It is a week today since I lost Curley, and I still feel lost and devastated without her. But as hard as it is, I have to try and carry on. She wouldn’t want me to mope, I know she wouldn’t, just as Frankie wouldn’t want me to mope.
It’s funny, but since I was 28 my main and overriding focus was on having a baby. I’m now 41, and I’ve been relentless in that pursuit. I have tried absolutely everything in my power to become a mother with one exception which is IVF/ICSI. I got very close to that too in 2012, but it obviously didn’t happen as my ex-husband left me, but unbeknown to me I had a condition which meant that had I gone down that road it would never have worked for me. In my case IVF and assisted conception is not the answer. Getting pregnant is no problem at all for me, but due to having a rare and little-known condition called hyper fertility I am unable to sustain a pregnancy when I do catch. There are the occasional months when everything is in alignment with me for a pregnancy to grow and develop, as it did with Frankie, but it was a cruel twist of fate that meant he had something else altogether, again something incredibly rare – chromosome 15 duplication syndrome. The odds of that are huge, and yet I was the one that had a baby with that condition.
But I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I’m not going to tell myself anymore that I’m a failure because I haven’t been able to do the one thing on this earth that we are meant to do – reproduce. I am not a failure. I didn’t ask to be born with hyper fertility, any more than my cousin Tony asked to develop the cancer which killed him. It is the hand that life has dealt me, and it has taken me a long time to come to terms with it and accept it, but I have finally done so.
When Curley died I felt as if my whole world had fallen apart all over again, just as it did when I lost Frankie and when I had all my other miscarriages. Then, the strangest thing happened. I no longer cared about being the mother to a baby. It was no longer consuming me, no longer driving me, and to be honest it is a massive relief to me to let go and embrace life and all its possibilities without babies/children.
I am tired. Tired of chasing something I may never have. Tired of watching what I do, watching what I eat, watching how I act and living each month by my menstrual cycle “just in case” I catch and that this is “the month” when magically everything happens. I am tired of OKP’s, of strong dose folic acid, of pre-natal vitamins, tablets and potions of all descriptions, of taking my temperature, of seeing god knows how many different specialists, of hospital appointments, of scheduling time in that department with my husband, of watching for changes in my body, of progesterone and hormones, and of not doing things because of the possibility that I “might” be pregnant each cycle.
Enough is enough, and so my husband and I have decided that we are no longer going to keep trying to have a baby. Instead, we are going to live our lives, chuck out all the OPK’s, calendars, progesterone and tests and enjoy ourselves. We are going to look at getting another puppy, maybe two, which will be our main focus. We will be parents to furbabies instead.
I said after Curley that I couldn’t have another dog because of the heartbreak of losing it. But there are so many dogs out there that are in need of a good home. We have that, and we have lots and lots of love to give to a furbaby or two. It is time to move on from becoming the mother of a baby, and enjoy being the mother of another furbaby or two, and focus on it or them. There is way more to life than how I’ve been living it for the last 13 years.
This isn’t a decision I have taken lightly. I am sure some of you reading this will think that when we stop trying, a miracle may happen. That might well be the case, who knows. The future isn’t written yet.
Whatever will happen, will happen. In the meantime I intend to try and enjoy what’s left of my life before it is too late, because I’m not getting any younger.
Life is for living, we aren’t on this planet for very long, and I need to redress the balance of the years I’ve lost to my quest of becoming a mother. I have another role in life now, a role that is just as important and as valid, as a mother to furbabies.
And they will need me just as much as a baby would.
I feel liberated, free and happy again having made this decision, and I have a feeling it is going to be the making of me. I’m moving on with my life…finally. I will never, ever forget Frankie, Curley and my Toyah and Howie – my furbabies before Curley – ever. But I have to have a life and move on without them.
I will carry on my awareness raising work and this blog though, in Frankie’s memory. Maybe that’s why what happened to me happened, so I could help others who have also been through it. Everything is unwritten, and I have the chance to wipe the slate clean and live the life that I was always meant to live. I also know why I have failed in my quest to become a mother – so many other women have no idea why they keep miscarrying. I am eternally grateful for that, as it means I can make peace with myself – and with life.
Curley has given me a wonderful gift – the gift of realisation that life without a baby and children is absolutely fine. That a life as the mother of furbabies is just as good and as valid as a life with babies and children. I was a mother all these years all along – to her, and to my Toyah and Howie – I just didn’t realise it until now. I think that’s why she was sent to me, to show me that being the Mum of furbabies is just as rewarding.
I am NOT an empty armed mother. I am a mother – to Frankie, to Curley, to Toyah and to Howie. And I will be a mother again to more furbabies.
So here is to the future, whatever it may bring, and all its possibilities.