Pregnancy // Let's Go Back to the Beginning

December 18, 2018

{the day that we found out we were pregnant}

In amongst the Christmas blog posts, I know lots of you are keen to hear more about our exciting news. Before I start going into all of the first trimester details/things we did differently the month we conceived/all the excitement of finding out, I wanted to go back to the beginning. I wrote this back in Spring 2018...

  • March 2018 I’m writing this in March but our thoughts of wanting a baby came long before this. {and update - since announcing our pregnancy, I’ve had a lot of messages about how exactly we decided when we wanted a baby so I’ve added a few more thoughts to this now in December}. I think something had definitely clicked in me after writing this post, which at the time went crazily viral and caused some slight controversy where we were unsure about when/whether to have children. In fact, that post wasn't really about whether we wanted children or not, deep down we definitely always did but it was more just about this expectation for us to because we were married, and deciding when would be the right time {also probably being at a particularly selfish age!}. I suddenly started seeing babies everywhere and realised that actually there’s no way we wanted to just be a pair for the rest of our lives and spending future Christmasses on our own. I started feeling more maternal and our conversations regularly started with 'when we have children' and us definitely dreaming of that time for probably 6 months to a year before now. Financially we felt ok to support a family, both of our jobs are really flexible and we had a house pretty much renovated with a spare bedroom waiting to be turned into a nursery. But I don’t think all of that stuff matters at all if you’re not ready as a couple to go through the huge change, and more importantly whether you as a woman are. There will never be a perfect time though and I feel like nothing can prepare you for that life change. All I know is that I felt very content with life for us both and the time that we’ve had together as a couple, taking years of special trips together and ticking off places and things we wanted to do pre children. It kind of got to the point in the end where we felt like we didn’t need any more romantic Christmasses for example as just us and really wanted to take the next step to add a baby to the mix. We've been married for over four years now and together for over ten, I know we'd still have been so happy with just each other for however long it would take, but gradually we both realised how we felt we were ready. It was definitely a joint decision, led by me I guess as my husband is so laid back and wouldn't have wanted to pressure me if I wasn't ready. In fact, a number of times when I was really excited to start going ahead with trying for a baby, he actually questioned me if I really was ready and thought long and hard about what it would actually mean - he definitely knows me more than I know myself - and I guess he wanted to protect me and us as a couple for this huge change.
  • Over this time I'd become obsessed with following motherhood/parenting accounts on Instagram/blogs/podcasts and in time, we just knew we were ready, and excited for that next chapter. With all that being said, we had no idea how long it would take us and if indeed we would be lucky enough to have children. I was still 25 so felt like I had some time on my side, but when people message me and say ‘we don’t know when to take the plunge’ then I tell them that a few friends really wish they’d started trying earlier as you have no idea what fertility journey lies ahead of you. 
  • So back to thinking about when we’d start trying. We already had 2018’s trips booked - some work, some pleasure and so we decided that 2019 would be the year that things would change. We booked a bit of an extended trip to California for January 2019 as a ‘this could be our last trip on our own’. We agreed that it would be silly to start trying before then, and I wouldn’t want to be heavily pregnant to fly out there either. So now instead of booking out our calendar a whole year in advance, as we had done for the past few years, we went down to 6 months in advance to give a buffer in case I did get pregnant in that time. We decided that June/July would be the time I’d chuck away the pill. So a baby could arrive anytime after around March 2019. EEEEEK!!

