I’m just kidding. I don’t think anyone needs lewd details, or a conception story. Especially not mine. Nonetheless, this was not intended as a clickbait title. Therefore, I guess it’s more of a ‘how it began’ post. Full-disclosure: we weren’t trying to conceive but nor can two well-educated individuals claim the conception of a baby was an ‘accident’.
So I don’t know why, but since turning 27 I had convinced myself I would struggle to conceive. It became a bit of an inner dialogue with myself. I suppose it had something to do with me having an irregular cycle since coming off the pill a few years ago, my skin being terrible (notably not any better since falling pregnant…we all have our own cross to bear!), and my gynaecologist asking if I was trying for baby at each visit since I turned 24 (which I took to mean I clearly should be by now, now meaning every year since turning 24). My husband who clearly knew better than me, though I concede only on this subject matter, rejected (after much qualification) my concerns. Nonetheless, on the basis it was unlikely to happen to us, from June 2018 we ceased to use any form of contraception. Given my pessimism, our shared naivety (?), and lack of planning (my proclivity to overthink meant actively trying for a baby was out of the question), we were not expecting to fall pregnant two months later.
Throughout the w/c 23rd July, following each of our gym sessions, I bemoaned to Rich that I was unable to go as hard as usual (I must caveat here that my going hard is sitting on a stationary bike watching YouTube videos). In fact, I was flat out exhausted even selecting the YouTube videos to accompany my gentle spin, and put my inability to perform at my usual level down to our consecutive gym sessions. Although, I was surprised, and a little confused that Rich seemed to be unaffected by our schedule!
That weekend, we met up with Rich’s sister, and far from my usual Prosecco-loving self I found that a) I didn’t really want to drink at all, b) I fell asleep around 10pm at the house of an acquaintance (so unlike me who is (1) a night owl, and (2) extremely selective about where I will sleep), and c) I felt nauseous upon returning home during the small hours of the next morning. Again not like me, especially following a delicious take out pizza (the subsequent nightmares about the potentially unpasteurised and listeria-harbouring cheese still haunt me).
Still, despite the aforementioned blindingly-obvious-in-hindsight symptoms, I hadn’t put two and two together. Or if I had, I had come up with five and deduced it was a case of overdoing it, whatever it was. Certainly not the gym or work. In fact, it wasn’t until 1st August when I noticed what appeared to be some physical changes in my appearance that I started to think perhaps something was up. However, my husband’s second opinion was that I was overanalysing my reflection, which given I do overanalyse, and my umbrage at his implying I was being vain, I quickly quashed all suspicions. Although, we now know that far from me overanalysing, it is he who is guilty of under-analysing!
On 2nd August, whilst working from home and caffeinated up to the eyeballs on two coffees, and probably quadruple the number of green teas (my recently discovered-and-ever-since-put-on-hold life’s passion), I was feeling a little distracted/bored so figured I’d do a pregnancy test, if only to confirm these changes which I suspected were not in my head, were in my head. After following the instructions, I set the stick on the floor, and started putting clothes away. The next time I looked back at the stick (note that I wasn’t stick-watching because of course I wasn’t pregnant), a timer was flashing, which in moments was replaced by ‘1-2 weeks pregnant’. I started to shake. Unlike all these cool women you watch on YouTube or read about, I didn’t ponder on whether to break the news to Rich by gifting him a t-shirt with the slogan ‘baby daddy’, or to greet him home from work with arms outstretched, clutching the urine-soaked test. No that would be far too cool for me. Instead, I called him at work and asked if he was free to chat. After giving him a solid half a second to say ‘ye-‘, since the additional ‘s’ in ‘yes’ would take too long, I requested he look at his text messages. What greeted him? The image below.
Rich’s reaction to this test result, and the subsequent three (I had to be sure!), confirm what a cool man my husband is. Combined, my hysteria and his collected response, we make a semi-cool (or rather hysterical but collected) little team. What’s more, I am grateful everyday, and truly think of our baby boy as a wonderful gift. Although we won’t know why we conceived when we did (I’ve since read that so many factors need to be aligned, that the creation of life seems even more miraculous), I’ve since thought it can only have helped that before we fell pregnant, we were regularly gyming and following a plant-based diet (n.b. this is NOT a vegan plug. Note I said before falling pregnant!). In short, we were probably in the best shape we had been since meeting at 21, which can have only been skin-deep all those years ago, given our penchant for nights out (both), take-outs (both but mainly Rich), Diet Coke (me), and limited exercise (both but mainly me).
Would I have done anything differently? No. Although, I think I’d have had a week-long binge of the softest and smelliest cheeses beforehand, taken folic acid in the preceding months, and not taken a test so early. Nobody needs to prolong the worries of the first trimester!
Left: Us at 22. Right: Me at 27, and 26.5 weeks pregnant. Featured: The everlasting onesie.