I honestly never thought I’d be a Mum to a live baby. I thought i was destined to watch from afar, not feeling that love between Mother and Child.
And then Little T came along and its harder and more beautiful and more rewarding than i ever thought possible.
And I’m so very grateful, everyday, but especially today.
However, i remember. I remember being the Mum in waiting, the bereaved Mum, the pregnant Mum hoping this time it’d be different, so to all of you who are still waiting, still hoping, still grieving, i salute you. Today will be hard but you are stronger than you know and you’ll get through today, one way or another, whatever is easiest, that’s right for you.
Little T (and Mr Me) made me feel very special, with a lovely card, a book with 10 reasons Little T loves me, and wooden picture blocks. Ill keep these things forever, and remember how grateful and lucky i am when i see them.
Today means the world to me, I’m an actual Mummy to an actual little boy who is the most wonderful human
Its my birthday on Saturday, which means today is the start of Baby Loss Awareness Week. Itll forever more be a bittersweet week for me.
Theres a saying ‘you dont know what youve got til its gone’ which is a great saying that applies to most situations.
Except when you lose babies before having a live one to take home.
The grief is devastating, but you dont really know what you missed out on, until you take home a baby.
I love little T so so much, and to watch him learn and grow gives me so much pleasure. More and more i think about Milo and Millie and how they wouldve developed.
Would their eyes have started blue and changed to a rich brown?
Would they be dying to sit up?
What wouldve made them laugh? Or cry?
Would they have slept through by now?
I now understand what i lost, what couldve been. Its pretty painful all over again when i think of all the cuddles i missed out on, l the smiles i didnt see. It never goes away, the pain just lessens in severity.
Loss, at any stage, is just horrific. No parent should ever have to lose a child. More so though, no parent should feel they cant talk about their loss.
In todays society, its still a taboo to mention miscarriage, early or late. Talking about stillborn babies makes people uncomfortable. As such, bereaved parents are made to feel they must just get over it or forget it.
How do you just forget a person? Regardless of gestation, that baby was a person to his/her parents! Should we just forget when a grandparent/parent/aunt/uncle/brother or sister die? No!
So why is it different when the child is in utero? Put simply, it isnt.
So if you or someone you know loses a baby, talk to them about the loss. Dont worry about upsetting them, they are already heartbroken.
You are already likely to know someone who has suffered a loss as it happens to 1 in 4 pregnancies.
So this year marks 40 years since the 1st IVF baby was born.
In honour of National Fertility Awareness week, i wanted to share some of my experiences/memories.
Ive done a whopping 9 cycles. 3 of those resulted in no embryo transfer. Of the other 6, 3 worked. Im INCREDIBLY lucky to have such good numbers. Sadly, only 1 pregnancy made it to term. The other 2 were lost at 21 weeks.
I remember after being referred for IVF i cried. I honestly thought we’d make a baby the normal way (or as i now say, traditional way). We had no idea there was a problem at the time of referral either.
Then at our 1st meeting at the clinic we are told i have polycystic ovaries (but not the syndrome) and he has poor sperm in terms of count, morphology and mobility. We have 0.01% chance of making a baby tradtionally.
Then the wait to cycle. I think the waiting was one of the worst things for me. Youve got your head round the idea and then you have to wait. Wait your turn. Get knocked back due to clinic being full/bank holidays/clinic closing for a clean/incubators not working/hormones inbalanced/uterine lining too thin…all of those were actual reasons i couldnt start a cycle or why i couldnt have an embryo transferred.
The 1st time i was naive. I got 23 eggs, the most that day. But only 13 fertilised. Youre not warned the numbers drop so fast. I got ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome but didnt tell the clinic in case they cancelled my cycle. I was really quite poorly but i was also desperate. Itd been 2.5yrs of trying by then. By transfer day i had 3 embryos left and a touch of OHSS. The transfer went ahead. 10 days later my period started.
Little did i know itd take another 6 years and 8 cycles before i brought a baby home.
I started out shy, taking my knickers off for a scan, WHILST on my period, was mortifying! By the end, id take my knickers off as easy as most people take off a pair of sunglasses when entering a room.
I knew all the acronyms, i was a huge contributer to online communities, i read all the research, ate brazil nuts, pineapple core, avocado, whatever the lastest study revealed.
I lived, breathed and loved IVF. Im still an advocate for talking about infertility, and now, sadly, terminations for medical reasons and late miscarriage.
I went abroad, to Cyprus, for my final 4 cycles of IVF. I met a wonderful team at my chosen clinic. They blessed me with 2 pregnancies including the one who made it to term. They are like family, and i like to think im paying for thier kids to go to uni!! Haha!
