About Me

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Hi. Welcome to my "taboo" blog. My name is Steph, and when I first started this, I was still in my thirties. In 2017, I switch decades! I am a Christian, so underlying everything I do and say is the Word of God, and the foundational truths I have learnt over the years. This doesn't mean I'm perfect - I am human. It just means I recognise I need God's help to live this life and try to live out His way, as best I can. So that's me in a nutshell. Thanks for taking the time to read through my blog, I hope you draw strength, hope or encouragement from what you read.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Somebody Shut The Window....

So... the window of possible fertilization soon closes each month. It's surprising how little time is actually available for conceiving Bubba. An egg is only alive for three days maximum, and the sperm can stay alive inside the uterus for up to five days. This is a total of eight days maximum in a 28 day cycle. The rest of the time is kinda pointless really!

And within those eight days, it doesn't help when Hubby goes away for the last seven days for the last three months because he has to go where the work is. It kinda makes the concept of trying to conceive a very difficult task!!

And so now, here I am at the closed end of the window of opportunity - with nothing to do but ... wait! I would rather have left it open a little longer - but there's nothing I can do about it at all.

And yet there are girls and women in the world around me, who have a baby soooo easily. Sleep with someone they don't really know in a one night stand or casual relationship and hey-presto... nine months later there's junior! And for what? So they can shove him or her into care, or pass them onto family and friends because they can't be bothered to look after their child, or neglect the child while they carry on their own life as if he or she was an inconvenience... such as the case being reported this afternoon about a two year old toddler who's twenty-something year old mother decided it was clever to use the child's bedroom as a cannabis farm... eventually causing his death when he drank plant food because she was too stoned, or couldn't be bothered to give him a drink from the day before. And where was she when this precious human life was suffering after drinking something in his hunger, which should never have been left out in his room... sleeping. At midday. With the boyfriend!

It makes me sooo mad to think that there are many women out there - women who are married and live a healthy lifestyle, with so much to offer a child - struggle to conceive, while others - like in this case - couldn't care less and treat the child as a fashion accessory or something which is a nuisance to their drug-fuelled life-style!

These are some of the issues the Government need to deal with, instead of shoving contraception implants in to thirteen year old girls arms!

A baby is not a right, it is an honour!!! If only more girls and women understood that sleeping around may get you a cute life-doll to start off with, but babies are people who grow up and need 24 hour love and care and attention.

If only people cared for humanity as much as we care for the STUFF around us! If only people loved people unconditionally, instead of "with benefit". The Western society has become an "everyone doing what is right in their own eyes" type of society... and no one gives a damn! Too many "parents" are consumed with wanting what makes them happy or what makes them feel good, instead of upon the needs of the child they have had entrusted to their care.

So if you, like me, are trying to conceive, and are waiting to find out if the window of opportunity slammed shut, or remained open long enough, try not to get frustrated with what you read in the press or see on television, because ultimately - everyone who harms one of the little ones God entrusted to Him will have to answer to Him for their abuse of each child. At the end of the day - God knows each life before we are even thought of. He knows the length of all our days. And He knows those who fail Him in the calling He gives to them. Shalom my friend. And Shalom to the hurting little ones. May the Lord send is angels to help you. May your heavenly Father hold you close to Him in His arms. Shalom to the mothers who are genuinely struggling but have a need to be the best mother they can be. May the Lord strengthen you and give you His wisdom for the daily decisions you need to make.

And to those parents, who from the outside give the appearance they just don't care... Shalom. May the Lord bring His peace to your inner turmoil which causes you to not be able to see beyond your own needs and wants... even addictions.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What If...And I'm Not Even Preggers Yet!

The other night I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned all night. I'm not even pregnant and I was panicking about the potential responsibility of becoming a parent... of becoming pregnant.

What if I have a horrible pregnancy experience?? What if I don't enjoy being pregnant?? What if the idea of another being growing inside me is too alien for me?? What if I don't like my baby?? What if we don't bond?? What if I have a boy and I want a girl?? What if I have a girl and want a boy?? What if the baby doesn't like me?? What if I don't like my baby???????

