I made a conscious choice to have my children by myself, through IVF. Throughout my pregnancy I never felt alone or that something (or someone was missing). To me, it felt as it should be. My Mum and Dad were so kind and supportive, and I will always be so thankful to my Mum for helping me through those last stages of my pregnancy when I needed help to have a bath, get dressed and do just about anything really.
In those last few weeks I developed a horrible itchy rash, caused by an overload of female hormones from carrying twin girls. There wasn’t a second where my skin didn’t itch. My mum would help me into a bath – the only thing that seemed to temporarily relieve the pain – and sometimes at 3 in the morning, I would have to heave myself into the bath tub, sobbing my eyes out and feeling very miserable, whilst my mum patiently dabbed my skin with a soft cloth, telling me that everything would be OK. (Without a hint of weariness that she was repeating herself for the hundredth time that day.)
It was my Dad that came with me for the scan that would tell me that I was expecting twins. I will write about that part of the story later on, but enough to say that it seemed unlikely I was going to hear any heartbeats. My Dad drove me the two hour drive to Cardiff for my scan, and showed such kindness in a situation that could have been very, very difficult. Because of their kindness, I never felt alone or by myself, and when I came out of the scan room, holding my scan photo and smiling at my Dad, it was something I will always treasure.
Thank you, Mum and Dad for such kindness and love. May that I be able to give just as much to my daughters, should they ever need me to.
Now my children are entering their toddler stage, they will begin developing language and understanding that will broaden their understanding of the world and, in turn, their identity and place within it. I do think about our family structure, and whilst I know we are happy, and the girls are growing beautifully – I know there will come a time soon when I will begin to talk to them about our lovely little family and how we came to be. It is not our differences to others I want to emphasise – but perhaps our uniqueness. And above all, I want them to be very proud of how this family was made. It is the stuff of wonder, really.
I was out with some Mum friends and their children on Monday, and we were all sitting on the grass having a picnic and watching our children play together. One of my friends began to read a book to the children ‘I love my Daddy’, and I saw her look at me as if to say; ‘Is this OK?’, which, of course, it was. I make know secret of how much I love mine, and how proud of him I am, so I would want every child who had a father to feel the same.
Its just that my girls do not have a father, and I did think, and always have done, will they miss not having a Daddy? Will they mind too much when everyone else is talking about theirs?
I think it is times when I’m tired, when there isn’t anyone to breathe in the wonder of it all with me, that I think about what it means to parent by yourself. It can be tempting to get a bit serious, and worry a little too much, without that other person by your side to experience it with, and to maybe laugh with when you’re tired and things haven’t gone as smoothly as you hoped. Someone to bring you a cup of tea and place a safe arm around your shoulder.
But that really is about me, what I want for me, not neccesarily what my children want or need. And then, I remind myself… Let it be….Let it be…. I am raising two daughters who smother me in kisses, who smile and giggle and show all the signs of being inquisitive, loving, passionate girls. Everything is as it should be. I’m doing OK. x