  • It was kind of weird for a while, we’re so used to planning everything, deciding what we want to do when, sorting house plans, trip plans, work plans for often a year or even more ahead of time, yet a baby is something you have no control over. This would be a huge learning curve for us. We have no idea what the next few months/years will bring conception wise. We’ve spent so many years trying not to have a baby but what happens now we do want one? How long will it take? Will we even be lucky enough to have a baby? Have I been on the pill for such a long time that it will take ages? Could it be filled with heartbreak? Should we start trying ASAP in case it takes forever? Or should we still be careful knowing it could happen first time? So many unknowns! Will we have a baby this time next year? Could this be my last birthday without a bubba or even a bump? Are we doing the right thing? Have we had enough time on our own? What if we screw up? But what if it never happens? What if it takes us a couple of years so we still have plenty of time left as just us two?
  • April 2018 My head literally asked those questions at least once a day for months! This was all before we even started trying by the way. When writing this it's currently April 2018 and I’m sat in the first spring sunshine in our garden, noting everything down as the very start of this journey. We’ve started taking prenatal before conception vitamins, apparently you should take them 3 months before you start trying for a baby for the best possible start. I’m still firmly on the pill but even just taking our first weeks worth of vitamins felt kind of exciting. This is the very first step! All the while we’re still enjoying dinner dates, holidays, spontaneity and finishing off the building work in the house.
  • Fast forward to June 2018 and we’ve just taken a dreamy trip to Mallorca. I’m on the last month of my pill pack, getting SO excited to throw it away and start trying. I feel so ready now, there’s definitely been a huge shift and this holiday we’ve talked a lot about how we’ll travel with a baby, especially given how family friendly and full of bubba’s Mallorca has been. I’m not daunted or unsure anymore, just hoping it happens fairly quickly. I realllly suddenly want to be pregnant!
  • July 2018. I don’t wake up and take the pill anymore. It’s official, it could happen at anytime! I think Ben would prefer it to take a couple of months so it won’t affect the Cali trip we’ve been looking forward to for so long... but I kind of just want it to happen now! I keep thinking ‘if we got pregnant now, I could tell everyone around halloween’. 12 weeks is a really long time to keep it a secret and that’s from when it actually happens, who knows how long that will take.
  • It’s so weird how we spend so much time trying not to have a baby. You’re taught to be cautious and you think you know enough about biology from school and from going through life. But then you start actively trying for a baby and realise that there’s actually only a few days each month that it’s likely to happen. Who knew?! I suddenly spend hours reading about conception, the process of everything and marvelling at just how incredible human nature is. Looking around at children everywhere and wondering about their journey. Nobody really seems to talk about their stories unless its the extremes, either an unplanned accident or a huge IVF process? There didn’t seem to be much in between? I just wanted to ask everyone how long it had taken them to get pregnant but it seems like a bit of a taboo subject? I read up on ovulation signs, cervical mucus {TMI?!} and get an app called Ovia & later, Glow to track everything. - will write more about this in detail in another post.
  • Coming off the pill after almost a decade spent on it, I didn’t have a clue about my natural cycles or how long they’d take to come back. Did I even know myself without the pill? I can’t remember what my natural periods were like as a teenager pre pill. Did I used to get pms? Were they regular?

End of July 2018.

  • That first month off of the pill was strange. There were lots of good things about it - I felt level, happy, unanxious. My skin was better than normal. But it turns out that a lot of symptoms of the pill leaving your system are the same as early pregnancy. So I had a couple of weeks post our trip to the Île De Ré Googling every symptom {really sore boobs, going off food and even sugar when I normally have the biggest sweet tooth ever, feeling bloated, tired, having the odd cramp} wondering which it would be. At first I was so convinced that I was pregnant. And if you google pretty much any symptom with ‘early pregnancy’ then you’ll guarantee there are forums where women have had those. Ben nicknamed the ‘baby’ Isla as in Île of Ré... Alas, I then found that actually those symptoms are the same as coming off birth control and I quickly realised that I’m probably not. I felt disappointed, suddenly the gravity of this new journey sets in. But it made me realise how much we want this.

  • I flitted between not stressing/enjoying our current life, with friends with newborns telling us to enjoy every second as although of course a new baby is a dream, it is hard, knowing it will happen eventually and when it does our lives would never be the same again. And then days where I would be obsessing over googling ‘when will my period come back after the pill’ and stress over cycle length. I’d heard that a lot of people fall pregnant straight away after coming off the pill and then I’d heard of those who take years for their bodies to get back to a regular cycle. Of course there must be people in between but you don’t hear of those. I was in this limbo without my period but also without ovulation. Should we keep trying or wait for a second cycle to show? Again, this not being able to control it was killing me. I decided to book an appointment with my homeopath who had told me previously that she’d be able to help whenever I wanted to come off the pill, her hating what it was doing artificially to my hormones. I also booked a course of acupuncture appointments to help settle everything out which was incredible.

