I always imagined that the day I found out that I was pregnant I would have an explosion of emotions and it would play out like a scene from a TV show or film. I'm a ridiculously emotional person and always have been (my Mum still hasn't lifted the ban she put on me watching Watership Down despite me now being 32). So you can imagine the amount of ugly happy crying I expected to do on the day I had such huge news.
Instead I stared at the pregnancy test that had been resting on the bathroom window ledge and thought 'is that another line? I'm not sure, maybe it's a defective test' I showed my husband and he advised that there definitely was a second line but if I wasn't sure I could do another test in the morning. Prior to this I had waited a week just in case my period arrived, despite having the most precise periods that arrive on time without fail (ironic as I am always running late for everything else in my life).
I did another test, and another two tests the following day just to be sure (all positive) and finally made an appointment to see my GP. There was still no jumping for joy, tears etc. and no magical moment, I was just stunned. It wasn't a case of it being unexpected, we had been trying to have a baby and it had finally happened so why wasn't I skipping down the road with glee like Morecambe and Wise?
I told myself that the tests could be wrong and I shouldn't build my hopes up, remembering when I had mixed my dates up and thought I was pregnant a few months prior and the devastation I felt when my period rocked up. I had sat in the bath and sobbed, convincing myself that it wasn't going to happen. I told myself that once the GP had a look at me, he/she would be able to tell me for definite and then I could open the emotional flood gates.
The GP appointment was not what I expected. She was lovely and asked me a few bits about my health and when my last period was, she took my blood pressure and asked if I had done a test and laughed when my husband told her we had took four (just to make sure). She advised she would refer us to the hospital for our first 'booking in' appointment and 12 week scan, congratulated us and sent us on our merry way. 'I can't believe they just believe me' I told my husband, didn't they want to make sure before referring me to hospital? My husband reassured me that tests are pretty accurate these days and and since I'd done four and had no period it was pretty certain we were on our way to becoming parents.
I told myself that once we told people, then it would be real. We told our parents, siblings and a few close friends and still I felt as though it was happening to someone else. I didn't feel pregnant, what the hell was wrong with me? Maybe I wasn’t maternal enough, how could I not be bouncing off the walls with joy, the thing I most wanted in the whole world was happening and I felt numb. Why did my body not feel different?
I carried on my normal day to day routines and waited for our booking in appointment at 10 weeks. I told work and even then I told my boss 'I think I'm pregnant'. The booking appointment was again pretty routine, but a bit more in depth than the GP appointment. They weighed me, took blood and urine samples, gave me my booklet of notes that I needed for all the appointments throughout the pregnancy and talked us through a few bits. 'I still don't feel pregnant' I told my husband.
Again I panicked that I was some kind of monster, how could I not feel excitement about this amazing thing that was happening? I was really worried that there was something wrong with me and had decided I was going to be a terrible mother.
Two weeks later we went for our fist scan, and I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest with joy. There on the screen was my teeny tiny baby, fidgeting away. The sonographer pointed to the little black pulsing dot and told us it was the baby's heart. I looked over at my husband and he looked like he had won the Euro Millions. I totally fell in love with the little black and white image and I sighed with relief as a couple of little tears rolled down my cheeks. I had finally let myself believe that it was happening. For weeks I had been protecting myself, just in case there had been a mistake. Because I knew that once I had let myself go and believe it, I would be vulnerable because I would love that little baby and want the world for them. I was grateful for the picture they gave us and saved it as my phone's wallpaper to remind myself it was really happening.
Real life is not like TV or films, I peed in a cup and waited for a plastic stick to tell me the biggest news I have ever had in my life. I didn't suddenly say to my husband one day 'ooh I fancy some gherkins' prompting some revelation and knowing I was pregnant. Everything happened in it's own time and in a really normal uneventful way. And there is nothing wrong with that in the slightest.
It could just be me, but I am sure that there are many women who have felt similar to me. They have heard anecdotes from countless women who 'just knew' they were pregnant and felt pregnant from day one. But that doesn't mean that we all feel that way. There are times during my pregnancy that I have almost forgot I was pregnant, even when sporting a bump that should have it's own postcode. I have the rest of my child's life to beat myself up about being a good enough mum, so I've learned that this pregnancy is my own journey and it's been an amazing one.