It seemed that once we all hit 30 our body clocks went into overdrive. Everyone I knew was either getting engaged, married or having babies. I have always wanted to be married, have children, THE house and nice garden so with what I would consider as careful coaxing, my parents would say I railroaded my partner, Dermot*, into proposing!
Dermot proposed in Italy 2012 whilst trekking up Mount Baldo. We got married at South Farm in 2014, had an overpriced honeymoon to the Maldives and the talk about babies began.. We started trying but not trying in January 2015, by this point three friends were pregnant and I felt panicky that we would’t be able to concieve. I felt super happy for them but coveted what they had.
During the May half term my husband wanted a holiday and was desperate to see Normandy. We stayed in Bayeux and visited Mon St Michel and the D-Day landing sites. This is where (we think) Buddy was conceived, which may explain a few things.
My pregnancy wasn’t the battlefield my husband remembers it. Yes, there were many, many sleepless nights, tears, some blood, hospital visits to check for life, plenty of disorientation and new ground to cover every day. But we got through it and survived if slightly ravaged by it.
Things to note but not worth writing massive amounts on:
- In the early weeks of my pregnancy before I knew I was pregnant, I had a strange craving for ice cold white wine (I usually drink red.)
- I also couldn’t get enough of eating kale with a bit of lemon.
- I had started feeling sick at the end of the day and on occasion was sick as soon as I got home.
- On the last day of school before the June half term, I must have drank my weight in tea.
- I found out a colleague and good friend was also pregnant, which was great news as she had previously had an ectopic pregnancy.
- I felt emotional and physically exhausted.
It was June half term that I did the pregnancy test, which tested positive. I ended up using a cheap Sainsbury’s one as I seemed unable to accurately pee on the Clear Blue Weeks indicator one. We were super happy but wanted to wait until 12 weeks to tell people. I think we were massively optimistic about keeping the secret but we did our best. People knew we were trying so when I stopped talking about it, I think they probably knew. I aimed to meet some friends during the break but could barely get out of bed (I am a terrible sleeper normally so for me to have several naps during the day and then sleep brilliantly and deeply at night was unusual) I also had what felt like bad period pain on my left side. I suddenly became paranoid that I wasn’t pregnant, I had miscarried or I too had an ectopic pregnancy. I attempted to book a doctors appointment but couldn’t get an on the day appointment or the next available one would be 4 weeks later (I don’t know why they do that?) The receptionist helpfully told me to book online as I could probably get an on the day appointment but they are only available at midnight. I managed to get one but I still think it is absolutely ridiculous how hard it is to see a doctor let alone your own one.
The next day I laid on the examining table and the doctor, who was lovely, pressed and prodded my left side and said that I may have some swelling. She booked me an appointment to go to the early pregnancy unit for a scan. She warned me that there may not be anything to see and not to get my hopes up. I knew what she meant and I wasn’t upset by it. To a certain extent you have to distance yourself from bad news.
So the next day my husband took us to the hospital. I was terribly nervous. My leg was jigging up and down in the waiting room and even though I was drinking lots of water, my mouth felt parched. We were called in and there were two women. I was told to strip from the waist down and get on the table/chair. Usually, I am shy about my body and get self conscious but that day, in the words of my husband, I was happy to get my muff out. Bum up in the air and knickers down, I tried to gracefully get on the table. I was given some long strips of blue paper towel – the kind you get at school but longer – to cover my modesty. I realise now, it’s actually for the other person examining you. I mean they don’t want to see the details of your bits. One of the women, examined me with what looked like an alien sex instrument covered in gloop. It was inserted and she rumaged around like she was trying to unblock a manky old loo. Looking at the screen to the left of us, we hoped to see something that would tell us we were ok, that I was pregnant.
She showed us the egg sac and aged it as 5 – 5 1/2 weeks but there was no heart beat. We would have to go back the following Thursday. That weekend, I stayed at my parents whilst my husband went out (this was absolutely fine – he isn’t heartless!) and we had agreed not to tell them. I’d had the conversation with mum about being exhausted and she had asked if I was pregnant and we both shook our heads. The moment my husband walked out the door, I came clean with mum. She gave me a hug and didn’t let me go. I didn’t realise how upset I was about it. We both cried but I was sobbing. She talked me through what could happen and I immediately felt better. At school on Monday was a different story.
I was due to go on a week long school excursion with the Year 6’s to the Isle of Wight on the Sunday. I had to confess to my head that I would need time off to go the appointment and that I might not be able to go, depending on the outcome of the results. My head is lovely but I find her incredibly intimidating. As soon as I walked into her office with the deputy head for support, I began sobbing. If you can’t tell already, any kind of raw emotion gets me crying! Luckily, she was able to translate for me through the whimpering. She ended up being nice about it but purposely and loudly flicked through her diary to check she could go on the trip in my place if I anything should have stopped me. I imagine she was already thinking ahead and mentally making a list of things that needed to be done.
Thursday came and we were back at the hospital and this time we had different people examining me. Luckily, I didn’t need to be probed by the alien dildo but just to have the scan. We waited and they found the heart beat. We left super happy and ready to start the adventure.
*we met at Buckingham Chiltern University College, circa 2002 whilst I was studying Film and Video Production and he studied Film and Script Writing.