This is a collaborative post.
Everywhere you look right now, there are babies. There are mothers and babies and fathers and babies. There are prams and cots, cute and tiny baby onesies and pregnant bumps everywhere you look. The moment that you start taking notice of all of this in your life is the moment that you might realise that you are broody and ready for a baby of your own. You’re craving the feel of tiny feet kicking your belly and you want to be creating a nursery of your very own for a baby that’s half you and half him.
It’s at this moment you think that all is well and this is going to be easy. Of course, it’s going to be easy, right? People have been having babies for centuries, and you know you can do an excellent job and be an excellent parent. The problem is that you (like most women) see the bump and the snuggly newborn and you don’t see the reality of a baby. The cruelest thing in the world is that you can’t know what it is to know infertility, to know the long and tiring nights and the hardest days – not until it’s you doing it all. You won’t know that a tiny baby is hugely overwhelming when you are a first time parent. Those cries mean something and it’s up to you to decipher the meanings before they scream themselves into combustion. Well, not really, but it feels that way.
You might be naive to the idea that you can just have a romantic night in and bam – it’s baby time. For many, many women, it doesn’t work that way. It takes the help of a lot of love and a little science to get to those IVF successes when natural methods of conception don’t work. Not all women have to go through infertility, but those who do often do it silently. They don’t share the pain they’re feeling and they don’t even allow themselves to think about it, they just keep trying and keep seeing the negative stick every month.
As a first time hopeful parent, all of this is going to be cloaked from you at first. The ideal situation is that you both long for a child and you conceive one. You then carry the baby to term and you have a newborn on your hands who is beautiful to look at. Parents need to be aware of the pitfalls of postnatal depression, colic, a baby who refuses to latch at the breast and the pressure to “get it right”, not that anyone ever gets parenting right every time. The thing is, despite all of these scary things to read, being a parent is something that will change your life for the better.
Even through infertility, the hard days, the days where you haven’t slept for hours and you feel like the baby won’t ever stop crying, it’s worth it. It’s worth every single moment. You want to have a baby, and you should do what you can to have one.