With big expectations for 2021

When I look back on 2020 it sort of feels like a blur. Like nothing that happened actually happened to me because I seemed to spend most of it wishing it away.

Whether it was counting down the days to see family again, counting down the days to the end of furlough to feel useful again, counting down the days to a planned walk with friends, counting down the days to my next scan, counting down the days to meeting baby or generally counting down the days to 2021. I seemed to be on a constant countdown loop.

2020 brought its challenges. But I feel lucky that my friends and family appear to have come out of it relatively unscathed. Particularly with regards to health. Sure there have been some employment issues, financial stresses and worries about mental health but we've somehow managed to cling on to the bigger picture. I certainly don't think it would have been as easy to digest for us personally if it hadn't been for our positive pregnancy test.

One thing I am most sad about when I look back is the loss of our amazing pal, Arthur. I still cry for him regularly. He never lived in the house we're at now and I thought that might make it easier but it doesn't stop me imagining his presence from the corner of my eye or how he might have made little nooks in the new house his own. He was a big part of our relationship and family and we loved him so much. So for a while it made 2020 even shittier than we thought. He was with us every step of the way through IVF. I'd have sleepless nights and he'd always come to find me. I hope he's in a better place ❤️

I have been disbelieving of 2020 in so many ways:

  • A bloody pandemic, who would have thought it? And one that was so hard to get out of.

  • The insanity of our government when it comes to setting the rules. And changing their minds at any given moment.

  • The lack support for furloughed staff.

  • The cancellation of our IVF cycle and subsequent re-ignition.

  • The fact that we managed to sell our house and buy another one in the middle of a lockdown.

  • The very idea that I became pregnant after only one round of IVF.

  • The continuing of time towards baby's due date like it's actually happening and we're going to have a child.

At the moment, at every midwife appointment, with every kick in my stomach (and various other organs that he can now reach), with every reminder everywhere medically and physically, I still don't quite believe I am pregnant.

I know that I'll sound completely out of my mind but I just don't believe it. I have regular thoughts about this all being a dream and I'll wake up soon and it'll be over. Even this afternoon as I was packing baby's bag for hospital I thought about how it couldn't possibly be real. Like I was preparing it for someone else.

The midwife told me to be prepared and start to get things like this ready(!?) Which of course she doesn't have to tell me twice. And I thought the process would help me realise that it's actually happening. I'm packing my son's bag ready to bring him home from the hospital... But nope! It's just not sinking in. I wonder if it ever will.

Above all else, I feel incredibly lucky. Lucky to have such supportive friends, lucky to still have a job even though I think I may have only worked 3-4 months this year, lucky to have my family and for them to be well, lucky to have become pregnant after one round of IVF with the odds stacked firmly against us at between 35-50%, lucky to be expecting baby Barber in 2021 and with less and 2 months until our due date. 🤯

I've never been a fan of New Year, New Me, New Start type of mantras and this year even more so. All I want, all year round is for everyone I love to be OK and for life to be kind to them and for their wants and dreams to become realities. So as I head in 2021 with one of our own dreams about to become a reality (maybe...if it's real) then I am filled with hope for everyone else too. Keep going, persevere, remain positive and believe.

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