So, I’m pregnant. I know, it’s all I’ve been writing about for a while. YAWN.
There is just so much to learn from being pregnant. Even, somewhat surprisingly to me, the second time around.
There is also so much to learn from trying to get pregnant.
Cycles. Ovulation. Fertility. All the icky stuff about girly bits that guarantees a lot of my male friends will stop reading this post right about now.
I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Despite the similar names, it has nothing to do with the fact that I have polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Nor is it thought to be related to, nor a result of, my aneurysms, blood pressure or any of the medications I’ve had to take in my life.
Just one of those unhappy life coincidences.
I don’t have many of the outwardly obvious common symptoms of PCOS. I have clear skin. No male pattern of hair growth. And not only am I not overweight or obese, but I have actually spent most of my life in the underweight category for my height.
But I’d take any or all of those symptoms over the symptom that I do have. Anovulation.
Cameron and I had no idea when we first started trying to conceive that it would be so difficult. We didn’t necessarily think it would happen easily – we knew that the PCOS might be a problem, and we’d seen other people we knew take a few months to conceive – but I’m not sure that we truly believed we’d need anything other than persistence. After all, we were still quite young. That had to play in our favour, right? And we knew about the medical issues. Others didn’t. That gave us a headstart.
It happens to everyone. You tell yourselves it could take a while. Logically, intellectually, you know it doesn’t just happen like that (insert finger click soundbite here). But the feeling of immortality and invincibility that we feel in youth lives on as we get older. It just takes a different form.
Your inner monologue tries to keep your hopes lowered until you’re actually pregnant, but you’re already picturing yourself holding your baby.
We thought it might take a few months. It took much longer than that. And medical assistance. But we got there. And Ashleigh was the wonderful result.
We decided not to wait too long before trying for the second. If it happened straight away, great. Exhausting, but great. If it took a similar length of time, there’d be a good age gap.
And, surely, having been through pregnancy just recently, my body would remember what it was supposed to do? Especially now that we knew that a certain form of medical assistance seemed to help. We could skip straight to that. It’d be a piece of cake. A cinch. We’d have a baby in no time.
Ashleigh celebrated her second birthday earlier this year. I still wasn’t pregnant.
I know there are people who go through hell to have kids, and some who never get there. I know there are people who will read this and think that that’s nothing. Pish. I mean, come on! You’re onto your second pregnancy!
But this is my blog. My space. My story. I’ve only just turned thirty. I’m fit. I’ve worked really hard at getting into the healthy weight range for my height. I take my tablets. I monitor my blood pressure. I have regular ultrasounds and MRIs.
I’m used to monitoring and fixing my health issues. But fertility doesn’t like to conform to easy-to-fix formulae. 28-day cycle, ovulation days 12-14? I wish. Try a 38-day cycle this month. Then none for six months. Then a 45-day cycle. Then 20 just to catch you off-guard. Then have a break for another year.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. It’s all you can do. It doesn’t guarantee success, and my heart goes out to anyone who has tried, tried again and not received their bundle of joy, but you just have to keep going.
I cried every time I got my period. Every time I peed on a stick to see just that one line appear in the result panel. Whenever I had another blood test return negative for ovulation.
I tried really hard not to cry whenever anyone asked when we were going to go back for number two. When they suggested it might be time we gave Ashleigh a sibling. When they suddenly stopped asking, and it was clear that everyone knew that we were struggling but just didn’t know what to say.
I cried. I almost gave up. Every month. Surely there was only so much hope that could be crushed? Besides, we already had Ashleigh. Were we being greedy?
Then I took a deep breath and got ready to do it all again. And hey, at least one part of trying is fun. Most of the time.
Now I’m pregnant again! We are very relieved, of course. But excitement is still the overwhelming feeling. We can’t wait to meet our bub.
And no, we weren’t being greedy. Ashleigh will become a big sister. She will have a little brother. They are a gift to each other as well as to us.
Can we go through it all again? We’ll see. We’d love to have more children. But we’ll have to see how it goes. Mentally, I don’t know if we can do it. Physically? I’m afraid my body and my health may answer this one for us anyway.
Decisions will come later. For now, it’s excitement. Stay safe, bub number two. We can’t wait to meet you.
Do you have children? Was conception difficult for you? Please share your stories (if you can) below.