So, first, how I found out I was pregnant, the principle players, etc etc.
I’m 22 and have been working random jobs since graduating in 2012. Around April 2013 I began seeing an old friend from one of my old jobs, Jaime. It got serious pretty quick. In the summer, I moved back to be closer to my family – around 3 hours away from the city I’d lived in for 4 years and where Jaime lived. It sucked big time. I had a horrible job and didn’t know anybody.
In August, I moved back and started working for the Youth Hostel Association, and living with Jaime and our housemate Susan. We’ve had a crazy couple of months as I needed to get another job just so I was making enough. I’ve been taking the contraceptive pill since I was 15, so pregnancy worries were quite far from my mind. Even so, when I missed a period in September I took a pregnancy test about 10 days after I’d expected it. Negative. OK, no worries – I was stressed, not eating great and it’s only to be expected, right?
Through all of November and December, I didn’t have a single day off. So I was pretty exhausted, and you know, not really thinking about much except working all the time. Like normal, I ran a couple of pill packs together. I felt myself getting a bit bloated, but then, I’d been eating McDonalds more than usual since it was the only place open when I was starving after work, and on most days I didn’t feel like cooking myself anything particularly nutritious. I had a couple of dizzy spells, but like everyone else, thought I was just knackered (which I was). I got into the habit of napping during the day, but hey, if you work from 7.30am almost every morning and only get a few hours break before having to go back until 10pm, you’re probably going to want to nap!
I missed another period in December, and finally started thinking maybe something was a little weird. My normally nearly-concave stomach was getting round and weirdly hard. I poked it a lot. My real overwhelming fear was some kind of tumour. I tried not to think about it too much.
On the day before New Year’s Eve I darted into Superdrug and bought a Clearblue test. Jaime was at work. The vertical line meaning ‘positive’ was very dark. I think I said ‘fuck’ mostly, then called my mum.
A few hours later I went to Jaime’s work and told him. We had a confused conversation because we hardly knew any details. We discussed all our options. Jaime for some reason kept smiling while I felt alternately like crying and screaming. I had my last cigarette then, although abortion was still on the table at that point as we had no idea how far along I was.
After I’d worked my shift (a little bit like a zombie), we went home and talked some more. We thought seriously about keeping the baby. I knew my mum’s honest advice would be not to, although because she is fantastic, she’ll always let me make my own decision. There was a great big logical part of me saying I could not possibly do this, I am irresponsible and often have Skittles for dinner. But another bit thought how it would be pretty great, how Jaime was a great partner, and if we put our minds to it we could be pretty good parents.
The next day I made an appointment with my doctor. I’d expected to have to take another test, but instead, she lay me down and felt around my belly, straight away saying she could feel pregnancy. She told me she would estimate 20 weeks, and if that was right, a termination was not an option. She called the Early Pregnancy Unit to try and schedule a scan to confirm. Later, I got a call saying I was too far for the Early Pregnancy Unit, and instead I’d been referred to the midwifery unit at the hospital.
The midwife I saw agreed with the 20 week estimate. I heard the heartbeat for the first time on the 2nd of January, three days after I found out I was pregnant at all. Then, about a week later, I was scheduled for an ultrasound (the midwife had marked it ‘urgent’…)
On the 11th of January I had my 20 week scan, skipping the normal 12 week one. This confirmed that I was 20 weeks 4 days pregnant. The baby actually looked like a baby, not a peanut. It was also a boy baby, with a spine and a face and everything. Before the ultrasound I’d been told to drink 2 pints of water and hold it, so by the time I was sitting in the waiting room I was really, really needing to pee. The ultrasound technician let me go after seeing my ‘very full bladder’. I pretty much ran. Then we got right back into it.
This was really the point it became real for me. We’re going to have a baby boy. My due date is the day before my birthday. It’s all real and happening in a few months, which is pretty crazy.