“The first thing I asked was, ‘Can I have any further children?'”
BY KATY ROBSON-MALONE
“All parents know deep down how many people should be sitting around your dinner table”. This is what somebody said to us when I was pregnant with our tiniest human and I’ve not been able to shake it off.
You’d think that after the experience we had with the last birth and the aftermath of that, we wouldn’t even consider it. But the first thing I asked at my consultant urology appointment four weeks after the birth was, “Can I have any further children?” And I would be lying if I said I hadn’t felt a massive relief when they said I could.
Although Lynz and I had never even mentioned it – as we were trying to find our feet as sleep-deprived, short-tempered mums of three young children – it started to feel like the elephant in the room. Sadly, not talking about it made me feel distant from Lynz. For me, it was on the tip of my tongue but I thought Lynz would think I had seriously lost the plot so we never talked about it…
Until one day. I must’ve been feeling quite bolshy and I texted Lynz saying, “Do you think our family is complete?” And breathe. Crap, I’ve pressed send. She is seriously going to flip!! And then “ping”, seconds later my phone sounded and I got a reply, “No!”
Woah! I wasn’t expecting that. I had tears that we were, in fact, on the same page. There is something so comforting about that feeling of relief when you feel instantly closer to your loved one – like a weight has been lifted. Equally I felt like a bit of an idiot that I’d spent so many sleepless nights on the whole thing and didn’t just talk about it. There’s a lesson to be learnt there! I had noticed a massive change in Lynz after her pancreatitis anyway. She really had a different outlook on life. It was a reminder that life is so fragile and you have to live it without regrets.
So it was out there. We talked about how we would get advice from our consultant before we fully decided, as we needed answers to medical things to either rule it out completely or to consider our options. We were reassured at our consultant appointment. They gave us a few options and also reassurance, by insisting that the stability of my uterus was checked before we decided what to do. So we took it one step at a time and got to the point where we weighed up any risks over the benefits and decided to go ahead with treatment.
But I can’t say we were in agreement all the way along. When I came back from Australia, after leaving the two big girls with Lynz on her own, she was adamant it was an absolute no and there was no way we could add another child to the mix. This was a really hard time for both of us and it really hurt. I was extremely disappointed with the U-turn, as once I set my mind to something I commit, but Lynz didn’t feel she could. We did agree to talk about it again within a year and that was how it was left.
The next few weeks weren’t easy. I think I cried pretty much every time I saw a newborn or a pregnant person. I couldn’t control it. I just felt so sad that it was unlikely to ever happen, and I felt sad for Lynz and me feeling differently again.
Then out of the blue one day Lynz said she thought we should do it. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I didn’t really take it too seriously. We talked about it a little bit more, and she told me she was just scared that we would end up further apart, and that we wouldn’t be able to cope. I find it quite easy to see things as phases and I already feel like the bigger girls are getting so much easier, but Lynz finds it a bit tougher. I don’t know if it’s just that she’s so worn out from her job or maybe it’s because she can’t drink wine anymore! I’m not sure. Anyway, we agreed we would try. We would try three times and if it didn’t work then that would be that. I guess heterosexual couples in the same situation might say, “Well, we will try, and if it happens then it’s meant to be.” So to some extent we were doing the same.
So for the R-M’s, it is the start of a whole new chapter. The chapter that we never could’ve imagined 18 months ago.
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