I thought I could pick a suitable time to have our second baby, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Trigger warning: This post discusses miscarriage.
When we first decided to have a baby, I was lucky enough to fall pregnant almost straight away. I had a great pregnancy and a natural and surprisingly speedy birth, so when we were ready for number two, I didn’t envisage any problems.
Time to go again
My first child was born on Boxing Day, so when we were thinking about having another baby, I was adamant to not have another Christmas baby. What with our wedding anniversary, Christmas Day and a Boxing Day birthday, it was already a very busy week. Another time would be more suitable, thank you very much.
I actually thought that I could pick and choose and have a baby at a time that would fit in with our schedule. Needless to say, I was very wrong. I soon realised that we have absolutely no control when we fall pregnant. Particularly as it took me a year and a half longer than I thought it would.
Being an older mum to start with, I was just that much older when trying for our second baby. This probably made it even less likely to have a baby on my designated date, but it took me a while to cotton on to this fact.
Not long after we’d decided to get on with it – and the timing was right for a non-Christmas baby – I fell pregnant. As expected. All seemed to be going well. However, at eight weeks, the baby wasn’t progressing in size and eventually had no heartbeat. I was completely shocked. Miscarriage wasn’t part of my plan. At the time, I knew that one in four women experience miscarriage, but I assumed that I was one of the three who wouldn’t.
It took me a while to recover emotionally and feel ready to go again, but we did. And again, fell pregnant very easily. However, once again, the baby didn’t survive past eight weeks. By now, I realised that the situation was definitely not going to plan. I began to wonder if I would even have a second child, let alone one that arrived when I wanted it to.
Still, I was determined, so we kept going and fell pregnant yet again. And sadly, once again, to no avail.
In a very short space of time, I experienced three miscarriages. Suddenly having a baby seemed impossible, let alone choosing the date to have it. I remember seeing parents with multiple babies everywhere I looked and thinking, “How did all these people do it?”
When the time is right
Basically, by this stage, I was happy to give birth on any day or night of the year. My baby could pop out on Christmas morning for all I cared, and I would be totally thrilled.
Eventually, after a lot of tears and Chinese herbs, I did fall pregnant again and this time it worked. All went well, and I was blessed to have my second child. She was born in August, not Christmas Day, but it made absolutely no difference. After what I had been through, having a baby seemed like a miracle. I was lucky to have her at all – and the day she finally arrived was perfect timing.
If you – or someone you know – has experienced the loss of a baby, please visit sands.org.au to access resources and support.