The last Trimester – Trials, Tribulations and Terrific Times

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We got back from Spain and I decided that I was going to do some freelance work for a couple of PR agencies in Manchester. I wanted to ensure that I still had my independence and also, that I was able to contribute to the house and living expenses. I was still doing one day a week of the PR agency in Sydney and was also remotely running Sydney Social 101 with the help of my amazing team.

I was all registered with the hospital in the UK, I’d decided to go for Warrington Hospital as my best friend is a midwife there and I wanted her to be there. I thought it would make such a special moment for the impending arrival of peanut.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I knew that I had to have a C section due to my history, and was absolutely gutted at first. However now I’d had time to come to terms with it by this point and was actually looking forward to the whole experience. When I’d spoken to friends ho had given birth to their little ones naturally about my reservations they’d immediately told me their birth stories (some more gory than others) and put my mind to rest that the most important thing was that Peanut arrived safely.

I found it hard juggling working and being heavily pregnant, only because I’d been used to working from 8am  -11pm everyday in Sydney and it being done in my stride, to struggling to draft a press release and a timeline in a day. My mind wasn’t now just focusing on work and I found myself having to really ‘cash in’ on my power hours, when I felt like I could take on the world, as I knew that as quickly as they’d come, they’d go and I’d just want to curl up on the sofa with my little Lou dog.

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I don’t know about you guys, but I really struggled with the guilt of not having a much energy… I felt like Stephen might be wondering what it was that I did all day. After a few days of feeling that away however I came to terms with the fact that I was in my third trimester of pregnancy, I was experiencing pain from adhesions from previous surgeries and that my rest was just as important as putting on a load of washing. I did find my groove after a few failed attempts and tried to not put too much pressure on myself. Hell I was growing a freaking human, and if that isn’t a pretty big achievement to check off in a day’s work, then I don’t know what is!

As much as my energy levels were lower, I did feel like I thrived when I went to business meetings and trips to London. It made me feel like I was still me and not just ‘pregnant Lisa’. I think it is really important to keep doing what you love and what makes you you (within reason) during your pregnancy and into motherhood, as having a baby needed turn your life upside down, it’s about adapting and prioritising. Another thing that I think is so important is to not be so hard on yourself. I’d have days were I’d break down in floods of tears as I’d be scared that I wouldn’t be a good mum, that I was being a weak pregnant lady, or that Stephen would think I wasn’t coping. One thing is for sure, we all do the best job that we know how to.

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Some days I’d bake a pie for Stephen and I and I’d feel like I could do anything… other days I wouldn’t lift my head off the sofa and would only achieve my goal of catching up with trash TV.

I think it’s also really important to treat yourself and to take the time for you, I made sure I still got my nails down and that I kept onto of my hair. I also wanted to make sure I treated Stephen too. All too often the ladies can get all of the fuss and attention and I worried that Stephen would feel left out. I decided to create a ‘Daddy Survival Kit’ to help him once Peanut made his arrival on the scene… I also decided to treat Stephen to a Go Pro Session camera to capture all of the moments on film of our family for us to look back on.

Here’s the dad’s survival kit in all its glory, it was so much fun to make and I was so excited to give it to him (I decided to give this to Stephen the week before Peanut’s arrival).

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The kit contained all the ‘essentials’ that Ste will need to be the best dad in the world such as:

Coffee – To keep him awake after long nights

Clothes Peg – To keep the smells away when changing nappies

Eye drops – To make him look awake

Duck wash glove – For bath time fun

Electrolites – To keep hydrated

Sweets – For the sweetest dad ever

Mints – To keep it fresh

Note pad – To jot down memories

Wetwipes – To stay clean

As the date of my Caesarean drew closer emotions were running high, so I made sure that I was open with my thoughts and feelings with Stephen. This definitely helped us when it came to getting ourselves prepared together as a solid couple.

Stay tuned for the baby shower that meant everything to me and the true definition of the highest of the highs and lowest of the lows.

Heading on a plane to Spain for our ‘babymoon’

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Sorry I’ve been awol, I have SO much to update you on. However in keeping with the time line of the blog and to get you up to speed, I’ll fill you in on the last two months of my pregnancy🙂

It was great for Ste and I to head to Spain, the stresses of the house were getting to us and Stephen had of course been working since I’d arrived from Australia, so it was nice knowing that for the next week I’d be able to spend some quality time with him. Also, I was super excited to introduce Ste to my granny, and for him to get to know my mum a bit better.

