Dear Future Baby,
I truly appreciate this opportunity to try to share some of my feelings about this journey. I jumped at the chance and then panicked, thinking where do I even start?
My journey to become your mother started four and a half years ago. Your dad and I had got married and knew we wanted to start trying for a baby straight away. We were aware that sometimes it takes people time and were prepared for it taking a year or two. Two years later there had been not a hint of a positive pregnancy test and after another wait we were referred for IVF. Weirdly, for me, IVF was a bit of a relief, after more than two years of feeling the pressure we were now able to hand over the stress to the doctors and nurses at the fertility clinic. We just did as we were told and let them take charge. We were delighted when we saw that first positive pregnancy test. We felt so lucky, for so many people IVF doesn’t work first time and there we were with our positive test. We had a scan at 7 weeks and felt reassured seeing that heartbeat. The fertility team congratulated us and referred us back to the GP. We thought that scan meant that we were safe, we thought we were finally so many steps closer to meeting you. A few weeks later at the 12 week scan the rug was swept out from under us. No heartbeat.
Imagine our excitement when just a few short months later we saw another positive pregnancy test! This time conception was what the doctors like to call “spontaneous”. To us, it felt like it was meant to be. Surely it wouldn’t happen again? We decided not to tell as many people this time, as if telling people would make the heartbeat stop. We were also careful to start each sentence with “if…” instead of “when..” This caution didn’t make any difference. Another loss. Then two more.
Recovering from that first loss was hard. We knew we would never be the same again. Initially, we seemed to grow both closer and further apart at the same time. Now, after everything that we have been through, we seem to have this unbreakable bond. Your dad and I love and understand each other more than we ever could have imagined. We might be sad, even heartbroken at times, but we have learnt to cherish even the smallest moments of happiness and to be kind to ourselves. I like the couple we have become so much more than those young, innocent, frivolous people we used to be (although I do think of them fondly).
Some people have asked me why I want to be a mother. People who have children without problems probably never even think about this question. It’s not a question with an answer I can easily put into words. Your dad and I have so many plans about how much we will love you, the things we will teach you, the places we will go. We imagine joy and laughter as well as helping you through the tougher times. After my first miscarriage my mum came to be with me the next day. I remember waiting for her to get here and feeling so strongly that once she arrived I would feel better. Then I felt sad when I realised I might never get to be that person, the person whose mere presence can make someone feel better.
The doctors will tell you that the most common cause of miscarriage is a random chromosomal mismatch. This is something I initially had a hard time accepting. I couldn’t believe there was anything wrong with my babies. I felt like it had to be “my” fault. After the most recent loss we had tests done and found that the loss was indeed caused by chance. We have accepted this, it means that up until now we have been unlucky. We hope so much that the next time we roll the dice the odds will be in our favour.
I have read with interest some of the more wacky theories about fertility and recurrent miscarriage. Maybe I am sending off the wrong vibes to the universe, God, Mother Nature. My negative thoughts are the enemy of fertility. Maybe your soul is already out there and you have selected us as parents, you are just waiting for us to be ready for you. If that’s the case dear future baby, please know that we are ready and we can’t wait to meet you.
All my love,