A few years ago I wrote about trying to conceive while sharing a house with a soon-to-be-mama. Times moved on, they moved out (of their own accord), and we moved on.
When we moved on it was after hearing that I don’t ovulate “normally” — that my tubes were likely blocked. That pregnancy for me, was not going to be about a lovely surprise, but (I felt) a difficult, traumatic and very medical process. I was not going to be a Mama, probably not ever. I couldn’t face the hospitals, the trauma and I certainly couldn’t face failure. The choice made itself.
We were gutted — really gutted. My beloved was incredibly supportive. He tried to understand, he tried to be okay with it, even though I knew it was hurting him so bad. He always wanted to have children.
I went to some strange places in my head. I went to thinking he was better off without me, that I was better off alone, forever. It was horrible. But slowly I forced myself to talk (in my head) about the benefits of being childless. After all, didn’t that mean we could go to music festivals every year, have our house to ourselves, have money and partake in foreign travel, whilst our “baby-laden” friends would be scrimping and saving and struggling? A bit extreme, I know. But slowly, we talked, slowly we got there. I got there.
I was not going to be a Mama, and that was awesome for me. It took nearly a year. And even then it still hurt. So you’d think that a change in this would be amazing… of course it would.
That change happened on the 3rd May, this year. We found out that we are pregnant.
I had spoken two conversations — one with a friend about another one of my very late periods and another with a nail technician I had never met before — that made me decide to do a test to rule out pregnancy before my most recent doctor appointment. I bought the test in a small local chemist. Two-pack. Cheap. I lectured myself down the street in the rain: “You have to stop doing this, life is gonna be great, you’re not pregnant, you can’t get pregnant, don’t be stupid. Stop hoping… it hurts.”
Then I took the test. It was positive. I genuinely believed the test was faulty. I was torn between a massive urge to run into the street and scream at passers-by “I’M PREGNANT,” and the ever-present feeling that this was not possible, I was not pregnant, and the test was wrong. I walked home in the rain. I dropped my paperwork on the floor, and it stuck there like glue. I left it. The wind was cooling my neck. The moment is so clear.
I told my beloved as soon as he got in from work. I told him it had been an odd day. I told him about the test. I told him it was faulty. He told me I was pregnant. I told him he was stupid. I took another test — positive. I sent him (in the rain, on his push-bike. Oh how he loves me!) to the supermarket for two more “good quality” tests. Both positive.
My beloved was convinced from the very moment I told him. The hug he gave me in that moment was the best hug I have ever had. It made me feel, “I am loved, I am whole, I have my beloved, and maybe… just maybe… I’m pregnant.”
I told my mum about the tests, we told my dad and my brother, my beloved told his family. We went to the doctor. We had a scan. I am pregnant. A real living baby. On that day suspected to be nine weeks and four days. And I was numb. I felt empty, scared, hopeful, and strange. I did not cry at the scan. My beloved did, his emotions so clear, so happy!
I had expected to feel amazing. Vital. Blooming. Overwhelmingly happy. And I am now. But I was numb for four weeks. It has taken four weeks to accept that what I have always wanted is here. That it is true. But still I feel a sense of loss. I have lost the non-Mama life which I had worked so hard to accept. It makes me sad to think about these things. I am realising now though, that I do not have to be Child-Free to do all of those things. That our child is not a weight around our ankles (like I had schooled myself it was), but the wings which set us free.
We will be at festivals. We will attend our rallies. We will still socialise. We will travel the world. And we will be a family. We will be parents. And that is amazing!