Friends and The Green Eyed Monster

This is hardest post I’ve written so far. I’ve reread and rewritten it so many times. Seeing it written down doesn’t make me feel any better about it either. If I’m honest seeing a lot of it written down make me feel like a bad person and a bad friend. It was hard to get down in words what I wanted to say but from the DMs and emails I received from other women over the last few weeks I know how many of us have or are struggling with similar feelings.

I feel like I’ve come along way, it’s been hard but I’m now at a place where I can be happy for others, while acknowledging my jealousy and for me I think that’s ok. In the beginning, when my hormones were still so raw, this was not the case. It was painful, made worse because we hadn’t been trying for that long and I felt like I didn’t really have a right to feel desperate at that point but I already did.

It was like a punch to the stomach every time someone announced a pregnancy, it still is if I’m honest. It felt like everyone around me was getting pregnant, but at first those people were just women I knew from work or second hand. It was easy to be angry and let my frustrations out that way. It was a relief from just feeling pathetic. It was easy to avoid talking to them at work or avoid social situations where I would have to interact with them.

But then a close friend fell pregnant, after around five months of trying, her and husband had started trying about two months before us. We’d shared a lot of the same frustrations in the beginning and even though I was anxious at not getting pregnant straight away it was comforting that someone else was in the same boat. We were around three months into TTC when she announced her pregnancy, maybe four by the time she told me. Shamefully I have to admit the first thing I did was burst into tears. I was so ashamed that I might have taken away from her excitement by doing that. In my defence my hormones were really all over the place at that point and I found it really hard to not spontaneously burst into tears for no reason anyhow.

At the time if felt like I had lost the only person who really understood what I was going through. I kept seeing her through out her pregnancy but I have to admit I found it very difficult. I am by nature a jealous person, I can admit that, but this was on a scale I hadn’t know before.

Later the same year one of my three closest friends had a miscarriage, this coincided with another friend’s baby shower. I was heart broken for her and as anyone would do I went round to offer cups of tea and hugs. We were able to comfort each other a bit and share our frustrations and pain at the thought of going to baby shower but wanting to be there for our friend and be happy for her. And even though she already had a little one, again I am ashamed how good it felt to know someone else was in a similar boat. That she totally got how I was feeling. It made me feel less of a horrible person. She did quickly get pregnant again and I am so happy to report went on to have a healthy baby boy. But here’s the thing again I lost the person I felt could understand what I was going through.

My three best friends from school all have between one and three children each. And as time has gone on I feel more and more left behind. Not because of how they treat me but just because they share so much more of their lives. They do things with their kids during the week when Im at work for example and get to see each other way more regularly than I do. We still do things in the evenings from time to time but understandably that’s less often now they’ve got wee ones to put to bed and look after.

As time went on it became easier to avoid seeing them, I was busy with work and our schedules were so different that really all I had to do was stop making an effort rather than actively avoid seeing them. For a long time I don’t even think I was consciously aware I was doing it.

Then last year I met a women through my yoga class who had tried for three years before having her son, only finally getting pregnant after going on the wait list for IVF. It was amazing to have someone I could talk to who understood how I was feeling and I was able to admit how hard I was finding it to be around my friends who were pregnant or had just had babies. She was very plain with me, she understood exactly how I was feeling but she told me to get my head out of ass frankly. And she was right. She said your friends are there for you and you need to be there for them. She told me she totally understood where I was coming from but that I would need them in the long run wether we went on to have a family or not. She was totally right. It was time to sort myself out.

I started making an effort again and I started to be more open with my friends about how I was feeling. They all knew we were trying but instead of closing down the conversation after the usual ‘how are things going’ I started talking to them about how I was feeling and how frustrated I was. I started to realise that even though none of them are going through this just now, so many of them have had their own struggles with fertility too. Some much longer and more difficult than I had been aware of. It didn’t matter that they weren’t going through it just now, they totally got what I was going through and understood how I was feeling.

