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, January 31, 2012

Who's the Christmas Turkey!

I've never really thought I was overweight, not really. I know that in the stuff I've read about trying to conceive they do tell you to be aware of what you're eating, to cut out the crap and to reduce weight if you are slightly over. I knew I could do with losing a few pounds, but I didn't really try too hard.

I should have realised as winter nights drew in, and winter food became more attractive. Ohhh how lovely to walk home and smell the aroma of a beef stew which has been cooking all day... mmmm!!!! I work in an office which is about half an hour's drive from where I work. The office is in the grounds of a beautiful manor house, in the middle of nowhere, so there isn't much to do in our lunch break except to walk through to the kitchen, sit, eat and chat. Then at the end of the day I would go home, make dinner, sit, eat and watch tele.

Very sedentary.

Very bad for the woman who is trying to conceive.

I gradually recognised clothes were feeling a lot tighter than normal, zips more difficult to close, t-shirts and jumpers appeared shorter around the waist.

But I really knew on Christmas day!

I had bought a lovely new dress, teal, shiny, A-line... I thought it hid my newly winter-gained lumps and bumps quite well. I topped it off with a glittery silver bolero and shoes... Looking good gorgeous!

We went to visit Hubby's family, on Christmas morning, and met relatives of the family who I'd never met before. One of the relatives, just as she was about to leave, came over to me and gushed "CONGRATULATIONS... Good luck with everything." Slightly bemused I looked over at Hubby who shrugged his shoulders, and looked back at her. She looked down at my belly. "When is it due?"

The full horror of the situation hit me deep in the belly. She thought I was pregnant. I had put on so much weight, my belly had grown and was cruelly imitating a pregnant belly... without the joy of the baby inside. I was sooo embarrassed.

"Oh, there's nothing there.. not yet anyway. We're trying"

Now she was soooo embarrassed, "sorry" she muttered before a sharp exit.


If this had occurred a week later, I probably would have broken down in tears. The pain of another month passing without the success of a positive pregnancy attempt. As it was, I held my head up and promptly ate a much smaller Christmas dinner than normal.

This isn't the first time I have had random strangers come up to me and ask about the non-existent baby. At a conference last year a sweet old lady came and patted me on my belly asking when I was due. It was shameful back then, but now Hubby and I are trying to conceive... there is an extra pressure. If I look pregnant, without being pregnant, how am I supposed to deal with these RANDOM acts of "kindness"????

The first thing I did once we got home from the Christmas break was... invest in a small exercise machine, followed swiftly by joining a Rosemary Conley weight-loss programme! The combination of weight-loss and exercise will, in theory, reduce my belly and limit the number of random exclamations of "Ohhh!!! Wow!!! When is the baby due???" Until there really is a baby to be due!

So far, I've lost almost half a stone!!! :-)

Difficulties... Heritage

How much of a role do our genetics take, when we try to conceive? My mum took three years to conceive her first child... me. In that time they were convinced they would not be able to have children... and so had fostered a couple of girls. They went on to have four of us!

But three years... is that what I have to face too? I'm not sure I have three years left in me to wait! I really don't want to be an older mum. I want to be around to potentially see the majority of my child's life. I want to have the energy and enthusiasm my parents had with us, with my own child... you know, playing in the garden, taking them for activities and joining in, rather than sitting back and watching them.

But in three years, I'll be 38. How much energy will I have when Bubba is 5 and full of beans!! Does the journey my parents took have an affect on the journey I am undertaking? It scares me to think it could take so long. I'm already frustrated after five months! I honestly didn't expect it to take so long! And yet most women who are consciously trying for a baby will conceive within 6 -12 months. So I am, at the moment just being "Mrs Average".

There is, at times, conflict between my faith as a Christian - recognising that ultimately, my life is in the hands of my Lord, and He knows the perfect times for the seasons I am to walk through - and my heart's desire to be a Mumma to Bubba. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the substance of things not yet seen. Trusting God in this kind of situation is the only way for me. He is the giver of life. No one can make themselves pregnant - even IVF is not a fail-safe solution to conception issues.

How much of a role will my parents journey play in mine and Hubby's journey? Only the Lord knows. And I know the journey is endurable with Him, with each month which goes past.

Difficulties... Age

So 2 weeks ago, I turned 35... dun dun dun!!!

35 is THAT age when it suddenly becomes much harder to conceive. As my birthday crept up, I'll be honest, thoughts were racing around my head to do with wanting to conceive and the fear of approaching 35... When will the quality of my eggs deteriorate... will it be on the actual day of my birthday?? "Happy Birthday kiddo - we're gonna make it harder for you to conceive!!" Have the quality of my eggs already deteriorated as I drew closer to turning 35, or is it something which will occur over the year I am 35???

I can't say have found any answers to these questions. And I feel sooo helpless because there is nothing I can do about it. I reached 35. I didn't feel any different in my body. And yet, in my mind I know the eggs which my body is releasing are not as good as they were this time last year. Why didn't I try earlier for a child? Why didn't Hubby and I try as soon as we married instead of waiting? Why couldn't we have met earlier!

We didn't have the opportunity really. We moved four months after we married. Then Hubby was working away for three months. Then I started a new job. It never seemed to be the right time. Have we left it too late now? Will Hubby and I have the opportunity to have a child between us, drawing upon both of our characteristics, physical elements and genetic make-up to have a new life created for us to grow, train and encourage?

