An IVF Journey

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I was contacted recently by somebody who wanted to share their story on their IVF journey. I got a little boost from the message as they told me they had been reading my blogs and felt inspired to share their own experience in the hope it may help others going through the same thing! It makes me feel good to know that even though I haven’t had this experience myself, by having this little corner of the internet people are coming together to help each other.

All of the words below are her own and I haven’t changed anything. I had a good read before posting and must say I can really feel the frustration and emotion in this and I honestly think she is very brave in sharing this with us. I would also like to say if anybody reading this knows somebody having similar issues then please guide them to this blog. The writer really wants to raise more awareness of what the process is and wants people to know they are not alone in this!

It’s the 8th November 2015, my 30th birthday. This is the day I will stop taking the pill – we’d put it off for long enough, I’d always wanted children before I hit 30 but clearing wedding debt and recovering from life saving surgery (a story for another day) had pushed things back a bit. I was okay with this because I’d stop taking the pill, get pregnant and still be 30 whilst I had the baby right? Little did I know the heartbreaking journey that led ahead of me.

Each month my period would come and at first I’d had no concerns. The reality set in when a dear friend of mine stopped taking the pill earlier the following year and fell pregnant right away. When she broke the news to me I was of course happy for her but I couldn’t help but feel my heart sink for myself. From this point it all seemed to spiral in to an obsession, fertility trackers on my phone, ovulation sticks, laying off the drink and getting angry at my husband for not doing the same – surely things would get going now I thought.

I dreaded going to occasions because you could always guarantee that someone would ask when I was going to have a baby and as time went on the question pained me that little bit more. Even worse was the comment that came from most mums these days ‘just wait until you have kids’…well I’m just going to have to wait aren’t I. In September 2016 I made an appointment to see my GP who advised an appointment would follow to see a specialist. When the appointment came through for December that year I was slightly disappointed, after all by this time it would’ve been over a year since we’d been trying but what else could we do. In the meantime I’d had blood tests and my husband dropped a sample off for testing. The day of the appointment arrived and I walked into the consultant’s office expecting a list of things we could try but we were immediately told we would be referred for IVF. We were advised that we would receive a letter from the fertility clinic within a few months and if we didn’t hear anything then to chase them up. Another few months? And then we might still need to chase them up? I left the room feeling deflated but glad we were getting the help we required.

From there nothing was straight forward – first of all some results came back that showed I needed my MMR immunisation as I was no longer immune to rubella. I required this bringing up to date in order to proceed. This was 2 injections a month apart. I was already anxious this would cause a delay. I couldn’t get in to my GP for the vaccine for another few weeks and the follow up injection was 6 weeks away from that. We were told that pregnancy should not try to be achieved until after the second injection. I also had high levels of prolactin in my blood. I was back and forth for blood tests but eventually this sorted itself out.

The end of January 2017 my friends baby made a safe arrival into the world. This brought mixed emotions – whilst I couldn’t have been happier for her, I was left feeling empty inside. I felt low and swallowed the tears for the rest of the day.

Our appointment arrived; we would be seen on 11th April. This was exciting, things were moving in the right direction. We’d have our consultation and then we’d begin our journey. Imagine our shock when we turned up to this appointment expecting a one on one to find out it was in fact a group seminar designed to give all the couples all the information in one batch rather than have to explain the process to each individual couple. In this session we learnt that the amount of cycles we were entitled to was a postcode lottery…the consultants words not mine. We were presented with a pack and in our pack we were given a letter with our actual consultation date. Ours was the 10th May. All I needed to do was bring my smear up to date before the appointment – well I was already ahead of the game, I’d had my smear the week before the seminar and just needed to collect my results.

My results shortly followed, my smear was irregular and I had to arrange for a colposcopy – just my luck. This appointment would be the week after my consultation at the fertility clinic

so I was uncertain where this would leave me.