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Due to the whirl wind nature of our romance, it added a lot of pressure onto us in terms of introducing each other to our families and friends – hell Stephen’s mum found out that he was having a baby with a women she’d never met, same for my granny with Ste. My granny is so important to me, she helped to raise me and I have so much respect for her. It meant the world to me that she’d like him, so I was pretty nervous.

I think many people that we know had there reservations (which I totally understand) about the speed at which Ste and I were going and had concerns that we were jumping in feet first (which we totally were of course). I knew though, that from my family and friend’s perspective that as soon as they met him they’d totally be put at ease and ‘get it’.

This was absolutely true of my granny, she was the person that was the most vocal about her concerns, however as soon as she met Ste when we got to my mum’s villa in Villa Martin, she was put at ease immediately.

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Over he course of the week we chilled by the pool, went out for dinners, Ste had drinks with my step dad (I was soba of course due to little peanut), we went to Northern Soul nights where my mum was DJing and even went to a beach party.

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It was such a great trip and it was amazing for Ste and I to just relax and enjoy each other’s company again with no pressures. We didn’t stop laughing the whole time and in a way it brought us back to just me and him and why were keen to do this together as ultimately we are best friends who fancy the pants of each other🙂

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I would recommend a ‘baby-moon’ to anyone who is about to have their first child, amongst all the trials and tribulations (read hormones, twinges, bloating and everything else) of pregnancy, it gives you and our partner the time to step back and enjoy each other again before your bundle of joy arrives and turns life s you know it on its head…

 

A Change of Pace

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So what had initially started as a six-week trip had turned into a potential six-month trip to ensure that our family had the best start in life. In addition to reliving pressure, it also gave us a chance to actually start enjoying the pregnancy as a couple and not worry about more time apart.

The only thing was that it meant that I’d be apart from my lovely Sprite down under, who was due a week before me. This was the single biggest downside to our decision, but made it all the more exciting for when we were heading back down under.

It was all a big change for me, I’d gone from a party girl running Sydney Social 101 and being a senior consulting publicist, living on my own in Bondi and living by my rules. I’d never lived with a boy before, so this was a new experience for me too.

Let me be clear, there hasn’t been one single moment that I’ve thought I’ve taken the wrong path or have found myself doubting that this was the absolute right thing to do. I find myself counting my blessings that I’ve met someone like Stephen, that I’ve been able to get pregnant despite all my previous surgeries and that we’re in such a fortunate position. What I do find funny and hard to get my head around is what an absolute difference a year can make. The baby is due literally a year (almost to the day) that fate brought us together on the plane.

If you had said to me a year ago that I’d be living back in the UK (albeit temporarily), that I’d be living with my partner who I was completely in love with and that I’ve have a baby on the way, to put it simply I would’ve called you a liar (in the nicest possible way of course).

I guess that part of what I’ve found the most difficult in my transition from my Sydney life as a ‘socialite’ and running a start up – the time that I now have on my hands.

Here’s a typical day for my in Sydney:

8am – Wake up, check e-mails, make coffee, have a shower. Head out for first meeting of the day, log onto WIFI at a nice café, check emails again, respond t event invites, editorial opportunities and manage my team. Head to a lunch meeting, go to FIshburners and do some new business for the VIP 101 Cards, attend any meetings with client leads, final check of emails before heading to that evening’s event (whether it be a film premiere, launch of a new bar/ restaurant/ birthday party or fashion/ beauty launch). Head home about 10:30 – sleep, repeat

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My Bondi abode
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Watching VIP exclusive Mark Ronson gig on The Island in the middle of Sydney Harbour
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Attending Belvedere winter ball at The Star as a VIP
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Attending the polo in the city event

I absolutely love my Sydney life, but perhaps didn’t realise how much I had on my plate. The above doesn’t take into consideration if I was consulting to an agency, or if I had my own PR clients to factor in also. Upon some reflection, I maybe was taking too much on and drowning in my own to-do list, but also feel like I operate at my best when I’m under pressure. When you compare to my new routine, you might understand why I was struggling with, dare I say it… boredom…

 

 

 

7am – Wake up, Ste has a shower, I check e-mails that have come through over night from Aus, I make us coffee and breakfast before Ste has to leave at 8am. I have a shower, get dressed. If it’s a day that I’m consulting to a PR agency here in UK I check my emails and do two hours selling in and email follow up/ PR proposal drafting. It’s now 1pm and I do the washing (if there is any, if not I find some), clean the kitchen. Go to the shops to get food in, take Louie for a walk. It’s now 3pm if I’m lucky, so I check my work emails again and action anything. Watch some trash TV and wait for Ste to come home. Cook dinner, have a few hours with Ste (which is the highlight of my day), have a bath if my adhesions are playing up to reduce the pain and then bed.

