I’ve not blogged for a long time. I haven’t tired of writing regularly, haven’t been sunning myself on a Cornish beach or been working especially long hours. I’ve just been, well, pregnant. And in the time it took me to work out how best to write about it on my blog, something happened…

It all started a few weeks ago. I had a convincing case of PMT – tears, grumps, stamps – nothing short of a holy visitation would have convinced me I was anything other than on the verge of menstruation. I started spotting, as I usually do, and prepared myself for yet another cycle of disappointment.

Then I got dizzy. I have never so much as experienced a swoon but, on my first ever visit to Wimbledon, during a conversation with a woman in a wide brimmed hat and too big sunglasses, things went a bit whizzy round the edges.

Five minutes later I went to the loo and the spotting stopped.

For the next three days the air between DH and I was thick with anticipation as I held off doing any kind of pregnancy test, afraid that my body was playing tricks, not wanting to get our hopes up.

Then, when I was three days overdue and, moreover, exhausted by how awkward it had become between me and DH as we swerved to avoid “getting our hopes up”, I relented.
It was 6am and DH was still asleep. It was sunny and peaceful in the bathroom that day. One minute it was just me and the test. The next, as the window flipped to positive, it was me, the test and our baby.

Hope came in through the front door that morning and with it, plans for the future. Picnics, parks and prams happily replaced pie in the sky trips to America. The news didn’t need any time to sink in. I’d rehearsed this moment for much longer than I care to remember. I knew the script off by heart.

My best friend was the first to hear. We went round to her house and knocked on the door. She flung her arms round me and cried with happiness. Her response was enough to convince us that we’d tell all our nearest and dearest face to face. Both sets of parents were away so we’d have to wait an agonising week to tell them.

Next up was my sister. She also cried, then wondered about how irrevocably a baby was going to change all our lives.

I have no symptoms, I told both my sister and best friend. In fact, I said, I feel uncommonly healthy. My best friend said she’d felt the same and I felt better.

A day later I saw the two friends who’d read at our wedding. They said they had been expecting this news, that they’d sensed it coming. They were delighted and literally “welcomed me to the club” I’d been on the outside of for too long. I told them I had no symptoms, that, in fact, I felt uncommonly healthy. They both said it was a good sign, that I would be lucky with my pregnancy. They said they’d both felt very sick and it was a horrible thing to feel. The last thing I wanted was that, they said. The first thing I wanted was that, I thought.

Four days passed and still I felt nothing – not so much as a twinge or a retch or a yawn. Something was niggling at me. We told DH’s parents. DH’s Dad looked like he was about to cry, DH’s Mum did cry. It was amazing. But shouldn’t my hormones be doubling at an exponential rate by now, shouldn’t I feel at least, a little bit.. tired? Not everyone feels tired, they said, you could be the lucky one who has a perfect pregnancy, they said. God Knows you deserve it, they said.

That night I did another test. The positive result took longer to come up than the first but I was doing the test at night, having drunk lots of water which dilutes hormones doesn’t it? That’ll be it, I said. At that moment the niggling turned to a nagging, like something tugging at my hemline.

That night I was woken up by stomach cramps. I was delighted, the little thing was moving in. Probably just shuffling round the furniture, I thought. And then it seemed it was definitely making itself comfortable – for the next few days I came home and stamped around the house complaining about not wanting to drink lazer treated milk and about wanting to get our disgusting flat professionally cleaned. When I lost my shit about a couple of mismatched socks, DH officially declared me hormonal. Amidst my outrage, I couldn’t have been happier. I had a symptoms.

But I was still feeling addled, still feeling like something was tugging at my hemline. I refused to look down and see what it was.

The time came to tell my parents. The moment I’d rehearsed for years. They cried, but I didn’t. I have no symptoms, I said, I feel uncommonly healthy, I said, as my hemline was tugged even harder. It’s fine, my Mum said, you’ll be like me, you’ll have a very easy pregnancy, I’m sure of it, she said. Whatever had been tugging at my hemline was now kicking at my shins. Not now, I said, just give me a little longer, I said.

Then two days ago I was at a conference in Greenwich when I discovered I was bleeding. I told the organiser I was 5 weeks pregnant and bleeding, that I had to go to A & E. She gripped my hand and told me it was very, very normal. She looked me in the eye and told me it would be fine.

At the hospital I was checked by the GP. My abdomen was fine, he said, bleeding is very common in early pregnancy. I should just go home and rest. At that moment I felt my shins being kicked repeatedly. I’ve been worried that I haven’t had many symptoms in the early weeks, I said. OK, the GP said, I’ll do a test again. Just to make sure. But there won’t be anything to worry about.

He looked at the stick for 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 10 minutes? I couldn’t tell. Time twisted. When did I take the test first time round, the GP asked. Over a week ago, it said I was 1-2 weeks. Why are you asking? I looked down at the floor where my skirts had been tugged and my shins had been kicked to shit.

It’s negative now, he said.

I tried not to look at DH in that moment. When I did it felt like my heart was being ripped out.

Actually, here, the GP said, it’s actually faintly positive but your hormone levels… they are very low. You need to get an early pregnancy scan asap. It could be a very, very early pregnancy or it could be a missed miscarriage, he said.

In the cab on the way to the scanning unit I reached out to DH as his eyes filled with tears.

After an hour waiting in reception, we finally met the little thing that had been growing inside me. We saw it on the screen, attached to my blood supply, sitting inside its sleeping bag. My cervix was closed, there was no further sign of bleeding – these were all positive things but it was too early to tell whether the pregnancy was progressing. It was about five days behind where it should be in terms of its size so I should come back for another scan in a few weeks time, they said.

Don’t you need to check my hormones? I said. The pregnancy test is a faint positive, we agree, they said, but some people’s hormones progress at different rates.
Come back in two weeks, they said.

I can’t wait two weeks, I said to DH. You won’t have to wait two weeks said the voice at my hemline.

Yesterday I was still spotting and, as I sat in my conference, I realised what was about to happen to me. To us. That night DH and I cried.

And cried.

And cried.

And today it began. The cramping and the bleeding and the loss. And inside I screamed at myself, again and again, “I told you so”.

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