I had hoped to provide you with weekly pregnancy updates this time around (a la super vlogger, Anna Saccone-Joly). However, pregnancy – and life – had other plans, and so here I am, writing this at full-term. There are links to posts about the other stages of my pregnancy at the foot of this blog post.
Deciding to try for baby number two aged 38
You may, or may not, know that I already have one child, Elliott, who is almost 4. He is as bright as a button, as cute as can be and as cheeky as they come. You can read more about our decision to try for baby number two on this blog post.
Trying to conceive at 38
I was going to be so cool this time. First time around I was weeing on pregnancy test sticks morning, noon and night. Every slight mood swing, or a slightly tender breast would see me directing my morning pee stream onto a Superdrug pregnancy test strip.
This time? I’d know, right? I wouldn’t be the neurotic woman, willing every symptom to be the sign of conception, right? WRONG!
Coming off birth control and trying to conceive
I had my Mirena coil removed in August 2018. This method of birth control had always suited me and gave me practically no periods. With that in mind, I decided to have one ‘normal’ period, after all aged 38 that ticking biological clock could well scupper my plans for baby number two. Thankfully, my period arrived, although worryingly it was like no other menstruation I had ever experienced before. Skip this bit if you’re of a squeamish nature, but the blood was thick, black and tar-like. I was optimistic; yet nervous.
Tracking my ovulation
I would have loved to have had the luxury of coming off birth control and ‘seeing what happens’ but with a three-year-old bed-invader in the house, opportunities for nookie were somewhat limited. Also, without wanting to sound too Type-A, we had a schedule to meet… I didn’t want to be too pregnant when we moved (whenever that would be), but I also wanted my maternity leave to coincide with Elliott starting school. No pressure there then…
With that in mind, we used the ‘Clue’ period and ovulation tracker to optimise our ‘nights of passion’ around my ‘fertile window’. This handy Smartphone app allows you to track your periods, as well as notifying you of the best days to schedule your attempts at baby making. If you’re anything like me, it also allows you to obsess and countdown to the date you can take a pregnancy test.
September came and I was convinced I was pregnant. My boobs were tender. I had mood swings. I was tired. My skin looked clear. I had a migraine. These were all ‘signs’ first time around. I waited as long as I could before I took a pregnancy test. The results came back negative, but I had tested slightly early, there was still a chance… A few days later, like a crazy woman, I tested again. Still negative, and the following day I came on my period. So much for knowing my body and playing it cool. The ‘pregnancy symptoms’ I was experiencing were actually PMT. Rather cringeworthingly, I had been reading my ‘day-by-day pregnancy book’ every evening, convinced that the chemical reactions of early pregnancy were taking place inside of me. The neurotic trying-for-a-baby lady was back!
Falling pregnant aged 38
Fortunately, it didn’t take us too much longer to conceive. Although the journey to finding out was somewhat bumpy. Again, I felt pregnant – all the symptoms were there. However, I also felt like a prize idiot as I had thought that the previous month. I took a test, maybe a couple and they came back as negative.
Around the middle of the month I was ‘hit the wall and then slide down it’ exhausted. With a three-year-old and a full-time job I was running at a state of constant tiredness, but this was different. I convinced myself that I had a viral infection and took a couple of days off work to recover. It was only on my second day out of the office that I realised that, although I felt shattered, I didn’t really feel ill. I called Mr H and asked him to pick up a pregnancy test on his way home from work. I find men love getting phone calls to pick up ‘lady products’ but he agreed.
Scary picture WARNING!
It took all the strength I had not to take a pregnancy test that evening. It was all I could talk about, with every conversation pre-faced with: “I’m probably not, but…”.
Telling my husband I was pregnant
The next morning I took the test. I barely had to wait for the result as the Clear Blue test flashed up the word ‘Pregnant’ almost instantly. I was excited and a bit scared. First time around I felt more prepared for this and I was also woefully naive as to what was to come.
I would love to be one of those women who can keep quiet about the results of a pregnancy test and then present the results to my husband in a creative way. You know, the whole, open the oven and there’s a bun in there, or sending them a Father’s Day card from their unborn child. I’m so not that woman and so, as Mr H fought to get Elliott to brush his teeth in our second bathroom (our old apartment had a family bathroom and an en-suite) I poked my head around the door and shoved the positive pregnancy test in his face. He looked shocked and excited, although we couldn’t really talk about this openly in front of Elliott just yet. We spoke later that evening. A mixture of excitement and shock. You should know, at this stage, our apartment was sold subject to contract, but, as yet, with a number of house purchases falling through – we had nowhere to move to.
Keeping our pregnancy quiet
Whilst we wanted to tell people earlier this time around, we decided to keep the news to ourselves at first. Elliott was getting to an age where he understood everything and he needed to be the person we told first.
The day after I found out I was pregnant we went pumpkin picking with Mr H’s family. It was Halloween weekend. I felt tired, hormonal and was too worried about miscarriage to pick up anything but the lightest of pumpkins, but we managed an entire day without telling anyone. That wouldn’t last for long…
Read my other pregnancy updates here: