I can already hear the shouting. The shouts of ‘but how didn’t you know?!’, ‘you must’ve known?!’ and my personal favourite, ‘did you not even have an inkling?!’ My answer, no, no and no. If you haven’t read my Tricky Second Post then you might yet still think of me as Rosie, mummy to George, and newbie blogger, but you’d be wrong – let me introduce myself. My name is Rosie and I’m ‘the one that found out they were pregnant at 30 weeks’.
I try not to divulge this piece of information unless absolutely necessary, and if I do I largely try and laugh it off. ‘Oh I know it’s crazy isn’t it, what a hide and seek champion George is’ *ha ha ha* *sob sob sob*. But in reality finding out I was pregnant at 30 weeks was terrifying, heartbreaking and by far the most testing thing I’ve ever had to face in my life, and I can’t think of a more therapeutic way to rationalise it to myself than to write about it.
In mid-December 2013 it all of a sudden dawned on me. When was my last period? Not THAT long ago, but still TOO long ago to be normal. Cue panic, a dash to Sainsbury’s, and two small blue lines that I could barely see through my tear-filled eyes. At this point in my life I was halfway through my first Semester of my final year at University, having just spent the previous year studying abroad in Toronto, and the summer inter-railing around Europe with my friends. You could say that having a baby at this point wasn’t exactly in my plan.
I managed to get an emergency doctors appointment, and after a quick examination I was told by a rather uninterested doctor that he thought I was around 10 weeks along. Okay, I thought, time for options. My lovely friend who’d come to the appointment with me was then swiftly roped into a 50 mile drive to the nearest BPAS clinic for a consultation. Almost as soon as my options were laid on the table they were again removed. One of the first stages of a BPAS consultation is a scan, a scan which very obviously revealed I was not 10 weeks pregnant as the doctor suggested, but 30 weeks pregnant.
The first 30 weeks of my pregnancy had been skipped entirely in the blink of an eye. If there’s ever been a time in my life when the phrase ‘it felt like being hit by a bus’ couldn’t be more accurate, it was now. I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t process what anyone was saying to me. My friend ushered me back to the car where I cried, for a long time. When the tears were gone I was filled with an astounding numbness. I spent the 4 hour drive home from University in silence and it passed like a flash.
The main emotion I felt for a long time, and still do now in fact, is embarrassment. Just like everyone else, I can’t believe I didn’t know. I hadn’t been in a position where I should have been worried about a possible unplanned pregnancy, I’d been busily seeing the world and trying to finish my degree, there was no mass of symptoms I should have noticed (seriously, I was still wearing my American Apparel disco pants up until I found out, and those bad boys are tight), I just simply had no idea.
(Pics below; first – 12 weeks pregnant, second – 6 months pregnant. Where are you G?)
I’m lucky that I have an amazing support network who were immediately on board, hurriedly buying baby grows and blankets whilst assembling cribs and prams. My boyfriend, family and friends were amazing. There is no way I’d have held it together without them. My best friend even managed to squeeze in a baby shower for me during the short amount of pregnancy I had left.
A lot of people have said things to me like ‘well at least you missed out on 30 weeks of worrying’, and ‘at least you don’t have to wait 9 months to meet him now’, these assurances are not helpful. There is 30 weeks of George’s life where I didn’t know him, where I couldn’t love him or look after him, and that is time that I can never have back. As hard as it was for me to come to terms with the realities of a 10 week pregnancy, one of the hardest things was knowing he was there all that time and he was essentially alone. I never really got to experience being a happy, glowing pregnant woman, I barely had a bump I could show off, and while I hope I’ll get to experience that someday with another child, I’ll never get to have that experience with George.
So that’s my story. It’s a weird one, probably more often seen on the pages of cheap coffee table magazines, but it’s part of who I am, and despite the upset it initially caused I now have a beautiful, healthy and loving little boy who will forever be known as the Hide and Seek Champion of the World.