When Will Someone Call Me Mummy?

A repost of something close to my heart… I know many out there have struggled or are struggling to conceive, to start that family. Here is our story… Hopefully seeing a positive ending will help someone…

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Birthdays, Christmas, there is always a little wishlist. Material things that can be bought, but for some there is something that you can’t find, wrapped up in a present… a baby… That desire to have a child can be so strong, and if your body is not willing to give you that gift, it can be tough going to convince it…

I was in that position 12 years ago.  I didn’t care for anything else, all me, and Hubby Dearest wanted was to become parents.

It always looked like such an easy thing.  In my limited experience within the family at that time, apart from a very few, couples got married and within a year or 2, we were told the lovely news that they were expecting.  Great! So, now we were married, we’d had a year or so of being a love-struck newlywed couple.  My father had several sets of twins on his side of the family, so there was always the thought, maybe we might too! Several people who read palms, astrologists, spiritualists (yes, my Precious Pops and I love the mystical and supernatural!) had said I have children in my future, so what was the big deal? it would happen, just as we had planned.

Well, more fool me.  I’m an educated woman, and I think I was so blinkered by the thought that I had to become a mum, I overlooked the fact that since I had been very young, I had an extremely irregular cycle, so this was never going to be easy.

The journey began, all good fun, doing the deed, in earnest, and wishing and hoping that sometime soon I’d get a sign.  I couldn’t rely on the fact that I was ‘late’ as I had no regularity there anyway.  So, I’d wish for that sickness to arrive, or maybe I’d faint somewhere dramatically, like they do in the Bollywood movies and Indian TV serials, woken up with a doctor beside me, telling us with a smile, that no, you’re not ill, you’re about to become a mother! And I must have single-handedly kept the pregnancy test companies afloat as I was peeing on sticks constantly!

The older ladies in the community and family would constantly ask when we were going to have a baby. I honestly would day ” Rabh de hathach ya” which means it’s in Gods’ hands. Reassuring them we were not in any way preventing anything.

No such luck.  Then, around a year after trying, I was at the hen weekend of my niece, a woman who has been like a sister to me. She worked as a medical rep, and she knew we were trying to start a family. She asked if I’d been to see the doctor yet.  Yes, I had, but the Doc said it was too soon to start worrying, most couples take on average, a year to conceive.  My niece then mentioned something I had never heard of before.  PCOS.  Polycystic Ovaries.  What on earth are they?  Well, apparently it’s quite a common condition, and nearly 1 in 10 Asian women suffer from it in some form, from mild to very severe.  Basically, without getting too technical,  the relevant hormones don’t secrete properly, and it means your eggs don’t mature enough to pop out of your ovary and start that journey in order to even have a chance to be fertilised.  Said immature eggs then sit inside your ovaries, fluid-filled flaccid little sacks that were harmless, but just did NOTHING.

And I appeared to have some of the common signs.  Irregular periods, weight gain, skin breaking out…Aside from the irregular cycle, I had never suffered from a weight problem, or skin complaints, but the last few years, even though I hadn’t changed my lifestyle, I was gaining weight and suffering more spots on my skin than before.  I used to think it was the contraceptive pill I had taken initially, but I hadn’t been using it for a year now and still had these complaints.

So with the promise that I would visit the Doc again, I was on my way again.  And after explaining all the conversation to Hubby Dearest, I arranged to visit the Doc.  She was sceptical but sent me off for blood tests and a scan.  The blood tests came back borderline, so that wasn’t too bad.  “See, ” said Doc “nothing to worry about.”  The lady performing the ultrasound had a very different opinion.  As soon as she took the first look, she was able to confirm that I had very overpopulated ovaries, and this was not a good sign.  Back to the Docs and I left armed with medication, and the hope that within 3 months or so, things would be more positive, and if not, she would try some other avenue.

