I finally get to share our news... 3 years in the making
Yes I'm pregnant! I'm actually over half way due late August and yes we are very excited. The babies room has new carpet, new paint, a cot and even a (boy or girl) name. The most organised I have been for anything in my life. But we have had three years to plan since we started trying for a family.
I have debated in my head many times whether to write this personal blog or not. But I'm a pretty open straight shooting person so it feels right. I know people have it way worse than us and some people are not even lucky enough to conceive so it can be a touchy and emotional subject for many people. The reason I am sharing our story is because it is so common but never talked about which made me so unprepared for what we faced.
So after we married we had sex for the first time (hahaha), not sure why I was on the pill - but I came off it. Who knew The Pill could stuff up your cycle? I didn't. I should have came off it a year before we wanted to start a family. I hadn't got my period after many months off the pill. I found out I had PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and the only reason they actually tested early for it was because my sister had it. You are only treated for infertility if you have been trying for a year. So I was very lucky they moved quickly and I was able to go into the private system.
The fertility medicine is pretty amazing really. I had pills to create my period and then pills to make me ovulate. With the help of this we got pregnant within two months. We had an official scan a bit later with Obstetrician telling us it was 6 weeks old. The dates didn't match up it should have been 9/10 weeks, but we were being told by a doctor so we believed him but was still a bit weary. Turns out I had already miscarried and only found out another 4 weeks later when I started bleeding. Miscarriage is 1 in 5. It's so common it's crazy.
Luckily it was small so I had a DNC, they just put you to sleep and whip it out. I'm a pretty realistic person so this didn't really effect me too much. I was positive because I knew I could get pregnant.
By now all of our close friends had a baby or two. Conversations had changed and our social life was more about hanging with the boys who were allowed out. I was very happy for my friends but I probably lost the closeness with a few and found certain times more difficult than others like birthday parties and baby showers. I love my job so I instead poured my time into it. Consequently our online business grew and flourished.
The specialists advise you to wait a few months before you start trying again, so about 6 months later we were pregnant again with the help of more pills. We didn't get too happy until about week 10. We went to our 12 week scan excited as we would finally be able to announce it to our friends. The radiologist who did the scan didn't say much and made us wait in a room. She then announced to us it had fluid behind the head which Hamish had no idea what that mean't and she didn't explain it either. I told Ham when we left it's probably got 'downs'.
My midwife and obstetrician were amazing, they moved swiftly and had me in Christchurch the next day for further testing. A massive needle into the placenta to get a sample of the chromosomes they had to grow to see if it had a abnormality. If it was a main abnormality we would find out within 4 days, if it was more obscure we would find out another two weeks after this (I would be 15 weeks by then) and we would need to make a tough decision based on the degree of abnormality.
The fetus had Patau Syndrome. One of the main retardation's. I'd never heard of it. In simple terms, it's not compatible with life. If it manages to make it through the pregnancy its life expectancy is 1 - 2 days. Of course this news happened bang in the middle of my buying season. So I went up to Auckland did my job and came back a few days later to have a medical termination. If only this was like a DNC!! As the baby fetus is reasonably big you actually have to have a "mini labour". This experience in plain terms was crap.
I arrived at 8am and one of the first questions was "At midnight will you continue through the process or sleep and start again in the morning?" Perhaps they needed to know to prepare for staff? I'm not sure. But this set my expectations, shit this is going to be a long day.
My only question I had was "At what part of this process will the fetus pass on?" I just had awful visions of trying to breathe when it came out. Rest assured it would pass on during the process.
I'll save all the gory details for later but luckily it was over by 8pm. From a very scaled down version I now have an idea what labour is going to be like but with no reward. The baby boy was simply amazing. Its stomach was on the outside (a symptom of Patau) and it had everything, little arms, legs and even all the ribs. The nurse I had was a whiz and very compassionate. I stayed a night in hospital, had another day off work and then life was expected to be back to normal.
This experience for us was helped by very supportive family, my close friends and the good timing of an overseas holiday.
This definitely made us closer than ever as a couple and together we moved on to the next step of getting pregnant again. As I said, I'm a realist but all I could think was, I'm actually not going to be able to handle another failed pregnancy. But being 35 years old, we knew we had to carry on. Only a few months later we had another positive test, we were seriously pretty talented at that part!
Every step in this pregnancy I have been anxious especially before any scan. Now I am past the half way mark, I know things can still go wrong but I'm confident and now thrilled to tell the world we are having a baby! It's been 3 years since we started this journey and I have been pregnant for nearly a year all up.
It's funny because when I tell some people they say "I thought you were pregnant" but really they had absolutely no idea. Everyone presumes after you marry you are pregnant. Every time you don't have a drink at a party - you are definitely pregnant. I really sympathise for couples who choose not to have children as it's expected and for those who are struggling through the pregnancy journey.
So I guess I have written this to open a few eyes yet I know many out there will have similar stories. A friendly reminder you actually have no idea what's happening in peoples lives - so smile as people thrive on positive people.
Have I had any weird cravings? Nope, but I have gone off red meat which has lead to low iron. I went through a phase of not wanting to eat anything! I went into the supermarket and had to leave.
Am I well? Yes I'm amazing now except being a bit tired. I went through a few weeks of a bit of spewing, nausea and food aversions but now I feel like a different person. So stoked it hasn't continued!
Are you finding out if it's a boy or a girl? Nope. I have 4 nephews so the odds are on a boy.
How will you still run your business? Jacinda Ardern can run the country I think I'll cope with a few shops. I know it won't be easy and I'm not setting any expectations as I have no idea how I will feel when the baby arrives. I am lucky to have an amazing husband, a brilliant team around me and my Dad still here to step back in.
Will I now stock maternity clothes? Umm... well I can't fit my jeans anymore but I have little desire to start a new range. I look forward to the challenge of dressing with a bump and sharing this!
Can't wait till we get to introduce a new person into this world.
Sophie your pregnant #preensister xxxxx
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