CHAPTER ELEVEN: It’s not you. It’s me. And a baby I’m not telling you about.

8th November, 2015

So, there was always going to be a down-side to not screaming the news of this pregnancy from the rooftops the very second I found out.

You see, it’s not just you out there in the blog-iverse that had to wait. I’ve not really gone ‘public’ with the news of Baby #3 at all.

At nearly 15 weeks, I’ve just gradually been telling the people close to us. Like literally, our parents. And the staff at the gym.

We are not (GASP!!) facebook-official.

baby

Of course, by the time you are reading this, we will be. But this is my coping mechanism for now, so just bear with me.

I have a sizable bump, but also a massive list of food reactions that people KNOW make me bloated and puffy. So people are generally too kind (or mostly afraid) to say anything.

BUT

I’m in this sort of limbo where I’m not actively trying to hide being pregnant, but also not feeling ready to have it all over social media. Most of that is my own anxiety, the just-in-case of something not being right. Part of it is the selfishness of having a pregnancy to ourselves and not having to answer a million questions about when he/she will be here, if I will find out the baby’s sex and if it was planned.

People are lovely. They ask questions because they care and are interested. Everything will be okay and I will be able to stop being worried soon. I’m getting okay with it. I’m literally a ticking clock of when it will all be public knowledge and on fb and instagram and I’m sure it won’t be anywhere near as scary as it feels in my head.

The tricky part at the moment though is the messages. Facebook messages, blog emails, text messages.

Stuff like this:
phone

chat

To be kind to my friends, these are NOT the real conversations. Just exactly the same as the real conversations without their details in them.

And yes, I have entirely neglected to reply to any message like this.

Damn you facebook and your seen.

It’s not that I’m mad at you. It’s not that you’ve done anything wrong. I’m just being a little bit weird about it.

I promise I’ll get back to you soon.

It really isn’t you. It really is me. And the Blueberry I’ll tell you all about later.

Cheers,

B

xx

seen

CHAPTER EIGHT: The Joy and Terror in Knowing

So, I know that I’m pregnant. It’s amazing and wonderful and beyond super exciting.

And scary.

Both personally and in my close circle of friends, I’ve learned and experienced way too much about early-term pregnancy loss and miscarriage. It’s far more common that people realise. Mostly because not everyone talks about it, including me.

Despite having a blog and sharing my life on the internet, I’m a pretty private person. There is NO WAY I’ll be announcing this pregnancy until it is well and truly viable and outside the danger zone of the first few months where the statistics put reported miscarriages at 1 in 5 of ALL pregnancies.

I often say to people though, it’s YOUR news, control it the way you want. For me, I keep the news of our babies very very quiet because if we were to lose this baby I would want to keep to myself to reflect and grieve and recover without having to un-announce a baby.

For other people, sharing the news of the pregnancy and a subsequent potential loss to more people would give them a bigger pool of support to draw from if they needed it. Horses for Courses.

It seems cruel in a way.

Find out you’re pregnant.

Immediately fall in love with your tiny womb-raider.

Spend the next few months terrified they might die through no-one’s fault but nature’s whim.

I’m choosing to stay positive. It’s all I can do. Eat well, move lots, take the vitamins and rest.

Chilling out, hatching a human,

B xx

CHAPTER SEVEN: Oh my God.

I don’t even know how to write this post. I’m not sure that I should.

But then, that’s what this whole raft of delayed blog posts has been about isn’t it? To help with the fear of this all being out in the open. To give me a buffer of time to process if things go wrong.

Because today, after a week of refusing to pee on sticks because I was losing my mind, I peed on a stick.

This stick:

private

Yep. There’s been some happy crying.

The stupid sticks were lying to me. I have been hatching a tiny human for 2-3 weeks and the sticks were lying. Or baby is stealthy? Like the Captain? Maybe I’m hatching a tiny ninja?

Speaking of the Captain, it’s his birthday in a few days. I’m going to keep super quiet about it until then and surprise him.

Best birthday present ever.

I’m so excited that I’m shaking.

Full of love and a tiny ninja,

B xx

CHAPTER SIX: Fall down 7 times, Stand Up 8

So I started peeing on sticks again.

I know, I know. It’s an issue.

I sometimes don’t discuss the levels of my crazy with The Captain, just the over-view. But yesterday morning he touched my tummy and asked if there might be a baby in there yet.

Nope.

How do you know?

I’ve done some tests.

Tests? Plural?

Hmmmm, like every morning for the last week including today.

But it’s only 7am now?

Yep, I got up at 4am and tested then in case it was different.

Gotta love someone who loves the type of crazy you are. He just hugs me and makes it okay.

I’m over the concern that I was losing hope. I know that I’ll be okay. Just a day away from the restart today and this saying is one of the most fitting I know.

Fall down 7 times, stand up 8

Keep on keeping on. No more peeing on sticks for a few weeks. But I’m standing back up.

