IVF 2: A week of firsts

I’m 12.5 weeks today and I just wanted to do a quick post of firsts that I’ve experienced this week. 

First telling people not in immediate family that it’s “official”. I told some friends this weekend, as we all met up. Including my BFF, who I really should have told first but she lives overseas and I wanted to tell her in person. Also some visitors from the US. Both times I did it with this…

My first Baby on board badge!

Wow. The feels. 

I never thought I would ever get to wear one. I silently resented / was jealous / was sad of all the women on the tube who wear them. Sometimes London seems stuffed full of Baby on Board-ers. 

For those of you who aren’t in London (that’ll be all of you! My American / Canadian / Australian buddies!) this badge is something you get for free if you’re pregnant – you have to ask for it, obviously. It’s to counter the British sensibilities of people not wanting to ask for a seat and also people not wanting to ask a woman if she’s pregnant. 

There’s a bunch of controversy over it as really people should offer seats to those less able to stand, like those on crutches or with invisible illnesses, etc. But this is something quite common (though obviously not common enough for the infertile like us) which can easily be remedied by wearing the badge. 

This week I have been feeling so tired. So when my badge finally arrived in the post, I thought I would wear it. Mainly because there is one office I work in where there’s a really convoluted route to work on crowded underground lines and it’s hard to get a seat. 

The first time I wore it, a black man instantly jumped up and offered me his seat. (I note his race for later; it does become relevant.) I almost cried with gratitude. It felt really poignant all of a sudden to be acknowledged as pregnant. I never thought I would. 

On later trains I had mixed success. On some trains people would just kind of ignore it. Some they’d offer a seat. But each time people didn’t offer for a while, somebody else stepped in to ask/tell someone I was pregnant and needed the seat more than I did. And what I noticed was, they were more often than not black. 

Now, I’ve moved to a majority black area. So maybe there are more black people on my tube journey. But actually what I found was that the black people actually seemed insulted on my behalf. One woman practically marched over to a (white) guy who was studiously ignoring the badge and made him give up his seat! I was so grateful!

I’ve mentioned before that I am a POC / ethnic minority (US/UK term) but I’m not black. But honestly I have felt so happy to move to this area. People are so nice, considerate, and I genuinely love seeing strong black women around the place. Almost all the POC I know through work are strong black women/men. We see so many negative stories in the media – this week I was hugely upset by the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. So to be surrounded by a strong community, where I get to see KOC (kids of colour) who are happy and proud in their skins means the world to me. I know if all goes well I’ll have one (biracial) of my own and it means a lot that I can bring up my child in a diverse environment. 

T has actually commented on how much I have commented on it. I guess being where he is less sensitive to racial things. He thinks it’s sort of funny when I point out mixed race couples or [my ethnicity] families, but I don’t think he realised how big of a deal this is for me. He’s happy for me but it doesn’t really affect his life in the same way. To see families on our estate who look like me – it’s huge. 

Anyway I digress. I feel like I’m a little bit “out” about being pregnant but I take the badge off when I get near work. I am not intending to tell people unless I have to. I would much rather rock up with a giant bump. I’ve been thinking about how to tell work… but I don’t think I have to for a few months, according to their rules. 

Thing is, I don’t know how long I can hide it. I have totes porked out. I have a big belly now. It can’t all be fat. I am living at the weekend in my maternity jeans (the relief!) and a baggy sweater. I look like a complete fatty. I can’t wait for a proper bump (I feel like I have to caveat everything with “if we get that far”). 

My friends who I told this weekend are over the moon for us. They are all aware that we lost a baby this time last year… And some know that we also went through IVF. I think people are still overly positive about things but I suppose that’s all they can do in the circumstances. It’s nice being the recipient of good wishes, but it also sort of makes me worry in more anxious times that anyone told might have to be untold… That’s pregnancy after loss for you. 

Anyway, some more firsts in pictures…

A first ice lolly on the boat! I love commuting by boat! I saved it for the weekend though as it’s a bit hairy during the week trying to sync it with the trains. 

A first for my friends who I met up with for a girly evening, at Dirty Bones. It’s an American inspired diner. Where else would I take my friends?!

Milk and cookies dessert. A first! It was delicious. The “milk” was gelato. The cookie was melt in the mouth chocolate ganache. Don’t mind if I do!

Okay this wasn’t a first as it’s from my favourite place, Ben’s Cookies. It was sort of a first for today as I had it for breakfast in bed! Triple chocolate!

My lovely sis sent me rainbow lilies – a first! I’ve never seen them before and they are really cheery! Excuse the unpacked alcohol around them! πŸ˜‚

We tried the third of our local pubs for Sunday lunch today. A first! Won’t be the last! Delicious and dog friendly! I love this place!

So for now, my next pregnancy related thing is my midwife booking appointment next Friday. I had thought the other NHS appointment last Sunday was the booking appointment but it was the scan! So that’s a first too. Apparently that will mean I’m properly in the system. 

And as for the second trimester… The tiredness is still there. Massively. And the weird stomach pains (like period pains). I’m trying not to worry. And having a big belly. I’ve always been significantly slimmer. That’s a first! A lot of firsts.

And the second trimester… A first for me. Can we get to the third? I hope so. 


    • Nara

      Yeah, it’s just London! I think Brits are really averse to ever speaking out so they are worried about asking for a seat, but also worried about insulting a woman who isn’t pregnant by asking if she needs a seat!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Kelly V

    Those badges are a good idea! Are you having many food cravings? I bet you are breathing a little easier making it to the second trimester, enjoy the ride!


