In my mind, I have everything I’ve ever wanted. I have a caring, sweet man who has asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. We have our cute family home – white picket fence included.
We also have a 15-month-old boy running round under our feet, a boy we like to call Bobby. A boy who has quickly become the sole reason for my existence and my inspiration to better myself every single day.
But once upon a time I held a grave fear. A fear that I would never meet my Bobby. A nightmare, in fact. (The Mamamia Staff share their advice for Mums. Post continues after video.)
You see, ever since I was a child I had this overwhelming maternal urge. I had this connection with babies and kids that made me yearn for a large family of my own one-day. I was raised in a family of four daughters, so perhaps I inherited this from my mother, who knows.
But at the raw age of 17, a certain conversation I had with a radiologist really broke my heart for the first time.
“You’re going to need IVF when you’re older.”
I was in a haze. I left that room not only wondering why a sonographer thought it was appropriate to diagnose a teenager to her face as infertile ever so casually, but my heart hurt with the realisation for what this meant for my future.
It all started with heavy periods, and an extremely inconsistent menstrual cycle. In my early teenage years, that was never a problem. Not having a period for four months… who is complaining?
Getting a period three times in a month – then I was certainly whinging. Yet at that young age it never really occurred to me that I had an actual problem. (Post continues after gallery.)
I know what you’re thinking. You were 17, why would it have bothered you then? The Doctors, my gynaecologist, and my mum – they all said: “You don’t need to worry about that stuff now.”
But why wouldn’t I worry about it? I was a woman, wasn’t I? I may have only been a teenager but I knew exactly what I was being told. She said I was most likely infertile and that I’d most likely need to use IVF in order to fall pregnant.
I would never know what it felt like to be pregnant. I wouldn’t get to carry a child. I’d never give birth. I’d never be a mum.
These fears without a doubt crossed my mind every single day throughout my teens, and into my early twenties. As my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome got worse, so did my dreaded fear of the unknown.
You see, I’d met a gorgeous young man.
Without sounding too cliché, it truly was love at first sight. We were young but we just connected and when he told me in the first few weeks of knowing him that he wanted to be a young Dad, my heart didn’t know what to do.
It fluttered for this human I’d been so lucky to come across – a 20 year old man telling me he wanted kids young? I’d found my absolute soul mate! But wait: Could I give him that when the time was right?
Could I be the woman to mother his children? I was broken. My parts didn’t work. Maybe we wouldn’t work and it would all be my fault.
Over the years, years of no periods and therefore no ovulation, I continually felt helpless and would cry and cry to him that one day he would leave me for someone that could give him children. Why would he waste his life with me if I couldn’t give him what he wanted so badly later in life?
I developed extreme anxiety because of this and my psychologist related most of it to my longing for children, and the fear that I would never be able to produce my own. (Post continues after gallery.)
Let’s fast forward to 2013 where I – you guessed it – fell pregnant!
Now before you think, “So the whole time you could actually get pregnant?” let me explain how this all happened… as it came as a nice big surprise to me!
This year at the end of June, I was welcomed with a nice, big and nasty period – my first one in nearly 18 months.
This therefore meant I was going to ovulate at some stage soon.
It’s fair to say we ‘hit the nail on the head’ that month. My obstetrician – as well as two different nurses who scanned my very-early-pregnant belly all said the exact same line: “How on earth did you fall pregnant?”
They all calculated after receiving my period in late June that I was left with only two days in July to fall pregnant. Therefore, I had only a two day window in the past 12 months to fall pregnant and I somehow did it.
It’s funny you know, getting pregnant at 22. It opens the floodgates for a vast variety of questions. Some simply curious, some outright rude.
“Was it hard deciding whether to keep it or have an abortion?”
“How did Jaryd handle the news?”
“What about your future and your career?”
I knew that by taking this on, I was not only taking on an enormous amount of responsibility, I was taking on a human life. A human life that I was growing in side of me, and a life that I would cater to, and love forever.
We knew our lives would change, no one needed to tell us that, and we prepared ourselves as much as you can before a baby arrives.
We promised each other that we wouldn’t allow being ‘parents’ to alter our lifestyle too much, and we’ve stuck to that. Despite the many challenges we face as Mum and Dad, we’ve developed a wonderful balance – balance that I truly believe is needed to survive parenthood.
Have I battled with more fears and anxiety since having Bobby? Absolutely. I tell people that by having a child you need to be prepared to worry every day for the rest of your lives, and it’s true.
But despite the fears I have inside of me for my son, I can be truly grateful that I got to become the mother I always knew I wanted to be.