As promised here is Part 2 to the Love Story we brought you last week detailing their engagement. Now we bring you their gorgeous wedding, beautiful honeymoon.. and very exciting additions to that family... Yes I said plural!!
Love Stories ♥ Laura & Laura Part 2
Straight away we started planning the wedding. We chose and booked our venue within a couple of weeks. We had drawn up our guest list and realised that our priorities actually included a rather large guest list. This meant that we had to deal with a rather large projected budget. We took a deep breath and worked out how much we could afford to save. I went spreadsheet mad, but that meant that we had a clear idea of what we had already saved, what we could continue to save, deposits we had already paid, and balances yet to come. I highly recommend using a spreadsheet or budget planner when it comes to thinking about costs for your wedding as it really helped us a lot.
We spent each of the school holidays crossing different wedding related jobs off a checklist. We bought our dresses, booked a florist, picked a photographer… we were pretty busy, but it was all fun and we agreed on everything from the colour scheme to the table names (famous lesbians – we like to educate as well as entertain our guests!).
Sadly, that summer, Heston died at only just over a year old. We got Rocky fairly soon afterwards, from a different breeder, as we felt we needed to get another friend for Hercules – he was so lost after Heston died.
However, when we then told Heston’s breeder what had happened – feeling we should let her know in case whatever caused Heston’s early death affected the other kittens from the litter – she immediately offered us a free replacement. We could hardly say no, even though three cats was utter madness!
So we got Barney.
Our house was crazy, but – for the time being at least – our little family was complete. We continued planning the wedding and then, that winter, decided to make some enquiries into IVF.
We have a friend who had tried to get pregnant for years, using different clinics and different donors and spending thousands of pounds. In the end, she decided on IVF and got pregnant first time. Because I was almost 30, we thought that we would rather pay out a few grand on IVF and have a better chance of conceiving than try insemination and potentially spend the same amount to have much worse odds.
Still, we didn’t know all the ins and the outs – although having our friend’s experience to go on was really helpful – so we called up the Assisted Conception Unit at Guy’s Hospital in London and made some enquiries. We knew we didn’t want to try to have a baby before the wedding – which was still 8 months away, but we did want to be able to get on with it as soon as we were married, so we thought it was best we checked everything out early in case there was a waiting list.
The meeting we had with a doctor at Guy’s was really useful and we got ourselves on their books, without having to worry about really doing anything until we were back from honeymoon.
We both turned 30 in 2011 and we had our hen night.
We had many debates about what to do for the hen night. We wanted to have a joint one mostly because through working together we have a lot of the same friends. We didn’t want to make our friends have to pay out twice for separate nights out – plus we didn’t want that awkwardness of one hen night being much more fun than the other!
We went for a cocktail making session in Soho, which I can highly recommend. My wife-to-be was on some fairly strong painkillers at the time, which meant that, unfortunately, she was on the floor (literally) by 8pm and had to be taken home by one of our bridesmaids. But I stayed out and had a wicked time with my girlies.
Before we knew it, our wedding day had come. It was so amazing and literally the best day of both our lives. I won’t clog this page up with too many pictures, but if you want to see more photos of our wedding day, you can do so on my blog or on my Flickr page
The day was perfect from beginning to end. As I stood by the gazebo where we were to have our ceremony and watched Laura walk down the aisle towards me, I couldn’t help but get choked up – she looked so beautiful.
Our venue was amazing too. I had wondered at the wisdom of booking an outdoor ceremony, but the sun came out and our photographer discovered some fabulous locations for photos out behind the hotel that we’d had no idea were there!
We had a brilliant time, but we knew we would, after all, we were each marrying our best friend. Even better, all our guests had a brilliant time and really enjoyed themselves, which was what we’d hoped for.
After the wedding, we had a couple of days to relive the day and get ourselves ready before we jetted off on our honeymoon to Mexico. We had booked ourselves two weeks all-inclusive and it was SO worth it! We basically spent our days lazing by the pool, drinking (free) cocktails and our evenings eating in the many restaurants and… er… drinking more (free) cocktails!
It was the holiday of a lifetime and we were treated just the same as all the other honeymooning couples. We had rose petals scattered on our bed, champagne in our room on arrival, a free massage in the spa and a romantic dinner on the beach. It was such a wonderful experience.
Once we were back from honeymoon, we knew we wanted to get straight on with trying to have a baby. It may seem crazy that we didn’t want to enjoy married life first, but we’d already been living together for two years, so fundamentally nothing had changed and we just wanted our family to feel complete.
We had some appointments at Guy’s Hospital and I started taking the hormone medication that would first stop my periods and then stimulate my body to produce lots of eggs.
This all went pretty well – and surprisingly I didn’t turn into a crazy hormone-monster – and on the 8th November I had 21 eggs collected from my ovaries! Of those 21 eggs, 15 were fertilised and only two went on to thrive, so after 5 days, we had both put back in. We knew this would create a risk of having twins, but having spent close to £8,000 on the whole thing, we decided that two babies was better than no babies and we would rather increase our chances by having both put back in. Plus, our donor hadn’t given consent for any fertilised embryos to be frozen, so they would have just thrown the other one away if we hadn’t decided to risk it.
Shortly after this, I became very ill. The hormones that cause you to produce extra eggs can actually cause your ovaries to be hyper-stimulated – and that’s what happened to me. I was really bloated, which caused me to throw up and feel dizzy and I could barely walk because of the pain in my swollen belly. The staff at Guy’s decided to admit me to the ward at St Thomas’ (their sister hospital) and I spent eight days in there having fluid drained out of my stomach (yuck!).
Whilst I was there I had to have regular blood tests and one of the things they checked was my level of hCG (the hormone used to stimulate my ovaries; also the hormone your body produces when you are pregnant). The doctors were able to confirm that I had hCG in my blood, which meant I was pregnant – however, I was too ill to really take this in and didn’t really believe it until I got home and peed on a stick.
A couple of weeks later we went back to Guy’s so they could check how my ovaries were doing and also to check the pregnancy.
The first thing the doctor was able to identify was the fact there were TWO amniotic sacs – we were having twins! (You can just about make out one of the babies in the picture – it’s the little shrimpy thing in the top of the left-hand black blob!)
I’m now almost 19 weeks pregnant and we’re trying to move out of our second floor flat into a proper family home with a garden and everything. The twins are growing and growing and I’m starting to feel very subtle movement in my belly. Our 20-week scan is still a week and half away, but here is what the twins looked like at 13 weeks:
Obviously having twins is going to be a major upheaval – not to mention the extra cost (how ironic that our wedding was extra expensive because we had two brides, and now we are going to have to buy double everything baby-related for the twins!) – but we are so, so, SO excited to meet our children. We have decided not to find out the sexes of the babies so it will be an extra surprise on the day.
They are due in early July (my official due date is 31/7/12, but twins usually come at 37 or 38 weeks instead of the full 40) and before then we have to move house and buy a whole load of baby stuff, but it’s all part of the next chapter of our lives together and we really just can’t wait!