I’d never really thought about what it would be like to have a son, I had a girl and that was all I knew. When I was pregnant with my daughter I absolutely knew in my heart one hundred percent that I was having a girl even though we never found out until she was born. She is awesome and my absolute best little girl friend.
When I became pregnant for the second time I felt very different. I spent time wildly vacillating between boy and girl feelings unsure of how I would feel if I was to have a boy or another girl. I could never feel definitely in either direction. My intuition failed me entirely. I said to my husband one morning that I thought we were having twins. He thought that I was joking (he looked terrified). I wasn’t. Something felt very very wrong though, I couldn’t put my finger on it exactly but I just knew something was….I don’t know….not how it should be. Then the bleeding started. After much to-ing and fro-ing without boring you with the finer details I was told at the 13 week scan by a very lovely sonographer ironically (or aptly however you choose to view it) named Joy “Mrs Moore do you have twins in the family? Look…..you can see your baby? See the empty sac attached? I’m sorry, you’ve miscarried one of your babies. You were carrying twins”.
Grief and happiness in one extra special womb shaped package. One little fighter had made it….the other not so lucky or maybe my body knew something that I consciously couldn’t. That it was for the best. That’s what people say don’t they? It’s for the best. At least you’re still pregnant. It wasn’t meant to be. You’ve got MS, twins would have been extra hard. You are lucky.
I didn’t feel lucky. I felt like someone had sucked all the air out of the room and then put it all back in again minus something very very important. I felt bereft, half empty not half full. I felt heartbroken. Devastated. I felt that I was not allowed to grieve the miscarriage of my baby.
Because I had ONE left. Because after all I didn’t KNOW that I was pregnant with twins did I? Only that I was pregnant and surely I still was so that made it okay. How lucky I was that my baby had survived the miscarriage of his sibling and that we were both okay. My husband couldn’t understand how I felt because he hadn’t even got his head around us having twins because we didn’t know we were definitely until it was confirmed that we weren’t. I don’t blame him for that at all, despite how this might sound. He had seen me laid on the floor bleeding and crying and praying that my wonderful midwife Sue would find a heartbeat. She did of course although I still spotted on and off for the remainder of the pregnancy so she loaned me her spare doppler so that I could check for myself if I ever got anxious. I checked..every….single…day. More than once. For the rest of my pregnancy.
There were many more scares, consultants trying to tell me that I had reduced blood flow to the placenta, threatened inter-uterine growth restriction and risk of pre-eclampsia. I walked away with the support of my dearest husband and midwife Sue. We asked them to come back to us when they had hard evidence. Not vague possibilities and not because I fit the profile for their case studies.
I went into labour early, almost 4 weeks. I thought I would as my daughter was 3 weeks early. It was a glorious, life changing home water birth which I wrote about and will publish here sometime. My very small, noisy, heart stealing boy had arrived. Nothing and no-one could have prepared me for the love I felt at that moment. Again. You don’t truly believe you can love that much again when you give your heart and soul to your first child. But you can and you do. Also he looks like a mini version of my husband so of course I fall in love with him again and again. I couldn’t stop smelling one of his ears….I know, weird eh? Gorgeous.
There are other tales entwined here. Tales of postnatal illness, coping with two children, being without my Mum again and more but that’s not where I am heading today. Today I am remembering the fight that my son and I had to get to that point because at the moment it feels like all we do is fight. It feels like every day is a struggle, a battle, a negotiation and I feel like I have failed him in so many ways. I want and need to remember the moment I pushed him into the world and the overwhelming joy and elation I felt on holding him and looking into his ink black eyes.
My boy has encopresis or chronic constipation. We have been toilet training since he was 2.5 years old. Something has happened and we don’t know when or what but he struggles and fights with going to the toilet. This means that he gets blocked up and this forces his bowel open all the time meaning that even though he is constipated the soft poo higher up leaks out around it. So we are always having to cope with accidents. We have tried to deal with this on our own for over a year now as we very wrongly thought that he would grow out of it. We thought that he knew he was doing it. We didn’t know that he had no control over it at all.
It has been really hard and still is. It affects his behaviour in so many ways – he is uncomfortable because he is holding it a lot of the time as he has become frightened to go. He is irritable because of this, constantly wriggling, fidgeting, unable to get comfortable. He no longer knows that he needs to go only that he doesn’t like how he feels. If he has an accident he has to get cleaned up. Last week he wouldn’t let me wipe him and screamed and cried at me for half an hour. We both cried, great heaving sobs of frustration and hurt. Him because he doesn’t want this. Me because, despite doing everything that I am told and advised to do by the relevant health professionals who are now involved, I feel that I can’t help him and I have failed him. It must be my fault because he is my boy and and I should be able to fix this.
To the outside world he looks like a boisterous, sometimes aggressive, difficult child at times. But I know he is so much more than that. He is kind, loving, ridiculously affectionate and caring. I feel that his and our life has been overshadowed by this and I am struggling to find my connection with him a lot of the time.
He starts school in September and I am scared. I don’t want him to be labelled as the naughty boy who poos his pants every day. It is not his fault. I want to run away and pretend this isn’t happening. I don’t know what to do most days.
Except love him.
Because he is my boy and that is what I can do. I haven’t got any brothers and I don’t have a huge wealth of experience with boys as I am after all a girl albeit a old one. I feel very old today. Sometimes I just don’t know how to be with him and all I can think about is has he been for a poo today yet for fucks sake. That isn’t what either of us signed up for!! But it is really isn’t it? After all, I am his Mum and he needs me to be there for him and love him and cope with this.
So I will.
I will love him because despite what a rubbish Mum I think I am most days I know one thing for sure…
I love him and he loves me.