Wednesday, 22 December 2010

other people's children

when we found out i was pregnant, there were already pregnant people around. my friend J's girlfriend was due in the september, eight months before me. H was due in the november. A (no longer a friend) was about six weeks ahead. my female friend J was going through IVF and ended up being about two months behind me. i was so excited that so many of us were going to have babies in the same academic year. i was fascinated by the fact that J's baby was born when i was only 6 weeks pregnant, but that in a few years our children would be in the same academic year. it seemed crazy and maybe even unfair that he got all that extra time to develop.


but then, of course, everything went wrong. we didn't get to have that baby. i got a whole bucketload of grief instead.


and then it took another ten cycles to get pregnant again.

i hadn't really realised until the other day that there will be nearly two full years between our child (if it even lives) and J's. and that thought felt like a punch in the guts. i know in the grand scheme of things it's not really all that bad, but... two years, man. two years. i've been wanting children for so long. their pregnancy was unplanned. the baby is delicious. my friend is doing so well in a situation that's hard for many reasons. but it just seems so unfair that he gets to be a full two years ahead of us in the whole parenting thing. that the chances are he will want to give us advice. it's not supposed to be that way.

it's supposed to be us blazing the trail for others. we've been together over a decade. they've been together maybe two, three years. this is all wrong.


we see J's baby all the time. we're probably the people he's closest to outside his family. he's always happy to see us.

i've written before about the jewellery i wear now. my snowflake pendant and my black plastic bangle.

since the baby was old enough to grab things, he's grabbed at my bangle. it's the same size and shape as his teething rings; he thought it was his. i used to take it off my wrist and give it to him to chew.

these days, he takes it off me and puts it on his own wrist. and smiles at me, proud.

when i hold him, he plays with my pendant.


these are just things that babies do. nothing amazing or out of the ordinary.

but it occurred to me the other day that this is the closest he will ever get to interacting with my first child. with the baby i was supposed to have. with the child who was supposed to be his friend.

and it makes me glad that he does those things. but so, so sad.


Illanare said...


Big Love, Big Acceptance - or so I say said...

I have similar thoughts...

I watch my niece growing up so quickly. She'll be 3 when our second child arrives (assuming all goes well). I feel sad that the cousins didn't get to grow up together closer in age (my niece and Acacia were about 1 1/2 years apart). My first living child might be closer in age to my in-laws second child, because I know they want to have more children.

It's that mix of bittersweet.

Love to you.

Catherine W said...

We were also supposed to be the 'trail blazers' I suppose, having been together for nearly a decade when the girls were born. Sadly, we didn't quite blaze the trail we hoped to. I sometimes worry we've put a fair few friends of ours off the idea entirely.

I'm sorry that your little Snowflake isn't here to be friends with J's son. Time can be so unrelenting, the way it just keeps on passing no matter how much we would like to pause it for a little. x

sarah said...

So sad, yes, so very sad. We have friends like that too. Our son and their daughter were supposed to be sweethearts...instead, she'll probably be old enough to babysit any child we may be blessed enough to have in the future...

A very best friend of mine had her baby four weeks after Otis died. I can't even speak to her about her baby. I can barely even think about her, about her husband, about the fact that they get to have that baby at home with them and we don't, without collapsing into sobs. I don't know that I will ever be able to see their son without seeing a shadow of what Otis should have been. I don't know that it will ever feel okay that their baby lived and mine didn't.

It is all so heartbreaking, the many layers of babyloss.

Sending love to you, B.

Roxyroo said...

I know exactly what you mean, it isn't fair or easy to watch other peoples babies grow up when ours didn't get to.

Miss Ruby said...

I have this thought and feelings regularly. Should we be lucky enough to fall and stay fallen next year, our child will have no close small friends among our friends....everyone is sooooo far ahead of us and yet we've been married for aloooot longer than they have.

We got together at Christmas and I think at this time of year, how long we've been together, how others have lapped us once, twice, thrice times over....