The 10th May arrived and off we went to Manchester to meet with the consultant. He asked if my smear was up to date and I explained the situation. He advised that providing I got the all clear I could start my treatment from my next cycle. He explained that over the next 6 months I could start my treatment at any point but if the irregular smear wasn’t resolved in this time frame then I would have to start the process again and he informed us that his diary was full until well into the following year. He also informed us that we were entitled to 2 cycles of treatment on the NHS and the type of treatment we’d be requiring was ICSI – this is where the sperm is injected directly into the egg, the fertilised embryo is then transferred into the womb. He also told us the success rate – it wasn’t brilliant for someone my age and of course out of all the things he said I hung onto the most negative but at the end of the day it was 50/50, it was either going to work or it wasn’t. Blood tests showed that I was at risk of hyper stimulation therefore I’d be having the short protocol.

I went for my colposcopy the following week and asked that my results were fast tracked to enable the start of my IVF. A massive spanner was thrown in the works when there was a cyber attack on the NHS and a backlog was caused. I wondered if the people responsible for this attack knew the stress and heartache they were causing or if they even cared.

Eventually the results arrived, I was medium risk therefore I was allowed to continue to the next step as I didn’t need to be seen until the following May.

The 22nd June arrived and my period started mid-afternoon whilst I was at work. I found a discrete location and rang the fertility clinic right away to get the ball rolling. I spoke to a nurse who advised that I needed to ring back on the morning I woke up with the period not the day the period starts. The following morning I rushed into work and waited for the clinics phone lines to open at 8am. I got through to a nurse, explained I wanted to start my treatment and was told someone would ring me back within 24 hours. I was so frustrated, I felt like I was in limbo.

The following day was Saturday and I hadn’t heard anything – as soon as the phone lines open I’m on the case. I get through to a young nurse who advises me that she can’t find my notes, everything is backed up and she’s too busy to look into it so to call back on Monday. I began to cry uncontrollably, I couldn’t speak and hung up. I sat on the floor sobbing my heart out. As soon as I could string a sentence together I rang my husband and he managed to calm me down. He was very good at reasoning with me – whilst this was one of his most endearing personality traits it would also be the root of some arguments, how frustrating to not side with me when I wanted because he always saw the other side. He really couldn’t win. The phone call had clearly struck a chord with the nurse as she called me back later that day promising me she would personally follow it up on Monday and ensure I was contacted first thing.

I knew there were hundreds of other people going through the same thing but selfishly I wanted to be a priority. I didn’t want to be part of a process – this was my life and I had everything pinned on this treatment.

Monday came and I was informed someone would be in touch that week to order my medication and injections. My phone was literally glued to me 24/7. I was finally contacted and given a delivery date. We went to the fertility clinic to be shown how to use the injections. The time frame was so tight and no one seemed to be in a rush. I was literally on tenterhooks.

I started the injections on the 22nd July – my husband administered these as I wasn’t able to inject myself. I took the injections for 8 days and attended the clinic for a scan and blood

tests. The scan confirmed that I was ready to take my trigger injection on the 31st July.

On the 1st August my eggs were collected and I waited to hear how the fertilisation process had gone. I was contacted the following day, the embryos were growing well and I would be having a day 5 transfer. On day 5 (Sunday 6th) I arrived at the clinic for the embryo to be implanted. There was only one embryo that was a good enough quality to be transferred and there were another two embryos the embryologist was going to give another day to see if they formed into a quality that could be frozen for storage. The fresh embryo was implanted and we were given a scan picture of the little dot inside my womb. I didn’t want to keep the scan picture, mostly due to superstition but my husband thought it would be nice. We were given a date to take a pregnancy test – 19th August 17. This was perfect, my dad’s 60th was on the 25th, I could get all the family together and surprise them. It’d be the best present ever for my dad, he wanted this so much for us.

The days leading to this date dragged but eventually the day arrived. My husband and I were staying with my grandma for the weekend. I’d driven there the day before feeling quite special that I could have my baby growing inside me.

The next part of the story is the hardest part for me to tell but I needed to paint the picture of my journey so far and the fragile state of my mental health having just come this far.

