Hi, I'm Cat.  I'm new to this site but here to stay.

 After a short hiatus and a mini makeover, we've both (myself & Lauren) put our heads together and decided to rebirth the baby (URbeautiful baby), so to speak.
 I'm going to regale you with my very long tale of how it took me to become part of the 'club' I hankered after for so long.

When I first toyed with the idea of blogging on Baby Ur Beautiful, it was going to be from a  slightly different perspective – it was going to be for the baby­-less; the women that apparently don’t hold a stake in societies future according to some failed leaders.

After years of peeing on sticks at various times in a month, faddy diets and the, “You’re leaving it a bit late” comments (which forced me to bury my head deeper into that cheeky bottle of Marlborough/gin and end the night sobbing on my friends shoulders). 
I remained the taboo one – the one without a child, and it's hard to forget these comments as my story eventually got its happy ending.

Don’t get me wrong. There were rays of hope. I got pregnant fairly quickly after we had decided to “start trying”. 
Six months after getting married I gagged at the smell of broccoli (which I love) shouted a lot at my husband, and suddenly it dawned on me – I was pregnant! 
I basked in my smug secret, idly looked at baby clothes and drank ginger ale from a champagne glass clad in my bridesmaid gear at my BFF’s wedding (theoretically I was an Usherette but that takes too long to explain!)
It was to be short lived, however. 

Two weeks after the giddy delight of watching two blue lines pop up on a stick it all went horribly wrong. In hindsight I’d ignored some key signs that it was about to. I’d searched chat sites for reassurance; brown discharge = normal, right sided cramping = normal, morning sickness miraculously disappearing at 8.5 weeks = normal.
Hospitals don’t deal with miscarriage very well – in fact they are fairly useless. 
On one level I can understand why; there’s nothing they can do and you are not ill. 
On another level I question the motives of some health care professionals for choosing such a vocation.

It was a Bank Holiday and we had gone into London to support a friend who had organised a fun run in aid of Leukaemia Research. I woke up that morning and didn’t feel great, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what felt wrong so I brushed it off – if Rich could run 10km whilst waiting to see if his treatment had worked and he was in remission I could get my backside into London to support him.
We met everyone at the pub post run. I had the most expensive pint ever. Two bottles of Becks Blue poured into a glass so no one would know ­- oh the irony! 
A couple of hours later we were finishing up; congratulating runners, saying our goodbyes to friends and planning to leave for along leisurely lunch to finish the afternoon. 
As a matter of course I popped to the toilet before we left. I’ll never forget that moment as I glance down and looked at the toilet bowl that was a sea of red. I froze. What should I do? 
I quickly pulled myself together told P (husband) we needed to go straight home and in a hushed whisper on the street outside I explained what I’d just seen. 
We decided to head home and go straight to the hospital. Once on the tube I changed my mind. I needed answers now - not in 40 minutes.
We headed to the nearest hospital in East London. We were seen quickly. They did the standard urine and blood tests and discerned what I already knew – I was pregnant. More than that they couldn’t tell me. 
The nurse asked to see my panty liner and declared (with a glimmer of patronisation) that with such a small amount of blood on it I was experiencing a standard level of bleeding that for some unexplained reason happens to a lot of women within pregnancy. 
The doctor readily agreed that I was looking ­ and evidently feeling ­far too well to be experiencing a miscarriage. 
I was packed off home and told that unless I experienced signs of an ectopic I was to wait until Wednesday and return for a scan.I went home. 
I continued to bleed. I returned on the Wednesday to the Early Pregnancy Unit(EPU) where after a 90 minute wait I was given an internal scan (with the wand that is now affectionately known as dildo cam in our house). The Sonographer, a lady of Polish origin, foraged about for a while and then said “Are you sure you were pregnant? There’s nothing there!” and that was how I learned that I had definitely lost my baby.

Miscarriage is much more common than people would think but it still remains a taboo subject. I am fairly open about most things in life so told people it had happened and many then opened up and shared their stories with me. 
Then there is the other side of the spectrum the people spouting the hard facts and the 1 in 10 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Slightly tactless, you think?

