Infertility

Guest Blog – Jenny

Dear Future Baby,

My dearest baby, you, my love, have been a long time coming. The journey has been long and fraught, and so special and important to me, that I wanted to document this. I don’t know if you will be ever interested enough to read this – or if I will even want you to! But right now, it is important for me; I want you to know this journey.

I always felt that me and your dad’s journey started before we even decided to have you. We got together in 2003, when we were probably your age now! We had a very teenage romance, and were so in love – everyone commented on it; and we stayed together against all odds – going off to uni, starting new jobs, moving away from home. Everyone said these issues would come between us, but nothing ever did. Until 2012. I was offered the chance to work in Canada; although your dad decided to stay in Sheffield, we wanted to stay together and try long distance. Living so far apart was so hard and we both missed each other, but was angry at the other for being so far away! In June 2014 we decided to try separating. It was really difficult, because I loved your dad so much, but I also loved being in Canada and my life there; but after we separated I was so unhappy. I had decided in August 2014 to do a bit of travelling to help me decide. I missed your daddy so much and ultimately knew I didn’t want anyone else to be your daddy. I travelled from Canada to Mexico, and all through Central and South America, before I decided to come home for a bit in December 2014 and ask your dad if we could get back together. I was going to come home for Christmas 2014, and my flight was via New York. I got off the plane in New York and I was expecting to see my friend (probably known better to you as your Aunty Nicola!), and instead, your papa was standing there. He had come out to New York for the same reason. You’re probably wretching and reaching for a sick bucket now, it was just like off a film! But, if I could bottle that feeling I would. It’s the same feeling I get when I think about you, or when I found out about your angel brothers and sister.

We both decided that holiday that we were going to stop messing about. We both wanted to have you, and we both wanted to live together. I got my old job back in Sheffield, and I moved home with your dad straight after that holiday – I didn’t even go back to Canada for the rest of my things! The ‘things’ weren’t important. Your daddy and I being together, and having you was more important. When I think of us then, we were so young. Too young, really. We were like teenagers talking about our future, with such naivety.

In March 2015, I couldn’t believe it. I was pregnant with your Angel brother (I never found out, but I had always thought it was a boy). Me and your dad were so excited but so surprised!!! We couldn’t believe it had happened so quickly, but I also didn’t know how long your Angel brother had been in my tummy because I hadn’t had a period since before New York. We went to see a doctor who said it had been 7 weeks; he couldn’t see your brother’s heartbeat, but he wasn’t worried. He wanted to see us a week later. For that week, me and your dad were so excited. We talked about moving houses to a bigger one with a garden where you could play, and we could have a dog. Sadly, when we went back to see the doctor, he told us that your angel brother didn’t have a heartbeat. He hadn’t grown since our last appointment, and in the 3 weeks that followed, he never grew. This made us really sad – not only because we would never get to meet him, but because we didn’t know how long he had been inside my tummy, or how long he had been sleeping inside my tummy. It could’ve happened between December 2014 and March 2015. We had waited and waited for your Angel brother to leave my tummy by himself, but after 4 weeks, he never did. I was getting worried that because we didn’t know how long he had been there, things might start to go wrong. I had to have an operation in May 2015 to have him taken from my tummy.

Me and your daddy were heartbroken, but if anything, it reminded us that we had made the right decision to get back together. This was what we wanted; we questioned why we had lived apart for so long, and realised even more that we wanted to be together. I truly think that was your Angel brother’s purpose.

