Okay, so firstly, I am currently pregnant with my second child. Yay!!! 🙂
We announced the pregnancy on social media over Easter, and there’s been something weighing on my mind since just before we decided to make the news public amongst our friends.
We had been holding off on a public announcement because I was due to see my extended family for Easter, and I thought since I was seeing them so close to my 12 week ‘safe’ mark (I was 14 weeks over Easter) that it would be nice to share the news in person rather than through a generic Facebook post. As I’m sure we all know, Easter this year coincided with April Fools Day, and as a result in the days leading up to my social media announcement I saw a fair few posts on my feed about how a fake pregnancy announcement is not a joke, and can be very hurtful to a lot of women, their partners and their families. It weighed heavily on my mind as we were taking that awesome photo of Thomas that, although our announcement would be 100% genuine, it would still probably strike a nerve for at least a couple of my Facebook friends.
It’s really important for me to acknowledge that I know that feeling, I’ve been there. I’ve never spoken (not just publicly, but to anyone besides my husband) about how devastated I was when I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome at 20, after seeing doctors for what turned out to be symptoms of the disorder all through my teen years. I was told that the earlier it was diagnosed and treatment could be started, the more likely I would be able to conceive naturally (gee, thanks. I’ve only been complaining for 7+ years so far), but that I would still most likely find it fairly difficult, if not impossible, to fall pregnant. I felt a very deep sense of injustice and betrayal by my own body. I already had cerebral palsy; what other ways could my body possibly find to let me down? I had a small meltdown that day, in Matt’s arms (and in a public park, for some reason 😳).
Although I was only 20, I knew that someday, hopefully soon, I wanted children. People close to me had started conceiving and giving birth to beautiful babies, and while I was of course overjoyed for them, it also killed me to see them take that journey when I was so scared it might not be in my own future.
I felt utter heartbreak when we did actively start trying to grow our family. Six months passed, and then a year, and around me I would see more pregnancy announcements pop up, and then birth announcements. I knew people who conceived and chose to abort; although I 100% respect their decision and have & always will be pro-choice, a piece of me was screaming that I wanted what they had chosen to let go of.
Thomas came into being, obviously, but it was after 2 years of uncertainty, angst, yearning and tears. Of course then there was the nine months of thrilling excitement tinged with an ever-present fear that something would go wrong and it would all be ripped away. I’m sure all parents experience that feeling, no matter how long they’ve waited for a pregnancy.
I was, am and always will be absolutely overjoyed to have my son; he is growing into such a beautiful and challenging individual and I look forward every day to sharing his future with him. I had always hoped for two children, but now that I had Thomas the longing was softened somewhat. I had absolutely no intention of marring my son’s childhood by wishing for what I didn’t have instead of appreciating what I did. Nevertheless, as soon as Thomas was born we continued to plan and hope for a second child, just in case. It was what we both wanted and as Thomas grew we could see what an excellent big brother he would make.
Obviously it has been close to a 4 year journey this time, and although any sadness at others’ pregnancies was greatly tempered by the presence of my son, it never went away entirely. Once the second year came and went, and there were others who could make use of Thomas’ baby things, I started giving them all away. I believe now that subconsciously I didn’t want all those things in storage, hoping for another baby that might never come.
Top tip: Don’t do this. We’re pretty much starting from scratch in the baby items department now. 😂
I ached for this child as much as I did for Thomas, and the swelling of joy when I (eventually) recognised the symptoms of early pregnancy back in January this year was unparalleled to anything I have felt since I got that phone call from my GP in September 2013 to bring the existence of what would soon be my little boy crashing into my world.
This has not been an easy journey, for me or Matt, and it was important to me for some reason to acknowledge that. I know a lot of people have gone or will go through a lot worse than what I have, and I know that many will not come out the other side with happy & healthy children, as I’ve been lucky enough to. But I just wanted to say, if seeing my announcement, or anyone else’s, made your day a little darker, I’m sorry. I’ve been there, and I’m so so sorry. I love you. ❤️