Back to Earth

15 Oct

I had always been a bit concerned about the so-called post-nuptial depression. The wedding day is a big high, especially when you’ve been gearing up for it for so long. I’m particularly prone to the blues upon returning from holiday, and with the honeymoon (report coming soon!) being such a biggie, I knew that I had to be careful to keep my spirits high when I got home.

A few weeks before the wedding, my full-time contract with an accountancy firm came to an end, with only a few weeks notice. It was a scary position to be in, as between us we have more debt to repay that either of us had really faced up to. The return from honeymoon was going to present us with a number of new lifestyle resolutions.

As it turned out, we got back to reality with the promise of a bump. I had felt a little strange at times on honeymoon, but had just put it down to jet lag and too much rich food, but a pregnancy test confirmed it. We were heading to London that same day for Patrick’s mum’s birthday, so we excitedly shared the news with our respective families.

Despite my determination, I gave in to the pee-on-a-stick obsession, just to be sure that I hadn’t been mistaken. All sources I discovered stated that it’s virtually impossible to get a false positive, but still, I tested again, and got a negative. I felt so silly – we’d rushed to tell everybody and now we were going to have to go “um… sorry.” Consultation with my motherliest of friends told me to ditch the Tesco Value tests (don’t judge me – I’m broke) and splurge on one of the special ones that tells you how many weeks. Since then I have learnt that it’s not really a quality or reliability thing, but simply the sensitivity of the test. If you were to use a cheap one while at basketball-under-jumper stage, you’d definitely get a clear positive, but in the early stages, it’s a bit hit-or-miss.

After forking out for the test, and deciding to actually follow the directions and only test first pee of the morning, I got a positive result, but it said 1-2 weeks, when by my calculations, it should have been much later. This was my first clue that things weren’t going well. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse and over the course of the next week, the pregnancy was no more.

It’s a strange position to be in – to lose an unplanned pregnancy. We were so excited – the second we got a positive, we were delighted about our future – but from our perspective, it wasn’t the tragedy that miscarriage so often means. For one thing, it helped us to realise that now is absolutely the right time for us. It confirmed that should we choose to try again, neither of us faced any of the fertility issues that can be so trying for some couples.

I’m not saying that the experience hasn’t been difficult – I feel like everyone I know, from friends and neighbours to the writers of the wedding blogs I used to read, is pregnant. I’m working hard not to feel envious, but it’s not easy. Then there’s the blame game – at the early stage I was, they insist that it’s “one of those things”, but when you think of rollercoasters, margaritas and all the fun-yet-forbidden things you did before you were aware that you were pregnant, it’s difficult not to question. We’ve resolved to pick up, dust off and try again.

Think the week couldn’t get much worse? Well, I don’t know if it was down to the week we were having already, but somehow we managed to oversleep and miss our flights to Romania for my dear friend’s wedding, and – financial situation raising its ugly head once again – there was no way we could afford to take another flight. I was so gutted – she means the world to me and I hate that I missed it.

We decided that it was time to lift ourselves out from under the raincloud. Patrick’s dad and step-mum had very kindly agreed to buy us a puppy as a wedding present. As I would now be working from home, it was the perfect time to go and find our new furbaby.

I’d like to introduce you all to the newest addition to our family – Meg. She is a 12-and-a-half-week old yellow labrador-cum-foot-warmer, and both the highlight and bane of my existence! We picked her up five weeks ago from a lovely family in Corsham, and she has turned our household upside down.

I have become one of those people – the ones who talk about their pets as if they are children. Don’t write me off as the crazy cat lady just yet, but this really does feel like a practice run for when we manage to fall pregnant again. Don’t believe me?

1. Our lives revolve around the whims of her teeny tiny bladder. The rule of thumb we’ve been given is that up to 6 months of age, they can go one hour per month, plus an additional hour. We’re increasing intervals by fifteen minutes a week, but it means that even now, we take one shift each during the night!

2. We haven’t had a night out since we got her. We’ve met with friends briefly, but she can only spend a few hours in her cage, and with the cold weather setting in, we don’t want to leave her outside. The internet is full of shouty, angry people who will tear your head off if you ask any questions on the subject. Be warned.

3. We post about her on Facebook incessantly. Actually, it’s Patrick more than me, but that’s because I’m so aware of not being the incessant Facebook posting person!

4. Sometimes, we just sit and look at her, and that’s enough.

5. It’s impossible to go to the loo alone any more.

There’s a difference; I know. But just having her here definitely makes us feel like more than just a couple: a family.

