There was a time I didn’t think about you much. In my 20’s I would have scrunched up my face and recoiled at the prospect of being a mum. I wanted to go out all night drinking not stay at home feeding. Talking about babies was boring to me. I felt sorry for women who seemed to be able to do nothing else.
At 30 I heard a distinct ‘tick’ of my biological clock. It happened while cuddling with an adorable six month old during a baby sitting job. For the next five years I plotted, planned, freaked out, and eventually became obsessed with having a child. I knew time was slipping through my fingers so I finally drew a line in the sand and set a date to start trying. Since I wanted a summer baby September seemed like the perfect month. Just three months before the start date I was diagnosed with a hormone positive breast cancer.
I risked feeding my cancer by injecting hormones everyday in order to harvest eggs. I felt the tumor get bigger. I found a baby donor daddy and all nine of my eggs became embryos. Thats when you became you. From an idea you became an entity albeit one on ice in Pasadena but you were here.
It would have been easier for me to not want to have you. I was told it was too risky for me to carry you, I worried I didn’t have enough to offer and ultimately I was scared I might die before you got to adulthood. However much I tried to not want you, I did, desperately.
In a huge act of optimism I realized I needed to live like I was living. So I decided to start the other half of the IVF process and get pregnant.
I battled with UK laws for over six months for you to be allowed to enter England. After winning I took thousand of hormones in the form of pills, patches and suppositories. I spent thousands of dollars followed by thousands of pounds to get to this point. On transfer day I saw you as a distinct clump of cells on the screen before they put you into my womb. I whispered in my head, I love you already.
I knew the odds weren’t in my favor but I knew deep inside that I was meant to have you and when I saw the first negative pregnancy test I couldn’t believe it. I knew it was wrong. I took another and it was negative and I couldn’t accept what I was seeing. I had seen you on the swings, I was saving old clothes that you might want to dress up in, I knew I would hug you. Lauren and I have talked and sometimes pre argued about almost every aspect of childrearing, you have been in our lives for years, you had to arrive.
The next day I got a Big Fat Positive result! I pulled the test from the day before out of the trash and it too was positive.
Twelve more positive tests followed and nausea set in. My breasts felt like I was carrying a dumbbells. I started craving garlic bread with rosemary and grapefruit. Not together though, that would have been really weird. Everything finally fell into place at the end of ten long years. Against all the odds you were here, making me puke and I loved it.
Today I went for my scan and you have doubled in size from last week and I saw your heart beat.
Within seconds of looking at the blurry ultrasound images I could see that although I get to hold you now I will never get to comfort you after a nightmare or place a cold cloth over your brows during a fever or kiss a bump to make it better. The doctor confirmed that even though you are trying your hardest you will not make it into our world.
I had a life with you planned out, with lots of room for you to also be your own person, I didn’t want to be that type of mum. I can’t wrap my head around never buying your school uniform or staying up at night pondering if I am posting too many pictures of you on Facebook or worrying about you posting pictures on a site I’m not cool enough to even know about. I can’t believe I’ll never get to hold your hand as we splash through puddles and it seems out of the realms of possibility that I will never be able to tell you to go tidy your room (while secretly understanding why you don’t want to do it because I hate cleaning mine). Although I haven’t met you I feel like I know you and I don’t know how to say goodbye.
I’m heartbroken your journey has been and will be too hard and too short.
As I stroke my slightly rounded stomach I know for right now you are still alive, still with me and I love you.