Tuesday, 8 February 2011

A different way to give my liver a break

When I was about 8 years old, I was walking home from school. I saw a car pull up in a driveway, and a guy got out and quickly went to open the passenger door. His wife got out carefully, and they both fussed over the removal of one baby seat and very new baby from the back. They slowly went into the house, watching the baby like a hawk the whole way. It was a very special moment.

When I bought my home in 2007, I thought about that moment, and I pictured doing the very same to a baby at this house. I was single, had no real life plan, and had no idea that in 4 years time, I would be doing just that with my own husband and baby. Isn't it funny the way life turns out. Or maybe I am just super-psychic.

The last few months have been focussed entirely on my reproductive organs, and I'll warn you right here that this post involves way too much over-sharing and TMI moments, but I know I love to hear other people's journey to parenthood so am guessing I am not the only one. However if you do not and prefer to believe a stork came down the chimney or your Dad found you in his beer, go look at http://www.harkavagrant.com/ because it's funny.

Wanting a child hit me like the proverbial tonne of bricks over a year ago. Halfway through a cycle I announced to Richard that I was throwing out my Pill, and we would just have to 'see what happened'. Surprisingly, he was quite happy to go along with this. I just felt that if I didn't start preparing then and there, something would go wrong.

Funnily enough a month later we were engaged. Perhaps we both had this 17th century belief that if we had a child out of wedlock it would never gain the throne of England, a pox on ye, so we started using contraception. I believe the correct term for these are 'raincoats'. (As an aside, Rich has a UK passport, meaning as his wife I can apply for the same, as can our children. BUT - if we had a child out of wedlock, it would not. How outdated is that?) Now I don't know about you, but raincoats in a loving relationship do not a happy sex life make. We had conversations like this.

"Where are they?"
"In your bed side table."
"I can't find them!"
"Christ....turn the light on."
"I still can't see them."
"They're right there! In front of your face!"
"Ahh. Right so. Let's do this!"
"I don't feel like it now."

Suffice to say it was a relief when packing for our wedding/honeymoon to remove every box of Durex in the house and ceremoniously throw them in the bin.

Note - this is where things get really disgusting, but I knew NOTHING about this before 'trying', which I can't believe but there you go.

During this time of limbo, I read a fabulous book - Taking Charge of your Fertility by Toni Weschler. I spent the entire time reading out bits to Richard, who often went a bit green around the gills. Did you know that when you ovulate, your body produces cervical mucus that looks like egg white? I NEVER KNEW THIS. I have never been so fascinated with my own body. I took my temperature every morning and ascertained that I had a 30 day cycle and ovulated on Day 16. So I knew that to get up the duff, we had to have sex a few days before and after Day 16.

Here's the issue. Sex when you're up for it and a bit pissed and feeling adventurous = good times. Sex when you're bloated, zitty, in your pyjamas, knackered, arguing over who put the rubbish out last = not so good times. Note to future self - husband does not respond to exciting discoveries of egg white. Having to have sex every day eventually becomes a chore. You say to yourself, oh one night off won't hurt. Then you start thinking - but what if tonight's THE NIGHT? What if it's OUR ONLY CHANCE THIS MONTH? (An egg only lasts 18-24 hours). It's a miracle anyone gets pregnant at all with all the horror stuff you read. So you man up and do it anyway.

After one month, my period arrived right on time. I was pretty gutted, but everyone says it takes about a year of trying before conceiving, on average. A year seemed like a freaken lifetime. I should say that whenever I decide I want something, I have to have it right then and there if not yesterday; I'm all about the instant gratification.

After two months, I started getting very sore boobs. I had lots of saliva. Period was one day late. I tested - negative. Two days late - negative. Three days - very, very faint line. Started to get excited. Tested again - still faint. Could have been my imagination. After four days I told Richard because I couldn't bear it anymore. He couldn't see the faint line. On the fifth day I woke up with a bad headache and gut ache, and sure enough, period had arrived. I cried for half an hour then moved on. I still wonder about this - was I pregnant? I had never been late in the past. I had the symptoms. But it was so early.

Anyway we got back in the saddle. This was in the lead up to Christmas - parties, parties, parties, drinkies, drinkies, drinkies. Boozing lowers your fertility rate by up to 50%, I kept reading, so I took it easy. Because I cannot keep a secret and am a booze hag, everyone knew that we were trying.
One day, about 2 days before my period was due, I had light-pink spotting. GODDAMMIT I thought. After all this, my cycle is deciding to go up the spout. However the next day, it had gone. Googled implantation bleeding. Might be, might not be. Not quite sure what to think, I do a test. It was negative. Surprisingly I wasn't that disappointed as we had Rich's work do that day, and Christmas coming up, and my parents were laying on the Moet. So to my surprise it gets to 5 days overdue. I make a pact with myself to test in the morning. I buy some Discover tests which apparently will show if you're pregnant even if you're a virgin, they're that sensitive.

6.30 a.m. Alarm goes off. I sneak out of bed. Pee on a stick. Within 10 seconds, the second line comes up, clear as day. My heart starts yammering. I grin stupidly and I think I laughed out loud. I go into the office where I find a brochure procured from work, titled 'Congratulations on your New Baby', produced by the Inland Revenue (NZ Tax Department). I get back into bed, and poke Richard.
"I've brought you some bedtime reading."
Snuffle snuffle. "What the..." He sits up and squints at the brochure. "Are you PREGNANT?"
"Yup!"
"Oh my God oh my God."

Etc.

That was 2 months ago. Since then we've told parents and friends; listened to the heartbeat;seen baby kicking on the ultrasound; discovered the joys of no hangovers on a Sunday; discovered the horrors of fatigue so bad it means you cannot lift your head from the couch; discussed prams, cots, sterilisers and onesies; cried at every Animal Rescue programme on the telly.

I'm due August 20th and am loving every minute of this. Oh yes, and I haven't had any morning sickness whatsoever, go ahead and hate me.

4 comments:

jenontheedge.com said...

I am so happy for you both! Congratulations!!!

I wasn't squicked out by the TMI, because I've been there. Before Grace, we had two miscarriage and almost a year of nothing after that, so we definitely reached the point when the act itself was more of a chore. Luckily, the second time 'round, it was much easier.

I'm really looking forward to months and months of posts about pregnancy, followed by years of tales about the baby. :-)

Nancy said...

Congratulations!!!!! I don't have any human children of my own (just cats and only 2), but I love it when other people have children. Considering how cute your nieces are, and as I'm partial to little girls and the cute clothes one can buy them (matching outfits too), I hope it's a girl. Considering your nieces, you probably want a boy. Whatever, I'm sure the baby will be adorable. Can't wait for updates!

Aims said...

Jen I'm sorry to hear about your miscarriages. That must have been very hard! Wonderful that you were successful in the end!

Nancy you're right - I am hoping for a boy. Not sure why - everyone says girls are easier! (Although I was a horrid little teenager so who knows!)

Gaijin Wife said...

pregnancy and birth stories are very interesting and never TMI if you have been there and done that yourself. Hoping the first trimester fatigue wears off soon and you got some more energy. Second trimester all good and do you believe that near the end you'll be going to the toilet even more than you are now! Craziness is pregnancy. Must be nice you and sister both being pregnant at the same time!

xxx
Katy

Hey, and sorry I didn't say something on the phone when I rang while you were babysitting! Even though you said Amy it seriously didn't sound like you - which is odd as you and Megs sound very much the same half the time.