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Walking my gorgeous Lou Dog on Crosby Beach

 

Sure you can see quite the difference here. I fear though that I might have tried to much to fill my days as I now consult 10 days a month to PR agencies here in the UK and still do 4 days a month for the PR agency in Aus, whilst also still running SS101 (however my amazing team do much of this for me ‘on the ground’), so I’ve now also tried to build up Manchester and London Social 101 too – All whilst being 6/7 months pregnant, attending new business meetings in London and also being in a new relationship. Stephen worries that I’m taking too much on, which I totally get, however I fear it’s just in my blood to have the need to feel busy.

Oh I almost forgot too… we’re also doing up Ste’s house in preparation for the impending arrival of our little one, whilst also trying to make time for our relationship and families.

We did come to blows a couple of times as I got frustrated with feeling the house was top of list of priorities, when I just wanted to spend time with my partner after spending so much apart. I had to ask myself a lot whether I was acting rationally, or if it might be my pregnancy hormones making me be unreasonable. Luckily Ste is amazing and listens to me, but also tells me if he feels I’m not being fair. Its a good balance and it means that we can chat through any potential issues or frustrations before they become anything more.

It was a welcome break when we decided to head to Spain at the end of April to spend time with my mum and grannie, as the house, my work and everything else seemed to take president over Stephen and I spending quality time together.

Reunited at Last -Big Decisions

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So here I was back in the UK, a nice full tummy after a lovely curry lunch at my dad’s local pub. I’d been back to my grannie’s house for a shower, freshened up before heading to see Stephen. I am very fortunate that my mum had insured me on the family car so that I had a set of wheels for the six weeks I was back in the UK.

 

Driving to see Stephen was just so exciting! When I got to his house and he opened the door I literally threw myself around him, it was so nice to see him in the flesh and not on Facetime! Don’t get me wrong, Facetime has a time and a place, but after 10 weeks, sometimes you just want to be with them in person.

 

We had take away and put the world to right, it was like we’d never been apart. He couldn’t get over how much my belly had grown and was just in awe, which was so special. The thing I love so much about being with Ste is that I can be 100% myself and that we’re so comfortable with each other- whilst still having the spark of course. I’ve often been told that with relationships, when it’s right it’s easy – it just works and feels right. I can honestly say that is the case with Ste and I. Don’t get me wrong, this includes being 100% yourself when you’re frustrated as well as when you’re on you’re A-Game. You need to be able to say how you feel and voice what you’re thinking without fear that it’s going to be taken the wrong way.

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Ste was keen to show me all he’d done with the house. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned before but one of the reasons I’d decided to come back to the UK was to help Stephen finish his house before the big move down under. Stephen had the house for three years, but had unfortunately been left to his own devices so hadn’t got very far with the renovations – best laid plans and all. His bathroom was absolutely outstanding. We’re talking freestanding bath, walk in shower and his and hers sinks… but this was as far as he had got before we met.

 

It’s amazing how much having a baby can put a rocket up your ass (pardon my tone), Ste had been in a haze of painting, renovations and brickwork prior to my arrival. It was clear to see how much he’d done to the house, but also clear to see how much still needed to be done, and that’s before we’d even thought about renting/ selling before the big move… Six weeks seemed massively unrealistic and I could tell that we were both apprehensive about the looming due date deadline and the fact that I couldn’t really fly long haul after 32 weeks. I didn’t want to begin our time together chatting about timings of renovations, house stuff and the other pressures we were facing, so I kind of put it to the back of my mind and jut focused on how happy I was to be back with him.

