Oh My Goodness! was my first thought… or was it Oh Sh*t!?, when I first saw the little blue lines turn into a cross. It was a Thursday morning, I was alone, not going to see the Oh-so-lovely-not-yet-daddy for another 2 days. I had had an inkling I was late… having never really kept track, I didn’t know for sure, breasts felt a bit sore and had a crampy tummy without the period to go with it… Google had already told me what it was. The test confirmed it, even though the numbers didn’t add up… You’re not supposed to get pregnant that late in your cycle!
Do I tell him over the phone? Or do I wait till I travel up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to meet him? ….I’ll wait! Some things just need to be shared face to face.
The wait was excruciating! Made a million times worse by having a hen night on the Friday where I was not only unable to drink but also had to keep quiet about my news.
I was petrified! What am I going to do with a baby? I’m not ready to be a mum!
The time finally came to tell him. And he joined me on the rollercoaster ride of emotions, joys and doubts. To top it off I began my rollercoaster ride of hormones and constant nausea. A right ol’ couple we were. We re-evaluated the basis of our relationship, discussed to and fro. In reality we both wanted this, but were terrified of it. Is it the right time? … well, is it ever the right time?
At the same time, with friends and family around who had joined us at the Fringe Festival, we could not talk openly. We needed to reassure ourselves that we were ready to be parents and just talk, talk and talk about everything and nothing. As it was, I had to blame my nausea on dodgy food and antibiotics to duck of the shadow of suspicion.
The next couple of months passed by, I was preoccupied with getting a job (a maternity cover which fit perfectly with my pregnancy period), keeping healthy and dealing with growing aches and pains.
We had one big scare when the hospital got the figures mixed up and the blood test showed a very high risk of Downs. Oh-so-lovely-not-yet-daddy was working 300 miles away from home, so I had to go to the hospital on my own. Luckily, just as they were about to prick me with a VERY large needle for the amniocentesis, something clicked with the technician that I may not have been briefed on the procedure. After all, I was asking a LOT of questions. Then, as the midwife was explaining about results, test, etc, I pointed out some errors in their calculations and after using my correct age I became a low risk candidate. I walked away relieved, with a heap of scan pictures to show for the ordeal.
Work and commuting was gruelling. I got to learn all about SPD (the pain of the pelvis area and lower back due to ligaments loosing tension as a result of pregnancy hormones), which was making walking and sitting very painful. I learnt about special assistance on the railways and at airports (very embarrassing at times, but necessary) too.
I remained totally terrified of the thought of becoming a mum. I did not trust that I had it in me to care for and bring up a child. Then I read a book by Gina Ford and her military formula to raising a child. Phew! Is that it? That’s the recipe?! I can follow that!
NCT classes also helped a little, but I got much more out of the Aquanatal exercise classes, which ended with us ladies eating cookies and drinking tea for an hour afterwards. The wonderful Caroline, the midwife, in her Wonder Woman bra, facilitated amazing discussions around all our fears and concerns.
When the contractions started it all went really well. I was pretty textbook home delivery … until I ended up with 4 hours of unassisted and 2 hours of assisted Second stage labour (the bit where your body is trying to push out the baby), the latter in hospital after a bumpy ambulance ride. At the end of the ordeal though a gorgeous Little Miss was born who made us a real family. The love was instant, despite the exhaustion, all the dilemmas, fears and tears leading up to welcoming her.
A friend recently said:
It’s not always the right time but always the right baby!”
…I can certainly attest to that. I could not have asked for a more wonderful little girl to brighten the lives of all the people around her whom she touches. My little Angel!
P.S. this baby was never harmed through deploying Gina Ford’s military methods (that book went into the bin the moment my little Angel got home), she was instead whispered to and listened to… more about that in another post.
I’ve read about a couple of wee on the stick moments recently… Do you have one to share?
Were you totally prepared? Or totally unprepared?