It’s been a week since we shared our news on Instagram and we couldn’t be more humbled or appreciative of all the love and support. Many friends and family members expressed surprise – of course they would – we were surprised. After being told three years ago that I wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally and that if I did it would be risky for both myself and the baby Patrick and I made peace with life and moved on. It was devastating but we’ve always been aware of how lucky we are. In our personal lives, our relationship and our career. It hasn’t always been easy and we’ve had our challenges but we’ve come out of them so much stronger and happier – even if they made us sad or angry at the time.
Friends have asked if we were ‘trying’. I find this hard to answer. I mean we’ve always had an incredibly intimate relationship but we weren’t like okay the time’s right let’s go. I’ve never been able to figure out the right time because my cycles have always been all over the place. We really had moved on and made plans that didn’t involve a child – with the exception of Miss 11.
We had returned from a lovely holiday in Fiji in June where our friends the Kama’s from Kama Catch Me Photography took these incredible family photos for us. It was the weekend we were back that things happened. Four weeks later I would say to anyone who would listen “I have all the symptoms of being pregnant but I know I’m not pregnant”. My periods had always been irregular so it was pointless looking at that as a marker, besides I had no idea when I had my last one. I’ve never kept tabs on these things. I had started a rigorous abs and squat exercise routine with the goals of being the fittest I’ve ever been by my 30th birthday (next July). My appetite was insatiable. And my breasts looked the best they’d ever looked.
Coincidentally around this time we had met some parents who have children who suffer from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Another evening we were at a public lecture where a paediatrician was talking about FASD. He mentioned how a mother’s body is able to get rid of the alcohol but that the fetus/baby cannot. Patrick and I talked about it most of the evening in relation to young girls who have no idea they’re pregnant and continue binge drinking (part of what the lecture covered). I don’t binge drink and looking back I think since returning from Fiji until the point we found out I might have had 3 glasses of alcohol over a month and a bit.
Patrick and I had picked up a couple of bottles of cider and he was getting dinner ready. I remember I was in our bedroom thinking about how hungry I was and all these changes and how I really couldn’t wait to get into that cider. Then I started remembering all the FASD discussions we’d been part of. I started to worry. I knew I had a pregnancy test left from the beginning of the year when my period was soooo late I was terrified. Funny enough at that point I was scared. I didn’t want to be pregnant. I’m not sure why, perhaps we had come so far and our lives were pretty perfect as it was. I wasn’t pregnant then.
I pulled out the test and headed to the bathroom. Patrick had no idea what I was doing or thinking. I had told my sister that weekend that I’d do a test after Patrick’s birthday in August if I didn’t get my period. So I did the test and waited and then I walked briskly out to Patrick and said can you come with me. He looked worried. He came into the bathroom and I asked, how many lines do you see? “Two” and looks at me like can’t you count? Before he realised what he was looking at. The way I felt earlier in the year vanished. I was happy. I was scared about what the doctors told me but I was excited. I messaged my sister straight away and then we sat down to dinner. There was a bottle of cider in front of me. I couldn’t stop smiling and pushed it over to Patrick.
Miss 11 looked at me puzzled. “What’s going on?”, “What you do mean?” (still smiling so much it hurt), “You look so happy!” We asked her if she could keep a secret and that it would be family talk (our family, as in the three of us) and that she wouldn’t be able to say anything to her parents for a while. She promised. So we told her, I said we had a long way to go to confirm the test. She beamed and in a single breath said “Congratulations! I’m so happy. But I’m not going anywhere!” It was the cutest thing ever.
The next morning Patrick and Miss 11 went to the supermarket to get me another test – you know, just to make sure! This one too came out positive. I went to the doctors and got my bloods taken. The next day the results came in confirming that I was indeed pregnant, with the HCG levels putting me at about 6 weeks. It was time to book the ultrasound. Miss 11 left school early that day and we all went to the appointment together. As soon as the image came up on the screen I noticed the heartbeat straight away! There it was. It took Patrick and Miss 11 a couple of moments to figure out what was what. We were told before the ultrasound not to be too surprised if we couldn’t see a heartbeat but there it was and so the journey began…