Thanks to our young Caraliza Designs business and an out-of-control Irish rental market, my thirties found me and Alex moving back in with my parents. We are extremely lucky and grateful to have this life-line while building the Caraliza brand, but it didn’t exactly feel like the perfect time for beginning a family of our own.

Yet as time ticked by and my thirty-fifth birthday approached I realized we might never get the “perfect time”. So we took the plunge. I stopped drinking alcohol, got an app that worked out the days of my cycle and grabbed Alex (who was pretty willing it must be said).

With all our planning and efforts, I was confident we would be successful first go. In fact, I was absolutely certain! So it was quite the surprise when my period arrived right on schedule a couple weeks later.

Funnily enough, instead of getting overly disappointed, I settled into a new mind-set around the whole process; it might well take some time and there was no need to rush it or stress out so we relaxed and decided to wait a while before trying again. It seemed sensible to avoid popping out a little munchkin right in the middle of the crazy Christmas season, as either baby or business would then be missing Alex. We held off until I came back from my holiday in Portugal to a scorching Mediterranean-style Ireland; after not seeing my sweetheart for ten days the fires of our passion were nearly as hot as the weather.

(Sorry, way too cheesy! Ha ha!)

This time round I barely even thought about the chance that anything might have come of it until I had to have an x-ray for my teeth. When the nurse asked if I was pregnant, I replied in a giggly idiotic voice:

“Oh my gosh, I don’t know. I mean, I could be? Maybe?!”

(It might have been helpful to mention that I was married and trying to start a family, you know, so I could sound like less of a slutty airhead. Oops.)

The days slipped by and as the weekend of my expected period approached I had cramps, I was an emotional wreck and it was clear: I wasn’t pregnant, I was full of pms. Slightly relieved, I indulged in some velvety red wine that Friday evening and was surprised when my period still hadn’t showed up by next morning.

I was even more surprised when she didn’t come on the day after that, or the one following. When she was four days late, I started freaking out, checking nervously every single time I went to the loo because this wasn’t how it was meant to happen! I was meant to be clean and healthy, not drinking red wine or over-doing it at the gym.

After a week of no period, I bought a test and the result was pretty much instantaneous; that second naughty line glowed neon. Whether I was ready or not, there was a little human growing inside my womb.

I told Alex then sat on our bed and cried solidly for twenty minutes in pure terror; what had we done?? I was going to give birth, I was going to become a parent. We had not thought it through properly because I was not ready. And, for the love of God, how had all this happened in my body without my knowing anything about it? Where were my maternal instincts? What else was going on in this body of mine that I had no clue about?!

I was clearly a failed Mum already. Could we pleeease somehow start over?

But life tends to have a funny way of not going as you’ve planned and at these times you need to take a deep breath, suck in that belly (while you still can) and just deal with it.

So I did.

Only four weeks pregnant and already this kid had taught me my first lesson…

Welcome to the University of Parenthood, huh?!

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