In the Beginning

I have never wanted to have just one child and had always planned to have another within 2 years of the first, but after giving birth to my first daughter I was extremely reluctant to try again for a second.  I went through the pregnancy easily enough, didn't suffer with any symptoms that most expectant mothers endure, but it was the birthing process, having stitches that were too tight and the experience of motherhood that really put me off.  Coupled with a mild dose of post-natal depression that started almost as soon as my first popped out into the world, I was determined never to have another.  Unfortunately my "depressive" state lasted much longer than I had anticipated.

My employer had been kind enough to allow me to work from home when I returned to work after a 6 month maternity leave.  I was working part-time with 1 day at the office but I found it extremely difficult to make up the remaining hours at home.  I was working whenever my daughter was asleep (and she had 2 good sleeps in the day, reducing to 1 as she got older) and working as soon as I had finished my evening meal at 6pm all the way up to 10pm at night.  All I ever seemed to do was work with no time to for myself except when I was asleep.  I was exhausted with looking after my child during her waking hours, doing the household chores, cooking every meal and cleaning.  There were many times that I stifled my sobs in the night and many thoughts of escaping the "hell" I was living and suicide crossed my mind more than once a day.  Those were one of the darkest parts of my life and I did not want to go back there again.

However, my husband was made redundant when my daughter was 3 and I was able to go back to work in the office on a full time basis.  Almost immediately my spirits lifted and I felt whole again.   I was extremely happy and vowed that if we ever had another child that I would not work from home again. All the while that my work was sitting there at home, all I could think of getting it done, when I would have the time to do it; I would rush my child off to sleep as soon I could just so I could sit down at the laptop to get the work done.  When she woke I would leave her to cry for anything up to an hour so I could fit the hours in before the end of the week.  If I had my time again I did not want to put my work first and my child second and I did not want to worry about anything other than the wellbeing of my child.

Thankfully, my husband was able to get himself a job 3 months later but it didn't pay well enough for me to go back to part-time work, and so I remained full-time until my daughter started school.

We talked about having a 2nd child around the summer of that year and the various options I had with regards to maternity and returning to work.  I made it clear that I would never work from home again and my husband had to be sure that if I never returned to work that he would be able to support us all.  He assured me that it would all be fine and made the decision to go try for another baby before the age gap got too big and before we got too old.  I started taking folic acid pills from September 2009.

Because my first daughter was conceived so quickly, I thought that it might be the same the second time around.  After all my cousin managed to fall pregnant almost straight away every time and she's got 3!  Little did I know what a struggle it would become.  Trying to get pregnant proved to be much more difficult than I had envisaged and I thought it was never going to happen.

Every month I became late with my period only to find it to start run again.  And each time I was disappointed.  I have been as late as 10 days on some occasions. I was so irregular that it was impossible to track.  I would look at pregnant women and new mothers with their tiny babies and wonder when it was going to me.  I was starting to jealous but still had hope.

The months began to mount up and it was almost a year.  Within that time I had searched for virtually everything on the internet for tips on how to get pregnant effectively.  These included things like eating healthily, which we both did anyway and not drinking or smoking, which we detest also,etc.  So since our basic health and lifestyle were good I could not understand why it was taking so long. Perhaps were both just a bit too old, but plenty of other people older than us manage it so why can't we.  I confided in a friend at work who had been through a similar experience and she suggested that after the event I should put my legs up in the air and a pillow under my bottom to let gravity take its course.  It worked for her.  So I gave that a try too, which also failed to produce results.  Trying for a baby soon became a chore and I was close to giving up.

The year was almost up and I was racking my brain to think what I was doing the first time round as opposed to now, which could be an indication of why I was not getting pregnant so easily.  I was definitely less stressed back then because I didn't have my daughter, and she certainly does stress me out a lot.  But then I had a thought - I was taking vitamin tablets all those years ago, which I had stopped doing.  So maybe that was the key.

That same week I bought some multivitamins and vitamin C tablets which I used to take religiously on a daily basis.  I gave it a month and by that point I had virtually had enough and resigned myself to the fact that maybe my daughter would be an only child.

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