It was Wednesday 17th September when I answered the phone to Stel (the nickname I affectionately give to Becky, stemming from a holiday in Kos some eight years or so ago) late at night. I’d barely said hello before she blurted out “I took a pregnancy test, and it’s positive. What do I do?”
I sat bolt upright in my hotel bed (I was travelling with work that week) and squealed with excitement. Stel has basically been ready for this moment all of her life.
That schoolgirl with the Winnie the Pooh bag and nervous smile was having a baby! Stel’s relocation from Liverpool to Oxfordshire had – luckily for me – been a permanent one, and if the sixteen years of our friendship have taught me only one thing, it’s that if anyone in this world would make a perfect mother, it would be her.
At university, Stel studied to be a teacher and has since worked her way into the role of Assistant head at a nearby primary school. She has always been great with children, and with a brother eleven years her junior combined with her teacher training, she’s a ready-made mum in the making. But more than that, she’s kind and sensible and warm and loving. She’s going to be dynamite.
The news wasn’t hugely shocking, although that didn’t take away from the excitement. Whilst Stel and her now fiancée, Philpott, hadn’t been “trying”, they certainly hadn’t been “not not trying” either. This is something I’ve learnt to be a very common approach for many couples. Of course, the sceptic in me would argue that “not not trying” means you absolutely are trying, but I’ve also come to see this as a wonderful way of conceiving. No pressure, no clock watching, just leaving it up to fate. There’s something very romantic about the concept of just letting it be.
Knowing Stel as well as I do, a girl who’s always on time and very practical and efficient, the whole ‘leaving it to fate’ thing just isn’t her style. But hey, it worked, she’s pregnant, and as I said above, no woman is better equipped to have a plus-one than my friend Stel.
So that was pregnancy number one. ‘BabyStelPot’ – #BSP – is due 14th May 2015.
“I’m so excited, but I just wish I had someone else to go through this with”, I remember Stel saying to me early on in her pregnancy. Exactly six weeks later I discovered that was a wish I was about to make true…