  • Both appointments helped me relax and teach me about getting my body ready to support a baby. There’s no point in getting pregnant on your first cycle if your body isn’t ready to support that. I was amazed by this new acupuncture world. Mana, my half Chinese and half Thai acupuncturist studied my tongue and touched my wrist and said you’re on day X of your cycle. She just knew! And she was a specialist in fertility so I felt really positive doing something which would hopefully help.

August 2018.

  • My first period arrived after 35 days and it will probably be the first and last period I’ll ever want! But I was just so happy to experience a ‘real’ one after that decade of manipulating my body with hormones from the pill. It also meant I would start to have a better idea of my cycle length now too.
August onwards...
  • So on went the trying over the next couple of months. Mostly fun, but the novelty definitely wore off pretty soon when baby making sex isn't really the same as the care free sex you're used to {when you know that you should try as often as you can around your fertile days}. It kind of takes that spontaneity away... I'll write more in detail about this on another post and detail ovulation sticks/apps to track/supplements that helped. I was still going with the accupuncture each cycle too.
  • It was kind of a lonely time. We didn’t want to tell many people that we were trying because it would have added to the pressure {and we didn't want anybody asking us about it at a time where we didn't want to talk about it} so I only really had a couple of people whom I’d chosen to tell, two good friends plus Ben to talk to about it. I drove my husband crazy but was so grateful for a friend had who had recently had a baby and we’d spend all our walks/coffee catch ups talking all things fertility and babies. I loved those chats so much. That’s why the forums are so great too to google and read from other women in the same boat - although you have to take some with a pinch of salt. And it can definitely all start to drive you a little crazy, if like me, you're one of those obsessive types.
  • Each negative month definitely came with disappointment for us both but I took it so much worse than Ben did. My husband was definitely more relaxed about the whole thing than I was but he did actually admit that he was surprised it 'hadn't happened sooner' given that both of us were so healthy I guess without ever smoking/drinking plus we were exercising, fairly young and taking all the vitamins we could. Of course, I realise now that 4 months really is nothing and I definitely don't want to add stress or worry to anybody else trying to conceive but that was just how we felt. I just remember the day I got my period the last time before we fell pregnant, we were at Le Manoir for a press stay but instead of enjoying it, I just felt like crying the whole time and was in a pretty negative place {each negative pregnancy test of course comes with that extra emotional time of you getting your period and feeling all bloated, and generally down - for me anyway}. And by not telling anyone we were trying, having to cover that up too and pretend you're ok. I imagine that the longer it goes on, the harder it must be? I know just in those few early months I definitely felt that whilst also knowing that the more stressed you are, the less likely it would be to happen too - a vicious cycle! 
  • You have to know, for background I guess, that I’m not good with the unknown. I’m a planner. I suddenly felt very out of control and that’s something I’m not at all good at. I clutch at control, at plans. Spontaneity can be fun but I quickly needed to know when this would happen for us. It's just in my nature, I'm probably classed as one of those type A personalities. Some people I'm sure would be fine with trying for a baby but for me, I just felt like this was all out of my hands! It consumed me. And of course, I knew that for most healthy couples it would be an average of a year to get pregnant. In the end it took us 4 months, which I know in the scheme of things is nothing. But for me being me, at that time, it felt like forever and you really have no idea of knowing how long this will take or indeed, if it would do at all. 
  • I of course, know and really appreciate, how very lucky we are to have fallen pregnant that quickly. But I won't lie and pretend that I didn't find it a bit of a process and at times, lonely and wondering when it would happen. I know this is upsetting for some people who are struggling and have gone through so much more than we have but I'm just sharing our personal story. 
  • In this time, I loved listening to podcasts on fertility and all things babies and reading blogs. And discovered this blog post which was basically how I felt! 
I'll share lots more soon on the things we did to help us conceive {being one of those types, I read up about anything I could that would help} and about the month that I did get our positive & beyond early in the New Year.

