‘Hey, don’t cry, it’s OK,’ my husband, Lee, 28, soothed, rushing over and wrapping his arms around me as I emerged from the bathroom with tears brimming in my eyes.
‘It’s negative,’ I cried, showing him the pregnancy test in my hand.
‘We can try again,’ he assured me.
‘It just feels like it’s never going to happen,’ I sobbed.
We’d been married for a few years and had been desperate to start a family of our own.
But despite trying all we could to have a baby and our dream of becoming parents felt like it was never going to happen and the constant disappointment took its toll.
Every time a friend uploaded a grainy black-and-white ultrasound picture to announce their pregnancy on Facebook, I felt a pang of bitter jealousy.
‘Why can’t that be me?’ I fumed secretly.
Friends and family knew we were having difficulties, but every time someone innocently asked: ‘When are you going to have kids?’ it’d leave me in floods of tears.
Even the sight of a new mum pushing her newborn baby in a pram, would leave me with hot tears pricking my eyes.
Eventually – after a year with no success – we decided to go to the doctor to try and find out why we couldn’t conceive.
They did lots of tests, but they couldn’t pinpoint a problem.
‘IVF could be an option,’ the doctor explained. ‘But you will both need to lose a bit of weight to qualify for it.’
Determined to do all we could, Lee and I ditched the greasy takeaways and set about a beating the bulge – embarking on a strict diet and exercise regime.
Between us we shed more than six stone.
All the while, we kept trying, and I gave everything which might help a whirl – from herbal teas to pregnancy supplements.
Every week without fail, I’d take a pregnancy test in the hope I’d see two little blue lines – but every time it would come back negative.
Disappointment after disappointment was hard to swallow and I felt very alone – I knew I had Lee to lean on and my friends and family, but I worried my constant moaning was getting to them all.
Instead of offloading on everyone around me, I decided to shut myself away in our bedroom and pour my heart out while recording a video of myself on my phone.
After I’d had a little cry and ranted away, I felt like I’d got it off my chest and could move on.
Every time – if I had a low day or was feeling worried, angry or upset – I’d find a quiet spot to record a little clip.
I kept the videos a secret – not even telling Lee about the footage.
After five years of heartache, I’d built up hundreds of little clips.
Just days before I was due to start medication for IVF – in 2018 – I was stunned to see two blue lines on the pregnancy test I’d taken.
‘I don’t believe it,’ I gasped, showing Lee.
We had almost given up hope at ever becoming parents.
But – although pregnancy was all I’d ever wished for – it was anything but joyful.
Rather than the pre-baby ‘glow’ must mummy-to-bes talk about, I spent hours curled around the loo being sick.
My morning sickness got so bad that I was diagnoses with hyperemesis gravidarum – an extreme morning sickness.
As well as that I suffered from SPD, an instability and pain in my pelvis and hips.
‘It’ll all be worth it in the end, when I’m holding our baby,’ I reminded myself as I winced in agony, waddling around the house.
In time, our little boy – who we named Tyler – was born on Lee’s birthday, Christmas Day, at 39 weeks and two days – at 2.41am at Arrowe Park Hospital, Birkenhead, Wirral.
‘This is the best present I could have ever asked for,’ Lee cooed as he rocked our newborn gently in his arms.
Weighing a healthy 7lbs 8oz, Tyler was perfect.
I gushed over his little button nose and his chubby cheeks.
‘I can’t believe he’s ours,’ I whispered to Lee.
Once we left hospital, we quickly settled into the usual chaotic newborn routine of cuddles, story and bath time. But the sleep deprivation and dirty nappies didn’t faze us one bit – it’s all we’d wanted for so long.
In February, when Tyler was two months old, I was flicking through the camera roll on my phone when I came across one of the heart wrenching videos I’d recorded while struggling to conceive.
Watching it back, I couldn’t help but shed a tear.
It brought all of those raw emotions back to the surface.
I hadn’t even confided in Lee or showed him the clips whilst we were trying for a baby.
But as soon as he got home from work – and found me bawling my eyes out on the sofa watching back the footage – so I played it to him too.
‘I can’t believe I had no idea you were filming these,’ he said, wrapping his arms around me.
‘I’m going to put them all together to make one long video,’ I told him.
I planned on sharing it on social media to help other couples going through a similar ordeal.
‘If it gives us just one couple hope then it’s worth it,’ I told Lee.
After uploading the video to Facebook my post went viral.
We were astonished when it picked up more than 66,000 views and I was inundated with messages from couples everywhere.
I hoped that it’d give people the strength to keep going and never give up.
Lee and I were on the verge of calling a day on starting a family and that’s when we fell pregnant.
Battling fertility is mentally and physically draining – every day is a struggle.
It was a hard few years, but the outcome has made all of the heartache worthwhile.