Dear Future Babies,
Daddy is waiting to take you to rugby games, teach you about kindness, strength and bravery. Mummy is waiting to hold you, nourish you, and teach you compassion, gratitude and respect. Bru-dog is waiting for you, for walks, and couch cuddles, and for you to throw his ball. Your Great-Grandmother Jessie is 97, and we’d so like you to meet her.
You see, your family love you already. Grannies and Grandads, Aunties, Uncles, Cousins and friends, even though none of us have been able to hold you yet. They want to read your stories, teach you the bagpipes, play hide and seek and go on campervan holidays.
But most of all, my gorgeous child, I miss you. I miss you on a deep, deep level, its painful sometimes, to think of how long I may have to wait to feel you kick and squirm in me. And maybe I never will. Maybe you won’t come to us like that, but for the purposes of where we are in our journey, I’m going to trust that you will. I imagine what it will be like to cosy up, lying on my side, with your bump under Daddy’s hands as he cosies in to sleep. I imagine us just staring at you, as you sleep next to us. We imagine what your hair colour will be, a lot. Daddy has beautiful ginger hair; we’d love to have you carry that on, and we’ll teach you to be brave and proud when other kids are silly about it. We have names in mind, strong names that you can grow and stretch into.
Our house feels big and empty without you, especially because we picked it with you in mind, but we’re doing what we can to fill it with love and laughs, creating space for you in our home and our lives. When you are big enough for your own room, we are all going to move into rooms right next door to each other, so we can be right there whenever you need us. Or we need you.
We’ve reached a point of comfort with the wait for you, but life hasn’t always felt this way. Nor will it necessarily stay this way either. You see my little gingernut, Mummy has a condition that has made making you an educational journey, one that I am now grateful for, but it’s delayed your arrival, which has been heart-breaking. 12 years ago, I was diagnosed with a condition I didn’t understand, and my darling, it really scared me. I was scared I’d never meet you, never see your little face, hold your little hand, teach you about your family, and rub your grazed knees better. I was worried I’d never find your Daddy, or he’d not accept that having you would be difficult, I was worried he wouldn’t love me. But he does, wholeheartedly, and I couldn’t have picked a warmer man to create you with.
We’ve been through a lot. I’ve tried a lot of avenues to speed your arrival along. I became inpatient, difficult, stressed and anxious. I doubted myself, as a woman, and as a mother. I doubted my bodies ability to make you, carry you and birth you. This journey knocked my confidence, and nearly destroyed our marriage. I hated myself. I called myself words like broken, infertile and useless, and I berated anyone who told me otherwise. I’ve practiced yoga, turned to western medicine, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, and acupuncture (a 4 hour round trip weekly). I’ve had countless scans, appointments and needles. I’ve been teased for my choices by colleagues who wanted to know what I was “eating now”. No one understood. I was vegetarian, vegan and now I eat meat. I avoid dairy, caffeine and alcohol. Which isn’t always easy. Or fun.
I pushed myself until my body ached and crashed. I developed kidney stones; something I now see as a gift…a very painful gift I am in no hurry to repeat, but a gift all the same. They made me stop. And with this stopping, came fresh air, came space to learn about myself, about your father and about our marriage. I think you taking your sweet time inadvertently taught me to step off the self-destruct pedal, be patient with myself and ultimately rescued our marriage.
Your father is special. He’s strong, kind, and brave. He has so many wonderful qualities which I simply adore him for. I hope you’ll inherit his calm and compassionate nature. Daddy sees the world in vivid colour, and everything has a rosy tinge. He’s saved my sanity and more, on many occasions. He has no doubts you’ll be here one day.
We keep going because I must prove to myself that I can do this. I’ve educated myself to know I can do this. My body is a beautiful being, worthy of love, worthy of motherhood, worthy of the cycle it now leans into.
I’ve learnt so much about the kind of support women need, and I intend on helping couples in our position. So really your delayed arrival, will help lots of other people meet their babies – I think that’s really quite beautiful.
I want to thank you, and your siblings, for not being born at a time when I wasn’t ready to love myself, when I wasn’t ready to be a mother, for you or your Daddy.
As we enter the winter, our intentions are to go inward, and concentrate on our health. We have an appointment soon to see if we can hatch another plan to meet you. We are going to make sure our bodies, minds and love are ready in tip top condition to have you. And then if in the new year, you are feeling a little bored, come join us! We have got lots of lovely walks to show you, lots of people for you to meet and lots of love to give you. We can teach you about our love of Scandinavia, yoga, rugby and food! Man, do we love food!
All our love my little gingernut,
Mummy, Daddy and Bruar the dog.