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What A Difference A Year Makes...

I’ve been pretty quiet over the last few months for various reasons but this week I sat thinking to myself, WOW, what a difference a year makes!

This time last year I was grieving the loss of our fourth pregnancy, feeling low, defeated and like I was ready to give up all hope of becoming a parent. We were away at the time which made the situation harder as I remember desperately wanting to be home with my dogs, my comfort blankets, hiding away from the world. I remember feeling like the world was against me and that I clearly just wasn’t worthy of a positive journey, I remember feeling like a complete drain on everyone and everything.

After getting home from our trip we decided to book straight into a private fertility clinic so we could get the ball rolling, this was our final option, our last bit of hope. Pretty soon after we saw a consultant who recommended numerous tests, all of which gave us no further answers as to why this was happening. The reality of ‘just being unlucky’ was starting to set in hard and fast. After several appointments it was agreed that we would try IVF with a full embryo biopsy prior to transfer to ensure the best possible chance of the pregnancy going full term. Feeling frustrated we felt this was the only option we had given the journey we had been on, with that we decided to book in to start the process at the beginning of April.

As we all know, the beginning of April saw us all locked down, frustrated and unsure what was ahead of us. Our IVF was cancelled with no idea or view of when we would be able to start. As someone who suffers with anxiety I very much like to have plans to work towards and mini goals to get me prepared for those plans, curveballs, and we have had many, throw me off a huge amount.

One curveball I am extremely grateful for is the one I got on 29th April, those two pink lines of hope. The moment I saw those two pink lines my heart flooded with hope while my mind filled with worry and panic. As someone who has survived four losses I was fully aware of the realities of loss and the devastation it leads to. I was beyond scared about going through another loss.

As the weeks passed the anxiety and fear didn’t lift, it just changed, altering at each milestone. I set myself mini goals, six week scan, nine week scan, twelve week scan, sixteen week scan, twenty week scan the milestones never seemed to ease the fear that this could all go wrong and the anxiety never truly left. We booked extra private scans to reduce the time between each little bit of reassurance, I am pretty sure the clinic thought we were insane but for us it meant the world. That little flicker of a heartbeat lent a huge sigh of momentary relief every time. Each scan was as nerve racking as the next, so much so I have a scar from gripping my collar bone so tight I cut myself at the twelve week scan.

I have been thoroughly blessed with an easy pregnancy but the journey has been far from easy. Today is the first day I have felt proud of my body, satisfied that this is a truly feasible pregnancy and overwhelmed that we could become parents within the next eight weeks. This time last year I was so far from this point, this entire pregnancy I have been so far from this point but today, after being signed off from the consultant at thirty-four weeks, I finally feel free from the worry that has consumed me for so long. I am not naive to think that we are home and dry but I am proud, I am proud of my body, I am proud of my journey and I am proud of how we never gave up our fight.

So while many people reading this may be feeling sad, hurt or like giving up, please know that there is always hope. We truly never know what is around the corner, I was defeated, I was hurting and I was out of hope... then that little light of hope flickered and here I am today finally feeling like the fight has paid off.

This journey is hard, it is life changing but it makes each and every one of us strong, empowered and compassionate people who should be proud of ourselves. Children or not we have survived the pain of one of life’s harshest traumas. We have made a choice each and every day to get up, get dressed, smile or no smile and carry on! That, angel parents, is incredible, no matter what stage we are at, we should be proud because we are true warriors.

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