When I first began this here collection of ramblings, an outlet to spill my fears and hopes and pain, the workings of a mad woman all those many sleeps ago, I had one intention…a happy ending to our story. The little angel who had spent so long watching over us, to finally be delivered into our arms. At times I wasn’t sure that dream would ever be realised and this morning when I took my teeny newborn into a shop, the assistant helping me looked at her bundled up in her car seat and tears welled in her eyes. I knew her pain. That was me, not so long ago.
‘I just miscarried last week,’ she said blinking back her tears. ‘She’s so beautiful, I hope I can have my own one day.’ I had to swallow hard and suppress my own tears. You will, I tell her gently knowing that fragility well where you’re not sure if you can help falling into a pit of tears every day. ‘It took 14 goes and six years before I was blessed with this tiny poppet,’ I tell her somewhat hopefully…and so begins our story.
In the beginning, I was a mum, a widow, a newly married wife, a somewhat fragile and infertile girl not sure of what lay ahead of her but hoping like hell for a miracle. By the second year on this treadmill of fear I had been well and truly inducted into the halls of infertility.
A gallery of gorgeous wrinkly newborns – a teeny tiny Luca, a squishy faced Ella – would peek out at me every time I’d visit Dr Babies’ office. And every time I’d wish so much to one day be able to look up and see my own baby’s face staring back at me.
And so we waited. And waited. And waited. And waited
People all around us, royals, friends, family everyone seemed to be having babies. And still we waited. Disappointed. Distracted. Fearful. Would it ever happen…would we ever get that little person we so hoped for? We spent so long suspended in the clutches of fertility from the first day Dr Babies said it might not happen for us, that we had to throw all our eggs – albeit shitty ones at that – into the one basket and hope for the best. I got so caught up in how to get pregnant, why I wasn’t getting pregnant, why I couldn’t stay pregnant that all else ceased to matter. I became that nutty bitch I really didn’t want to be. Consumed. By something so far out of my control.
But still we waited. And waited. And tried. Again and again.
Soon it would come to a point where we stood at a crossroad do we keep going, keep trying and how long before one of us tapped out, said enough’s enough. Can’t take it anymore. We both came precariously close to that cliff face neither one of us wanting to admit it had got us beat.
….two thousand one hundred and ninety days to be exact.
And then one day despite all our odds being stacked against us, despite all the thirteen times before that it hadn’t worked…one day, two lines. That dream I never thought possible, finally coming true.
Call it time. Call it tenacity. Maybe it was the herbs. Maybe it was the crazy cranial sacral therapist who said she saw my late husband holding a tiny baby girl in my spirit world. Maybe it was the acupuncture. Maybe it was the diet. Maybe it was the countless surgeries. Maybe it was the steroids, or the gazillion drips of intravenous fluids pumped through my veins. Maybe it was the last hope, our last chance our last little embryo that one fighter. Maybe it was just meant to be…
Our precious miracle made her entry into the world six years after The Vet and I were married. To the day and almost to the minute, just like her mama she was fashionably late by an hour and there truly is nothing more precious than the sound of a newborn cry, when all you’ve waited to hear for six years is that very sound.
We arrive at the hospital early on a Thursday morning. Not sure what to expect even though birth is nothing new to me, it was so long ago I’d all but forgotten what to expect. What contraction? What labour pain? Oh girl, you ’bout to learn it all over again. Real fast like.
True to myself I had already taken three shits before I left home (sorry for the overshare) but partly due to nerves and partly due to dignity, my bowels had well and truly decided to evacuate themselves – I’ll spare you any further indignities. My specialist, a lovely softly spoken woman, so gentle in her approach – putting me in some way at ease. ‘There’s no point in wasting time,’ she says and instructs me up on the bed. They give me some gel to loosen things up and sit back and wait. ‘Did you want an epidural?’ she asks and before the final syllable is out I’ve already chimed in ‘hells to the fucking yes, give me that shit quick as you can, love.’ Stupidly, I’d been too late with my son and the trauma (along with far too many stitches) has never left me.
After a few hours those contractions I’d partially forgotten all about (this is ingrained in womens’ brains otherwise there’s no shitting way in hell you’d ever go back) begin to make my uterus feel as if it is being torn apart.
The Vet is all nerves. Anxious. He doesn’t know what to expect and is probably scared as all shit. If he says the wrong thing he may cop a heel to the head, if he says too little he may never be spoken to again. Welcome to birth, it’s a fun ride. My bestie of 35 years who crossed the ditch to be here for the arrival of her second godchild arrives with the 14-year-old in tow. I wanted him to see his baby sister come into this world but he takes one look at me in pain and tears begin to roll down his face. ‘It’s okay buddy,’ I reassure him. ‘Mummy’s fine just a few niggles of pain’ I say utterly lying through my asshole. It all becomes too much for him so I ask him to put his headphones in but when your mum’s in pain and you don’t know what’s going to happen to her it’s a little too much for a teenager to comprehend. ‘How about you go and wait down the hall,’ I tell him, fighting back my own tears. The Vet holds him in a strong embrace and they both stand there, tears beginning to flood their faces. This little baby has no idea how lucky she is with two of the most incredible humans on the planet to watch over her.
Waters are broken. Needles are administered. Epidural is underway. In what seems like minutes but is a few hours, the specialist indicates it’s time to push. ‘I don’t think so,’ I tell her. ‘Not yet.’ Time waits for no newborn. She’s on her way. And within eleven hasty minutes our miracle made it into this world, all tiny and pink and blue. They rush her out and straight up onto my chest. ‘We like you to bond straight away,’ the midwife says. ‘Get her up on that breast and latch her if you can, it all helps with the skin on skin contact, so very important.’ I can barely comprehend what’s just happened. ‘No, it’s too quick, she’s too small,’ I panic tears falling and my breathing beginning to make me hyperventilate. ‘She’s fine,’ comes the calming voice of my specialist. ‘Look at your beautfiul baby girl, she’s just perfect.’ The Vet is in tears. I am in tears. Our 14 y o rushes back in, he’s in tears. We all fall into a heap of emotion and embrace utterly overwhelmed by this tiny being. So much love, fear, pain and heartache years and years of waiting and now she’s here. Evie Lauren, 4.22pm on April 12. My heart is full. Every bit of it was worth it. Our story is finally complete. Love n’ hugs, Lady MamaGxoxo