It Started With A Stick

Hello and welcome to my blog! 

I’m Shell and I’m new to parenting. 

This is my first post and first blog. It was born out of my 3 am googling to find people in my situation and never quite finding what I was looking for. 

I found lots of inspirational working mom blogs, and a large number of parents who had set up businesses after the birth of their children to spend more time at home and have more flexible hours.

That doesn’t describe me. 

I’m a Joint Venture Partner with Vets4Pets. My business opens 8 am to 7 pm on weekdays and 9-6 Saturdays and bank holidays. My workload is stressful and demanding. I often have to do business-related activities outside of my normal working hours, and my normal working hours are really incompatible with a young family.

Somehow I need to find a way to make this all work. 

My goal with this blog is to find solidarity with other small business owners juggling work and parenting an infant. I hope that by sharing what I learn I can help other people in my position.

I would love to build an online community where like-minded parents can come together to get tips, tricks, and hacks as we bumble through this adventure together. 

I would love to hear from you about any topics you’d like me to cover. Feel free to either comment on a post or contact me directly here.

My Story

For my first post, I’ll start at the very beginning of my journey. It feels like a lifetime ago now, but it all began on Saturday 13th July 2019 with this…

Shell Powis Pregnancy Test

My first positive test! Actually, I took 5, but I didn’t want to seem mental to my friends and family so I only photographed two. I took 3 more over the next 48 hours. 

Some background to my paranoia; I had my coil removed over two years previously and had not used contraception since. We’d been referred for tests, and while Jamie just had to make his offering in a cup my tests were somewhat more invasive. 

Bloods revealed my hormones were on track and despite no periods I was releasing an egg each month. Ultrasound of my ovaries revealed cysts, but my doctor wasn’t sure they were significant. Vaginal ultrasound (with what I felt was an unnecessarily large probe) showed my uterus was normal. 

I even had a radioactive dye injected into my fallopian tubes and then x-rays taken which showed no blockages. All in all, I had the medical profession flummoxed. There was no reason they could find why I would not be having periods, or have conceived. The next stage we were told was fertility treatment. 

I’ve reached an age where I’ve witnessed multiple friends, and colleagues going through fertility treatment. To be brutally honest, I didn’t think I could put myself through it. I’d always been open to the idea of adopting, or maybe, dare I say it, not even having kids at all. 

So we decided to shelve our parenting plans for a few years, book our first skiing trip and I’d almost convinced Jamie perhaps we did have space for a 4th dog after all. 

6 weeks after the dye was injected I was at a friend’s wedding and so VERY very drunk when I felt the unmistakable sensation of having a period. (This part is about to get graphic so if you’re squeamish I’d skip to the next section.)

I was livid, For 2 years I’d waited for a period and it shows up at a wedding when I’ve got nothing appropriate with me. I rushed to the toilets hoping for a sanitary vending machine, but no. The wedding’s in a converted barn, the toilets are rustic and beautiful and utterly lacking in overpriced tampons. I go into the cubicle to assess the damage, and when I pull down my pants I’m greeted with not blood but what I can only describe as clear PVA glue. 

In my drunken state my mind immediately goes to sheer panic. Clearly, this is a sign I am dying. I frantically fish my phone out of my bag and consult my dear friend Dr. Google. A few clicks later and I’m reading about early pregnancy discharge in horror. 

I’m not dying, I’m pregnant. 

I’m pregnant and I’m drunk!

In a corner of the grounds, Jamie and I talk in hushed tones and he talks me down from the precipice. We don’t know I’m pregnant, so I’ll stop drinking just in case and we’ll enjoy the rest of the evening. 

I dance and smile but in the back of my mind like a ticking time bomb is the thought that I had my shot at pregnancy and ruined it all

Once home I refuse to take a test. I’ve obsessively googled enough to know if I am pregnant it’ll either be fine, or I’ll miscarry. I set myself an arbitrary time frame of a week (based on no science at all) but I tell myself that if nothing has changed in a week I’ll take a test. 

I don’t talk about it to anyone, not even Jamie but I think of virtually nothing else all week. 

Instead of sleeping late on Saturday, I’m staring at walls from 5 am. By 6 I’ve had enough. I tiptoe into the bathroom and take out the container and multiple pregnancy tests I’ve hidden in the bathroom cupboard. One wee and 10 minutes later and I’m staring at 5 positive tests. Some haven’t even finished their time yet and they are all positive!

I don’t have the words to describe the joy I felt sitting on the bathroom floor that morning. I text my sisters before the urine had a chance to dry on the sticks!

I ended up having a rough pregnancy, less than ideal birth and entered parenting mid-global pandemic. But more on all that later. That photo represents one of the most perfect, cherished moments of my life. It’s languished unappreciated on my phone reel too long, and I knew I had to include it in my first post. 

My Goals for 2021

My initial goal for the first 9 months of this blog is to knuckle down and get some quality content written. I’m committing to two weekly posts released on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons. That’s 86 posts between now and the end of the year. 

If this sounds like something you want to be involved in please subscribe and I’ll send you an update once a fortnight with links to my latest posts so you don’t have to spend time searching for them.

Here’s to a great 2021 

Categorized as Baby