They were the best of times but also the worst of times
Even now, with my miracle rainbow baby sleeping upstairs, im still jealous of a pregnancy bump.
I have 5 frozen embryos, im exceptionally lucky. But im not sure i can do anymore IVF. Its emotionally draining, its a lifestyle not just a treatment. Its scary and hard and consumes your very being.
Im so grateful for IVF. I am truly lucky to live in an age where treatments get better every year. Still, i wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy.
I have the feels. All the feels. Im besotted, hes amazing, i cant remember life without him
But it took 8 weeks. 8 weeks to admit i loved him, 8 weeks to allow myself those feelings. To be honest im still cautious but my heart swells with his first smile of the day, regardless of my fear.
Infertility sucks on many levels. The months (years) of trying and failing. The agony of a period. The hoops to jump through en route to IVF, the hundreds of injections, watching all your friends have babies. People getting bored of your journey, the agony of IVF failures, of cancelled cycles, of feeling you are worth nothing as a woman. I could go on.
Basically its shit. And you know what, it continues to be shit even though i now have my very own mini human. Why? Because it hindered the love…it took so long for Little T to feel like mine, rather than me looking after someone elses baby. I was waiting for the bubble to burst. A small part of me still is and always will be, i guess.
Im still jealous of the fertile people, they decide to get pregnant and within months, are. No military planning, no saving thousands of pounds. Just happens or a little cycle observation and bam, preggers.
I still envy a bump. Stare in awe. Wish i could do it without investing time and money. Its silly, but true.
Baby loss literally built a wall around my heart. A wall im still chipping away at. Losing 2 children, 2 (IVF) babies, is soul destroying. It messes you up in so many ways. Ways i thought id dealt with. Then Little T came along and i realised i was messed up in ways i didnt imagine.
For weeks i thought i would lose him. That he would die. Thats what my babies did, they died. I was beyond terrified to love this tiny human in case he left me. I couldnt contemplate another loss. I just knew it would break me. So i kept Little T at arms length. Worried that loving him would mean losing him.
That fear consumed me. For so many weeks. Until the fear of seeing my baby, my offspring, in pain. The 8 week immunisations. Thank god for them, not only for the protection they offer but for opening my heart.
Feeling guarded, not loving my child. Shameful? Not at all. Just the way things are after the hand id been dealt. I will always admit to these feelings, ill never regret what ive been through. I truly am a better person for it. Never did i think itd extend this far into my life though…
Ive sounded very doom and gloom since Little T was born. Honestly i am enjoying motherhood, its just very different to what i expected and has literally changed everything. People tell you it changes everything but you dont really understand until it happens!!
But its all worth it…
When he fixes on me with his massive eyes, im transfixed, i cant look away, i can see him studying my face, know he knows that hes safe and wanted with me. My Mum says it his ‘look of love’
When he grabs my finger, my top, my skin, even with his razor sharp nails. Its like he holds onto me for security. I make him feel safe. So does a muslin mind you, but you know. I like to see him grab anything, i have a proud parent moment
When he burps/farts/poos im reassured that his little body is working properly and i marvel at the fact that Mr Me and I (and Team Miracle) made this perfect little human
When he smiles, i melt. I know its only wind at this point but hes got an amazing smile.
When he pouts, i melt. I dunno who taught him to pout but its perfect!!
When he makes random happy sounds, its like hes telling me something, like how the side of his pram really is super interesting. Without fail ill make up a conversation between him and i and often outloud, much to the amusement of onlookers
When i look at his face and see my mouth and eyes, his Daddys hands and forehead and chin, it reminds me of how much Mr Me and I love each other and how hard we worked to make this amazing little human
When people stop me and tell me what a gorgeous boy he is and how much they like his name, im so proud that hes mine.
He hasnt been taken off us, nothing bad has happened. Little T is still here. And it still hasnt sunk in!!
My breastfeeding guilt is fading fast now as my supply has gone. Its reassuring to know that when im in my lavender bath soothing my sore bits, and he stirs, Mr Me can take over.
There is more control with a bottle too, i know exactly how much he is taking which plays into my control freak personality perfectly.
Apparantly he is still a bit Jaundice meaning he has been referred to the prolonged jaundice clinic tomorrow. Mr Me and I then had a #badparentmoment where we questioned what we did wrong. 2 hours later the midwife came round and said the health visotor who referred him was being overly cautious. To me he looks whiter than ever and his eyes are less yellow today than yesterday too. Ill keep him in daylight as much as possible today but with plenty of wet and dirty nappies going on im really hoping we get discharged at his appointment tomorrow.
