Welcome to the first instalment of my Pregnancy Diary! A new series I’m sharing to document this new-to-me chapter of life!
Pregnancy Diary Update #1 ~ in November this year, Oli and I are expecting a little boy!
Typing that sentence is a little less startling than the first few times we shared the news with friends and family. Buuut it’s still surreal!
Below I’m sharing the first instalment of my Pregnancy Diary on the blog! From this point onwards I’ll be weaving in family bits and pieces alongside my usual lifestyle content as I navigate this new chapter of life!
Thank you for celebrating this milestone with us! We are over the moon 💗
How we made the decision to expand our family
Oli and I will have been together for 15 years this November. Which gives you an idea of not only how long our relationship has been, but also how we’ve enjoyed and appreciated—and not rushed haha!—each season of life together so far.
From the very early days of being together we’d talked about having a family. Not in a near-future way, more in a one-day way.
Ella and I recorded a podcast episode all about our feelings towards motherhood in 2019. I remember at the time thinking “do you just know when you feel ready?”.
As I mentioned, Oli and I will have been together for 15 years this year. I’ve known that he’s ‘my person’ from early on (I think we can credit a first date involving Cinnabon in part) ~ and so there was never any doubt in my mind about starting a family with Oli. But for a longgg time that feeling of ‘readiness’ just didn’t click.
And then it did.
Moving house in December last year, and moving into a home which feels like a ‘family home’, was the puzzle piece which finally fell into place. As soon as we moved I could envisage being pregnant and raising a child/children in our home.
The #1 question I received in my DMs when I asked what you’d like to know about my pregnancy, was “how long did it take you to fall pregnant?” (or a question to that effect).
For Oli and I falling pregnant happened quickly. We are both so grateful that this has been our experience. I’m acutely aware that this isn’t the same story for many people.
There were a few things I focused on which I think helped to prepare my body for conception and pregnancy:
1 – since my early twenties I’ve spent a lot of time learning about my health.
And adjusting my lifestyle to make my overall wellbeing my priority. NB: hence the Health Home Hustle podcast!
2 – more specifically, in my mid-20s – now, I’ve focused on my hormones.
My first port of call was Alissa Vitti’s work, which I followed to clear my hormonal acne. Subsequently I was connected to Dr Laurens Maas of The Maas Clinic, my now Functional Medicine doctor, who has taught me so much about hormonal balance and healing. For the past few years I’ve focused on healing my adrenal glands—which suffered when I experienced Glandular Fever in my teens and then adrenal burnout in my early 20s. I massively attribute good adrenal function to helping my hormonal function.
One small but hugely impactful habit I’ve kept up with for years is taking an Ashwagandha supplement. Link Nutrition’s is my go-to. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb which helps to stabilise cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, and taking it has been linked to better adrenal function. I can only share what I’ve found to be true; this is one habit which I believe aided my hormonal balance.
NB: I’m not taking Ashwagandha during pregnancy as it’s not advised.
3 – I came off of all hormonal contraception a year before falling pregnant.
I used the Mirena coil for almost 10 years, within which time I had two Mirena coils fitted. Overall I found that the Mirena coil worked really well for me. I had limited PMS, it was an effective contraceptive and I didn’t have to think about taking a pill. It was also recommended to me as I have a blood condition which means that some types of contraception aren’t suitable.
When it was time to have my last Mirena coil removed, I decided not to replace it. I’d been on contraception for over half of my life and wanted to get to know my body and my cycle again.
This is a whole other conversation but I loved coming off of all hormonal contraception! I felt so much more attuned to my body and began to welcome the ‘seasons’ of my cycle. I talk about this in more depth in this episode of Health Home Hustle podcast.
I’ve read that if you’re thinking of trying to fall pregnant, it’s helpful to allow your body an adjustment period following hormonal contraception. Though TTC wasn’t the reason I decided not to replace my coil, I do think that giving my body a year to adjust was helpful. By the time I fell pregnant I’d really gotten to know myself and my cycle again. Speaking of which . . .
4 – I tracked my menstrual cycle for two years before falling pregnant.
As I mentioned, I’ve been focusing on my hormones for a number of years, and tracking my cycle was part and parcel of this.
I used the Health App on my iPhone to track my cycle. Natural Cycles seems a lot more data driven and accurate tbh but the simple Health App on my phone worked well for me.
When Oli and I decided to start trying (side note: I don’t know how to make that turn of phrase not sound gross! Haha!), I used the app to tell me which days were the best days to try to conceive.
5 – we took a very relaxed approach.
Think: wine time, being truly present with one another, and acknowledging that whatever happened, this was a choice we were excited to make together.
I hope that helps to answer some of the questions regarding TTC!
Finding out I was pregnant
As I mentioned, I’ve been tracking my period for a few years, and so when my period was a day late . . . then two . . . then three . . . I decided to take a pregnancy test. Fortunately,I already had one pregnancy test in my bathroom, since I’d had to take one before my last coil fitting (and they came in a pack of two), and so I quickly took it before hopping in the shower.
I remember being in the shower and thinking “whatever that test says, it’s a big deal”.
When I got out of the shower, there were two clear lines visible!!!
Oli was at work at this point. And so I decided that I needed to take at least one more test to confirm the pregnancy. But we live in a really small town and I was worried that I’d bump into someone in the pharmacy or supermarket.
And so I drove 45 minutes to a huge superstore and did the largest supermarket shop of my life haha! I weirdly felt so suspicious buying a pregnancy test . . . I kept thinking that everyone would ‘just know’ by looking at me. (I’m sure absolutely no-one was giving me a moment’s thought, but my brain was whirring!). I hid the pregnancy test between bags of potatoes, paid for my massive shop and headed home.
When I got back Oli had just returned from work and told me that one of his clients (a lovely couple I adore!) were expecting their second baby. I ended up blurting out that I thought I was pregnant too, and we both stood in the kitchen together shell-shocked, smiling and anxious to take another test. I told him that I’d just bought a couple of extra pregnancy tests, which I immediately took.
Again, two clear lines on two separate tests!!!
Posts to come in my Pregnancy Diary: my first and second trimester experience, what I’ve been wearing and any other questions you’d like answered!
Thank you again so so much for your support and congratulations!
I know that many of you have been here since the early days of the blog, and in a way I feel like we’ve grown up here together 💗 For newer friends, it’s wonderful to welcome you here too and I hope that you’ll enjoy sharing this new chapter of life with me!
I’m already excited to share the next instalment in my Pregnancy Diary with you!
Love, Monica x
P.S. if you have a Pregnancy Diary request, leave a comment below, email or send me a DM 😊