So now I was taking Metformin, a Diabetic medication that was meant to help regulate those naughty hormones that were not working correctly.  Slightly scary possible side effects, including upset tummies, and the  chance I might start to get increased facial hair! Gulp!  But, on the flip side, I would lose weight! The pill popping started and a few dodgy tummies but no beard appeared, thank goodness! And yes a few lbs dropped off so great! Slowly I started to get a regular cycle, but after 3 months, no positive on that pregnancy test.

Back to the Docs again and she stuck me on Clomid, a fertility drug, as a last resort. Bear in mind I’d not had any tests done to see how my system was faring. It was a tiny tablet, taken for three days if I remember correctly, but the worst experience of my life! It basically puts your ovaries into overdrive!

Two months on the trot, I suffered week long migraines. I’d never had one before and was so scared the first time, ringing in to work in tears, not knowing what was happening to me. I was lucky to have such a great boss, and colleagues, who were supporting me every step, being tactful, and caring, and my boss was so worried he offered to take me to the Doc.

After the second month of hell, I decided I couldn’t go on like this. We had medical insurance and decided to go private. Best decision ever. I’d already had a formal warning at work over the week long absences two months on the trot. Not from my boss, though, from head office, where they generally have no heart. My boss knew why I’d been off and he said to come in no matter what, if the migraines struck again, and then he’d formally send me home so no one could say I was skiving.

Was this ever going to happen for us? My best friend told me a story about someone she knew who suffered the same complaint. Hers was so severe she’d been told children were a total no-no. She got married, her husband accepting the fact they wouldn’t be parents, and they lived a relaxed life, content, to find out somehow she had fallen pregnant! And this happened three times more to her, so there was hope…

Our private consultant was wonderful! She was shocked that the GP was prescribing such strong drugs willy nilly, and started me on a great long list of regular blood tests, alongside my lovely Metformin (which I was fast coming to love, lost a stone by now!)

And you are probably wondering, what about Hubby Dearest? What if it was him that was the issue? No, he didn’t get let off that lightly. He had to do the ‘little container test’ too. Once for our GP and again for the consultant. He was fine, but we were recommended to go on holiday, get away from the usual stresses of life, relax. Work and home life were sometimes tough so we booked a break away in Jamaica… What a wonderful holiday! We really needed it! And on coming back, our consultant retested everything and things were on track!

Still, this was May now and nothing… Come August that dreaded pill Clomid was mentioned again. I was fearful, but was reassured, all the relevant tests had been done, my body was ready for it, this time, so, slightly nervous, we started. The first month passed… No migraines, but no positive tests either.

I was getting anxious too as there was a limit to how many times you could use this medication. If we had no joy, the next step would be IVF.

But, thanks to God, and a great consultant, we were successful the second month! Finally, this longed for baby was in my tummy, on its way! A life was growing inside me. The family and our friends were over the moon!

My colleagues at work were ecstatic! It was like a company baby! They would cater to my every whim those months I was there, with my large bump.

The obvious anxieties a newly pregnant woman encounters were intensified as it had happened after so long, but things ran smoothly, apart from the discovery of a 4cm cyst in one ovary during a routine 30-week scan.

Three weeks before my due date, sat at work, I felt a wetness. Funny, I didn’t remember sneezing! Oh well… I got home that evening and felt it again. I knew for definite I hadn’t sneezed, and to cut a long story short, baby had decided it was time! I called work to say I wouldn’t be in for, oh about a year!

After an eventful labour, baby was finally here! We were so overwhelmed, we didn’t even ask, boy or girl? It was just our baby, perfectly formed and 3 weeks early! Lil Man had landed! The most precious bundle one could ask for. And born on his grandma’s birthday too! (How was I EVER going to top that birthday present!?)

The issues didn’t stop there, though. We knew it had taken so long, so we would try for baby number 2 as soon as we could. Along the way, I suffered pains in my side, and it transpired that the 4cm cyst that had been found while I was pregnant, was growing, and now 8cm. Cue a visit to my lovely consultant. No problem, a quick laparoscopy to drain the cyst and we’d be on our way again. I was geared up for my 2 weeks off. Surgery happened and when I came round from the anaesthetic I was in some serious pain.

