For weeks I had no idea you existed. You were a silent passenger cushioned inside me, busy with the business of growing. When I missed my period instead of being excited I was miffed. You see, I had no idea that I was finally pregnant or even that it could happen naturally. Ironically for the first and only month I was longing for my period to come so we could have the final in a series of intrusive tests and be put on the list for fertility treatment.
To my dearest baby Nib,
I’ve always believed in miracles. I just never thought one would happen for me. You see, our family already had our miracle – your auntie Sarah. Asking for another felt greedy.
Getting pregnant naturally might not seem like a miracle to most people. But it became clear last year after multiple meetings with the fertility consultant that we would need a plan B, a plan C and because I’m a pessimist I even began to prepare for plan Z – a life without children.
But in April completely unexpectedly our long awaited miracle came.
During the years we tried to have you I joked to your daddy that it was OK our baby was coming, you’d just inherited his sense of time keeping.
When I finally gave in and tested the test was negative as I knew it would be. I cried, I mourned and I waited for my period to come… and waited… and waited.
A couple of days later when my period still wasn’t here I fished the negative test out of the bin and saw a faint second line. I thought it was a evaporation line, your daddy the optimist was convinced it was positive. ‘You’re pregnant.’ He said. I ignored him. On his urging I tested again certain it would be another negative.
I can’t describe what went through my head when I saw those two lines. Shock and utter disbelief, I couldn’t be pregnant, could I? A wave of excitement that maybe after all these years, you were finally here. And fear so strong I could taste it that this miracle would be taken away from me.
I lay there watching the day dawn, my hand on my tummy, whispering nonsense to you. Together me and your dad gave you a nick-name then, names have power after all, we called you Nib. You were barely the size of a cocoa nib, so teeny, and so longed for.
The days stretched endlessly as I waited to see you for the first time. I swung between feeling with a pure rightness that all would be well and a terror that deep within me that something had gone wrong. I leaned heavily on your dad, your fairy godmothers Ros and Debs and your aunty Lauren.
Finally at the end of my first trimester we had our scan. After spending months whinging that I just wanted to see you, I’d decided it was better to not know. Your daddy ignored me. I sat shaking in the scan reception remembering all my friends whose miracles had been taken away from them.
At first all we could see on the screen was darkness, that’s it I thought sadly. But then the sonographer zoomed in and said ‘There’s your baby and it has a heartbeat.’
I cried because there you were flexing your tiny starfish hands. I even collapsed into giggles as you mooned us. Your daddy stared transfixed at the screen like you were the most fascinating thing he had ever seen. ‘Can’t you feel that?’ He asked. ‘Not yet’, I replied.
You are torn between wanting to dance and wanting to sleep. You have daddy nose and throw your hands around like I do when startled. You are perfectly imperfect from your overly large head to your teeny fingers and toes. And I cannot believe how in love I am already with this tiny being barely the size of a peach. I loved you before I even knew you existed, and when I doubted you ever would.
Like any mother I have so many hopes, wishes and dreams for you, my baby. But, if pressed like a fairy at christening, my one gift to you, my darling, is that you always know how much your father and I loved and wanted you. That you carry this love and feeling of being wanted like a tiny spark at the core of you to warm you in your dark moments.
Sleep now little Nib. Sleep and grow until I can hold you in my arms.
Your mummy Rowan