by AMANDA KENDLE
I never set out to have just one child. Some people do, I know that but I was more average and imagined two or possibly three.
When I met my husband in my late twenties, one of the reasons we got together was because we were both keen to start a family. We got married quite quickly, and waited until he got a job before we started trying to have a baby.
I thought it would be reasonably easy. My mother conceived her first child – me – easily at 34 and another at 36. I was only 30, and I was healthy, fit, had never smoked, drank rarely and had a regular menstrual cycle. It was not so simple, however, and we ended up doing torturous rounds of fertility treatment and were eventually told that my ovaries were acting as though they were much older and I was headed for early menopause.
The doctor had just one final plan for a last chance IVF cycle, full of even nastier and longer doses of hormones and other drugs. We had already been counselled on other possibilities – my husband, by this stage, was labelled as “too old” for us to try the adoption process; we had reached the compromise that flying to Spain or Ukraine for donor eggs was likely to be the best chance we had.
And then, in the midst of a crazy regime of life-dominating medication and suddenly chaotic menstrual cycles, we conceived our little boy, naturally. Unless you have been in that position, you have no idea of the relief and joy we felt. And continue to feel, to this day.
This was not quite yet happily ever after. For no apparent reason, I was plagued with every pregnancy difficulty under the sun. I had to quit my job as a teacher four months in advance of the birth, and spent those months just passing time and surviving, constantly in pain and only gaining joy from the kicks I’d feel from that precious baby inside.
Yet then the most gorgeous boy ever to be born came into the world. He is still, at two, the most incredible young man I could ever ask for and there is no question I would go through all of it again to have him. It took my body a year to begin to function normally again, though, with a lot of physiotherapy sessions and exercises, and I still have serious issues and regular bouts of severe pain.