I know I am incredibly lucky to have one beautiful child. A gorgeous, funny, fiery, busy, two-year-old boy who makes my heart melt every day. As it approaches Christmas it ticks over 12 months of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) in the hope of adding to our family of three. It’s our second Christmas wishing we were pregnant. Just this month, we experienced another failed embryo transfer.
I love our family of three and not one day goes by when I don’t thank my lucky stars, God, our fertility specialist and whoever else was watching over us to make our dream possible. Two miscarriages and a diagnosis followed by counselling sessions, tears, daily injections, scans, day procedures, bloating, abdominal pain, significant cost; it was all worth it. And we are doing it all again now.
This time around it’s different. It’s not any easier. The thing is, I know how wonderful it is to bring a child into the world. The excitement of hearing the heartbeat, feeling a baby somersault inside you and holding your precious bundle for the very first time. The late nights, the long nights, the first laugh, the first tooth, the first step. The first time my little boy said ‘Mama’. Periods of hope this year have been followed by multiple devastating blows.
Meshel Laurie talks about going through IVF alone on No Filter with Mia Freedman.
Friends, family, acquaintances, strangers will often say ‘but you are so lucky to have one’. If there is anyone that knows this, it’s my husband and I. We drew the short straw and are the one in six couples experiencing infertility. However, our child is one out of twenty-five born because of IVF. We are so lucky.
Please don’t believe that because I have one child, I don’t yearn for another just as much as I yearned for our little boy. Please don’t think that getting over the ‘I’m so sorry’ and ‘it’s not good news’ phone calls are any easier. Please don’t joke that it must be about time for the second baby and that no one likes a spoilt only child. Please understand that I am extremely grateful, happy and love my life, but I can also long for something else at the same time.
Every time I pack away my little boys’ clothes because they are too small, I wonder whether I will use the clothes again. It’s the same with the toys I pack away, the sippy cup he no longer needs, when he goes up a size in nappies. When someone asks to borrow the baby capsule that I have safely stored in the roof, I wonder if I will ever need to use or buy these little things again. I don’t want to think about packing the cot away when it is time for him to move to a bed.
I’ve always wanted three children; my wonderful counsellor describes this desire as my ‘blueprint’. My blueprint also includes a weatherboard house, overseas holidays, being married to a tall dark-haired handsome man and a cute fluffy dog. All of which I have and love. But now, after 2018, I’m slowly starting to accept that my life may not entirely end up matching my blueprint. This is hard, really hard. So, I hope and pray, I continue the never-ending fertility appointments and I hold my husband and little boy tight and we push on.