Keeping mum

20 Apr

“We’re pregnant”. Eurgh, no gross. I hate it when people say that. “We” are not pregnant. It’s physically impossible.

“I’m pregnant”. Nope can’t say that. Even to this day it still conjures up imagines of what would have been my worst nightmare as a teenager. Me standing in the living room, head bowed, in an all-girls Catholic school uniform with white virgin socks announcing I’m pregnant and watching my Mum’s face drain of colour as she is presented with her worst nightmare.

Just to make it clear I was never pregnant at 16, I am not Catholic nor did I go to an all-girls school. I just have a very active imagination.

“We’re having a baby”. That’s the one. For some reason the “we’re” in this sentence works. It also makes me feel like a grown up. “We” did this together. “I” didn’t get myself knocked up. “Yes I know I’m having sex Mum and it’s the last thing you want to think about, but it’s ok because “we” have made you a grandchild. We’ll both just pretend that it’ll be delivered by a stork and that your baby hasn’t been having sexual relations.

I was very excited about telling my Mum. In fact I told her about 20 minutes after I found out I was pregnant.  Partly this was due to needing to share the biggest thing that has ever happened to me with the most important woman in my life, but also because I thought I would actually burst if I didn’t tell someone. Hubby’s reaction was amazing he had the perfect level of shock and delight, but I needed to tell someone who was going to scream and cry with me. She didn’t disappoint.

As she answered the phone my heart was racing with nervous excitement. It being my birthday we got the usual her singing the full version of happy birthday to me out the way first. No matter how old you get some traditions can’t change. And then I was stuck, I didn’t know how to bring it up. I needed to deliver this news in a manner it deserved. I didn’t want to waste this moment by blurting it out and her potentially missing it, but sort of hearing it, until we both end up confused on the end of the phone and the whole drama is lost (I do love a bit of dramatic tension).

And so she asks me what my plans are for the day and I tell her I’m out with friends for lunch, but that I’m not going to be able to drink. I can hear her mind ticking slowly as I say “I can’t, because I did a pregnancy test this morning and it was positive.” We’re having a baby” (see? much better).  And then we’re both screaming and crying and it’s exactly like I imagined it would be.  And all I keep saying is “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it” because in all honesty I can’t. I’m not sure if she can either.

In one conversation everything has changed. Her baby is having a baby. Someone is going to call her baby “Mummy”. And as I say goodbye and tell her I wish I could have told her face to face. She tells me I should never wait to tell her something like this. I’m still her baby and she would want to know something like this immediately. So she loves it, she’s ecstatic, but she won’t let me forget no matter how old I get, or how many kids I have, I’m still her baby first. And I love her even more for it as more than anything, I need my Mum now.


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