I hadn’t slept, I was so excited, I took the test and the words “not pregnant” hit me like a tidal wave on the digital screen. I got back in bed, told my husband and turned my back on him. I pretended to sleep, maybe this was a bad dream and if I didn’t face the truth then maybe it wasn’t happening. I got up and put on a brave face for my grandma, I wouldn’t tell her about it, not now anyway. I didn’t want the pity – pity made me feel worse. It’s something I came to fear from friends and family. My older sister was on holiday camping nearby my grandma’s and arrived that morning. When we were alone I confided in her – she’d also had IVF and now has the 2 most beautiful children. She said to maybe do another test and this gave me something to hang on to. Later that day I had a phone call from the nurse asking me how the test had gone. I told her the news and her reaction made me feel worse. She was full of sympathy and advised of the help I could receive through their counselling service. It sounded so final. I asked her about doing another test the following day but she told me there was no need, if I was pregnant the test would’ve been positive.

This news came as I was out with my husband, my sister and her family. I sat on the beach playing with the sand, letting my mind transport me elsewhere. I was surrounded by people I love but had never felt more alone. My sister tried to hug me but I shrugged her off, I didn’t want to cry in public, I choked back the tears. I entertained my niece and nephew but their innocence made my heart break that little bit more. I was in envy of that innocence and craved to be young and carefree.

It was time to break the news to our families, I sent the following text:

Hi. We want you to know that we have been having the IVF over the last month and today we found out it hasn’t worked. We kept it secret because we wanted it to be a nice surprise for you all but unfortunately it’s not gone our way. We are both heartbroken but hopefully in a few days we’ll start to look to the future. We have 2 embryos frozen but we have to wait 6-8 weeks for an appointment to come through the post to request treatment again. Xx

The messages of support and sympathy quickly came back.

I responded to my younger sister telling her I felt like the most unlucky person in the world. I wasn’t looking for sympathy, I genuinely believed it. In 2015 I had cancelled 2 holidays, once due to my previously mentioned surgery and the second time due to my husband having DVT. We both led a healthy life style, honest. Then in 2016 one of my best friends passed

away at the age of 30 – this was something that I’d never get over and always carry with me. Now this failed attempt at IVF was the tip of the iceberg. It’s hard to explain to people that you are grieving for something/someone that you never had. My sister replied saying that my message had made her cry. This was hard to hear. After my husband, she is the closest person in the world to me. It’s not that I love the rest of my family any less; it’s just that we are like two peas in a pod. She is absolutely bonkers but I bounce off her. We work together and my manager says we could have our own version of Gogglebox. I personally think if our conversations were exposed to the world we would be locked up. She knew about the IVF because of the time I’d been having out of work and we’d both stupidly allowed ourselves to believe it could’ve worked. I thought my boobs were swollen and she thought I had baby brain. We had even created a nickname for the little dot in the scan picture.

Despite the kind messages from our families, I felt like I was letting everyone down, why couldn’t my body just do what it was meant to do for once. I wanted to make our parents proud.

That night we took my grandma out to her local social club. I couldn’t tell you what act was on that night as this is when the dark thoughts started to creep in. There are very few people that I have shared these thoughts with and it’s going to be hard for me to share but here goes. I sat wishing for anything to take the pain I was feeling away, if there was a way I could’ve just ‘disappeared’ without causing anyone or myself any pain I would’ve taken it. I just wanted a switch to turn my brain off or the world to stop spinning so I could step off. I had already started to push my husband away that day and would continue to do this for the next few weeks. He at this time felt like I hated him but during a breakdown later that week I explained that I hated myself. I never wanted him to think he wasn’t enough for me, this was all about how I felt like I wasn’t enough for him or myself. I had considered just getting in my car, driving and running away, seriously though where would I go – but at this time I wasn’t thinking like a rational person.

Throughout the next week I became very conscious of my heart beating, I thought maybe it genuinely had broken. I felt exhausted and shaky. I’d wake up sweating and gasping for air in the night.

