Conception and kindness: perfect bed fellows

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I’m having a baby!!! And it feels nothing short of totally wonderful and pretty amazing. But it also felt like it was never going to happen.

[skip the next nine paragraphs if you just want the key takeaway]

At the beginning of 2013 after Mothership died I bizarrely didn’t really notice that my monthly period appeared to have disappeared all together. It suddenly dawned on me by the summer it had been a really long time since I last bought a box of Tampax. But I was feeling great. I’d given 5:2 my first shot, I was feeling pretty lean, the weather was glorious and in mid September I walked 24 miles of the Welsh coastline in a day.

But almost nine months without a period kind of gets you worrying a bit – especially when you’re buying pregnancy tests alongside a bumper box of Durex! Appointments with a gynaecologist thankfully confirmed nothing notable was up, but now what?

Out of nowhere in October, November and December my period made a much welcome return appearance. But along with embracing a kick ass training regime and super clean eating protocol to kick start 2014 , so disappeared that period. At the same time work was really picking up, study was intense and I was loving the lifting progress I was making in the gym. But I was running myself ragged and spent too much of what should have been a relaxing Caribbean holiday in an anxious pickle!

Results from my Functional Medicine doctor everything I’d feared and didn’t want to hear. My thyroid levels were down round my ankles, my adrenals in tatters and it was pretty much only my love of black coffee propping me up on a daily basis. He sat there, quietly for a bit and, not one to hold back, hit me with all the subtly of a sledge hammer to ensure an end, once and for all to not being kind enough to myself.

I remember crying in the window of Pret on Regent Street after my appointment. I’d just burned my tongue on my green tea and I was drafting an email to request to suspend my CrossFit membership. So much of what I’d been identified by for so long was having to be cast aside. No more marathons, fasting, copious cups of coffee; just a commitment to being much kinder and gentler to myself.

I brought my freelancing to a close, I took up one shift a week in a coffee shop and plugged the rest of the gap soon after with a part time office manager gig. I walked. Every. Single. Day. Not usually more than 30 minutes. Sometimes alone, sometimes with my long suffering husband or friends at a weekend. I ate more cake but drank less coffee. I still enjoyed a good glass of wine and treated myself (I know, I’m wild…) to a green juice on the patio as the nights drew out. I loved, loved, loved acupuncture and one of the company benefits is a monthly reflexology treatment which I was also quick to snap up.

Et voila! Hello regular cycle.

August we “got going”. But looking back, that holiday in the South of France was significant days away from when I was potentially ovulating that those first efforts were somewhat off the mark shall we say.

And so the “precautionary pregnancy test” of December 23rd 2014 was taken. I didn’t feel pregnant but I’d read the Osbourne ‘Growing Pains’ book enough times in my teens to know I could be. I’d cushion any potential blow of what I thought would be an inevitable negative with much champagne and merriment for the festive holiday ahead. But instead I spent the journey to a cottage in West Wales furiously swotting up on everything that I wouldn’t be tucking into from the Christmas table this year – including the champagne.

This conception for me will always be about having been kinder to myself, and not a great deal more than that. It was about making some sacrifices and embracing a distinct change of pace and a slightly thicker middle. Quite often without realising we’re placing the most incredible amounts of pressure on ourselves and not necessarily for a better end. I’ve learned so much and heck, I can’t begin to imagine how much more there is still to get a handle on as parents! We’re both delighted and terrified in equal measure but research for multi-terrain strollers in well underway. I think I’ve got at least one more marathon in me yet… Don’t you? ☺

Lots of love to all of you who so unwittingly have been on this journey with me.

Ruth, 15+3