 

When I arrived back in the UK I had some sad news about my dad’s cousin, my uncle Michael. He’d sadly passed away following a short fight with cancer. It had come as a massive shock to our family and we all of course wanted to show our support and to pay our respects. The funeral had been planned for the following Wednesday (a week after my arrival) in London. I’d arranged to go with my dad and family to stay for two nights, that way we could pay our respects, attend the funeral and I’d also get to spend some time with my dad, step mum Helen and brother Jack.

 

Over my first week Stephen and I spent all our time together when he wasn’t working, I caught up with my family and of course his. I also got to meet his mum for the first time, which was just lovely. Luckily Stephen had taken me to meet her back in October, but she hasn’t been in, so I felt better in the knowledge that he has wanted to introduce me to his mum before we’d found out we were going to have a family! I think it probably meant a lot to his mum too.

 

It was an interesting time for me as I’d never lived with a boy before, EVER! So I’d found myself going from single, Sydney socialite living in a Bondi studio on my own to being in love, in the UK, 22 weeks pregnant and living with my partner. Some might say this was a huge change, and they’d be 100% right. Whilst a huge change, it was absolutely for the better and I’d never felt more like this was where I was meant to be.

 

Stephen took my to the station for the funeral on the Wednesday morning, which was lovely. I’d decided to take the train there and to come back on the train on Friday night so that I could come back to Liverpool for the weekend.

 

The funeral was a lovely service and the wake was just so touching, it was clear to see how loved Michael was and how much he meant to those that knew him.

 

The day after the funeral was St Patrick’s Day, so my Dad, Step Mum and brother all decided to take a tour of London and to hole up in an Irish pub for the afternoon – which ended up being one of the best decision – for me and my sanity – sound ominous…? Bear with me.

 

The morning was spent exploring Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus and the Houses or Parliament. We saw some great sights, the sun was shining and it was great to spend such quality time with my dad.

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For lunch we went to the Irish Bar near Leicester Square and I got chatting to my dad and step mum and Stephen and my plans in terms of having the baby down under, Stephen sorting out his visa and the house and everything else. It all seemed to overwhelming and I was struggling to figure out what exactly I wanted to do for the best.

 

I knew that I didn’t want the six weeks I was back in the UK to be all about finishing the house and for Stephen and I to neglect our relationship as a result and to not enjoy the pregnancy. At the same time however I didn’t want to return to Australia without him and have to spend another number of weeks without him there. I’d already spent so much of my pregnancy without him and our relationship was so new, the thought of even another four without him there, especially for my third trimester seemed daunting and not something I wanted at all.

 

I’d been mulling things over in my head and I think my dad could pick up that I had quite a bit on my mind. I opened up to my dad and Helen (my step mum) and spoke about how I was feeling and my predicament. After hearing my concerns my dad totally understood where I was coming from and advised that I should write a list of pros and cons for both options. Option 1 being to return to Oz as planned and for Stephen to follow ASAP and to have the baby there. Option 2 involved staying in the UK to help Stephen with the house and to have the baby here, then to move back once the house has been sold/ rented and the baby is ¾ months old – massively taking the pressure off – but the baby wouldn’t be an Australian citizen…

 

I came up with the following:

 

OPTION 1

 

  • The baby would be a resident of Australia
  • We wouldn’t be moving with a newborn baby
  • We get to start our new life in Oz ASAP
  • No house in Australia – I’d have to move on my own
  • I’d have to spend at last six weeks away from Stephen
  • I got to go back to my job in Oz
  • My mum had flights booked to be I Sydney when the baby was due
  • Stephen can’t work for six weeks upon arrival in Australia
  • Stephen’s family wouldn’t get to meet the baby until we returned from Oz on a holiday

 

OPTION 2

 

  • We get to relax and enjoy the pregnancy
  • I wouldn’t be spending any more if the pregnancy on my own
  • Stephen can have more time to finish the house
  • We have support following my C-section from family
  • Stephen’s and my family get to bond with baby
  • We get to move to Oz anyway, just a few months later
  • Stephen can continue to work and save for the move
  • I can work remotely (run my business from UK and also contract for UK PR agencies)
  • Whilst my mum would miss the birth, she’d get to spend more time with the baby overall in the first ¾ months

 

Overwhelmingly I started to think that the best option for our family was to take the pressure off Stephen with the house, to relax and enjoy the pregnancy and of course our relationship. I felt like since the moment we met we were always on a count down, or working towards a deadline. I wanted our relationship to be normal and for Stephen to not feel like everything was changing and that time was against him.

