Amelie

I thought I was having a boy.

For no good reason, my entire pregnancy I thought I was going to have a little boy. It was just a feeling I had, based on nothing. I didn't mind what we had, but I thought for sure it was a boy – except when I was struck by uncertainty and wondered if maybe it was a girl.

Intuition has never been my strong point.

At the beginning of October, Amelie Matilda was born, after a relatively quick and brutally painful labour. At least it was quick. I couldn't have done that for much longer. As it was, I tried to outsource the duty of giving birth halfway through the labour, but was obviously unsuccessful. 

They held her up to me, my tiny brand new baby, and asked me if I wanted to tell H1 what we had. I peered through exhausted drugged-up eyes, trying to discern for myself what to say. The silence stretched on until I said, very confused: "A girl?"

It was a question. I didn't trust my eyes. The thought crossed my mind that they shouldn't trust someone who's exhausted and drugged with such responsibility.

H1 was crying. Tearfully, he confirmed it for me. We had a girl. I lay on the bed, wondering why I wasn't crying and whether I should be. Was something wrong with me?

Then the reality of what had just happened hit and as they put her on my chest, I was overtaken by a feeling of the most intense love I have ever felt. It attacked me from all sides, choking me and rendering my limbs and thoughts useless. It was love for her and for H1, love for my own mother and father, love for myself. It was love scary in its strength, love that was and is truly awesome, in the full sense of the word.

Now, I'm amazed that I could have ever thought I was having a boy – because of course it was a girl, of course it was Amelie. There was nobody else it could be.

Six surprising things about being pregnant

Being pregnant has changed a few things for me, but not as many as I would have perhaps anticipated. I'm still very much myself in every way, except in yoga class, of all places. Rather surprised by this yoga transition, I decided to find out what other pregnant women found most surprising...

  • How weak it makes you feel, and how lazy as well! - Laura
  • How horribly sick I've been, even though I was in great shape when I conceived. - Chelsea
  • How much I loved my pregnant body, stretch marks and all! - Samantha
  • How difficult getting pregnant actually was. It made me appreciate how special and precious actually being pregnant and giving birth is. - Rebecca
  • The guilt. - Kelly

And finally, for me...

  • How I suddenly became an ideal yoga student, actually doing what the instructor said and focusing on my own body and breath. I used to always be the one comparing myself to others and pushing myself if I saw anyone was doing something 'better' than me. Pregnancy has ended that*!

*For now.

How I felt the day I learnt I was pregnant

Total, absolute disbelief. H1 and I had both had pretty rubbish days leading up to that positive pregnancy test. It was a Friday, and we both headed out separately for a quick after-work drink with our colleagues. I was planning on one or two drinks, meeting H1 at home, then heading down to our favourite local pub for a debrief over a glass of wine before returning to the apartment to make dinner.

Near the bottom of my first beer I got a very strong foreboding feeling. A 'you shouldn't be drinking this' feeling such as I've never felt before. I'm not a very intuitive person, so you can imagine how weird this felt to me. Nevertheless, I made my next drink alcohol-free and left earlier than planned, very keen all of a sudden to be home with the pregnancy test I knew was in the bathroom cupboard.

When you've been trying for as long as H1 and I had been, you get pretty used to the disappointment that comes along with every negative test, and I absolutely expected this to be no different. Obviously, it was, however. So different I didn't even know what to say to H1, who walked into the apartment about four seconds after I walked into the bathroom. I left him out there by himself for a good five or six minutes, then asked him to join me in the bathroom. (This isn't normal behaviour, I should stress).

We stared, then we hugged, then I cried a little bit, but not out of joy, just total confusion. On the dining table was a letter from the IVF clinic, inviting us in for an orientation appointment before we started treatment. Suddenly, nothing added up.

So we did something that did make sense to us on a Friday night, and went to the pub. H1 had a beer, and I had water, and we talked and talked and talked.

H1 kept asking me if I was sure it wasn't a false positive, and I kept explaining they didn't exist except in a handful of highly unusual cases. Then doubting myself and googling. Then showing him my evidence, which would satisfy both of us for about 20 minutes before we felt the need to do it all again.

Other than that, I don't really remember what we talked about. Nothing too tangible or real. Nothing that in any way, shape or form resembled a decision about how we were going to tackle what came next. Just...stuff, really. That's about it. A pregnancy is about nine months long. We had time.