Yesterday marked exactly a year since this happened…
Our eagerly awaited third pregnancy was GO!
We had been trying for this baby for almost a year. With every sign of PMT, we were saddened and disheartened that it just wasn’t our month.
Our favourite thing in life was being parents to our children, and we were just starting to feel like we had found our style. Attachment parents with a slightly hippy edge, we were happy to not be ‘mainstream’ with our methods. No naughty step and crying it out for us. No puréed food or own rooms. No disposable nappies or bottles. They worked for other people, but not us! We received criticism from many about our parenting style. “You are making a rod for your back”, “Your children will never be independent” and my personal favourite “Are you going to breastfeed him until he is 14?!”. I gave up giving people the facts of the World Health Organisation recommending breastfeeding to the age of 2 and beyond, or pointing out that children who have closer relationships with their parents actually go on to be more independent, but it was falling on deaf ears. So I smiled and nodded. Nodded and smiled. My head told people to piss right off, but my face said I was taking in every piece of ‘advice’ I was given.
The year in which we were trying for baby number three felt like the hugest roller coaster. So many hopes were dashed every four weeks. Sex started to become a process intended for making a baby, not having awesome fun like it used to be. I can almost guarantee that Barnaby was conceived after a conversation along the lines of ‘I’m ovulating, come on, let’s get this over and done with!’, whilst I sneakily watched Family Guy.
Nothing says romance like a conversation about cervical mucus either. AM I RIGHT?! (You’re welcome).
So at the start of July 2014, when my period was late, we put it down to stress, or having got dates mixed up. July 5th came about and I posted in my FB baby group about it. They urged me to get a test, ‘just to make sure’.
We weren’t convinced but Jason went to Sainsbury’s once the kids were in bed. I expected him to take about 30 minutes, but an hour passed and there was no sign of him. I panicked slightly because he shouldn’t have been that long. I called him, to be told that he was just choosing a new electric shaver and to stop being impatient, it was only going to be negative anyway. LOL! That told me.
So he took his time, as per usual. Got home and I had held in my pee for over an hour so ran to do the test straight away. Came down stairs and playfully threw it at him, as who wouldn’t want a pee stick aimed at their head? I hadn’t looked, and it seemed pointless checking but Jason reluctantly fished it out from down the side of the sofa where it had fallen.
His face was an absolute picture.
At first I thought he was playing a horrible trick on me, but that man’s smile told a thousand words. There was no mistaking that his proud, amazed, beautiful face was telling me we were pregnant!
Ah shit, THREE children?
We were ecstatic!
We told the boys the next day, who were equally as thrilled as us.
In the run up to the first scan, we discussed our baby name shortlist, our pram choice, our car seat, our co-sleeper crib, our newborn nappies. It was so exciting! Even the third time round it felt so new!
26th August was scan day. I was 11 weeks and 4 days pregnant at this point. The morning of the scan, Jason went for his hair cut and did a tip run. His first day off in 3 weeks and he was spending it running errands. We dropped the boys off at my Dad’s and headed to the hospital. The car park was heaving so we had to park away from the hospital and literally run to the scan department which took 15 minutes!
I laid down for my scan, with the nervousness everyone gets. Until you see your baby, all you have to rely on that you actually pregnant, and not imagining it, are 2 little lines made by your pee.
The screen was away from me, but Jason could see it. He was holding my hand, and as soon as the sonographer put the scanny thing (after three children you would think I should know the name of it!) on my tummy, Jason’s face lit up, and he squeezed my hand really hard. His face, and his touch gave me the reassurance that I needed. I didn’t need to see my baby, it’s Daddy told me everything I needed to know. The baby was there, and was oh so loved already!
That was the only time Jason ever saw his baby.
Those precious minutes, watching his face in total awe of our tiny foetus wriggling about, will stay etched in my memory for eternity. That was living life to the absolute maximum. Not throwing yourself out of an aeroplane. Not having enough money to fill a swimming pool. But feeling that pride and emotion of seeing your baby. Knowing the months spent longing for this little person had paid off, and that you had made another human being. There is no greater feeling. Jason was the most happy he had ever been, right in those minutes.
Two days later he was dead.
If I wasn’t pregnant I can guarantee that I would not have coped. Not only would I have been mourning the loss of my soulmate, I would have been mourning the loss of a baby that would never be. Two lives that came to an end. One before it even began.
I wouldn’t have had a reason to look after myself. Although I don’t drink, I probably would have started, just to try and escape the heartache. I might have asked my Dad to have the boys for a while, whilst I self destructed. I wouldn’t have eaten. I wouldn’t have slept. I would have just painfully existed.
I couldn’t be selfish now. I had that little wriggly, oh so loved foetus to think about.
Being pregnant saved me.
Having spoken about our choices already helped me to feel less alone too. I knew which names Jason liked. Which pram I needed, and what kind of parenting style we were going with. All I had to do was choose a name out of the 4 we had (Barnaby or Dexter. Teal or Seren), and squeeze this thing out.
Not on my own, but with the knowledge that this baby was the most loved baby in the world.