Today we have Laura Wyatt from www.mamabearcollective.co.uk.
Laura is the mother of two from the UK and owner at Black Goose Digital, go take a peek :)
Living with Endometriosis
It was love at first sight when I met the Man of the House – he was funny and kind, and handsome, and he made my heart tingle and my stomach jump and I couldn’t even imagine being happier or without him. We discussed marriage and children within a few weeks of being together – if we’d have had the money there and then, we would have done it.
There were obstacles, namely the fact that the Man of the House was in the army and we’d have to wait for his weekends home – I’d spend the week counting down and it was exciting and heady and romantic and I longed for those weekends where he would curl up around me in bed and we would feel like we were in a bubble of love.
When the Man of the House came out of the army, things changed – we were together all of the time, he wasn’t able to work until his papers had all gone through, there were delays, money worries, and he wouldn’t go to bed until 6 am and I’d be up at 7 am and we argued and stressed and got so fed up with each other – where was our perfect relationship? Could we hack living together full time? We didn’t like each other most of the time and my endometriosis had flared up with a vengeance, meaning I was snappy and irritable and in a lot of pain.
After 6 months, we moved house again and he started getting more work in and things between us improved. It was at this point we were told that due to my endometriosis, we would be sensible in thinking about extending our family sooner rather than later because of the state of scarring and related issues. That night, in Sainsbury’s, the Man of the House shouted at the top of his voice to everyone in the vitamin aisle, “WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A BABY!” I was mortified but secretly, I was so excited at the thought that we were going to extend our family.
I was determined not to get my hopes up. After all, there were no guarantees that we would have a baby and I did not want to become obsessed and start checking temperatures and times. I have a tendency to go after what I want without any chill. If we had the go-ahead for a baby, I knew I needed to relax and just forget about it and if it happened, it happened.
Almost overnight, it seemed like everyone around us was pregnant. Everyone I saw had a baby bump or a newborn. I would smell a baby from a mile away and my heart and my belly literally ached. My biggest fear was that this longed-for baby would not happen and whenever I tried to talk to my friends about this, they didn’t get it. Apparently, because I already had a child, I should have been grateful for what I had, which was not what I wanted to hear – I was fed up with being so ill all the time and in pain, and I was fed up with waiting for the right time to have a baby, and here the stars were aligning allowing us to begin this journey.
I knew roughly when my fertile times would be, but I didn’t want to become obsessed and military-like about it, but I also knew that because I was aware of my body, I’d be disappointed and could be facing a really scary proposition – no baby. In the meantime, my cousin had suffered from an ectopic pregnancy, and a girl on Facebook had posted pictures of her baby scan, and then it was taken down and never talked about. There were then the flurries of pregnancy announcements and birth announcements and all the while, I tried not to care. To avoid Googling the best positions for conception, the best foods, the best times, the best bloody way the bed faces.
We simply got on with our lives and I tried to keep busy. We carried on as normal and I gagged every morning taking those horrible folic acid tablets and kept our little secret to ourselves – if no one understood the fact I ached for a baby, there was no way I would tell anyone we were trying, not even my mum knew.
During the first week of December, there was an evening that was perfect for spotting shooting stars, so the three of us, and the two mad dogs, bundled up at 10 pm and drove to the most secluded place we knew. We got out and walked and walked and walked, above us, the sky exploding with asteroids hitting our atmosphere. It was one of the most beautiful nights of my life. It was cold and late and BB1 had to pee on the path in the dark after drinking too much water, the dogs were under our feet in the excitement of a late-night walk, but I had my family around me and we were happy.
That night, we conceived BB2. I know it was that night as it was the only time we Did The Deed that week and I spent the rest of the week worrying we’d missed the fertile window.
About 10 days later, I began experiencing the worst cramps imaginable, and the normal hospital-prescribed medication wasn’t working. I worried a cyst had burst so at 9 pm that night off we went to A&E, me gritting my teeth and sobbing in the car, whilst BB1 slept in the back.
The doctor asked if I might be pregnant and she was the first person I acknowledged that we were trying. A negative pregnancy test put paid to that idea and so the debilitating cramps were put down to an endo flare-up and off I was sent with super-duper strength painkillers, my now lukewarm hot water bottle, and the instructions to take the week off work to rest.
A few days later, the cramps had disappeared, I was back at work preparing for the Christmas leave period, and had outgrown all my bras overnight, which were earning me stares from strange men in the supermarket. However, repeated pregnancy tests from the pound shop, done in secret, proved negative. I was obviously just eating too much, probably because I felt sick and tired a lot.
On Christmas Eve, my ‘fat’ dress, the dress that made me feel beautiful whenever I wore it, that looked good and had cost £8 from H&M and that I could never find the same again, was bursting at the bust. After seeing family and on the way home to prepare for incoming relatives to ours for Christmas dinner, I asked the Man of the House to stop at Tesco just to double-check. I didn’t want to drink to cope with so many people if there was the slightest chance I was pregnant.
My sister-in-law’s ex-boyfriend served me, politely avoiding my purchase. The test was £7.50. I went home, went straight to the loo, and peed on the test stick. I couldn’t look at it – I wasn’t brave enough and felt silly, so with a huge smirk, I took it downstairs and passed it to the Man of the House and pretended to be casual.
The test window read: 1-2 weeks pregnant.
I burst into tears. He had the biggest look of shock on his face and I was smiling and laughing and crying and he said, we better get another test to make sure. BB1 had no idea at this point what was happening, so off we went to the shop to get another test. Another two to make sure…
It was 8:30 pm on Christmas Eve. Nowhere was really open and we couldn’t go back to Tesco. We drove around and around, quiet in our own thoughts, too overwhelmed to believe we’d been given the best Christmas present there was.
In Sainsbury’s, I bought four tests. Just to be sure. All of them came up positive.
We decided to tell BB1 there and then, mainly because she couldn’t understand what the hell was going on. We hadn’t wrapped any presents, prepared any food, or cleaned the house for our impending guests, but who cared! We were having a baby!!
BB1 said, “Cool, can I go and sharpen my pencils now, please?”
Nearly two years on, she’s the best big sister, our Christmas surprise is absolutely amazing.
Best – Laura