I have been pregnant twice. My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 6 weeks. My second pregnancy has so far been successful. On both occasions the baby was very much planned and I was expecting a positive test, though that didn't prevent me from being surprised, shocked and a little fearful.
As we had agreed to try for a family I had been my usual logical self and had bought a pack of HCG pregnancy tests from Amazon. These were an affordable way for me to quell the constant 'am I pregnant?' anxiety. I was very aware that I was trying to get pregnant, to the point where it affected my everyday thought processes and certainly my attitude towards sex (more about that to follow).
From week three of every cycle I began testing every other day. I knew that the results would be unlikely to be accurate so early before a missed period but I was so concerned with the 'do's and don't s' of being pregnant that I needed to know if I were pregnant as soon as physically possible. I needed to be prepared, despite the anxiety it caused me.
In my first pregnancy I found out very early on at around five days before my period was due. The tests I had bought worked by showing a second pink line if the pregnancy hormone HCG was found in my urine. I knew that for a second line to appear there MUST be HCG in my system so when I got a very faint second line I interpreted it as a positive test. My partner did not, possibly due to his own fears around becoming a dad. He insisted that because the tests were cheap that they must be faulty. Even a second positive test a few days later did not convince him. This was a particularly distressing time for me as I knew I was pregnant but felt very alone and overwhelmed as he did not believe me. The news sunk in for him when I missed my first period and confirmed the pregnancy with a Clear Blue digital test that literally spelt out the word 'PREGNANT'.
Finding out we were pregnant after our miscarriage went the same way. I tested, saw a faint positive line and shared the news with my partner. He debated the validity of the test and the visibility of the line and so we bought a more expensive test and got a positive result that he was happy to accept.
The moment itself wasn't how I imagined it to be. There weren't any tears of joy, jumping on the spot or wild embraces. In actual fact he high-fived me and said 'congratulations you're pregnant'. Not the romanticised version that is portrayed in the media but a fitting moment for us and one we laugh about now. We can look back and laugh at the fact that on both occasions he didn't believe I was pregnant, despite all the evidence!
A Few Things I Learnt On The Day I Found Out I Was Pregnant...
- Even if it's expected and planned you may still feel shocked, emotional and overwhelmed. It is possible to feel absolute joy and sheer terror simultaneously.
- Allow yourself to feel whatever comes to the surface. After our miscarriage I thought I would feel an overwhelming joy at being pregnant again but it was a moment of sadness and mourning for the little life that had been before it. I was happy and overjoyed at the thought of being a mum but in that moment I was reminded of what we had lost and the pain and fear of having to go through something similar again.
- Your partner may not react how you expect them to. Throughout all our discussions about getting pregnant my partner was loving, supportive and made me feel reassured and safe.This changed when we actually got pregnant and I initially felt shocked and let down. I now understand that he was also going through a range of emotions and his distance from me and lack of excitement was due to his own fears and anxieties. I often forget that he has emotions too!