Dear future babies,
I wanted to write this so you would know how much you were loved and wanted and how much we went through to get you before you were even born. It’s coming up for two years now since we decided we it was time for us to start a family. At the back of my mind I’d always suspected it wouldn’t be an easy road for us but I dared to hope we might be one of those lucky couples that fall pregnant on the first try. It was fun at first and I started to learn more about my body. Making a baby really is fascinating but when you break it down, with all the factors that come on to play, it’s a wonder anyone ever falls pregnant.
After about 6 months I decided to go to the doctor. I was referred for ultrasounds and blood tests and that began our infertility journey. What I found the most difficult was the waiting. Waiting for an appointment, waiting for results, waiting for my next period, hoping it wouldn’t come. I became obsessed with researching everything online, as the say knowledge is power.
In December 2015, after a year with no success, I was told they suspected one of my Fallopian tubes were blocked. They don’t know exactly how that happened but decided the best course of action would be a laparoscopy to get a good look at what was going on inside me.
I was devastated, my body had let me down once again and the odds were stacked even further against us. I felt so guilty that it was my body that didn’t work properly. I was the one holding your dad and I back from our dream.
It’s true what they say that if you can’t have something it makes you want it that much more. Two of our close friends fell pregnant around the same time we started trying, and it was tough when their babies were born 9 months later knowing that it was supposed to be me joining them.
I wasn’t prepared for the intense jealousy I would feel when someone announced a pregnancy or had their beautiful baby. It’s ugly and undignified and at those times, I felt like the worst person in the world. My heart would start to pound if I saw an ultrasound photo on Facebook or found out another person had fallen pregnant ‘accidentally’ or was expecting their second baby within a year.
I learnt so much about the reproductive system I think I could teach biology. I would bore your dad with the details and I could see him glaze over but sometimes I needed an outlet for everything I had going around in my head. I would get annoyed with him sometimes, he’d say “ewww” or “I don’t understand, I’m confused” but it wasn’t his fault! It’s a very lonely time, it was something we’d kept just between us and I felt like he was the only person I could talk too. After we found out I had to have the surgery we did start to tell our close family and friends, not too many details, but it was nice to finally be able to talk about it with more than one person.
We used to have to endure the endless questions from people asking when are you having a baby and we’d want to shout “WE WANT ONE MORE THAN ANYTHING”, but instead we’d have to smile nod and say maybe one day. People don’t mean to do it to upset you but it can be insensitive and frustrating. Worse still were the people that did know and say things like “just relax, it’ll happen” or “make the most of not having kids”. Sometimes even complete strangers would feel the need to ask us about it. Thankfully the majority of the family didn’t ask (I have a feeling Grandma put them firmly in their place!).
I found it hard thinking I was letting my family down, I think I wanted to give Grandma a grandbaby nearly as much as I wanted one for myself. I would daydream about ways I could surprise them with our pregnancy announcement when the time came, but it never happened. Your auntie Lucy sent me one of the most lovely texts I’ve ever had when I told her. I’ll read it to you sometime. She said that having a baby didn’t define us and that if we had one it was a bonus but they loved us for us. I would try to anticipate their thoughts that Christmas might be when we tell the the good news or “I wonder why they want to come for dinner, could it be…?” “Oh what’s this envelope with my birthday present?” Etc. Last year I resorted to giving grandma and auntie Lucy a heads up on Christmas Eve that no announcements would be made as I couldn’t handle their expectations. I just couldn’t imagine not having children and not giving my parents grandchildren that I knew would bring them so much joy.
Your dad has been amazing during the whole process. He was always there to wipe my tears, I sometimes would ask why he didn’t get upset but he said he had to be strong for me because if we both fell apart where would we be. I felt guilty and I told him on many occasions to go marry someone else.
About 2 years in we started saying you would be ‘worth the wait’ it was like our little catch phrase that we would say to each other to cheer us up. It reminded me of when your dad used to say ‘fools rush in’ when people asked him about getting married. I know you will be a worth the wait, pain, endless tears and heartache to just hear your heartbeat for the first time, see you on the ultrasound and hold you in my arms. I look at your dad and I know he’s going to be an amazing dad just as he is an amazing husband. I want to give him this so much and I’m so eager to watch you grow up with parts of both of us, good and bad. I know you will inherit all of your dad’s qualities and hopefully some of mine too.
