My main gardening role has been propagation. Also: bickering with my co-gardener about plant-placement (he who wields the trowel wins). Propagating is the perfect task for me. My husband brings me a pile of prunings, I rest on the cadillac couch with them on my lap and trim them down with secateurs, then pot them up. I must have propagated hundreds of plants in the last couple of years.
I've loved lavishing nurturing energy on the garden. Sometimes, in the garden, I'd think about one day getting a dog. Then I could nurture the trifecta of garden, dog and my dear sweet love.
That common focal point for nurturing, a bambino, wasn't realistically on the cards - so I'd been told for many years and by many experts. Mind you, even without access to my test results, you didn't need to be Einstein or Sherlock to deduce that.
I'd had time to come to terms with this, and there have been so many losses in the face of chronic illness, that this seemed to be just one more. I wistfully accepted it. The thing I couldn't accept, even after time, was that this loss directly affected my husband. Other losses that affect both of us I can minimise, mitigate, try to make up for - but not this one.
Years ago I'd watched him toting a baby niece on his hip, and knew what a kind and gentle parent he'd be. Years ago I had no idea this illness was going to be the grim reaper of so many of our shared dreams. Once the 'years later' had elapsed and the medical reality emerged, I was sad that my Judas of a body most likely wouldn't let him become a dad.
At our wedding, during the speeches, there was no mention of children. I've noticed at other weddings that children feature in the speeches, often quite prominently. I was grateful for the tact of my loved ones, though to be frank, they probably didn't even think about it, it was probably only me that noticed the absence of our non-existent future whippersnappers.
A few months ago we discovered that a little miracle had sprouted. In me. A little baby, who we've met at several scans, jumping around in my belly like a loon.
Discovering I was pregnant was the most profound shock I've ever experienced. It felt like the galaxy had split in two, like fireworks went off in every cell, like a tornado whirled through my brain and reassembled it.
Pregnancy hasn't been easy on me but we are incredulous, thrilled and grateful that I am capable of going through it at all. My husband says he just can't believe my body is doing something right. I know exactly what he means. Turns out maybe propagation really is my secret talent...but who knew it would apply to a little human being and dear new family member?!
It is too amazing. We are so, so lucky.