Another baby, six years ago.

We were having another baby. He had surprised me, it came completely out of the blue when he suggested we had another child together. He had always been pretty adamant that he didn’t want more children. I had resigned myself to only having one biological daughter. It was fine, I had two step daughters who were very much part of my life and Isla was more than I had ever dreamed of. He threw me with his suggestion. So much so that I said no. I told him we couldn’t afford another baby, we didn’t have the room for another child. We wouldn’t cope with another little person in our world. I know at that moment the big thing that I was thinking but didn’t say aloud was ‘our relationship isn’t stable enough for another child’. He told me we’d find a way, that I always said we would manage no matter what and I should go with that. It took a while, a few discussions to persuade me. 

It was New Year’s Day 2012 and I can remember the conversation perfectly. Martin bought up the subject of babies again, and I can hear his words even now. He told me that he’d let me down when Isla was born, he hadn’t been particularly supportive or particularly sober throughout those newborn baby days. He felt like he needed another chance, he wanted another chance to be a daddy properly, a chance to right some wrongs. He told me he wanted me to be a mummy again and to have a better experience, that I deserved that. And that conversation, New Year’s Day 2012, whilst I sat in McDonald’s watching my almost 3 year old daughter eat her happy meal, is when I agreed to have another baby with Martin. I think what we actually did when deciding to bring another child into the world together was to try and fix an already broken relationship. I probably knew that at the time too. I wanted desperately to fix what was broken. I wanted it to be right. I think back then, Martin did too.

And so I fell pregnant with Martha. Tomorrow my wonderful little Martha Mouse will be six years old. This photograph was taken six years ago today whilst I paced the living room floor in the early stages of labour. A life time ago. I’ve scrutinised the picture several times today. I don’t remember those shoes he’s wearing, how could I forget a pair of shoes? I still look at photographs and cannot believe he was once a real person. Despite the memory feeling incredibly real. It is so hard to explain what photographs do to me.

Although in those early days of Martha I spent sleeping alone next to the crib with Martin enjoying full nights of sleep on the sofa, he was a different dad. He did do more. It was very apparent, early on, that there was a strong bond between the pair of them. As she got older and her personality really started to shine he absolutely adored her. She adored him. Their relationship was special. He wanted another chance at being dad and in all fairness to him, he did it well. But having another baby, it couldn’t and didn’t ever fix an already broken relationship.

Tomorrow my lovely mouse will awake excited and happy. She has been on countdown for what feels like a lifetime, for all of us! She will be happy, we will be happy and there will be a lot of love, smiles and laughter. But he won’t be there. He is always missing. That will always be the case. That man who adored her and who she adored in return only saw one of her birthdays with her, I really hate that. For both of them.


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