Well meant trying to conceive “help” and “advice”

As most people can attest, when trying to conceive, when you are pregnant and when you have kids is a joyous time. Your closest friends and family, work colleagues and even strangers on the bus will share their experience and know how with you – whether you want them to or not.

Have you tried? yep

We have not told many people that we are trying, however there are a few people in each of my social circles who have either figured it out or who I have confided in that we are hoping for our own little bundle of joy. In doing this I have learnt a lot about my friends and their hidden, secret selves, the secret selves who have a doctorate in fertility specialisms, who know everything about everything and you must listen to what they say and follow it to the letter! Or god help you as you will never be blessed with a child.

I’m sure you all know just what I mean… and have experienced just this!

Most people are happy and excited for you and as such eager to help see you on your way, others lean more toward the smug-I-know-better-look-at-me-and-my-perfect-kids end of the spectrum. (Can you tell I’m losing patience?) Angry OvarySome of the gems I’ve received have been hilarious! From advice on positions, technique, products to *ahem* enhance, diet, weight , personality types, drugs, even the fact that owning dogs makes your eggs shrink!

Some of the advice has been genuinely helpful, reassurance and relatable experience, however to my dismay most of it has been prescriptive and judgemental. The assessment of myself and my husbands every move, weights, dispositions, diets and general attitude to life. And this is help and advice which is not welcome, not helpful and just downright rude. 

But perhaps the most painful has been the criticism of how I am coping personally. As a type A organised personality I like to know what is happening when, organise it, plan it, prepare for it and god no surprises. But I know, trust me I know, that this is not possible when trying to conceive as it just doesn’t work like that. However, I am coping by understanding, reading, researching and tracking things, this is what helps me sleep at night and not stress all day. It’s great if relaxing and just enjoying a whole load of Russel Brand style sex helped you, honestly it is and way to go girl.  But please, don’t tell me off or make me do it your way and I won’t make you do it my way.

RELAX!

So, I say this with respect and gratitude, and probably for couples everywhere, I appreciate that you are excited for us and hopeful and want to help. But unless I ask? Please don’t give me advice or tell me the way that I am coping is wrong, I’m coping and getting on with my life and that takes strength every day of this journey.

(Also I solemnly swear that when I’m a smug-I-know-better-look-at-me-and-my-perfect-kids you have permission to shove a sock in my gob!)

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Our first christmas since it all started

I can’t help but reflect today that if things had been different I would now be 6 months pregnant. With a nicely rounded belly, well even more rounded, and a little one wriggling around in there somewhere. Not getting to enjoy a baileys or bucks fizz tomorrow morning, but instead nesting and prepping our house for the soon to arrive little one. But all that changed after an early miscarriage in August – lovely happy way to start a blog post I know, but please hear me out!

Instead we are now on cycle 7 of trying to conceive. This Christmas Day the only rounding of my belly will be due to a few too many sprouts and spuds. I’m not going to lie that is a painful thought, I would much rather have the above scenario if I am perfectly honest. But as I have found out, getting pregnant is not as easy as the nuns at my Catholic school made it out to be (I have definitely done more than sit on a man’s knee).

I always had immense sympathy with those who struggled to conceive, the years of stress and anxiety, doctors visits and needles only to be followed up with a slim chance of hope. How did they cope? I have no idea, they must have the patience of saints. But what I never really thought about were the people in the middle; those not quite far along enough to have to get tests, but those for who sitting on a knee once or twice doesn’t quite do it either. As we are now in that position, I can tell you its no fun! Each day is a rollercoaster of emotions, hormones, disappointment and excitement.

It started with excitement and planning, book buying and research. Now each day can vary wildly from high hopes and convinced that our bfp is coming today, to sheer disappointment and sometimes guilt. I know that it is no one’s fault, no one can do anything more than just keep trying and try and stay positive. In fact, being negative and stressing is just about the worse thing you can do – but for gods sake please do not tell me or anyone else who is trying to “just relax and it will happen” you are likely to end up on the receiving end of their flying fists.

My grouchy Yorkshire husband is still the calm one, the one who reminds me that it will happen, the one who makes me smile and keeps me moving forward. In the end, this is why we are on this journey to bring into this world a little piece of him and a little piece of me – hopefully this little one will have the sports talents of the Vunipola brothers and Anthony Joshua or the creative talents of Tolkein and Austen.

So! Moving on from the gloom and doom, instead of ‘we are now’ how about ‘we are only‘ 7 cycles in and ‘I am only‘ 27 and we are still excited and committed to bringing our own little geek into this world. Because, in the end thats what this process should be – exciting!

Also, I feel it is necessary to send a great big thank you to all the women (and men) of Mumsnet who have accompanied, helped, encouraged, laughed and cried with me so far on this journey.

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The Mothers

Quick disclosure – I love my mum and always will – I also have huge amounts of respect for all mothers.

But in the last few months I am coming to realise that a mother’s worries often spill out to well meaning moaning and nagging with a side of guilt. On a colossal scale.

My own well meaning and moaning mother is a woman I greatly admire, she raised three kids and has been through more than anyone should rightly have to. However, my well meaning and moaning mother has taken it upon herself to worry about my weight and health. Resulting in almost constant contact in one way or another.

As such we have now joined Slimming World together so that I can try to convince her to calm the F down!

My reasons for bringing in the new year with a change are multiple and I will be expanding on these over the next few months, however for the case of this post we will focus on the mother’s influence.

The relentless bombardment via text messaging, Facebook, Whatsapp, calling me and good old fashioned turning up at your house to nag means that it was just easier to shut her up and go along with what she wanted.

However, in the two days that we have no been on the Slimming World plan I have dutifully stuck to my task whilst she has been enjoying all sorts of sins. Thats sins not syns, to counter the latter we would probably be in the hundreds!

Anyway, I will not complain anymore about my mum as she is after all helping me to achieve one of my goals – even if she is raising my blood pressure to a dangerous level.

Speaking of mothers, the mother-in-law was on the phone this morning convincing my once sporty husband to buy a bicycle he will probably never use… His calm demeanour that has been talking me down after every contact from my mother completely evaporated. He has no intention of using a bicycle – he hasn’t reached the wonderful and saintly acceptance of change that I have yet.

And yet now after a good twenty minutes of well meaning moaning he is discussing bike pumps over Skype and I have no doubt that in another twenty minutes I will be measuring his odd shaped head for a pretty blue batman helmet…

 

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