Looking back over the past couple of days, though, the good things began to take on a theme: stories with a bad beginning and a happy . . . not ending, that's not right . . . a happy new beginning.
1. A very minor one to start with - after a long, hard week at work, I summoned up my courage, told my boss I was not going to the "optional" professional development course on Friday afternoon and caught up with some routine stuff instead. Not an easy thing to do just now, but I'm glad I did it, because it meant I came home with a lot less work than I might have done and had time to spend with my boys.
2. My wee boy is on the mend, having been very poorly all week. Major vomiting, not keeping anything down - even fluids. We got to the same point that we did just before Christmas when he had the no.rovir.us - syringing fluids into him in 5-10ml doses every 10 minutes. He has lost weight, visibly, making him look fragile and somehow older. CM and I took turns to have days of work and take care of him. We took him to the GP twice and the consensus seems to be that it's an ear infection that has vomiting as a side-effect - antibiotics were prescribed. The sickness was so frequent and we got to the point where we rolled up the living-room rug, put towels on the sofas and wore our scuzziest old clothes. We cancelled our trip to the Don.or Conce.ption Netwo.rk meeting today and spent the day hanging out at home together, getting fluid into him and giving him little bits of very plain food. Thankfully, tonight, we put a much happier, healthier baby to bed. I feel so much better now that I feel he's on the mend. After our journey, we're probably a bit jumpier about the wee one being under the weather and we take nothing for granted.
3. Related to number 1, my mother LOVES my wee boy. She called first thing this morning to say that she had been searching ear infections and sickness on Google last night because she was so worried about her grandchild and that she reckons the doctors were right and that he'd be fine. After all that reading, she was able to sleep. I think she literally spent hours researching the topic. The previous night, she had heard him crying pitifully in the early hours and texted me then and there to check he was ok and ask if we needed help (they live downstairs now, remember?). CM and I took a long time to come to our decision to use donor eggs and it was very much our decision. Our families did not make a decision - they were presented with it. I did have some faint concerns about whether they would embrace a donor baby - CM's because they are religious and have some pretty strong feelings about some issues and mine because they are not genetically related to our son. They knew about our plans and had always been verbally supportive - we would almost certainly have been given pause about our decision if we felt we were bringing a baby into an unwelcoming family. This morning's conversation brought home to me just how very much he is loved and wanted by his whole family - genetics are irrelevant when it comes to love here, it appears.
4. Rebecca, over at Which Way to Baby? welcomed her beautiful baby girl to the world a week ago today and, yesterday, there were photos! I have a lot in common with Rebecca - a list of health issues that may or may not contribute to our infertility/losses, the same number of pregnancies, a love of dogs and now, finally, motherhood. She had such a long, hard road to this point and was incredibly kind and generous with her comments while I was pregnant, which I really appreciated. I am beyond happy that she is a mummy now.
5. A very dear friend is coming home. I say "home" but it's not her home - that's about 800 miles east-north-east of here. By a happy coincidence, she was living in the tenement next door to our's when we had our babies. She is an academic, funded by her home university to gain expertise abroad to bring back eventually. She had been working in South America, about to move to the Antipodes when she became pregnant. As a result of immigration laws, she had to delay her move to her new workplace and needed someplace to have her baby and continue her work. Her home university has some contacts here and got her a place in a lab. We were in the same NHS antenatal classes, but didn't get to know each other then. We bumped into each other, each of us heavily pregnant coming out of our front doors just before Christmas. We commented on the coincidence and went on our ways. After we had our sons - her wee boy was born 10 days before mine - we kept bumping into each other and ended up going for coffee. It turns out that, despite differences in our languages, ages, professions and paths to pregnancy, we were having remarkably similar experiences of the difficulties of first-time motherhood - hard! We bonded in that quick, powerful way that you do when you meet someone in intense times - my best friend and I bonded in a similar way right at the start of university in Freshers' Week. For nine months (is that significant?) we saw each other about 3-4 times a week, our babies played together and our partners got on too. And then they had to leave to take up that post on the other side of the world! We stayed in touch by email, sk.ype and text, missing each other and talking about our lives happening as far away from each other as it's possible to get. Then she told me that things weren't as they should be at her new lab and she felt she had to leave - the USA was a possibility (and I started checking out air-fares!). This week, it became definite that her new lab would be back here and that she and her partner and son would be moving in to a flat round the corner from our new one. I am delighted and looking forward to having sunny evenings chatting and drinking wine on our terrace while our little boys play together again and our big boys put the world to rights :-).