I was wondering about the content of my next post when my husband suggested that I write about the kids.
“The kids… ?” I said.
“Yes, the kids,” he replied. “Isn’t that what inspired you to start this blog in the first place?”
Ok, that’s true. But … what about the kids? Where do I even start?
After much consideration I decided that the right place to start is from the beginning, from when we decided to have kids. As that would be the start to the story and put context into all that we do and experience from that point onwards.
Our story is not unlike millions of others’. Man and woman meet, date, fall in love, go out for a few years while we pursue our careers, decide that we are ready to start a family and get married. Everything up until then happened in the intended sequence and as planned, but not so much after.
Only after we embarked on this journey that I learnt these few things:
One. It can take a long time for a woman over the age of 30 to fall pregnant. A woman between 30-35 has only about a 15% chance of getting pregnant during each cycle (article) and it is not uncommon for her to only get pregnant after 6 to 12 months of trying (as confirmed by the doctor who saw us at the time and advised that she would not consider any additional tests until after at least 6 months).
Two. Stress can have a huge impact on your success rate. I underestimated this and only after a year of trying, we decided to take a break from everyday stresses and went on a trip to New Zealand. And that was when I first got pregnant.
Three. 1 in 4 women who gets pregnant in Australia suffers a miscarriage. This happened to us after our New Zealand trip. It was devastating at the time especially given that I wanted it so much and I was not able to talk about it because it happened very early on in the pregnancy, but after understanding the statistics that helped lessen the grief to some extent.
Four. Lastly, alternative treatments may sometimes work for you (although when I say alternative, what we resorted to was pretty much mainstream in some parts of the world). I am referring to acupuncture. Without trying to mislead anyone; the acupuncturist explained to me that she could only help us if the issue was with the condition of my body and my womb, and not if we had issues with the conception itself. So imagine us trying to grow a tree, she could only help to condition the soil but not to produce nor fix the seeds (which I believed was our case since the tests performed prior did not come up with any other conclusions).
So, 4 weeks after I started the treatment and 18 months since we embarked on this journey, my tests came back positive (I took 3 just to be sure). I continued with the treatment 3 months into the pregnancy and was careful not to take any unnecessary risks e.g. rigorous exercise, travels etc and we carried this beautiful child to full-term.
Every couple has their own story, and this is ours. There were many ups and downs, tears and doubts and really tested our relationship as newly weds; but ultimately defined us as a married couple and how we worked together to resolve the challenges.
And as for the kids, we constantly remind ourselves how fortunate we are to have them (and on some days we just have to remind ourselves harder :)).