Wanting a baby

“So, are you done?”. “Do you think you’ll have any more?”. “Would you like to try for a boy?”.

All questions I’m asked, week in, week out which ultimately probe the question ‘Do you want another baby?’.

Sometimes, the dreamy idea of holding another tiny squishy pink newborn, starting a whole new chapter and potentially meeting a child we don’t yet know exists is a really exciting and tempting prospect. A son, perhaps, for my sport mad husband to go to football with (okay, okay – gender stereotyping I know, but come on – he adores the girls but he’s a little alien from the whole princess thing that they go crazy for).

But the thing is, I don’t want to want any more. We’ve lived through our share of that chapter, and the prospect of returning there isn’t something that I fancy.

You see, wanting a baby isn’t like wanting a Nandos. Or wanting a log burner. Or even wanting to embark on a new career path. You can’t click and collect a child, neither can you put in the effort to reap the rewards.

We always knew having children was high up the agenda. I don’t really even remember specific conversations, but it came as a shock when the honeymoon baby didn’t arrive as expected, before the wedding album was returned back to us.

Time passed, seasons changed. The ‘baby questions’ came thick and fast and internally we (I) found it harder and harder to swallow that the business of making a baby wasn’t as easy as we had been lead to believe by our human biology teachers. How ridiculous it seemed now that I had panicked so much before about missing a contraceptive pill, when now I was popping every vitamin pill going for the opposite effect to no avail.

When you want a baby, everyone else in the world is getting pregnant, of course. Often by ‘total accident’ and through your smiles and congratulations it gets tougher and tougher to bear. You wish them well, and you also wish it was you.

We threw ourselves into other things. Moving home, work, getting run over, recuperating from getting run over, booking holidays (which were agonisingly pregnancy-friendly, just in case). And then, eventually, we started asking for help.

And so, several tests and awkward conversations later, we were told we would struggle to conceive naturally and an appointment to discuss options was made. Our world fell apart and although we tried to remain positive, we started to imagine a life without children, and think about how it might pan out. We talked about selling our home, quitting our jobs and travelling the world – all things we’d never talked about before or since, whilst trying to make sense of our drive to build a stable home, if not to provide for the kids we’d always believed we’d have.

And we hoped. We hoped that the path ahead, which would no doubt be testing, would be fruitful, and that we would come out of it the other end in tact as a couple, if nothing else.

And then, the week of our first appointment, in a twist of irony or fate, I was pregnant.

That pregnancy was so joyful, every step of the way. We met our beautiful daughter and we became parents. But little did we know, that that was not to be the end of wanting a baby for us.

Our second pregnancy surprised us as it was so unexpected and relatively sooner than we’d planned. We groaned and panicked about the age gap, and we got busy planning all the logistics of two under two. But it wasn’t to be. Losing that baby at 23 weeks meant that our first daughter would never meet that little sister, and we faced our first (and last) experience of losing a baby in pregnancy.

It was strange, because having a second child hadn’t ever been something we’d thought too much about before – yet after losing her, it became everything. Some call it empty cot syndrome, or empty arms syndrome. It’s so hard to separate the grief of losing that child with the feeling of wanting to be pregnant again.

Even though we had a healthy and beautiful two year old, that desperate longing to be pregnant again was so hard to bear. It sounds almost selfish and I felt bad admitting it, but I just felt having another baby was going to help put my world right again. It was of course a gamble, because had a second pregnancy gone wrong, I don’t know if we would have coped. We were advised to wait six months, but I just couldn’t.

The week I conceived I knew. I just felt it somehow. We had just talked about stepping back from trying again as the stress of it on top of everything else was just too much. But there she was, our rainbow baby in a pale blue line, on a early-early home pregnancy test. The beginning of a  rocky road of scans and tests, that ultimately led towards a little sister for our daughter, and bringing an end to the sadness.

And so, we have pledged a vow of contentment. I don’t want to spend any more time wanting a baby. I have two incredible children I am forever grateful for (even when they are driving me totally fricking insane).

And so, to those of you trying to conceive, those recovering from loss, from recurrent miscarriage or undergoing IVF, this is dedicated to you. For those who just haven’t met the right guy, or who met the wrong guy. Secondary infertility, early menopause, unexplained infertility…it all leaves your destiny in the hands of the medical profession or if you choose to believe it, a greater force, and it is devastating.

I’m sorry if I’ve been insensitive in my moans about my lack of sleep and the despair of a fussy eater. I shudder to think about when I have probably asked the awful question that you really could have done without whilst I bounced my baby on my knee. Even I have forgotten at times how flaunting one’s happiness in another’s face, albeit innocently, makes you feel like crap. Whether your situation is public property or private, you deserve sensitivity and respect.