My friends are amazing and so supportive. A special mention has to go my log suffering pals who aren’t even interested in kids, some for just now and some cause they just aren’t, they have really been there for me too. They listen to me going on like broken record and have never once told me to shut up or made fun of me for being baby obsessed.

Another friend who very recently announced her pregnancy messaged me after my list went out on Clemmie’s blog to apologise for the way she had announced her pregnancy. This made me so sad. The last thing I want is for my friends to feel like they can’t be happy around me or shouldn’t talk to me about what is the biggest biggest thing in their lives. I want to be there for them the way they have been there for me.

Of course its hard, even painful, when couples around you are getting pregnant with what appears like ease, and sometimes its easier to hide from or push away from those friends. But if I had continued to do that I would have lost not only some of dearest oldest friends but also a massive part of my support system. The more I share here the more I really believe we need to open up and talk to each other more. I’m not saying everyone needs to air their dirty laundry as publicly as I do but do open up to your friends. I really believe the more we can break down this taboo around talking about TTC and fertility the better and less alone we will all feel.


The Mean Reds

It’s been an odd week, bagging Britney tickets notwithstanding, I’ve struggled. I’m tired (achieving a better work life balance this year hasn’t gotten off to the best start) and I’ve got a cold that won’t bugger off. It’s brought things to a head. So I warn you now this is a bit of a rant. Sorry.

I’m angry. When I didn’t get pregnant as quickly as I thought I would at first I felt disappointed, sad, frustrated, lonely but most of all just pathetic. But recently I’ve hit a wall. Now I’m just angry. Why can’t my body just do what it’s supposed to f@*king do?! As I write this my period is over a week late (relax not pregnant, I’ve taken several tests).

The last few days have gone as thus:

Monday morning – My period is five days late. I’ve held off testing so far as I don’t have a test in the house and the snow has been bad enough that we haven’t bothered venturing further than the park across the road to take Oscar for a walk in days. But really because I’ve been disappointed so many times before I just want the feeling of ‘could I really be pregnant’ to last. Pathetic I know.

It’s very unlikely I reason with myself, we have given ourselves an unofficial break since Christmas. We didn’t make any sort of agreement, it’s just sort of happened, I think we both needed a break from all the pressure of ‘trying’ so I know we only had sex once in the ‘window’. I was so sure it wasn’t a possibility I even had a smear test. At least I’ve been off the booze for January so if there is someone in there, the poor bub won’t be pickled.

Monday afternoon – I got a test when we went out to the supermarket, I took it as soon as I got home. It was negative of course. I know I should have waited until the morning but I just couldn’t help myself. And now I still keep thinking there’s still a small chance I could be pregnant, the test just didn’t pick it up.

Wednesday – still no period, just a little spotting (and it’s the wrong colour) now officially a week late. I tested again this morning just to be sure, but I knew it would be negative.

I thought my cycle had evened it’s self out and was becoming more regular but no. My insides are like dried up tar. It feels like a massive set back, over dramatic I know, but I’m just so frustrated my cycle is still THIS wonky. In the words of my favourite yoga teacher, I need scrubbed out with a wire brush.

What the f@*k is wrong with my insides?!!! Why won’t my body just work!

Pissed off at the world and tired, so bloody tired. I’m stuck with permanent PMS. Grrr ahhhhh! I want to scream and rant cry but I can’t I’ve got to go to work and do adult shit.

I go through stages sometimes I’m sad and lonely and want to curl up in ball. Lately I just feel angry and I want to rage and scream. Seriously, fighting the urge to burst into hysterical tears and have a full on hot mess cry in the loos at any moment of the day, is exhausting. Why does is it appear so easy for other people?

When we first started trying I could imagine exactly what it would be like to be pregnant, smelling my babies head for the first time, cuddling them, being up all night. I was so excited, it felt so real, so imminent, palpable.

I can’t see myself as pregnant anymore, I can’t see past peeing on sticks, following calendars and taking vitamins.