 

I was in a position where I didn’t have a place to live in Australia, my job was contract based and not permanent and I’m a resident of Australia, so can return at any time.

 

Stephen has a job in the UK that he’d been doing for ten years, a house that is I a perfect location near to the beach that was very much a work in progress and his family and friends. I wanted to let Stephen know that there was no pressure either way, but that I thought that it might be better in the long run for us to take the time pressure off and to start 100% enjoying the pregnancy and our relationship.

 

When I first spoke to Stephen about my thoughts on the phone, he was quite resistant to staying in the UK, he was keen to get to Australia to start our lives there and was worried that if we didn’t go before the baby was born that we wouldn’t go. I had to stress to him that I had no grand designs on moving back to the UK, that I’d moved to Oz nearly seven years ago and it was where I considered home. I explained that I was trying to look at our situation objectively and not emotionally and to do what was best for our baby and us in the long run. Once I started to explain about the house, our time together (and the quality of it) and the support we’d probably need after the birth he started to agree and understand that it probably would be for the best to take our time, step back and have the baby in the UK.

 

I felt relieved that we were in agreement, but had a few things to consider about the impact of our decision and how it affected my family and friends in Australia….

Homeward Bound

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It was March 7th and I was at the airport, only 25 hours away from seeing my love again after 10 weeks and rapidly expanding by the week. I managed to get a really good deal with Qatar Airlines, it was only $1,400 return (my return flight was booked for 20th April – six wonderful weeks ahead). Luckily I’d contacted the press office prior to my departure and explained that I’d be doing a write up on my Global Social 101 network about travelling whilst pregnant and had been cheeky and asked for an upgrade if at all possible. I seriously lucked out as I was upgraded to Business Class from Sydney to Doha – RESULT! They explained that I was on standby for the Doha to Manchester leg of the flight for business too – I had my fingers, toes, legs and eyes crossed for this too.

 

Travelling a long way whilst pregnant is no joy, no matter how far gone you are (I’d already experienced travelling to Vietnam of course, which was more uncomfortable due to the nausea). Well, let me tell you Business Class is like a whole new world! I seriously don’t even know how I’m going to even attempt to go back to economy after my experience here (of course I know I’ll be able to go back to economy, I like to be dramatic you see). I was not only upgraded for the flight, but was also granted access to the Qantas lounge at Sydney airport, which is absolutely palatial and the best way to prepare for a round the world flight.

 

I made sure I phoned Stephen before I boarded the flight of course to tell him (brag) about my upgrade – he couldn’t believe it, but was made up for me. He reminded me what the doctor had said about walking around the plane every hour and to wear flight socks and drink loads of water, god love him always looking out for me. A quick call to my mum followed (as is par the course when I’m flying) and before I knew it I was boarding the plane and I actually got to turn LEFT! I was beside myself.

 

The seats were exactly as I’d imagined – like a space age cocoon where sleep would not elude me and an endless supply of film and TV choices would be at my fingertips. We were offered a lovely beverage before take off (in a glass, posh!); I opted for a orange juice, as I was with child of course. I couldn’t help but think that if I hadn’t been pregnant I could seriously go crazy with the al la cart endless food options and amazing drinks service. The mocktails however were on point, and to be honest I took full advantage of the lie flat bed and quilt, and pjs, eye mask and slippers and pillow! I was I heaven.

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The whole first leg of the flight I struggled to contain my excitement as I knew each minute that passed I was a step closer to being with Stephen again. The flight went by in a haze of movies, food, water, walking, sleeping, more sleeping, more walking water. I left the first leg feeling refreshed and ready for the next leg which is something that I’ve never felt before when going to board another long haul flight within two hours).

 

I was also provided access to the lounge at Doha, which was a delight! I headed to the gate early this time as I was excited to get on the flight and get back to Ste. When I gave my ticket in for boarding I was surprised to see her tear it up and advise that another ticket had been provided… another business class ticket, only this time it was on a Dreamliner! I felt like I was floating on air – I was so excited to see Stephen that I completed forgot about the potential upgrade, I had a feeling that this was to be the beginning of another trip of a lifetime – it was certainly starting off that way!

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The second flight was even more decedent than the first, with our own capsules with all the perks, food and entertainment, I was beside myself. I decided to sleep as much as I could this leg, so that I could be my sparkly best for the other end.