19 Responses to “Back to Earth”

  1. badger1977 October 18, 2010 at 8:13 am #

    We have a 16 week old Cairn puppy and I can totally relate to this post. We have given up watching television pretty much and now just watch her intently. Our texts are mainly about her toilet habits and I have a whole album of FB photos dedicated to her. I really do feel it’s good pretty good practice (if on a smaller scale) for having a child – I too, am one of ‘those’ people!
    The difference is that we live in France where dogs go everywhere. She gets better (dog bowl) service in restaurants than we do!
    Enjoy her as I’m sure you/we’ll miss all her naughty little antics when she’s an adult! x

    • littleacceb October 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

      That must be so nice! We’re planning on getting her a passport so that she can come on trips to France with us.

      Becca
      xx

  2. Peridot October 18, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    OMG, Meg is GORGEOUS. Personally I’d far rather have a puppy than a baby (ALL puppies are cute) and have tried to get them to agree to puppy-leave at work in lieu of maternity leave (they’re having none of it). Which is not to minimise your sadness over your miscarriage – just because I don’t want children, I know how raw and real the need is for some (most) people.

    I have a great deal of labrador experience – my mum has had 5 Labs (she currently has nos 4 and 5) and we know the breed inside out. They are very naughty puppies but become very sensible and responsible adults. Watch out for the chewing phase though – I lost a very good pair of boots to that. And our table leg still has teeth marks in!

    • littleacceb October 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

      Thanks so much – I completely understand what you mean. Someone on Twitter said that they’d reached the stage where they’d probably kill and eat another human being before their dog – gross but kinda true!

      Any tips on how much exercise in the early days? There are so many angry people on dog-related message boards that I daren’t ask. ;)

      Becca
      xx

  3. Mary Marantz October 19, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    “Sometimes, we just sit and look at her, and that’s enough.” LOVE this!!

  4. Lynn Soon October 19, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    Becca, I hope you are feeling better. Meg is absolutely precious! I have become one of those people too, I am so in love with my Cooper. If I’m having a bad day, I come home, and he instantly makes me happy. It’s hard in the beginning, I got up in the middle of the night for a while, but once she can hold it for 8 hours, it will be so much easier!

    • littleacceb October 20, 2010 at 7:40 am #

      I know – I just can’t wait! At the moment I’m on the verge of taking naps during the day :)

  5. Peridot October 19, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    Once you’ve passed the date that your vet has said they can go outside, you need to build up slowly – at first 15 mins will be enough, three times a day, but you can build it up a bit at a time and eventually make it two longer walks. Don’t be tempted to overwalk Meg in the early days as this can cause bone fatigue – by the time she’s a year old, she’ll be able to outwalk you!

    • littleacceb October 20, 2010 at 7:48 am #

      Thanks, that’s good news. She has her final jab tomorrow, so next Thursday I’ll start her on a couple of little trots around the block!

      • Peridot October 20, 2010 at 10:15 am #

        Actually, you’d be better taking her somewhere greener if there is anywhere – less germy for her fragile immune system and more exciting for her too.

      • littleacceb October 20, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

        Oh, ok. We’re right on the edge of a forest, so as long as I keep her on the lead, that should work perfectly!

  6. Emily October 25, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by my blog – I’m glad to know about yours, too! Your pup is sooo cute. Mine, Sadie – a black lab – is now 1 1/2 and I remember those first months and her itty bitty bladder. It’s a lot of work but the most adorable stage. I look forward to reading more about your pup adventures! Oh – also – my husband and I honeymooned in San Francisco. What a great city!

    • littleacceb October 27, 2010 at 9:09 am #

      Thanks, Emily! Black labs are so adorable. xx

  7. littlewifelittlemama October 27, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    Sorry to hear about your miscarriage

    I agree with you though that puppies are like babies. We have builders in at the moment, one with a 10 week old labrador and he is going through the sleepless nights and seperation anxiety (usually him to the pub, shes not so bothered about where her ‘Dad’ is) too

    • littleacceb October 28, 2010 at 11:42 am #

      Thanks so much. Oh bless him! The first few nights after we got her were pretty upsetting, but now she seems to actually enjoy her bedtime. Probably because it means that I’m not bugging her and taking pictures constantly, but still.

  8. DrayaAnn November 12, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    Oh goodness I was right! I DO NEED A PUPPY!!!! Your puppy is cute beyond words! Oh my oh my!

    • Becca November 12, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

      Haha! Glad to have helped!

  9. Summah November 17, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    What a beautiful pup!

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