Im not the parent i thought id be. I thought id freak out the minute he squeaked but i dont, im calm even when hes really shouting and ive impressed myself.
My fear of SIDS is lessening. It never actually crippled me as much as i thought it would. The sensor pad is a massive reassurance and as im awake 22 hours of the day anyway….
I jest, im getting better with sleeping. I can crash in the afternoon when hes asleep in his moses basket sometimes and Mr Me and I are taking the nights in shifts so we both get a few hours of good sleep each.
The sleep deprivation is getting easier to manage now too. My pain is subsiding which is allowing me to relax more, and i can drive again!!!!! This really helps with my anxiety as i love to drive and it gives me a huge sense of control. Im a terrible passenger and i think Mr Me is secretly glad i can drive myself about again too.
We, as a 3, have been fairly busy. Little T had 3 photoshoots last week (meant to be 2 but was wide awake for one of them so had to go back) and weve also been out to the pub twice and to the Trafford Centre. Going to the TC was a massive thing for me. For years ive watched new Mums push their babies around in gleaming prams and wondered if itd ever be me. And then it was and it made me so proud.
I am very proud and very protective of Little T. I think hes amazing and i stare at him for hours without realising. When he fixes on me with his big eyes and i talk to him, its wonderful. But still no rush of love so to speak. Ive no doubt itll come though, the instincts are there, i just need to get over my fear that something will take him away from us. It is lessening day by day i think but after 8 years there is a lot to wade through before reaching the other side.
Well its been quite a week. Im fact the next few weeks will be hugely busy, more so if we get to move house!!!
We had our first NCT class on Wednesday. It was actually really informative and nice to do something ‘normal’. For us, planning a labour is weird! Im used to turning up, going through it blind and going home empty handed, so to actually learn about the different stages of labour, what Mr Me can do to be a part of it etc. is fascinating.
The 1st session was getting to know each other and what we want out of the course really but we did learn about the different hormones involved, how its best to be in a darkened room and not be on my back for delivery. I now have something to actually put in my birth plan!!!
Thursday was hospital day…another growth scan. Had a good chat with my midwife prior, how ive been feeling mentally and physically. I have been more anxious but it appears to be normal First Time Mum (FTM) worries, woohoo! I did forget to mention my heart palpatations and suspected Carpel Tunnel Syndrome though so must remember at my next appointment.
The scan went well, the little dude is head down, measuring well and is now estimated to weigh 4lb 3oz. Thats a 1lb 2oz growth in 3 weeks!!! 🤤🤤
During the scan i was asked how i would feel about being induced at 38 weeks, i said thatd be fine, awesome in fact, so im booked to go in at 38 weeks exactly…6 weeks from now!
On Friday i was meant to see Russell Howard live but sadly i had to leave work early as i felt really poorly. No energy, sleepy, achey, just off. I came home and ended up sleeping a lot. We had booked Russell Howard as a consolation prize last year in case we werent pregnant. I was gutted for Mr Me as it was a gift for him but he reminded me of the above and said he didnt mind. I really couldnt have made it.
After a good sleep, i did feel a bit better for Saturday. I was up early to have my hair done whilst the house was prepped for my very own baby shower.
I honestly didnt think id ever get to have my own shower. My Mum and Mr Me did a wonderful job decorating
And J did some amazing cupcakes
I was and am so very grateful for all the effort that was put in.
LOADS of people turned up, it was fantastic, people id not seen in a long time. And the gifts, wow.
I truly was humbled by the effort people had gone to. There is so much love toward the little dude, Mr Me and I, it was spectacular.
My mum carefully packed my beautiful gifts away for me so they dont get damaged during the housemove.
Speaking of, im really really hoping we get a date for the move this week. 6 weeks to the birth really isnt a long time and i want my house in order before he arrives. We will start applying pressure to our buyer this week, hes had more time than us and is weeks behind.
By the end of the shower i was pretty shattered, but had time for a quick pic
S is a fairly big You Tube star and has included our baby shower in her family’s latest vlog
Give it a view, they are such a lovely family!!
I woke up this morning absolutely worn out again. I think its my anaemia combined with being 32 weeks pregnant. But oh my its wiping me out.
Only 6 more shifts before i finish for mat leave, my body needs the rest i can tell you. Today, little dude has discovered a new trick. Kicking the hell out of some nerve on my right side. Its stop me in my tracks agony. Dont get me wrong, its great to know hes OK in there, but OUCH!!! Another new development this week…CANKLES
So, 6 weeks to go, lots to do but more to be grateful for