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Prior to me flying back to the UK, I’d said to Stephen that my brother would get me front the airport – It might sound silly, but I hadn’t seen him for 10 weeks and was decidedly rounder (and of course I didn’t know I was going to be flying the whole way in business!). I wanted to go and freshen up first and feel my sparkly best, plus Ste was working so I didn’t want to put him out.

As the plane touched down in Manchester, all I could feel was pure excitement! None of my family or friends in the UK had seen me pregnant yet, and I knew that I had my dad and brother waiting for me at arrivals.

 

I was straight through arrivals and customs and my bag was ne of the first off ( I could get used to this) so within 20 minutes of landing, I was going through nothing to declare to see my dad and brother.

 

When I saw them I was just so excited! My dad couldn’t get over my little pregnant belly and was very emotional. We didn’t come up for air on the way home, via the pub of course to see my nana, aunties and cousins. I was home! It felt amazing – made all the more special knowing that In just four hours I was going to be back with my beau.

You’ve got to be kidding me!

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As we got closer to my flight back home, which I was just so excited about, my 19 week scan was looming. I was gutted that Stephen wouldn’t be there with me, mostly as I know how much he’d have loved to have experienced it too. I was ok though as lovely Anne-Marie offered to come along with me so that I wasn’t on my own. Thank goodness she did, everything was going well with the scan the baby was moving loads (practically jumping around the screen) and all the vitals were great and progressing as it should be.

All was perfect with the baby, which was such a relief. It was just when they came to scanning my ovary (or what’s left of it). There was a dark mass on the screen, which I knew from previous experience could only mean one thing… another bloody Dermoid. No I shit you not, my body had created a miracle from a dot of an ovary and now my body decided to potentially threaten the tiny dot of an ovary I had left.

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The sonographer explained that it was relatively really small (2.5 cm) and that my obstetrician would talk to me more about how it might impact the pregnancy and y reproductive future. Great!

I phoned Stephen straight away and told him all was great with the baby but explained that I had another Dermoid cyst. I told him that I didn’t think it would be a problem, and that it wouldn’t interfere with the pregnancy at all, but that I needed to find out more from the specialist. My follow up appointment was booked with my OB a week later, which to be honest, felt like an eternity.

I kept myself busy with work over the next six days and was counting down to seeing my OB and to get answers to questions that I had (the list was growing). When the appointment came around I decided to go on my own as I feared we’d have a lot to get through. I’d also been experiencing a stabbing pain in my lower abdomen on the left hand side, just about where my ovary was, which I was keen to find out if it was normal.

I was stoked to find out that I my OB appointment was with Dr Horowitz, who’d been a senior consultant at Randwick Women’s Hospital for over 27 years, and was actually a private OB. He explained that he’d taken my case due to my significant history and even joked and asked why I hadn’t stayed in England as he’d never seen a case like mine, least of all a case that was 100% natural conception in spite of everything my body had been through.

When talking through the results of the scan, Dr Horowitz explained that he wasn’t concerned about the Dermoid at this stage as it was so small, but they’d keep a close eye on it. He determined that the stabbing pain would be from adhesions from previous surgeries and that it would probably only get worse before it got better as the pregnancy progressed – all I was able to take to dull the pain was paracetamol – great!

He also explained that he didn’t want me to have a natural labour due to the removal of the fibroid two years previous from my uterus wall. He explained that the trauma of birth on my uterus could be too much and that he simply didn’t want me to take the risk.

I must admit that when I first found out that natural labour wasn’t an option for me, I was really gutted. I wanted to experience ‘natural labour’ and knew from previous experience how are it was recovering fro abdominal surgery – I couldn’t imagine how much harder that would be with a newborn baby to care for, whilst also breastfeeding. It took a while for me to come to terms with the fact that it was the best for the baby and me, but now I totally feel at ease with the decision.

Stephen felt the same when I explained it all to him and also just wanted to do what ever is best for the baby and me. It was now eight weeks since we’d last seen each other and we were starting to feel the strain.

Not only was Stephen missing important doctors appointments, we were missing each other terribly and to say we were feeling the pressure of everything was putting it very, very mildly.

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Especially when 21 weeks pregnant!

Still we had only a week to wait until we were going to see each other and I had a very busy week at work, and he had lots to do on the house so it went very quickly for both of us.

