I once told my Mum (in front of my Dad) that my husband and I were trying for a baby and then instantly went bright red when I realised I’d just confessed to my parents that I was regularly getting laid. It took me a miscarriage and a whole year later to understand why my parents hadn’t joined me in blushing, in fact they just gave me that head nodding sympathetic smile that only people in the know give.
I can’t think of anything more wonderful than finding out you’re pregnant and yet I can’t think of anything more sinister than trying for a baby! I don’t know if it’s the hours of lying upside down in ‘the wet patch’ willing ‘the boys’ to torpedo their way up to your ‘baby baker’, the constant speaking in inverted commas, the heart wrenching and relentless single pink line on all those pregnancy tests, the shear exhaustion of having to sacrifice sleep to do the deed or the robotic nature of trying to get the job done that takes all the joy out of it. Because lets face it ‘trying’ for a baby isn’t really having sex. How can you feel sexy, be in the mood and enjoy yourself when all you’re thinking is when your last period was, have you ovulated yet, did I take my folic, is he really trying, should he be wearing looser boxers and I wonder when my due day will be? Ok that last ones a lie you know you’ve already +280’d every date in the calendar!
The internet is abundant with hacks on how to get pregnant but, lets face it if you don’t know by now well you probably shouldn’t be bothering because the truth is despite all those sex ed classes it all boils down to plain old luck of the f*%k! And it doesn’t change once you finally manage to reproduce your first sprog, it’s all back to square one, again! The only difference being that this time you’ve got to be quicker as wiping bums, breast feeding and silent humping (to avoid waking the baby) all have to be calculated into the equation as well.
This time around (yep, I’m one upping myself on the embarrassment ranks and publicly announcing to anyone that cares that my husband and I are consciously coupling where ever and when ever we can; babies don’t make themselves!) I’ve noticed that with every pregnancy we some how manage to adapt. The first time I fell pregnant I believed and gobbled up all the hype that you could have it all and so I chose to get myself knocked up whilst also trying to successfully hold down a very intensive work schedule. We will never truly know why that pregnancy failed but at 34 I was forced to face the capabilities of my physical and mental health and what I found was…
A: Both my husband and I wanted to make a family together, possibly far more than we had ever realised and a big part of that was to have a baby.
B: I couldn’t be everything to everyone, maybe others can but, I just couldn’t.
C: If I didn’t listen to myself and what I knew I needed and the same thing happened again I wouldn’t be able to move on with a guilt free conscience and just say ‘unfortunately, sometimes these things happen’, to myself or anyone who’d dare to ask (and they do).
That’s why I chose to go against the 21st century norm and make the unpopular choice to give up work or at least while I tried to get pregnant (I put that last bit in there for you, there’s no way I’m ever going back).
Although I’m not pregnant with child number 2, yet things have already started to evolve and change again this time around too. For one I feel less guilt at being selfish when it’s for the benefit and over all survival of me and my family unit. I take time where I can and I let others down if I have to. That’s not to say I’m not there and present for friends and family but, I don’t feel obliged to attend every get together, baby shower or birthday party, that also goes both ways, I allow others the same luxury when it comes to me.
Don’t get me wrong I miss the income; giving up work wasn’t easy! I also totally get how some of my counterparts feel that after becoming ‘mum’ they’ve lost parts of their identity. However, apart from occasionally craving the odd blow out shopping spree here and there for me sacrificing my income to live life at my own pace has allowed me to take being a mum (and being me) in my stride, prioritise rationally and just generally be able to breathe a little easier.
I’m 36 now and whats considered to be a geriatric mother regardless, I feel far more optimistic about our chances and capabilities than I did at 34. I think the phrase ‘happy mummy (and/or daddy) = happy family’ holds far more truth than any of us ever give it credit for. What ever role you play in your family whether its money maker, house keeper, child minder or all of the aforementioned you do what needs to be done in the best interest of you and yours.
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