From woman to mother: the discovery of that first pregnancy
A trip down memory lane as royal couple announce pregnancy.
Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, who have announced that they are expecting a royal baby. What wonderful news to top off a fantastic Jubilee year!
I wish them all the best and hope the pregnancy runs smoothly. Discovering you’re pregnant is a magical experience and although Kate is reported to be suffering with hyperemesis gravidarum, I am sure they are so excited at the thought of the 2 of them becoming a 3 (or maybe more – who’s taking bets?).
Their announcement took me back to 2008 when I first found out that I was to become a mother for the very first time. Taking the decision to begin a family is a truly momentous step; a decision very easily taken but one that will change your priorities and identity for the rest of your life.
It was July. My birthday. My husband and I had decided earlier that year to start a family and luckily, it happened relatively quickly for us. I didn’t think I would become pregnant so quickly; yes, my period was late but it’s always been about as reliable as a car with sugar in the petrol tank.
It was only when I started feeling extremely sick one week that I thought something might be up. But, truth be told, I thought it was probably mainly down to feeling dehydrated thanks to the mini heat-wave we had been experiencing.
My husband and I went to see a GP before I took a pregnancy test (it makes it sound like something you have to study for, doesn’t it?!) and he told us that there wasn’t likely to be any other explanation other than pregnancy. That was all the impetus we needed.
We headed straight to the chemist and bought a test, opting for a digital one for no other reason than it was the cheapest one on sale. Plus, because it would flash up either ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’, there was no chance that we would read the result incorrectly. Back home, I took the test and thankfully didn’t have to wait long for the result – pregnant!
I couldn’t believe it and the tears of joy started to flow freely. I even wanted to keep the stick as a memento but decided that holding onto a plastic stick smelling of urine would be too gross! Anyway, my child would be the best reminder of the pregnancy.
Things get a little hazy from that point on, encased in a wonderful, rosy nostalgia. I remember calling my parents first – it was my mum’s birthday too – and telling her that she would be a Grandma. I remember the surprise in her voice but also the overwhelming excitedness.
Then we called my in-laws. It’s with a real fondness that I remember telling them and the first response was “are you happy about it?” – they honestly weren’t sure if we were planning on having a family. They were stunned but so excited. My father-in-law was so thrilled he couldn’t speak (and if you knew him, you’d know that never happens!).
Later that week, the pregnancy was confirmed. Even scarier though was that the doctor estimated that I was already 9 weeks gone! How on earth had I become pregnant and not noticed until then? That was when I felt my first pang of guilt. I should have known sooner – did this make me a bad mum? I soon decided it didn’t, I didn’t want to jinx myself this soon!
What I didn’t know then was that momentary twinge of guilt was to stay with me throughout my pregnancy and far beyond. I soon found out that it’s part of being a parent, just as the overwhelming love for your children is.
We managed to keep the pregnancy a secret for a few weeks but not quite until our first ultrasound scan. We were celebrating a friend’s birthday and were paranoid that they all knew because I wasn’t drinking. In reality, when we told them that night, they were surprised and delighted. After that, we decided to make the news more public and did it as you would expect nowadays – we announced our news proudly on Facebook.
From the day I discovered I was pregnant my life changed completely and utterly. I wasn’t aware just how much it had changed, but it had. Irreversibly. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.