It transpired that the cyst had grown to 12cm, was blood filled, and it burst during surgery, causing a danger of septicaemia ( I think that’s how you spell it!) So now I was the proud owner of a c-section style scar, despite giving birth naturally, and, more worryingly, I was short an ovary and fallopian tube. What would happen to our quest for number 2 now?

We were resigned to the fact that Lil Man was going to be our only child, and happy with our lot. 3 months passed (how hard was it to not be able to pick my precious baby up during recovery, I cannot describe!) and somehow, I was pregnant again! Huh?! How’d that happen? (Yes, biologically I know HOW it happened, but I was still recovering… we weren’t expecting this yet!)

Though it wasn’t to be. Two months into the pregnancy, while celebrating our wedding anniversary and Hubby Dearest’s work Christmas do, I started to bleed, resulting in a miscarriage. I was devastated. We both were. It was tough, and I’d hug my Lil Man tighter every night. My Precious Pops helped me accept our loss, with his calming words, explaining things happen for a reason, my body wasn’t ready for a pregnancy after such a big operation. This made sense. So, never forgotten, but accepted, we carried on with life.

Three months later, I got another positive on a test. I was terrified. With good reason. 6 weeks later, another loss. This was where I experienced something I didn’t think I would, from another woman. Apparently, I was making a fuss over nothing. 6 weeks was not really a pregnancy. Well, I understand that missed miscarriages are common, where you didn’t know you were pregnant and experience a late period, but when you’ve done that test, and seen those two lines, you ARE pregnant, like it or not. And when you really want this baby, comments like that cut like a knife.

Devastated, again. Would it happen?
I got my pep talk from Pops again, and we started trying with renewed gusto. I had the support of an amazing group of women on an online mums forum, and we shared stories and tips. I’d take my temperature and log it, use a saliva microscope ( no I’d never heard of them before either!) check all manner of things, and hoped for the best, alongside the good old Metformin.

One lady mentioned using SMEP. Erm, what’s that? Well, great fun for the bloke, I can tell you! It’s short for Sperm Meets Egg Programme! Basically, you are given a 10-day window to just ‘go for it’! The hope is that something should happen, the egg never gets a chance to escape.

I had been subjecting Hubby Dearest to regulated access previously, just on the ‘right’ days, so I didn’t tell him but launched myself into this programme… He thought all his Christmases had come at once! And I’m happy to say, somehow, it worked! Positive number 3, and it stuck!

Lil Princess arrived with great pomp and circumstance, 5 days early, on granddad’s birthday!

So we got our little boy and girl. Our family completed with the addition of Sonu Singh the Kitten earlier this year. It was hard. A tough journey, but fulfilling. And never in this time did I hide my difficulties. It’s commonplace in the Indian community to hide these issues, trying to make out a ‘perfect’ situation at all times. But I tried to, in my own way, raise awareness, by talking about my difficulties. After Lil Man was born, two girls in my family also found out they had the same condition, and, after the correct treatment, they both have two beautiful children each.

This was our journey to become parents, my struggle with PCOS. I hope you don’t mind that I shared, and hope that somehow, it may help someone else in similar circumstances. Don’t lose hope. If its meant to be, it will happen.💗

45 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. New Journey
    May 03, 2016 @ 04:22:28

    Thank you for sharing your difficult journey to motherhood….and have 2 beautiful children after all the loss and trouble…and to lil girl to be born on grandpas birthday…there was more at work than you know…it was a miracle…I had an incompetent cervix, it didn’t like to hold my babies in…..my first didn’t want to come out…LOl but after that it was all I could do to keep them in…I lost twins at 6 months, and my son was my miracle baby…I had to have my cervix stitched shut…..and I was bed ridden for 6 months with him….but I ended up with a big healthy boy…my girl and boy…..I am so happy for you Rita….and so happy you choose to speak out and share your issues, from that I am sure the other 2 woman had healthy babies…again thanks for sharing such a personal journey…xxxxkat

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      May 03, 2016 @ 06:48:57

      Thank YOU for reading and sharing too 😊
      I think it’s important yo share… You never know who you might be helping, just by being someone who’s gone through similar circumstances…

      Like

      Reply

  2. fairytaleofasimplegirl
    May 01, 2016 @ 21:30:55

    for the starters how did you added this my interactive peep and peeps reading in…m trying to paste the html code to the text section of my widget but not happening….

