I’m going to start writing again. I haven’t for ages. Since we found out I was pregnant. It took some time for my brain to accept the huge and amazing thing that happened quite by chance on Friday 15th December 2017.
As you know, dear reader, our plan was to give IVF one last go this year. We had started the ball rolling by getting ourselves organised so I could leave work full-time for a while at the beginning of the year to concentrate on our last chance at treatment. All of a sudden this wasn’t our plan any longer and it took some time for the news to sink in. Around 16 weeks to be more specific.
When I first thought about writing again I didn’t know where to start. So much has changed and when I look back at the pregnancy diary that I have kept since the night we found out, I have come such a long way physically and mentally. Some of it I don’t want to dwell on. Obviously with our history and reading the blog entries I have written previously, there is a lot of baggage I have had to work through as I’ve battled constantly to stay calm and positive. So instead I will tell you the story of the night we found out that I was at 43, pregnant, completely naturally with no intervention and to be honest without really trying that hard.
On Saturday 16th December 2017 I was due to go for a Hystoscopy, I don’t think I have ever written or said that right yet, so I probably haven’t again. A consultant that was helping us to get ready for our final round of IVF was going to take a good look at my uterus with a camera and make sure that nothing sinister was happening. I had been, at this stage, through a battery of tests, all of which had come back completely clear of any concerns. We were feeling really positive and relaxed. I had almost become laid back about the whole thing. I wrote a blog entry called My Comfortable Spot just before this point in time. We felt ready for the next few months of treatment. The only worry I had that night was that the procedure meant I needed to have a general anaesthetic. I had only ever had one in my lifetime and it was rough so I wasn’t too thrilled about having to do it again.
So its probably now about 8.00pm. It’s fair to say the atmosphere in the house is pretty tense. Andy has had a bad day at work and has only just got home. I am about to be put to sleep and have a camera inserted into me… vaginally. The dog is running around wanting her tea, then treats, then just general attention, oh and we had also had beautiful but horrendous amounts of snow and my car has been flooded with it over the last two days because my windows somehow have been left open. Andy has parked in around back so he can try and dry it out. Engine on, running back and forward with kitchen roll and god knows what else. There is a lot going on.
I decide to go upstairs to the bathroom for some peace and to read through my hospital notes, to make sure I have everything I need ready. As I am sat on the toilet one line sticks out in the text I hadn’t really noticed before. “You will be asked if there is any chance you are pregnant. If there is a chance you will be asked to complete a pregnancy test.” I’ll do it now I thought. Just to be sure. Didn’t think for one minute as I reached into the bathroom cupboard for one rogue test left over from our last treatment that it would come back positive. I am so sure that I am not pregnant in fact I am not waiting anxiously for the test to show the result as I have done almost every month for the last 4 years. So I sit there and wait. I haven’t even switched the main light on, only the light from my phone as I scroll through Facebook lights the way. In the dimly lit room, I glance down at the test. Strangely I can see a dark cross which would, if there was any chance that I was, indicate that I am pregnant… Even at this stage I am sure its just because I can’t see, so I get up and go out on to the landing. Er, yes its definitely a cross.
I call Andy up the stairs. He is in the middle of sorting the car out and has walked into our cast iron fire pit and is limping and bleeding from his shin. I show him the test. His face is agony from the shin issue and then pure shock. How can I be pregnant? We are both now very suddenly off on some kind of adrenaline induced shared experience its hard to put into words. I actually feel like I have been slipped something in my last cup of tea. Andy’s mouth is open, jaw loose for a good few minutes. I do the only thing I know how to do well at times like this and phone my sister. “Kaz, can I have made my pregnancy test positive, because I am so wound up about going into hospital tomorrow?” She laughs at me, then I can hear her joyful tears starting up. “No, otherwise we would be at it every time we didn’t want to go to work, or to the dentist. Why is it definitely a yes? Go and buy more tests. And then CALL ME AS SOON AS YOU KNOW!!!”
So Andy and I get wrapped up warm and head out to the Co-op. By this time Andy has been outside to switch my car engine off and smashed his other shin on the exact same firepit. We are truly a combined mess of nerves and disbelief and sore legs.
Andy pulls right up at the door and I elect to go in alone. So I only have myself to navigate around the aisles and think myself in a straight line. He keeps the engine running. By now we are not really speaking, the shock has taken a hold of us. I buy two more pregnancy tests, lightbulbs, sparking water, mayonnaise and Star Wars plasters for Andy. Never before has my skill for remembering random things we need been so pronounced.
On the way home I drink the water. By the time we get home I am ready and we go upstairs and take the tests. Both of them come back positive. We are naturally and quite unbelievably after all our struggles, well and truly pregnant. I phone my sister to confirm. She is beside herself. I phone the hospital where my procedure was supposed to happen and cancel. They are so lovely and happy for me on the telephone. By this time its about 11.00pm. We go to bed and watch random TV with little smiles on our faces.
That weekend we try and keep busy. A flurry of Christmas wrapping, watching Star Wars at the cinema, meals with friends keep us moving forward. On the Monday we sleep in for a while. I call the doctor and they see me first thing. I get a prescription for folic acid and vitamins. The registrar we see I have seen before after my last miscarriage. She is going to talk to the consultant about whether I should take progesterone and she is sure we qualify for a 7-week scan. I should know more by Friday. We do lots more today. We move mom into our house. She is coming to live with us and decorate for our niece’s birthday tomorrow. I phone BUPA, the hairdressers, the waxer. All cancellations.
The next weeks and months are full of ups and downs. I can’t have an early scan, even with my history, which to be honest I expected. But we elect to go to a private clinic and have them when I need them to try and settle my nerves. They build my confidence when I feel at my lowest points and help me to get through those dragging first 12 weeks. By the time we get to our first scan with the NHS antenatal team we feel fairly comfortable that everything is going well. We opt for NIPT testing and pay for a full screening which comes back clear, and at 20 weeks the full screening scan is such a happy and beautiful experience we both cry on the way out with happiness and relief. Since then we have found out baby is a girl. She is beautiful and kicking well. And as I write I am 30 weeks pregnant, and making plans for baby’s arrival. Nursery is almost done, Hypnobirthing course has been started, just really last minute things to buy. And even now, after all these weeks, mostly we still cant believe it…