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The story behind the belly
Don't worry, I will be talking about many other subjects but pregnant bellies here again... But there is one aspect of it that I wanted to tell a bit more about. Pregnancy and having children usually is a very happy subject, and I've noticed that people often talk about it very easily: they say stuff like 'I think I will have three children' or ask you 'When are you going to have children?' Or they proudly tell you things like: 'I was pregnant before I could even blink my eyes, it was one lucky shot.' And then sometimes they even say things like: 'Apparently this baby really wanted to be with us, because I got pregnant while using contraception.'
Somehow these are the kind of stories you hear most often, maybe because they are very common, but maybe also because they are the kind of stories that people so happily like to share. But other stories can be told as well. I didn't get pregnant before I could blink my eyes: in fact it took us about one and a half year before I finally was pregnant. I do realize that in the end that isn't even that long (I feel super blessed when I compare my experiences to the situation of people who had to wait like eight years, spending years in medical treatment and maybe in the end never saw their dream to have a child come true), but it's long enough to start worrying and thinking about the possibility that you may not be able to have children in the end.
Somehow I never really expected that getting pregnant would be such an easy road (even though I had no indications that in my case it could be difficult), but I hadn't realized that waiting for a pregnancy that didn't come easily could have such an impact. The first half year of trying I felt very relaxed (and to be honest in the beginning I was even relieved when I wasn't pregnant, cause I sometimes doubted if I was really really ready for it!), but when we were approaching the point of 'one year of trying' we started to get more nervous. Cause the medics make it pretty clear: if you don't get pregnant within a year, you may be 'subfertile', which is a pretty confronting thing to hear regarding your own situation.
After about a year we ended up in hospital for some basic fertility tests. The fact that they couldn't find any reasons for us not to get pregnant was a relief, but it also left us with a big question mark: was it all just some bad luck, or could there be something wrong that the doctors just didn't know about? They sent us home to keep trying for some longer, but it was getting more and more difficult to keep faith. The fact that people around us seemed to get pregnant so easily got harder and harder to deal with: at a certain point I found it really difficult to still be happy for them while our own situation seemed so incertain.
In the end we were lucky that this hard period only lasted a few months (that seemed much longer!), because three months after the tests in hospital I turned out to be pregnant. It was such a relief and we felt so grateful, though also scared if everything would really be okay. I think when you have to wait long for a pregnancy (or when you've had troublesome experiences around pregnancy before), you won't be as careless as some people seem to be during those first months, but nothing alarming happened during those first weeks so we quickly gained faith. And if everything continues to be allright, I will be fifteen weeks pregnant tomorrow!
I wanted to tell you this story because I think it's important that not just the 'one lucky shot!'-stories are being told. Maybe someone is reading here now who is struggling with the same (or worse, because obviously I realize that some people's stories are much more difficult than mine) incertainties I experienced, and maybe our story can give you some hope or recognition. Even though they're such a happy thing (which I'm experiencing now!), those proud pregnant bellies can also be painful to look at. And the stories of those super easy pregnancies and 'babies that just really wanted to be with us' can give you a sense of failure or shame because you don't seem to be able to accomplish what seems to be the easiest thing in the world for most other people.
I also hope that telling stories like these makes people a little more aware of the fact that having children may not always be that obvious. And that sometimes you may have to be a bit careful with what you're saying... A while ago I was at a party with a lot of moms, and I heard one mom ask the other one (that had one three-year-old girl): 'And, shouldn't you have the second one by now?' The mom of the three-year-old responded that the first one had already been such a long and difficult road with fertility treatments and all, that she definitely didn't want to go there again... And a little while ago I read some sort of announcement on a blog: 'We'll be having a baby next year!' Surprised I read on: was the blogger pregnant? But it turned out that she was just planning to start conceiving by the end of the year, so that she would have her baby the next year... I guess it often is that easy, but definitely not always!
And now for a cheerful ending: I got le bébé his first bear last week, a beautiful crocheted one by Anne-Claire Petit!


