When you didn’t ever think you’d have firsts, those firsts are all the more life changing.
It was March 2015. Myself and my wife had been trying for a baby with a known donor for three years by this point. Having suffered a loss in 2014, and with a failed clomid cycle behind us, we were fast losing hope. My March cycle was my second clomid cycle. I took the pills, dealt with the headaches, hot flushes and feeling like my ovaries were going to explode. I peed on the ovulation tests and arranged inseminations at the right times, like we had every single one of the twenty-four cycles that we had tried at this point. I was tired. We were both tired. I tried to tell myself that each cycle was one closer to our baby, but the positivity was waning.
When the positive test showed up, we were both excited but cautious. After our loss, we didn’t want to “get too attached”, although you can’t stop yourself. The second we saw the two lines we knew a due date. We knew what time of year our baby would be born. We automatically made plans, although neither of us had the guts to say them out loud. Every day was filled with thoughts about “if this works out…” Neither of us dared to think about what would happen if it didn’t. I booked an early scan for just before eight weeks, because there was no way in hell that we were making it to twelve weeks without seeing that everything was ok.
April 16th 2015 was scan day. I was so nervous I almost threw up my breakfast. I had felt a steady decline in pregnancy symptoms over the past few days and had almost convinced myself that we were having another loss. But, the opposite happened. There was our baby. Little heart beating away, little arm and leg buds visible. Our baby… Our little “Chip” – we had been calling baby that since we found out we were expecting. Amy cried. I just sat there in shock with my mouth hanging open. It was happening. We had crossed the first bridge. There was a long way to go, but I hadn’t imagined getting even this far. We hot footed it to Mothercare and bought a couple of little outfits.
Each scan gave us more confidence. Each milestone took our breath away. We announced the pregnancy at Amy’s 30th birthday party. Sharing the news with family was fantastic. At seventeen weeks we found out that our little one was a girl. I cried a LOT at this scan. I had always imagined us having a little girl and seeing her there, wiggling away, was surreal to say the least. I bought a Lady and the Tramp dress for her. For our little girl. We used to sit for hours feeling her move, watching her little wriggles and jumps and playing her music. She always loved Taylor Swift – still does! The nursery was decorated and we amassed a small mountain of clothes, toys and things for this little girl who was so, so wanted. But part of me still didn’t believe that we would be bringing her home.
At thirty-eight weeks I was induced due to high blood pressure. Packing our hospital bag didn’t seem real. Being admitted wasn’t real. Even hanging around in the hospital waiting for something to happen, I still didn’t believe this was real. I didn’t believe that we would be leaving the hospital with a baby – our baby. Once labour got going properly, it was super fast. I had planned on an epidural and whatever other pain relief they would load me up on, but it didn’t happen because she shot out after an hour and twenty minutes of active labour!
As soon as our little girl was born, the world stopped. I heard her cry and totally lost it. Both Amy and I cried and cried and cried. The wonderful midwife handed her to me, all perfect and new and wrapped up in a blanket. Ten fingers. Ten toes. Two beautiful blue eyes and perfect in every single way. I’ll never forget those first moments with her in my arms. She stopped crying immediately and she looked at me. She knew me. Amy spoke to her and she knew her too. This brand new human knew that we were her mummies. All three of us were exhausted. All three of us had just had our world turned upside down, but it was the best feeling. I can’t describe it. I was so tired I could have slept for a week, but I didn’t want to take my eyes off this little human that somehow my body made. I made her. I made a baby! A perfect little human!
Eden is six months old now, and although I’m not in quite as much disbelief as I was, I still have those moments where I look at her and I think “What the hell?”. In the six months that she has been with us, we have had a ton of firsts; first bath, her first smile, first babbles, her first laugh, sitting up for the first time and first tastes of food. I feel like we’ve come so far already, but each and every day she does something new and I’m taken aback by her once again. Our minds had been so occupied with getting pregnant and actually having a live baby, that we hadn’t given any thought to firsts. So, experiencing them now is surprising, humbling and more than we ever wished for.
What I’ve learnt very quickly about firsts is that they sneak up on you. They sneak up, they jump out and all of a sudden your little baby is doing something new. Something that humans do. Something that older babies do. We brought her home from hospital as this tiny, defenceless little human who couldn’t even hold up her own head. Now she’s this fiercely independent little girl who is so very smiley and sweet. Every day there’s a change in her and we’re further away from that tiny newborn. We are taking her to Disneyland this month and I cry almost every time I think about it, purely because it’s a dream come true. I dreamt of taking my little girl to Disneyland. I dreamt of princess dresses and fireworks and overpriced food, and that’s all finally coming true.
I can’t wait to create our very own fairytale with our very own little lady – finally!