Fast forward a year and I see photos of us now and I know that truly, we couldn't be happier. Our eyes sparkle behind our smiles and tell the world the truth, we are so happy, so lucky, so thankful. This time last year we were pretty certain trying for a baby couldn't be on our horizon for a very long time. We had a lot of things to work through and a lot of areas of life to sort out. We didn't know how we could be truly happy again. And now here we are, 15 weeks pregnant with our first child, both in jobs we love (mostly!), both very settled and happy, my best friend free from cancer, my parents finding a happy medium in their lives, and Sarah's Dad looking forward instead to retirement (and Grandfatherhood!).
2015 you have been far less adventurous than 2014. We haven't been to quite so many places, we haven't seen quite so many things. But we have found happiness in our normal. We have settled in to a life that a year ago neither of us could've dared imagine would happen -it's been one of our best years. Our money has been spent on IVF treatment and not plane tickets. But we go in to 2016 with our biggest dream becoming a reality.
In a quick re-cap - our 2015 looked like this….
In January we did what we do best - went on holiday! We escaped the snow that had landed in Birmingham and instead swapped it for the warm winter sunshine of Malta. Although it rained a fair bit (winter in Malta = rain!) we still managed to have a wonderfully relaxing time doing our favourite things, ie being together, and eating good food!
February saw us celebrate our 12th valentines day together, and more importantly our 12th pancake day! Sarah LOVES pancakes! So we not only went out for pancakes during the day, we cooked them for dinner and dessert too! I started my new job, which is brilliant and I am so grateful for, I love it!
March began with us being featured in Sarah's favourite magazine, Glamour, in an article on keeping love alive in a variety of circumstances. Our section was newlyweds, with a mention to the fact we had been together for 10.5 years, and yet are still madly and deeply in love. And the end of the month we went back to our favourite place in the UK - Brighton is a very special place for us, and we visited for a weekend as part of Lauren's birthday celebrations. Our visit coincided with the biggest vegan fair in the UK, which of course we visited and bought a LOT of vegan cake and chocolate!
Lauren turned 29 on April 1st, and we celebrated with a shopping trip and then a night in watching Pretty Little Liars with a takeaway pizza at the birthday girl's request! Easter followed shortly afterwards and we continued our new tradition of going to the cinema on Easter Sunday! We watched Cinderella, which we both loved, such a beautiful film. And celebrated the official adoption day of our beautiful niece. She has brought so much happiness to so many people, least of all her aunties who spoil her rotten and adore everything about her. Such a wonderful day!
May appeared to be rather bland, and involved us working a lot and occasionally going on nice dates for good food!
And then June, celebrating Sarah's Mum's 60th birthday in Malta. We spent a week relaxing in the beautiful sunshine, and showing her round the little island we love so much. It was amazing to see the places through the eyes of someone who had never been before, and explore places new and old to us. We enjoyed quite a lot of amazing Mediterranean food and an awful lot of wine, and Sarah's Mum fell in love with Malta perhaps even more than we have - she can't wait to go back! When we returned Sarah was lucky enough to jet off again - this time to St Lucia, for a week of paradise with her work team as a reward for winning the prestigious 'Store of the Year' award.
The beginning of July was our second wedding anniversary, and we spent it in our capital city. The hotel was stunning, the weather was beautiful, and we made memories to last a lifetime. It is one of the last memories I have of pre-IVF treatment and pregnancy of just me and my wonderful wife. We drank a LOT of cocktails and ate incredible food, perfect. And then at the end of July our first IVF cycle began, with my wife injecting me in my tummy every evening. Oh the romance!
Egg collection was on August 1st, and whilst it wasn't exactly what we had hoped, we had 4 little egglets to call our own, and of them, 3 fertilised and made it to blastocyst, and 2 in to the freezer waiting to be used when I had gotten over OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome). We recovered from the IVF cycle in the Cotswolds, on a beautiful mini-break with Willow.
September saw our garden have a complete makeover, a project we have wanted to get done for a while. We now have a beautiful peaceful haven to…sit in the rain in. Oh Britain. And then we had a week off together, during which we had a 'stay-cation' and did a lot of our favourite things - at home. We visited the spa for a day, we went to the cinema, we went out for dinner to an entirely vegan Chinese restaurant, we went shopping, and we had a night out with lots of cocktails. On the 25th September we celebrated being a couple for 11 years.
When October rolled around we were already in to our frozen embryo transfer cycle, as Lauren had been on a HRT pill since 16th September in preparation. We celebrated my birthday at the spa, and then went out for Italian tapas and more cocktails, before spending the night 23 levels up in to the sky in a beautiful hotel in the city centre. Our perfect little embryo was transferred on the 7th October, and exactly a week later, on 14th October 2015, at 1pm, we took a pregnancy test which was positive! That weekend we took Willow glamping, and stayed in a gorgeous but tiny 1950s caravan in the Black Mountains. We celebrated Lauren's parents 30th wedding anniversary on the 19th, and took the opportunity to tell our families about our impending arrival, and then the following weekend we went to London, where we ate amazing dim sum in china town, and visited the Baby Show. Wow October was busy!
November by contrast was more subdued, the morning sickness really kicked in for me and then the pregnancy exhaustion did too, so it has been an effort to get myself to work, and I didn't manage much else. But it was an incredibly exciting month as we were able to see our tiny baby for the first time when we went for our scan. What an incredible and emotional moment! And then had our first midwife appointment at the end of the month, which made things feel very real again.
December has of course been about one thing - Christmas! But Christmas while pregnant has been a dream come true, literally. We took Sarah's Mum to the ballet to see The Nutcracker at the beginning of the month, which seemed to mark the beginning Christmas simultaneously. On the 10th December we were able to see our beautiful baby again on scan, at our dating scan. We were moved two days ahead and given the official due date of 22nd June 2016. We used this opportunity to tell the wider world about our news, which was amazing! We went to the cinema to see the Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D on the 16th, and then before we knew it was Christmas! Christmas was peaceful, relaxing and full of our two favourite things - family and food. To say it was our last as the two of us, it couldn't have been more magical.
So there we have it. Life has this amazing way of working things out the way things are meant to go. Even if you have no idea of what the future will bring (do any of us ever know this for certain?) there is one thing that is certain, things will always work out the way they are supposed to. We never dreamed this time last year that 2015 would be quite so wonderful, it has certainly had it's ups and downs but mainly it has given us memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. As we enter in to 2016, we do so with so much love, so much happiness and so much excitement at what the future will bring. Not to mention of course that our world will be tipped on it's head in June, when our very longed for and loved little person enters this world!
And now, it's New Years Eve! Lauren is 15 weeks pregnant, our baby is the size of an orange - growing hair and sucking its thumb. Laurens morning sickness is subsiding, and we go into 2016 with only one plan. No set holidays, no set adventures, no dates in the diary, apart from one very magical day that we don't have exactly pinpointed yet…the day we become parents.
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