Lob on 2010-07-02 09:12
Thanks for sharing your story. My husband and I have been trying for almost a year now and I keep saying if it doesn't happen this month I'll go to the doctor... This month is the last before we do go in and see if there is anything up.
It has been easier with people who know we are trying, no one asks and it is nice that they know and leave space for me to talk about it if I want to. People who don't know we have been trying ask a lot of stupid questions or give advice on how easy it is. Sometimes I can smile through it all and fake it but it is getting harder and harder to do that as I worry more that something serious might be wrong.
My mum has thought more about her journey and remembers worrying too and calling my dad at work to say there was no baby this month and he could get that billiard table he wanted :) There are 4 of us now and I hope that in the end something similar happens for my husband and I.
Congratulations onyour baby!
Sheila on 2010-07-06 06:08
Nina, I'm so thrilled for you that this story has a wonderful and belly-growing ending! You are such a lovely and talented and capable woman, and you deserve every happiness. For me, the journey to motherhood seems, well, near impossible. You see, I turned 30 this year, and without a serious relationship in sight. I have ALWAYS wanted to have a family, but I have been at school this whole time, and I just haven't met anyone that I want to spend the rest of my life with. Weddings are for me the way pregnancies have been for you. Everyone else just seems to meet their soul-mates and get married and buy houses and have kids with such ease, and I am now feeling a tinge of resentment inside when another friend finds that happiness that I long for. And the questions are there for me, too. "Don't you want to find someone?" "Are you seeing anyone?" I feel like the question people want to ask is "What's wrong with you?" Although I suspect that's just me projecting a bit. :) I never really understood until recently what that whole "ticking biological clock" thing was about, and now it's painful obvious! The question I have really been struggling with recently is "When do I decide to start a family on my own?" But that's a whole other can of worms! Whew! Thanks for letting me vent!
Sheila on 2010-07-06 06:11
Hmmm...I SWEAR there were paragraphs in that when I typed it...feel free to edit it to make it easier to read.
Nina on 2010-07-06 22:02
Thank you all for the well wishes and for sharing your stories! Some hopeful, some unfortunately without the happy end (yet). I can only hope that things will turn out all right in the end for all of you, I know what it's like to go through this incertainty and know how hard the waiting and worrying can be.
I realize that the issue of having children isn't exclusively one for couples: when you're single and hoping for children/a family you can go through similar worries. We all have hopes and dreams that we want to come true and I can imagine not finding the person you want to share your life with can also have a lot of implications, and not being able to start a ('normal') family is just one of them.
I really appreciate to hear different kinds of stories from you, I have to admit that I don't always realize what it's like to for example want a family without having found a partner. I guess there are many stories to be told and I really appreciate that you share yours here, thank you!
verrito on 2010-07-07 04:18
Thank you so much for shareyour historyNina! I'm thinking about all this issues these days... I'm almost 32 years old and I know can be not so easy.
Congratulation for you...
Melinda on 2010-07-07 19:28
This post was so timely! I needed to read this, my husband and I have been trying for seven months and it is so hard when women talk about how easy they got pregnant. Thanks for your real story, I needed to "hear" it. And congrats on your growing tummy, you look lovely!! 
Michaela on 2010-07-08 10:04
Congratulations on your pregnancy and your very thoughtful written post!
Chrissy Foreman C on 2010-07-11 10:07
Thank You so much for this post.
Only last night I posted a new blog entry about my journey of not falling pregnant ... it's been a year and a half for me too and nothing has happened.
Anyhow, I just wanted to say thanks again ~it's so nice to hear that I'm not alone.
Chrissy :)
lisa :: the red thread on 2010-07-16 10:54
Congratulations Nina! You look wonderful. Being a parent is such a gift. Thanks for sharing your story. I agree -too many people take their fertility for granted. I know I did. I thought that I would fall pregnant when we decided the time was right. After 2 years of trying and more than 6 years of IVF (14 attempts!) we had to stop. It was a long and terrible financially and emotionally crippling journey through which we had a lot of support. But it was also punctuated by insensitive comments like "don't worry, it will happen" "just go on holidays and you'll fall pregnant". I think it's important to tell stories like these. I like to tell my story because nearly all the accounts you hear about IVF are along the lines of "it was our very last egg and we fell pregnant!". People think that if you do IVF you'll get pregnant. The incredibly happy ending to our journey to be parents is that we adopted our precious daughter who is the light of my life and is absolutely meant to be part of our family. I don't regret what we went through because it brought us to our child... but man, it was so tough. Sorry this is getting long. I'm on a roll. The other thing I heard a number of times was "Oh, you've decided to adopt. You'll get pregnant now". That one made me see red. Thanks for initiating this conversation. Lisa
Bron @ Baby Space on 2010-07-18 07:05
Wonderful post - good on you for speaking up about how varied the experience of baby-planning can be  :) And CONGRATULATIONS too!
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About Ninainvorm

My name is Nina, I'm a ceramics and paperwares designer and mom of Rosa and Julie. This blog is about making, living, liking, loving and so much more!

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