Well, this is a post I never thought I would be writing.
A couple of weeks ago we went through a pregnancy scare and with that came a whole torrent of emotions. For a good couple of weeks those feelings made me feel like I was clinging to a raft on some raging rapids. My emotions constantly seesawing, plummeting before gradually climbing to optimism, before they would drop again. I struggled to make sense of everything; it all felt out of my control and I just longed for it all to be over. To know either way.
To go back to the beginning, I came down with a virus two weeks previously. It started with vomiting, progressed to a sore throat, and then became a heavy cold. I felt lethargic and I slept a lot, unable to shake the virus. A week later, I was still feeling fairly dreadful, and then I came down with a water infection and started vomiting again. It was not fun.
Staying away from Dr Google
We all know that the last thing you should do when you may be pregnant is google your symptoms, so I didn’t. However, after one rough night, my mum sent me a WhatsApp message asking if I could be pregnant. My response was a slightly hysterical and delirious “As if”. But then the doubt started niggling and I then messaged Mr C as he sat in a meeting “I couldn’t be pregnant, could I?” To which he replied “NOOOOOO. I don’t think so. Well, there’s always a chance, I’ve got pretty strong swimmers ;-)” Yup, not quite the reassuring message I was looking for. Then an hour later he had been busy googling all of my symptoms and just sent a message
When I was pregnant with Oldest, I knew long before the test confirmed positive. I’d had a cold I couldn’t shift, I felt lethargic, sick and my taste-buds changed. All the symptoms I was now experiencing.
Visiting a real doctor
I was feeling so lousy and knowing that I had the Festival of Words coming up, I made a trip to the doctors. I needed to feel better before my talk, I needed my mind to be at rest! The doctor, who on feeling my stomach, gently asked if I could be pregnant. I’m not sure what prompted her to ask. Perhaps it was the weight I have put on, or the fact that she said my stomach felt really warm. I didn’t think to ask as I was too busy being terribly British and instead found myself hysterically laughing – “As if, I’m married, we don’t have sex” and the doctor gave me a knowing nod.
I made my way out of the doctor’s surgery clutching my antibiotics as my stomach was doing its familiar churning – could I be pregnant? When you start googling contraception, you realise that those 99% effective claims on the condoms aren’t always as straightforward as they seem. As we googled condoms and pregnancy rate we became increasingly alarmed.
The endless questions
“Could we be pregnant?” became a question we asked endlessly for over two weeks. We went from excitement to full on fear. For a while we had seriously considered adding to our family, I had thought that we could be a family of three, but then it never happened and I locked those feelings away and moved forward. It wasn’t meant to be and we decided that our family felt complete.
However, now it felt like we were suddenly being offered a chance to extend our family and I started daydreaming. Picturing how the girls would love a younger sibling, how lovely it would be to have a baby again. Oh my ovaries were practically doing somersaults of joy.
Then the fear would set in. Mr C confided that he was scared. I’ve always said that my first birth left me traumatised. It didn’t go to plan and there were some failings. However, in the end we were so lucky. We came away with a healthy daughter. Second time round also ended up in an emergency C-section. For me this was a much more positive birth. The team were fantastic and everyone clearly communicated with me. Again we were warned of some potential complications but fortunately we escaped, we were lucky.
However, Mr C found that second birth really difficult. He saw it happening all over again and he was fearful for what might happen. He didn’t think we could be that lucky again. After the c-section I was whisked off to recovery and I was kept there for a while so that they could monitor me, due to the amount of blood I had lost. In the meantime Mr C was sat on the ward with our baby, who was now hungry, not knowing what was going on. He felt alone, scared and lost. A potential pregnancy had brought all those feelings to the surface for him.
We didn’t know how to feel. It was a conversation we didn’t expect to be having. The children were now getting more independent. Family life was much easier. We all work really well as a unit, what would adding a baby into the mix do?
But the thought of a baby makes my heart sing. Another opportunity to have a baby, to add to our family. How amazing would that be? A chance to do it all over again. We could make the age gap work.
Wasn’t meant to be
But, it wasn’t meant to be. My period started and Mr C was visibly relieved. I, on the other hand, felt a weird mixture of emotions. A mixture of grief for the third child I wouldn’t be having and also happiness that I wasn’t pregnant. I know it’s for the best deep down but I still can’t help but feel a little sad about what could have been. I guess I am grieving for the fact that my baby days are over. But perhaps it’s more complex than that. Perhaps I am grieving for time and how fast it flies. How I yearn to be able to turn the clock backwards, to enjoy those baby days again. To relish the cuddles. Perhaps I am also grieving for the fact that we are getting older and that the children seem to be growing up fast. Yes, it’s not as simple as wanting another baby. It’s more than that.
Something positive has come out of this though. After years of nagging Mr C has finally agreed to consider a vasectomy. However, he did go and ruin it slightly by googling it. I came in one evening to find him on the laptop reading about the procedure. He just looked up me and said –