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. fairytaleofasimplegirl
    May 01, 2016 @ 21:14:17

    and yes, I will ping you soon to please please help me out with my blog designs and stuff…I just saw the beautifully decorated blog of yours…. I read all your earlier posts through my smart phone which never revealed the beauty of your organised blog….All thanks to my lappy …hope to catch up soon (off course in our little blog world…but who knows;)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. fairytaleofasimplegirl
    May 01, 2016 @ 21:11:23

    OH god ! I just read it and it touched my heart.thanks for pinging that i can easily reach your wonderful blog and read something like this. How painfully (read it synonymous to beautiful) you described the journey of conceiving and pregnancy. So, that line which say ” So we got our little girl and boy and our family is completed” is just an entire story…and hats off to you being an inspiring and amazing woman and brightening our lives a little more with such heart touching posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Erika Kind
    May 01, 2016 @ 11:38:59

    I remember that one clearly. It is a wonderful story of not losing hope. A great encouragement for others indeed, Sis!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Marje @ Kyrosmagica
    May 01, 2016 @ 11:31:07

    Your post really struck a chord with me Ritu. I miscarried my second child at the 3 months mark it was very painful and affected me deeply. also my dearest friend has been through IVF and then conceived a child (her only) with heart and back problems. I am very happy to say this young lady is now seventeen and is well after much surgery. She is such an inspiration. I have the highest regard for her and her family. So glad you have your two lovely children, as do I, where would we be without them? We are truly blessed and thankful.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. vanbytheriver
    May 01, 2016 @ 03:21:15

    Such amazing candor and so much valuable information here, Ritu. I’m certain your experience and your words will be comforting to so many. Thanks for sharing your story. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. lbeth1950
    May 01, 2016 @ 03:06:14

    Wonderful story.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Dorinda Duclos
    May 01, 2016 @ 02:29:03

    I literally have tears in my eyes reading this. Tears of sadness for your losses, and tears of joy for your beautiful babies. Our bodies work in mysterious ways. So glad you found the right people to help you on this journey. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. walkerkaty0
    May 01, 2016 @ 02:10:19

    I loved reading your story! While I am no where near getting ready to have a family yet, I can relate on the struggle with the irregularity as well as migraines. It is not fun! I am glad that you had your happy ending! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. ladyleemanila
    May 01, 2016 @ 00:59:16

    thanks for sharing your journey to us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. D. Wallace Peach
    May 01, 2016 @ 00:54:08

    A touching account, Ritu, and so glad everything turned out wonderfully. I’m glad you mentioned how hurtful some comments can be. So much hope and love is tied up with a pregnancy and the loss can be painful at any point 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. Heartafire
    May 01, 2016 @ 00:34:40

    I’m so glad there is such a happy ending to your story, I should say beginning!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  14. TanGental
    Apr 30, 2016 @ 23:51:51

    Wow, thank you Ritu that was such a powerful read; I have friends and colleagues and family, all of whom have had a variety of struggles some of which have not ended happily so it is always poignant to read something like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      May 01, 2016 @ 07:05:59

      Thanks Geoffles.
      Though I know there isn’t always a happy ending for all, it’s good to hear positive stories too… Gives hope 😊

      Like

      Reply

  15. carlalouise89
    Apr 30, 2016 @ 23:42:49

    While I’m so sorry for your difficult journey, I’m so glad this ended positively 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. Geetha B
    Apr 30, 2016 @ 23:16:10

    What a beautiful recount despite the difficulties. I am so glad you were able to experience the blessings and have a nice family now. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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