Bachelor anguish you never heard about
Matt and I had talked about having kids plenty of times.
There was no question we wanted to have them in the future. We also wanted to go to the Maldives and stay in one of those obnoxious floating kid-free resorts and have uninterrupted sleep for another couple of years.
We had our two-year plan and our five-year plan figured out, but no plan that entailed a breast pump and life vest under the seat in the unlikely event of an emergency.
So when I found myself alone in Bali, sitting on the loo, looking down at two pink lines - I thought: "HOLY SH*T Laura … this was not the plan. I REPEAT, NOT THE PLAN!"
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I remember telling Matt the news in the car park at Sydney airport. I was sick with a mix of nerves and morning sickness, unsure what his reaction was going to be. I barely got the words out.
"I have something I need to tell you …"
He cut me off with the biggest stupidest grin across his face - "you're pregnant!" he said, combusting into laughter.
Before we had even made the twenty-minute trip home, Matt had already tried calling his mum and sister, overcome with excitement.
It was in that moment I realised, unplanned is NOT synonymous with unwanted.
Sure, it was a little earlier than we expected, but we were so on-board with this curveball baby life had thrown our way. I mean crazier things have happened, right? I met the man of my dreams on a reality TV show for God's sake!
Our ten-week scan was booked. I had downloaded all the obligatory mummy apps that told me what size fruit our baby was, and we had kissed our kid-free Maldives holiday bon voyage.
Then one week out from our first scan, I woke up to find I had been bleeding. At first I didn't pay much attention to it. I had read that some women experience bleeding during pregnancy and dismissed it as those damn wacky hormones. Over the next few days, the bleeding got worse and I had to accept the crushing truth - I was miscarrying.
The week that followed was downright miserable for both of us. It seemed like every time I opened my phone people were announcing their beautiful pregnancies.
All I could think was "why is this happening to us?" I didn't know anyone who had experienced miscarriage before.
I couldn't shake the guilt that maybe I had done something wrong, or worse that there was something wrong with me.
WHY DOESN'T ANYONE TALK ABOUT MISCARRIAGE?
After confiding in a few close friends and my good old pal Google, I realised I wasn't alone at all. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. It didn't make me feel any better, but it left me thinking, how could it be so common and yet so rarely talked about?
We were reeling from everything that had happened in such a short period of time.
This perfect unplanned surprise had turned our lives inside out and upside down. Now it was over. We couldn't just go back to our pre-baby plans, what we wanted had fundamentally changed.
Miscarriage softened me in ways I never expected, but most of all, it made me realise how ready I am to be a mum. To hell with our two-year plan, we decided to start "trying".
Fast forward a few short months, Matt was in the kitchen making breakfast. The man is no MasterChef, but he does know his way around a banana and a bowl of quick oats. I leant over to steal a mouthful and the smell of warm milky oats had me gagging and sprinting face first for the toilet bowl.
Face down in the loo I remember thinking - surely I can't be pregnant already?!
OK, but my boobs do feel a bit weird and come to think of it when the hell was my last period?! I marched my nauseous backside down to the chemist and sure enough, I was. Again.
This time when I told Matt, he took a moment to process it. I passed him the stick with those unmistakeable pink lines and we both just stood there excited, scared and speechless. It was everything that we wanted, but in that moment our excitement was muted by the very real fear that our happiness could be taken away.
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WE ARE HAVING A BABY🎉 👶🏻 !!!!Old mate @matthewdavidjohnson and I are beyond excited to finally be able to share that I’m cooking an orange sized baby Johnson-Byrne. Happy doesn’t even come close ❤️ (Have a look at the last picture - it’s little hand is waving at everyone 😂😍 my heart) #15weeks #comingjune . . 📷 @barton.louis
THE HARSH REALITY OF FALLING PREGNANT AFTER A MISCARRIAGE
Pregnancy after miscarriage is weird and crazy wonderful. It brings with it all the joy, but also a niggling anxiety that something might go wrong and the painful reality that it could.
As I type this with my laptop perched on my lusciously gassy pregnant belly, we are nearing the 23-week mark and with each milestone the worry subsides.
With every wriggle inside me and each karate kick to my bladder I'm reminded how close we are to meeting our baby, and what a wonderful little miracle that is to us both.
- Laura Byrne is a jewellery design and contributor for whimn.com.au, continue the conversation @theladyandthecat
- This story originally appeared on whimn.com.au, and is reproduced with permission