It’s funny, looking back at the last few years of our lives, they each contained a pretty defining event. 2010 was the year of our marriage and the year we moved out of London to set up a more family-friendly home. 2011 was the year of pregnancy. I fell pregnant in the February and spent the year growing progressively more rotund until Thomas was born in the November. 2012, then, was the year of parenting. It was the year where our primary focus was our son and we found our feet with looking after him and helping him grow. I won’t say we learned what we were doing, because I don’t think anyone ever does. But we certainly gained some confidence and had a lot of fun alongside the tough times.
2013 lacks any such milestone. I had hoped it would be a second year of pregnancy, hopefully with another newborn towards its end and it would go down as the year when three became four. Instead it has become the year of trying, and failing, to conceive. The year of discovering our infertility and the only options open to us to grow our family.
Now, as 2014 starts, so does my first cycle of IVF.
It’s exciting and terrifying in equal measure. I can’t let go of the hope that this will go smoothly, that it will work and that I’ll once again spend the bulk of the calendar year pregnant, welcoming a sibling for Thomas before it’s over. I hope that it doesn’t become simply “The Year of IVF”, with repeated IVF cycles resulting in nothing more than a hefty dent in our savings. And I hope it does not become the year in which I say goodbye to the dream of more than one child.
Yet realistically, I know that it might.
It isn’t my favoured outcome, of course, but I’ve finally reached a sort of peace with this, and that what will be will be. I am, and will always remain endlessly grateful for the happy, healthy son that I have and all of the joy that he brings to our lives. I realise the multitude of more difficult and awful circumstances we could be facing right now. I have begun to see the many positives that could come from a life with just one child. But despite this, and despite the fact that I’m not usually one to wish my life away, if I could fast forward for even just a few moments to New Year’s Day 2015, I’d love a sneak preview of how all this might turn out. Because by this time next year, we’ll know.
And only then can I truly move forward.
I feel 2014 is destined to be a year of transition.
Here is hoping that 2014 is also the year of the happy ending, not only for us, but for everyone we know.