And then I feel guilty. I’m ridiculously lucky, I have a good life I should be satisfied with what I have. I’m lucky in that my job puts me in contact with tons of amazing voluntary organisations who support some of the most vulnerable people in our society and god do I need that reality check. But it’s so hard to see past this overwhelming drive to have a family, it is one of our most basic animal instincts after all. Even when I’m feeling good about things it’s like a knawing pain in the pit of my stomach. I can ignore it and get on with other things but it’s still there and some days like today when I’m not expecting it, it rears up and swallows me whole.

I throw myself into work as an escape and so that when the time comes we’ll be in the best financial situation possible but this is not what I thought my life would look like at this point. The focus of my life feels off. I love my job and find it extremely rewarding but some days I struggle.

Feeling like I’m doing something, anything positive, always helps (my CV doesn’t say I’m solutions focused for nothing) and even though this isn’t my usual sort of project it does help. I’ve booked in for my first Five Elements Acupuncture appointment and will have a reflexology session when I get back from travelling for work. I went to the hotel gym this morning and will make my usual spin class tomorrow. I have plans to see my friends and will spend time with the husband over the weekend. I promise myself next week will be better.

The Science Bit

Since Clemmie shared my list on her blog yesterday I have truly been blown away by the supportive comments so many people have left. Every single one means so much to me. Especially those who have shared their own TTC stories. Thank you.

I have been working on this post for a wee while but yesterdays response really spurred me on to get it finished. I thought it might be helpful to share what tests and medical checks we’ve had so far.

Quick caveat for what I’m about to tell you though, all of the information below is based on my memory of events, I am not a medical professional so please don’t take anything below as fact. This is a recounting of my experiences and how they’ve made me feel. In addition, please be aware that different NHS trusts operate differently, use different processes and have different criteria to access fertility testing and assisted conception services. It’s a postcode lottery which sucks major ass for many people, we have been very lucky with the level of support we are eligible for and I am very grateful to NHS Great Glasgow and Clyde.

I first went to my GP in June 2016, after we had been trying for six months. As I’ve mentioned before I was very anxious at that point. My GP explained that it could take years for my body to recalibrate after coming off the pill after around 16 years of continuous use. I remember being really shocked by this, I had no idea that could be the case. No medical professional had ever mentioned this to me before (something I feel the medical profession should address but that’s another blog). We agreed I would take action myself to address my stress levels and I would come back in a further six months if nothing had happened.

Nothing did, so I went back to see my GP again in January 2017. True to her word my lovely GP ordered blood tests and put in a referral to the Assisted Conception Unit (ACU) at our local hospital. She also asked me to get my husband to make an appointment with his GP to arrange his own blood tests and have his semen tested. This way when our referral came through the team at the ACU would have a clearer picture of our situation. At this point I was warned it could take up to a year for the referral to come through, but as far as she knew the current wait was about six months. I was really pleasantly surprised then when an appointment came through for March but also really nervous. I was convinced by this point that there was something really wrong with me. (Thank you repetitive thoughts.) And by the time the appointment came around I was convinced they were going to find something really wrong with my body.

By the day of the appointment I had gotten myself so worked up that I made my poor husband pick me up an hour early from work. Then I made him go home and change clothes because he had turned up in his wood working clothes and looked a bit scruffy, in my head I thought the ACU staff would think we would be bad parents because of this and would deny us treatment (ridiculous I know). I also nearly sent us to the wrong hospital, thank god my husband looked at the appointment letter when we went back to the house and realised I had gotten mixed up in my agitated state. But despite my best efforts we did finally mange to get to the right hospital on time for our appointment.

The staff at the unit have been amazing. As soon as we walked in the staff on reception were really warm and not even a tiny bit judgy of how nutty I know I looked. I got the impression I wasn’t the first very wound up lady they’d seen, which sort of made me feel better.