I was starting to show, as I was now 21 weeks, my back was starting to feel the strain of the extra weight (despite me only putting on 2KG by this point). It was quite funny actually as I used to drink A LOT when I was a social butterfly and my diet and exercise plan was none existent. So I found that in the first 15 weeks, coupled with a significantly reduced appetite due to the nausea, I actually lost weight, typical!

My work event came and went without a hitch and after a long day managing a press junket, I went to the airport to board my flight back to the UK to be with my man.

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Work is a great distraction – especially when your rock star team kill it!

Long Distance and Second Trimester

Lis and Sprite

After a whirlwind five-week break and the most amazing time with Stephen the 16th January came by much quicker than we’d anticipated, the day his flight was booked to return home. Prior to Stephen leaving we’d had a chat about what our plan would be in terms of him coming to Australia, where we’d have the baby and what the next steps would be. I’d had quite a bit of time to think about what was best and I wanted to make sure that I was sharing the load. It didn’t go unnoticed that Stephen was prepared to give up his job, his life in Liverpool, living close to his family and of course his home!

 

I’d suggested that I go back to the UK for six week to help him to finish his house and anything else that might make the move easier on him. He agreed that this was a good idea. Due to the nature of my work, being a freelancer and running my own business, I am very fortunate that I’m flexible with my working hours and that a lot of my work can be done remotely.

I’d managed to secure a eight week contract working for a PR agency in Sydney for four days a week and that contract would finish at the beginning of Marc h. In terms of timing, this worked out perfectly. It meant that I could earn some money to pay for my trip home and to also put some savings to one side. I booked my flight back to Manchester for the 6th March, returning to Sydney on the 20th April (hopefully with Stephen in tow).

 

When he left Australia, it was really hard knowing that for the next eight weeks I would be facing the second trimester of my pregnancy without him. It was daunting, but I knew that it was all working towards a better future for our little family. I threw myself into work and we reverted back to speaking via phone calls, texts and e-mails.

 

The second trimester of my pregnancy was surprisingly easy with regards to any niggles, pains or weight gain (or anything else that comes with growing a baby).

 

I consider myself massively lucky as my best friend, who I’ve known since I was 16 and had moved to Australia the day after me in Jan 2009 had found out that she too was pregnant – and due a week before me! We just couldn’t believe it! Neither were planned pregnancies, but the parallels in both of our life stories are just uncanny and there isn’t anyone else in the world that I’d want to be going through this with. It helped me a great deal with Stephen not being there. Anne-Marie was and is a huge support and a great sounding board relating to not only pregnancy, but also matters of the heart.

lis and sprite 2

I think sometimes with me being pregnant, it was easy to forget that Stephen and I were in the throws of a relatively new relationship. We’d only been officially together since October and we were not only in January. We were learning so much about each other every day, whilst also trying to figure out our future and how we worked together as a couple.

 

I wasn’t under any disillusion that there would be family and friends that had their concerns about our relationship and how fast we were progressing. That’s’ not to say that they weren’t massively happy for us, they just wanted me to be happy and of course were very protective of me, in part due to my history. I was also astutely aware that the two times that Stephen and I had spent together hadn’t been ‘real life’ I hadn’t been working, we’d been on holiday and very much in the honeymoon period. I think we’d both be lying if we said that we didn’t have concerns about how we would function in the realm of ‘normal’ (what ever that is) day-to-day life.

 

That’s why I think it was so important for us to have the six weeks with me in the UK, living with him, him working etc. almost as a ‘warm up’ if you will for the ‘real deal’.

I don’t think I have to lament over the magnitude of the path we had ahead of us and how important it was that we did things for the right reasons and understood that we were both working towards the same end goal – to be a happy a healthy family who loved and respected each other.

 

I made the huge decision to give up my lovely Bondi studio after two amazing years there. It was far too small for a family of three (plus Louie the dog), plus I didn’t want to have to deal with the stress of finding tenants during the six weeks I was going to be in the UK. Luckily I have some fantastic friends who offered for me to stay with them over the next two months in return for puppy sitting duties and providing my great company, ha!

 

Work was going great and I even had a colleague that was due the day before me, there was definitely something in the water! It was getting harder each time I spoke to Stephen as I missed him so much, and so much of what you say over texts can be misunderstood. We had to keep reminding ourselves that we were both working towards the same end goal, which sometimes seemed so far away.