#1 Let Me Begin...
Updated: Jul 31, 2020
In life, they tell you that when you get older you’ll meet someone, settle down, buy a nice house, get married, and have some beautiful children. As lovely as all that sounds, unfortunately, I have come to realise that life is not that easy – shocker!
For me - getting older and meeting someone – check! Well actually, you can’t say I was old when I met Trevor. I was 21 and he was 19 and we met working in the same hotel in Cheltenham. He’d come over from South Africa in his late teens and found himself working in the hospitality industry, and I was on my placement year from Manchester University studying events & hospitality management.
By a nice house & get married – check! Eventually, but not the eventually society tells us to think. We were engaged only a couple of years after meeting and married a couple of years after that - putting us in our mid-twenties, so quite young these days! The buying a nice house didn’t come until 2018, 7 years after we got married. This part didn’t bother me much as we knew we were working hard to get to our end goal, just took longer than we originally thought.
Have some beautiful children – check! But again, not quite the fairy-tale the movies tell you about. Ruby was born in 2016, 5 years after we got married, not so text book, well not for me. See what you will find out about me is that I’m a planner, I had my life mapped out and up until 2011. When I got married my life had pretty much gone according to plan. A few months before our wedding we decided that I should come off the pill as we wanted to try for a baby soon after the wedding, hoping that by the time I was 30 we’d have one, maybe even 2, children. The first year of “trying” flew by, we were in the newlywed bubble, we were going out with friends on a regular basis, working hard and playing hard. It wasn’t until my nephew was born almost a year after we got married that I got serious - I wanted a baby! Not because I’m competitive (I am), or wanted to catch up with my older brother (ha!), but because my nephew just made my heart explode. He made my urge to become a mummy real, he refocused me. So I started tracking my cycle - not an easy thing when some cycles are 40 days long, some 60, and some being 80! Something wasn’t right so off to the doctors I popped. Long story short, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovaries, not a full PCOS diagnosis as I didn't tick all the boxes but enough to say I needed to go for some internal scans and have a hysteroscopy to check my insides were A-OK. Thankfully they were. I was then put on a 6-month course of Clomid to help stimulate my ovaries. After 6 months I was still not pregnant so the doctors changed my drug to Femara (letrozole) to see if that would help. We went on holiday whilst on that first course of Femara and that’s when we fell pregnant with Ruby - Bingo! The rest was what we’d consider fairly “normal”; pregnancy – “normal”, labour – long but still “normal”, and then delivering a healthy baby and being a mummy – “normal”. She was perfect, and although our journey had been long and hard at times, we felt so incredibly lucky to have her finally. But in the time it took to become pregnant and have a baby, several close friends and family members announced and had babies. I also became an Auntie for the second time. I hated how consumed I became by it all, every pregnancy announcement was just another stab to the heart, especially as it seemed to “just happen” for them! Even though it didn’t “just happen” for us, we had finally got our longed-for baby and life as we knew it, for then, was complete.
Fast forward to January 2018, we sell our small flat and buy our house - our first official home as a family! The flat was nice but had never felt like home and didn’t have a garden, something I’d later find was my haven and somewhere I’d begin to love & enjoy after Ellis was stillborn. In March of 2018, Trevor & I both get made redundant. His was not such a surprise, mine however – a complete shock. Although unlucky, thankfully we both got new jobs fairly quickly and life got back to normal. We had always discussed the idea of having more children but as our journey to have Ruby had been a tricky one, I was reluctant to put myself & my family through that again. However, I had always said that if another baby were to come along, we would be over the moon, but knew it also wouldn’t be the end of the world if they didn’t. By this point in my life I’d come to realise that life doesn’t always have to have a plan and I was beginning to feel comfortable with that. Skip forward to October 2018, I’m getting dressed and as I pull my PJ top off I catch my breasts - boy oh boy did they hurt! I grabbed them to see if they were bleeding – yeah, it felt that sore(!) but they weren’t? I sat and pondered; my cycle had returned after having Ruby but it was never normal and because I wasn’t tracking it I had no clue what day I was on. All I knew was the first day of my last period was 8th September and it was now almost the end of October! I came downstairs and said to my husband, “Erm, I think I might be pregnant!”, to which he looked shocked and I think let out a laugh/gasp. I popped to the shops and bought a digital pregnancy test and sure enough there it was - “pregnant 5-6 weeks”. Turns out I was 7, nearly 8 weeks (according to my cycle dates). We were thrilled. We couldn’t believe we had been so lucky to conceive naturally and that I was about to get my “planned family” after all. “The dream” became even more perfect when we found out we were having a boy, by this time my brother had had his second – a little girl. My niece and Ruby are only 18months apart and very close, so I was so chuffed to be able to finally give my nephew a little play mate in the family, and also, one of each – isn’t that the dream we’re all told to believe, the ideal…?!
Monday 10th June 2019 - 38+4
By this point I was 38 + 4, I had spent the day worried about Ellis’ movements, so when Trevor got home my mum popped over to watch Ruby while we went up to the hospital. I remember thinking “Please don’t die, please don’t die.” We got to the hospital and were put on a monitor - baby was ok, he was alive. But I still wasn’t happy with his movements as they weren’t as strong as normal. They kept me in. He wasn’t doing much moving so they midwife suggested we go for a walk, maybe have some dinner, and then come back. We did. Back on the monitor he seemed to have perked up, I could feel him moving a bit more and the midwives and doctors were happy. After a few more hours on the monitor and everyone in agreement, we were sent home, panic over - he’s fine. My thoughts being let’s refocus and enjoy this last week or 2 of pregnancy. I’d been booked in for an induction on his due date as he was measuring big, and Ruby had been a big baby at 15 days late, so they weren’t going to let me go past my due date anyway.
That week was as normal as any other, I pottered around the house, saw my midwife, went to pregnancy yoga, all normal… that is of course, until it wasn’t...