It is one of the biggest decisions of your life to decide to start a family with someone, but I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that.
Once you've decided to try for a baby, it's a decision you can't go back on. It can't be something you want to do over the weekend, you make that special baby love Sunday night and come Monday morning think maybe you aren't ready - you can't take back what may or may not already be happening inside you. Luke and I had been talking about having a baby since we knew we were serious about each other and decided to try for a baby when we had just celebrated our one year anniversary. That may seem fast to some but we had been living with each other since date number 2 (yes, I stayed over and never left - sorry Luke) so in our eyes, we knew we were ready.
If you're reading this and thinking you might be ready, but you're worried about what others think, or it 'seems' too soon - you know your relationship better than anybody else so if you think you're ready don't let someone else's opinions be the decision maker, trust your instincts and your relationship but know that you can't change your mind if you start trying.
We decided we were ready and as I stopped taking the pill mid-cycle, I had a bleed for a week (TMI) which allowed us to let the decision settle. And then there was no turning back!
I stopped drinking for good and said goodbye to nights out at the end of March and come April we started trying. I feel really good about having been able to take care of my body and throughout pregnancy not having any guilt wondering if having that Vodka Lemonade during week 5 had any effect on the baby - I knew I was doing everything in my power to have the healthiest baby possible. It also meant I was able to take pregnancy multivitamins from the get go!
I had had period pains but no period for a week so I knew I was either pregnant or had eaten some seriously dodgy food - so while picking up some BBQ food at Tescos on a Saturday morning, I anxiously picked up a pregnancy test.
I may not speak for everyone when I say this (and by no means do I judge or think badly of anyone that has had an unplanned pregnancy) but, I wanted to wear a giant sandwich board saying 'I PLANNED MY BABY'. I've always cared too much what other people think which is most likely me just being self centred, as I'm sure no one in Tesco gave a second thought to me buying a pregnancy test - but I dreaded getting to the check out and getting a judgemental look from an elderly cashier or God forbid a typical nosey cashier comment.
It made it worse that the pregnancy tests have the security tags on, so as I walked to the doors envisaged the security alarms going off and someone searching my bag to find the test. I could go on about how much I over thought this but you'd think I'm insane - needless to say, no one said anything, no alarms went off and I walked out the shop as simply as if I'd bought a Tesco meal deal.
Throughout my pregnancy I was definitely conscious of the fact I looked young - especially on the days I was a scruffy mess and anticipated comments or looks about being a 'teenager in trouble' despite being a 23 year old University Graduate. I would even get anxiety about shopping in Mothercare before I even had a bump wondering if people were wondering what I was doing in there - that I didn't belong. Honestly, the way my mind works drives me crazy sometimes!
I took the test in the bathroom by myself while Luke was sat in the lounge watching TV as I said to myself, I won't tell him I'm taking a test just incase it's negative, it will be 4 minutes of silence followed by an anti-climactic ending. I'd never taken a pregnancy test before as I had been on the Implant for 3 years so never had to worry about getting pregnant. In my mind, after watching countless movies and TV shows where the woman sits on the bed with her four minute timer waiting for the two blue lines, I was expecting this to be a snoozefest while I waited for the test to show positive/negative. I pee'd on the stick and BOOM two blue lines. I remember thinking 'What? Where's my four minutes to prepare myself!! I haven't even wiped yet!' and there it was, with my knickers round my ankles, a positive pregnancy test. A POSITIVE PREGNANCY TEST! I could not believe it, we had only been trying four weeks. I walked down the hallway to tell Luke, and as I got to the kitchen - sprinted back to the bathroom. I was still in shock, I had to compose myself. I did this three times!!! I just couldn't believe it. Looking back now I wish I had kept it to myself and told Luke in a really cool way - but instead I just (finally!) walked into the lounge, passed him the test (there's a plastic cap to put over the bit you pee on so you can enjoy your news hygienically) and in doing so realised my hand was shaking. He looked at me and said, 'What does two lines mean?' and I said, 'Two lines means baby!' We couldn't believe it, we had friends coming round in less than an hour for a BBQ and we had just found out the biggest news of our lives!
I've always thought, when I see people, that are in a relationship, hug after receiving big news - 'why are you hugging, you're together, you would kiss surely?' But after telling Luke our news, we both had the biggest hug as you just want to be so tightly embraced with that person, that kissing just doesnt cut it!
I am so glad that I found the energy to write a diary entry of the day I found out I was pregnant. The diary only has maybe 10 pages of entries as I got bored and forgot about it but I am so glad I got down those initial thoughts as they are so precious to look back on. I'll never forget how I felt, but to have it handwritten is something so special as I know when I was writing it I had no idea what was to come. It's such an innocent piece of text full of anticipation and hope. I love reading it back as it's so crazy to think what has happened since that day!
We then had everyone over and it was the most exciting thing having our secret news that only he and I knew as we made looks at each other all day knowing something no one else did! There was a big pitcher of Pimms on the table and so as not to blow my cover, I made an excuse to get something from the kitchen - replaced my glass with blackcurrant squash and popped my floating strawberries back in! They didn't suspect a thing.
I was pregnant. PREGNANT! It takes a long time to kick in, a very long time. I don't think it kicked in until I was actually having Oscar delivered and heard him cry for the first time. Maybe not even then. It is the most surreal experience. But amazing and the best thing I have ever done at the same time.
It really grounds you and I feel so, so lucky that I have only ever taken a pregnancy test in the hope of being pregnant and that the first result was exactly what I was hoping for. My heart aches for anyone trying for a baby that reads negative after negative results after months or years of trying. Or someone panic buying a pregnancy test because their period is late and they aren't in a relationship and babies' aren't even on their radar and getting a positive result. I have had a faultless three year experience with the contraceptive implant and came off only to take the pill for a few months and retain full fertility.
I hope that my journey can bring hope to those with the dream of starting a family and a warning to those being careless with their contraception of how simple it can be to make a baby!