Third time lucky (phrase, British): Used to say that two efforts at something have already failed but perhaps the third will be successful

It’s tough, but I wouldn’t undo it. If I had a chance to go back and erase this ‘journey’ of losing three babies, I wouldn’t. I am having more days where I can see the beauty in what we had, amidst the gloom of what is missing. So though the memories were not nearly enough, they will do, pig.

I tag each blog with a category and I’ve noticed that my favourite blogs to write, are those in the Memories section. So if you would once more grace me with your time, I’d like to share and immortalise some of my happier memories. Dearest reader, I’ve made you cry, I’ve made you angry, so I hope now to make you smile.

‘Third time lucky’ is such a well-known phrase, that I was actively willing for it to be true. I was so fixated on this idea because of everything we missed out on the first and second time round. We had our spare room unused, and never got to decorate it. We had our 12 week baby announcement planned for years, and never got to use it. But it was third-time lucky, with our gorgeous girl. Scrappy little Summer made it to 12 weeks! So we made our baby announcements, in person, as we’d always wanted to. So that’s what I’d like to revisit here, some of the happy tales and memories we have of the people who were so excited to welcome her into our family.

The Gasp: I will never forget our 8 year old niece’s reaction to our pregnancy news. We called her over and said “psst! we’ve got a secret. Once we tell you, you can tell your mum and dad, ok?” Kids love secrets. M does, but she also likes to play it cool too. So I whispered to her “I’m going to have a baby” and then she gasped. I love her gasps and how her big beautiful brown eyes grew wide with excitement, before she sprung up and ran to tell her parents.

Later on that afternoon, when James and I were snuggling with M on the sofa, my brother came over to take a photo. She jumped up and said “oh wait!”, spontaneously doing this “ta-da!” type thing with her hands, in order to frame my belly. You can see the excitement in her eyes and I can still feel the happiness of that moment. I love that photo (and that girl) so much.

The Thumbs Up: It’s always been lovely announcing our pregnancies to my mum. Bless her, she never sees them coming. The first time, we took her out to lunch and shared the news. Her first word was “seriously?” (as if we’re clowns!) and then her eyes and mouth lit up, much like M. The second time, my mum did not understand what I was trying to tell her when I showed her the stick with two red lines on it. Haha, classic mum. And finally with Summer, we toyed with her. We spent a whole evening with her and then when she offhandedly asked us if we would be attending a family wedding in August, I simply said “probably not, I’m due to have a baby at the end July!”

My mum is so funny when I’m pregnant. She obviously worries, so she insists that I send her a little thumbs-up emoji every day. If I don’t do it, she panics and rings me. It makes me laugh. I’m not sure what the thumbs-up is supposed to prove, it just tells her that I’m still alive I guess!

The Ox Cheek: James and I were due to join our friends for lunch with their wider family, which was being catered for. We were just getting ready to leave, when we received a text: “Are you both ok with braised ox cheek for lunch?”. What the actual? Ox cheek?! That is not a normal lunch item! Can a pregnant lady eat ox cheek? Cooked or uncooked? No idea! We didn’t want to mess with the family’s lunch menu, but we didn’t want to give ourselves away either! We’d waited weeks to tell our friends our news and didn’t want to blow it at the last minute, via a text message. We laughed at the fully first-world problem and chuckled with our friends later, when we got to say “honestly, who the heck serves ox-cheek for lunch?!” C&N, that’s who! Happy anniversary you crazy beans, I wonder what fancy-pants meal you have on the menu tonight!

The Impatience: As we hadn’t seen James’ family at Christmas time (we had been at a wedding abroad), when we visited in January, James’ mum decided to throw a bit of a party. Excellent! We’d already told his family and siblings and were waiting for our family friends M&R to arrive. We’d casually asked them to arrive early, but they ended up running errands. By the time they arrived, it was a mad house! People, children, babies everywhere. My bump wasn’t really showing at 12.5 weeks, but I just couldn’t contain my excitementI’m such an impatient person! It probably took no more than 5 minutes, trying to get four adults alone(ish) in the same room together, but it felt like forever! When we eventually managed it, there were tears and group hugs and it was just so special. R asked us if we’d told James’ godfather G yet, but we hadn’t: “There’ll be tears!” she predicted. She was not wrong. So many tears and so many lovely hugs, as the news slowly spread around the room.

The Misunderstanding: Although I was 13 weeks pregnant and had had a successful 12 week scan, James and I were still being cautious about telling people. One evening we had a bunch of friends over at our house and there was one particular friend in the crowd that I wanted to tell (she’d been so supportive after the first two miscarriages). Whilst everyone was in the living room, I cornered her in the kitchen and starting whispering:

Me: I’ve got a secret to tell you: I’m pregnant, you’re going to be an aunty!
R: Aww really, that’s nice. Yes you are a good aunty.
Me: Huh?
R: So she’s pregnant again? You can’t tell.
Me: What? Wait. R, what do you think I just said?
R: That your friend’s pregnant and you’re going to be an aunty.
Me: Haha. No! I’M pregnant and YOU’RE going to be an aunty.
R (hearing me properly this time): Oh sh!t!!!

I’ve documented these moments, as we may never have anything like it again (I don’t believe in “fourth time lucky” – that’s not a thing). Though it may sound strange and these memories are now bittersweet, I do think we were third-time lucky with Summer. She was our very special little girl.

The ‘thumbs up’ photo we sent Mum after my 12 week scan

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(4) Comments

  1. Claire says:

    I love this post Anj (just chicken on the menu tonight unfortunately, as it’s me cooking). You still managed to bring a tear to my eye seeing that lovely thumbs up photo from you and James.

  2. Karen Palmer says:

    Can totally sympathise with your mum asking for a daily thumbs up 🤣. If we’ve not otherwise communicated, I generally check on my London based daughter by seeing when she was last active on WhatsApp. I try hard to limit myself to once/day. A daily thumbs up ( not that she’s pregnant) would be wonderful!
    I’m so glad you have those lovely memories of joy-filled Summer times and that you’re enjoying thinking about them just now xxx

  3. Nazneen says:

    These are just beautiful memories 💕 xx

  4. Jo M says:

    These are such great memories. 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

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