Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The making of a miracle

Well here I am, 35 weeks pregnant and counting...counting down to the day we'll be holding our little one in our arms! 

Amazing really that we're in the home stretch now - excuse the pun, because stretching is what I'll be doing as this bub chubs up!

Anyway, as I alluded to in this blog, it took us some time to collect all the ingredients we needed to get this little bun in the oven.

Only a few months shy of 3 years in fact.

I thought about blogging about it so many times, as a release and to also let others in the same boat know they're not alone.

But then it was all a bit raw, confusing and so often painful. And I think I didn't want to tell the world to avoid those knowing looks accompanied by "oh you're 'trying'..." thoughts/words!

So going back the few years, our big decision came about like this...

I woke up at a friends house having had a really vivid dream where the punchline was that I was looking at things around the wrong way.

Cue the kerplunk...

Turn to Nathan excitedly and say, oh I get it - we can have kids, then go overseas again! 

But boy I never realised that this one decision would then unleash a whole host of changes and challenges.

Physically, mentally and emotionally.

Physically, it wasn't as simple for me as stopping taking the pill after more than 10 years and bingo I'm back in sync. (Which also had to do with the mentally & emotionally bit, but more on that later).

Stopping taking it was definitely a cracker decision in itself because it had positive effects on my body and mind.

But I didn't go back to a 'normal' cycle and then the year later when I came across Ayurveda and lost almost 15kg and shed a bunch of mental weight as well, that had repercussions and it turned into 3 month cycles rather than a bit over a month.

(And being a bit over a month wasn't actually that big a deal but I was still suffering from perfectionist tendencies at the time so I made it into one!)

I kept looking at myself thinking what's 'wrong' with me...and so I tried a few different approaches, a few vitamins and things to see if that would 'fix' it but then that lead to other issues. Mainly because they were intended to fix something that wasn't really there to begin with.

I went to see a Gyno and almost immediately was offered a drug that'd fling a bunch of eggs out to give us a better shot at getting pregnant.

But that didn't compute with me because it wasn't going to make my cycles more regular or bring my body into balance. Yes it might fix a symptom, but the cause would still remain. That and if it lead to me getting pregnant - would the issue still be there again once I'd had the bub?

Deep down I also knew that there wasn't anything wrong with me as such and I didn't need the drugs.

And that if I really believed in the mind-body connection and that everything happens at the right time that I'd been duping myself out of a chance to follow that through.

Fortunately for me, Nathan was on the exact same page so I had his full support.

So I stopped taking my plethora of vitamins, stopped seeking interpretations from different practitioners and decided I needed to do this myself. (And with Nathan by my side of course!)

From there, I did my best to simplify and kept trying to figure out what mental & emotional blocks were there that were manifesting physically.

Then last year I went almost 6 months without a period and that was the catalyst to leave full-time work and get my health back on track.

I'd been asked so many times whether I had stress in my life and while I didn't really think I did, for me a little bit can go a long way.

I realised that I just had too much going on and hadn't actually stopped for 6 months to recharge and renew...and my body was echoing that.

Amazingly the day after I resigned was the day my new cycle started, funny that!

The other aspect to the physical side in the last year or so was what came to be dubbed the uterus of fire!

Sorry if you get a bit icked by bodily things, but my last few periods were accompanied by astonishing cramps and pain, almost passing out and not being able to function until drugs kicked in. (And no, I didn't like having to resort to drugs but got over that too!)

Again, being such a strong believer in the mind-body connection, I think the pain was heavily linked to guilt and not wanting to have my period. Because having it meant I wasn't pregnant, which was bad because we really wanted to be! Hence the strain and pain. Meow, even thinking about it now brings it back and it really was awful!

Mentally. Ah mentally. Like I said, I didn't realise that the one decision would expand out so much.

I also didn't realise how many different beliefs I was carrying about getting pregnant and having kids!

But true to form, I had to peel the many layers back to get to the core, just like I'd done with other big things in my life.

At the start, Nathan & I didn't tell anyone that we'd decided kiddies would be cool, because we'd wanted it to be a 'surprise'. But then also because I think at the time I didn't want the pressure of others knowing and I'd wondered what others would think of me (yep that old chestnut was still around then too!).