I decided not to tell my friends – one of my best friends daughter’s was in ICU and very poorly. I tried to put things into perspective; my friend really was going through hell. Whilst I was aware of this I just couldn’t switch my feelings off. I carried on as normal to the outside world and busied myself with meaningless tasks. It all came to a head the weekend following the negative test – whilst out walking with my husband I completely let loose about everything. He hugged me – it was the first time he had dared since the bad news and I crumbled. We were due to go away the following weekend and I was feeling anxious about every aspect of it. Scared of flying, terrorism (after all there had been so many attacks this year) and just the current state of my physical and mental health. This all came flooding out whilst walking along a canal – it’s a good job we’d walked further out than most people would bother and were alone. My husband told me I couldn’t let this beat me. If I didn’t go on this holiday then what were we going to do about our holiday the following month – we were flying out to Tenerife at the end of October for my dad’s 60th. We decided it was time to reach out for the help of the counselling service. I called the number I had been provided by the nurse and got through to a lady who, let’s just say, was not suited for the job role in the slightest. She offered me an appointment for sometime in November. I told her I couldn’t go on the way I was feeling for another 2 months. I could tell from the deep breath out she took that I was clearly putting her out. I heard a few clicks and then she said ‘we have the 19th September if you want that?’. I’ll never know to this day why she didn’t offer me that date in the first place. I didn’t have the energy to argue – if I started I seriously think I would’ve lost my shit. I just hoped for her sake that she’d never need my help one day. I accepted the appointment and agreed to go away with my husband the following week as planned.

We went away and tried to have a good time. I was still having the heart palpitations but as the hormones wore off I started to feel a bit more like the old me. An appointment had arrived through the post too for our consultation regarding the frozen embryos so this gave me something to hang onto.

In the lead up to the counselling session I had opened up to my family about our experience and I felt some kind of a release in sharing the weight that was on my shoulders. Some of my friends now knew but I was still keeping it low key as my friends little girl was still very poorly. I began to realise that keeping the IVF to ourselves was probably a mistake. Although we wanted to surprise people, we acknowledged that it was quite a lot to go through on our own. There were also a number of times we had to lie to our families about our whereabouts or why we weren’t drinking and it was all added stress. The worst was trying to hide my injections in a cool bag on a weekend away with my husband’s family and his cousin nearly walking in mid injection.

We attended the counselling session but I walked out with the frame of mind that sitting talking to the counsellor wasn’t going to get me pregnant and that’s frankly all I cared about so what was the point. I could sit at home and talk to my friends and family about it so there was no need stressing ourselves out driving to Manchester to do it with a stranger. Plus we had our appointment the following week so that was now my main focus.

I felt like the entire Facebook population was pregnant. I wondered whether I should keep torturing myself or come off Facebook completely. I’d sit in the doctors surgery looking at mother’s playing on their phones and ignoring their little blessings, finding myself getting mad. I’d drive past schools (on my commute, not deliberately, I’m not a weirdo) and see mums again on their phones and think put your bloody phone away and greet your child with a hug or a smile instead of a phone in your hand. To sum it up I was consumed by jealousy and the desperation to have a child of my own. I’d already started looking into adoption as a backup plan, reading articles and looking at websites. I was aware of what a lengthy process that could be so I wanted to be prepared.

I tell people that I don’t cry at real life but it’s easier to tell everyone that I’m emotionally barren than the truth. How do you tell people that you cry on your way to work in the mornings because you’ve worked yourself up so much getting in a web of thoughts, missing the children and the grandchildren you might never have and being scared of being old and lonely or just feeling like your friends might be pregnant and not telling you because they feel sorry for you. I had become so self-conscious and found it really hard to snap out of my stream of thoughts.

The 28th September arrived and off we went to Manchester to meet with the consultant. We met with a different consultant this time. He was a very laid back man and was very straight to the point. He told us that we were able to start the treatment again on my next cycle. It would be a slightly different process as this time we already had the embryo ready to be thawed and implanted. We were advised that they wouldn’t know if the thawing process was successful until the day of implantation. So I could go through the 5 weeks of treatment to get my body ready for the implantation and then it might not have been able to take place. He advised us that the best thing we could do was not worry or stress. This was easy for him to say, I was on a tight deadline. The clinic was closing for Xmas so the last day to be accepted for treatment that year was the end of October to enable them to follow the treatment through.