The first thing they did was take my husband and I into a side room to do a carbon monoxide breath test to prove we don’t smoke. This is a criteria for treatment where we live, if you don’t pass, you get sent home. I practically jumped on the poor nurse so I could go first and nearly fainted when she said I had passed even though I knew there was no reason for me to fail…I was that nervous. The hubster of course passed too, we were in.

A short wait later we were meeting with a specialist nurse who went through our test results (all within normal ranges, great news) hubs even got a special mention for having particularly good sperm (something he is understandably very proud of and always mentions, he is also very proud that the GP didn’t bother to check his testosterone levels as he has such a full beard – eye roll, yes you’re very manly love). Next I was asked to go into the loo and put on a hospital gown. They were going to do an ultrasound to check for fibroids; the condition of my endometrium (womb lining) and would also see if they could see any follicles as it was around the time I should be ovulating.

So this is where things got erm interesting…I had naively assumed an ultra sound meant having some conductive jelly squished on your belly (a bit cold, least that’s what they always say on tv) and then they roll a stick thing over your tum. All nice and noninvasive. Well turns out they can’t see what they need to for these purposes that way, no they stick a johnny and some lube on a probe and shove it up your fanny! Not actually as bad as it sounds and not painful in anyway but surprising none the less if this is not what you’re expecting. Which I was not.

Anyhow the nurse had a good old rummage and confirmed there were no masses or fibroids in my womb, my endometrium was lovely and thick, my ovaries were free of cysts (so no PCOS a concern given my level of acne and bloating) and there were even two nice ripe follicles ready to pop on my left ovary.

I burst into tears.

Partly from relief and party because to me it sounded like I should have been knocked up a couple times over by now. “If everything’s so perfect why am I not pregnant yet?” To which the nurse quite sensibly replied “you’re in a very fortunate position, yes we don’t know if there’s an issue yet but there are many couples who would kill for your test results.” Point taken lip buttoned back in.

However, she did explain that a straightforward ultrasound (even up your vagina) can’t see your fallopian tubes properly, so to rule out blocked or scared tubes a tubal patency test (also known as a HyCoSy) is required. This test is carried out by a doctor under sterile conditions so I would have to be referred and come back another day.

Again the referral came through very quickly (thank you amazing NHS), so a few weeks later we were back in the ACU waiting room. This time we were taken into a small bright white side room and I was given another fetching hospital gown to change into. A nurse then came into to explain the procedure. They would insert a small catheter into my womb via my cervix, insert the ultrasound prob into my vagina and then put a dye through the catheter. The dye would be picked up by the ultrasound and we would then be able to see the dye flow through my womb and out through my tubes. If there were any blockages the dye wouldn’t be able to pass through my tubes and we would see it on the monitor. Because of the nature of the test the hubs couldn’t actually come into the room with me so he waited in the white room while I was taken through to the examination room.

Now I was warned this procedure would be the most uncomfortable test I would be asked to take and uncomfortable is a good way to describe it. For anyone who is about to have this procedure please don’t be worried by that description it’s not painful and it was over very quickly, around five minutes from the point the catheter went in until it was removed. The catheter is very fine but having it inserted was a very odd feeling, sort of like period cramps in reverse and my body did not like it being there. It’s a difficult sensation to explain, and not nice but over very quickly.

After the test I was taken back to the white room, got dressed and was given a mega dose of antibiotics by the nurse (there’s a very small chance you could get an infection from this procedure so these prevent that). We then went to meet with the doctor who confirmed my tubes are clear!

He had another look at my cycle dates and as my cycle was (still is) kind of irregular, he asked to repeat my ovulation bloods. This happened the following week and again everything came back as normal. Which is great but again I was left still not getting anymore pregnant. We were sent home with instructions to have sex every four days, easier said than done with our conflicting schedules but we do our best. And told to come back in six months if nothing happened and we would talk about IVF.