Early on I also went through waves of being excited then flipping that on its head and thinking nooooo! If I get pregnant my life will end...aka work will stop, I won't be able to travel or do other things I'd planned, I'll be the one looking after the bub, etc etc.

Funny seeing as I'm looking forward to that all now!

At that time too I was still running a few anxiety habits - mainly that I wanted it to happen quickly so it all be over with and I wouldn't have to go through anything. That's a good one that one.

There was also letting go of the dream of going back overseas before kiddywinks, something I always thought I'd do and in part had let that define me. And so that created the lesson of 'no decision is absolute - you can always make a new one'!

Right throughout it too, we had the fun task of holding on to our belief that the Universe has got it all under control and we just have to keep the faith because everything happens at the right time.

But I tell you what, there was many a teary moment of 'I know it's going to happen at the right time, but I'd just like to know when that's going to be'!!!

And the blame and shame moments, they were fun too. It can be a difficult thing not to blame yourself when you find out that everything's fine & dandy with your partner from a physical perspective, so then clearly, it's all my fault.

But of course that's a crock, because there's sooooo many elements that need to be in place to get pregnant. When you think hard enough about it, it's phenomenal that so many little tackers are born because the timing does have to be perfect!

There was a bunch of other stuff too, but I'm blaming pregnant brain because nothing else is coming to me at the moment! (Oh and yes, pregnancy brain is real, even though I'd hoped it was a myth!!)

Emotionally, wowee what a rollercoaster!

Excitement, frustration, shame, happiness, sadness, wonderment, anguish, guilt, blame, embarrassment, anticipation, you name it, I had it all.

Even right to the end. The weekend before we found out was Easter and we were at a friend's place having a great weekend.

One of the conversations I had with the girls was about babies and where we were at. Finding out that another one of my friends had fallen pregnant in just 2 months seemed to tip the balance for me.

Which was interesting because right throughout the process I never got sad, angry or upset if someone else got pregnant - I was always super excited for them. Mainly because I think I knew that everyone has a different set of circumstances that lead them to getting pregnant so no point comparing.

But that night I ended up sobbing on Nathan's chest saying 'I don't understand what we're doing wrong and what I still need to learn. Why does this have to be so hard?' (Not for the first time!)

At this point in time I was a couple of weeks late, even by my irregular standards. But I'd thought that I'd managed to 'do it to myself again', and despite my best efforts, even though I'd stopped work some stress must be lingering still.

So I did end the sobfest with, yes it would be funny if I'm getting hung up about this and it turns out I am pregnant now.

Well as we found out that next Thursday - YES I AM, YIPPPPPEEEEEEEEE!!!

So there you go - all's well that ends well!!

Looking back on it all, it definitely did play out exactly like it was supposed to.

We've both said numerous times that thank goodness the Universe is much more clever than us because if we had fallen pregnant when we first decided we wanted to then yikes!

It would have been a very different pregnancy, and we definitely weren't in the position we are now physically, mentally, emotionally or even financially.

And I think the timing itself was geared around a few defining beliefs that Nathan & I had, including...

I wanted to be physically fit and as balanced as I could be before getting pregnant. Tick.

While we knew you can never be truly ready for kids from a money or a maturity perspective, we'd like to be in a decent position. Tick.

I called the last few years my research phase where I was finding out more about looking after babies and kiddywinks so we'd have some idea of what to do. Tick.

I used to be of the school of thought of dogs after kids, but then decided to swap sides. Tick.

And one that really stands out for me - I distinctly remember sitting at a naturopath appointment about midway through this journey. Through tears I said 'I don't want to pass on my anxieties to my child'...which meant I'd wanted to deal with all of that and not have it as part of my life when I got pregnant. Big tick!

So there you have it. I hope you made a cuppa before embarking on this thesis! And while for some this might just be a story, I'm sure it'll hit a bit closer to home for others.

If you are someone who's been keen to have kids and it hasn't happened as quickly as you thought, then I feel for you.

What I learnt is that it is a big burden to carry yourself and that while you don't need to scream it from the rooftops, you might be surprised by the overwhelming amount of love and support you get even by telling just one other person.

And that there's actually a lot of people who are just like you.

And that you're not weird or somehow defective.

Lots of love xoxoxox

PS If I'm the person you can tell about it, I'd be more than happy to listen, provide tissues and help any way that I can.

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