My period came on Monday 23rd October – I rang to start the treatment and was told someone would contact me by the end of the week. I flew out to Tenerife on the 25th October and rang to chase the clinic whilst I was at the airport – I was so frightened I’d miss the call but there had been no progress. My phone was glued to me whilst I was away, the phone signal was terrible but my husband’s was slightly better so I rang the clinic to give

them his number to contact me on if they couldn’t reach me. Friday came and I still hadn’t heard anything, I knew nothing would happen over the weekend so I called them and again still no progress. They tell you not to stress and worry but they really were making me anxious. I pleaded with the nurse to try and get an answer by the end of the day. I was so worried they would tell me it was too late and I’d have to wait until next year. We’d been told at the consultation that they only had a certain amount of incubators and that they might have to turn patients away until their next cycle. It occurred to me that with the cut off for treatment being the end of October that by January they would have all the patients from November and December backed up so the chances of getting treatment in January were slim. Later that day my phone rang, it was them, my heart leapt with excitement but to my disappointment it was the same nurse ringing back to tell me it would be next week before anyone called me. My heart sank back down to my stomach, the place it seemed to be these days.

The following week arrived and still no word from the clinic. I spoke to a nurse who told me my request was being dealt with and I’d be contacted in a few days. The Wednesday arrived and it was time to fly home. We were going to be in the air most of the day as we had to fly home via Copenhagen due to an airline going bust. When we landed in Copenhagen I called the clinic as there had been no missed calls, I felt like a nuisance but it’s all I could think about. Again there had been no progress.

I returned to work the following day and made another call. It was looking unlikely I was going to get the treatment in 2017 – my mood was low but finally I was told I could start the injections on the 13th November. The one flaw in this was that my injections hadn’t yet been ordered and still needed to be delivered once ordered. I really was left feeling in a panic, it was all such a rush which could’ve been prevented as it was nearly 2 weeks ago since I’d made the first call. I knew there were a lot of couples in the same boat but I couldn’t think about them at this time. It went right to the wire but my injections and medication were ordered and delivered later the following week. My husband and I went away to the lakes that weekend for my birthday and I was determined to relax ready to start my treatment on the Monday.

I’m not going to lie, I wanted a baby more than anything in the world but I was worried about starting the treatment again. I just wasn’t sure my heart could take another failed attempt. When you have IVF and start talking to others, it’s amazing how many people you hear about who have had it or know someone who has had it. The most common I’d heard was that it happened for them on the third attempt. So I went into this thinking it was just a stepping stone to our third attempt therefore I wasn’t to get my hopes up.

So Monday came and it was time to start my injections. Having to have these at the same time every day for almost 6 weeks proved a challenge with all the events we had on throughout December. With me not wanting to inject myself it meant my husband had to be on hand and it even resulted in him driving to meet me in the restaurant car park of where I was having my work Xmas meal and injecting me in the car… this didn’t look dodgy in slightest. We were back and forth to Manchester for scans and blood tests and given a date of 21st December for the embryo transfer – it was going to be a long Xmas and New Year but at least I wouldn’t be at work much so I could relax.

I couldn’t wait for my last injection – my body couldn’t take anymore, I was so sore. I struggled to hold back the tears as more injections went into an already tender area.

The 21st December arrived and off we went to Manchester. Excellent news, the embryo had thawed successfully and was ready to be transferred. There was something hanging over my head, I was due at the hospital in May for my follow up colposcopy from the irregular smear. I knew if the IVF was successful I wouldn’t be able to attend but it they weren’t going to mention it then neither were I. I couldn’t let anything get in the way of what I wanted. It

was only after the embryo was put back in that the nurse asked if my smear was up to date so I said yes, I wasn’t sure what they could do even if I said no, the embryo was now inside me. I was bursting for a wee but I wouldn’t go in fear the embryo would come out – this wasn’t possible but still I had my concerns. We were given a date of the 3rd January to take a pregnancy test.

