Denial

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I am totally in denial about being pregnant. Believing that it is real seems dangerously naive. Due to my previous pregnancy loss at 21 weeks I wish to remain as detached as possible from the idea. That may sound bizarrely cold but its really a self-preservation tactic. That way if it the baby is not for keeps then perhaps it won’t be as difficult. Instead of the day-dreams I had last time I actively discourage myself, and others, from talking about the future. I won’t even book my GP appointment for the hospital referral as I feel like that may jinx the pregnancy. Understandably anxious or totally neurotic? You decide!

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Stress-free Summer

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Schools out for summer! Usually that means an exciting trip, a loaded kindle and sun-bathing galore. I am a sun-worshipper (plastered in factor 30 obvs). Not this year, and for a good reason – early pregnancy.

Firstly we are neurotic about over-heating. During early pregnancy it is important not to raise your body temperature above 38.9 degrees. Secondly we decided to avoid air travel. And finally my husband starts a new job this week.

Luckily London is pretty lovely in summer.

What will I do for 5 weeks? Suggestions on a postcard please! I just received a new kenwood mixer and a 3,000 piece puzzle so that’s a good start!

My husband is super strict with me and is insisting I take it easy. So here is to a stress-free summer.

BFF

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“Tragedy happens in everyone’s life, everyone’s circle of family and friends. Be the person that others can count on when it does. I think that between 30 and 40 is the decade when a lot of shit finally starts to happen that you might have thought never would happen to you or those you love. Parents die, spouses die, babies are still-born, friends get divorced, spouses cheat… the list goes on and on. Helping someone through these times by simply being there, listening and not judging is an honor and will deepen your relationships in ways you probably can’t yet imagine.” (Rebecca, 40)

NE, JB, MB & GB

You’ve certainly done this for me.

Thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you xxxx

30

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Shit. In two days I turn 30. How did this happen? I thought I was Peter Pan, I’m not supposed to grow up. I feel about 16. I happen to look about 16 too. Aged 28, the staff on easyjet asked me to move from the emergency exit seats as they are only suitable for those over 16.

In my mind ones twenties represent being young and carefree, with life being full of endless possibilities. In contrast, ones thirties are synonymous with mortgages, eye-creams and radio 4. I think it dawned on me that I was approaching 30 when I actually began to like Radio 4 more than Radio 1, and some of the clothing in Topshop suddenly seemed a bit young for me.

I expected to have a baby by 30. Being 29 has been exceptionally crap, so despite my reservations being 30 can only be an improvement. Plus I have a delightful weekend planned with my friends and family to mark the occasion.

For some positivity and great life lessons for life at 30 read this: http://www.markmanson.net/10-life-lessons-excel-30s

Oh and happy almost birthday to me!

Get Some Headspace

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Over the last few months my husband and I have been embracing our inner hippy by using a series of meditation and mindfulness podcasts to reduce stress. Like anything else it is a skill that needs learning. The series of short exercises, initially just 10 minutes a day, from Headspace shows you how you can  master this invaluable skill. Andy Puddicombe, with his reassuing and calming voice, teaches you useful techniques that have assisted the management of our worries and anxiety during the IVF process. Many times I have fallen asleep mid-podcast, that’s just how calming it is! It leads to some much needed peace of mind and well-being.

Check it out at http://www.headspace.com

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Shpilkes

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Shpilkes, meaning a state of impatience or agitation, is a Yiddish term that adequately sums up my feelings. I have fully accepted that I am going to be on shpilkes until our anomaly scan.

On a bad day I can convince myself that:

a) I was never pregnant (despite a blood test and two home pregnancy tests).

b) I am going to have a miscarriage.

c) I’ve had a miscarriage without knowing (mmc).

d)  This will be an ectopic pregnancy.

e) This baby is going to have health complications and we will have to terminate.

It’s exhausting! I was desperate to be pregnant, and don’t get me wrong, I am unbelievably glad and grateful that it worked, but it certainly doesn’t mean we can relax. There are so many obstacles ahead.  But at least it is the end of the beginning.

Girl Power

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Forums, blogs, social media  – the internet certainly feeds my obsessive, anxious soul. I have googled every imaginable aspect, question or concern about fertility, conception, infertility, IVF, pregnancy and pregnancy loss. I have read it all. I have an insatiable appetite for information on the subject. While it can be highly addictive it is also unbelievably comforting.

The kindness of strangers has been astonishing. I have found blogs and forums, particularly Mumsnet, incredibly supportive. Women from all walks of life connect over their shared desire to be a mother. They talk about every possible topic imaginable. I have, over the last 18 months, participated in numerous Mumsnet talk forums. They have included, in this order, conception, infertility, pregnancy, baby names, antenatal tests/choices, miscarriage/pregnancy loss and bereavement. What a journey. Only once did I receive any negative comments and immediately hundreds of women came to my defense. Mumsnet even apologised.

At each stage of my journey I have met women who have shown incredible interest, empathy and kindness towards me. I have seen such compassion as women share their deepest emotions – fear, pain and loss – with one another. I have read posts where I feel as if women are writing my exact thoughts. They are in the same boat. They understand. While our friends and family can listen and support us, these women really feel the same way. They offer reassurance, endless sympathy and good wishes for the future. It is girl power at its finest. Ultimately it makes you feel that you are neither mad nor alone.

Bad Dreams & Sleepless Nights

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I’m having trouble sleeping. It is partly the hot summer nights and partly the pregnancy. Not that I am complaining. Quite the opposite. I am eager to spot these symptoms as I am a little panicked that since I feel fine something awful has happened.

No last night it was undoubtedly due to two consecutive nightmares. One horribly vivid one featured a doctor telling me that this baby was also severely ill and that we should terminate the pregnancy, again. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that having lost our first baby at 21 weeks I am anxious about the pregnancy.

I just so desperately want this one to work out. I was expecting these fears, and the rational part of me knows that is all they are. But there is still a small voice in the back in my mind saying ‘what if it happens again?’. Despite this I would still choose pregnant and anxious over not pregnant and anxious. Why do I feel like I am between the devil and the deep blue sea?