When we first considered having another child after Lentil died I was completely sure that I would want to find out the gender during scanning. When Lentil died I felt like maybe I would have bonded with him better, would have known him better, if I’d known he was a boy. Now we’re almost 23 weeks into the pregnancy with Pip and so far we haven’t found out whether we’re expecting a girl or a boy. We have no preference either way, we just want a healthy baby and yet I’m desperate to know!
After Lentil died one of the things that got us through was thinking about the future. We hadn’t finalised a name for Lentil and when he was born sleeping it didn’t seem right to give him a new name. We’d always called him Lentil Bear so why change it? After he died we settled on two names, one for a girl and one for a boy and we would often talk about the future and how one day these children that we had names for would be cheeky little troublemakers and we would get to watch them grow up.
These children, with the names that we’ve picked, are our future. They are what has got us through, and they continue to get us through. Before I was even pregnant with Pip we decided on a name to call our unborn child whilst in the womb. I admitted to Paul that I was terrified of losing another child. We needed a name for our unborn child that we could name him or her if the worst happened again. I couldn’t bear the idea of giving one of the names of our future children to Pip and then losing him or her, losing that future dream that has got us through this far. While Pip is inside me he or she will remain Pip. If I know whether Pip is a girl or a boy I won’t be able to stop myself from giving him or her their real name. I guess it’s keeping that little bit of protection for my heart.
In reality I know that whatever we call Pip won’t make a difference if we don’t get to take him or her home. Right now my experience of pregnancy is 9 months of an amazing mixture of joy, excitement and fear culminating in the greatest and most overwhelming mixture of happiness and sadness I’ve ever known. Happiness at finally seeing the tiny person that we created together and immense sadness at the future we can’t share together.
I thought that it would be hard to bond with Pip, that I’d probably create a defensive barrier, be in denial about being pregnant at all but it’s impossible for me not to bond. Possibly partly because I know this could be as much as I get. There is no reason for anything to go wrong, the obstetrician tries to reassure me by telling me how incredibly unlucky we’d be for the same thing to happen again. But we’ve already proved that incredibly unlucky happens, we were incredibly unlucky to lose Lentil in the way that we did.
I must sound so negative, I’m not. I see my future with a happy, healthy Pip but my naivety has gone and I know that that may not be how this ends. Pip has more clothes than I do, I hope for and wish for a future where Pip gets to wear them (maybe not the donated pink ones with bows and bunnies if Pip’s a boy). I am so ready for Pip to join us (although please stay in there a while longer Pip, you’re not cooked yet) but I feel like there’s this little bit of me that expects the worst and finds it hard to let the guard down.