All of this stemmed from an article I had read in one of the daily papers, about the number of women who find it difficult to bond with their babies. Apparently, Gwyneth Paltrow was one of these women who found it hard to bond with her second child, as a off-shoot of the postnatal depression she suffered. If someone who is an established mother like that can struggle, what hope for me?

I've also had conversations with friends who regaled me with their pregnancy tales, and for some - the experience wasn't a good one. One friend was so violently ill with her baby, that it put her off having a second child. I am concerned!!!

Not only with the whole being pregnant thing, or the newborn thing, or the terrible-two's thing... just with the WHOLE thing! Suddenly Hubby and I become responsible for a whole nother person. How our child turns out in teenhood and adulthood is directly linked to how well or how badly we do with raising Bubba!! There is no second chance - what we do wrong will have an affect on Bubba, and what we do right - hopefully more often than the getting it wrong thing - can help Bubba to be a healthy, responsible adult.

Having an argument in front of our Bubba, for example, may be something which freaks them out and damages their memory of childhood, or teaches them a positive experience of communication. I'm sorry to say that on occasions Hubby and I have got it wrong - especially in front of my Stepson. Our fighting in front of him negatively affects his time with us and affects him as much as it does us. But we only have him once a fortnight. When Bubba arrives, we will be with our child 24/7, and so the arguing will be less controlled than it can be now.

The decisions Hubby and I take on a daily basis don't directly or indirectly affect my Stepson, but they do over the weekend he is with us. When Bubba arrives, daily decisions will need to encompass Bubba too.

Having a child is not a right of ours, just coz we love each other and are in a relationship or married. Having a child is a huge responsibility. It is a huge blessing, but it comes at a price... sacrifice on so many levels. And the responsibility of training a child up in the way he or she should go can be quite daunting - especially on this side of the future event.

At the time, I believe the Lord will lead, direct and guide us. This means Hubby and I need to be totally tuned into His voice. When we're not, we are in danger of messing up Bubba's life. In the meantime, my prayer is that when the time comes for Bubba to be conceived, He would bless me with a great pregnancy experience. One which I can treasure and enjoy, and even share with Hubby... Maybe one day with Bubba too.

In the meantime, I pray the fears which disturbed my sleep the other night will be handed over to Him, so I can rest in perfect peace.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hubby's emulator

I love to watch Hubby with my Stepson. The bond they have between them is beautiful to watch, and the way the younger emulates his father is so lovely. They have many precious moments together, especially when I am still in bed, and they dance around or play games together, it's so nice to hear the six year old giggles floating up the stairs.

When he stays with us, he feels safe, and although I am not his mum, we have our own special relationship. There are so many moments when he will snuggle into me if I am curled up on the sofa watching tele or reading a book.

But I can never fully understand the bond between a parent and their child. Not yet. Sometimes I wonder whether Hubby will have enough love to share with our Bubba, when we fall pregnant. Sometimes I wonder how our little one will connect with his older half-brother. Sometimes I wonder how the family dynamic will change and develop once Bubba is brought into the world.

Yesterday Hubby and I argued over a pair of trainers for our weekend boy. Not because I begrudge him buying stuff for his son - of course I don't. But I wonder whether when Bubba is old enough Hubby will be as generous as he is now. How do parents divide their hearts between their offspring?

I want my Stepson to be as big a part of Bubba's life as he can be. And I want our Bubba to benefit from having Daddy's attention and the benefit of Big Brothers devotion and love. He has a sister who lives at home with him, his mummy and his mummy's partner. The love he has for his sister is gorgeous, and yeah - being the older brother maybe tough for him at time, but he loves his little sister so much. How easy will he find loving Bubba whom he won't live with, and who he will only see on a fortnightly basis.

Our family can become the better for these changing relationships, in time, once Bubba is conceived. Until then - I pray Hubby and his Captain will have many precious memories to treasure together, so that when Bubba arrives in the world - the three of them will have as much of a strong bond as the two of them do now. If that's OK?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chemical Miscarriage

One of the valuable things about conducting research, is learning about what is happening to my body, especially as we are trying to conceive. I like to know what is happening - even if symptoms stop or improve, I still want to know what was happening.

