It Wasn’t My Decision to Stop Having Children and It Still Hurts
This is going to sound really mad and you might think I am bonkers, selfish or stupid but I don’t care. My husband and I have five children, I wanted to decide to have more. I know that we are lucky to have our children and that really, we are lucky to be alive and some people can’t get pregnant at all but really, it is all relative to your own experience, and this is mine.
When we got together, we both had two children from our first marriages and we set about really quickly having one together, we love children, we both were desperate to have another one, despite being told by EVERYONE, including my gynaecologist, that it was a bad idea.
And I mean everyone! Some people thought that we hadn’t been together long enough to have settled in together.
Some people thought that we already had four and that was enough.
Some people thought that our other children would feel left out.
Some people thought that we were too busy for another baby.
Some people thought that as my other babies had been prems that it was too dangerous.
Some people just wanted to voice an opinion.
Some people could kiss my…
So there we were, having number five and it was wonderful.
Ok, it wasn’t wonderful…I continued to work through my pregnancy and when I packed my hospital bag at 25 weeks and announced that we had to get ready, everyone once again thought I was mad. But I had had my last child at 27 weeks and I was worried about not being ready this time.
Sure enough Annie came quietly into the world at 29 weeks, exactly the same weight and length as her older sister.
We went through the NICU journey, made more difficult by the comings and goings of her siblings, our messy divorces and moving house.
It was bedlam.
It was crazy and confusing and at times heartbreaking, but I don’t regret a moment of it!
I would have done it all again.
I wanted to do it all again, but this time, I wanted the rosy picture that I had in my mind. I wanted the perfect pregnancy, the rosy faces little baby, being able to show off my chubby cheeked cherub.
What I got was a really difficult time, no visitors allowed and no one wanted to talk about ‘the baby’.
I think that as she was so poorly when she was born that people were expecting her to die and so they didn’t know what to say. It was like no one really acknowledged that she had been born and that was very painful. My husband and I both work for the same company and we didn’t even get a baby gift from our work. I did get some lovely get well cards though.
So really, although I had a baby, I was grieving for the way that it all happened. I think in reality I have some sort of post traumatic stress.
In all that. I loved having a baby with the man that I had spent years loving from afar. The man that I had shared so much with.
But I wanted the chance to do it properly. I knew in my heart that if we lined up again that the chances of it all working out perfectly was very slim, probably non- existent and there were all those ‘some people’. But I really wanted to have another go, partly to get it right, partly because I knew that Annie was going to be on her own for a lot of the time when the other kids were off to their other parents and…mostly, because I have so much more love to give.
So when I had to have a hysterectomy when Annie was 18 months old it hit hard. I never had the experiences that other mothers had. I felt that as all my babies were so early that I’ve never had the last trimester of any of my pregnancies. I never waited to go into labour, I’ve never had the nervous husband pacing the floor. I’ve never had that whole ‘birth experience.’
So when I was told that that was the end of the road for me, baby wise, it really hit me hard.
So excuse me if I grieve. If I’d been given the choice it might have been different, I might have come to terms with it. I might have been able to rationalise a decision.
I might have had time to adjust. But I don’t think I ever will….