Like many people, I’ve had a complicated relationship with my body for a very long time. Years of chronic illness taught me to see my body as something that would hinder my plans rather than facilitate the achievement of them. This antagonistic relationship with my physical self caused me a great deal of conflict and unhappiness. I saw it as standing between me and so many of the things I wanted for myself – a successful career, a healthy self image, and a bigger family.
In 2014 I decided to do my best to change this. I spent a lot of time actively working on my body. Looking after it. Getting back in touch with it. Getting to like it again. Changing my attitude to it.
I fed myself better. I took myself walking, swimming, running, dancing, boxing. And after a surprisingly short period of time, I found myself amazed at what this neglected old meat sack was capable of.
Then, my doctor found the cause of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms (a longstanding parasitic infection), and we were able to treat it. This made me feel better again.
So, when a few friends suggested a weekend away bushwalking in early July, I felt like I could confidently agree to go.
I strode, scrambled, climbed, skidded, and at times even waded my through the stunning Victorian bush feeling free, strong, and clearheaded.
Then, at one point in the late afternoon, as we followed a narrow path around a rocky, lichen encrusted outcrop, I looked out over the densely treed hills, and I knew.
I knew I had it in me to be the mother of one more person.
That I really, really wanted to be.
And I swear to god, I’m not saying this for dramatic effect, but as I had this realisation, there was a break in the low-hanging drizzly cloud that had been blanketing us for most of the day, and some golden crepuscular rays shone through onto the trees below. It was cinematic.
I came home with this newfound certainty lodged deep in my chest. I could feel it there, warm and glowing, and half expected to see it shining from me like those sun-rays every time I caught my reflection in something.
I took the idea to SJ cautiously, expecting her to be reticent, but she surprised and delighted me by being on board immediately. We talked about it into the night. The whens and the hows. The what-ifs…
Six months on, a lot of those questions remain unanswered for us, but that night we set off on another journey together. If we’re very lucky, it will lead us to being a family of four.