I absolutely love this photo of the 5 of us. 10 years ago when Johnny and I got married, I couldn’t imagine a photo like this – I longed for it but I couldn’t imagine it.
In early 2008, I was 29 & not longed married, training for the Beijing Olympics and I had just lost my Dad to Cancer. I was due to retire after Beijing so I was thinking about kids. I saw a specialist who told me that I had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and that my chances of conceiving naturally would be slim.
Immediately I felt bad that Johnny had married a dud and convinced myself that I wouldn’t be able to have kids. With everything else that was happening at that time, it was a bit of a blow.
So that family photo makes me smile. So does looking at one from my wedding day when I can see how young we looked before kids!
Little did I know that I would be pregnant at the Beijing Olympics with Mackai (now 8) and then fast forward to 2011 (after an ectopic pregnancy in 2010) we welcomed Carlos – our sensitive wee soul. Two was more that I thought possible and I was thankful. I sold all my baby stuff and felt at peace with that decision – a family of four was perfect.
But about a year after we moved to Dublin in 2012, my clock started ticking again.
By 2016, between Johnny and his 3 siblings there were now 9 kids – all boys, including our two! So the odds were fairly strong that if we wanted another child, then it was going to be a boy. I’m not sure if it’s a bad thing to admit or not:
but it took me a long time to decide if it was another baby I wanted, or a girl. If it was a girl, then in my mind that was the wrong reason to have a child.
I never wanted to be disappointed by life, boy or girl. So I waited.
I was also selfishly weighing up the pros and cons of stretching my body out of proportion at my age (39 by now!) and what the chances were of losing the baby weight after- I always put a lot of weight on with babies mainly through laziness and my love of chocolate marshmallow eggs!
Then a few things happened:
- My mind drifted 20 years down the line to our dinner table on a Sunday evening. I couldn’t imagine only two kids at the table – it didn’t feel complete.
- Johnny reminded me that we had another few years overseas where potentially I wouldn’t be able to work – so if we were going to do it, now was the time. That way when we got back to NZ the youngest would be ready for school.
It was becoming clear that my Mum wasn’t going to beat cancer and when faced with death again, life was my light and hope.
I knew it was another child I wanted, a bigger family, more noise, more toys, more friends over after school, another personality, another chair at the table. In 20 years I would’ve regretted not having another child because I was worried about my age, my body, my life.
So now it is May, 2017 and after 10 years of marriage we are a family of 5 noisy, beautiful, loving people and I couldn’t be happier. Mum never got to meet Lily as she died when I was almost 7 months pregnant. But she knew I was having a girl and chose her name. Lily will have her first birthday in France and our boys will learn another language (outside of Gaelic, Welsh and a bit of Maori they’ve picked up on our travels!).
I’m done. I’m thankful.
& It’s fair to say that the Bakery is now closed – there will be no more buns in this oven!
Lots of love, Jaimee Sarah oxo