Time For Another


I’ve written a bit before about my feelings about not having another baby (here). I just feel like I haven’t come to terms with it and so maybe writing a bit more about it might help with that process?

When I wrote last time, I had spoken to the haematology and rheumatology consultants but not to the cardiologists. When I met with them earlier this year they broached the subject of another pregnancy (it’s always the doctors who bring it up, never me!) and basically if I had to summarise the look of ‘don’t do it, you and probably the baby will die, it’s the most stupid idea ever’ then it would be the look both consultants pulled. Basically the warfarin I take to stop my blood clotting can be swapped for different medication which stops clots (so I’d have a daily injection throughout pregnancy and for six weeks after) but the heart medication I take can’t be taken while pregnant and there’s no safe alternative. So although my heart operates at around ten per cent less than a normal heart, which is only classed a mild cystolic disfunction, there’s no way of knowing how much damage nine months without medication would do to it. And of course if I had another episode of CAPS then I’d basically be screwed because of already having a slightly dodgy heart.

To put it bluntly, they can’t put a number on it but it’s more likely than not that either me or the new baby wouldn’t make it. Obviously I have a child and an almost-husband and family and friends to think about when I consider the risk to my own life. But for me the thought of actively trying to conceive a baby who has more chance of dying than living is scary. How would you cope with the guilt if it didn’t survive? There’s a difference between taking a risk with your own life and doing that with a tiny baby’s life. And of course Alex is a huge consideration in all this, the last thing I’d want is for her to be adversely affected by any decision we took.

I know all of this, when I think about it logically there are so many reasons it’s a truly terrible idea. But still it doesn’t sit comfortably with me yet. I can’t feel okay about it yet. When I hold my baby nephew sometimes something just catches in the back of my throat when I think about the fact I missed Alexandra being that age, and I’ll never get the chance to do it again. When I see people on forums who had babies in the same month as I did either planning to or actually falling pregnant again, I feel a little twang of something. There’s a huge physical need in me (can you feel your biological clock?) to have another baby. It’s something I feel much more acutely than I ever did before I had Alex.

Alexandra was the most wanted baby ever and it’s a miracle she’s here and alive and healthy and just absolutely wonderful all round. It’s even more of a miracle that I’m here to enjoy her. I think this a hundred million times a day. But I can’t help thinking about what might have. How might life with two have been different. Would we be trying again yet? Would we have got pregnant really quickly again? Would I get to be fully involved in (and maybe even enjoy) the newborn stage the second time around?

There’s so many questions that I can never have the answers to and there’s a whole lifetime of expectation that I have to drop. I just have to move on and get over it and deal with it. But one of the things making that even harder is the wealth of people queuing up to ask me when we’ll have another. Obviously those very close to me knows but anyone outside of that immediate circle seems to be popping up right now to ask the question. It’s like a timer’s gone off and now my baby is ten months old everyone wants to know when number two will be here.

I usually just give a short ‘there won’t be a number two due to medical advice’ sort of answer but every time it breaks my heart a little bit. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain of a couple unable to have children or who’ve lost a child. I wouldn’t ever compare myself to them. But this hurts too. It’s very real for me, the sadness, the sense of losing out on something I’d almost taken for granted I could have. I try to remember there was never any guarantee of number two but I know a ‘no’ is not the decision I would have come to.

The trauma of what happened to us has become much more acute over the past couple of months and I feel much worse about it than I did in the immediate aftermath when I was fighting to get physically better. It will take a long, long time to heal but my worry is I will never fully accept the decision my illness made for us about not having another child.