B xx

CHAPTER FIVE: The Two Week Wait that Isn’t What I was Expecting

20/08/2015

Yeppers. I’m not chiming in here with excited pics of positive tests or ridiculously cloying birth announcements (don’t think for a second those posts and pics aren’t mentally planned and perhaps Pinterested away),

There is this evil time of month for every woman trying to fall pregnant. Well, at least one of the evil times, depending on your level of desperation.

For some, I understand the arrival of a period is pretty heart-breaking, but I have been dealing with that okay. It’s a full-stop and a restart button for your cycle and I’ve been okay with that.

For me, the hardest part is the 2WW – the two week wait. It’s that gap between when you may possibly have conceived and when you can find out if you are pregnant. In previous months, this is where the crazy was at it’s peak. It’s where I was peeing madly on sticks for the entire 14 days just longingly, desperately hoping for 2 lines. And it made me feel a bit psycho seeing 1 line each time.

This month is feeling different. I don’t FEEL pregnant. I’m pretty sure I’m not actually. So this 2WW is different. I’m not waiting on a positive. I’m not waiting on a baby. I’m just waiting on that restart button. Start again. Try again.

I’m not sure if the fact I’m chilled out about this is a sign that I’m calming down or if I’m already losing hope.

hope

B xx

CHAPTER FOUR: Not even a little bit pregnant.

6th August, 2015

I’m feeling pretty zen at the moment. We’ve had a lot on in the past week with a disappointment for the Captain at work, me being really sick and off work for a week and generally just busy.

I do love that I have less time to be nutty when I’m busy. It’s been nice. Like a vacay from Crazy-Town,

Pleased to say I haven’t peed on a stick in nearly a fortnght. I’m calling that progress.

But I’m not pregnant. Sometimes I have that crazed, niggling thought that “Maybe I’m actually already pregnant!”. Yes, because about a million BFN (big fat negative) pregnancy tests and a decidedly mean period could be wrong.

Not even a little bit pregnant.

keep-calm-i-m-not-pregnant-8

B

CHAPTER THREE: I need to stop peeing on things.

21st of July, 2015

pee on sticks

I need to stop peeing on things.

Okay. So not things. Sticks. I need to stop peeing on sticks.

Trying to conceive has truly turned a corner into crazy. I knew it was starting when I found the ovulation prediction kits and peed on those. I think I got the information I needed out of them. And I think it made me feel a little bit less helpless.

But now that I’m in that awful wait where I may or may not be pregnant, I’ve started almost obsessively doing pregnancy tests. NOW, contrary to my actions, I’m not an idiot. I realise that this is the first month of us trying to have a baby. And that even really good pregnancy tests couldn’t pick up a positive yet. AND that realistically there is very little chance that I will be pregnant. It makes me feel slightly more in control.

I may or may not have peed on all the pregnancy tests I have. There were a lot.

They are all negative.

And that’s okay.

I’m okay.

There is always another month. I can pee on things next month.

Eww. And sorry,

Bella

CHAPTER TWO – TTC, BFN, OPK and other things I don’t understand.

The Preparing to be Getting Ready to Try – 1st of July, 2015

(AKA: how I’ll over-think my way to being pregnant)

Here’s a moment of honesty. I have not much of an idea about fertility, ovulation, much about the actual science of conception and how it applies to me.

It was literally this week that I had to admit to a friend that despite being a female for over thirty years, I have no idea on what my cycle length is. Or what day I ovulate. Or even if I ovulate at all. Erm, was I supposed to know this?

I freely admit that we didn’t have any trouble conceiving either of the boys. It was very much a ‘hey, let’s see what happens!’ sorta deal. Babies happened. Awesome.

But this time around I feel strangely stressed about it. I’m older (I’m 10 years older than when we first started planning our first baby!) and haven’t had a baby in about four years. And let’s be honest, I’m heinously impatient for most things in my life. This baby especially.

I started to google – yes – I know this is a mistake. Other than some weirdly graphic pictures and some advice about rituals with chickens I am pretty sure are not scientific, I nutted out the key terms that no doubt I’m going to live my life by for a while.

Pregnancy Abbreviations

So on the advice of my friend, I’ve started tracking my cycle. Which led to a brief moment of joy and a subsequent crash with a negative pregnancy test because my period didn’t arrive when the free app I downloaded told me it should have. Stoopid app.

But I’ve persisted. I deleted that app and got a new one with better reviews. This app is WAY intrusive in what it wants you to track, but hey, it wants to know all about your lady business for a reason I guess.

The second and better app I downloaded is called Ovia (http://www.ovuline.com/) and I have to admit now that I am over the constant questions, it’s pretty cool. I check it multiple dozen times a day. At least.

But then I got sucked even further into the conception rabbit hole. The app asks me if I’ve taken an ovulation test. HEY, I love tests! I’m great at tests! Let me start doing that!

So I bought tests. They are sticks you pee on that essentially tell you whether you are ovulating which indicates it’s time to get freaky. You know how I just said I love tests? More correctly, I love WINNING at tests. However, you cannot win an ovulation test. You cannot control the result. And if you google enough, you learn that even good quality ovulation prediction kits (or OPK as the cool kids say) are massively inaccurate and throw false negatives all the time. Awesome.