Would love to hear how you decided when the right time was for you, or if you're still not sure yet, or maybe you had an unplanned baby and then realised it was the best thing that could have happened to you? I'll put a post up on Instagram that will make it easier to comment if you feel like it.

R <3 xx 

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  1. Great post, thanks for sharing! My husband and I have decided to start trying Spring 2019. I'd love to read as much as you'd be willing to share... What Vits do you take? If you did anything different the month you got your positive? Did you parents know if it was likely or was it a complete surprise? Such an exciting time, congratulations!

    1. Thank you so much for reading. I'll be sharing lots more about all of this at the start of January so hope that helps xx

  2. So honest and well written! I think you are right- people rarely share the 'regular' trying to get pregnant stories. Regardless of how long it takes, even a month with a negative test can feel so disappointing when you so passionately want something.

    You may have only been trying for a few cycles, but you have spent months, if not years, mulling over when the right time would be.

    Like us, it sounds like you didn't start trying until you were 100% ready, so really it feels like a lot longer with all those months/years of thought!

    We are so fortunate that it only took us a couple of months to get pregnant (I came off the pill 6 months before then to try and rid my body of hormones first) and that was still a time of obsessing about cycles, symptoms and reading unhelpful forums!!

    I can't even imagine how hard it must be for people with longer and more complex journeys.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your story xx

  3. Great, honest post. We fell pregnant without trying so it was a huge shock but in some ways we were glad it took away the fact that we had to ‘decide’ when to start trying, as I’m not sure we would have reached a stage where we were 100% ready on our own. In fact, my son being born was the best thing to come out of this year. My mum passed away from cancer a month before he was born and without him, I’m not sure I would have gotten through the year. He arrived when I needed him the most. ❤️

    1. Hi Victoria, oh I'm so sorry to hear about your Mum. Congratulations on the birth of your son this year xxx

  4. Ah I have loved reading this post! I was exactly the same as you, as soon as I knew we were going to start trying, I just became totally consumed by it. I downloaded ovia, tracked my cycles, my Body temp, bought ovulation sticks, took prenatals etc etc. I am the same - I hate the unknown and not feeling in control. And agree totally- the fun definitely goes when you're having to do it on certain days! We were so lucky and fell pregnant really quickly but I totally get what you mean, it's such a massive emotional rollercoaster. I can't even begin to imagine what other people go through.
    I hope you are feeling well and everything else is going smoothly - excited to follow this journey with you. Fellow mama-to-be (14 weeks!) x

    1. Ah, how exciting for you guys too! Thank you so much, it definitely becomes all consuming so quickly! x

  5. I can totally relate to this. We tried for 1 year, and had started to look at my cycles with a Doctor. I was going through blood tests to monitor levels during my cycle, to see if I was ovulating. And at the end of month 13, the Doctor actually told me I was pregnant. I was 23 at the time, and had been agonizing over my cycle, signs of ovulation, taking my temps, checking of egg-white like mucus (sorry, TMI!) I had become so obsessed. Sadly, that pregnancy ended in a missed-miscarriage on the 30th June 2010. But we held our first born, in our arms on the 30th June 2011. I still feel a bit goose-bumpy thinking about that. Exactly one year to the day from miscarriage, to birth. I now have two girls - who drive me mad, but I love them more than life itself. This time of year is so special to share with children, they really do make christmas. I really don't talk openly about our journey, partly because people don't like to know about the negative in life, but also because I hadn't really ever wanted to go back down that road. I cried for weeks, thinking about what might have been. One thing is certain though - what will be, will be. And I am a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason.

