When I became a mother

My mum died suddenly, two weeks after my seventeenth birthday. It was a pretty horrific time, my dad was weak and selfish and basically jumped ship. My brother and I were left to our own devices and, looking back, the way I coped was to lock everything deep inside and build a wall of armour around myself.There was a hole though, a gapping hole that I longed to fill. The cherished secure family that I’d loved had gone and I needed to replace it.I was lucky, I met Tim and I felt safe and looked after once more, but it wasn’t enough. I craved that motherly bond and more than anything wanted a baby of my own.I’ve got to admit that it was quite a shock to find we were expecting a baby seven months before our planned wedding day, but once the news has sunk in we were so excited, and naïve I suppose. I started to bleed at 9pm the same night that the doctor had confirmed my pregnancy. There followed five weeks of utter hell as we lived from one scan to another, hope and then devastation. A rollercoaster I’ll never forget and one that I hoped we’d never have to repeat. Our baby, who we named Gabriel was due on the 15th July 1997. We lost that baby a few days before Christmas 1996, we lost our second baby, Florence, a month or so after our wedding in June 1997, and our third baby, Elizabeth was lost on the worst night of my life on 13th December 1997. It’s a night I can never forget. I was rushed into hospital after passing out at home. There were no beds, so I was placed on a maternity ward. I could hear babies crying near by as I was examined and told by the doctor that yes I was miscarrying again, and he’d just removed some ‘tissue’ from me. He then looked at my notes and asked my why I was even pregnant as they had found I’d never be able to have children of my own and would have to look for an egg donor, You could say that bedside manner wasn’t his strong point. As they raced me to surgery through a dark stormy hospital, where the rain was pelting on the glass roof, not knowing what to expect I’ll never forget the feeling of fear and despair. I’ve never felt anything like it before or since and I hope I never will again.I felt empty, black inside. I can count on one hand the people who would let me talk because that’s what I wanted to do. Our family wanted to carry on with Christmas as normal but we were bereft and so lonely. It was such an ordeal. We found support from the Miscarriage Association, who provided an ear to listen and practical facts and information. They put us in touch with a miscarriage clinic in a nearby city, and I referred myself there.This was a game changer. The Doctor there told me he’d get me a baby and it was up to me to decide when I’d had enough. He sent me away to get pregnant again. I was back within three weeks! This baby was due on the 14th March, Mother’s Day and I just knew this time everything would be ok. I’m not going to lie, it was a tough pregnancy. I had a scan every Monday, and as soon as the relief that everything was ok had set in, it was replaced by the anxiety of waiting for the next weeks scan. All I did in between was to sit at home and concentrate on growing this baby. And I was sick, so sick I lost two stone in weight.It was a terrible Labour, and it so nearly went dreadfully wrong but, at 10.27pm on the 18th March 1999 I became a mother. In that instant everything that had gone before was forgotten. I was the fiercest warrior who’d won the battle and taken the ultimate prize. I was whole again, I was complete. The mother and daughter bond was reformed. I knew that my life began again in that moment and they only thing that mattered any more was that beautiful baby girl. I knew that the rest of my life would revolve around being the best mum that I could possibl be. I knew that I was fearless and could achieve anything I wanted.I can honestly say that walking out of that hospital with my baby, when I’d walked out of there empty and broken three times before, was the happiest and proudest moment of my life and I was more than ready to begin again.(I went on to loose three more babies, but my eighth pregnancy ((which was due on the same date, the 14th March)) resulted in the birth of my second, equally amazing daughter, exactly three years and one week later 💗)

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