Again nothing happened, so we went back just before Christmas and were told that we would officially meet the criteria to be entered onto the waitlist for IVF from January 2018, 2 Years from when we started trying. The wait to start the process is about six months at the moments, so we will hopefully start around June.

And that’s where we are: trying, waiting. Waiting, trying. Trying to get my body in the best condition I can to make a home for a baby.

Happy 2018!

So I took a bit of a break from writing. That makes it sound like I had been writing for a long time but as you can see I only managed to publish four posts not really a lot. I have written a lot more posts that I haven’t published and maybe in the fullness of time I will have the guts to share them. But in all honesty some of them didn’t paint me in the best light, and Im a vain person. I care what others think of me, even if they don’t really know who I am.

Im also very guilty of hiding from how Im really feeling by making myself really busy. Especially recently as work has gotten a bit out of hand requiring lots of travel and time away from home. Its been easy to hide from whats going on in my head and hasn’t left me much time for writing. But of course these are just excuses really, the truth is sometimes I find it hard to face up to whats going on in my head. Sometimes its easier to hide from painful situations and it was easy to do so with so much going on.

I realised it was time to think about taking this up again after a trip to my GP. I started getting migraines a few months ago. I had very bad migraines from childhood until I was at Uni but I hadn’t had one in over ten years. When they started coming back all of a sudden in July I went off to see my GP. She prescribed some tablets to take if they came back and suggested I keep a note of the dates as it might help to work out the trigger. It became obvious they were happening around my period. However, as I’ve never had PMT migraines before the doctor suggested they might be down to stress, rather than anything physical. Since this little insight no more migraines. So I think its safe to say she was right.

This blog is also a space where I can vent the stuff I can’t talk to my friends about. Or at least don’t feel able to talk to my friends about. I worry about boring them to tears by talking about the TTC stuff too much, especially the ones who aren’t interested in having kids.

So back to the laptop I go and here I am trying to start off 2018 as I mean to go on. We found out just before Christmas that we now meet the criteria in our area to go on to the waiting list for IVF. The wait to start treatment is currently about six months. So I’ve made a decision: rather than focusing on trying to make a baby constantly, I’m going to focus on getting my body ready to be home to one. It might sound like the same thing to other people but for me it is a big shift.

I hate the term new years resolutions, so lets not call them that, but I am making changes and reinstating good habits. Here’s the list:

  1. Im going to try Five-Element acupuncture (a more holistic version of acupuncture, I have previously had TCM acupuncture)
  2. Cut back on alcohol and coffee again, I had most definitely slipped off the wagon on both fronts since going on holiday in November (ditto on for points three and four below) and I can feel the difference
  3. Get back to yoga and regular exercise
  4. Get my diet back in check
  5. I will give myself a break and reinstate a better work/life balance
  6. Regular reflexology treatments, might sound like an odd choice but if you find the right therapist its amazing what a person can tell you from your feet. I honestly find it the most relaxing form of massage/complimentary therapy
  7. I will stop going to sleep watching stuff on my iPad and start listening to a led meditation instead (I really like the Insight Timer app for this but there are literally tons to choose from)
  8. And heres the biggy I’m going to stop having sex on a schedule

This last one is going to be the hardest to keep to but my thinking is that by removing this pressure, I will reduce the general stress surrounding the whole proceedings. And that is really what I mean by shifting my focus.

Not particularly dramatic or ambitious but achievable and will hopefully get me to the best place possible to start IVF. So happy new year folks, I hope this year brings you everything you’re looking for.

Best Laid Plans

The hardest thing I have found about trying, is that you cant plan it. Planning and routine are really important to me and are the best way I have found to keep my anxiety in check but life’s a bitch and she doesn’t give a shit.

Since as early as I can remember I have only ever really wanted two things from life: a dog and babies. I spent most of my early childhood wheeling about a toy buggy and dragging a stuffed Dalmatian in my wake. So when I met my husband and he declared on our fourth date that he was desperate to get a dog, he even had his named picked out, I pretty much knew he was the one.

