Sometimes when I share my experiences or give advice in real life or online, I cop a little grief as the mother of only one child. Some consider that I have it easy, that I am not realistic or don’t understand, not being subject to the juggling act which many mothers of multiple children face. And although I have worked professionally with many families with multiple children, it IS different when it comes to your own family. I can definitely see their point. But in all honesty, and as I have shared before, if I had my way and my life had been different, I would welcome a soccer team of children into my life – well, maybe half a team anyway I love being a Mum.
For some time now I have struggled with the idea of Immy being an only child. She is so sociable and loves her ‘samily’ (those f’s are still confused with s’s), loves other children, loves babies and even named one of her most beloved dolls after a friend’s baby boy.
I hear that most, if not all, of the Mums back in my Sydney newborn mothers group have welcomed (or are pregnant with) their second baby, their families have grown, evolved.
My heart has long been heavy with the idea of us remaining a family with one child.
Four months ago we found out we were pregnant with our second child. We were excited, despite the nausea which struck morning, noon and night, despite the sheer exhaustion which this pregnancy bought with it, and despite the unexpected death of my Nanna when I was already feeling so tired. Like many expectant parents we decided not to tell people about our pregnancy until we passed that magic twelve week mark. Unfortunately for us, right from our early seven week dating scan there were inklings that all might not be okay with this pregnancy. We continued to put off telling many people as we were faced more scans and more tests to gather information in an attempt to understand what was happening. In fact for many, even close family and friends, this will be the first they have heard about our baby.
The week before last we said goodbye to our baby. A baby boy.
And now I feel like I am walking through wet concrete wearing night goggles; everything is heavy and dark with blurs of fluorescent shooting past from time to time.
I need to sleep, to forget. I need to be awake, to soak up every minute with the little girl I do have, my solace, for which my heart is forever grateful. When I do lie down to close my eyes, my body will not rest. When I am awake, there are reminders everywhere of what we have lost. Even the joy of my child’s smile makes me sad for what we have lost, for the brother she will never know.
If you asked those who know me well in real life they will tell you how I always hesitated at the idea of being pregnant again. Concerned about my age, I knew the risks increased with each passing day. It seems my intuition was right. And now my heart is pierced not only by the loss of this child, it is torn in two by the loss of a dream.
For I cannot imagine ever going through this again.
And so my plea to you is this, never judge a woman by how many children she has, as you never know how many she carries in her heart.