I’m almost eight months in as a ‘mum of two’ and I’m still getting my head around using those simple three words to describe myself.
Before I found out I was pregnant with the boy I didn’t think we’d ever have another one. It wasn’t an easy journey getting pregnant the first time and it didn’t get any easier trying for number two, especially as I had an ectopic pregnancy when E was two years old.
I’d started to come to terms with it all and accept that E might be destined to be ‘just the one’. I wasn’t worried about that, I am an only child and I had an amazing childhood. It was only as I got older I thought more about what it would have been like to have a brother or sister, but even then I guess there’s no guarantee we would have been close (I know plenty of siblings who aren’t).
So it’s not that I stopped thinking about having another baby, despite plenty of well-intentioned advice to do just that. (by the way, don’t tell someone with fertility issues to relax or stop thinking about it, without expecting to be politely told where to go). I did, however, make a conscious decision to stop focusing quite so much on what we didn’t have and instead drive my energy into what we already were, a healthy family of three. Which is far more than a lot of people have.
We started to talk more about positives of not having another baby – such as having a bit more freedom, financially and literally. We decided, for the time being, to take a break from all the fertility clinic stuff and booked ourselves an amazing holiday. This turned out to be probably the best money we’ve ever spent (and far cheaper than a round of IVF, which we had been considering) because nine months later our son was born.
Our son. Another two words that I still can’t get used to!
We didn’t find out the sex at the 20 week scan. I loved not knowing with both pregnancies, although with E I was sure I was having a boy. Mainly due to the fact that other people seemed convinced by the shape of my bump that it was blue (I carried exactly the same with both so that theory is definitely flawed). With V, I didn’t have a clue either way, although I was so used to having a daughter I just assumed we’d have another one. Then towards the end of my pregnancy at about 38 weeks I had an overwhelming sense that he would be a boy. Even so, when he arrived I still couldn’t quite believe it.
I won’t use the cliche that he’s completed us as a family – we already were a family. But he has completed me. As a mum of one I was content. I had fulfilled my need to be mother. That box was ticked. But he has undoubtedly fixed something inside me that was broken from the baby I lost.
Along with his sister, he has given me more purpose than I ever thought was possible.