    Good luck to you both, and I can't wait to follow your journey. Xx

    1. This story <3 <3. Thank you so much for sharing. That's incredible and yes me too, a big believer of what will be will be - even if it doesn't feel like it at the time! x

  6. How lovely that you have documented it from the very start.. I related to this post a lot. Trying for a baby, despite how long it takes is an emotional rollercoaster.
    I remember sitting on Huntington Beach in California, we'd been together for 6 years but I so desperately wanted to keep travelling and spend all my money on our lovely home. But then I peered over my book at an American couple with three little children. They played together and the couple seemed so smitten. That's when I turned to my partner and said I was ready. He had been asking me about having children and I'd always said 'not yet'. I still have that wanderlust to go to the places I wanted to travel to after California. But we've travelled well with our little one so far. He was conceived shortly after California and we've never looked back. Now expecting No.2 in June ��. Congratulations again to you both ❤ (@oursparklingmoments)

    1. Love that {and know Huntington Beach well!}, congratulations on your second pregnancy too xx

  7. Loved this post 🙌🏻 It is such a crazy time when you’re Actively trying. We ‘tried’ (apps, sticks etc) for a year and nothing hAppened. In the end I gave up trying, deleted the apps and then a surprise came! Just shows that being stressed about it sometimes doesn’t help but of course that’s easier said than done! So happy it’s happened for you xx

    1. Thank you so much Morgan! Love that you got your surprise in the end, she's the cutest xx

  8. Great post! Similar to you, we knew that we were happy to not have any more romantic 'just us' occassions. We felt settled together and okay financially. It took a year to try, and I totally remember how all consuming it was and how low I would get when my period rolled around. My body also tricked me. My periods have always been 5 weeks apart and suddenly I was having months where they were 7 to 8 weeks apart, along with other symptoms. At the start of month 12 I had a big chat with my oldest friend, the first time I had talked to someone other than my husband. She made me chill out about it and I decided to not think about it and if we got to my birthday (three months away) without it happening, then we would seek help.
    We fell pregnant within a few weeks and I refused to do a pregnancy test for almost two months as I was scared to jinx it!
    Can't wait to hear more about your journey,
    Tracey x

    1. Ahh Tracey, that's so true about your body playing tricks on you! I love this story though and so pleased you got pregnant in the end xx

  9. I enjoyed this post because I relate to it in so many ways. I know how it feels to try and feel out of control and constantly reading up on everything, reading in to every symptom. I tried with a previous partner and have been pregnant before. With my current partner we agreed that I would come off the pill for a while to see if it would improve my mental health. We decided to just use protection so I can get rid of the hormones. It took 5 months for my periods to come back and in the meantime we got complacent and I ended up pregnant. We were so happy, but I lost it a few days later. We thought about trying again, but we decided to concentrate on buying our house, and now that we've done that we are planning a big trip to cali for my 30th next october, and then we'll try again. Everyone's pregnancy story is different and you shouldn't feel guilty for your feelings throughout your journey. It's all consuming even if it doesn't take as long as it does for others x

  10. I'm 63 and had my only child at the age of 40, after pretty much a lifetime on the Pill and after coming off it only a couple of months before, because I thought I was probably too old to get pregnant (or did I secretly hope it wasn't too late? I honestly don't know!) Anyway, it tickles me to hear of all the planning and angst about conceiving, when in my younger days (just pre-Pill) it was drilled into you that if you so much as get in the same bed as a boy you're going to end up pregnant. I never particularly wanted kids, was not in any way able to support a child in my circumstances at the time (living in the US with a low paid job and a new husband I'd known for 4 months who turned out to be a manic depressive.) But it has all turned out fine, after some horrible times along the way, and my lovely son is the apple of my eye. I wish I could plan to be around longer to see him grow a bit old, but realistically if I live another 20 years (I'll be 83 FFS!) he'll still only be 42, and that's a shame for both of us. For me the idea of having a child in my mid twenties was just, well, unthinkable. But for your children, I think it's a great age as you'll be young enough to enjoy them at every stage of your life and theirs.
    Anyway, ramble over. My pregnancy seems a long, long time ago and I can't remember much about the baby stage either but I'm proud to have raised a decent and kind human being, mostly on my own, and I'm also glad to be on my own again because, boys....Good luck!


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