Thursday, 19 February 2015

When is the right time to have a baby?

In this month's Cosmopolitan magazine, there's a large section talking about The Flex Generation - a generation of women who are choosing to have a baby later in life (post 30) for various different reasons. 

The article featured case studies from lots of different women, and also invited readers to respond with their stories. 
I emailed them with my response, and a few days later it was printed online here
Being printed online at Cosmo for the second time was amazing..... Here's my piece for my own little blog space online too..... I really hope it might help someone.



 I read your article ‘When’s the Right Time to Have a Baby’ with interest and just had to get in touch. 
My Husband is terminally ill with Motor Neurone Disease. Late last year, we made the decision that we wanted to have a family and that we would start trying for a baby. 
I found out I was pregnant on New Years Eve, which was the earliest possible day I could do the test. Overcome with emotion, we toasted 2015 with water and began to make preparations the very next day. 
My Husbands condition has no cure, and no exact prognosis. When he was diagnosed over a year ago, he was offered 2-5 years to live, yet nobody can confirm this, or even tell him how the disease will progress. 
Time is the most important thing in the World to us. I want every day to last a lifetime and every moment to be ingrained in my memory forever. Yet, as soon as I got the positive result on the test, time became something I wanted to sweep into a dustpan. I have never desperately ached for something to be OK in that way. 
I calculated the weeks which had passed (6) and the weeks left to go until the first scan (6). I thought of a child’s 6 weeks holidays and how they seemed to span out forever, and I thought of 6 weeks of effect MND can take on my Husbands muscles. 
His medication was starting to seriously effect his voice and he talked through my tummy to the group of cells growing away inside of me. Surely, this New Year’s Eve Baby would somehow hear him? Surely, if in 9 months when it arrived it would recognise it’s Daddy’s strained words…. or be able to remember them if the voice had gone altogether? 
I studied how his arms moved, and how he needed both hands to lift a glass to his mouth. 9 months later, would he be able to hold his own child? 

All of a sudden, the choice I have thought about all of my life. The choice to decide the time, the age and the person I have a child with is here right in front of me. I am 29 years old. I am financially capable of having a child. I am married, I have a home. A shining example of the Flex generation and I want it more than anything. 

The bleeding started at 7 weeks. I was sent to the EPAU and scanned. The baby was measuring at 6 weeks, but it’s heart was beating. I went home savouring the feeling of knowing I had two hearts beating inside of me, a tiny little piece of both of us growing. 
A week later I had a midwife appointment and couldn’t give a urine sample as I was bleeding again. I had read every forum, every blog, everything I could find. In my head I knew. I knew the bleeding was worse than what they had described. In my heart, where I keep every ounce of hope I reserve for my Husband, I allowed there to be a little room for this tiny little thing to be OK. 
As I laid on the bed the second time, the sonographer wouldn’t let me see the screen. The baby hadn’t grown in a week, I was bleeding heavily internally and there was no heartbeat at all. 

I left the hospital, past the anti-natael unit, past the heavily pregnant mother’s to be smoking in dressing towns outside of the hospital. I went home and I waited. ‘It will pass naturally’, they had said. And it did. 
I wondered if this was to give us more time together to be Husband and Wife. To take away the stress, to let time tick by slowly... I had no idea. 

I then read the stories of the women in your magazine who are answering the question - When’s the Right Time to Have a Baby?’
I have always known I would like a child, and then all of a sudden I am 29 years old, have a house, a job I adore, a fantastic family unit and I am married to a terminally ill man. And I want a baby more than anything. 
I can virtually touch the feeling it is so real, and yet I feel like I am running across fields trying to reach the part where the clouds touch the grass. 

The right time to have a baby, in my opinion, is when you feel like that. Whether you plan it or not, no matter what age or the situation. If you think about the cells growing inside of you and you want the heart to beat harder than your own and the tiny feet to pummel you from the inside. If you can imagine those pieces of tissue turning into something you will love for the rest of your existence, and will protect in a way you didn’t know was possible. If the feeling is like screaming in an open space and knowing the air will absorb your emotions and you will be OK again….. Then I think that is the right time. And I think when the right time comes, you will know.


1 comment:

  1. Sending love and best wishes to you both. We are lucky enough to have 2 beautiful, healthy daughters. There is 5 years between them, but there wasn't supposed to be. We often think of our middle child who would have been 15 this year.

    ReplyDelete

Please do leave me a lovely little message!