Harriet and Alexandra x

Trying To Conceive


I’ve said it before, both on this blog and in real life, I can’t believe how hugely lucky we were to conceive our little one relatively quickly. I also can’t believe the rollercoaster of emotions we went through even in that really short space of time. It would be absolutely remiss of me to pretend to know how it feels to try and be unable to conceive, or for it to take absolutely ages, but anyone in that position has my complete and utter good wishes and also respect- it must be hugely challenging. Everywhere you look there are children or pregnant women. Once you get to a certain age or a certain stage in your life (whether that be settled with a partner, married etc) people start asking ‘so when are you going to start trying?’ if you’ve already started trying and it hasn’t happened yet, the frustration of that question must be unbearable.

When we started trying, it felt really quite casual. That’s not to say we hadn’t had many chats before and come to a 100 per cent definite decision we did want to have a child together. And of course we’d both thought about it a lot separately too. But the actual process of ‘well we could start trying now’ was very calm and almost a non-event. I promised myself I would be so laid back about it, I wouldn’t stress, I would focus on other things and if it happened, it happened. If it didn’t, so what, we’d have the wedding first and then after that start researching fertility-boosting methods and what assistance would be possible.

But less than a couple of weeks in, I found myself getting overly focused on it. I felt so aware of myself and every small change in my body. These changes in the first two months when I wasn’t actually pregnant must have been due to coming off contraception, but of course the tiredness and the hormones and the boob ache is all symptomatic of pregnancy so there was this little hope in me that I would be.

Aside from making me worried about how I’ll cope if we decide to have another and it doesn’t happen as easily second time round, the over-thinking and over-worrying I did in those three months between deciding and the positive test did show me one thing – I was much more desperate for a baby than I thought I was! Which is probably a good thing really…!

Harriet and bump x

The Magic Moment


It seems only logical to start this blog with an explanation of the ‘magic moment’ (not the conception for those with their minds in the gutter!) – when we found out I was growing a tiny person inside me. That sounds ridiculously twee but if you’re not allowed to be twee about creating a new life, when can you be? Dylan (bump’s daddy and my husband-to-be) and I weren’t really expecting things to happen so quickly. *Look away now mom, TMI coming up* We’d started trying to conceive in October last year (2014) but weren’t doing the whole testing, using apps, knowing when I was ovulating, me doing handstands for hours (do people really do that?) thing. It was more a ‘when it happens, it happens’. Although I did go a bit neurotic about it for a while, more on that in a separate post. *You can come back now mom*.

So whilst we weren’t actively trying to prevent a baby, it wasn’t a massive focus in our life and it was very much being left to whatever Mother Nature decided. So much so the following month (November) we booked our wedding for September this year and we kinda carried on as normal really, just occasionally doing a test just in case. January rolled round and I had been feeling really out of sorts, but just put it down to a variety of other reasons and didn’t want to be too over hopeful. On Friday evening mid-month we found an amazing honeymoon deal and booked it, swooning over the beautiful pictures and talking excitedly about all the things we would be seeing.

Less than 48 hours later Dylan was due to leave my house for the week (we were still living in separate houses at this point) and we decided it would probably be a good idea to see why Aunt Flo hadn’t turned up (three days late). I happened to have a pregnancy test in my bedroom so into the bathroom I went. I didn’t even need to wait three minutes, that line was there clear and bold for anyone to see within seconds. Yep, I was definitely up the duff, with child, bun firmly in oven.

But with honeymoon booking fresh in my mind and the clashing dates potential, the first thing I said to Dylan was ‘don’t be angry’ – as if he would be able to be irate at me. After all, I keep reminding him it IS his fault. Anyway, I laugh/cried hysterically for a while (read: probably an hour). Then we realised we had all sorts of practical things to do so off we went to Aldi and to drop a wedding invite round at his friend’s house. It was all very surreal. I don’t think I even took in at that point we were having a baby – I was still trying to process the whole ‘being pregnant’ thing. It probably doesn’t even make sense that those two things were separate in my mind but I think even now 13 weeks on I’m struggling to get my head round the concept of becoming a mom, although bump doesn’t let me forget the fact I’m actually pregnant.

So that about covers the finding out part, much more to share soon!

Harriet and bump x