Dear Unconceived Possibility,
I am an almost forty-two year old woman. I had one daughter when I was thirty, and I had a truly amazing birth. I had a water birth and it was all done and dusted within nine hours. Most sociable! My pregnancy was harder, with infections, sciatica so bad that I was on crutches and premature contractions requiring a steroid boost. And it was so utterly and completely worth it. I thought that my daughter would be the first and that you, Unconceived Possibility would be the second.
Sadly, this is not how things worked out. I split from my daughters dad, and somehow, even post-split, I didn’t feel in a place to make a whole new baby with anybody new. But I wanted you anyway. When I started to gain weight I didn’t feel unhappy that my belly was fatter and I sometimes imagined that I had a little sleeping baby, fluttering gently inside me. I understood that wasn’t a good headspace to be in, but that was what I wanted.
I imagined my daughter having the opportunity to grow up with you as a sibling. She is such a gentle and empathic little person. Even when she was around eighteen months, she would take toys to other children that were crying. She understood that there was a need to be met. She would have been the most awesome older sister that any new life sparking into existence could ever begin to hope for.
And then there was selfish me. I wanted you because I wanted to have a nice pregnancy with love and support around me, instead of stress and confusion. I wanted to feel valued and not a burden to those around me. I was so scared. I knew that my self esteem was low and I made some poor choices because of this, but I knew that the next time would be better, I would be stronger. I would have learnt.
Acknowledging that you would not become an actuality, that I would not become pregnant again, is likely one of the hardest things I have experienced as an adult. It really hurt to know that I would never have the chance to meet you, you would have been so amazing. The sense of grief as your existence continues to diminish has got easier over time. Of course I am completely grateful for the little person that I have, but sometimes, I still miss you.
There have been a few times when your possibility has become, well, a possibility. My stress levels have clearly rocketed just enough for things to be delayed and I have dared myself to hope. Just a little. And then it has transpired that you are not an actuality, and that has made me feel very sad.
I know that I am incredibly unlikely to ever meet you in my life now, you were such a beautiful possibility. But even without you, I try hard to be a really good Mum, I work to make sure that my little one has a good childhood, that her foundations are built on knowing that whatever happens, I am her rock, I am her stability.
When someone asks me if I wanted more children I still ponder on what might have been. But I know to get stuck on something is not a place that is healthy for anyone emotionally. Living in the past does not serve my present in the slightest. I have found such amazing people and opportunities in my life that I would not allow just one aspect to overshadow that. I am blessed. And wherever you are floating around in the world, wherever you choose to appear, even without ever knowing you, you have my love..xx
Map Point. What little people in your life can you help to shine?