It took us a long time before we came any closer to meeting you. I had been thinking about going to see a doctor to check that everything was OK, but in March 2016 I found out that I was pregnant again. Again, although I never found out, I thought this was a girl- your Angel sister. Things had been going well at work – I had just had a promotion, but I was very busy and found it difficult. As well as that stress, there was a lot of conflict within our friendship group; who I’d thought was my best friend was upset that I hadn’t told her about your Angel sister before anyone else; then when I told her it was because of your Angel brother, she was angry that I hadn’t told her I’d had a miscarriage. She stopped talking to me because of this. I found this really upsetting because I had thought that these friends would be your “aunty’s and uncles”. Then on the 29th March 2016, I was at the hospital with work on a really difficult visit. We were having a “medical” of a baby who had been harmed and I instinctively thought of you. How could anybody hurt a tiny baby? Whilst at the hospital, I had some pains in my tummy that I thought were because I was sad, but when I went to the toilet I saw the faintest pink. This was a sign that I was losing your Angel sister too. I remember walking out of the hospital in a panic, completely forgetting about the tiny baby I was at work with. I had left another worker there wondering where I was! I drove straight to the hospital, and they told me that your Angel Sister was measuring 6 weeks. I was devastated because I knew that I should have been 10 weeks. The doctors told me I probably got my dates wrong because everything else looked OK but I knew – you can’t argue with mother’s intuition.

We had to wait for another whole week to see if your Angel sister grew again, which of course she didn’t; we decided that we wanted to have the same procedure again to remove your Angel Sister, and went to hospital on the 11th April 2016 to have this. I think our Angel knew we didn’t want this,  because whilst we were waiting for the procedure, I started to have a natural miscarriage.

This was a very dark time in my journey. I took this second miscarriage very hard. I blamed myself for working too hard. I blamed my friends for causing me extra stress. I blamed my work for being too hard and upsetting. And I withdrew from everybody. Even your daddy at times. During this year, a lot of your Aunties and Uncles decided to have their own babues– Your Aunty Lucy got pregnant with Freddie, Your Aunty Shell was pregnant with Maddy, and your Uncle Drew and Kay had your cousin, Will. It felt like everyone else was pregnant and able to have a healthy baby except for me. I couldn’t understand why. What had I done wrong? Instead of seeking help, I blamed myself and became very bitter, angry and upset. The doctors wouldn’t look into our issues because we didn’t meet threshold – we either needed to have had 3 miscarriages, or 12 months of unsuccessfully trying for you. Both felt like milestones that were a lifetime away, which made it more difficult.

I was so desperate to meet you; I knew meeting you would make me so happy. But I also realised that I needed to be happy before I had you, otherwise that would put so much pressure on you. You should be innocent and want for nothing, not be born with a burden of making mummy happy!

Me and your daddy decided to have abit of a break. I didn’t see Aunty Shell, Lucy, or Drew and Kay for a while, and focussed on my instead. Although I had another miscarriage in December 2016, and I was sad, I wanted to focus on being happy and getting well enough to have you, emotionally. I never really processed that and that’s why I struggle to talk in a lot of detail about it. It did mean that they would start to look into things though. But by this point, I wanted to look after myself.

As 2017 started, I had found a new job, and started to slow down. I slowed down physically, but I also slowed down my thinking, so that I wasn’t having knee-jerk reactions. It was still very hard and I struggled to be around pregnant people, but after feeling very lonely in 2016, I started to make new friendships, and start to feel like myself again. At the end of 2017, after years and years of putting things off, your daddy asked me t marry him! He asked me in the place where in June 2014, we had decided to go our separate ways – Lake Louise in Canada. It will always hold a special place in my heart. I felt exactly like I did in December 2014 again. I was excited about the new year. I had spent 2017 having tests, having counselling and generally getting my body ready to carry you! I was going to get pregnant with you in 2018, I could feel it. I was due to start taking some tablets that might help me have you in January 2018. Investigations eventually showed that everything was OK.

2017 was truly a journey, but it was a journey about me getting ready to have you. Everything that had happened in 2015 and 2016, I was able to address and stop blaming myself, and start moving forward. Now we were planning a wedding; things moved fast. We decided that we were going to carry on with our lives happily so that we would be ready to have you. Not ‘wait’ for you and then start to get ready. We booked our Wedding in February 2018; We had started to decorate our house, having moved in March 2017; I was having acupuncture that really brought balance back to my life – both hormonally and emotionally. Things felt right. And for the first time ever, I started feeling like I wasn’t in a hurry. I had the faith that you would come to me when you were ready.