To those who are holding on to your dreams, fighting their path to parenthood; I wish you magic and miracles, because they do happen, and I pray that they happen for you.

x MMT

This post originally featured on www.meetothermums.com as part of their #Blogsquad

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49 thoughts on “Wanting a baby

  1. Sadie Reply

    What a beautifully written post. You’ve faced a lot in growing your family, I’m glad you have your girls and are settled.

    It wasn’t until I faced uncertainty around my fertility and then a loss that I appreciated how even little comments can impact someone who is struggling. I never pry about people’s family plans, and feel a little uncomfortable when people ask about mine (even though I’m an open book) as I don’t feel it is something anyone has a right to know unless the person offers up the information. Whilst it is a joyous subject for many, it can also be the most painful one for others.

  2. Nicole Reply

    Beautifully written post Sarah… you’ve been through a tough time but all’s well that ends well, right? Got to agree with Sadie’s last line in the comment above – while pregnancy is a joyous subject for many, it can be the most painful one for others. And you have captured this beautifully in this post.
    #coolmumclub

  3. beautybabyandme Reply

    This post is just beautifully written. Choosing to have a baby is such a huge decision and you’re right, it isn’t to be taken lightly. Written wonderfully as always xx #coolmumclub

  4. Megan Bidmead (@whispertoroar) Reply

    A lovely post. We thought for a while that we might not be able to have a second child – it was so painful. Everyone around me seemed to be having babies at that point as well! Sometimes it’s not as easy as being able to just decide you’re going to have a baby … #coolmumclub

  5. franbackwithabump Reply

    This us such a well writtrn post. I love you comparing having a baby to a nandos!! Being a mum is flipping hard at tines even when we kbiw we’re lucky to be a mum after loss. Stay cool and thanks for hosting #coolmumclub x

  6. Mrs Lighty Reply

    I so feel this post. We tried for Baby Lightyfor two years, and fell pregnant three weeks before we started fertility treatment. I too feel like I’m done with wanting another, even after only one child. Thanks so much for sharing this with #coolmumclub and dedicating it to those wanting a baby xxx

  7. Hattie Reply

    Since my divorce I’ve been coming to terms with the idea that my boy will be my one and only. I always wanted two kids, and whilst that may yet happen, I am accepting life as a parent to just one. The whole issue around babies, trying to conceive, loss etc is such a minefield of emotions. #CoolMumClub

  8. and Jacob makes three Reply

    What a lovely, but sad, heartfelt post. Glad things worked out for you eventually. #coolmumclub

  9. Rach Reply

    For me, it was deciding to go on with my pregnancy despite the boyfriend walking out. Not an easy one to make, but I don’t regret it in the slightest. #coolmumclub

  10. Ursula (AKA Mumbelievable) Reply

    This is a stunning, sensitively written piece, Sarah. Your courage to be so open and write so powerfully about your journey amazes me. I have friends who experience every feeling from never knowing if they will ever want a baby to being terrified that even after four they will never feel like they are ‘done’. Motherhood is primal, and our instincts are never wrong, I guess. I’m sure that this will resonate with many people, and help them to feel less alone. Lovely to be back at the #coolmumclub Xxxx

  11. Donna Reply

    Lovely post! I want to be pregnant again, and to give birth, and to breast feed and have lovely baby cuddles. The idea of not doing any of those things makes me quite sad. But, I don’t want 3 children. I want lie ins, and time to work while they are at school, and time with my husband! #coolmumclub

  12. Sinéad (shinnersandthebrood.com) Reply

    Oh my God. How hard it must have been to lose a baby at 23 weeks. Your post is lovely. I totally understand where you are coming from. Sometimes it makes all the sense in the world to just stop and appreciate what we have, otherwise we could spend out lives wanting and wondering. #coolmumclub

  13. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    Beautiful post darling and you are so right….wanting a baby is a hell of a lot more complicated than wanting a Nandos! Sending lots of #coolmumclub love for this brave post xoxo

  14. Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... Reply

    Thoughtful and thought provoking post. I want another baby but my partner doesn’t. It seems almost selfish to have a fourth when so many other struggle to have one. I was actually lying in bed thinking about this last night, trying to convince myself to be grateful and content with my 3 gorgeous children but my heart aches for another 🙁 #coolmumclub

  15. Mum in Brum Reply

    Beautiful post Sarah, it made me weep a little. You have such a way with words. I’m sure this will encourage and comfort others going through similar experiences. Nothing is a given and it’s so easy to take things for granted – and forget that we all have different circumstances and stories. xxx #coolmumclub

  16. thetaleofmummyhood Reply

    this is so beautiful. It’s not easy to accept that we won’t have another child, I often think about having another but know deep down that it won’t happen xx #coolmumclub

  17. tinmccarthy Reply

    I have four, tubes are tied up tight and I still yearn for another- probably always will

