Those of you who have travelled (or are still navigating) that rocky road of infertility know what I’m talking about. The story you’re often told about someone’s sister’s best friend’s neighbour’s god-daughter who struggled for years then POOF magically became pregnant and had a delightful baby girl/boy/gender yet to be fully determined. The story usually has a point, outlining something they did/swallowed/wrapped around themselves, and is retold in good faith to give you hope that maybe if you do the same, the magic will rub off.
Well folks, I am not here to give you that story.
I don’t believe it’s just a matter of changing our environment; of deciding to focus on other things. I don’t think that we’d stopped stressing about it or that we’d simply given up.
For those of you still navigating, waiting and hoping, I would feel like a fraud explaining how a miracle like this happens in terms so simple … and ultimately so false.
Because you and I both know you never truly stop thinking about it. It’s a special kind of grief – grief for a life unrealised. An ache for something you didn’t get to have. The ache may dull with time but it never truly goes away.
You just learn to carry it better.
We would watch small children playing; smile back at smiling babies; commiserate with struggling parents – all with a wistfulness we hoped was concealed from all but each other.
Even when we got those two pink lines, we did not celebrate. We’d been here far too many times before to know it was a done deal. We shrugged and said “We’ll see what happens.” It truly wasn’t until we saw that tiny little blob with the heartbeat at 9 weeks that we started to let ourselves hope that maybe … this time … we’d get the fairytale ending.
Now that she’s kicking so often (shades of her older sister!) I’ve got a lovely reminder that she’s here, she’s real and she’s on her way. It’s such a comfort to me, even if there’s the occasional kick to the bladder or pushing against my ribs!
I had my monthly visit with the midwife this afternoon and she was talking about how from now on, this baby is considered ‘viable’. Although it’s rare, babies born at 24 weeks can survive. And every week after that, their chances jump dramatically. As she put it, my pregnancy has turned a corner and from now on, any issues are treated differently.
So, no, I don’t have any sage advice or miracle cures. Honestly, the more you look into the mechanics of baby making, the more you wonder how any of us actually got here in the first place. Miraculous is the only word that adequately describes the spark of life.
I’m still coming to terms with the fact that in 16 weeks’ time (or thereabouts) we’ll actually get to meet this little person.
It still feels surreal. Like a fairytale.
Better start buying some baby gear ….