One thing that’s super crazy which I’ve been noticing lately is that a lot of girls, my age, that I went to school with are now expecting and/or engaged. It’s so strange to think that people who you were friends with or saw every day in your classes as a teenager, is now about to start a family of their own…all when they’re just 20/21 years old. I guess part of the reason why it seems so strange is because you remember them a certain way and a different age, and you don’t really think about the fact that they have majorly changed since then.
Upon finding out that a lot of them are either expecting, engaged or have already given birth, I felt a little twinge of jealously inside me. Envious that they are already at the stage when they are taking their relationship to the next step (engagement) or are starting a family of their own (pregnancy). Being that these are all things that I want in life, I’m not going to lie when I say I did feel envious when I saw that those amazing life-changing events are already happening for them, but not yet for me.
So a couple of weeks ago, something really crazy happened. I’m not going to go through the ins and outs of it all, but in short, I ended up having to take a pregnancy test because I suspected that there was a possibility that I was pregnant. It was totally unexpected and it’s not like I was purposely trying to make it happen or anything…so when a certain visitor around that-time-of-the-month didn’t arrive, I took the initiative to take a test, as surprised as I was at having to do such a thing. I’m sure you can imagine how incredibly nervous I was, being that I’ve never had to do this before and it’s not like I was purposely trying to get pregnant or anything.
I don’t want to get into all the details as they are obviously quite personal but basically there was a few weeks when I suspected that there was a chance I was pregnant, so ultimately I had this on my mind for a wee while and gave it some thought. At first the thought of it made me feel a little freaked out, but after that initial feeling passed I started to feel excited and hopeful. I spent a lot of time thinking about all the different aspects of bringing a baby into this world that is my own and to have created it together. I kept thinking the whole time that it all sounded really special, amazing, positive and life-changing. I kept thinking about how special it would be to be a mother and to be able to care for a baby that it my own, to love it unconditionally and to nurture it. I thought about both the upsides and downsides, of course, but kept coming back to the thought of how special the whole experience would be.
Obviously I didn’t know if I was pregnant or not at this point, but I was reading about what the baby looks like at each stage of the growing process, starting from Week 1 of pregnancy right through to the end, finding it super interesting to find out about and pretty amazing that all of that takes places in your body the whole time, while you’re sleeping, eating and going about your daily life! I was also reading about the symptoms at each stage and am quite familiar with these now that I’ve spent so much time reading up on it! Part of the reason why I did this was because I had been feeling mild cramps (this was just one of the symptoms that I had noticed) in several consecutive days but it was not followed by any bleeding, as per usual (sorry if that’s TMI but I just want to be honest so the story makes sense and follows events as they happened!).
I was also trying to be realistic and think about money. I’ve recently resigned from my job (wasn’t working out for me anymore), and obviously there’s only so much money in the bank at the end of the day. I know there’s a very good reason why people always say that children and babies are expensive – because it’s true! I did some research and was quite shocked at just how much makes the average baby budget, but I guess once you have a baby it’s easy to see where you need to spend your money as there’s plenty of basics, necessities and essentials that you simply can’t do without.
So anyway, I was busy thinking about all this (and yes, there is a lot to think about, even before you have your pregnancy confirmed), and eventually decided that I had waited long enough for it to be an appropriate and accurate time to take the test. You have to wait 3-5 minutes for the result to pop up on the window, which isn’t a long time at all, yet I was so nervous. I was pacing around the house trying to do small little jobs that would fill in a few minutes. No joke, I was straightening up the dining room chairs, putting things away and opening curtains as it was in the morning. Partly this was because of my perfectionist ways, but mainly due to nervousness. I timed 3 minutes on my phone and nervously poked my head around the door of the bathroom, where the test lay on the bench, peering across at it like it was some kind of dangerous bomb. My heart was racing in my chest and I had to remind myself to take deep breaths before I could bring myself to actually go in and look at the test.
It was negative, and my heart sunk. I can’t tell you how disappointed I felt, and I knew it wasn’t a false negative because it had been many weeks by this point and I knew enough about it to know it was an accurate result. I had just spent the last few weeks thinking about this on-and-off on a daily basis, mulling it over and considering all the different aspects of pregnancy, giving birth and bringing a baby of my own into this world. I had so much excitement and hope which slowly disappeared upon holding the test in my hand, looking down at the single line inside the window indicating I wasn’t pregnant. The funny thing is, I didn’t think I would feel so disappointed about this result at my current age. I know many people would have been super relieved that it was negative, and they could then put that experience behind them and move on knowing that it was nothing more than a false alarm. But for me, I didn’t realise how much I wanted to have a baby at this time in my life until I was in a situation when it could have been my reality and a real possibility.
I have always wanted to have a family of my own, to get married and have kids. That has always been in my plans, but what wasn’t in my plans was for it to happen at 21. That was the one part of the plan that I didn’t plan for, if that makes sense. Now you would think that, because it wasn’t in my plans to have a baby at this age, that I would not want to be pregnant and feel relieved at seeing it was a negative test. But the truth is, I couldn’t be further from feeling relieved. Like I said, I felt very disappointed as I had been secretly so hopeful of getting a positive result and it all happening for me, even at an age I didn’t expect or plan for. I remember when I was really young, probably 10 or so, I told my mum that I would never have an abortion. I had always thought that personally I could just never do that.
Even if I had been pregnant, I wouldn’t have thought it was a mistake to have this baby just because it wasn’t in my original plans or my thinking from years ago. It would have been such a pleasant surprise and one which I would have loved every minute of, and known that there is a reason why this was happening to me. I wouldn’t have loved that baby any less just because it happened to me earlier than I had anticipated in life. It wouldn’t have made a difference really, because it would have meant so much to me regardless of how or when it happened in life. In the time that I was waiting to know if it was truly happening or not, I felt like my life could have been about to change in the most positive, beautiful way possible and you have no idea how genuinely excited I was for that, how hopeful I was at the thought of that being my reality from that point onwards.
Even though this was a few weeks ago now, I still find myself thinking about it a lot, as now more than ever I know that having a baby is something that I really, really want and can hopefully have. Hopefully one day I’ll see two little lines on the test. Hopefully one day it happens for me, even if not this time.
Lucy Rebecca x