I say ‘very’ with umph because in my heart of hearts I wasn’t ready. I was still running around all freshman-year-of-college-like doing Jagerbomb Thursdays, sexting my boyfriend, thinking I’m hot shit in my ‘advertising agency boots’ ordering interns to GET ME SOME COFFE (okay, there weren’t really interns, but we did have tea rounds where I would politely ask a colleague to get me a coffee with one sugar). SO, when I found out I was pregnant with my year-long boyfriend (…mmm actually 10 months long) I cried. I cried and cried, and cried some more. Not the reaction you want, really. Torn between a white picket fence and an east London warehouse party. I had to make sure this was real.
Oh, what is a girl to do?
I turned to God. He was like, “Girl, you can’t have a baby out of wed lock, watchu thinkin?”
I turned to my Mom, “WHAT?! How did this happen? Are you sure you’re ready? Are you truly in love? You probably should be married first? Oh my god, you should have him. No. You shouldn’t. Yes. You should. No. Wait. If it’s boy, can we name him Prince Harry?”
I turned to my friends, “What about your career? This is a really big decision. What about Jagerbomb Thursdays? “
I turned to my boyfriend, “Meagan, I am with you whatever you decide, I love you very, very much.”
So no help there. The next day I went to a beer pong party with my partner to take my mind off of the whole decision (yes, beer pong, the drinking game you play in college and yes, I am almost 30).
I didn’t drink. First step to becoming a real adult.
There was much debate, thousands of pros and cons lists, financial spreadsheets in excel, and probably too much practical thought. I looked my partner in the eye and said, “Deep down I want this but my excel spreadsheet is telling me otherwise.”
At one point I Googled, “how do you know when you’re ready to be a mother?” As if Google was going to tell me when I was ready to be a mum. Ha! I did take a few of those parenting quizzes though….they told me I would be an ‘okay‘ mum.
I even remember looking up how many times a baby poops in a day. You know, so I can really understand how tough it was going to be (like the poo was going to be the worst part of having a baby!) I tried to calculate how much a baby costs per month.
Just going through my Google Docs now, it’s titled “Baby Money,” I calculated £427 exactly (not sure how I got to that). I created an enormous spreadsheet with various living options. How much would it cost if we lived in our current flat? How much would it cost if we lived with my partner’s parents? How much would it cost if we moved further out of the city? How much would it cost if we lived in the city but not central? And then, how much would it cost before and after maternity leave for each of those situations.
I was getting desperate. The last thing I tried was meditation. I wanted to find my ‘chi’ so that I could meditate myself into a state of nothingness and the answer would come.
Nope, didn’t work.
On Tuesday of that week, I was offered a position at another company, a dream job really. Then on Friday, I received a letter in the mail announcing that I had been accepted into a postgraduate course. But these good fortunes were tainted with pink and blue nursery paint. I was so overwhelmed.
I remember sitting in silence in our living room. This feeling lingered in the room, like that moment before you go on stage. Nervous, sweaty, excited. The smell was like raspberries and lemonade, sweet with a sour punch. A flood of emotions.
But we were so still. I didn’t want to move or else I would break the glass bubble I was sitting in. A bubble so carefully designed, each piece thoughtfully placed to protect me from any real emotion. To protect me from ever having to make a real decision. To protect me from ever having to become an actual adult.
And then, this wave of clarity and dizziness. I stood up. Walked over to my partner and said very softly, “I think we should have the baby. Fuck everything else.”
In that moment washed away were any negative thoughts. I followed my heart. All of that research and excel-mania was a waste of time. Marriage can wait. I mean, who am I kidding? I just want to get married for the bachelorette party. Vegas anyone?
This decision was not easy but in my gut I knew what I was going to do. My head had to catch up with my heart. The whole process taught me to truly listen to my instincts. I never did this in the past. This was my first step to becoming a mother because being a mother is listening to your gut. Seriously the baby books are a load of shite.
To announce the pregnancy, my partner and I created this video using DubMash (lip syncing with movies or songs) and shared it on Facebook (hence the Knocked Up theme):
— The Mum Project (@mumproject)
Look, we can still play beer pong….