Hello my lovelies,
How are we all today? For those of you who follow me on social media you’ll know by now that I am pregnant! I’m 16 weeks today and feeling fabulous. If you had asked me how I felt 6 weeks ago it would have been a very different answer. Nausea, tiredness, emotional… the usual pregnancy symptoms! I’ve been in two minds about sharing my story but since half my life is on the blog and I’ve been writing My Lovely Wedding for over 3 years now I feel it’s only fair that I share this part of my life with you all today.
Let me take you back to January 2013. Nathan and I had just got married and the subject of babies came up quite quickly. A month after our wedding I came off the contraceptive pill and we started ‘trying’ to get pregnant. I use the word ‘trying’ loosely as we didn’t go by ovulation timings or try too hard. It was casual and we were relaxed. I knew deep down it wouldn’t happen overnight and I was right. We spent nearly a year trying and nothing happened. My monthly cycles were so random I had no idea what was going on. I had a check up after I came off the pill and I was given the all clear, but the doctor had warned me that it might take a few months to get my body back on track. After 6 months I went to see a different doctor in Dubai and without asking any questions I was given clomid to help ovulate. At this point I didn’t know that I had PCOS and I’m not sure why but I didn’t ask many questions, I guess I just thought it was pretty standard.
Clomid didn’t agree with me, it made me feel horrible and it didn’t help that I was taking clomid around the time my Nan passed away in April 2014. It was the lowest I had felt in a long time. I was also really busy with weddings and my schedule was pretty stressful. I decided not to continue and to find a different doctor. Through friends I discovered Dr Amir at N9ne Clinic at Healthcare City. He did all the routine checks and confirmed that I had PCOS. I was quite surprised, as I didn’t suspect I had it, but it was pretty obvious from the scan that I did. I left feeling angry that the other doctors hadn’t picked it up. Why hadn’t they discovered this when they scanned me last year? I continue to wonder if the clomid had provoked the PCOS? I have no idea if that’s even possible but it did cross my mind. After 3 months of doctor visits I had all the routine blood tests, scans and monitoring. I was closely watched for one month and by doing that we knew that my ovaries were lazy and I ovulated at around 25 days. Only having 8 cycles a year makes your chances of actually getting pregnant that much lower.
While I was on ‘project baby’ my better half Nathan was about to get promoted to Partner at a well-known consulting firm and he was working like a crazy person. He has a very demanding job, which involves long hours, travel and working weekends. I’m very supportive but at a time when I needed him on board my ‘project baby train’ he wasn’t really around. My urgency to get pregnant was not like his. He’d reassure me that we would eventually get pregnant. I tried not to make a big deal and I knew I had to be patient but my emotions got the better of me.
Towards the end of the summer in 2014 Nathan was also checked and we discussed making some lifestyle changes to help give us both a better chance of conceiving. This didn’t last long as work got really both of us and the fact that Nathan traveled every week made concieving that much harder. At least I was being my pro active by using ovulation kits and taking notes of my monthly cycle. I was figuring out my body and I knew stress was making an impact.
Meanwhile everyone around me was getting pregnant, having baby showers or giving birth. I was deeply happy for all of my friends but a very small apart of me was sad, and I felt a tremendous amount of guilt for feeling this way. I didn’t want to feel self-pity, I just wanted a baby of my own. When you’re trying for a baby every month feels like 3 months. That moment when you’re expecting your period and it doesn’t show… could I be pregnant, OMG I have a cramp. Is it period pains or am I actually pregnant. You’re mind is in overdrive and then it arrives. Sometimes I would cry and sometimes I would get over it within a few minutes. But either way never seeing a positive sign on a pregnancy stick really really sucks.
A friends wise words
It wasn’t until we went to Canada for Christmas in December 2014 that we spent a full week with Nathan’s best friends, Chad & Nikki. They had a 8 month year old baby who we instantly feel in love with, and I think it was at that time Nathan realized how much he wanted a baby too. One evening I had a heart to heart with Nikki, and she told me it was ok to feel sad. She had gone through a tough ride to get pregnant so she understood how I felt. It was then that I stopped feeling bad for feeling guilty. It was ok to cry. I also realized that I’m not the only one going through this, I came to discover so many friends, and friends of friends that were going through the same thing.
