This post is a bit of a ‘rambling, typing the thoughts as they come into my head’ type post. I might get a bit emotional during it, prepare the Kleenex (other tissue brands also available).
We’ve made the decision to only have one baby together. When I say decision, I don’t really feel like there was a choice and that’s the part I’m struggling a little with. There, I’ve got that off my chest; now I’ll try to explain.
When I came round in hospital (if this makes no sense to you, the story starts here) and found out what my condition was and how it could have and did affect both myself and my child, myself and Dylan immediately said we would never try for another baby. It had never been completely decided we would have a second (for me, a fourth for Dylan) but we had discussed it and I’d always been upfront that I imagined life with multiple children. If it had been up to me, and ignoring all other factors such as finance etc, I would have wanted a second within a couple of years. I was convinced we’d have another girl, imagined them growing up being really close and we’d even had a theoretical talk about names.
But to wake up and be told you’ve just almost died and you have a condition which claims the life of 54 per cent of babies conceived to women with the illness, plus you’ve had the more severe form of it which occurs very rarely and kills half of the people it affects: that changes things. Every pregnancy has its risks and I could be given medication to counteract the effects should I become pregnant again, but suddenly there’s all these other life changing and frankly terrifying ideas to get your head around.
Even if we managed to conceive and carry a baby to term again, without facing the heartache of recurrent miscarriages which so many women with APS endure, how could we relax and enjoy preparing for a new baby and those precious first few days and weeks bearing in mind what happened this time?
I fear anyone reading this, or anyone I talk to about it, could take it the wrong way and assume I’m ungrateful for the child I have. I’m really not. I adore Alexandra and I look at her every day and think about how lucky I am to have her and to be here to watch her grow. I know many, many couples never have children and I feel hugely blessed to have been given the chance to be a mother. But at the same time, I can’t help but feel sad that we’ll never have the joy of deciding to have another baby, we’ll never go out and buy tiny little outfits (for ourselves, clearly we will for other people’s children and I will still adore doing that!), we’ll never watch a little baby kicking me and making strange shapes inside my belly, we’ll never have that perfect moment when your child takes its first few breaths while it’s placed upon your chest.
I have so much to look forward to as a mother. The delight Alex has brought to me in these first few months of her life is set to continue as she grows into her own little person and I laugh and smile with her every day. I’ll never get complacent about that or stop remembering how lucky I am. But some days, as I read posts on mommy forums about people getting pregnant again or when I just stop and think about it for a while, I just feel a little bit sad.
Harriet and Alexandra x