We ended up waiting a few years before taking on the commitment of a dog, we’re not irresponsible, but when we decided that the time was right the dog part was pretty easy. So when about three years ago my husband (then boyfriend) and I decided we were finally grown ups (ish), with much care and research, we found our beautiful scruffy Labradoodle Oscar. Getting him was the best thing we’ve done so far, and we both love him and our life together to bits, but this brings me to my point. We wanted a dog so we got one. We have now decided we’re a bit more grown up (ish). We managed a daft puppy and now have a well adjusted sweet natured dog, time to take the next step and try to grow a new human.  Not so straight forward.

(Don’t get me wrong I am not trying to compare bringing up a child to bringing up a puppy, I realise the two are very different, just for us it feels like the logical next step.)

The waiting and my inability to plan for what comes next is a struggle. I write this looking back at old diary entries from April last year, and while I have come to terms a bit with the not knowing its still the hardest part. If someone could tell me you’ll be pregnant in two years I could deal with the waiting, the time isn’t so much the issue, its the not knowing. It could happen in two weeks, two months, two years or never. I’m a planner, I like to know when things are happening. I am not the girl you surprise with a weekend away with no notice (not that I hate surprises, just they have to be given in advance with time between the surprise and event, I know spontaneous). I like to know when things are happening, I like to research and feel prepared, I like to know what I will be doing. I pack for holidays weeks in advance, planning what I will take to the nth degree and researching weather and what you should wear for various activities. Before we even got engaged I had three secret Pinterest boards planning our wedding, it sounds crazy but I might not have had the confidence to say yes otherwise. Not because I wasn’t sure about my husband but because I wasn’t sure about me. I plan my way through big life changes, when I don’t have this as an option I crumble.

Unfortunately mother nature didn’t take my obsessive need to plan and imagine every scenario before it happens into account when she came up with the baby making bit, rude. I am also fully aware that what we’re going through pales in comparison to the heart ache many couples go through on the journey to procreation: spending years waiting and going through rounds of IVF and/or miscarriage. But how do others mange the no mans land of nothingness without even a plan or timescale to shore you up? Answers on a postcard please, any suggestions gratefully received. I would really like to know how other prospective parents cope with this?

Aunty Flo?

When I first came off the pill it took months for my period to even show up and when it did (TMI alert) it was brown and very light. I had been on the mini pill for about five years which, as it is taken continuously, without the usual one week break a month you take on the combined pill, meant I literally hadn’t had a bleed in years. I had also been on the pill, on and off, since I was 14 (prescribed for heavy periods and acne). So I guess it wasn’t surprising in hindsight but at the time I really was freeeaked out.

And of course in my time of need, where did I turn, but to none other than Dr Google. Big mistake. Within twenty minutes I had diagnosed myself with fibroids, PCOS, cancer and or physical abnormalities (including a second womb or no womb just a vagina, more common than you’d think, but relax there’s defiantly one in there and only one, I made the real doctor check). Delightful little notions that got caught up in my repetitive thought patterns for months and to be honest I didn’t get rid of them until ages later when I was scanned as part of the infertility testing we are currently going through (but more on that later).

You may have already guessed but coming off the pill had sent my anxiety disorder into melt down and caused all sorts of physical symptoms that left me a sweaty, greasy, crampy mess (and the acne, oh god the acne!). Never mind the emotional mayhem. I have always been very sensitive to my hormones, going through multiple brands of the pill before I settled on one that made me the least mental. But coming off the pill was frankly shit, I cried all the time for no reason and I had real trouble focusing. My work suffered and my friends started to have quite words with me because I was acting so oddly. I remember driving a friend home from a party one night, and getting lost three times on the way home. I know where she lives, she’s lived in the same place for years, very near where I bloody grew up, I just couldn’t get my brain to concentrate on anything. This took over a year to pass fully but the first six months were the worst.

