Today marks one year to the day that we found out that our third frozen embryo transfer had worked, that I was officially pregnant. That our Alex existed!
Anyone who has undergone fertility treatment will know the torture of that two week wait between the embryo being transferred and doing the test to find out if it has worked. I’ve done it three times now, that’s six weeks of pure hell. Six weeks of fear and dread, excitement and hope, then back to fear and dread again. All felt in the space of just one minute, every minute for two whole weeks.
And then the test result. Suddenly, you realise after having gone through two whole weeks of waiting, you can barely stand to wait the two minutes it takes for the test to show the result. You’re dying to know, and scared to death of knowing all at once. But there it was, in two pink lines! A positive. We could hardly believe our luck. To have success at this for a second time! Unbelievable. We joked we’d have to call the bump Patrick or Patricia for the day that was in it.
Looking at him now, smiling a gummy, drooly smile up at me from his little chair, it’s hard to believe that it’s only been one year. How much life can change in such a short space of time! To think that this day last year, I didn’t know Alex would be Alex. When you’re pregnant for the first time, you imagine what your child might look like. A mini me or a mini Gavin. A mini Gavin with red hair? Or a mini me with no hair?? Will he have my eyes, and Gavin’s smile? It’s fun to imagine. And when you’re pregnant for a second time, you again imagine what your child might look like, but this time I just imagined another version of Rian.
But I could already tell Alex was going to be a different personality. It’s funny, after your baby is born and you get to know them, learn their little personalities and traits, you realise that you’ve always known them, they’ve been themselves since before they were even born.
That might sound a bit ridiculous, but looking back at Rian’s pregnancy, he was the same as he is now. He stuck to his own rules; midwives advised I should feel at least 10 kicks a day. Not Rian. That child did things his own way! He didn’t like being woken up during his scans, and he doesn’t like being woken up now. He gets a new lease of life in the evenings, and he almost always only kicked my belly at that time too.
And looking back again on Alex’s pregnancy, I realise again that I’ve always known him even before we officially met. He’s a softer, gentler sort of person. The rare times he cries, it’s almost apologetic. His pregnancy was different too, much calmer in his movements and kicks.
Being someone’s mother forces you to ‘contemplate’ things a lot. A very serious sounding word which conjures up images of Oscar Wilde type people writing beautiful words about dewy grass and the passing sands of time and all that sort of thing. But it’s true! I find myself contemplating quite a lot, thank you! What sort of men will Rian and Alex become? It’s something I take very seriously – we’re responsible for them, for their childhood and for their future. I really want to do my best to make sure that they become the best people they can be.
And I’m reminded yet again of how much Rian & Alex are actually teaching me about myself. It’s mad really – you think you are there to teach them everything so it’s a big surprise when they start teaching you a few lessons in return.
They’re essentially like little mirrors, reflecting yourself back at you. You find out things about yourself that you simply just didn’t realise. Some are good – seeing Rian hug and cuddle people, and especially Alex, being so gentle and kind. Already knowing his Pleases and Thank Yous. Some, not so good – watching Rian stand at the door and shout ‘Oh Jesus!’ when he dropped his bag on his foot I thought……oh crap. That sounds a bit like me. I’ll often hear him shout ‘OH CHRIST’! followed by his quick little temper, like little fireworks popping, over and gone in a flash. I can’t imagine who he’s copying with that one…! I think it just makes you look closely at the sort of person you are.
How different our lives are now! When I think of that day when we were told we’d only be able to conceive through IVF, from there to here, it’s more than we ever thought possible. Yet here we are now, a family of four – a year ago, to the day.