little more freedom and to be able to leave the house a bit more with Baby Flat.  Since the c section, I have not been allowed to drive.  As I live on the outskirts of a small market town, I have therefore been restricted to walking into town (which quickly gets very boring!) or staying indoors (which is less boring than I thought it would be, but probably isn’t very good for my social skills!).

Getting fit / losing some chub

This should probably be my priority in 2017 (after Baby Flat of course!).  It makes me a little sad because I love eating! I hate the way I look though, and there’s only so long you can use the excuses “I’m pregnant” or “I’ve just had a baby”! I gained a huge amount of weight through TTC and pregnancy. To date I have lost around 30lbs but I have a long way to go (like, around 40-50lbs) before I’m back to a weight I’m comfortable with.

I do feel a little cheated as so many people say “The weight drops off when you breastfeed”, which I have found to be total rubbish.  I am eating around 2,000 cals a day, which I track religiously using MFP (MyFitnessPal).  Allegedly breastfeeding then uses up around 500 cals a day, so the maths say I should slowly be losing weight.  I’m not.  I know it’s not the end of the world and I have never been able to lose weight easily, but when breastfeeding is so darn hard I think there should be a little reward for the poor mum!

I think I’ll feel much better once my fitness increases and my waistband decreases.  My self-esteem, motivation and all-round confidence is linked to my weight, as I’m sure it is for many people, so I really want to get a grip on it sooner rather than later.  I have started following a few fitness/diet blogs, but there is so much sponsored rubbish out there it’s hard to find blogs that are interesting!

Going back to work

At the moment, the plan is that I will return on 1st August 2017 and BT will take the remainder of my year’s maternity leave as paternity leave*.  This way I can ease back into work and will have a few weeks knowing that Baby Flat is safe at home, before we need to face putting him in a nursery for 11 hours each day.  I am really unhappy about having to put him in a nursery when he is so small, but if I give up work now then it will be very hard to get back into my chosen career a few years down the line.

Financially it makes very little sense for me to go back to work now, as the cost of childcare plus the cost of my commute means I will effectively be bringing home £10/day (incredibly depressing when I am working 12-18 hour days!).  I am trying to focus on the bigger picture though, and the long term incentives.  It is very hard though when I have been treated so badly by my current employer (as background, they were awful to me throughout my pregnancy and made a number of threats about my job.  They then failed to give me the correct pay increase in line with others of my level and refused to give me a bonus.  Although they did not say it, all of this was as a direct result of me announcing my pregnancy).

Hopefully in 2017 I can explore other job opportunities and get a new job for 2018.

(*As an aside, I love the shared parental leave system the UK has at the moment! I really hope that it won’t be one of the many beneficial systems that gets cut once Brexit occurs.  Sadly, I have a feeling the UK will massively backtrack on a number of employment protections and benefits we currently have, along with many other benefits.)

Number 2?

It seems like madness to already be thinking about this, but BT and I would love to have a second child.  We both originally wanted a big family (four children), but over the years that obviously changed to praying for just one healthy child!

Originally, when I was pregnant with Baby Flat, we had said that we would start trying in January 2017.  We were conscious that it could take years to fall pregnant again (not to mention the fact that a pregnancy doesn’t guarantee a baby) and so we were keen to start as soon as possible.  If we were lucky enough for it to happen quickly, then that would have just been amazing!

Unfortunately, due to the nature of Baby Flat’s birth, we were told not to start trying again for at least a year after the birth.  Although this was a little disappointing, we will forever be grateful that we actually have a healthy child and we will never ever forget that.  So many women (and men) go through everything we went through and much worse, yet never get to hold their baby.  We are definitely counting our blessings that Baby Flat arrived safely!

We will see where we get to over the course of 2017.  Sometimes we think that we should maybe start trying a little sooner (nothing stupid, but perhaps waiting 9 months rather than 12) as we don’t want to leave it too late and miss the boat.  Other times we’re really nervous to try at all in case I am not “fixed” internally and us racing to try again somehow harms any baby.

It is difficult to get any accurate information, because the guidance appears to be “wait at least a year or you may risk damaging yourself and/or your baby, however if you are over 35 or may struggle to conceive you can start after 6 months”.  This makes no sense to me, because either you are ready physically to carry a baby or you are not?

We will see.  As much as I am ready emotionally to start trying now, I am definitely not ready physically as I still get quite a bit of internal pain from the c section.

Anyway, for now I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 has to offer.

I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful 2017!

x x x

P.S. I have changed my Username slightly as FlatWhite was just so impersonal! 2017 and new beginnings and all that…

 

Goodbye 2016

Yes, I know.  This is a little premature.

