Now, first things first, I cannot claim to write these pregnancy posts with any kind of authority apart from my own experience. This is my first ever pregnancy, which will hopefully result in my first ever child (!) so this whole experience has been new to me, not knowing what to expect, or what is lurking around the corner. Grab a cuppa, because this bad boy is going to be a long post.
This was a planned pregnancy, and I had heard that it was still considered normal to have been trying for up to a year before conceiving. In the end, it took us less than six months, with only really three months of actually upping my game and tracking everything. I had fallen down the rabbit hole a little bit, in terms of the dreaded Dr Google, also having subscribed to about 10 million ‘Mummy Vlogger’ Youtube channels and watching pregnancy blogs like a crazy person. I used the Ovia fertility app to track my cycle, something I’d never actually bothered to do before! I bought some ovulation tests as well, but I never seemed to get a positive test and then forgot about them! I tracked using my period dates and by observing my, *ahem*, cervical mucus. Pregnancy is NOT glamorous, something I am now reminded of daily!
I was conscious that tracking things too actively might make the whole process a little too scientific and suck out some of the joy from this period of my life, and while to a certain extent I did approach it methodically, I also made a concerted effort to chill out to the max. I had no reason to think that we wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally, so I just tried to enjoy it all – the anticipation can be really exciting!
Given that I was tracking my cycle quite closely for the last couple of months, we did find out I was pregnant quite early – at about 4 weeks. I’d had a few months where I’d checked a few times and been disappointed, but for some reason, on the day I tested I woke with a start thinking that I should test. It was technically one day before my trusty app said I should test, but I woke up with the thought of ‘It’s going to be negative, but I’m just going to test anyway’. Very odd. It was a Friday morning and I was going up to London for a course, so I remember I was out of sorts, not in my usual morning routine. I got out of bed and slipped past the still-snoozing Mr H before heading downstairs to the bathroom. I took the test (I had bought about 100 cheapie tests from eBay – not the digital ones initially), and put it on the windowsill while I idly played on my phone. As an aside, my window sill is directly above our radiator so can get quite warm, so I don’t know if this affected the test, by making it appear more quickly or stronger? They do say that heat can speed up chemical reactions…who knows? I looked at the test, and had the thought ‘Negative again’ before doing a Looney Tunes style double take and seeing the faintest line on the test!
So I did what any normal person would do, and that is take a photo and sent it to my sister with words to the effect of ‘DOTH MY EYES DECEIVE ME?’ or more likely ‘Am I being hysterical or is there a faint line there?” To her credit, she was entirely sane about the whole thing and had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. But after a breathless explanation she agreed that there was an ever so faint line on the test.
But what to do about my husband? Shall I wait to tell him, and concoct an elaborate scheme to announce my news? Bugger that, I tore upstairs, prodded him awake and thrust a damp piece of cardboard in his face and whisper screamed “I THINK I’M PREGNANT”, while he blinked furiously.
I spent the rest of the day on my course in a sort of daze, trying to concentrate on addressing gaps in phonics (yawn) but then suddenly remembering that I could actually be pregnant! Such a surreal day. That evening I met Mr H and his brother in London, where we went out for some drinks (awkward!) with a couple of friends. I slipped away to Boots and bought a couple of ClearBlue tests to try the next morning as well. It was so strange, feeling like a naughty teenager buying them, as if the actual teenager on the till would judge me, despite the fact that I’m a married nearly 30-year-old! The packet weighed heavily in my bag that night, always in the back of my mind. My brother in law is some kind of psychic though, as he laughed and asked if I was pregnant when I asked for a tonic water. Cue me trying to laugh it off, but not laugh too much – the perfect amount was required. These are the crazy thoughts that went through my mind that night!
The next morning, and you cannot underestimate how much willpower it took to wait until the next morning, I took a ClearBlue test and it was there in black and white – 2 to 3 weeks pregnant. This meant I’d be considered 4 -5 weeks pregnant as they take the date of your last period into account. Then that was that! I was actually pregnant! We were fertile, and it had worked! It’s hard to really capture the shock and surprise that comes with finding out you’re pregnant for the first time. It’s really delightful, and so incredibly strange.
The next few weeks are a bit of a blur right now, of telling our parents and referrals to the midwife. As I’ve never done anything like this before, and my own Mum experienced it all a long time ago and on the other side of the world, I was completely clueless as to what I was supposed to do! There has definitely been the feeling of imposter syndrome, that I’ve been making it all up and I’m not actually allowed in the club. I’ve subsequently found out that the process varies a lot depending on where you live. I ended up calling my GP, and asking! They don’t need to see you in my area, and you can self-refer to a midwife online, by simply filling in an online form. One the one hand, it was so reassuring that it was no big deal, but on the other hand, this was earth-shattering news in my world, surely there should be some sort of parade? Fan fair? Ticket-tape? Evidently not. About a month later Mr H and were making our way to my booking-in appointment, where we met our lovely midwife Lauren.
All has progressed pretty perfectly so far, although we did have a bit of a scare following one of my blood tests, but I’ll include that story in my first trimester update (hint: it has a happy ending). Thanks to all if you’ve made it this far!