‘It’s My Fertility’ do do do do do
Sung in the style of Bobby Brown’s 80s classic, ‘Its My Prerogative’. I’ve always thought that Bobby Brown probably needed a spell check on that one like myself, am I being unfair? I just think no-one suspects that extra ‘r’ do they?
Anyway, so lets put my blog in context by giving you a bit of a synopsis of ‘my fertility journey’ so far. The quotation marks are to denote that I do in fact recognise how ‘life-coachy’ this sounds.
Apologies as this post goes on a bit as it’s all a bit ‘The Story So Far….’ You know like how you can fast forward the first four minutes of any HBO drama while they do the ‘Previously on…’ bit. Although you could be forgiven that I was summarising the entire trilogy of ‘Lord of the Rings’ here… Sorry about this but I’m just asking for a bit of investment up front to support future blog posts. I’m good for it I promise.
The thing is, it’s important to me that other ttc-ers do not think I’m making light of what can be such a sensitive subject. I know that in the grand scheme of ttc, we haven’t been properly trying for long. I appreciate that I could be lucky and fall pregnant soon, but equally it could be a very long road ahead. You just don’t know do you? I’m writing about it because I’ve always wanted to write but could never find the right subject, but even more so, because I really want to try and keep a sense of humour about this. So many blogs and articles I have read, and seemingly all available books, aim to give some form of advice as though that is what all ttc-ers crave.
I appreciate I’m relatively new to this but today I don’t want more science. I don’t want more diet advice. I don’t want more lifestyle guidance or words of wisdom on how to steer my relationship through the perilous waters ahead (be that with or without a baby actually turning up in full technicolor glory).
All of these sources are great. Fab. I love that people share their advice and I do draw on it frequently. But if I’m brutally honest sometimes I just want someone to tell me that I’m not the only one who can’t tell the difference between;
a) the egg white, deffo fertile, ‘Thunderbirds Are Go!’ type of cervical mucus and
b) the humdrum, cloudy, possibly, probably not, ‘Stay on Tracy Island and Await Further Instructions’ type cervical mucus.
Somedays, I just want someone to say ‘When i was a student, all starry-eyed and choc full of potential and Alcopops, I never thought I’d get to a point in my life where on occasions I attempted to either draw or mime to my husband the relative clagginess of my lady juices’.
Hell somedays I just want someone to cut through all the #twoweekwait chaos and bring me back down to earth with ‘You tried to MIME your cervical mucus… Seriously, check yo self girlfriend that be crazy talk’. Or something like that anyway, that’s probably how Bobby Brown would say it. I cannot think there would ever be cause for him to do so, but if he did he may express it in such a manner. I’m just desperately trying to find a way to link this back to the opening paragraph really…
Oh yes, I remember. Right, basically I wanted to give some context to who I am and what my fertility journey looks like. And you’re probably thinking ‘if it takes her this long to get on with it I’m not surprised she’s not pregnant yet’.
My blog is anonymous for a good reason. Whilst it feels a bit impersonal, it probably won’t surprise you if I said that I can’t have people at work knowing that I’m #trying to conceive. Even if they might think I am I don’t want to publicise it. I’m 34 and work for a global financial institution. I started seeing my hubby about 5 1/2 years ago. We made plans to move in together after about 6 months and did so 5 months later. We bought a house together just over 3 years ago in a decent suburb of a major city in the North of the UK. The house we bought is 2 minutes walk from an infant school, 10 minutes from a nursery. You could say we had plans…
I consider myself very lucky to have a hubby who considering the above, added to the fact we booked our wedding venue before we even got engaged, hasn’t panicked and fled for the hills. We are just that committed to each other and our long term plans. I promise you I never ever take this for granted and thank my lucky stars on a frequent basis.
I spent my twenties as a very lonely little chicken romantically speaking and I can’t believe my good fortune really.
When we’d moved in together and started thinking about things such as marriage and kiddiwinks, we did consider #tryingtoconceive prior to getting married but we decided to wait for no other reason than preference and perhaps to give ourselves and our relationship a little more time to mature and develop. I was in my previous job at the time and was very happy there. However, in the lead up to our wedding last year, various events transpired which led to me falling out of love with my job. I couldn’t see the situation at work improving in the short term and I also could see the possibility of redundancy on the horizon. I became increasingly worried that I could fall pregnant but not be able to have control over the job I returned to or perhaps face redundancy whilst on maternity leave.
At the same time I was conscious that I would be 33 soon after our honeymoon and if I didn’t find a job soon, then the six months service I would need to do prior to conception to secure statutory maternity pay and not look like i just rocked up and got knocked up (!) would start to stretch more and more into the future. I could basically feel my eggs putting up the white flag at the thought. Then, of equal concern was that if I didn’t fall pregnant within a few months when I already knew that I needed to make a move, I would become more resentful of my current job and feel under more stress about #tryingtoconceive as I was only staying there to see out my maternity leave. To top it all, I was pretty upset that I had to think like this at all as I really did love working there.
A chance conversation with a customer the week after my return from honeymoon revealed an opening at my current company. A good role, similar reward, more job security and a new challenge. I also won’t apologise for the fact that as it stands, I remain reasonably ambitious and this could have some good future prospects for me. If we can have little ones, we have designs on a bigger house and to do that I’d have to continue to maintain my salary or progress it (unless I decide to stay at home instead but that isn’t the current plan). It couldn’t have happened sooner and I also negotiated to shorten my 3 month notice period to just one month so I started as soon as possible, wary of getting as much service under my belt as possible.
