We’ve decided to stop trying for a baby until there is more certainty in the world

Aoife and Shane from Northern Ireland reflect on the difficult and very personal decision to temporarily stop trying to conceive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shane and I got married in August 2018 and started trying for a baby the next day. We’ve always been keen to have a big family and couldn’t wait to get going. We’re both in our thirties and felt like there wasn’t much time to spare.

I was so ecstatic when I saw two pink lines on a pregnancy test a couple of weeks after our honeymoon. We couldn’t believe our luck and felt incredibly blessed.

I had no idea that miscarriage was so common

Sadly, I had a missed miscarriage and lost the baby. We made it to my 12-week scan only to find out that baby had stopped growing at 6 weeks. We were heartbroken. No words can describe the pain.

That evening, we were planning on a big reveal with all our family. Poor Shane had to call them and reveal some much sadder news.

The miscarriage wasn’t easy and required surgical intervention. It was physically and emotionally traumatic.

After a couple of months of healing, we decided it was time to start trying again. I fell pregnant after 2 months, but the magic naivety had been stolen from us. We were anxious from the moment we saw the first test. Sadly, my period arrived that month – a week late. My GP told me that I’d experienced a chemical pregnancy. Once again, out dreams were shattered.

It took much longer to heal after our second loss. We heavy hearts, we decided to take break trying to conceive to focus on ourselves and our marriage.

Feeling hopeful for 2020

At the beginning of January 2020, Shane and I decided it was time to finally start trying again. We’d spent Christmas together in beautiful St. Lucia and had the most wonderful time. We’d found peace again.

I think, deep down, I expected that I would fall pregnant quickly again. The months started passing us by and every period came with disappointment. I know that, in the grand scheme of things, 3 months in nothing but it’s hard when you have high expectations.

Now we find ourselves here, in the middle of a global pandemic. We’re now living in strange and scary times.

We feel so uncertain about the future now

It was nearly April before we truly understood the seriousness of the Coronavirus situation. One evening, we sat in the garden and reflected on whether we should continue trying. Our first instinct was to keep on going. We want a baby so much, it feels counterintuitive to just stop. I was so relieved that Shane felt the same as me.

However, as I came to terms with the realities of life during lockdown, I started having doubts. I have been following the Tommy’s PregnancyHub COVID-19 updates and have been worried at how maternity care is changing. I was particularly concerned when I saw how early pregnancy care and miscarriage support is being reduced. After my previous experiences of loss, the thought of a scan without my husband by my side is too painful to consider.

I plucked up the courage to speak to Shane again. I told him how I was feeling and asked how he’d feel about stopping trying for a couple of months. I was relieved when he told me he felt the same way as me.

A very personal decision

We’ve decided to review our decision each month – I keep having to remind myself that it’s only temporary. Once we feel more certain about how things are going to play out, we’ll start trying again immediately.

I know we’re in a privileged position to be able to come to this decision. We’re both under 35 and in good health. We know that, despite our previous losses, the odds of a healthy pregnancy are still very much in our favour.

It’s been painful to let a precious ovulation pass us by. We know in our hearts this is right for us. We’d never judge any couple who have continued on the TTC journey. It’s such a personal decision.

We’re holding on to hope that our rainbow will be with us soon. 

Tommy's are here to support you

Although we've had to temporarily close our support line as our midwives have moved to homeworking, our Tommy's midwives are still here to support you. You can  now contact our team of midwives via email ([email protected]) if you need support during these difficult times.   

Here at Tommy's, we are working hard to provide the best support and information we can during a time of extra anxiety.