‘It’s all getting a bit Angela’s Ashes.” I will never forget my husband’s touching reaction to the news that I was expecting our second child.
“What do you mean?” I asked. “So many children . . . ” he responded, a little dazed, “ . . . such a small house.” (It’s two children. And it’s a three-bed).
While my husband appeared to be in some state of shock, I myself had experienced my own unique form of denial.
My period was late. This is usually a good clue that you are pregnant. One of the better clues in fact. But I had only been back at work from maternity leave a fortnight. I brushed its lateness off as being due to stress. Of course! I must have been more worried about returning to work than I’d realised! A few more days passed with no sign so I decided to confirm the more obvious answer and bought a pregnancy test.
I jumped immediately to the only other conclusion: early menopause. Here I am, a healthy, sexually active 35-year-old who doesn’t use contraception whose period is late. It has to be The Menopause. (I think that’s a musical? I must get tickets. I can bring my Mam. I’ll get all the jokes now.)
The pregnancy test I’d bought was a 2-for-1 job with a second one in the box. So I tested again a few days later. We woke up on our firstborn’s first birthday and before we went in to wake her and say happy birthday, I went to the bathroom and did my morning wee on a stick, replaced the cap and placed it flat on the windowsill.
We woke the baby, full of the joys of it being her first birthday and before we went downstairs, I popped in to check the test and oh my god “Pregnant 1-2 weeks”. No way to misinterpret that.
The next day we have a first birthday party. Well, a Party in the Time of Coronavirus which is four grandparents in the garden having champagne and cake. (Elderflower pressé for me. I don’t even have the excuse of driving because I’m in my own back garden. I’m absolutely not bothered making up something about antibiotics. I say nothing.)
A few neighbours congratulate me (How can they know?!) They obviously clock my confused expression because they add “…for making it through the first year”. Oh yes, of course, thank you, haha.
We decide we’re going to be really laid-back this time. Sure look at us go! We found out by just a regular pregnancy test – not even the super-sensitive early detection ones we were addicted to the last time.
We are so chill.
Chill chill chill.
“I don’t think I’ll go for an early scan this time - what do you think? Sure we’ll just wait till 12 weeks.” “Definitely”, my now laid-back, patient husband agrees.
I take out my phone and book an 8 week scan. We’re going to be so different this time . . .
Part 1: 'This is all getting a bit Angela's Ashes'
Part 2: 'We got bad news at the first baby scan'
Part 3: What's the oldest woman you've delivered a baby to?