Six days after taking the test, I wandered off to see the doctor and await him to confirm the news.
‘I’m pregnant!’ said I.
‘Congratulations!’ he replied.
Errrrm – is that it? There followed a conversation about dates and hospitals and he allayed my angst that the week before, myself, H and some friends had gone out boozing in Old Street and it had become one of those nights where I took photos of my feet on the dance floor and H nearly got chucked out for doing handstands. Oops. But no harm done to the baby, cue massive sighs of relief from me.
I’m not sure why I was expecting the doctor to confirm what I already knew; I had taken the test, I can read, I knew it to be true. But it just seemed like a situation that needed a medical professional’s validation. I was kicking myself on the way home because we’d just spent the weekend with my family and it would have been fantastic to tell them in person. Instead, I’d had to shiftily try and find out from my mum if my dad had any appointments that afternoon, because I wanted to tell them both together on the phone. That was a wonderful moment, one I’ll never forget.
And in due course, H and I enjoyed so many more wonderful moments telling our nearest and dearest. It was such a special time; with those I was able to tell in person there were hugs and shrieking and lots of ‘Oh my gods!’ and great big beaming smiles from ear to ear. We spent an evening telephoning family and friends and by the end of it my ear was hot from the phone and I looked like I’d slept with a hanger in my mouth. We received so many congratulatory texts; it was so nice to finally share what we’d been keeping to ourselves for twelve long weeks of feeling sick 24/7 and constantly checking the size visualizer on my pregnancy app. To this day, I’m glad I waited to scroll down to the final weeks, because reading ‘This week your baby is the size of a watermelon’ really made my eyes water.
And so as the weeks went on I bloomed and grew (‘Edelweiss, Edelweiss . . . .’), at least, I hope I bloomed, I definitely grew, and it occurred to me that we would have to take the same care in sharing the news about the baby’s arrival as we did with the pregnancy. It had been important to us to use good old-fashioned communication – face to face and by telephone, before using social media, and we felt strongly that our close family and dear friends should hear about the birth in the same way. It’s a very personal choice and that was simply how we wanted to do it.
Being the pedantic copywriter that I am, I wrote and rewrote a birth announcement (to be sent by teletext) in my head a thousand times. What a geek! And I was so excited when I started drafting it on my iPhone notepad; two versions, one for a boy, one for a girl with ‘XX’s’ filling in the gaps of the unknown. I knew that post labour I wouldn’t be in any fit state to focus on spelling and grammar, which is anathema to me but even I had to draw a line somewhere. Once the telephone calls to parents and siblings had been made – again, utterly unforgettable and priceless moments – H and I pressed ‘send’ on the happiest text messages we’ve ever had the fortune to, erm, send.
Our family and friends were so incredibly generous in their reactions and responses. Not just the text message replies, but the wave of lovely cards and gorgeous gifts that kept coming for days, weeks and even months after Zee’s arrival. We have been overwhelmed with good wishes and love and I felt really moved when I took down all of his cards today. He is one very lucky and loved little boy. One day I’ll show him his beautiful collection of cards. Some things should be treasured forever.