A few days previously I had been out on a wild night out (this is ‘wild’ as defined by the New Mother’s Dictionary; two glasses of wine, a pizza, and in bed by 10…) with some of the girls, and I just couldn’t shake the hangover that had followed. Maybe I was coming down with flu; I felt really most peculiar. Horribly sick, and actually quite achy – around my breasts… Surely not. I couldn’t be. No, I really couldn’t be. My husband scarcely has two sperm to rub together, and I have a hostile uterus. (When I was pregnant with the boys and facing premature labour, it acquired an ‘irritable’ label instead. It’s clearly not a very happy part of my anatomy; next time I’m going to order a ‘charming uterus’, or a ‘mildly amusing and quite clever’ one).
Husband called up the stairs to remind me we were due for tea with the elderly neighbours in ten minutes, so I scooped the baby out of his cot and brought him downstairs. “I just need to pop to the loo”. I scrabbled around the bathroom cabinet for the pregnancy test I knew was in there somewhere. When we were lucky enough to fall pregnant through IVF, I became a compulsive pee-sticker; buying in bulk and carrying out test after test. I needed to see a positive result for each of the painful slap-in-the-face negatives I’d seen over the years.
I dutifully wee’d on the stick and stuck it on the side while I dressed, laughing slightly at the absurdity of even considering doing a test when we’d been reluctant carriers of the badge of infertility for so many years. As I glanced at the results window, the lurch in my stomach had nothing to do with the nausea of the past few days. It was impossible. Totally and utterly impossible. My baby was barely seven months old, we’d had sex approximately 2 and a half times (don’t ask) since he came home, and anyway – I couldn’t get pregnant.
“Honey, we really need to go”. Husband called up the stairs and I shoved the test in my pocket, numbly walking across the road with him, the baby cradled in his arm. “There’s just one thing, darling”, I said as we rang the door bell. “I’m pregnant”.