I feel the crazy intensifying. I know I need to chill out, but it’s almost laughably stressy in my head.

Breathe in, breathe out. Check an app. Repeat.

Bella

CHAPTER ONE – And so it begins

THE DECISION – 21st of June, 2015

Something strange and wondrous has been happening for more than a year. Something I didn’t expect and wouldn’t have predicted.

I was getting clucky for a third baby.

Yup. A third.

Family

Me with #1 and #2. They are aged 8 and 4 now!

We’d never even really discussed it, just assumed that Oz would be our last baby and just basked in the fun and craziness that is our two lovely boys. Oz was an easy baby in lots of ways, and such a happy-go-lucky soul that raising him is a joy. And Mr H is such a little man already at 8 and so smart and thoughtful that life is pretty easy. But somewhere in my brain, the thought of MORE babies was gnawing at me.

I thought it was just me. Just some of the ‘crazy’ that I’m happy to accept as part of my personality. I’ll always love tiny babies, the same way I freak-out with pure joy if I get to pat a puppy or hold a kitten. It never meant that I NEEDED more pets, just that I love them. But I thought it was only me.

It was The Captain who actually brought it up first. He’s an amazing dad. That awesome balance of stern and structured and silly and conspiratorial. And the thought had been gnawing at him in the silence too.

But kids are expensive! Especially when you value good education and good education (IN MY OPINION) is very hard to find cheaply. I spend a lot of money on it, because I value it. And that’s my choice. So what if a baby #3 meant giving that up? Do we not educate a #3 the same way we have H and Oz? Or pull everyone out to a cheaper education? ARGH – it hurt my brain.

But kids are AMAZING! We love our family. We love our boys. We love raising little humans into bigger humans. And what we kept coming back to was the over-arching thought:

In my elderly years, or on my death-bed, will I think to myself “Thank God I didn’t have more children. That money I saved was totally worth it.”?

Hell no.

So we decided that Baby #3 is a thing. A thing we are doing. At some point soon we are going to start trying for another baby.

And I am excited and delighted and terrified.

Pretty much just being a mum in a nutshell.

Stay Tuned,

Bella

Decide to be lucky

I have a friend who is working through a divorce at the moment. I say ‘working through’ rather than going through. Because it is and has been, an amicable separation and now legal divorce. No yelling, no hating, no ugliness. When I heard them speak about it though, they mentioned how lucky they are to have things work out so well.

I agree and I don’t.

In many situations in life, we make choices that affect our ‘luck’. In that particular end of a marriage, there are two people who are making choices about their behaviour, their mindset and about working together. So it’s ‘lucky’ that they both feel the same way about it, but not that it’s actually coming together this way.

I often tell myself that I am so lucky to have met The Captain and to have a lovely husband and a strong marriage. But that luck in meeting him was totally steered by the fact I had no desire to hang out with guys who were less than good people. The fact was that I was purposefully aloof and would always prefer to be single than the girlfriend of some ass. Even if they weren’t an ass all the time. So when I met The Captain, and time after time he demonstrated his amazing character not just about or to me, just the way he thinks and the little glimpses into his moral compass, it was no surprise that I fell madly in love. So yes, it was luck that this meeting happened when I was so young, but not that I married someone with the same values that I have. It’s not at all perfect, but we mark thirteen years together and ten years married next week, and it is amazing.

One area where I do feel true luck is with the conception, pregnancies, birth and beyond of my lovely boys. As someone who had been less-than-healthy in my teens and early twenties, I fully expected to struggle to get pregnant, and maybe that I wouldn’t be able to have children at all. The fact that I did really is luck. I see that Michelle Bridges is ‘being slammed’ (there’s a few irked facebook comments) for saying the healthy lifestyles of herself and her partner Steve contributed to the luck of them falling pregnant at her age (she is 44). In the article (you can read it here) she repeatedly uses the word lucky. Like me, the couple had assumed that a contributing factor in their lives might hamper getting pregnant, they had even gone so far as to book IVF appointments, but with luck, fell pregnant naturally. Had they steered their luck by being uber fit and healthy? Maybe. And when you finally take the plunge to start or extend your family, the constant worry about how things will turn out sometimes make you cling to the choices you CAN make, rather than the flipping of the universe’s coin. Even now, when I think about taking the plunge one day to expand our family, I think I couldn’t possibly be this lucky again.

luck quote

Because realistically, there are people out there who do ALL THE RIGHT THINGS who struggle and even fail to be able to fall pregnant, carry babies to term or have their children born with health or developmental struggles. I was lucky as was Michelle. I truly don’t think her comments are offensive to people who are trying to fall pregnant who aren’t as fit and healthy as she is. Because it was luck. And even if it took her a year, and IVF and sixteen lab-coats, it would still have been luck.

So where I think I’m at with luck is that a lot of what we feel is luck is actually mindset. We choose so much of our future without even realising it’s in the little choices we make all the time. Stick to your goals, and beliefs and the rest really is pure, dumb luck.

Heads or Tails?
Bella