TRYING FOR A BABY AND BEING ‘IN THE RED’

I CAN remember the days when I actually used to looked forward to my period arriving.

(Kind of.)

Back in my youth and in my twenties, when babies were not even on the bottom of a future ‘to do’ list. When being a mum wasn’t even on the agenda and I didn’t even know if I ever wanted it to be.

“Thank goodness for that!” I would often silently exclaim (or words to that effect!) when my period arrived and I could get on with my life and my mountain of plans and dreams and ideas.

Over the years there have been some close calls. I’m not alone right?

When perhaps I’ve not been as careful as I should have been. And with far from the ideal partner too.

But then I met someone. And we fell in love. We bought our first house. We got engaged. And then we got married. We enjoyed nice holidays, spent our spare cash on whatever we wanted and enjoyed leisurely lie ins and raucous nights out with friends.

It was wonderful. All of it.

And then the idea of becoming a family started to look appealing. Going from a two to a three was just the ticket for us suddenly.

And so out went the contraception and in came lots of recklessness and then – when that didn’t work- lots of planning.

You hear of people ‘falling’ pregnant all the time don’t you? Of people getting pregnant within the first month of trying to conceive. From a one night stand or even on the pill.

Some women boast of being able to get pregnant at the drop of their drawers. Others worry because they get pregnant so easily and don’t want to end up with a gaggle of kids.

But that has not been the case for me.

It’s not something I’ve ever talked about really, but I think it’s time I did. In fact I think it’s time we all did, because trying for a baby for so many of us, is nothing short of hard work. An emotional journey that can really take its toll on people.

It took my husband and I over two years of trying to conceive before I was incredibly fortunate to become pregnant (without medical assistance) with my daughter Elsie. A blessing I have never, ever, taken for granted.

But those two years?

Honestly, I wouldn’t wish them on anyone.

Every 30 days or so, I was often miserable and I was often angry. I felt like I was the only woman in the world who couldn’t get pregnant (not true of course but that’s how I felt). And I lost count of the days in which I would waste crying in bed, feeling totally sorry for myself.

It’s fun when you start trying for a baby. At the beginning. For the first few months, it’s all fun and sexy games.

But after a while, when every month you are visited by your old faithful friend, the baby making cycle begins to take its toll.

Another month. Another disappointment.

Another month to try. Another month to wait.

And on and on it goes.

And it wouldn’t be so bad, it could even be bearable, apart from the fact that whilst you’re going through all of this, you also have a lot of external s**t to put up with at the same time.

People asking when you’re going to have a baby as if it’s that simple as popping to your local 24 hour shop and buying one.

(There’s a lesson there people, just don’t ever ask. It’s not your business!)

People ‘falling’ pregnant everywhere you look. Having a baby, one after another. As ‘easy’ as pie.

“Why not me?!” you want to scream. But of course you don’t because it’s not their fault and you’re genuinely happy for them. It’s just that you want to be pregnant too. So, so desperately. And it all seems so unfair.

And if this isn’t enough to make life tough, then just to top off an already very s****y sandwich, you then get ‘the tricks’.

Otherwise known as, the times when your body starts to cause havoc and show you signs that yes, this month, you are pregnant.

You don’t want to believe it, surely it can’t be true, you keep telling yourself. But as your monthly cycle ticks by, one sign after another magically appears! You google every mysterious symptom and it all sounds possible. But your period isn’t late yet, so you wait as you hold your breath, cross your fingers and say a silent prayer.

Then the big day comes and…you’re late! Woo hoo! You knew it!

All those signs were right! And you do it. You do what you swear you would never do until you knew for sure.

And you start to allow yourself to think about holding that much wanted baby in your arms. You start to imagine walking down the road with your babe snuggled up in its pram.

And then.

Then, just as you allow yourself to imagine the happiness a baby would bring into your world, the rug is pulled from under your feet.

Your old faithful friend returns. And all those signs? They were nothing but trickery.

Another month. Another disappointment.

Another month to try. Another month to wait.

And on and on it goes.

Being ‘in the red’ is so frustrating and so disappointing and so, so hard to take, when all you want is to be pregnant. And I know because I’m in that place again. As we try for baby number 2.

Yesterday I could have sworn I was pregnant. Today I am most definitely not so being ‘in the red’ has made me a little blue.

I know I’m luckier than most to already be a mum.

I know I’m luckier than most to even be able to try.

But I swear, if I hear that phrase ‘falling pregnant’ one more time, I may just blow a gasket.

And in the meantime, I’m looking for that silver lining, otherwise known as being able to drink lots of lovely wine.

