I never thought I was really old enough to have kids. It was always something I thought would happen one day, when I ‘grew up’ or something. Timing wasn’t an issue, and both myself and other half were happy living together and working to pay for our travels to exciting new destinations.
At 28, I’ve come across my fair share of babies in the last few years, with family members and friends all creating their own tiny little miracles. Despite lots of my friends settling down and starting families, it was never something that really phased me or made me feel tingly inside. There was no ticking body clock, no ovaries weeping, and no pressing rush to follow suit – not that I was averse to the idea. I just wasn’t finished taking care of myself yet, never mind understanding how to completely take care of another human.
So that’s why it came as a major surprise to find myself pregnant, with seemingly no warning signs. Sure, there are some doubters who will question ‘how could you not know?’ and if you’d asked me six months ago, I’d probably think the same thing. But when you’re a millenial who is constantly on-the-go, it’s not always easy to keep track of periods. Couple this with having notoriously irregular periods, which document anywhere between 15 and 60 days between bleeds (I use the Period Tracker app), a continuously changing contraceptive pattern, IBS to contend with and a foot operation to prepare for, and it’s easy to see why the days would slip by without thinking about whether or not I should be bleeding.
Though it should go without saying, I don’t feel like I’m a blameless party that ended up helplessly pregnant. The circumstances weren’t perfect, but I’m an adult and understand that it not only takes two to tango, but also that things like contraception aren’t 100% perfect. Sometimes your body can do things you didn’t know it was capable of – something I’m sure I’ll constantly be saying to myself as the next few months roll on.
I do, however, feel a bit cheated. As a naive party to this stranger making itself comfortable in my womb, I feel like I’ve missed out on so much that most expectant mothers get to feel and share. There was no planning, no excitement at the thought of a missed period, no party after the pee-stick displayed a positive, no reading the notes and following the rules and making changes to prepare my body for the sheer miracle about to unfold.
Instead, the first few weeks of what must have been my pregnancy were filled with going to work, taking exercise classes, going out and drinking. Basically, nothing different to the last 10 years of my life – with the exception of a stomach bug, which in hindsight could have been one of the shortest experiences of morning sickness ever known. Whilst many mothers may care to tell me to count my blessings, that I’ve had an easy ride and to enjoy feeling this good, I can’t help but think of the lifestlye changes I could have made, had I realised I was pregnant sooner.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I know I can’t change the past, but I wish I’d had more time to prepare for the future. With over 18 weeks already under my belt, there’s not much time for me and the boy to get used to becoming a three – both in the emotional sense and the physical sense. I find myself waking up at night panicking about car seats and nursery furniture and whether I remembered to take a vitamin or not that day. It’s all really overwhelming, and something I’ll probably never get over until bump makes an appearance but hopefully writing my feelings and experiences can make a little bit of difference.