The one thing everybody assured me was at least I knew I could get pregnant. 
That it would happen again very soon. It didn’t.

After a year where nothing happened I asked for a referral to fertility clinic. We were both “textbook perfect” for everything with the exception of me having fibroids and these seemed to be of little concern. 
There followed a year’s treatment of various medications. Some that stimulated eggs, others that released them and we were sent home to perform mechanical sex 18 hours later - still nothing. 
The Consultant decided that IVF was our only option and we agreed, attended an introductory lecture and planned to begin at the end of the year. Three weeks later I discovered I was pregnant.
This pregnancy was much shorter lived than the first. In fact I could have blinked and missed it. 
discovered I was pregnant on the Friday evening and by 7am on Monday morning I was sitting in A+E wedged between a lady who appeared to be suffering a nervous breakdown and a surly looking boy cuffed to an accompanying policeman. I had no doubt this time I had miscarried. The clots of liverish sludge, the agonising stomach cramps that were forcing me to try and curl into a foetal position as I unashamedly sobbed. 
This time the news was broken in a slightly different way. A very harassed Indian doctor with a plethora of ear stubble simply said to me, “you were pregnant but now you’re not”. 

IVF had to be delayed as a result until the start of this year. I decided to throw everything I had at it. My Friday night tipple became peppermint tea. I had acupuncture, reflexology and took up yoga. 
I meditated. I reacted quite sensitively to all drugs. It was hell on earth. I felt tired, sick emotional and as though my body didn’t belong to me – it didn’t. All seemed to go quite well. They harvested 11 eggs, 10 fertilised. Then 10 fell apart. They thought the drugs might have been too potent. They weren’t quite sure. At my follow up appointment I was told that it was only worth one more go. We agreed to pay an extra 1k for various drugs; anti ­rejection drips, Clexane to thin the blood, steroids (which would ensure a hefty weight gain on top of all the hormones). This all came with a health warning though – I was old (38 to be precise) and therefore I was probably not getting pregnant because my eggs were old. If round 2 didn’t work my next option was egg donation.

After a long chat we decided to give my body a break and delay round 2 until the beginning of August.
So here I am. I should be preparing for round 2 of IVF. Instead I am preparing for a 20 week scan!

My initial reaction was “How did that happen?", apart from the obvious answer! 
Typically ­and almost annoyingly as everyone says it’s when you are not thinking about it that you fall *coughs Lauren*  – I had become pregnant in a normal month where I had eaten whatever I fancied, drunk more than a little (I’d been on a long weekend to Ireland – enough said) and generally had fun. 
I’m naturally delighted. I’m also petrified. 

The first weeks after I found out were the worst. There was no excitement when I saw two blue lines – I didn’t dare feel excitement, but when I saw a heart beat on a grainy picture in our local hospital I felt a surge of love I’d never felt before. I felt it was important to acknowledge the struggle it has been to get to where I am today – and I am mindful it is a long journey ahead. 

Future blog posts will therefore have to be about the here and now – all the bits that no one tells you and I promise they won’t be as long as this (within reason!)

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  1. A very honest and open blog. Catherine, I can't tell you how happy I am for you both. Amazing news. I look forward to your ongoing story. Much love, Elaine

  2. I laughed and cried reading your blog. I know how much it means to you that you have two hearts inside you right now. You and P will be amazing parents. You waited so long for your little star to come along and this child has made the best choice for a mummy and daddy. Blessed be. X

  3. Catherine I want to leave two comments- one to say how much my my heart goes out to you for what you have been through. The fact that on top of that you have to suffer the heartless comments and judgement just sucks. Why can't we all just be nicer to each other?

    The second to say what a lovely blog, Honest, brave and heartfelt and although a difficult subject a joy to read. You are a very talented writer thank you for sharing it with us.
    Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy, I look forward to reading your updates xxxx

  4. A brave and personal account. Very proud of you for writing it - I know I can't have been easy. Can't wait to meet Baby soon. Xxx

  5. This is fantastic news. God is faithful and constant as the same yesterday, today and forever more!! I have enjoyed reading it and bravo to you!

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