    #coolmumsclub

  18. mummyhereandthere Reply

    Very moving post X #coolmumclub

  19. alifeinpracticeblog.com Reply

    What a beautiful post, thank you so much for sharing something so personal and heart-felt. xx #coolmumclub

  20. Mummy Rules Reply

    What a beautiful, sensitive and bravely written post. Thanks for sharing. I sometimes fancy a third child like I fancy getting a takeaway, but it’s not like that at all is it? I feel so blessed to have two healthy happy girls. If that’s my lot I’m blooming lucky #coolmumclub

  21. BattleMum Reply

    Such a lovely post to write. We were fortunate enough to fall pregnant on our second attempt at trying (we tried half-heartedly 6 months before starting in earnest) but I know there are some who long for a baby but for whatever reason cant. Although I would have loved another I think we’re both too old (and too tired) to even try so I am content with my one. #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      The tiredness is definitely a major factor for me too! Thanks for reading xx

  22. Mom Of Two Little Girls Reply

    I really don’t think that anyone who hasn’t experienced it understands that physical burning urge to creat another human. I didn’t have it before falling pregnant the first time, but when we were trying for our second it almost took over my whole life, wanting, waiting, that strong desire, need for it to happen.
    I did not ever have that again. 2nd pregnancy cured me for sure! Wouldn’t change a thing but we are DONE!
    #coolmumsclub

  23. Paula from Her Life Is Love Reply

    I was surprised at how hard it was to get pregnant again after having my daughter. I try not to ask other moms about future pregnancies. It’s such a sensitive topic and I hate to tread on toes. #coolmumclub

  24. five little doves Reply

    I love this, and I relate on so many levels. I don’t discuss this in my blog, out of respect for my ex husband and a marriage I am no longer a part of, but our two boys were not born at the click of our fingers, we actually had fertility treatment for them both, and many more rounds for the babies we lost. Somehow that made losing them even harder, knowing that we could not just get pregnant again quite so easily, and I felt incredibly sad that there would be no more children. When I met Gaz, and we assumed that we too would need IVF to conceive, it was a huge shock to be pregnant so fast, and although we lost our first few babies together, after Eva was born, to then conceive by mistake was beyond belief. And then with Harry, to have conceived on the pill, after everything we had been through, it felt like a miracle! After that, we knew, without a shadow of a doubt that we were done. Because some people don’t even get one miracle, and we had five, I count myself very lucky for that. #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Your story in particular has always humbled me Laura. I honestly don’t know how you kept going – but the answer probably lies in the gorgeous children you created and the remarkable strength that you don’t seem to realise you have. Thank you for reading and love to you all xxx

  25. Rhyming with Wine Reply

    Oh honey this is so moving and I was blinking back tears as I read your story. It makes me feel so incredibly lucky to have my two happy, healthy little monsters and I just want to hug them that bit harder now. I do have very close friends who are going through their own journeys and facing the kind of challenges that you describe here and I know that the kindness and consideration in your words would mean the world to them too. All the hugs. Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub xx

    1. MMT Reply

      Thank you Dawn. Xx

  26. justsayingmum Reply

    What a beautiful considerate post. You’ve had such an emotional path to get where you are and so many people do and we shouldn’t imagine that everyone’s journey to children is easy. It can be the most heartbreaking experience with pain unimaginable – there will be a lot of people that gain solace by reading this post. Thank you for sharing #CoolMumClub

    1. MMT Reply

      Sometime I feel like it didn’t really happen, the memories are so sad and traumatic it’s a bit like remembering a movie we watched. Life goes on though and for us, thankfully we had a happy ending – it’s good to remember that xxx thanks Helen

  27. Wendy Reply

    I love this post. I feel so lucky every day to have my two boys and to have managed to have 2 problem free pregnancies and labours and to never have experienced the loss of a child as so many people do. I am being asked a lot if I’m having another baby and I just don’t know, Alex is only 6months old, getting pregnant again is the last thing on my mind but I can’t 100% say I don’t want another child either. It definitely isn’t link just getting a nandos!xx #coolmumclub

  28. Cheryl @ Tea or Wine Reply

    Beautiful. And you’re right, sometimes we get so caught up in all the crap and hard work of parenting and we moan on forgetting that actually we are all blessed. For some listening to us it could be insensitive even if it is unintentional. It’s good to take a moment to realise that. I suffered several miscarriages and a journey to get my two girls and they drive me mental but I wouldn’t be without them. Like you, I get the comments about having a boy. I do get incredibly broody around newborn babies, but don’t think I could go through it all again! Thanks for sharing. #CoolMumClub xx

  29. mommyandrory Reply

    What a touching post. Sometimes you need to take a step back and really appreciate the amazing little people you have in your life. OK so they steel your food and draw on your walls but their worth every sleepless night and public tantrum! Off to go and squeeze my baby tight!! #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Exactly. I’m terrible at forgetting that at times! Sometimes it’s good to reflect on the bumpy road it took to get here. Thanks for reading xx

