I always envisioned the sequence of events, should I ever discover a blue line, to be a little bit more poetic than it was. In the fantasy I’d concocted over many years, I would hold up the pregnancy test and gasp in a BBC-adaptation-of-Jane-Austen style, all doe-eyed and heaving breast. I imagined caressing my swelling belly (although if it took me having a swollen belly to buy a pregnancy test, maybe the men of Austen’s era had a point about the intellectual inferiority of women) and immediately morphing into a eco-mother type. An aura of soft light would radiate from my body, which had become draped in soft pastel fabrics and accepting only of organic nutrient foods resembling floor sweepings. Falling immediately in love with this unborn child, I would succumb to the maternal instincts that had hidden themselves so well up until that point and I would secretly delight in the idea of fulfilling my biological purpose. After all, babies can’t ever be bad news, I so foolishly believed.
So here’s how it really played out… I peed on the stick and put it to one side, thinking little of the possibilities since I was already convinced of the outcome. As a result, my initial reaction was one of total confusion. How? How could it be? How could it have happened? How could I have been so irresponsible to have allowed it? How the hell am I going to cope with a baby? I didn’t feel any instincts, maternal or otherwise, unless you count the instinct to somehow magically disappear from my own life. And much to my surprise, there was no secret delight buried deep inside me emerging to counteract those feelings of utter despair. It turns out, babies can be bad news. Babies can be fucking awful news when you don’t intend to have one. Don’t want one, even.
I was angry. Angry at myself. Angry at my partner. But more than anything, I was angry at the baby. How dare you invade my body without an invitation, I asked it. You can’t just turn up to the bloody party, I seethed, you have to have an invitation. It’s just plain rude otherwise. Sitting down at my desk, my thoughts turned to the man to whom half of this disaster could be attributed. I picked up the phone ready to introduce our unexpected guest to my partner who, at this point, was going about his holiday in New York entirely unaware that our romantic (read: dirty) weekend away would be paid for so dearly.