In May 2018, I had begun to think positively about you coming to me. Me and your daddy find it so funny that this is when our lovely fluffy cat, Merlin, found us! Your daddy jokes that because I was putting so many good vibes out, it attracted him to us – instead of you!

In July 2018, I was pregnant again. I tested on the 18th July. I remember testing whilst your dad was at work, because I had wanted to make a big surprise for him. I had planned this so many times since Apirl 2016 – it was going to be a grand gesture. I was going to order him a t-shirt, and display the positive test. As it happened, there was no need for that at all. That little blue “+” mark on the test was more than enough. For those first few days I carried it around with me everywhere, and kept looking at it. But after the initial excitement, the anxiety started to set in – what if I was going to lose this baby like I had before? What if I wasn’t really pregnant and the test was faulty – a realistic possibility because I had bought the test from Home Bargains! I went to the doctor and they said it was too early to scan – which I knew. We agreed to having blood tests, to see if I was pregnant, then check that it was progressing OK. We needed to see HcG levels, and then we needed to see them double. And they did!!!!!!! I’ve attached the photos that me and your dad sent each other when we got the news the number had TRIPLED! Not doubled… A few short days later on the 2nd August 2018, we were walking into town with your Aunty Amy and Uncle Aidan. We wanted to tell them we were pregnant and share our news. As we were walking, I had an awful pain, but it went away quickly. I thought I had some trapped wind and I felt faint, sweaty and sick. I thought that I was getting some pregnancy symptoms – a sign that things were going well! Your Aunty Amy ran home for her car, and drove me and your dad home. We had a friend round (Uncle Bobby), and he was really worried. You probably know this now, but Uncle Bobby is TERRIBLE in a crisis. I phoned your (real) Aunty Ames, and she gave me tips on easing trapped wind. I had never felt wind like it! We laughed about how silly I was.

Sadly, it wasn’t wind. Your dad came upstairs when he heard a thud – I had collapsed at the top of the stairs – on the way to the toilet. He put me on the toilet and I fainted again (we joked that it was like Elvis!) your dad thought it was a fit, and he phoned 101 for an ambulance. After 2 more ambulances arrived, as well as your Grandma and Grandad and Aunty Ames, I started to worry. I couldn’t sit up without fainting. I had decided on the name ‘Woody’ for a boy and I kept saying “do you think Woody’s OK?” and no one would answer me. I wasn’t bleeding or in any real pain, I was just weak. The 6 ambulance men managed to get me safely into the ambulance without me fainting, and told me they thought the baby was growing in my tubes and my tube had burst because Woody had grown too big. As soon as I got to hospital, I had to go straight to theatre. Your daddy really thought I was going to die. When I woke up, I had had to have my tube removed. Another knockback on our journey to you – I was worried I wouldn’t get pregnant with one tube. However, I remember having a feeling of relief. I had had a worrying feeling that ever since 2015, my left side had been affected, and this was what was causing the problems. Now the left side was ‘out of order’. I felt positive.

That was now 3 months ago. Although you feel further away from me than ever, I know I won’t give up. In the same way you also feel closer to me than ever. I just know that you are waiting patiently for the right time; I often think back to 2012-2014 and how there was some force between me and your daddy (I know, I know, I’m cheesy and embarrassing!!!!) something that drew us back together and kept us together.

And when I do think back to that time, I don’t feel the heartache that I felt when I missed your dad, or the devastation I felt when we separated, or the loneliness I felt in Mexico. I feel as excited and full of love as I did when I got off that plane and saw him standing there waiting. I feel that confidence that we were making the right decision. I feel that urgency to get home, and leave my belongings behind. All the feels that in June 2014, I thought I would never feel again.

And although I will never forget my journey to you, I have confidence that when you’re eventually able to read this letter, I will look back on this part of my life – the part that I’m in now – with a knowing fondness. Knowing that it was all so important to bring me to you.

Everything happens for a reason, and YOU are the reason.

And YOU are so worth it.

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