I apologise for having disappeared in the last few weeks. We went on a lovely family holiday to Miami and just enjoyed spending time in the sunshine with our little miracle. The munchkin is over 7 months now. Totally mad how the time has flown. How did that happen? I usually refrain from writing about my little boy as I would hate for it to come across as smug and bragging when so many of my readers are desperate to have a baby. However I also hope that it may be encouraging to hear that IVF can and does work. The first IVF baby, Louise Brown, was conceived in a dish at a Cambridgeshire fertility clinic 37 years ago and five million babies around the world have been born through IVF since. Don’t lose faith. Lots has been going on in the IVF world lately – you can find out the latest here in the next few weeks. And, as always, GOOD LUCK.
We have just returned from our first family holiday to Israel. As we walked down the beach with our baby in his pram I couldn’t help thinking back to the last two visits I made to Israel.
The previous one was in October, I was 20 weeks pregnant and while I was incredibly grateful to be pregnant I was also extremely anxious about the outcome of my pregnancy. As I looked out across the sea I thought to myself ‘I hope I have a baby on my next visit’.
The trip prior to that was last March two weeks after the loss of our baby and it was a bleak and miserable time. I was unsure what the future held, when I may be pregnant again and how I would cope with the heartbreaking loss.
What struck me was how different life was on each of the three visits and how quickly and dramatically things can change. You may feel like things are not progressing on your journey to parenthood, or you may have had a loss that seems crippling. This time next year things may be very different.
I have just returned from a lovely week of doing absolutely nothing! Nilch. Nada.
We disappeared to Cyprus for a week where we stayed at a lovely hotel and basically did sweet FA. Long breakfasts, reading in the sunshine, more eating, afternoon naps, spa treatments and a lot of Jack Bauer! It was exactly what we needed and certainly the most relaxed I have felt throughout the pregnancy.
Tomorrow we are at 30 weeks, and boy am I growing big! My tummy has really popped. With it comes some discomfort, however I just remind myself how lucky I am to be in this position at all. My husband bears the brunt of any complaints and has been generously providing back rubs.
So it’s back to work today and that well and truly ends the blissful relaxation. Back to reality.
Don’t let Christmas make you feel crap. The year is almost over. Soon 2015 will be here and that will be a fresh start. Plus there’s no work for 2 days and the prospect of presents! So for one day do whatever makes you feel good. Scrap the fertility diet, crack open the champers and don’t force yourself to go places where you will feel childless, miserable or uncomfortable. Wishing you a lovely Christmas day.
The festive period is upon on us. With that comes excessive shopping, spending and indulgence. It made me want to do something for a cause close to our hearts.
We lost a much-loved, much-wanted baby this year who suffered from a debilitating medical condition. However many babies born with similar conditions have a different path in life. They face a brave life filled with ongoing medical challenges. In memory of our little one we decided to raise some money for those babies who will need support throughout childhood and adulthood.
Last night we brought our friends together for a Chanukah party where they gave so generously. It blew us away. We knew our friends were special but we are so grateful and appreciative for their kindness. I am thrilled that we can help others to lead as meaningful lives as possible. Chanukah is the festival of light and I hope we can shine some on some very special little ones.
While Christmas is an exciting time of year for many, it is also a time when those who have experienced struggles, loss or grief can find it especially difficult. Many couples facing infertility or pregnancy loss will have hoped that they would have a new baby by this Christmas. I have seen many comments on blogs and forums that express disappointment over their situation and a reluctance to embrace the festive period.
I am the least Christmassy person you could ever meet (I just don’t get the hype!) so it was never going to be an issue for me. This time of year is not momentous for me in any way. But I can appreciate that for many it is a time for family and that can be hard when you hoped yours would look very different.
My advice is to:
- avoid placing too much emphasis on what is essentially one day of the year – just like any time of year there is hope and a multitude of opportunities and possibilities ahead
- look at what you have got, rather than what you have not got – you may not have the baby you are desperate for but you have many other wonderful things in your life
- embrace the distraction – consider the time off work or the socialising the perfect thing to occupy your thoughts. If you don’t feel sociable get cosy with some comfort food and watch elf and home alone!
Sadly we are home now from our holiday. We had a gorgeous week in Israel and it was wonderful to spend time with my family and husband. It seems so strange to think that the last visit to Israel, 2 weeks after our termination for medical reasons, was during such a dark and depressing time. For this visit we were in a different, hopeful and positive place. So much can change in 8 months.
We walked along the same beach we always do and silently hoped that our next visit would be with a little one in tow.
The baby is increasingly active and I love the movements I can feel. Hopefully soon my husband will get to feel them too. Every night I place his hand on my tummy convinced he will feel the kicks. I can’t wait for him to enjoy it too.
Tonight is the start of a new year for me as it is Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish New Year. It is a time for family, honey cake and hope for the year ahead. As I stand in synagogue I will pray for happier times in the forthcoming year. Each year we ask to be inscribed in the book of life for a good and sweet new year. I hope our prayers are answered and we will be blessed with a healthy baby. My faith has been tested more this year than ever before and I hope it will be renewed in the year ahead. Happy New Year to you if you are celebrating, and happy new beginning to you if you are just in need of a fresh start.
Since my husband has a new job and is nervous for me to fly we have been discovering some lovely places to retreat to in the UK. It has been rather delightful, despite the inconsistency of British weather. Last weekend we escaped to the Cotswolds for some greenery and English cream teas (yum), and this weekend my best friend and I visited Bournemouth for some chick-flicks and seaside tranquility.
IVF and pregnancy anxiety are all-consuming. Sometimes a change of scenery and a new place to explore provides the perfect break from the normality and stresses of everyday life. As a typical Londoner I tend to forget that life exits outside the capital city. Turns out there are some charming places to enjoy. Bring on the weekends away!
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.
During our 4 month wait we had to escape. Planning trips was helpful as they served as little landmarks to look forward to (along with periods and ovulation) as we waited for the time when we could try to conceive again. It was beneficial to have a change of scenery when it all got too much, which it regularly did.
Our first trip was 2 weeks after the termination. We went to my parents home in Israel and it was a trip filled with sadness and a lot of tears. But it was healing in many ways to get away.
Next, we went away for my husband’s 30th. I had arranged it long before everything happened. Despite my fragility I felt that after a really rough ordeal he deserved to have some happy times to enjoy. There were less tears.
Finally we went away for a few days just because. Time was moving so agonisingly slow and it seemed a holiday could speed things up. There were even fewer tears. They say time heals. It does. And so does a sunny escape.