Project Baby round two
So when we returned to Dubai in January 2015 we decided that this was the year we would get pregnant. I was on project baby again. I started by juicing every day, cutting down coffee and wine during the week and trying to be as healthy as I could. Meanwhile Nathan was also doing his part but the travel was still getting in the way of actually doing the deed. Suddenly it was the end of April and still nothing had happened.
A friend shared her good news on Facebook that they were expecting a baby later that year. I burst into tears and sobbed on the bed for about 30 minutes. Nathan came to comfort me and probably realised at that moment just how sad I was that we were not pregnant yet. Why wasn’t I pregnant? It’s not fair, it didn’t feel fair and I suddenly felt desperate for a baby, even more so than before.
A change of lifestyle
Once again Nathan reassured me that we would eventually get pregnant and he promised to make some changes too. So we waited for BARE to open and we started training 5 days a week. I felt amazing; I lost weight, toned up and felt like a new me. I was over the busy wedding season and I had more time to relax and focus on project baby. We also went to see a fertility specialist and after seeing a gynecologist and Urologist they suggested IVF. We went to the UK for 10 days and returned knowing we would start the fertility treatment shortly after. When we returned to Dubai we discover we were know able to do IUI instead of IVF. The chances of pregnancy were lower but it was a much better option as it’s less intrusive and much cheaper too.
I left the clinic crying. The IVF was almost a guarantee but doing IUI it wasn’t. We called this the bonus round. Because my monthly cycles are so long we just managed to squeeze a round of IUI in it. I started taking the hormone injections and continued to work out and be as healthy as I could. I was scanned every 4-5 days and we scheduled the IUI for a Thursday morning. Timing was very important. I was given a trigger shot to release my eggs and exactly 36 hours later we proceeded with the IUI. We then had exactly 2 weeks to wait. It felt like the longest two weeks ever. Not knowing if we would need to be in Dubai for a round of IVF we decided to pack our bags and head to Thailand for 9 days. It was bliss, we were relaxed, happy and in vacation mode. It was also Ramadan so it was the perfect time to escape the heat.
We returned two days before the blood test and those 48 hours were painful. I was so eager to know. I was trying not to get my hopes up but a part of me couldn’t help it. I finally felt like this was our time, it was my turn to get pregnant.
On Thursday I went in at 8am for a blood test, it was the earliest appointment they had. The nurse told me she would call in a few hours. A few hours? Is that 2-3 hours? 3-4 hours? I literally sat by the phone tapping my fingers on my desk all morning. I finally got inpatient and called the clinic, I was put on hold while they connected me to the nurse. ‘Joelle, you came in for a blood test’. I replied with yes… and?? ‘Congratulations, you’re pregnant’. Those words are so clear in my mind. My eyes filled up with tears and as I put the phone down I sobbed for about 15 minutes. I was shocked, and overwhelmed with happiness. I tried to call Nathan but he was in a meeting, again I had to wait another 20 minutes to share the news but when I did he was over the moon. I called the family and everyone was delighted for us. I waited two more weeks until our first scan to tell my closest friends. At 6 weeks the baby (Fetus) looks like a lump, a little round dot in my uterus. The sound of the heartbeat melted my heart. It finally felt real. We are having a baby.
I’m now 16 weeks pregnant and in my 2nd trimester. As they say I’m in the safety zone so spreading the news is welcomed. My little bump is growing and I’m already wearing maternity jeans. At around 8 weeks my tummy popped and I could no longer zip up my skinny jeans. I did wonder if this was normal but I was reassured my close friends that it was.
Over the next few months I’ll be sharing my baby journey with you. I won’t be turning My Lovely Wedding into ‘My Lovely Baby’ but I will eventually add a small section for baby related blogs.
For anyone going through the same thing or maybe if you know someone who is trying to get pregnant then I hope this has been some what comforting. I’d also highly recommend Bourne Hall Clinic and Dr Elsa in Healthcare City. Dr Elsa is now my Doctor and I love her to bits. She’s very mumsy, which I like, and she’s come highly recommend by so many women in Dubai.
So my lovelies, I’ll sign off now and be back soon with another update.