So there we were, it was August 2015 and I had just found out that I was 15 weeks and 6 days pregnant, due on Valentines Day 2016. Parents were informed and were starting to be helpful and supportive.
I had to move out of my shared house and somewhere on my own, in a better area. I had to tell work that I was expecting. I had to tell my friends. I had a lot of changes to make. There was also the whole ‘how do I tell the father’ thing because he had disappeared off the face of the earth since getting back together with his ex.
I phoned up to find out about getting a midwife and was given an appointment quite quickly. I had so much running through my mind; I hadn’t taken any iron supplements or whatever it was you were meant to take in the first trimester. I had missed the first trimester altogether so no 12 week scan. When could I find out if baby was really ok? What if I had poisoned it somehow and it was developing wrong?
I ended up booking one of those private scans at around 17 weeks – so I could see the baby was the right size and due to the number of weeks I was, I was also going to find out the sex! It was so much to take in.
A couple of weeks went by, it started to sink in and my whole outlook on life had already shifted. I had booked loads of viewings to flats and houses in various areas. I had told work and they were amazingly supportive.
Then one afternoon, I was walking through town on my way to get my eyebrows waxed, wondering if I should try and contact baby daddy at all, and I looked up and saw him walking towards me.
I hadn’t seen him since we broke up so was completely winded at first then when he saw me and came towards me to say hello, I thought I would throw up right there on his shoes.
It didn’t go as I had planned, I kind of just blurted it out to him. He staggered backwards, gave me an awkward hug and started panicking about what she would do when she found out. I closed my eyes and realised that this was all he cared about, what a fool he was, what I fool I was, and it was official. I was totally alone in this.
I told him that I was having a scan in a couple of days and would be finding out the sex of our baby. He went a bit grey and asked me for my phone number (she had made him change his phone and delete all his numbers when they got back together so that he couldn’t contact me). He said he would ring me on the day of the scan.
I went off to get my eyebrows waxed, feeling numb and sad but so relieved that he now knew.
The day of the scan arrived and I was truthfully so excited. I couldn’t wait to see the baby on the screen, find out if it was a he or a she (I hated referring to him as ‘it’). My parents came with me, for moral support. I had picked out a girl’s name already because for some reason I was sure it was a girl. I saw myself with a little girl, who looked just like me. A little sidekick. I had thought a girl would be easier because boys need their dads so much, and this poor baby sadly would not have a dad at home or even much involved in its life. I hoped for a girl.
When I was told ‘it’s a boy’, I was surprised. But as that sunk in, I began to feel very happy about it. Boys love their mummies. And besides – dealing with a teenage girl? Nope. I remember being one and I was a bitch.
This was great news indeed. A little boy! My phone rang as we were leaving the scan place, and I knew it was him. I told my parents to go on ahead to the car, and I answered.
I told him I was having a boy. He said ‘fuck sake. He’s going to look just like me. There’s no hiding this.’ I hung up. Again, he was more concerned with how much trouble he would get in with her – there was no other emotion he shared with me. I couldn’t bear it so I hung up. I wanted to enjoy my news privately, without his reality dampening it in any way.
I didn’t mention his reaction to my parents, and they didn’t ask. We drove home in relative silence.
The weeks went on, and my belly started to swell. My life was moving on, I had found a lovely little house just outside of the city in a lovely neighbourhood. It was a one bedroom which was fine, as I found it hard to see beyond the newborn stage and this house was the perfect size for just me and a baby. I planned to breastfeed and wanted him near me during the night.
I read book after book about pregnancy, childbirth, caring for a newborn, breastfeeding, sleep patterns, etc I couldn’t get enough of information. It was almost like I had a huge exam looming and I needed to study and cram as much as I could in those short months. I downloaded baby apps so I could track progress and find out what was happening inside me with each passing week. It was so interesting to me. I thought about this baby morning noon and night.
I had dropped off the social radar and a few drinking buddies stopped phoning once they found out I was having a baby. I was no longer of interest to them because I wasn’t going out and wouldn’t be for a long long time.
My close friends were really excited for me and told me I would be an amazing mum. I wondered why they thought this as I was never openly fond of children, though I did love cuddling babies. I found children noisy and in the way. Ah my pre-baby self was such an arsehole.
I attended my midwife appointments with excitement, anxious to know that everything was going smoothly. I got to listen to my baby’s heartbeat which filled me with emotions that I still feel to this day when I look back on that time.
It was the dawn of a new day, the start of this incredible adventure. Yes it was scary and yes it was unplanned but I was so excited that it was happening, I didn’t dwell on the sadness of doing it all alone. I occasionally wondered what it would be like to have the father of my child by my side, touching my growing belly and feeling as excited for the future as I was. But it wasn’t to be that way, so I just got on with it.
When I was about 5.5 months, I got a call from baby daddy telling me that he’d told her I was pregnant and she’d thrown him out. He went to stay with his sister (who was really happy I was pregnant, we’d got on very well when I’d met her earlier that year) and for the next few weeks, he was around a fair bit. Nothing ever happened between us again, it was too complicated. He came over from time to time with snacks, listened to me rambling on about baby development and my plans for a natural hippy childbirth. He gave me anecdotes about when his children were in the belly, and how later on when they moved you could see them poking their limbs through her stomach. He told me about both their births, their weight and what it was like, those first few weeks. He said that he wanted to be at the birth. And would help out in any way I wanted.
I moved into my new house. He helped me pick up my new sofa. Gave me a hand with various bits and pieces.
I started to feel like everything would be ok. We could be mates and co-parent the little human we made. Right?
During this time, I received a string of nasty messages from the ex, blaming me for ruining their relationship. I knew this was bullshit, but the messages were hurtful nonetheless. So much drama surrounding my little boy’s existence. I felt awful for him. and so guilty.
Some time later, he told me that the ex had asked him to meet her, ‘to have a talk’. I encouraged him to go and hear her out and hopefully something good would come of it.
She asked him for the sake of their family, to move back in but to cut all ties with me.
He did as he was told, too afraid to lose access to his children.
I didn’t hear from him again, until the day I went into labour. I still maintain that the shock of him contacting me after 4 months of silence made me go into labour at 41 weeks.
It’s safe to say my pregnancy was fraught with emotional turbulence but I admit I still look back on that time fondly. I nested in my little house, started kitting it out ready for the baby. I lay on the sofa with my cat, watching Netflix, and eating whatever I wanted. I read books and studied Babycentre pages, I had candlelit baths every night, slept like my life depended on it and watched my body change every day with excitement.
I was having a baby. I wouldn’t be alone anymore, or ever again.