————–

 

With love,

Kate

Lips

 

 

 

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30 Discussions on
“TRYING FOR A BABY AND BEING ‘IN THE RED’”
  • Aww Kate, what a wonderful post. I know that may seem like a weird thing to write, considering the subject but we’re just coming up to the two year mark of trying to conceive. It’s hard, emotional and i’ve considered writing a similar post for a long time but at the moment, it is just to raw. Thanks for making me not feel alone.

  • You’re most definitely not alone, I wrote about it earlier this year after another cruel blow from Mother Nature who gave me all the signs after our 6 months of trying! We’re trying the ‘lets not think about it’ frame of mind in the hope it happens but who knows. Fingers crossed it happens for you soon x

  • I don’t know the right words to say that can be of comfort, but I just wanted you to know that although I’ve not been there… I can absolutely imagine it and I wish there was something I could do to help. You’re right – being brave and talking about it is needed. You probably have no idea how much comfort this post has given to someone else who is in the same situation as you, and thought they were the only one. Big big love, and definitely enjoy that glass of wine. You 100% deserve it. And I hope you won’t be able to have one again soon for a while. xxx

  • Oh that trickery. It happens all the time. I hate the way your life becomes a constant 2 week cycle. You’re not alone. I wrote a post about being addicted to pregnancy tests. I hope it happens soon for you x

  • What a very brave post Katie. Such a taboo subject to write about but also much needed as women every day go through the same thing. At least you know your body is capable of getting pregnant and hopefully you won’t have to wait too much longer for a little friend for Elsie – much love and baby dust xxx

  • Thank you for sharing your story and thoughts. We had 15 months of trying and 2 baby losses before successfully getting pregnant with son (2nd child). I am very grateful that I was able to recover and conceive quickly after baby loses. Every baby is a miracle. Trying to conceive is such a roll coaster of emotions. I am sending you positive thoughts and hope you have a positive test soon. Big hug!

  • An honest and true account for many women. More than you would think! Good luck and hope you aren’t waiting too much longer xx

  • Wow Katie, that strikes a chord! Like many people, we tried for four years for our first child, enduring three rounds of IUI and one round of IVF. After six months of not managing to get pregnant naturally the second time either and one failed round of IVF, our precious son was born in September, once again thanks to the wonders of modern science and some amazing medical staff. I think one of the reasons we waited nearly four years to try again was firstly, because our daughter was sooo wanted, longed for and therefore extra special to us, to have another who we might possibly love as much seemed weirdly disloyal. Secondly, whilst I was desperate to have a sibling for her, I wasn’t sure I was emotionally, let alone physically ready to put myself “back there”, indeed put both of us back there along that gruelling roller-coaster. I was always amazed at people’s insensitivity. One so called friend who had two children when we were trying for the first time and who was well aware of our struggle, once commented right infront of me that she was “envious of people who had three”. I wish you all the luck, love and strength in the world. As my late, dear gran wrote to me, “never give up”. Xxx

  • I’m so sorry that you’re having to go through this. I’m one of those smug people who was on the pill and somehow ended up pregnant, a shock at the time but the best ‘accident’ that’s ever happened to me. When we decided to try for a second I thought it would be simple again but it wasn’t, thankfully after just over a year of trying we finally got pregnant and now we’re blessed with two lovely children! We’re trying for number three now, I sometimes feel selfish because we’ve already got two children and I’m putting myself and my husband through the horrible stress of Mother Nature arriving every month but I just know that three babies is the right number for us.

    Sending you lots of love and hoping you get that magical positive test soon xxx

  • It took us 2 years to conceive too and I felt everything you wrote. I think more people should talk about it as I know a lot of people who have struggled and it’s a sad and lonely experience. I hope baby 2 comes along for you soon.

  • Basically you described down to a tee our struggle, it took us 3 years to ‘fall’ pregnant, like you naturally, and now 17 months on the struggle is ongoing for number two.

  • Thank you for sharing Kate. You often write about subjects that so many other people can relate to but don’t always feel able to talk about.

    The whole baby / becoming a mum thing is so deeply personal yet something that seems to be public property in terms of how people broach the subject. I feel for those like yourself that get asked if or when they are going to have a baby or have another.

    I get asked all the time ‘aren’t you going to have any more?’ or ‘do you want to have another?’ and generally I know people mean well but for all they could know (or all we know), we may not want or be able to have another. I know it’s no comfort, but life will find a way. Best of luck lovely.

  • I know that feeling and that longing. It’ll happen, just maybe not as fast as you’d like. I hope it happens soon. My top tip, apart from sex every other day with an orgasm (during or after, with or without your man!) is apimist honey, sounds weird but helps. Also a hot water bottle after sex. Good luck!

