Saturday, 31 October 2015

Those two little lines

I am a day dreamer. I am sometimes accused of not living in the moment enough because I'm too busy dreaming and planning and hoping for what the future might bring. I can easily while away a long car journey, or a long sleepless night just dreaming of places I want to go in the world, and of our future together.

I must have spent weeks worth of hours day dreaming of seeing those two little lines on a pregnancy test that mean my biggest dream of all, becoming a mother, is actually finally coming true. I dreamt about where we would be when we found out, how it would feel, who we would tell and when. I imagined that in that instant our lives would change forever, and because of my dream coming true, the whole world would be different some how.

I know I am not alone in this dream. Nearly everyone in the "trying to conceive category" shares this dream with me. You spend years planning for it and then weeks hoping and hoping that your chosen method of TTC has finally, actually worked. This is the story of how it was for me. That moment that my dream finally began to come true.

On Wednesday 14th October I was at home, a week following our transfer of a 5 day old expanded blastocyst, and was yet again stuck in the vicious cycle that had consumed that week for me already. "I am losing the plot, I want to test, I need to know" vs "we have agreed to test on Saturday when the hCG levels are high enough and we get a definite yes". I did all my usual distractions - had my first wee of the day really quickly, walked willow for ages, lost myself in the world of Downton Abbey. And it all worked, for a while, until Sarah came home. And then, for the second time that week, I broke in to uncontrollable sobs because I was fed up, of waiting, of not knowing, of wanting to dream of what might be but not allowing myself to. I wanted, no, I NEEDED to get that first test out of the way. Regardless of the outcome, I convinced myself I could accept it, I just needed to get that test done. 

After a while of me sobbing Sarah agreed that she too was very curious and yes we could test. I knew she was so scared of a negative test, I knew it'd break her heart to see it there with only one line, but I also knew, deep down, that it wouldn't be negative. 

So that was that, a week after embryo transfer, almost to the exact minute, I peed on a stick. Sarah was stood next to me but neither of us could look at it until we knew for definite that the three minutes were up. We needed to be sure. So I waited for the full three minutes, and then picked it up. I saw it instantly...that second little line. "It's positive" I said. "Are you sure?" She said, "aren't the two lines supposed to be the same colour". "No", I told her, "a line is a line is the saying - we have two lines - we're having a baby". 

The next few minutes are a bit of a blur, but I know we both burst in to tears, stood holding on to each other in our bathroom, crying and laughing and not quite believing it was real. Was this moment like I had imagine for all of those hours in all of those dreams? No, it was better. 

That afternoon we visited the acupuncturist we have been seeing throughout our treatment. She was the only person to know about our FET cycle, and so she was also the first person aside from us to know I was pregnant. I also wanted her to tailor the treatment knowing I was pregnant, instead of just "hoping to be". I remember her asking me if I was scared. I was baffled by her question…"no of course I'm not scared, I'm over the moon!".

That afternoon we existed in a wonderful unbreakable bubble of happiness. We were going to be parents, we had made our baby, everything was absolutely the best it could possibly feel. We walked round Solihull town centre, looking at baby things, talking about who this little person was and who they would become. We began to love them as soon as we know they were there. In truth we have already loved them for years before that, through all our dreams, all our discussions, they have grown in our hearts for a very long time, and now our baby was growing in my tummy, too.

The next week or so was an odd experience. I felt completely and utterly fine, no different to pre-treatment, to pre-embryo transfer, just normal. I felt a bit like a fraud telling our parents that they were about to be grandparents, because despite having done a further two tests by then, both very positive indeed, I just felt the same. I guess you dream, for so long, about how it will feel to be pregnant, that you imagine that the moment you see those two little lines on a test the whole world will be different somehow. But in reality, it's not, it's exactly the same! I think I struggled to get my head around it, really. I am one of the happiest I have ever felt in my life, I feel like I'm walking on air.