The 2nd January l went to bed, although I knew I wouldn’t get much sleep. I just wanted the bad news out of the way. I was convinced I wasn’t pregnant because I didn’t feel any different – I was told by people that I’d just know. It got to the early hours of the morning and I was wide awake, I couldn’t wait any longer, I had to take the test. I sat on the toilet praying silently to a god I’m not even sure I believe in and then I’m looking in disbelief at the display that read ‘pregnant 2-3 weeks’. I shouted my husband and he came to look and confirm. I was trembling, what if this wasn’t right. I took another test and again it was positive. I’d waited years to see that positive result but I wasn’t excited like I thought I’d be, like I deserved to be. All I could think was that it wasn’t real; I was too scared to allow myself to accept it as good news in case it got taken away.

I sent a picture of the pregnancy test to my family, I told them it was early days and we needed to keep it quiet. I didn’t text my friends right away, some had messaged me asking if I was okay but I felt like if I said the words I’d be cursing myself and to some degree felt like I was lying. I did eventually text my friends later that day.

My family and friends were excited but I still wasn’t ready to accept the news. I didn’t want them to be excited either; I was so scared of letting everyone down. When the clinic called I told them the result and I was advised to book an 8 week scan with them and a follow up appointment for my care plan. I asked my family and friends to not get too excited until after the scan, preferably my 12 week scan, if I ever got that far. Inevitably they were excited and couldn’t contain it but I couldn’t allow myself to get sucked in so instead I snapped at them for their comments. I was mad at the time, I wanted them to respect that I didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves but deep down I knew they were just really happy for me.

During the first week I started with sharp pains in my ovaries, I called the clinic in Manchester and they advised I should ring my GP to be referred to the early pregnancy unit at RPH. The early pregnancy unit sent me for a number of bloods tests throughout the week and a nurse called me on the Saturday to confirm that my hormone levels were increasing as they should in pregnancy and they’d arranged a scan for me on the Monday morning to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. The following day (11 days after the positive test) I woke up to find I was bleeding, that was it, my dream was over, I knew it. I spent most of the Sunday getting upset but managed to sleep because I was exhausted. On the Monday we attended the early pregnancy unit and they sent me for a scan. I watched the sonographer’s face looking for clues in her expressions. Finally she confirmed there was a heartbeat but she could also see the bleed. She explained that it was likely caused during the embryo transfer but providing it cleared there shouldn’t be any need for concern.

My next appointment was the 8 week scan in Manchester. It was confirmed that the bleed had cleared and the baby was growing well. I say baby, it was the yolk sac, nothing on the image actually resembled a baby. We then took the scan picture over to the clinic to discuss our care plan. As everything looked normal we were told there was no reason to return to the clinic and that all future appointments would be through our local hospital.

I was still a nervous wreck over the next few weeks and still couldn’t see the end game. The bleed had really affected me and I was constantly checking ‘down there’. It had become such an obsession I started to have phantom bleeds. I’d given up on the gym, I’d been told it was

safe but I wasn’t taking any chances plus the nausea had kicked in. I took up walking with my elder sister after work. I’d air all my worries out with her, I was conscious I was like a broken record and perhaps going on but I just needed constant reassurance.

We attended the booking in appointment with the midwife. We were greeted by a lady at reception who bombarded us with all sorts of information and was probing us for our chosen method of feeding. I was so overwhelmed, I still wasn’t willing to have any kind of discussion about the future until after my 12 week scan so now really wasn’t the time. I over analysed and worried about everything. From the sides effects of the flu jab to which side I was sleeping on. Pregnancy really was a minefield and Googling just sent me into a spiral of questions. It really baffled me how no one mentions much of it to you.

I had my 12 week scan and again all was okay. I was amazed by how much our baby had transformed in 4 weeks. The sonographer told us he was a little menace and kept moving away. We met with a midwife who advised us we would be consultant led. The consultant met with us to discuss our options and we were told IVF babies are statistically at higher risk of still birth if they go past their due date so we made an appointment for a review when I reached week 38 of my pregnancy. All I needed to do in the meantime was attend the midwife at my GP for routine checks.

