My childhood was beautiful. Raised in a single parent household with my mother, became the perfect vision of a family to me. I was so in love with the life we built, that I don’t ever think I questioned my father’s existence much (apart from the odd “who was he?” and “where is he now?”, which I never remembered the answers as it was that unimportant to me). This was exactly what a complete family was, having a loving mother who gives you what she can, never too much, but enough of everything that it falsely shaped my view of the world-life is beautiful all the time.
From childhood, I knew that someday I would want to give this beautiful life my mother and I shared, to a child of my own. The world has a beautiful way of reminding us that we’re merely just human and typically, everything has an end.
So, when she passed away in 2004 at the young of 28 to a familiar foe called cancer, when I was just 10 years old, everything in me had shattered. I was torn, confused and angry at the world – why would something so beautiful end so painfully?
Since that day, my life has been laced with all sorts of mishaps, fear and trauma all the way up until now. I’ve wanted to become a mother, but what if I had passed away before that time? or worse, what if history repeated itself and I was to leave behind another little version of me? This was the beginning of my fertility journey, a mental journey into unlearning the fear of becoming a mother.
Like most 26-year-old millennials, I’d say I was on the active journey to avoiding pregnancy. Now, this wasn’t with the use of reliable medical contraception at all, my tool of avoidance was chance. I was someone who’s relationship to sex and sexual activities was fairly corrupted from a young age. It was seen as an act given to men, rather than an exercise experienced and enjoyed equally – Majority of my life I followed this metric.
My journey became less about avoiding pregnancy and more about understanding my relationship with sex? Why was I so emotionally detached from it? I could love a person, but still feel detached sexually, what was the cause? I believe my past traumas with how it was introduced into my life was something I had gotten over, I wanted to understand how I could fix and understand the disconnect.
I came to realise that not having an active father figure in my life contributed to my mistrust and disdain towards men, but I felt it necessary to understand this disconnect so I continued pursuing relationships, even though I probably shouldn’t have done so at all. After losing my virginity at 19 to my boyfriend at the time, I was still following this metric, but I realise now that this was the start of a long and important transition period for me.
In the background through all my growth, was this longing for building a family and continuing the love passed on to me – I still wanted to be a mother despite the fear and anxiety around it, but I knew I wanted it to be when I was mentally and emotionally whole. I was determined to not raise a child with the fractures I still had, so I set upon the journey to healing myself (which I later learnt was a lifelong journey that basically never ends).
I learnt that sex and love are simultaneous but extremely hard to find and maintain the type of balance without the right person. My disdain for men had fluctuated throughout the years and as I was seeking my liberation through my relationships, I realised it never existed there in the first place.
It wasn’t until I was 25 that I really understood the importance of my womanhood, sex and just the power of women in general. Finally, I was able to internalise something that made me feel comfortable to finally be who I am – a young woman who lost her way, a victim challenged by different faces of trauma, but I was more than these experiences.
For the first time since I was 10 years old, I felt like I was in control of my life and it could be beautiful again. I only came to this realisation in January 2019 and what a transformational year that was. I discovered so much of myself, I travelled solo for the first time, travelled with friends and family, I pursued my career as a writer and filmmaker, I made money, spent money. I went on dates and for the first time I was clear in what I was looking for – I had my standards and they didn’t move like they used to before. I was comfortable in who I was and because of that, I guess life (God) thought I was ready for the big changes that came in 2020.
Originally, my vision for creating my perfect family only revolved around me and my child, in my mind, there was never a man involved in the process or our lives and sometimes, it still does. That important relationship between mother and child will always be something I want to pass on, but it doesn’t have to exclude a man – I’ve become open to sharing my dream family with more people in it.
So, when 2020 came into existence, I was sure that I was ready for something special. I was actually ready for a relationship; I was ready to pursue the dreams of building a family and I prayed a beautiful prayer at the beginning of the year to send those things my way. I’d like to think it was God, but some of you may say that I sent the energy out into the universe or attracted that positivity into my life, but either way, I am so grateful it happened.
In the midst of what has been one of the worst years globally, on 15th January 2020 I met the love of my life and in just 3 months, we had spent every single day on the phone to one another (even when we were asleep), he met my family, all my friends new of him, we spent all our time together. I always say that I walked into love with him, it was such a clear experience for me, I didn’t need to fall. In March we had shared such a beautiful moment just a week before lockdown and despite taking some precautionary measures to avoid getting pregnant, I found out in April that I was. He was overjoyed and I was very nervous at first, but that was more because I was still unsure if I was the mentally aligned woman I wanted to always be before having a child... but I was.
Everything in my life for the first had fallen all into place, so what did I need to be scared of 5 months on and we have moved into our beautiful new home, found out the gender of our baby and I’ve been blessed (so far) with such a wonderful pregnancy (the glowing kind that you see in movies, that comes without sickness and all the extra), that I can say we are so excited to welcome our beautiful baby girl. My grandma believes my mother came back in the form of our baby, as her pregnancy with my mum was near identical, so we’ve named her middle name after my mum...and now I feel complete.
Some people think a fertility journey is just about the physical act of becoming ready to get pregnant and having a child, having sex every time the ovulation season kicks in on the monthly basis, but its bigger than that. There’s a whole mental and emotional journey before we even make that decision (be it an intentional decision or not), allowing our minds and emotional selves to be in sync with our bodies is probably to the biggest gateway to getting pregnant and building that family we so desire. This may not be the fertility journey you were hoping to read, but it is definitely an important one, and maybe someone out there in the world needed to understand, that their mental battle with building a family can definitely be won.
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