Baby Boom



I nuzzled my nose into the baby’s head, inhaled the sweet soft scent of his temple as my lips caressed his cheek. With a gentle sway and a soft “ssshhh, ssshhh, ssshhh” his crying ceased and he flopped his head against my shoulder.  I don’t usually run to lift the crying baby; I don’t normally run in their direction even if they are not crying. I’ve always convinced myself I’m not a baby person and isn’t it just as well I couldn’t have one because I probably would have been rubbish with it. Unfortunately I’m living through another baby boom, ok not a boom; we have a 7 month old within close family and another on its way. Family gatherings will soon be baby central again and as was the case this weekend, what do you do when no one else runs to calm the crying baby? Yes I have to go.

I was relieved and pleased that I managed to sooth him as I’m always slightly worried that the baby senses my fear. The fear that reveals my lack of knowledge and experience with one so young, or the worry that they may come knocking at my closed and locked door of motherly desire. I got away with it this time…or did I? In those fleeting moments, as a couple of minutes passed, me cradling him, him gurgling contentedly and me lost in his presence, he managed to prise open that closed and locked door and seep into my heart. There he is now; haunting my thoughts on a daily bases “a baby how nice to have a baby, your own baby”.

It’s not really happened before, I’ve not allowed it. There was one occasion when a television story line got the better of me, can’t remember what but it had me sobbing uncontrollably for my loss. That’s a few years ago now and I’m careful, I don’t watch “One born every Minute” or anything like that. I can manage Call the Midwife but that doesn’t seem of our world.

So why now? Well in the early years of having my boys I was hopeful, full of wonder for the small beings that were now mine. Babies shmabies, nothing would really have distracted me from my young little family. Yes they were hard work but they were adorable and with their diminutive size they were containable even in their darkest moments. In passing recent years we haven’t had many babies in our lives. Now they are here again and all the wonder has been crushed and squeezed out of me and the horror of times still to come are very real and tangible. As my boys have grown in size, my hope has demised, the reality of difficult times now and to come are very much here.

Please don’t get me wrong things are never all bad and I love my boys with all my heart but as I clung to that new born that people run to calm when he cries, my thought were wondering.  The new born that has a mum a dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles who all really care, I did think “What if..” “What if I’d had a baby that had been all mine, who was loved from the moment they came to this world.” “What would my life be now?”

But this sorrow is not just for me it’s for my boys too, What if they had been born into a family like this one; the one where everyone cares “what if” is for them too. Tink coos delightedly at the baby boy, his nephew, he is thrilled with him, feeds him, talks to him and tickles him under his chin. Watching them together this last weekend I couldn’t help speculate that no one would have been tickling Tink under the chin and cooing delightedly for him at 7 months old. I often find myself identifying things that my children have missed out on when I see a loving parent and baby together. I don’t tend to loiter with these thought it’s more a fact than a full on distraction. I’m sure the irony is lost on Tink, and I’m glad, for now the boys don’t see what they missed but for me it is a constant reminder.

So I’ve been a little in mourning these past days, it seems odd so many years on, but my slight sadness is persisting around the losses we have all suffered. Not to the point of tears and head under the duvet but more a poignant point in time, as our extended family grows and changes I need to be prepared. I need to think this through, come to terms that may not have previously been reached and allow myself to feel what I need to feel.

I shared a few of my thoughts with my brother-in-law at the family gathering this last weekend; I revealed to him my greatest sadness at not having our own children. I would love to have known what our child would have looked like, a combination of my husband and I. My lovely brother-in-law paused thoughtfully at my revelation and then said “that’s not a problem there’s an App that can do that”.  Don’t worry it was a joke and we both laughed, a lot.


  1. Lindsay June 12, 2013 / 7:14 pm

    You said so lovely what I often think. There are a lot of whatifs that breeze in and out and sometimes when those new babies are about its hard to not to imagine what things would look like if somebody had loved J from the start, or what our own babies would look like (um lets just assume they would have had one heck of a head of curly hair!) Thanks for putting tough thoughts into words.

    • thepuffindiaries June 12, 2013 / 7:37 pm

      Thank you Lindsey, I’m going to have to address my baby worries but I think I will get involved in the excitement of it all too, in fact I think I already am. x

  2. Sarah June 12, 2013 / 8:13 pm

    What an honest and emotive account. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Considerer June 12, 2013 / 8:43 pm

    Makes me wonder if this will be my future…forever wondering. Thanks for posting your stories though, and for your honesty – it does help.

