Questions, questions, questions…
I’d never encountered so many personal questions from a stranger until I moved from the UK to Sri Lanka what seems like an eternity ago. From new colleagues to tuk tuk drivers the questions were the same and went something like this:
Where are you from?
How old are you?
Are you married ?
Initially my answer to the latter was no as it was in the days before I’d met Mr M (he’s the reason I stayed), so the next question that undoubtedly came was
Why not? What’s wrong with you?
For the record – NOTHING – is WRONG with me I’m JUST CHOOSY and after the disastrous relationships I’ve had I’ve learned not to settle or be second best.
After meeting Mr M, discovering he is THE ONE and getting married this next question turned to
Do you have kids?
My answer to this back then was no and it remained no until recently. Giving the answer no led to the question
Why not? Do you not want kids?
I can hear you shouting “Why are you answering these, just ignore”, well unless you’ve ever been in this situation you cannot imagine how difficult it is not to answer these questions being asked by curious, friendly Sri Lankans (they really are a very friendly nation) who with twinkling eyes make you feel guilty for even thinking about being rude to them.
This is a question that I now dread. As do so many women. There is nothing I want more than to be a mummy, which leads to the change in answer to yes.
In my heart I am a mummy. I’m a mummy to three angel babies.
Not long after we got married we wasted no time in trying to fall pregnant as I was at the grand old age of 36. Surprisingly 6 months later I was expecting. It was amazing to go along to the scan and see the little heart beat on the monitor. To know that we had been blessed in creating a little person and the responsibility that had been put on me to carry our little bundle carefully until it was time for them to appear into this crazy world. We waited until 12 weeks before letting family and close friends know, little did we know our world would turn upside down just a few weeks later.
I woke up to find I had been bleeding through the night. By the time we got to the hospital it was too late… It was suggested that I went home and waited. We did just that. I had a complete miscarriage at home with the help of Mr. M and somehow we survived the most traumatic time we’ve ever had. Little did we know we would be repeating it again.
We were advised not to wait too long before trying again and almost straight away I fell pregnant again. But it wasn’t to be: I suffered a blighted ovum. I had no idea what this was. I had pregnancy symptoms and a positive test – but the embryo just doesn’t develop. The sac was there and growing. It was difficult for both of us to get our head round it and I think the realisation of what was happen hit me before it hit Mr. M. We then had a choice – wait for nature to take its course or help it along the way. As I had already miscarried at home I opted for staying at home, and this experience was more like I had expected the first one to be like – just a really heavy period.
Once again we wasted no time and fell pregnant quickly once again. This time we only told our mums (and that was only because we live with Mr. M’s mum (amma in sinhala). The Doctor congratulated us and sent us home with some pessaries to help me keep baby in place. Meanwhile I was filled with apprehension. A few days after my 12 week scan we said goodby once again. This time I opted for a ERPC as we decided we would send our baby for chromosome testing to see if there was a matching problem causing miscarriage. I still can’t put into words how this experience made me feel. The nurses and doctor were professional and caring but just having people see me like that…
The result came back and all was fine – no chromosome issues. It was decided that blood clotting was the issue and an action plan of daily heparin injections drawn up to start immediately I fell pregnant next. This hasn’t happened. I’ve had IUI, and IVF (stories for another day). I’m taking a concoction of vitamins and minerals and having acupuncture as well as trying to loose weight. But at 42 my ship is sailing out to sea.
So when you ask me
Do you have kids?
My answer is yes I have three angel babies. I’m not going to apologise to you for making you feel uncomfortable. By asking the question, I’m flooded with bitter-sweet memories that are constantly ebbing in the back of my mind and a sharp reminder that my ship might have sailed. But a the moment I still live with hope that my ship might get caught on a wave and be pushed back to shore.