Now I know I said I’d relax after my 12 week scan but things are never that simple. The reason I’d set the goal of my 12 week scan is that one of my close friends had miscarried at 11 weeks only a few months before I found out I was pregnant so I became fixated with that.

First of all there were the people that liked to talk to you about their bad experiences. I politely smiled as people would tell me their stories of miscarriage even after their 12 week scan or someone they knew that hadn’t reported reduced movement later on in pregnancy and had lost their baby.

I was busy and stressed at work but tried hard not to stress about stressing.

We decided that we’d move announcing being pregnant to everyone until after the 16 week gender scan we were going private for. I also told myself that I’d allow myself to get excited after this. The week leading up to the 16 week scan I started getting pains but my mind was put at ease when we had the scan, it’s a boy – we shared the news. We were both so proud.

Just as I thought it was my time to relax and enjoy I started with an itchy rash. I thought nothing of it but went to the doctors as a precaution, to my horror I was diagnosed with shingles. My doctor advised there was no risk to the baby but that didn’t stop me worrying and everyone else’s reaction to the diagnosis didn’t put my mind at ease. The rash was also extremely painful, I wouldn’t wish shingles on anyone.

Even more worry came as my best friend attended her 12 week scan to learn she’d sadly lost her baby. We’d been excited about sharing our experience together and this was just heartbreaking and made me lose faith. I was sick of bad things happening to good people, nothing felt fair.

I had lots of busy weeks and weekends leading up to my 20 week scan and I actually cried with exhaustion. I was really ready for my scan when it came round after so much worry.

I had the scan and my husband and I flew out to Tuscany for our final holiday before the baby arrived. I felt like the holiday just gave me more to worry about. The flying and lying in the sun couldn’t have been good for the baby I thought. I messaged a friend who’s daughter

was a midwife and she reminded me that women in sunny climes have babies too and to relax and enjoy myself. Whilst sunbathing I felt my little baby kick, although this was one of the most amazing feelings ever it just started off a new obsession. My hand was constantly on my stomach feeling for the flutter and when I couldn’t feel anything I’d worry. The day we flew home I didn’t feel the flutter at all and rang the hospital. They gave me a number of things to try and eventually I felt a movement. I still wasn’t convinced and the midwife asked me to go down to be checked out and everything was okay.

I spent the summer coming home from work and sunbathing out in the garden feeling for movement and working myself up when I couldn’t. My husband and I would play music to the bump and the baby would finally move.

At my 28 week midwife appointment I was sent for a scan as my bump was measuring undersize but everything was okay. We were due to have a private scan this week but we pushed it out by 2 weeks. I was glad of the private scan at 30 weeks because I’d been worried about movements. I found it really difficult being responsible for something I couldn’t see or hear.

Other than the constant worry of movement and the nausea kicking back in the rest of the weeks ran smoothly and I was starting to get excited. I had my midwife appointments more regularly than required but it helped with the anxiety, listening to the little heartbeat helped me through the weeks. I had my baby showers and after a stressful final few weeks at work I started my maternity leave. I’d only been off a few days and wished I could go back. I realised work had kept my mind busy and prevented me from worrying during the day. I tried to make the most of it as I was being induced the following week.

After numerous unsuccessful sweeps I checked in to the hospital to be induced on 28th August. After 2 attempts of being induced and a night of intense contractions there was still no signs of my cervix opening up. I was given one final attempt in the evening of the 29th but nothing happened, no contractions and no baby. I was so worried about what all this was doing to my baby and was constantly buzzing for the midwife asking to be monitored. On the 30th August our gorgeous little baby boy was born by c section.

For the first time in my life I’m not wishing time away, I want to bottle every single moment. I’m writing this whilst my baby sleeps and I’m looking down with a full heart and a love I didn’t know existed. There is one thing I know for sure, I was made to be a mum and my husband a dad.

I just want to make a side note to say my friends daughter that was in ICU recovered well.

One day I may write about the c section and being a mum but that’s all from me for now.

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