I have just been looking back at the two posts I wrote almost a year ago: one saying goodbye to 2015 and one welcoming 2016.  It is crazy to see how much everything has changed over the past 12 months.  Never in a million years did I really believe that I would be holding a baby in my arms by Christmas 2016.

In short, 2015 was one of the worst years of my life, if not the worst.  It was the year that I really started to lose hope that we would be able to conceive naturally, or even at all.  All the initial excitement of trying for a baby, then the subsequent months of rationalising that we had “only been trying for x number of months” was over and instead 2015 was filled with the same depressing cycle of waiting to ovulate, having an agonising two week wait followed by days of heartbreak and despair.  I developed depression and insomnia and gained a lot of weight.  All in all, it was a pretty shitty year.

During the last few months of 2015 both BT and I had a number of fertility tests, I had a laparoscopy and we prepared for IVF.  These were a hellish few months and everything was a battle.  When we got all the necessary appointments and tests, there would be months in between each new step that we needed to take.  In October 2015 we were told by a GP that I had signs of either ovarian failure or early menopause.  Thankfully, when the fertility specialist saw me several months later it turned out that my numbers were not fatal to my fertility and that it was certainly possible for me to conceive naturally.  She felt that the bigger issue would in fact be BT’s low count and poor morphology.  At first we were told that we could have IVF on the NHS by Easter 2016, then at the start of 2016 we were told we could start straight away the following month.  Only a few months later, this was then pulled altogether as we moved house and with it moved to a different CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group – the NHS operates on smaller regional areas, and generally the individual CCGs decide what they spend their money on.  So a few will fund three IVF cycles for eligible people and some will fund none).  The effect of our move was that the clinic we were being seen by refused to carry out the first IVF cycle as scheduled until they had a written agreement that our new CCG would fund it (although nobody could tell us who this consent should come from or how we could get in touch with the relevant person!).

Despite my initial optimism, 2016 looked as though it would carry on the way 2015 had ended.

In many ways, this has been a terrible year for many and I see a lot of friends talking on Facebook about 2016 being the “worst year ever”.

There has been quite a lot of stuff generally that has upset me this year.  Losing one of my best friends and then my dog passing away over the summer were particularly difficult.  I have also had my career stall and faced some awful discrimination which, although horrible and I am dreading going back SO MUCH, has forced me to reassess my chosen career path and switch to something more suitable as soon as I get the opportunity.  I am trying my best to see the positives and to stick out my return to work, but the whole situation has really crushed my confidence and has made me very distrustful of employers more generally.

I am also still deeply upset by the Referendum result and the UK’s vote to leave the EU (or more accurately: England and Wales dragging Scotland and Northern Ireland out of the EU).  I won’t go into all the reasons why it has upset me and why I think it is ridiculous that people think we will be better off out of the EU (did they GENUINELY think that money was available and would be spent on the NHS?!).  All I will say is that unfortunately there seems to have been an undercurrent of hatred quietly bubbling away and the Brexit vote has allowed that to rise to the surface.  Several friends of mine have received verbal attacks, with one friend who has lived in the UK for over 40 years saying that for the first time ever she worries for the safety of her and her two young daughters.  In 2016, nearly 2017, it is terrifying that hate crime and intolerance of others is seen as acceptable.

The fact that America can vote in a man who holds such hateful, sexist, racist views shows that the UK is not alone at the moment.  It really worries me how all of this will end.

Anyway, negativity aside, I have actually had a brilliant year.  At the start of February we had an amazing holiday where we did a lot of talking (as well as sunbathing, reading, exercising and eating!!!).  We decided to look into IVF in the Czech Republic and we also decided to start exploring adoption more (although we were keen to try IVF a few times first).  All in all, the holiday did wonders for our morale and we both came home feeling much more positive about the future.  Little did we know, Baby Flat had actually been conceived by this point! I would love to say that we “just relaxed” and “it happened when we least expected it”, but all of this is total b*llocks.  As romantic as it would have been to say that we conceived on holiday, sadly Baby Flat was conceived a few days earlier in miserable, cold, rainy Britain!

So on a personal level 2016 turned out to be the best year of my life! I can’t begin to describe how amazing it felt to get a positive pregnancy test and to have each scan along the way go well.  I was incredibly anxious for the whole pregnancy, made worse by my awful working environment and the discrimination I faced, but in 2016 I gave birth to a wonderful, healthy, happy little boy (Ok, I’ll ignore the details of the horrific birth.  He’s healthy and happy now, and I really can’t ask for much more!).  He makes me so happy* and I am grateful every day that he is here.  I’m sure there will be times when I get stressed or complain about some minor aspect of motherhood, but on the whole I find it very hard to relate to the other NCT mothers or my many “mummy” Facebook friends who constantly update about how hard it is when their babies won’t sleep or the children fighting etc.  I still have to bite my tongue and refrain from saying “Do you have any idea how lucky you are?”.

