You’ll hear it said that unplanned pregnancies are “accidents” perhaps even “mistakes”. The result of two people who didn’t want to fall pregnant, getting pregnant. People who are unprepared for parenthood, maybe they haven’t been together long, perhaps their finances aren’t fantastic. But I am a parent of an “unplanned” child, and an unplanned child most certainly does not mean unwanted.
When I was 17 years old I met my then boyfriend, we were at college together and when it came to university even decided to go to the same one together. Things were fine for a long time but for various reasons after 7 years together in spring 2013 I ended the relationship. I felt like I was back at square one. I was living with my parents, working in a job that I didn’t feel was the right career for me, feeling like I was 17 again. Until I met Joe. In the same year 2013 Joe and I started seeing each other. Sparks flew quickly and we decided to go away on holiday together.
I remember the day after we landed back in England feeling really ill, I had a rotten cold and just felt rough. The next day whilst shopping a feeling suddenly came over me. It’s so strange but suddenly the possibility that I was pregnant popped in to my head. I went straight to Boots and bought a test.
That evening I still hadn’t told Joe about my “feeling”. We had only been together a month and I was worried about his reaction. I decided to creep in to the bathroom and take the test on my own. After all if I wasn’t pregnant then it was worry for nothing. As I peed on that little stick I didn’t let me mind wander to the what if’s and but’s, I just didn’t think at all. I left the test hidden to develop and I walked away.
10 minutes later I plucked up the courage to go and look, in my heart I knew what it would say, but I was scared. As my eyes glanced down and I saw the words “pregnant 3+ weeks” my heart rate went through the roof. I shuved the test in my makeup bag and went back to the kitchen where I was cooking dinner. I carried on as if nothing had happened.
All evening and night I said nothing. I couldn’t find the words I just felt stunned. I needed time to process this information. Not only that but Joe had a job interview the next day and I couldn’t spring something as huge as this on him the night before. I messaged two of my best friends, to be honest I was freaking out. We decided I should go to the doctors the next day. I needed to get my head round everything before I told Joe. That night Joe and I went to sleep and he put his hand round me and on to my tummy. A million thoughts were going through my head.
The next day my friend and I went to the doctors. He referred me to the local midwife team and asked me if I was taking any vitamins! Vitamins!? I didn’t tell him I hadn’t even told the father yet, let alone sorted out getting some Pregnacare!!
That night I went back to the flat and I knew as soon as I got in the door I had to let it all out. “I have something to tell you” Joe looked at me “I’m pregnant.” Stunned silence. He was at the stage I was at about 24hours before. We both needed some time to process this massive change in our lives. We had gone from two people who barely new each other, to expecting a child and on our way to becoming parents. Then the 12 week scan came.
We arrived at the hospital like two rabbits caught in headlights. I know it sounds strange but until that scan I was still not fully convinced I even was pregnant! I was feeling all the symptoms but still, until you see it it’s hard to believe it’s real. We were eventually called in and I lay on the bed.
The woman doing the ultrasounds wasn’t very smiley or chatty, but it was probably a good thing as we were both quiet ourselves. Then the cold jelly was put on my tummy, as she moved the wand around and we saw our baby for the first time, it hit me like a tonne of bricks. Love. I looked over at Joe and I could see it in him too. Our baby that may not have been planned, but was already so loved. And most definitely wanted. It may sound cliche but before I met Joe I felt lost, becoming a mother has made me feel for the first time in my life like I know who I am.
They say bringing a child in to this world is something you must make sure you’re ready for. To be financially, physically and mentally absolutely prepared for. I completely agree it is best to make sure those things are done first. Being new parents is stressful enough without having money worries or relationship worries on top. But if things are not quite perfect, if nature has other plans, well it might just be the best thing to have ever happened. Joe and I had known each other just a month before our journey in to parenthood began. Last year we got married, with Lily our beautiful flower girl. Life is not always best planned out.
Unplanned does not mean unwanted.