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I’ve been going for acupuncture recently for a couple of reasons. First I wanted to get on top of my eczema which has flared since I had Alfie, and secondly, I wanted to make sure that anything still left unhealed from my C-section was finally healed so that Keith and I could move towards having more children knowing that there was nothing standing in our way.

Yesterday I had a really awesome session where my doc "opened my gateway". I'm not entirely sure what gateway that is, or whether it is considered good form to charge entry now that it is open, but I do know that it made me see some craziness while the needles were in. First my sight felt like I had made finger goggles - try it - you can see a flash coloured border can't you? That's what happened to me, except there were no fingers near my face. Then I started getting mad shadows flashing over my eyes, a bit like on a sunny day when there are lots of little clouds moving fast and you see lots of little shadows zooming across the ground. It was mad.

Afterwards I went out for dinner with a good friend of mine who has been trying to conceive for a few years. She has just been to an appointment of her own and we spent a lot of the meal chatting over our respective situations.

It occurred to me driving home what a complicated relationship us women have with our own fertility. I have several friends who for a variety of reasons have/ are/ will struggle to become pregnant. It took Keith and I over a year to conceive Alfie so I had a tiny taste of the utter desperation that comes with that monthly rise and fall of hope. Does that relationship become any easier once you have had a child?

Actually not really.

On the one hand I will always be a mother. Regardless of whether I ever have another baby, I will always have had Alfie. I suppose on a really basic level, I will always know that my body was able to reproduce. But if I knew now that I would never have another baby, would I feel differently to how I felt when we were trying for Alfie?

I don’t think I would.

For me it’s about expectation rather than a primeval need to seed future generations. My expectation has always been to have a family of more than one child. Hopefully, we will have several more children and the ability to conceive each of those children stands as a discreet need for me. I remember my best friend calling me after we had gone through months of “there’s your no f’ing bunny rabbit” to tell me she had finally passed the pee test. I was over the moon for her but also bitterly disappointed that I wasn’t pregnant too. I couldn’t understand then why she was so worried about getting pregnant when she already had one child, but I get it now.

There is a saying in the markets – Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Shares, babies, same difference.

To me, Alfie is only part of the story. An incredible part, but a part nonetheless. There has always been something about him that says that he needs to be part of a bigger whole. He has a personality (not unlike my own) that will expand to fill whatever size void is available and the makings of a pretty fierce attitude, which will make him an excellent big brother, but a lousy only child.

And aside from him there’s me, and my needs (yes, I do still have my own needs, I haven’t subjugated them to the greater good just yet) and I’m not finished with the process of birthing babies. I have a deep seated belief that my story as a mother is still only half told. I have more births stories left to tell, and more pregnancies to huff and puff my way through.

I feel guilty saying that in the presence of those who have yet to who have yet to become pregnant. I know in this age of atheism it isn’t easy to sell the concept of faith, but I do advocate it as the cornerstone of trying to conceive. Regardless of what becomes before and after, that’s really all you have when it comes to thinking those sticky thoughts.

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