I still think this was the right choice to secure our future. It is highly likely that my role would’ve been made redundant and there may not have been another role for me, but waiting for this to play out and the subsequent effect it may have had on #ttc from a stress point of view would have had some sort of impact on our situation, financial or otherwise. Having said all of this, when you then start to try and you’re over thirty, every month you weren’t trying is viewed with a slight twinge of regret. Each one is a potential opportunity missed.
Anyway. That’s the decision we made and we then followed the rules just in case I fell straight away (ha ha! because that would EVER happen when you’re making any kind of contingency plan for it do so!). So after having gone at it hell for leather on honeymoon, we slammed on the brakes and put my favourite fella back in his jacket until the interview process was complete and I was six months in. (Although incidentally, I’m no mathematician, but working out when I could get preggers and qualify for mat leave? That was not easy – AT ALL by the way or was it just me??). We’re just awaiting the outcome of our fifth cycle of trying now although you’ll see from previous posts that I’m feeling pretty pessimistic, and that brings us up to date.
What other physical factors might be worthy of note? I’m about 7-10 lbs over my preferred weight, but who isn’t? I don’t think you would describe me as overweight and my hubby is like a beanpole. We’ve both been taking our multivitamins like good parents-to-be. Although, I had to stop taking those equestrian sized ‘Mum to be’ ones as the extra iron made me throw up. A cruel side effect if you ask me. ‘Ooh am I pregnant? No, just taking horse supplements’.
Interestingly I’ve since discovered tropical flavoured Berocca and I don’t know if it’s psychological but I can definitely recommend the buzz it gives me. That and the curiously radioactive colour of your first post-Berocca wee of the day which brightens up the 10am constitutional considerably.
I use my lunch hour to do a 50 minute, 3.5 mile power walk around the city centre most days and we also often do a decent hike at the weekends as we like to get out to the countryside. Hubby… could do some more exercise but then so could most. We have a balanced diet, eat plenty of fruit and veg and rarely eat junk food. He doesn’t drink coffee or tea – I have probably 3 cups a day but I’ve just started to cut that down to just the one.
We have regular sex, every other day leading up to and over predicted ovulation and sometimes manage to hit every day in what we think is the critical ‘get it on like Donkey Kong’ time frame. After that it varies month to month alongside the normal lifestyle factors that interfere with sex but we always get some more in before the red fairy appears. Are we three times a day kind of people? No. But I think the above would constitute as a healthy sexual appetite that should be enough for #ttc.
The biggie we’re struggling with in terms of recommended changes is alcohol. I can take or leave alcohol most of the time. I don’t drink during the week as I like to watch my weight… but I love a big night out. Not ‘dragging my carcass out of gutters with my dress stuck in my knickers’ kind of big, not even ‘trailing bits of toilet tissue around stuck to the bottom of my shoe without noticing’ big – just, well, big in my mind. A few pints or a few shorts or a few glasses of wine (note the ‘or’ between each of these, not ‘and’ mind). I probably don’t have any alcohol for 5 or 6 days a week, every week. If the daily recommended allowance for women is 2-3 units, so one large glass of wine or 1 1/2 pints of beer then an honest assessment would be that 2 or 3 weeks out of 4, I have about 6 units in one night. Sometimes a couple more units, sometimes less, sometimes a Friday or a Saturday, sometimes both and sometimes just a glass of wine or nothing at all dependent on our social calendar. For those in the U.S, trust me when I say this is nothing to write home about as a drinking record in the U.K! Not great and I acknowledge I should probably try harder on this front but I don’t think this is appalling either. Hubby has been cutting down on his nightly glass of red, but his nights out tally with mine plus one or two extra units on occasion.
I also respect the view that you shouldn’t carry on drinking at all to protect baby’s potential development but seeing as trying to track my ovulation is completely hit and miss pretty much due to my cycle, despite my best efforts, it would basically mean giving it up altogether.
When you like a good night out, trying to cling on to what is left of your youth before those doors are shut forever, knowing that once you discover (fingers crossed) that it is all systems go for growing your little poppet to full term then there’s no wine for you for a good 15 months if you go on to breast feed – it is more of a challenge to give this up. I’d be interested to hear if anyone else had sudden success after giving up drinking moderately. Or maybe this isn’t moderate! Ha ha!
The last distinguishing factor is my cycle. I came off the pill over a year ago, just before we got married. I had been on it, Microgynon 30 for about ten years with some short breaks at times, with no problems. I had painful and irregular periods prior to that, so much so I had to stay home from work. Since coming off the pill, I have only had one noticeably debilitating painful period. This is great as I was really worried that stopping would mean that I was regularly off sick but it seems that my symptoms have decreased over time or as a result of the pill. However my cycle has not really regulated itself. It is regularly irregular! After my first post-pill cycle which was understandably longer, my cycle has ranged from 25 to 38 days. There is no pattern – it can be shorter then longer or shorter for a couple of cycles and then longer again. I’ve been trying to just listen to my body in terms of tuning into ovulation and I think I’m getting there, but I haven’t started looking at my temperature yet. My mother had painful periods but had no problem conceiving. However since my mid-twenties I’ve also had an unexplainable gut feeling that I can’t have children. I know this is a sad thing to say and I don’t say it lightly. There’s just something there.
So there you have it – ’That’s My Fertility’ – the story so far. We’ll see what this week brings…. Shorter blog posts I should think!!!