I have always felt uncomfortable to speak up about my pain of trying to conceive. It never seemed right given the fact that my story took place after I’d already had a child. How could I possibly know the torment women who desperately try to have one baby go through? It would be selfish of me. But, I have come to realise that while my story is different and my pain was different, it was still pain. I lived it. It consumed me. It was unbearable. I was permanently suffering a loss – a loss of someone I never knew, I never had. How was that even possible?
I had gotten pregnant so easily with Reece that never, not even for a second, did it ever cross my mind that my second conception would be such an ordeal. I was so sure that it would happen as planned that I made long-term plans based on it. I knew that I would get pregnant straightway and the baby would be born a specific month. He would be a boy and we would name him Theo and the age gap with his brother would be exactly a certain amount of months and he was going to be Peter’s best friend – and everything else that came with all of that. The first month it didn’t happen I laughed at my ridiculous expectations. The second month I was a little surprised. By the third month panic mode had been activated.
By the sixth month we went to the States for a 6-week break. Ah, that was exactly what we needed – a stress-free getaway. It was surely going to happen then. I remember spending a shameful amount of money on pregnancy tests that could detect the pregnancy at least 5 days before the norm. I don’t know how many we bought, but none of them had good news for us. I came back more determined. I changed my diet and I started to exercise. If this baby wanted a very healthy mother, I was going to give it to him. It didn’t work.
As the first year mark approached, we started seeing some doctors. I was accused of wanting this baby too badly and I was advised to chill. ‘Go for long walks’ one doctor told me, ‘and chill out’. How could I chill out? The timeline was messed up. This was not supposed to happen. My baby should have been born by then. The age gap with his brother was getting bigger. They will never be able to play together. All of my plans were crumbling in front of me and there was nothing I could do. The months that crept up on us after that were pure anguish. Fresh sets of tears each month – without fail. Even my husband cried at times. For the baby I thought was not meant to be or for me – I am not sure.
At some point in mid-2012 I knew I had to stop. We had hit the two year mark and the desire for this child had taken over everything. I had a son who needed his mother, a husband who needed his wife and a business that demanded my focus. We were moving home and I had decisions to make. Slowly and admittedly, painfully, I started to readjust my thoughts. I already had an adorable child. He was everything. I didn’t need another baby. Yes, it would have been nice for Reece to have a sibling but he had Leeah, he had Thomas. He would be fine.
This was a lesson for me to be grateful for what I already had. I remember the exact day I decided to let it go. I met a new father, a mason who was helping the contractor with the renovation of what was to be my new home, who was struggling financially. He told me about his new baby and his joys and worries and I decided there and there that I was going to give him everything I had saved for my fictional child – the crib, the playpen, the walker, the swing – you name it. I handed all of it, wholeheartedly over to him. There were no tears. Just relief. I had somehow managed to truly let it go. It must have been late October.
December, as always, comes a bit too soon with an impressive amount of madness and the 2012 one was no exception. We moved into our new home which in some way signified a new start for my precious family of three. POTPOURRI’s December issue was a hit. I had so much to be grateful for.
In the middle of the moving and heavy lifting, for the first time in over two and a half years I completely forgot to check my ‘time of the month’. I remember the moment the realization that I was significantly ‘late’ hitting me like a ton of bricks. I was driving, heading back to the office from a meeting and I immediately made a turn and headed straight to a pharmacy for a pregnancy kit. My heart was in my throat in that dirty Docklands toilet as I peed on that stick. I remember thinking what was I doing? I thought I had let it go. Seconds before the first signs that Theo was going to be in my life appeared, I felt disappointed in myself, guilty even. That was quickly replaced by inexplicable joy.
In many ways, my story already had a happy ending, I had my Reece. I often look at Theo and catch my breath remembering that I had once imagined and even accepted a world without him. It’s almost like he wanted me to truly appreciate his brother before he came. He is my second happy ending and sure as hell worth the wait.