I’m sure I’ll be less virtuous when the memories of infertility fade a little more…

So for me, 2016 is ending on a much happier note than 2015.

Now onto 2017!!!

*Must stop saying “happy” all the time!

24 weeks!

Well I’m just over 24 weeks, which is great news!

Last Saturday I felt Baby kick properly for the first time.  Over the previous few days I had felt a few ‘flutterings’, but I wasn’t sure whether these were actual kicks or just muscle spasms.  Last Saturday evening, however, it felt slightly more pronounced so I felt more confident that they were really kicks.  BT even put his hand on my tummy and verified that they were GENUINE REAL LIFE kicks and not just my own delusions!

Fast forward a week, and last night (Saturday evening) we actually saw my tummy twitch when baby was kicking.  It wasn’t particularly obvious, but if we paid attention we could see it.

Both of these events were so overwhelming.  I had started to get a little worried that, at 23 weeks, I hadn’t felt anything, so I am so grateful that the kicks have started coming.  I don’t think I’ll ever be annoyed about him kicking me or moving around lots!

Unfortunately my anxiety about things going wrong is getting higher and higher.  It’s possibly exacerbated by everything that has been going on at work, meaning that my general anxiety levels are at an all time high anyway, then about two weeks ago it was reported that Tana Ramsay had miscarried* their child at five months, the same stage I am at.  I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the Ramsays, but it must be absolutely heartbreaking for them.  The media was then full of stories of people who had miscarried late in their pregnancies.  It was heartbreaking and terrifying.  Then last week one of BT’s friends announced that she had had a stillbirth at term.  I have never met her, but I just feel so devastated for her, her husband and their families.  Nobody should have that happen.  I just wish that there was something that someone could do or say to help them, but there just isn’t anything.

For all that I am terrified though, I am trying my best to just live in the moment and be grateful that right now things are ok.  We are getting to the stage where premature babies start getting much better survival odds, which provides a little reassurance.  At 24 weeks, between approximately 40-70% premature babies can survive (quite a big variance!) but by 27 weeks it will go up to more than 90%.  27 weeks is therefore a massive target!

So this weekend we are just trying to take it easy.  We don’t have any exciting plans, except looking after Dog and all the cats while my parents are away (a dog and four cats take up a lot of time and space! They also create a lot of mess 🙂 ).  I am trying to give Dog as much love as possible, as he really doesn’t have much time left.  His back legs have gone and his tumour is growing, so we know what we need to do, but every time we have the “is it time?” conversation he perks up and suddenly seems a little better (usually involving him stealing some cake from us or slobbering us with affection!) and we wonder if we’re being too hasty.

I also feel a little subdued because of the whole Brexit vote.  I appreciate this is just my opinion, but I find it unbelievable and I am so sad for the opportunities that will be taken away from future generations.  I genuinely think we will be worse off financially and that many people will lose their jobs, but what upsets me most is that a large part of my identity (and the identity of so many of my friends) has been taken away from us by people we just can’t respect or begin to understand.  Overnight, we have lost the freedom to easily work in 27 other countries and for those people to come to work in Britain.  While I personally do not have plans to work in any of those specific countries, a number of my friends do and a number of them have met their long term partners as a result of those opportunities.

There has been a lot of goading on Facebook from ‘leave’ campaigners** about how we are “sore losers” and how we cry for democracy but then don’t approve of it when we lose (thankfully I only seem to have about 5 or 6 of these people on my Facebook.  I am not just saying this as I am a “sore loser”, but most of those people just so happen to be genuine cretins).  The thing is, I do believe in democracy and I do understand that we lost and that I am ultimately going to have to accept that, but that shouldn’t have to stop me from feeling complete despair at the values and short-sightedness of so many of my neighbours and being devastated about what they have thrown away for the future.  Besides, this is something we can’t get back.  It is not like a national election, where you have the opportunity to change your mind four years later .  This is, unfortunately, forever.

Anyway, I told myself that I wouldn’t get too political in this post so I better stop now!

Right now the sun is shining, I’m surrounded by five animals (and a husband) and I’m away from my horrible job.  Things are good!

Have a good weekend everyone x x x

 

*I thought it was technically a stillbirth at this stage? i.e. after 24 weeks.  That said, the title doesn’t affect the the situation and feelings of those involved.