Who decided 35 was the cut-off age anyway! Why does it have to be 35? Why can't a woman's eggs remain strong whether she is 25, 35 or 45 - until she reaches menopause? Why have my eggs been good quality for 35 years (a baby girl is born with thousands of eggs already in her ovaries, she doesn't produce them on a monthly basis), and start to deteriorate now!!! Seriously... why????

Only God knows the ins and outs of how my body works, and the quality of my eggs. He knows it only takes 1 egg to connect with 1 sperm. Oh Lord, protect the life which is yet to grow within me, please let the egg which finally connects, at the right time with Hubby's little swimmer, be a GOOD QUALITY egg... not one of poor quality!


I'm one of those people who likes to know exactly what I'm doing... I love to research and when I was studying, loved nothing more than to research the essay I was writing.

Deciding to throw away the contraception was no different, it lead me to research what I could expect, how long it could take to conceive, and every month I look at the possible "pregnant" signs.

Going to the toilet a lot... could be pregnant... Constipated... could be pregnant... spotting around the time of my normal period... could be pregnant.... spotting is darker than normal... could be pregnant... feeling nauseous... could be pregnant... tired all the time... could be pregnant.

It got the the point where I convince myself every month - THIS time... the nausea, the tiredness, the constipation, the needing the loo a lot... it's all more than normal... I must be... Even when I spotted, I was convinced it was darker than normal. But clearly, I am still not pregnant.

I think there are times when researching something can be too much. I'm looking for all the signs and seeing what I want to see when it doesn't exist. Only to be smashed like a wave upon the rocks when the monthly cycle begins again. I don't want to cause myself this much stress each month, but when you know what you're looking for, you can't help but try to find it.

Am I the only one who puts myself through this pressure every month????

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Ugly Red Stain...

When you are late starting a period... no matter how hard you try, you cannot help but begin to hope that maybe... JUST maybe...

Only to have your hopes dashed, by an ugly red stain. "Out dam'd spot..." I know it has nothing to do with what is happening, as I haven't murdered anyone, but the red spot is accursed each time it appears, and signals the death of another opportunity... another egg which has died. The ugly red stain of hope deferred.

And so another day, beginning with the hint of the possibility, becomes a day when a plastic smile is plastered onto the mask I often choose to wear when I need to hide how I am really feeling from the rest of the world.

Trying to conceive, for me at least, is a private journey, a personal one which I have to walk alone. My husband is as supportive as he can be, but as a woman, this one is mine. He wants to understand, but can't always - especially if I am being "too emotional" about it. Women and men truly are from different planets!! Ahh this lonely road I travel... I don't know how I could ever do it fully alone. For every step I travel, God is with me to strengthen and uphold me. Those times when the tears have spilled over from my eyes, everyone has been so special to Him, He has collected them in bottles reserved for the tough days of this walk. He has comforted me in His arms of love and given me a peace which surpasses my understanding.

How I pray for the women who are not yet in a relationship and so desperately want a child of their own. Or the woman who's husband is away for days, even months at a time.. how difficult her path must be... Father draw her unto You and be her strength in her hour of need, as You have been for me in mine.

Struggling to Comprehend

So I know that being a parent is not a right... it is a privilege and an honour. I believe God is the ultimate giver of life, and nothing will change this foundational belief. But as I walk down the road and see teenage girls pushing prams with young babies and smoking cigs, or hear about women who have children taken away from them because of neglect or they don't want them, only to go on and have more... I struggle with this! 

I believe in my heart of hearts that marriage is the best place to raise a child... a marriage between one husband and one wife. A place where a family is safe to grow and develop and where children can become all they were created to be. 

So when I hear of children being born outside of marriage, or watch children struggling to know the whole story of who they are because their family is not the traditional God-ordained unit which has broken down across society, I struggle to comprehend why I am not yet a mother.

Watching television, there are sooooo many chat shows where this woman wants to prove this man is the father of her child... out of a possible 3 men... but she is convinced it is THIS one, THIS time.

There are news reports on a regular basis of another child being found neglected because the father hasn't been on the scene since the baby was conceived, and the mother just needed to get away and go on holiday... without her child. Or she can't cope with the screaming one more night and lashes out at her child.

Even today I heard of a woman who has a young baby, who was conceived through an internet add for a man to have sex with a woman who is in a gay relationship, just because she wanted to have a baby. They met in a dark, damp caravan to seal the deal... don't know whether it was just the one time... and hey presto... baby was conceived... she has 4 other children who were all taken off her and placed into care. Seriously... how is that fair! Not only do I not yet have a child, but I am paying for this other woman's baby through my taxes!!

But, as I said... God is the giver of life, and He has no obligation to give me a child... it is His right to determine when a life is created, and to whom. As hard as this may be for me to comprehend, I place my future in His hands.

The Beginning


So, let me tell you a little abut the journey so far. Hubby and I married in May 2010... What a beautiful day, so full of hope, and so full of the promise of what was yet to come. We were both in our thirties, and happy to have made our union in the sight of God.

You see, we are both Believers in Jesus. We held off, with His divine help, from sex before marriage... even from kissing on the lips until that special moment... "You may now kiss the bride!"

We didn't want to start our family straight away, because we wanted to get to know each other as individuals, but also because hubby had a son from a previous relationship he was trying to reconnect with... He is now six, and a definite part of our lives, but back in May 2010... the ring-bearer was missing from our relationship.

Then, 16 months later, we made the decision to remove the contraceptive barrier we had been using, and entrust the future of our family into the hands of God. That was at the end of August 2011... from September, we were open to the Will of our Heavenly Father.

The journey has well and truly begun...