    • thepuffindiaries June 12, 2013 / 8:51 pm

      It’s a good future but as with lots of things in life you often wonder how things might have been different. x

  4. Emma June 12, 2013 / 9:19 pm

    No words, just a big hug… x

  5. Fiona June 12, 2013 / 9:41 pm

    Hi Sarah
    Fab post and I can identify sooo much with it. The fear if picking up crying babies in case they cry more, the risk if not raising a smile with the goo goo ga ga animated chat, and the loss for us and for our kids. Good to know we’re not alone. Xxx

    • thepuffindiaries June 12, 2013 / 9:49 pm

      I think it’s the same for many of us, that’s why it’s good to share. xx

  6. Helen Williams June 13, 2013 / 9:43 am

    Very lovely poignant words. Thank you for articulating so many of my own thoughts.

  7. Sally June 13, 2013 / 11:12 am

    I’ve had almost identical thoughts in the not very distant past. Very well described. It caught me there for a while….

    • thepuffindiaries June 13, 2013 / 11:19 am

      Thanks Sally, it’s strange how it creeps up on you now. xx

  8. Celean June 14, 2013 / 10:37 am

    We have a birth child and planning to adopt and I’ve been wondering this – will this comparison live itself out daily in my house, how can we possibly deal with that fairly when it’s not fair. Really sad and thought-provoking; we’re all slaves to biology when it comes to babies and my heart is with you. x

    • thepuffindiaries June 14, 2013 / 10:41 am

      What a thoughful comment, thank you. I’m sure you will find a way to make things work. Have you seen the blog They have a birth child and an adopted child so you might find it interesting to read. x

      • Celean June 14, 2013 / 11:07 am

        Thanks, yes, I’ve been following them and a few others for a bit now. It’s exciting and terrifying and emotional – and that’s just reading the blogs!!

  9. Suddenly Mummy June 14, 2013 / 2:58 pm

    Oh, yes, that post really resonated with me. I am single and have never tried to have a baby of my own, but we single un-mums feel the loss and grief of persistent childlessness too, perhaps in a different way (as well as the loneliness and rejection that comes from never finding our partner or husband!). I can’t believe how fulfilled I am as a mother to my adopted son now, but even so, when a close friend of mine announced that she was expecting her first child recently (the last one of all my friends to start a family), my stomach dropped and flipped over just as it used to before I had my son. Maybe there will always be that nagging unfulfilled part. If some magic fairy offered to swap my adopted son for a birth child, I’d refuse without a second thought – he is no second best! But yes, our lives are defined as much by the things we didn’t do as the things we did, not necessarily in a negative way, but in a real way nonetheless. Thanks for sharing this.

    • thepuffindiaries June 14, 2013 / 3:04 pm

      I totally agree that it’s not the wish to change my situation it is just a sense of loss for something you would have loved to have had but never were able too. Like I say it’s the reminder of loss for my boys too that can make it equally upsetting at times. Thank you for your lovely supportive comment. xx

  10. new pyjama mummy June 15, 2013 / 9:15 pm

    I too can relate to this post too – the what might have been as I remember my brief marriage and the dream of having children of my own – wrapped in my identity questions of – who do I look like – as I don’t look like anyone in my family as I am adopted – and always thought it wold be fun to have a mini me – and I do – now with PJ – very different – the mini me in personality – the losses of not having her sooner in age – and the still being single and the dream of ever having my own baby gone – and so many time after time having their own. yes it does pull at my heart strings of disappointment of a dream I had held on to for such a long time – my dream fulfilled is so very different with PJ but I wouldn’t swap it – but I still feel like I am playing catch up from all I missed from those earliest cuddles and skin to skin moments that we both have missed. I do watch one born – and yes I have wept many times!

    • thepuffindiaries June 16, 2013 / 4:48 pm

      Oh I would like to give you a big hug. I knew that it would strike a cord with other adoptive parents and it all feel a bit sad, but like you say I still wouldn’t swap my boys for the world. xx

  11. Sezz June 16, 2013 / 11:10 am

    I know how you feel Sarah. I thought I’d dealt the ‘the baby thing’. But now I found myself feeling a tad jealous when I hear of people adopting tiny babies; I also can’t watch One Born Every Minute, I feel like a big fist comes out the computer screen and thumps me whenever I see people announcing their pregnancies on FB with a pic of the baby scan. I need to sort this out in my head too. You are not alone. xx

    • thepuffindiaries June 16, 2013 / 4:51 pm

      A hug for you too Sezz. It is hard to take the news of new babies sometimes. I never don’t wish it for friends and family, all very deserving parents but it just sometimes seems a little unfair. xx

  12. Christie June 19, 2013 / 9:05 pm

    Very powerful topic and you’ve laid your heart open for us. Thank you!

    I have bio-children and an adopted child and am constantly noticing the differences and similarities. I’ve decided adoption is every bit as magical as birth, just different. But one of the hardest parts for me to swallow is missing those baby days with my son. Unlike you, I am baby-crazy. It seems like such a loss to have missed the first two years, especially with all the medical challenges he had. Foster mom was great, but I feel like he needed me. And I grieve for what I missed too… I guess we always will.

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