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When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I was nervous but so excited. Without having been born yet my baby was everything I wanted and he'd made my picture feel complete. It really didn't matter to me what he was going to look like, who he was going to be, he was mine and I knew I'd love him.
In fact, my baby was more perfect than I could have ever imagined. Though, while loving him was, and still is, the easiest thing ever, the reality wasn't as easy for me personally. So, when I found out I was pregnant with my second child I couldn't help but feel terrified and now that feeling just won't go away.
To start with I was scared of the sleepless nights to come and still having to function in the morning for my toddler and worried about how I'd keep everything clean. I was nervous about still being able to love my toddler just as much as I do now, if not more. I was afraid of being a new mum alone again and being that new mum in groups (whenever they return). Though as time went on I became afraid of the journey to get there because through my journey so far, I've learnt something.
I've learnt that between our doctors and teachers, our post people and store owners, our uncles and aunts there are superheroes. Only these superheroes aren't the crime fighting type. They aren't listening into police radios, wearing capes and disappearing once the bad guys are caught. They are fighting to make their families instead. There's no training for them, no selection process and often no warning, but their quest to make a family takes courage, strength and bravery. Even with every quality needed to make a great parents and an abundance of strength, not every superhero is successful.
After sex education classes drumming into us the importance of safe sex, it never really occurred to me that there would ever be any problems creating a family. It almost sounded too easy, but it's not is it. There's not always a man and a woman, there's not always a successful pregnancy, it doesn't always happen when we want it to and there's not always a happy ending.
For our superheroes out there these challenges have become a chapter in their lives, but they aren't always a stop sign. They fight through the setbacks, they wade through the tears and come through losses stronger than before. They take what could have broken someone like me and fight past it. They create a family full of love, courage and hope with their own children or the friends and family already around them.
Having met some of these superheroes, even having some who I'm lucky enough to call friends I've realised something though. I might be terrified, even at half way through pregnancy, and unable to feel excited, but it's not because of the stories I've been told, or the heartbreak I've heard of. I'm terrified because until recently the struggles to make a family were relatively unknown to me.
It might be a difficult subject and one we don't often hear about, but when we do hear about it the superheroes out there don't tell us their stories to scare us. They tell the stories so that others aren't made to feel alone. They tell them to normalise miscarriage, IVF, adoption and everything else. They say, so that we can better understand how to support other superheroes around us and help ensure others don't feel so alone and lost. They talk so that other couples aren't asked why they aren't having children when they've put all of their hope into trying.
I might be scared that my journey will end up far from being smooth, but I can at least better appreciate how delicate and precious new life is.
I might feel guilty for being pregnant when there are others far more prepared for this, though hopefully I can learn from the superheroes' hope and courage. I might feel like this pregnancy has been a tough emotional challenge and though it can't be compared to someone else's challenge, I can stop to appreciate how lucky I am.
Alone we can't help our superheroes create families, or offer all the support they need. Though together we can keep the conversation going. We can help to stop asking people about having children, or why others haven't had another child. We can accept the different family dynamics that so many have fought to have. We can appreciate each pregnancy or child as the most special gift. Though most importantly, we can keep the conversation going so that as and when a new superhero comes along, they know that they aren't in their challenge alone.
Hello And thanks for your wonderful blog. It hit home for me bc my 1st pregnancy was a perfect one but lost my son to stillbirth at 39 weeks. Needless to say the fear was unbelievable and my next pregnancy was unnerving. There is nothing worse. I thank God everyday for the 2 boys I have but it was anything but easy. I am so happy for you and wish you only the best for ur new little one.
Thank you so much for sharing your story, you are so incredibly brave to share and even more so to go on and have your boys. I am so sorry for your loss, may your little one always be remembered and your family be healthy x