It has been eight months since I lost our baby, our miracle conception, our beating of the odds. Some days it is still difficult, sometimes it is hard to be positive and at some points, I have wished our lives were different. Living like this is tiring, I am exhausted by uncertainty.
Yet some people wait their whole life without finding what we have already. And we have so much.
Secondary infertility is a funny subject to most. Not in the hilarious sense of course, just that I have felt guilty so many times for needing more, for wanting another child, for the desire to give my son a sibling. He is enough – of course he is – but we have much love still to give, we are not ready to see our family as complete; and feeling this way is totally valid, too.
So stuck halfway between gratitude for what we have been blessed with and sadness at what we have lost, I am at times unsure how to feel.
I have floated through various states of emotion: sadness, grief, bitterness. I have taken action: undergoing in vitro treatment, to somehow ‘fix’ this, but to no avail. I have cried, I have despaired, I have loved and I have laughed. Ultimately, I have lived – the best I can – and I have been left with a mix of feelings, including hope. For now, there has to be hope.
I am starting to see, beneath the pressure and uncertainty, that when facing infertility, we have only two choices: acceptance or hope. And we sure aren’t ready for the first.
We can choose to hope for what the future might bring, or worry about what it won’t. We can focus on what we don’t have or enjoy what we do. Because what we have been given, in this life, is a lot and for that – for him – we will always think ourselves most lucky indeed.
Our son bursts into each day radiating love, warmth and smiles. His boundless energy leaves me breathless, thankful; and his arms wrapped around me with his fast-beating heart bumping against mine fills me up. He fills me up.
Infertility and loss are not easy things to face, and it is impossible not to feel isolated at times, alone in our difficulties. But, it is our story, and I don’t want to write it as a sad one. Because of it, I have learnt so much about myself, my relationship, my marriage. Any doubts I had about growing-up, becoming a mother, taking responsibility were all stripped away. Infertility stole my fear, it made me strong.
And you see if things had been easier, we wouldn’t have this little boy, the one who was meant for us. There was a space in the world and our hearts just for him and without the trials and testing times of infertility, he would not have filled it, which is of course unbearable to consider.
I know that in a strange and wonderful way, he was meant to be. He is our family.
So as I sit here today, the rain lashing down outside, my son asleep upstairs, I prod gently at the empty spot in my heart which has lately seemed to gape further, leaving me a little sore. I acknowledge that the last eight months have brought difficult times; moments I would rather forget. And then I allow myself to look ahead, to how I might feel in a year; or maybe two. It is likely that this hole will have healed; I will be better, feel better.
I am so far from being able to guarantee another baby – a sibling for our little boy – but I realise that there is certainly a chance; there is a home for optimism.
There is something over the horizon. I can’t see it, I can’t predict our future. But I know the only way to get there is to keep walking, together, towards the sun.