However, I digress – periods. It had disappeared, Auntie Flo was no where to be found. I went to see my GP after trying for a baby for about six months, I explained my concerns (and self diagnoses). She quickly confirmed it was perfectly normal for it to take anything up to two years for your period and cycle to re-regulate after being on the pill for as long as I had but was much more interested in how anxious I was becoming again, suggesting I take a break from trying so I could go back on medication. I decided against this but knew things couldn’t go on as they had been. I promised I would make some life changes instead and she agreed we would begin the testing process if nothing had happened by the following January (which would be a full year from when we started trying).

So off I went on my merry way to sort my head out. I got more seriously into yoga, and started practicing mindfulness. I even went to a naturopath who prescribes herbs and diet changes. I did an online CBT refresher. The mindfulness I’m still working on, I really like the Headspace app and have found it does help me relax but I do struggle to disengage from my thoughts and to regularly make time to a session. Yoga I love. I’ve done yoga as a form of exercise for years, dipping in and out of different styles, but after seeing the doctor I went back to my usual teacher and started rebuilding, my practice from the bottom up. Practicing mostly Ashtanga and focusing on my breathing and the intention behind my practice (sorry that sounds so wanky, but I don’t know how else to say it). All of these things helped, I didn’t get pregnant but I slowly started to feel better. I went on holiday with a friend and finally started to come back to myself.

The thing that made the most remarkable difference however, in regards to my period was acupuncture. Don’t ask me why sticking pins in your body works or even feels good. But it does and it so does. It feels amazing. And a week after my first treatment I got my first real post pill bleed. It still took over a year for it to come back properly and even now, eighteen months after coming off the pill, my cycle isn’t totally regular. But aunty does now stop by regularly.

What The Fudge Am I Doing?

Below is a diary entry I made last year and its is why I’m starting to write this blog. I’m in a bit of a better place now. My hormones have settled down a lot, I feel more like myself but I’m not pregnant.

6 August 2016

  • I hate the pill and specifically I hate what it has done to my body now that I’ve stopped taking it
  • I hate not feeling like me
  • I hate that my husband doesn’t recognise me
  • I hate that I’ve put on so much weight
  • I hate that my acne is so bad
  • I can’t stand being hormonal, bloated, anxious, tired, sore for no reason ANYMORE (not to mention sweaty, greasy, hairy – yum!)
  • I hate that I cant be more excited for my friends who are having babies

I think I now understand why no one talks about trying while they are actually trying to conceive, because if you did you’d sound crazy and lets be honest most of it is just grose. But really I could use some ‘in the same boat’ stories right about now.

About me

Hi. My name is Jennie. I live in Glasgow with my husband and our dog.

My husband and I have been trying for a baby since January 2016 and it hasn’t been at all how I expected it would be.

After decades of living with an anxiety disorder that I could never quite get under control, and subsequent bouts of depression, my thirties brought the stability I’ve always longed for and for the most part I keep my symptoms under control through routine and exercise. I started out on our mission to procreation feeling good and in control.

But and this feels like a big but…coming off the pill after sixteen years sent me into a hormonal fuelled anxiety spiral that I am only now really coming out of, but the first six months were the hardest.

When we started trying I started looking for other people talking about trying to conceive. But all I could find was TTC chat rooms and forums, that I’m sure are helpful and supportive for some but for me just fuelled my obsessive thoughts. So many people are starting to talk about mental health, miscarriage and IVF treatments, their bravery is really inspiring. But I couldn’t find very much about how to cope and how it feels when your trying and nothing happens. It’s isolating and sometimes I feel very alone.

No one seems to talk about when they start trying, it feels like a total taboo, like it’s bad luck or you might jinx your chances if you talk about it openly. But I now know how common it is for couples to have issues or for things just to take longer than they had planned. So I thought I would try being brave for once in the hope that other women/couples going through the same thing would feel less alone. It might be good to have someone talking about TTC while they were going through it.

And so this is my honest, often metal, account of trying to make a baby.