For me, being so late when I'm normally as regular as clockwork, made me wonder if something had happened this month or not. I wondered if maybe the egg had been successfully fertilised this time by one of Hubby's little swimmers, but something went wrong during the implantation phase.

I'm not a doctor, so the only way I could try to understand what was happening, was to Google-search! I wanted to know if there is such a thing as an egg being fertilised, but not implanting in the uterus. And I wanted to know if others had experienced it too.

What I discovered surprised me. I guess because I have never heard of it before, and it is not something I have heard discussed, when friends have shared stories of trying to conceive. But what I could have probably experienced was a "chemical miscarriage".

A chemical miscarriage is exactly what I thought may have happened to me. An egg had been fertilised, but for whatever reason, known only to God Himself, the fertilised egg failed to implant into the wall of my uterus. It's not uncommon - it happens to around 70% of pregnancies. Only, like me, many woman wouldn't have known what was happening, because the pregnancy is "terminated" by the body around the time of our normal period.

It's not a new phenomenon, but back in the day - before the highly sensitive home pregnancy tests were available - no one really knew anything about it, as women couldn't do a test before her due date to find a positive result, only to bleed a few days later... so it would have been classed as just a late period. And as a result, not much is known about the causes of a chemical pregnancy.

Some women - who are a lot more militant than I am in their conception attempts - actually test positive early, only to feel the full horror of the chemical pregnancy a few days later, when they come on. I'm so glad, from that perspective, that when I did do a test a few days ago it was negative. I can't imagine how I would be feeling right now had I done it a couple of days earlier and seen a positive result, only to have my period start when it did. To have the joy of conceiving and falling pregnant ripped out of my heart. I don't think I could have handled that - although many women do. Handle it I mean. And they handle it well. The cruelty of the moment I mean.

A miscarriage at any stage is horrible. It fills me with dread if I allow myself to contemplate it. I've never experienced being pregnant, so I've never experienced a miscarriage. But I know my mum did. I know my brother's wife did. I know a couple of friends who have. But their experiences are completely different to mine, they were well on the pregnancy journey. They were totally heart-broken at their loss. I'm still trying, I never knew if I was pregnant.

So not only did the arrival of Auntie Flo this month demonstrate the passing of another opportunity, the fact it was so late potentially could indicate the loss of an attempt by my body to conceive which failed.

But as I said, I'm not a doctor, so I don't know for definite. But the signs are there - without going into the gory details, it's not just about being so late. With Hubby away at the moment, I think I'm glad I can deal with this on my own. It's another step of my personal journey; I wouldn't really know how to share it with him. Because I'm not really sure how I should be feeling about it. I am sad at another failed month. But I can't really grieve what I'm not sure about. And I can't really grieve what didn't happen. I can though, as I do every month, grieve the passing of another month, and look to the next cycle for another try, praying that when the time is right - God will strengthen the new life which will be developing in me..

If you have, or suspect you have had a chemical miscarriage, or a lot of them, it may be worth finding out more about it with your GP. I'm not at that place yet where I want to talk to someone about it in detail, but you may well be in a different place to where I am at. Don't lose heart and don't give up!


So I went for a walk into my local town centre, part of my RC exercise routine to keep moving on a daily basis! It was COLD!!! But, it is really nice to be able to walk! Not that long ago I was having problems with my hip every time I tried to walk... or just move. So as I look back, each journey without a stiffening or pain in the hip area is another day to rejoice!! I'm only 35!!!!

Anyway, so I was doing what us gals love to do, checking out the various boutiques from the outside in, when I found a new shop I hadn't noticed before. It was a shop full of baby items, little prams, and pushchairs, cute clothes and toys, so many gorgeous items.

If I had a bump, I could have happily gone in and browsed around to my hearts content. But at the moment, it is my guilty pleasure. Around Christmas, my mother and I spent a wonderful time in one of these stores, which was full of cute outfits for babies - little angels and reindeer! I can't wait!

