In case you missed our exciting news and didn’t read blogs in December (I hope you took a break- so deserved); I made my exciting announcement and you can see it here (short video.)
I debated for a while about whether I should share our story so publicly. I considered writing a newsletter to subscribers only, but I’ve always been an open book, I wear my heart on my sleeve and that’s not going to change (TMI and all.)
I always feel extremely vulnerable when I share such personal posts, but my blog really does serve as a journal for me and it’s great to have this documented in my journey, for one day, when I look back!
I’ve been asked how my blog will be changing and the truth is this will not be turning into a Mommy Blog. Vanilla Blonde is my Lifestyle Blog. I have never been boxed as a Beauty blogger or a Fashion blogger, for example, and I touch on everything in my lifestyle. It will stay true to it’s essence and I will definitely be documenting my pregnancy experience though, but you’ll also have all the regular content too! I hope you’ll continue to join me on the journey!
Normally my posts are photo heavy, but today, it’s word heavy. Get your cup of tea ready.
Sox and I have spoken about our unborn children even before we got engaged. It sounds creepy, but it’s not. I think it’s incredibly vital to have those important chats when you’re still dating.
Um, I wouldn’t make it a first date conversation, but as things get more serious, it’s important to know what you both want and to check you’re on the same page at least. In our first year, it was pretty evident that we both believed in getting married for all the right reasons (which we did 4 years later) and we wanted to be parents one day soon after that, God willing.
A few months before our wedding, we chatted about when we would want children and I was more than thrilled to hear him say: straight away! We decided that once we were married we would officially start trying. I will never forget us chatting over a glass of wine and saying: “OK. We are not going to become one of those couples that puts pressure on. We will have fun and try for…hmm… a year? Yes, a year, before we take it more seriously.”
I think every couple naively puts the whole “try for a year before looking further into it” in as a safety net. Every couple also secretly/ not so secretly believes (hopes) that they’ll be the lucky ones and be pregnant straight away. You hear the stories… “Oh we fell pregnant first try! Lucky hey?” In my head, I was like: “We’re both healthy and I reckon I’ll be pregnant within 2 months!” Beats hopeful maternal/primal fists to chest. Ok not quite, but you get the idea.
I also had a secret fear of: “Oh please don’t have fertility problems…” because while the stories of “we got pregnant straight away” exist, they’re rare. In fact the stories are more like: “It took us 2-5 years.” Words like IVF, surrogates, adoption, injections, added hormones + medication and so on also comes up a lot and it’s a scary unknown world to venture into. Thing is, you never know until you start trying.
I also don’t want to ever sound insensitive because I know how many struggle and it’s one of the hardest things!
I also have to admit that before trying, I had NO IDEA how it worked. Wait… I know how ‘the birds and the bees’ work, thank you very much, but I didn’t know what a science it was (hello romance killer) and what a small window you have for it to actually happen.
It’s a miracle, truly and genuinely. I was in awe as I started googling and chatting to friends. It seemed almost impossible to find the right day(s), with the perfect egg, perfect sperm, perfect pH balance and only then, there is a 20% chance and actually a little less at 33 (which I still think is young, thank you!) It makes you think about those one night stand babies! They absolutely are meant to be!
Well, month 1, 2 and 3 went past and while it was early days, the inner voice of: Shit. I thought it would have happened by now, rears up. Friends tell you it takes AT LEAST 8 months if not more and suddenly the impatience smacks you in the face.
I tried peeing on those Clear Blue Ovulation kits and one time I got a smiley face and all the other months, I didn’t. I found it confusing and worrying. Was I even ovulating? I worked out that since I’m usually clockwork and a 28 day cycle, I should be ovulating around day 12.
I also found it cruel that for someone who is NEVER EVER LATE, I was late one month and the hopes that were surging came crushing down when a digital test showed Not Pregnant and 6 days later my period came. Cruel.
I then started taking my basal temperature and charting it, a month before it all happened. I kept telling myself that I wasn’t putting pressure on (yeah right!), but simply doing experiments! It’s almost impossible to not put the pressure on, when you want something so badly. I discovered that I was actually ovulating around day 17, so all this time I kept missing our window! I also confirmed it with the Ovulation kit smiley face (the second one I’d ever got – the very one that was the winner!)
PLUS… everyone kept telling me to relax. Don’t think about. Let it go – that’s when it will happen.
Um. OK. I’ll just let it go, shall I? How do you not think of something when it’s something you want so badly? I also used to scoff that the amount of stress I have in my life is nothing in comparison to those in war riddled countries, and those women still manage to fall pregnant. Again, not to be insensitive, but it’s incredibly hard to just let it go!
