James and I had planned getting pregnant in a fairly pragmatic fashion. I do like a clear plan, contingency plans, lists and check boxes. The plan was simple, have a great big holiday before having a baby. So that’s what we did. I have a love of cold places, wildlife and mountains and after becoming addicted to the TV show ‘The Last Alaskans’ I was set on going there to explore. Thank god for the NHS always having overtime available because without that I’d never have saved enough to go, it’s pretty expensive over there as its only open May to September. They have to make their money so it stands to reason that it’s pricey. Also, where else can you take a tiny aeroplane and fly 100 miles into the wilderness and spend a day watching bears with incredible bear experts..?! It was truly the trip of a lifetime and I get giddy thinking about making our return trip, whenever that may be. So the plan was set, all my friends and family knew of said plan and off we went to Alaska for 3 weeks.

Can you imagine the confusion I felt when on return from this fascinating trip, I learn that my sister in law is pregnant. Of course I was happy for my brother and his partner, but still I felt  that my thunder had effectively been stolen.  I was supposed to be getting pregnant, that was supposed to be my big news.   A few weeks later I noticed my big sister (and mother of my niece and nephew) looked awful. I mean she looked like a ghost, and I know my sister. Straight away I said ‘you’re pregnant’. She denied it at first but she’s about as good a liar as I am at hiding my true feelings. I called bullshit and she confessed, stating she felt bad as she knew we were trying……I didn’t say so, but I thought, good, you should feel bad!  This was supposed to be MY thing!!!  Well, unbeknownst to her, I was also pregnant but I had no plans to tell a soul until that 12 week scan.

I hadn’t realised I was pregnant, not until James said over dinner one night, ‘it sounds to me like you’re pregnant’. I went and did a test right away and the result was one of those inconclusive ones, so I assumed it was negative and carried on with my evening. We had been officially ‘trying’ for 3 months. I had a period/ovulation tracking app, only a free one but it did the job. I thought I knew roughly when I was ovulating and had started to actually tune into my body for the first time ever. The next morning I did another pregnancy test, just to make sure as I was vaping and I did enjoy a glass of wine in the evenings. I was on a late shift that day. The test came up positive. POSITIVE! I took a picture of it straight away and sent it to Fluff and then ran downstairs to James. I had all these plans in my head of how I would tell him I was pregnant, but when it happened I just legged it to him and plonked the test down next to his bowl of granola. He is a man of routine, every morning he has his bowl of cereal, orange juice and expresso, and this day was no different. He looked at the test, looked at me and said ‘oh…..’ That was it. He wasn’t surprised, I had been moaning about the shower being too powerful and hurting my nipples for the past week and that my period hadn’t arrived that month. James is literally captain cool. I have never seen him panic. Not even when all this stuff happened, he never panicked. He is a calm and measured man. He is patient, kind and can be objective, even in the face of the most traumatic event in his life, he was the calm in my storm. My stable base, my rock, but I’ll get into this in the coming chapters.

Back to my thunder being stolen and to add another touch of salt in my ‘thunder stolen’ wound, my sister’s baby was due 4 days before mine. I mean come on!!! I was so desperate to have this baby and have him/her be the centre stage as the new baby in the family. And now my baby has to share the limelight with not just one, but TWO other babies. I’m being honest, as I always am, I was gutted. I felt I had done everything right. I’d sorted my career, did extra training to ensure I’d be employable in years to come, I’d worked like a slave on those god awful wards so that I could buy a little house and be financially secure. And these two just come along and big fat steal my thunder!

Eventually, with a lot of reassurance from my gorgeous pals and James, I came to realise that no one else mattered, that our baby would be centre stage and have their limelight because they were going to be our first baby. Our little miracle that we could spoil rotten if we so wished. And I knew that James’s mum would shower our baby with love and affection and our baby would always feel so very loved and adored, she’s just that kind of woman. Like a down to earth version of the queen, a classy woman that understands the world. The sort of woman you’d all want as a grandmother I expect. She’s thoughtful and caring and funny and a great shopping companion!  

So, Alaska is done and everyone is pregnant (big eye roll), just wonderful……

This picture is my sister-in-law on the left, then my big sister and then me.  I was about 26 weeks here so my sister was about the same.  My sister-in-law was almost ready to pop.