  • This is such a brilliant post. I was talking to someone recently about this exact thing and I know this post will really help people. I can’t relate as I’m stupidly fertile although when I was younger I was told I couldn’t have children so I know what it’s like to have that feeling that it will never happen for you. Thank you so much for writing this Katie. I know a few people at the moment this will help dearly. Praying your miracle baby will come in the perfect time. Xxx

  • I have no tips at all, but I wanted to not read and run. I never suffered from an inability to get pregnant, just an inability to stay pregnant,

    No matter that what people say, it is always going to hurt when you can not be where you want in life. I think that we should talk about the issues women have with infertility, secondary infertility and also miscarried etc more often and we should also have a little more empathy for people in these situations.

    I know I am lucky I have two wonderful boys and to anyone looking at me it is pretty perfect, but behind the facade is a woman who lost twins at 20 weeks and then went on to have a further miscarried before Maxi and then one after Mini. What we go through to have children is hard.

    I hope that mother nature is a little kinder in the coming months for you.

  • This! Oh this so much. It took us 2.5 years to ‘fall pregnant’ with my son & towards the end when we were seeing fertility doctors etc I gave up believing it would happen naturally. Then it did. My sister had two pregnancies at the time & I just balled when she told me she was pregnant a second time. I hope baby 2 happens for you soon I really feel your pain xx

  • It’s horrible horrible horrible. We went through 3 years of it and tried IVF too. You end up just thinking about it all the time. wishing you all the luck in the world x

  • It’s really tough. I too thought people ‘fell’ pregnant really easily. Especially being man it was drummed into you from your teens that if you weren’t super careful you’d have the CSA chasing you up and down the country for the rest of your life.
    Then like you I ‘settled down’ (hate that phrase too) and discovered that it seemed to be very difficult to have a baby. Or that when you did they didn’t always survive to see the world.
    Thankfully after two years we also brought a bundle into the world but the stress and anguish that preceeded his birth were at times intolerable. More people should be honest about this. Not to scare parents in waiting but to support those going through the roller coaster. And perhaps to stop those nagging questions from family friends and even complete strangers about when you’re going to ‘fall pregnant’. X

  • I can relate to this completely, including the 2 years it took to conceive our son (via IVF for us). I think being open about it eventually, really helped me, and I continue to be astounded by how many others are affected by infertility also, whenever I write about it. I think and hope you will find putting this out there helpful to you, and most definitely to others.

    It also touched a nerve about trying to have a second baby – when you already feel so lucky – I felt that way too, but the desire to have another child is completely natural, there is no need at all to feel guilty about it or that you need to justify. I also felt very much that I wanted us to give our little boy a sibling, which of course only added to the pressure.

    As it is, I did get pregnant again, after other stuff happened, and am due in a few weeks. I feel grateful every day, and will never forget how hard and confusing it was. I can now see that this was the path we were meant for – this is how our family was meant to be – but it’s only something I can appreciate now we are where we hoped we would be. Wishing you much luck and sending thoughts and love for your journey – just remember you are not alone.

  • Thank you for writing such a heartfelt post and it will have helped so many women know that they are not on their own. We suffered from secondary infertility for 3 years and it was the hardest time of my life. I wrote about it several times on my blog and each time I was overwhelmed by the responses of other women who were going through the same thing. It is all consuming and has at times driven a wedge between my husband and myself and equally brought us together.

    Wishing you all the luck in the world and sometimes a little miracle does come along when you think all hope has gone. xxx

  • It’s absolute torture isn’t it, so so unfair :( I can completely sympathise with the above, I remember it very clearly. Yes, the only silver lining is the wine – drink it in copious amounts x x

  • It is funny that we spend so much time when we are younger trying not to get pregnant and then the next part of our life trying desperately to get pregnant. I wish you luck, I don’t think having a child makes it any easier. The disappointment and heartache every month is just the same XXX

  • Awww, that’s such a lovely post and one that I’m sure many people can relate too. It’s so disappointing when mother nature rears her ugly head when you are trying for a baby. I often thought I was “definitely pregnant” only to have her show up the day after. You feel angry and heartbroken. Keep your chin up, I’m sure number 2 will come along soon. Until then, enjoy that glass of wine xx

  • Oh lovely – this post spoke to me so much, I could have written it myself. I miscarried my first ever pregnancy and then took 8 months to get pregnant with our first – all the while no one knew about the miscarriage or that we were trying for a baby (I didn’t want the external pressure) and so I would get “well-meaning” colleagues and neighbours saying we shouldn’t leave it too late to start a family and other such heart-breaking statements. Round two with our youngest was slightly easier, as no miscarriage and 7 months instead of 8 to get a positive pregnancy test, but with a 6 year age gap between our girls I still got the “don’t wait too long” comments which made me cry every time as it was my biggest fear. Sending you lots of love and positive thoughts and another silver lining – I LOVE the 6 year age gap between my girls as it made the early baby days so much easier, and they are still besotted with each other despite the age gap, so don’t ever let worries of an age gap worry you xx

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