Anyway, fast forward to month 7 and I had my annual Gynae appointment. We checked everything and discovered a huge 6cm growth, which of course I panicked about. It turned out be a large Fibroid on my Uterus, thank goodness. My doc said that we had better remove that and that he thought it might be in the way of a pregnancy. It was also giving me seriously painful and debilitating periods.
So… when I heard that, in a weird way, I completely let getting pregnant at that moment go, because in my head that was the reason it wasn’t happening. I had tried “letting it go” before, fooling myself, but this time I really did let go of anything happening until after the op and healing time. We scheduled the op for 3 weeks time. I also didn’t say no to the extra glass of wine, which I had been doing in the previous months! Murphy’s.
Well, life happens when you’re making other plans. Remember when I said (TMI and all) in the second paragraph? Here goes… I suddenly realised that we had scheduled the op for the day I was meant to get my period. Argh. Please can I not have a Catheter, while on my period. Not ideal. I called the doc and asked to reschedule for 1 week later. No hassles.
Well that Monday came and went. Nothing. By Thursday, 4 days late, I was so irritated. In my mind it was obviously me being nervous about the op and that’s why it wasn’t coming. I was annoyed thinking that I could have had the op after all. Not for one second, out of all the previous months of trying, did I think it was pregnancy. Ironic.
By the Thursday, 27 October 2016, I said to Sox that if I hadn’t got it by the end of my radio show at 6pm, I’d stop and get a digital test just to rule it out. He was hesitant about me doing this because he didn’t want me getting my hopes up again and being bitterly disappointed (read: lots of crying. Poor Sox.) I reassured him that this was the one month I wasn’t worried at all because I truly wasn’t expecting it.
When I think about that night, it makes me laugh so much. Sox and I cooked dinner together, we opened a bottle of wine together and at around 10pm I looked at the test and thought, oh well, lets do it! If I think about it, I basically pee’d wine onto the stick! Ha! I called out from the bathroom to Sox who was in the living room: “Time 3 minutes please!”
I’ll never forget hearing him say to his phone: “Hey Siri! Time 3 minutes” and the robotic voice saying “OK 3 minutes and counting…”
3 minutes do feel like 3 hours. I sat watching the hour glass turn around and around. He eventually called me: “What are you doing?”
“Stop. Come here!” We hugged each other and he gave me another little reminder not to get my hopes and I reminded him that this really was just to rule it out.
“Ok 3 minutes must be up.”
“It’s only been 1 and half minutes.”
I’d done the digital test before and was expecting another: Not Pregnant sign.
I couldn’t wait any longer so I walked back into the bathroom, before the alarm had sounded and looked down at the test. I saw the hour glass still turning, but it showed Pregnant. I looked at it, confused and seconds later, I heard the alarm buzz in the living room. At the same time, the hour glass stopped turning and 2-3 showed up underneath Pregnant.
There it was: Pregnant 2-3.
I stared at it in disbelief. I just remember saying: “Oh my God! Oh. My. God!!!!”
I took the test to Sox with eyes as wide as saucers and a bit of a stupid/disbelieving grin on my face. Sox looked at me and said: “Are you pregnant?” I just turned the test to show him. He picked me up, twirled me around and then we both burst into happy tears. Then we started laughing hysterically and nervously, like crazy people. A million thoughts a second went rushing through my brain and we just kept looking at each other in disbelief and then hugging again. It was an unbelievable moment!
Looking at the pamphlet 101 times to check I wasn’t misreading and to ensure you can’t have a false positive, that result meant I was 4-5 weeks pregnant. I started doing the maths and it all made sense. It was also the time I discovered they count the first week from the day of your last period. Confusing. So that’s why it was 4 weeks and not 2 weeks, which it technically was.
I didn’t sleep that night!I maybe got 2 hours. At 07h30 on Friday morning I was dressed and walking to the Pathcare, which is 600m away from our apartment. I did the blood test and called my Gynae, who put a rush on the results.
3 hours later I got the call. “Bailey, congratulations! You are very pregnant! your HCG levels are excellent and we will do a follow up test on Monday to ensure the levels are doubling correctly.”
“I can’t believe it! Amazing news! Hang on… What about the operation scheduled for next Thursday?”
“It’s definitely cancelled and thank goodness it was postponed. We could have quite easily scraped baby out without even knowing!”
Well as fate would have it, I was flying to Johannesburg that evening. My sister and brother in law (BIL) were flying in from London and I would be able to tell my Mom and Dad, sister and BIL in person! I don’t know why I felt nervous (obviously excited too) – this is their first grandchild and nephew/niece and even though I’m married, I felt that funny feeling! Hahah! So silly! I’ll save that story for another post!
Thanks for reading my long, happy story.