To be honest, I’d never really thought that much about babies before.
So many people around me have chosen different paths through life. Some have always wanted children so from the moment they could, they did. Some decided to get married and have their first few years baby-free and enjoy having money for a while longer instead, but I also have friends who if you ask if they’ll ever have kids, look at you with this scrunched up glare of disgust as if you’d just pissed on their face.
I suppose I always thought I’d be a Mum at some point. Growing up, my Mum. and Dad had always talked about becoming Grandparents one day, it just felt the norm. However it’s absolutely no secret that I wasn’t first in line when someone was handing out maternal instinct. If you pass a baby to me, I will hold it uncomfortably at arms length until you take it back.
We’d had the conversation about children before getting married and I knew James wanted to be a Dad. We thought it was best to get our preferences out in the open to avoid a discussion one day where our answer to ‘do you want kids’ could potentially be different to each other. So we agreed we’d have a family, but ‘when’ never came up in conversation.
After our honeymoon, I did some reading on preparing to have a baby, more out of curiosity than anything else. I’d read somewhere that it could take a year for the pill to come out of your system if you’ve been taking it for quite a while, so we decided I wouldn’t renew my prescription and we’d just be careful instead until we were ready.
I definitely feel like I should add a disclaimer here – that of course the above statement of it taking a year is not entirely true. I’ve known people who have been actively trying for children for over 18 months and are still going strong, for some people it’s taken years but I also have friends who quit their pill one day and fell pregnant a week or so later!
Life just carried on as normal for us and it wasn’t until a dinner party with friends when that all changed.
We have this tradition where we take turns to host and we eat, drink and watch a really really shit film. It started off as a bit of a joke after I’d told them I’d never seen Team America, but it had somehow caught on and continued ever since.
The only difference on this occasion, was that they now had a little baby boy.
After dinner we sat on the couch ready to watch some terrible movie and they plonked their little boy on James’ knee. He kinda just wobbled about for a while, babbling away and sucking on his finger. I could tell James was enjoying it because he put his beer on the side and had this glowing smile on his face. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel an ovary twitch, but I continued drinking my red wine knowing exactly what conversation would be taking place later that evening.
A few hours later we left and started the walk home. I knew exactly what James was going to say and I’m not sure whether it was the wine talking or not, but after ten minutes we somehow had agreed to start trying for a baby.
I’d gone from chilling with a bottle of wine at a friends house to legs up in the air asking gravity to do us a favour in the space of about 45 minutes. Slight hangover in the morning but surprisingly, I did not regret the decision the next day.
So there we were, Katt and James were trying for a baby.
Now for anyone who knows me pretty well, will know how ridiculously impatient I can be. I’m absolutely one of those people who is like ‘if you want it, go and get it.’ If I’ve decided something, I hate waiting around for it to happen. because life is far too short. If I’m ready to go out, I can’t wait around whilst you faff getting ready. If I decide to paint a wall blue, within ten minutes I’ll be putting dust sheets down and masking off door frames.
Because of this, you can imagine my disappointment when after one month of trying for a baby, the pregnancy test was negative. The first time peeing on that sick was quite surreal really. I’d spent my whole life wanting my next period to come hoping to Thor I wasn’t pregnant, but now everything had changed and I really hoped that I was.
Some of my friends had struggled to get pregnant for various reasons and once they’d seen their doctor about it, they fixed whatever the problem seemed to be and they were now expecting. So even thought I’d only been trying a few months, I decided to get myself checked out. My rationale being that if there was something wrong, wouldn’t it be better to find out and fix it now so it doesn’t end up taking too long?
I booked in with my GP and she asked me how long we’d been trying. I told her it had been nearly a year. I know, I am absolutely terrible but I felt like such a bellend saying ‘well, about 2 months.’ What is a small white lie ey? She referred me for two blood tests and they had to be done on certain days of my cycle, this was to look for specific hormones that made sure everything is doing what it should be. It seemed easy enough.
As we entered month four, I noticed that James was avoiding me more and more. I always tell everyone (and no one has disagreed with me yet!) that when trying for a baby, Monday to Friday becomes merely transactional. If I’ve had a drink on the weekend, you might get something slightly more exotic, but you shouldn’t count on it.
Isn’t it funny that when you first start a relationship, your partner spends every waking hour waiting for that invitation for sex but when you decide to try for a baby, they sit on the driveway after returning home from work, refusing to leave the car because they can see the wife looking through the window tapping the watch and pointing upstairs. Everything becomes about ovulation kits, temperatures, chart mapping – it’s like a military operation.
