Shared Parental Leave – Part 3

We’re nearing the end of our shared parental leave. I have a million thoughts I want to share about the whole thing – here are maybe just a few of them. This third section of our SPL arrangement has been, for me, the most challenging by far. Returning to work has been hard. Returning to…

Shared Parental Leave: End of Part 2

In the blink of an eye my time off work has come to an end. While I feel like my whole world has changed from when I left for maternity leave 6 months ago, it feels like only moments since I was setting up my out-of-office replies and bidding my colleague adieu.

Breastfeeding Luna

Today Luna is 6 months old. Today I have been breastfeeding Luna for 6 months. Today Luna will have her first taste of something other than my milk and the slow transition from milk to solids will begin. I have wanted to write about our breastfeeding journey for some time, but not been able to find…

The Parenting Journey and Stepping Back

They say that new babies are like sponges; absorbing everything around them, discovering and learning. I think new parents are like sponges too – we find ourselves so eager to find out how to care for our babies, how to play with them, how to help them develop, how to overcome the challenges of being…

Discovering IVF: The Others

Infertility can feel extremely isolating at times. You feel like an island, surrounded by a sea positively teeming with fertile couples. You grow incredulous and disbelieving when you hear of couples ‘accidentally’ falling pregnant; surely not?! – When you’ve tried with so much intention and painstaking effort, and yet still failed. And then at some…

Discovering IVF: The Two Week Wait

The Two Week Wait (the wait between the embryo transfer and pregnancy test) could easily be renamed Hell on Earth. Despite everything I had been through up until this point, this was by far the hardest part for me.  It is just the right blend of hope and fear to send a person almost insane….

Discovering IVF: The Numbers

With IVF what you need to know about The Numbers is that they keep getting smaller. Your mantra quickly becomes ‘it only takes 1, we only need 1!’ You awake from the procedure eager to know how many eggs have been gathered. A nurse holds up a clipboard and shows you the number 8, ‘this is…

Discovering IVF: The Egg Collection (featuring The Dressing Gown)

After two days of searching we finally found The Dressing Gown. The weekend before my egg collection was scheduled we went everywhere in search of it. I wouldn’t settle for any old dressing gown, this one had to be just right. Whether it was a hormonal thing, or just a welcome distraction from the impending…

Discovering IVF: The Injections

Injections, injections, injections. There are a lot of them when you’re having IVF, and you have to do almost all of them yourself. Depending on the protocol your clinic decides is best for you (it can be a long or short protocol), and how your body responds to the drugs you may have several weeks…

Discovering IVF: The Scans

Before, when I heard talk of scans, I pictured the fuzzy grey and white of the sonogram image, a tube of jelly and a round ended instrument sliding smoothly across a growing bump. Just pop ‘ultrasound scan’ into a Google image search and you’ll know exactlly what I was picturing! Maybe you do too? Had…

Discovering IVF: The Odds

Until I started to read about IVF (which I did as soon as we learned it was a possibility,) I hadn’t realised quite how stark the odds of success are. Success rates nationally in the UK hover around 20-30%, decreasing as the age of the woman increases (see below.) I was shocked when I learned…

Discovering IVF: The Before

The first thing to realise is that IVF is both the start of something and the end of something. It’s easy to forget that, for most couples, starting IVF treatment is the culmination of an already long journey of trying, and failing, to conceive. It’s also likely to come after multiple tests, investigations and possibly…