My Ex-Husband Is Getting The Son I Never Got To Have
Seventeen years ago, I miscarried my third child — a boy. After two healthy pregnancies with two beautiful girls, It shook me to my very core. I did not see it coming, and I was not prepared or ready in any way for the loss and grief.
I have always wanted a boy to add to my collection of girls. I had dreamed of having a son, tall with his arm around me, asking what was for dinner. When I lost my son, It took me three years before I could even talk about it without crying. Even now, as I type, I feel my throat tightening, my eyes swimming. They never leave your heart. I have never written about him before; it’s always felt too precious to throw open the public gates.
Several years ago, my ex-husband had called to tell me that he and his new wife would try for a baby. She was much younger and had no children. He had undergone a vasectomy when we were still married; the pain of our miscarriage was too great to risk ever experiencing that again. We had our girls and were grateful. Now, though, in his new marriage, he wanted to try again.
It took some time for them, and rounds of private IVF, but eventually at the end of last year they announced to the girls they were expecting. My job in all of this is to support my daughters, who are 19 and 22, help them navigate their emotions and feelings. Their relationship with their dad is a complicated and painful one. He has not been there for them growing up, which has stirred many mixed reactions for both girls.
I have quietly contemplated this new baby’s arrival, and most importantly, I would like to say here, that I am happy for his wife. She is a nice lady. Every woman deserves to experience motherhood if their heart desires it. It eludes so many, and I would never be so selfish not to want that for someone.
A scan was booked to determine the sex of the baby. I said to my mum, “It’s going to be a boy, isn’t it?” She nodded. She knows how life rolls. She knew my past pain. All of this, on top of the worst year of my life, facing my second divorce, l knew that the added bonus track to this year’s soundtrack would be my shitty, mentally abusive ex-husband getting a son. I was correct.
Want to know what’s even better? He is due two days before my birthday. You know what’s going to happen, don’t you?
There are moments I still miss my boy. Even though I never got to meet him properly, I miss him. So painfully. I wish I could have known him. I often wonder what he would have been like, what his hobbies would have been. He would have been ages with my youngest step-daughter. Would they have played soccer together? Now, my ex-husband will get to experience what it’s like to raise a son. It hurts.
Yet. At 43 and having raised four girls now, I am in a time of freedom. My ex-husband is looking at pushchairs and car seats. At 51, he will be starting the school run all over again. All of my children will be through university by then. I cannot help but smile. He left me, with two young children, £15k worth of debt, to go and pursue his dreams. Family life was not for him. Now here we are.
My daughter wanted to send a parcel to them for the baby. I found myself handing over the money for the soft toy and helping her organize a courier. I marveled at the healing that had taken place in my heart over the years. The deep work of letting go, forgiveness, seeing how the Universe has me held tight. I could not wish ill on a beautiful baby boy when I know how precious they are, how easily life can be lost.
I can only hope and pray that my ex-husband will have learned from his past mistakes. This is hard for my girls to accept. Why were they not enough for him? Will this son be more than they could ever be to him? Life is damn complicated at times. As a mother, I want to take that pain from them.
Which is why I have tried to keep myself out of the narrative in this story. I have tried not to show my frustration at the unfairness. Why does he get to have a boy? He couldn’t look after the girls he had. I try not to show my rising panic that this baby boy will be born on my birthday, just to taunt me. My job, as stated before, is to support my girls. And that is what I shall do.
I am blessed with my girls. There are times I know I was a mother to a son. Even for the briefest wisp of a moment. May this baby boy be loved deeply. I know he will be; she will make a fine mother. My girls will make excellent big sisters. And me? Well…I am just grateful I don’t have to face sleepless nights all over again. I am on a different journey now, and I am happy for them.