  2. lisaslovelyplace

    I had/ have the same fears of making it too the next step… But as I sit in my recliner on a hot Minnesota day 34 weeks pregnant, I have faith that this little one is sticking around for you too! Big belly and all the karate kicks to your ribs are coming your way and will be here sooner than you realize!


    • Nara

      Yes they’re brilliant aren’t they? It was a moving in pressie from my sis. They are so cheery- I love them! She knows me too well! Funnily enough I had sent her a matching “sis ring” (same as one I have) the same day so we must have been psychic!

      Hope you can get your badge too! Just order it… It takes a while! You can always hold off using it. I ordered mine earlier than 12 weeks but sort of said in my head I wouldn’t use it till 12 (even though I probably could have done with it earlier… the fatigue!). X


  3. sewingbutterfly

    I wish I had a badge for the bus here! My fatigue stuck around till about week 17ish and now it is back again at week 21 but I could just be getting a cold. Boo winter. Glad your new neighbourhood is nice πŸ™‚ I often find it is the people you don’t expect to give you a seat, so far, I have been given a seat by an elderly gentleman (I didn’t take it as he needed it more than I did) and a couple of teenagers with spikey rainbow hair. So I have thrown my stereotypes out the window!


    • Nara

      Oh wow, poor you! You could still order one! It’s from tfl but I think you can get one anyway. I have been more tired than I can remember. Like almost falling asleep at my desk tired! I used to get by on 3-4 hours sleep! I was really surprised about the seat giving… I always give a seat if I think the person needs it (badge or old or with a stick, etc). I find it weird that people seem to ignore the badges sometimes!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. TryTryAgain

    Wahoo!! I got a baby on board badge and always felt strange wearing it as you say, but they’re so handy when you’re shattered! Brilliant news all round πŸ™‚ xx


    • Nara

      Yes exactly! My trip to and from work is quite long and it’s been really hot the past week. Actually the main point for me was not to use it to get a seat so much as to not be asked to give up a seat. I always feel worried if I get a seat that I’ll have to give it up!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      ☺️ It has been some nice firsts but I did just reread and think maybe I had somehow glossed over the deaths this week. I know I’m overseas but it really upset me and it actually made me sort of question my feelings about America. It is so shocking to us in the UK. But I have tried to concentrate on the positives. I’m just scared as a (biracial/black) friend of mine announced she’s intending to move to the US and I worry for her! I’ve definitely had to make a concerted effort to concentrate on the positives this week!


  5. pinksnow78

    I love the badge!! I totally get the ‘trying to get to each milestone’ thing. Is how I’ve spent this entire pregnancy. But just over 5 weeks to go now (and the scary birth, of course). I’m so excited to find out if you’re having a boy or girl πŸ™‚ Build some rest into everyday and look after yourself x x


    • Nara

      Wow I can’t believe you’re so far along! Seems like only yesterday! Yes I would be scared of birth too… I have the first appointment with the midwife on Friday so will see what she says. Eek! I will definitely let you know soon about the gender! T wants to tell his folks first and we have to wait till we see them in person! Xx


  6. stealingnectar

    Congrats on making it to this point and telling family! Don’t worry about mild cramping either…your uterus is doing a lot of growing! I would always feel it and then seem to pop out more the next day. It’s not a bad sign this time, I promise! πŸ™‚


  7. tidleone

    That’s a lot of firsts. How exciting to be able to tell people properly – I think when the time comes I’ll need a megaphone and a box of tissues. It was my first day back at work today and it was so hard to stay quiet. Even though I’m only 8 weeks + OHSS with twins, I’m literally huge and had to wear a maternity skirt, hidden under a long blouse!


    • Nara

      Aww bless! We aren’t really actively telling people. Still haven’t told T’s family or my other siblings. It seems weird not to tell people but then also seems weird to imagine I’m actually pregnant. I feel gigantic too!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      The point of the badges is for people to be respectful, because it’s impossible to tell if someone is pregnant in the early stages and also in later stages it’s not always obvious if they are overweight or pregnant…


  8. Babyscienceproject

    Good job progressing to the famous badge stage! I’ve gone past that stage now. My enormous belly says it all really. Generally speaking, I think Londoners are pretty good at giving up their seats when required. I probably get more women offering to help than men…perhaps because women are more curious/observant and notice the badge and belly more often? Who knows. Anyway it’s ace that you are doing so well. And I do enjoy your food pictures – more please πŸŒ­πŸ‡πŸ²πŸ—


    • Nara

      Thanks! Actually think I’ve probably had more men than women. I should start taking a log! I think I just look fat right now rather than pregnant! πŸ˜‚


  9. EmilyMaine

    Yay for wonderful firsts!!! Congrats on moving into the 2nd trimester. As it progresses you should feel noticeably better. I hope you do πŸ™‚ I love those rainbow lollies!!! Xx


  10. flatwhitetogo85

    Great news all round. Pretty much second trimester now? That’s crazy! Good on you for getting a ‘Baby on Board’ badge. I’ve had some shocking experiences on the train lately, which isn’t great seeing as I spend so long commuting. Sadly I don’t think a badge will help as many people simply pretend they haven’t seen the bump/badge. I’m pleased there have been some good people who have stepped in on your behalf.

    That’s lovely that you took your team to The Shard. Sounds like you all had a great time! Hope the new job is going well.

    Good luck as you start the second trimester!x


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