Without question being a Mum is tough. Even though I have a fairly straight forward, relatively well behaved child, my default setting (especially around my eyes unfortunately) appears to be tired. Indeed, our whole family seems to have been gifted with early risers.
But not being a Mum was even tougher. Whilst I may be physically in need of a boost at times, nothing comes close to the deep, deep sadness that would well up inside of me with each negative pregnancy test as another month passed and then another year until I genuinely started to flounder and started to worry that this may be something that would never, ever happen.
A mere 3 months before I eventually became pregnant with my son, some 4 years after coming off the Pill, I remember being at a work Christmas party when the man next to me, who I didn’t know especially well, asked me if I was ambitious. I always thought I was; having worked hard at school and got a succession of interesting jobs, but in that moment I knew that nothing else mattered to me anymore apart from becoming a mother. And that is what I said; ‘No, I just want to become a Mum’.
And this was a woman who at the beginning was slightly relieved at not falling pregnant straight away as each negative test allowed for more travel to great places and a life full of choices, opportunity, sleep and fun. I had never been very maternal anyway, my husband was pushing for a family and I had never really questioned that even though I am not the world’s biggest fan of children or babies.
But there I was, a few years later, heartbroken, sad and frankly desperate. So, after the Christmas holidays I resigned, leaving behind a job that involved far too much long haul flying and time away from home to finish up some studying that had been stressing me out, look after our new grey kitten and attempt to get pregnant.
Amazingly, two months later I was. Tired and bloated my sister-in-law suggested I take a pregnancy test after staying at ours for the night and even though that confirmed I was pregnant, sharp pains on my right hand side had me concerned it might be ectopic. Fast forward a few weeks and all was well but it wasn’t until the 12 week scan which reassured me that all was as it should be and also told me that the baby I was carrying was a longed for boy (I was worried I would rub a daughter up the wrong way and a boy would generally be less judgemental of my mothering) that the euphoria set in. I hoped that he was a fighter and once pregnant he would be OK, healthy and strong.
That turned out to be the case. On my Mother’s birthday after a straight forward pregnancy we met our son for the first time. I will remember that moment forever – this beautiful boy appearing and him being passed to me and his little mouth was an upside down mew and just being so overwhelmed as I could meet him and touch him and comfort him for the first time. After all the pain, angst, worry and fear, this was it. Here he was. And he was worth all of it. Every stretch mark, every tear, all the wait and worry, my perfect boy who has turned my husband and I into a family. He can drive me demented, what child can’t, but the love I feel for him, as every parent does, is raw, animalistic and pure. I would kill for him, I would die for him. I still stare at him in wonder and am grateful for every day, month and year I had to wait for him as if I had got pregnant beforehand, it wouldn’t be him and a nutty part of me feels that that was the delay. My body was simply waiting for the child I was meant to have. It was waiting for him. And now the wait is over and we are living our life, our little family of three and that is the way it will stay and possibly the way it was always meant to be.