Fast-forward five days and my period still hadn’t showed up. I was staying in a hotel in Richmond as I had a lot of work commitments that week, and had a dinner date with some of my university friends, the very wonderful ‘Bill Mo Girls’. At lunch, I went to Boots to pick up some anti-histamine and found myself in the family planning section. As I scanned the shelves, purposely skimming over Dan’s favourite modestly-priced (aka cheap) tests, I settled on the clearblue digital. I mean, what could be more simple and reliable than a test which actually tells you ‘pregnant’ or ‘not pregnant’. Sold. I also picked up a second test, just in case.
After work I had a quick half an hour to get changed at my hotel before meeting the girls. Just before I had to leave, I decided to do the test. I’d already got a negative result five days earlier, so I was only doing it to shake any doubt from my mind once and for all. That, and so that I could have a glass of wine – or two, or three – at dinner sans guilt.
I left the test to develop on the bathroom side whilst I went to run the straighteners through my hair and the mascara over my lashes. My phone beeped with a message from Lou, one of the Bill Mo Girls, saying she was waiting outside my hotel. I grabbed my coat, slipped on my boots and as I picked up my handbag dashed to quickly check the test before I left. I stared at it for a good few seconds without blinking. I closed my eyes and looked again. The same word staring back at me. One word: Pregnant.
My previous confidence in the digital tests suddenly went into meltdown and I quickly checked the instructions on the second test I bought. I messaged Lou ‘be down in a few mins’ and she messaged back ‘no rush’. If only she knew! I took the second test, this time watching as it developed, and within seconds the cross appeared – pregnant. I looked at myself in the mirror and smiled, eyes sparkling. And then I picked up my handbag and went to dinner.
As previously mentioned, nothing – and I mean nothing – gets in between me and my friends and social life.
As always, it was amazing to see the girls and I smiled, and chatted, and laughed through the evening, the entire time knowing I had a big secret that no-one else in the whole world knew. It was just me, and my little, tiny secret, growing inside me. I can’t even begin to describe how magical that felt. Strangely, I felt totally calm and content. Whilst there was a small part of me which selfishly wanted to keep my secret just a little longer, a much, much bigger part of me wanted to share this news with Dan. It was his secret as much as mine.
During the meal, I snuck off to text Dan and ask him if he wanted to drive to Richmond after work to stay over. I told him I’d had a tough day and could really do with seeing him. Fats would look after Mabel. Dan being Dan, always the perfect gentleman, he asked no questions, got in the car and drove straight there.
After saying goodbye to the girls, I met Dan on his way from the car park and within a minute or so of arriving in my hotel room, I pulled out the bag which I’d put the two positive tests in.
“I got you a little present,” I said handing him the bag. He pulled out the tests, and looked at me questioningly. I nodded. He looked at the tests once again, and then burst into laughter. I’m not talking about a little giggle, I’m talking about a full-on belly laugh. And he didn’t stop. I’m sure he was actually purple at one point.
“I don’t know why I’m laughing,” he said, “I just can’t believe it.” When he finally calmed down, and the laughter had subsided, the biggest grin remained on his face. He wore it all the way to the closed Sainsburys, and then the open Tesco where we frantically searched for another test, the kind that tells you how far pregnant you are. “I just googled ‘my wife is pregnant’”, he confessed as we drove back to the hotel, test in tow. “Of course you did babe”, I said, “that is so you.”
We discovered that I was “5+” weeks pregnant, and the excitement really kicked in, validated now by three separate tests. I could not wait to tell my mum, who has been waiting all her life to become ‘Granny Goose’, and had made no secret out of the fact that she was desperate for grandchildren.
Dan, completely predictably, did the typical Dan thing and instantly started fact-finding, googling how big the baby would be, which of his / her organs would be formed, and what vitamins I should be taking. I, meanwhile, laid next to him, staring at the ceiling and dreaming up different ways to tell my mum, Stel, and of course, Fats. “I’m never going to get to sleep tonight, I’m too excited,” I said to Dan. “Me neither Treacle,” he said. Five minutes later, Dan’s heavy-breathing indicated that he hadn’t struggled too much after all. Two hours later, however, I lay wide awake, relishing our secret exclusively for one night only.