It’s 12:30pm, in a non-descript middle-England town, on a chilly overcast day in September. And I’m in the bath on my iPad, wondering how I got to this point.
I’ve started a blog. I’ve never even followed a blog in my life, or been remotely tech-savvy, yet here I am exploring an unfamiliar territory. And the most surprising bit of all, is that I’ve started my blog on fertility. And the scary possibility of infertility. MY infertility.
Let me rewind.
I’m six months past 30, married for 2 years, but together with my husband for nearly 10 wonderful, sweet and occasionally difficult years. I spent my teenage years wondering if I’d ever find a man to to have sex with me, let alone want to marry me and have children! When that very man walked into my life two months before my 21st birthday, there was no love at first sight, no fireworks, no wedding bells and picking out children’s names in my head. But instead, thoughts of “YES! An insanely attractive man wants to have regular sex with me and take me out on dates!”
I was a trainee primary school teacher, he was a window cleaner. We went to secondary school together but our paths never crossed because he was the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, smoking cigarettes in the woods behind the school and hanging around with the wrong crowd, and I was the goody-two shoes who got my head down, worked hard, and lusted over boys from afar. In adulthood we were a perfect match. Best friends. Soul mates. A team.
We spent the first 4 years of our relationship having insanely hot sex, lots of fun, creating amazing memories and enjoying a carefree life. In August 2011 Dave proposed to me in Dublin, a place we had visited the year before. Typical me liking to organise every aspect of my life (more about that in future posts), I had already told Dave to propose to me in Dublin! He had said for the previous two years that he wanted to marry me but was waiting for the right time. I wanted the story so I gave him the right time – Dublin. I knew when I got on that outward flight that I would be returning an engaged woman. There was still an aspect of surprise though – I didn’t know precisely when he was going to do it. So after teasing me with getting down on one knee at the top of the Guinness Factory (to tie the cliched shoelace), when he finally did it on our last day at a country house in County Wicklow, I burst into tears with joy. I actually had found a man that was to be my husband until I died, the father of my future children and the grandfather to our future grandchildren. Neither of us can remember what he said when he proposed. We probably never will.
Fast forward to July 2014 when we married in an outdoor ceremony in a beautiful country hall on the hottest day of the year. We had a long engagement (I was superstitious about marrying in 2013, and we were saving for our honeymoon) and when we finally married I think I was the most de-stressed bride there ever was. I had no cold feet, no nerves, no doubts. I was 100% certain with who I had chosen. I was the epitome of contentment. It was truly the happiest day of my life.
A once-in-lifetime honeymoon followed. 21 days on a tailor-made adventure to the USA. My 6 week summer holiday break as a teacher meant I had the time to be able to do this. New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Hawaii and San Francisco were ticked off the bucket list. It cost over £17,000 in total with £1000 generously donated by our wedding guests (a very intimate number of 50), and £15K was saved by me over 3 years. It was our final hurrah. Our only opportunity to do this before the inevitable happened. Children.
I had never been broody. In fact, Dave had wanted children since we first started dating and I used to playfully slap him and put my fingers in my ears going la-la-la whenever he tried to convince me. Children ruined your life. Children used up your money. Children stopped me being selfish and sleeping in until midday. I spent 8 hours of my day, 5 days a week in the presence of, and educating, children. Teaching was a more effective form of contraception than condoms, I used to say. No. Children could wait. There was plenty of time. We stopped using condoms after a year into our relationship (after being screened for STIs first – all clear) but I had been on the pill since I was 19 at uni. I hated the mess of him ejacutaling in me so I never let him do that, and therefore the risk of accidents happening were small.
Then one day, my priorities literally changed overnight. In July 2015 my mother had a heart attack. Typically she wanted to finish washing and drying her hair before she let my dad take her to hospital as she knew she was likely to stay in for a few days. Fortunately she recovered, and has since gone on to rebuild her health. That day my world imploded. My mum was – and still is – my best friend. The thought of not having her around to support me during pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood was unbearable. I longed to witness my parents be grandparents. After two days of compassionate leave from work, I returned to teaching my class. I resented spending 70% of my waking hours with other people’s children, and doing work at home related to them. I wanted my life to revolve around my OWN children and family. One that we didn’t yet have.
The day I finally told Dave I was ready, he probably thought all his Christmasses came at once! Although I felt scared with my decision, after spending so many years actively avoiding falling pregnant, it was now the only thing I wanted. I had come off the pill in April 2015 to cleanse my body and try to get my libido back (and boy did it come back!) but we were still being careful by avoiding sex around my fertile time and using the withdrawal method. By December 2015 all that had gone out of the window. The game was on.
Fast forward to now, we are 9 months down the road and still no baby.
I joined a fertility and ovulation tracking app, Kindara, last Christmas after getting my iPad from my husband. I have found a strong community of women, some of whom are now great friends on the other side of the world, who have been my cheerleaders from the very beginning. They have championed me, carried me and been there for me through all manner of highs and lows. They are my virtual sisterhood. My rocks.
The app (and secret Facebook group we belong to) is no longer enough of an outlet for me and my thoughts. Hence how I have come to this point, STILL in the bath, writing this blog. I haven’t kept a diary in over 15 years, when I was a spotty hormonal teenager trying to make boys fancy me. I’m now a spotty (when it’s the TWW of course!) hormonal (pretty much all the time, natch!) woman trying to make a man get me pregnant.
This is my journey. Hopefully to motherhood. Mothers, hopeful mothers, and actively avoiders, you are all welcome to stand alongside me and share in the highs, lows and messy times of trying to conceive.
Legs together, bums raised, feet in the air and baby dust to all xxx