It’s getting close to eviction time for the bean – who is actually now more of an alien/octopus cross breed, going by the furious roiling movements and kickings he gives me – and I can quite happily say that yes, I have reached that time, finally.
The time of, “oh god please just can it be over now already, I want to see my feet again and run and drink wine and eat pâté and have violent sex and sleep bloody well afterwards without getting up 536 times for a dribble of a wee in the night, having lurched out of bed to the melodic strains of each of my vertabrae cracking one after the other.”
I think I’ve done quite well though, I’ve got to 35, almost 36 weeks before I’ve felt like this. I put this down to the fact I am an incredibly tolerant, gentle and quiet person.
Okay, OKAY! Right, I get it. Not that at all.
No, you’re right, I think it’s actually to do with my feelings regarding pregnancy. It’s been over 5 years since the miscarriage and I’d always wanted another one. I have my little boy, he is 7 now – I don’t talk about him much on these sort of online profiles, understandably – but I never wanted for him to be an only child.
Of course he has his siblings in the house, children of the others in our strange but perfect poly house, but I always wanted to create a sibling for him – and if I am completely honest it’s a selfish thing isn’t it, having children. There are many children out there but there is something different about having your own child, your own blood, growing it from the tiny beginnings and feeling the fluttering of it inside you, all the way up to the pinnacle of achievement, childbirth, labouring for hours to work towards the ultimate prize, your own child healthy and safe in your arms.
Rose tinted? Perhaps – but that’s how it was with my first, giving birth was (sorry for the cliche) the best thing ever. There just isn’t a happier feeling.
The miscarriage I had in 2007 at four months pregnancy really affected me deeply. I blamed myself, even though I hadn’t done anything wrong, I hated my body, it had let me down, my partner at the time was violent and had said hurtful things during the pregnancy and did hurtful things afterwards… The years following were difficult yet I still wanted to give my son a brother or sister and for me to have another child. I didn’t only want to have one, to have given birth to one.
Time passed and nothing. The start, the excitement, the trying, the testing each month, the feeling certain that every little ache and niggle and breast tingle is a sign of early pregnancy in that dreaded two week wait but then you finally muster up the courage to test and … nothing. The strips angrily wrapped in piles of tissue and shoved, through the barely held back tears, to the bottom of the bathroom wastepaper basket. Feeling humiliated and barren, empty. Nothing left that month but to wait for yet another streak of red, colour of failure.
The new months beginning, trying again. Feeling hope.
In time, the hope dwindles, wanes with each ‘failure’ and disappointment. The chance of a positive result being something of dreams, something that only happens to other people. Oh how it does. Everyone seems to be pregnant, or have a shit ton of children, mini bus full of screaming kids that they complain about, “ooh kids, who’d have ’em, right?!” followed by a shared laugh of parental knowing and there I am feeling ungrateful because let’s face it, I do have one child already. What are you moaning about? I berate myself.
It doesn’t matter though, the want is still there, buried deep inside. Hiding away from anything to do with pregnancy now, avoiding programmes about pregnancy, birth, fertility on TV. Eating less and less, losing weight – if I have a broken inside, I can at least feel pretty on the outside…
Maintain the shell.
So it continued for the years following. Time passed, new relationships as you all know. Children discussed and my issues coming out and talked about, cared about. Eventually the decision to at least give it a chance. I scoffed. I don’t WORK. It’s broken. But fine, whatever, if it makes you happy…
A long time passed. I was still convinced I was broken. I won’t say how long but… it was more than a few months. It didn’t matter about contraception to me, I had been on it, now I wasn’t.
I must point out we were both healthy, checked at the start and in this long term relationship where children were discussed and wanted – I simply thought it wasn’t possible.
Christmas. Oh Christmas, the time of feasting. I ate… a lot. Understatement! I do love Christmas so much, I must blog about the reasons and motivations another time. Well, let’s just say Christmas came and passed, and left me amongst other things, the ‘gift’ of quite a few more pounds.
Isn’t that always the way in January?
February arrives, I am at work. It’s getting close to The Week of Red Doom Made Better By Large Amounts of Junk Food and Wine. Tired, achy. Boobs sore, throbbing.
One day I notice a little trickle from one. It’s nothing, I tell myself. Don’t even go there. Ok so that hasn’t happened before, except it probably has, it’s just that I haven’t noticed. That’ll be it.
It took me quite a while to use a test. By this point I hated pregnancy tests, I’d rather just convince myself I was broken that way and not go through the agony of the unavoidable surge of hope you feel when doing the POAS thing (Peeing On A Stick) and wait it out until what had been the inevitable Red Doom.
There were some tests in the bathroom cupboard. Not mine. Left over ones from my girlfriend. Ok fine, I told myself. Pee on it, get it over with, bin it, go fetch a pitcher full of wine afterwards and forget about the whole thing. Plan. Sorted.
Ok, what the fuck, there’s a little second line. No, like really little. It’s probably an evaporation line. Faulty test. They must be quite old now. These line tests, you can never really read them accurately, right?
Still, my heart was doing it’s stupid jungle bongo beat in my chest and a little part of my mind squealing, “it is! it is! Don’t throw it away! Show someone!”
~sighs~ Ok fine. Showed him. Texted pic to her (she was out shopping).
Well what do you know. Turns out it is positive.
I did about another 6 tests after that, including digital, where you get it in words. Then I took a picture of that too.
End of the issues? Happy story?
Well yes, but then there are the first 12 weeks to contend with. Oh I was over the moon ecstatic that I had finally ‘caught’, proven wrong, that I wasn’t broken after all. However, my paranoid and pessimistic mind then tried to convince me that it wouldn’t last anyway, and even if I did reach 12 weeks, well – the last one had ended at 16 weeks so…
Let’s just say there was a lot of worrying.
But back to the now. Here I am, almost 36 weeks with a sprawling, kicking, active little monster inside and for all my whinging I couldn’t be happier. That’s why when I was being told weeks back oh you’ll be getting fed up, you’ll be missing this that and the other, not long to go now and the rest by well meaning people online – well. Yes I wasn’t as flexible but I haven’t ever taken this pregnancy for granted. I empathise with people out there who look at my bump and think, you fucking bitch, why you and not me. Why do I have to be broken. I’ll never have another child. Or worse, I’ll never have a child at all.
I know how it feels to hear the moans and whines of a pregnant lady and think I would give absolutely anything to be able to complain about the child growing inside me…
So I am sorry to those people for my opening feelings. I am now ready to be me again, to give birth to my little baby, who I hope with everything I have, is the healthiest, most active and perfect baby ever. Ready to see my feet and run up stairs and get in and out of the bath without help.
But not once do I take this miracle for granted. I don’t know if it will ever happen to me again but it has been completely amazing. I am relishing every last day of it right now and trying to store up the memories of him inside me to think back to. Bonding with him, hand over his knee or elbow or bottom sticking out of my belly and still feeling surprised that this has even been able to happen.
Dammit see now I made myself cry. Hormonal pregnant lady ~winks~
I’m very lucky in that I am surrounded by the best family anyone could hope for. My two partners are completely supportive and I feel lucky to have both of their love, and to love both of them, and that this whole situation is happy and not at all weird.
Only a few weeks left until eviction of the belly monster and please forgive me when I say – I can’t wait to meet him.