With us both being under 30 with no previous health conditions, I didn’t expect there to be too many issues however you can imagine my sheer panic when I was sat in work and I received a text from my GP Surgery telling me there was a problem with my recent blood test and I should book an appointment.
Great. I’m probably infertile. That’s it. We can’t have kids.
(Yes, after the previous things that have happened in my life, I won’t lie, I often tend to think the worst!)
When I spoke to my GP, she said I seemed to be missing the hormone that allowed you to ovulate, and the levels were far too low to be able to conceive. She told me I would need to go back for more tests next month.
Why couldn’t everything have just been fine? Why did this have to be difficult?
I told James who didn’t seem overly worried. He was being quite reasonable and didn’t think waiting a few more months would cause any issue and he was right. We’d just started the renovations on our home and we were missing internal walls. We currently had no kitchen or dining room and we were living off a microwave in our living room. So I guess it probably wasn’t the best timing anyway.
A couple of days later I was driving home from work and I’d had a really shitty day. Just one of those days where you get completely miffed off at everyone and everything. I was due on so felt like a puffafish and I was ridiculously agitated because we were just living in constant piles of dust.
Now whenever I feel crap, one of the best things ever is Stan. For those of you who don’t know, Stan is my wonderful 4 year old fox red slash golden Labrador. I had begged James for a dog when we moved out and he means the absolute world to me. Well, whenever I get home from work, he is always really giddy and he runs around with this massive grin on his face. Then he usually grabs a shoe and runs away, making me chase him upstairs. Any shitty day is made better after seeing his little face.
Imagine my sheer disappointment when I opened the front door and he just stood there looking at me. No playing. No running. No shoe thieving. Just stood there.
I rolled my eyes and plonked myself on the couch. Stan wanders in, steps up and collapses down next to me. Within minutes he is snoring away, head on my lap.
I have no idea why, but something triggered me enough to take a pregnancy test. I was due on and had all the cramps, but nothing was going on yet, so why not. I wandered upstairs and found one of those really cheap tests (you get a pack of two for 99p in B&M) and I sat on the loo watching the dye run across the screen.
Well my mood just got worse. I went in a complete hissy fit, snapped the pregnancy test in half, called it a wanker and chucked it across the bathroom windowsill. I was beyond fed up by this point and probably should have just called it a night and gone to bed.
But moments later, I found myself back upstairs.
I picked the pregnancy test up off the windowsill in it’s two pieces and my eyes saw the faintest line, I mean so faint that you had to inspect the test from different angles to actually work out if it was a line or not. My heart started pounding.
I felt like I was getting my hopes up too much, I mean the test couldn’t exactly be that accurate considering it was no longer in one piece. I ran downstairs and necked a glass of vimto before jumping up and down in the attempt to push it to my bladder. I then found a digital test and squeezed out the tiniest pee I had to offer.
I couldn’t sit there watching it whilst it was processing my wee. I tapped my feet up and down, read the contents of my shampoo bottle and tried to hush Stan out of the bathroom who was refusing to move. After five minutes there it was.
Pregnant. 1-2 weeks.
I immediately felt sick and I was shaking. I didn’t know what to do? I’d wanted this so had absolutely no idea why a huge wave of fear crashed over me but I was sat alone in the house with only the dog to talk to!
I quickly rang James. Well, I pranked him as I allowed three rings until I realised I couldn’t share this news with him over the phone whilst he was at work. He did call me back but I made up some bullshit about my day and told him not to be late ‘because I was bored.’ I wanted to tell him. I wanted to tell him so bad!
I couldn’t eat anything, I made a salad but only nibbled at the lettuce. The anxiety in my tummy was horrendous. It was about three hours until he’d get home from work and I just couldn’t do anything that would make time pass any quicker. I must have walked Stan four times that night.
He finally walked through the door and I didn’t even know what to say. So I blurted out ‘don’t ovulate, my arse’ whilst holding the pregnancy test.
(In my GPs defence, she was actually right. It turned out I didn’t have any hormone in my body to support ovulation because it had already been and gone that month. Turns out I didn’t know my cycles so well after all!)
James was absolutely made up.
That night we sat on our couch, in a building site of a house, knowing there was a little baby bean onboard.
We were so ridiculously happy.
To be honest, I’d never really thought that much about babies before.