  30. Angela Watling Reply

    Beautiful post. Really resonates with me at the moment based on discussions going on in our house. I’m sorry you had to go through such sadness with your second pregnancy. But it’s delightful to hear you have you have your wonderful daughters to bring you joy (and infinite exhaustion) in life! #CoolMumClub

    1. MMT Reply

      Thank you Angela. Delightful they are too… most of the time! I hope the answer to your discussions becomes clear and best of luck xxx

  31. absolutely prabulous Reply

    Beautifully written as per. Your struggles to conceive (and those of all the others who have suffered that too) are the reason why I’ve never (well not yet) had the guts to write about my own conception experience which – including the first child that we lost early on – was plain sailing all 4 times. I’m so terrified of appearing utterly spoilt and ungrateful and insensitive describing my depression after number 2 as I was so desperate for a third while everyone around me kept telling me I was complete when I knew I wasn’t done yet. Yes depression! Absolutely nuts. Anyway back to you. So sorry you’ve endured so much; nobody would ever know that behind the gorgeous mega watt smile there is such a back story. Thanks so much for this post. Loved it. #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      I think that’s one of the key points in between the lines here Hun, sometimes the yearning isn’t rational but it doesn’t make it any less real. I can totally understand what you mean xxx thanks for the beaut comment xxx

  32. Helena Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I hope that it helps others. #coolmumclub

  33. Louise Reply

    What a beautiful post. I love your point that wanting a baby isn’t like wanting a Nandos – that reminder of what a huge commitment it is to have a baby. I always avoid asking others if they want a baby/another baby even if they’re close friends unless they bring up the topic themselves. You never know what heartbreak someone might be hiding beneath the surface and how painful that question might be. I’m glad your rainbow baby helped to ease some of the sadness from losing your second daughter and I love that you’ve made a vow of contentment. I think happiness lies in appreciating what we have x #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      It certainly does Louise. The path of true love really never does run smooth and we all never know what life is going to throw at us xx love you you and the family xx

  34. Alana - Burnished Chaos Reply

    Such a beautiful post, you have me in tears. We always wanted a big family (5 or 6!) and never thought for a minute that it would be difficult (at least the getting pregnant bit). How wrong we were. It took 5 long years and one miscarriage to conceive our son, then a further 4 years and another 5 miscarriages to conceive our daughter. After complications during her birth I was advised not to have any more. In a way, what should have been heartbreaking news was actually a relief. We had spent nine long years on an emotional rollercoaster and I know without that advice I probably would have got back on the rollercoaster again and it might very well have sent me over the edge. Knowing I would never have any more allowed me to live more in the now and appreciate what we already had and just how lucky we really are x
    #coolmumclub

    1. MMT Reply

      Oh Alana that is really sad. As you say, there is a sense of calm in knowing the struggle is over. Time to enjoy now xxx thanks for your lovely comment.

  35. tammymum Reply

    Oh this is a beautiful post. We never know the journeys the people have to take when it comes to children. When I moan or complain about the hard times it certainly isn’t meant as though I am taking my two for granted or the very lucky position I am in to have the two I always wanted and I hope people know that. Like you say it certainly isn’t meant to be insensitive. I will join you in wishing nothing but magic and miracles to those still on their journey to parenthood. #coolmumclub

  36. susielhawes Reply

    This is a fab post. Firstly, I’m so sorry for your loss. A relative lost their baby at 23 weeks and it devastated us all. I also know someone who is struggling to conceive. It’s been years and although I know (it’s obvious from social media posts) I don’t like to pry. I also don’t like to assume or ask other friends who aren’t yet parents. I really want another baby now but it’s posts like this that make me feel so grateful for having one, no matter what the future holds. #coolmumclub

  37. Lucy At Home Reply

    This is so heartfelt, and so beautifully written. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I can’t imagine how heartbreaking that must be. As you say, our science teachers made it all sound so easy and simple. This has reminded me again how blessed I am to have my little ones in my arms, and how I need to take the time to really appreciate the wonderful gift that they are #coolmumclub

  38. Mrs Mummy Harris Reply

    This is such a lovely post. i completely get the feeling bad for innocently throwing it in others faces. My closest friend at work has been trying for years, all tests taken with no answers and to be told to wait a further two years naturally trying before becoming eligible for IVF. When I started trying given my PCOS we were aware that fertility could be an issue so we consoled eachother when Aunt Flo came to visit. Four months later I’m pregnant, Ben’s a year old next month and she’s still trying. its so hard for both parties!! #coolmumclub

  39. crummymummy1 Reply

    Love the Nandos & log burner comparison! #coolmumclub

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