Some over-zealous sensations of smell, the odd bit of nausea, and huge amounts of bloating took us up to week 5. But I still felt a bit like a fraud, except now I was feeling pretty exhausted, too. We had an amazing weekend in London, it really was incredible, but when I got home I felt the need to do one more test, "the final sticky" we called it, the one that gave us a 3+ weeks, meaning that I was over 5 weeks pregnant. It was right, I was 5 weeks and 3 days.

5 weeks and 5 days pregnant, I'm at work, I go to the toilet and see fresh red blood. My heart sinks. How can this be happening?! I text Sarah, telling her, apologising, knowing it will baffle and upset her in the same way it had me. I go and tell the midwife in charge, I need to go home. She understands, she tells me to go straight away. I get home and it's stopped. That night is a long, drawn out, sleepless night, willing everything to be ok, telling our tiny baby "your Mummies love you so much, please don't leave us, please don't." I wake up in the morning and it's still gone. No trace.

Two days later, at work again, another tiny bleed. Another heartbreaking moment. I speak to the Registrar at work who tells me she will scan me that afternoon. I wait as she peers at the screen in silence, before she turns around to me and says, "it's fine, baby is fine in there"- before turning the screen round to me and I see a perfectly round yolk sac, a tiny little blob, and a little flicker, that she tells me is the heart beating. I burst in to tears. I feel so guilty that Sarah wasn't there but I think she won't mind a bit. I am the happiest I have felt since I married the love of my life - our baby is there. It feels very real now!

6 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I feel so rough with nausea it's unreal. NOW I feel pregnant - typical! But maybe now I am allowing myself to believe it, now I have seen it for myself, our perfect tiny baby. I go to the loo at lunchtime and my pad is soaked with blood. My heart sinks again. How can this be happening to me?? This is so unfair. The next few hours are a bit of a blur. I bleed heavily. I learn what it feels like to be absolutely terrified. I passed a huge clot, the nurse confirmed what I thought and said she thought it was the baby, it looked to be that way. She talked me through what happens next, the funeral arrangements and that we could go and say goodbye. She told me how sorry she was, how much she wished she could do something to help. I phone Sarah and our hearts break equally, we both break down on the phone and struggle to get any words out. Then the consultant appears - he offers to scan me again, I'm so glad, I need to see my empty womb for it to feel real.

But there again - one tiny little perfect baby with a tiny little beating heart. No cause for bleeding can be found, but it seems to be settling down. But for now, right now, I'm still pregnant. He says that I have a 93% chance of this carrying on to a successful pregnancy. I cry again. I hug him and say thank you and he looks a bit awkward and just mumbles "it's fine, take care." What a day! He says I need to go home, to rest, and that he will scan me again in a week. He tells me to be positive, and that everything looks good.

So here we are, it's Halloween 2015 and we are sat at home, I have taken the Consultants advice and done absolutely nothing today, we have a night ahead of us of films, pizza and ice cream! We are both so scared, yet feeling positive. For now the bleeding has stopped again. Right now I'm still pregnant, and we can continue to dream for what will be, for what is coming, for this perfect tiny baby that will be in our arms in June.

Was this how I expected it to be feel? Through all those years of dreaming of those two little lines? Not at all. Sarah described it perfectly to me yesterday, lying in each other's arms, whispering in the dark, she said to me, "this has been the most beautiful and yet most terrifying journey I have ever been on." She's right. The thing is, we are just not ready for this crazy journey to stop here. Come on baby.

2 comments:

  1. I don't know how you do it but lately every blog post has had me experiencing so many emotions, goosebumps, tears of happiness, dread and just outright sympathy. I believe you two girls are soo perfect for each other, the way you work in your relationship is just inspiring. Like I've told you on Twitter I have everything crossed for you because you both deserve it.

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  2. My heart actually stopped half way through reading this, I thought you were telling us you had lost the baby. Oh now I've ruined my makeup at work! I swear people at work are getting fed up looking up and seeing tears rolling down my face!

    So pleased for your girls. I wish I "knew" that I was pregnant. I'm dreading test day :(

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