One night recently we’d been out with friends and they told me their cousin’s girlfriend was pregnant, it was an accident and they didn’t know how they would afford it. It made me so mad and so sad that this couple got a baby and we didn’t, we could give a baby so much love and stability and it would make so many people so happy. When we got home I started crying and your dad just hugged me and said “I know”, neither of us had to say anything we both just knew. I don’t think I’d ever loved him more than in that moment. I wouldn’t have wanted to do this with anyone else he makes me smile and laugh and sometimes drives me insane but I’m so lucky to have him, I’m trying not to lose sight of that despite everything and to show gratitude for everything we do have when I can.
I found it difficult to deal with my hormones which would sometimes make me crazy. It’s so hard not being in control of your own body. I could handle the physical side, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t struggle emotionally. The waiting killed me every month as did the 100s of negative tests. We know you will be more than worth it though.
I had the laparoscopy and it was ok, it took a little time to recover I made the most of dad running around after me, and I’ve got some battle scars to show for it but it’s all worth it for you. The surgery showed I did in fact have a blocked tube but the other worked well. I had to wait another 2 months for a follow up appointment which felt like an eternity but it finally came round a few days after my 29th birthday. They finally prescribed clomid, a fertility drug, and I was so happy it was the best birthday present ever. I finally felt like I had an ounce of control. Of course the first cycle failed miserably which was disheartening and discouraging because yet again I’d allowed that glimmer of hope to think it would be first time lucky. We were only allowed 6 cycles so it felt like the odds were stacking up against us yet again.
I’m coming up to the end my 4th cycle and still no luck. If this doesn’t work we’ll be moving on to IVF. I need to shift some more weight by January to qualify but everytime I’m tempted by a chocolate bar I think of you, you’re my motivation and incentive.
I can honestly say I haven’t had one day in the last 2 years where I haven’t thought of you in one way or another. I think your dad can switch off from it, lucky him, but not me, it’s almost an addiction. I’d be embarrassed for anyone to see my search history. I end up with so many questions and google every symptom or twinge I get. I think about if you’ll be a boy or girl, what your name will be (I have lots picked out!) what you’ll look like, what the world will be like for you to grow up in. If we’ll be able to give you a brother or sister. Then I think what if it’s too hard, what if we have you then regret it, I don’t what to be one of those parents that just moans at / about their kids all day and wonder why they even had them in the first place.
2016 has been a difficult year for us, we lost Debbie and your Great Nan and all I want is to be able to give our families some happy news during a dark time.
I would get frustrated as milestones went past, when I knew I wouldn’t have you before I was 30, before our wedding anniversary, in time for us to make an announcement at Christmas, etc. The uncertainty made it so difficult to make future plans thinking “ooh we might be pregnant / have a baby by then” but at the same time we had to make the most of the time and not just spend it ‘waiting’
There are dark days when I’d think all the what ifs, what if I do fall pregnant but miscarry, what if my other tube gets blocked, what if we can’t afford IVF, what if we can never have children. It’s hard to drag myself back from that place but we have to try and stay positive. The lady who’s been doing my acupuncture says I will get my baby and I want to believe her so much. She also says to tell myself everyday; I’ve done all I can do and that’s enough but that’s easier said than done.
I’m going to leave it there for now my darling. I’m scared that we will have to go down the IVF road, I don’t know if I’m strong enough but the thought of you will get me through I’m sure.
I want to raise you In a perfect world, where you are not discriminated against but have equality, acceptance and amazing opportunities. You will be strong, intelligent, kind, caring and generous. You’ll be able achieve anything and I hope you’ll always know that we love and support you no matter what.
I want you to know that you are so wanted, yearned for and loved by everyone before you even existed, everything I do is for you and I know when you’re ready you’ll find a way to get to us and we cannot wait. You’ll be our greatest gift… so hurry up
Love Mum xx