**In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I have not been particularly passive or polite on Facebook!

18 weeks!

***As the title suggests, my post below talks a lot about my pregnancy.  I’ve deliberately waited to post this until a few of you had some good news, but I appreciate that some of you are not having the best of times fertility-wise so may not want to read this right now.  Next time I’ll just put up a load of cat photos!!!***

————————————————————————–

Wahoo! We’ve made it to 18 weeks.  I can’t believe we’re actually half way there.

In some ways the past 15 weeks or so (since we found out that I was pregnant) have been the slowest weeks of my life.  The wait to get the initial scan, then the times in between scans, have gone by agonisingly slowly and in all honesty I haven’t been able to relax and just “enjoy” pregnancy so far (cheers sub-fertility!).

On the other hand, it feels mad that we’re basically half way through a pregnancy.   After the years of trying and monthly disappointment and fighting for tests and operations and IVF referrals and having months pass between each stage of the fertility process, to be able to say after just 18 weeks that I am half way through a pregnancy just seems crazy.

So in good news, there is still a baby there.  Wahoo! We had a private gender scan a few weeks ago which was very exciting and made it feel even more real.

BG

From day one I have just ‘known’ we were having a boy (which is weird, because I usually don’t buy into that sort of stuff).  Everyone else, bar one friend, thought it would be a girl.  Anyway, our scan was pretty *ahem* obvious and I can report that we’re having a little boy! My intuition was clearly spot on 🙂Baby boyWe’re both over the moon, especially BT who admitted “every man wants a little mini-me”. (Although yesterday he said “every man wants a little girl because girls always dote on their dads”.  I think he’s a confused individual.)

The next step is to have the anomaly scan which is scheduled to take place in early June. That will be a huge step and I am so scared about something going wrong.  We have yet to make any concrete plans or buy a single baby item, as it all just feels too early and as if there are just too many hurdles to jump through.  When we try to explain this to people they almost always say “Well of course you’ll be fine”.  I guess people just don’t get it unless they’ve also struggled to get pregnant and/or have miscarried.

We’re starting to let everyone know about the pregnancy, which feels like a massive gamble.  We’re not making a big song and dance about it, but when people get in touch we’re casually mentioning it to them.  We’ve agreed we’re going to be quite upfront about how it hasn’t been easy and how it didn’t happen overnight.  While some people have been a little bit funny about it (“I don’t see why you feel the need to tell [people] that”“Well, because some people are f*cking ignorant and the more they learn about real life the better.  Also there’s a very high chance several of our friends are going through the same thing and if us being honest makes them feel a little less alone and desperate, then that’s good enough for me”).

On the whole people have been very supportive, ranging from “We essentially fell pregnant following a one night stand so can’t imagine what you have been through, but if you ever want to talk…” to one of BT’s best friends who messaged me about their own problems saying “We’ve been trying less than a year, but I always thought it would happen quickly.  As the months go by I feel like more and more of a failure, but you’ve given me hope that it will happen”.  It’s a funny old world.  You could never guess the people that fell pregnant easily and those that have struggled/are struggling/will struggle.  For all the guidance I have seen about not drinking/not smoking/not being overweight/not being underweight/not being brunette*, all my ‘unhealthy’ friends who wanted to get pregnant fell pregnant straight away and many of my ‘healthiest’ friends have struggled.  I hate that so many people blame themselves (as I did) when I really think in the majority of cases it is purely bad luck.

I still feel so strongly that infertility, sub fertility, IVF, miscarriage and adoption** need to be talked about more openly.   There shouldn’t be any shame or secrecy surrounding any of it, and people need much better access to professional help.  I have shared a few posts on Facebook about IVF recently (not one person commented, which says a lot) and I have already started preparing a few letters to local members of parliament (both where I live and where I work) requesting that they start allowing the full 3 NHS cycles of IVF.  It is not much at all, but it’s a start. Just because things are (hopefully) working out for me, I will never ever forget what it felt like or what so many women (and men) are going through (many of which have been battling for so much longer than we did and have been through so many cycles of IVF).

Anyway, enough chat from me today.  Have a lovely weekend everyone! I can’t wait to read about what you all get up to.

*This is a lie.  I have never seen this anywhere.  I wouldn’t be surprised of some “expert” says this though…

**I have added adoption because I got so sick of people saying “Why don’t you JUST adopt” or “Have you thought about adoption?”.  It just angers me so much, as there is so much ignorance and assumption around this subject.  We thought a lot about adoption, and I feel that at some point we will probably still explore this route, BUT there is so much you need to think about and you have to make many more sacrifices than you usually do when you have a biological child and it is something you both need to go into with your eyes wide open.