It's funny though, because for almost every other area of our lives, we can buy stuff and make preparations for the future. When Hubby first proposed to me, I promptly went out and started to buy little things for the Wedding Day and for the ensuing marriage, putting them in my "bottom drawer". Ready.

But at this stage of life, as Hubby and I are trying for Bubba, we have no guarantees. And so although there are so many cute items for babies, I can't indulge in my desire to BUY BUY BUY!! For starters, we have no idea when we will conceive - or IF we will conceive. and secondly, when we do conceive we are not going to know how strong Bubba will be as he or she develops to full term. and thirdly, we could have either a boy or a girl... or both - though I don't think there are twins in either of our family trees.

So if I was to buy anything - what would be the point when it may or not be relevant in the future. I could have bought a Christmas Pudding outfit, but if we have a girl she would probably look so much more adorable in an angel outfit instead.  There's no point in buying any of the larger items, where would it be kept when we haven't made space for Bubba just yet, because at the back of the mind - whether we like it or not - is a sense of... what if...!

For almost every area, we can plan accordingly for our futures, but with children, we don't have that same opportunity. Everything seems to be on hold. Maybe I should just buy a Teddy Bear... gender neutral, and will last for ever!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Auntie Flo's Late Arrival

So, Auntie Flo arrived. 3 days late. I think doing the test helped to alleviate the anxiety so I'm not as tearful as I could have been had I been caught out by Auntie Flo's arrival.

What I would really love to do is stuff my face with lots of rich gooey chocolate to build up the "feel good" endorphins in my brain, but alas the Rosemary Conley diet I am doing doesn't allow for that. So I will have to console my sadness for another wasted month, another disconnected egg which has left me not pregnant, with a mug of low fat low cal hot chocolate.

So not quite the same!

Seriously, why is it so easy for some women, and yet so much harder on others? Am I making it harder on myself by wanting it so much? Is my body protesting in silence at the pressure I am putting myself under?

It would be so much easier if we could "play God" and decide on when to make a baby instead of having to leave it to Him to ordain the time. It would be easier, from my point of view. Less complicated if, like when I go to make a purchase, if I could just go "Right, I'm ready to have a baby... I'd like one to be conceived in December ready for September please!" Oh, if only it was that easy!!!

But God isn't at my beck and call. I'm at His mercy. He knows who my child will become and when it is their time to be born "for such a time as this". We all have a purpose. I want my child to become the best version of them she or he will become. That means I need to entrust the timing of their conception and birth into His hands, and not try to tell Him when I'm ready... although it is hard for me to grasp right now, because I would like a child... this process is so not about me or Hubby... it is about our son or daughter. It is about the man or woman God designs him or her to become. So he or she can reach the people with the giftings they have, at the right time and in the right place.

There is a bigger picture, I guess. My desires are a small part of the picture. Hubby's desires are another part of the picture. Our wider families desires for our family and future are another part of the picture. God can see the whole image, whereas we just see in part.

So sure - Auntie Flo is an unwelcome visitor... but one month - hopefully in the not too distant future - she won't come a-calling when she is expected!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Watching and Waiting...

Now the hardest thing I am finding about trying to conceive, is the whole waiting game which accompanies this season. There's only a limited time when the egg can actually be fertilised - the rest of the time is spent either "practising" or waiting. The waiting stage usually happens as the cycle due day approaches...

I'm not the most patient of people anyway, but when I am waiting for something I really want - even less so. I have found myself become more and more anxious as the day "Auntie Flo" is due creeps up on me. And when I am late, my stomach feels as though it is twisting up in knots. Such as it was last night. I felt sick with anxiety as the "is this it or not" thoughts chasing each other round my head. 

So, I made a decision - I was going to test. Not because I am massively late this s day three, but purely for the sake of my sanity!!! And so I can sleep easier at night!!! With sweaty palms, combined with the built-up emotional anxiety, I conducted the home pregnancy test...

... Alas, I still have to wait... and continue to watch for the signs of Auntie Flo this month.