It’s a funny old world…*Sigh*

As of today I am 13 weeks and 6 days pregnant.  I still cannot believe that I can actually write that! Since about 6 weeks I have had no symptoms at all, except extreme tiredness and a weight gain of 12lbs (f*cking hell).

We have started telling a few more people, not just immediate family and those friends we would need to rely on if things went wrong.  Obviously everything is heavily caveated and we always give the obligatory warnings about nothing being certain and requesting that people don’t post stuff on Facebook. But we are starting to tell people and act like this could maybe actually happen.

As of this weekend, both my aunts now know.  I was nervous about telling my aunt on my dad’s side (his sister) as she is quite an emotional person and I know she would be heartbroken if something went wrong.  While I don’t know for certain, I am fairly sure that they wanted children and couldn’t have them, so I’m sure they would understand the enormity of it all and the pain we would feel if we lose our baby.  (Incidentally, I now cringe when I think of all the times my brother and I went to theirs as kids and repeatedly asked them why they didn’t have children.  Urghhhhh.)

My aunt on my mum’s side is much more clued up.  I had told her about our problems after I had a full on breakdown at her grandchild’s christening and thought I should probably explain why I was a hysterical mess, rather than partaking in the mandatory baby worship like everyone else.  She was lovely and extremely understanding about the whole thing.

Things have always been a bit difficult with her daughter.  It is not really my place to go into detail about what she is like, but in short, to say that she has “challenging behaviour” is an understatement.  Her parents worked their arses off to send her to a decent school and allow her to try a load of activities and experiences (which neither of them had) and were incredibly supportive of her.  She essentially repaid them by going off the rails and flunking all of her exams and doing nothing but going out and drinking and doing bad things with bad people.

Anyway, about 18 months ago we all found out she was pregnant.  She had just turned 21, had only been with her partner for a few months and apparently didn’t even realise she was pregnant until she was nearly 3 months gone.  Obviously that was quite a hard pill to swallow when BT and I had been saving for years to be in the best position to raise a child and had taken an active decision to try for a child and found that it wasn’t working.  Over the course of her pregnancy and the first year+ of the child’s life, she has been incredibly obnoxious about the whole thing (OTT Facebook posts; a “mummy blog” about her parenting choices which essentially just slams those that don’t have children as “not knowing what’s important” and slagging off mums who go back to work; angry messages to people who haven’t bought her child a birthday/Christmas card/presents, yet she has never once bought any of us a card/present etc).  She’s just been generally insufferable since falling pregnant (thank you so much, for Facebook unfollow!).

So this weekend my mum called my aunt to tell her our happy news.  My aunt was absolutely delighted for us and sent me a lovely message of congratulations.  Then dropped the bombshell to my mum that my cousin’s pregnant again…and she’s due less than two weeks after me.

Oh FFS!!!  I know it doesn’t matter as long as our baby is healthy, but FFS.  I thought we were in the clear from another baby bomb from them, as they’re getting married this summer.  Now I’m going to be bombarded with updates from her when I just want to keep my head down and avoid the world and get through the next 6 months.

I know I sound harsh, but the thing is, we have nothing in common and our pregnancies will be nothing alike.  She had no interest in me prior to me getting pregnant (in the last 2 years, all she’s ever said to me is “Why haven’t you two had children yet?”) but now that I am, I know she will just use this as an opportunity to steer the conversation to pregnancy, and then to her pregnancies and her opinions on pregnancies and motherhood, and then ultimately just on to her child.

She will never be able to comprehend that BT and I have battled to get this far and wake up every day terrified that this dream will all end.  We are now planning and budgeting and are trying to work out how the hell we are going to pay for this baby once I go back to work. She fell pregnant accidentally the first time and then for this second kid she must have fallen pregnant as soon as she started trying.  She gave up work as soon as she fell pregnant and the pair of them just get their parents to pay for pretty much everything (and trust me, they don’t accept the cheap stuff!).  There is just no common ground, and she has a total lack of empathy, so will not begin to understand for a minute why we want to handle things in a slightly more subtle way than she will.

I also know that this sounds a bit ridiculous, but I worry that by getting pregnant at the same time, she is going to take away our luck.  I feel it with my other friends who are pregnant, but nowhere near to the same extent.  Everything always just works out for her and she lands on her feet without ever having to use any energy or put anyone else first.  I just worry that, if things are to go wrong for one of the pregnant people, we’ll be the ones it happens to.

Deep down I know that’s silly, but infertility and pregnancy after infertility mean you can just never ever relax in the way that the Ooops Brigade can.