My Bundle Of Joy: Part One

This is the first part of a fiction serial, in 775 words.

You know how you start to notice that everyone around you has a baby or a toddler, and it suddenly occurs to you that you seem to be the only one who never got pregnant?

Well, that was me.

It wasn’t that we were trying, you understand. It was rather that we took no precautions, and presumed it would happen.

And then it didn’t.

Not long after I started to notice, my mum noticed too. “You don’t want to leave it too late, Angie love. Get some joy from them while you’re still young enough to make the most of it”. Oliver hadn’t mentioned it, so I spoke to him after dinner one night. Like he was about most things in life, he was casual. “If it happens, that’s great. If not, that’s great too”. Then he carried on watching the football.

I made an appointment with my doctor. She agreed with me that almost four years with no conception was unusual, to say the least. And I had turned thirty six weeks earlier, so she agreed to send me for tests. She also said that it might be an idea for Olly to have his sperm count tested too.

I wasn’t looking forward to that conversation.

That all took a while, and I have to admit that Olly was surprisingly good about taking the test. But the specialist smiled when we went to see him. “Nothing wrong with either of you, I’m happy to say. Just one of those things. I’m sure it will happen one day, just try to relax and not worry. Stress doesn’t help”. I looked across at Olly, who was displaying the textbook definition of someone who wasn’t worrying in the least.

Handshakes and an exchange of platitudes later, we were in the car driving home.

The specialist had been right of course. Not long after my next birthday, I missed a couple of periods, then had that ‘feeling’. I bought three pregnancy test kits from my local Boots, and they all came up ‘Pregnant’. I expected to feel overjoyed, but my first reaction was fear. My next reaction was to phone my parents, and then my brother. I would tell Olly when he got home from watching the match.

I had to wait for him to finish moaning about his team losing one-nil to a disputed penalty, and I followed him out to the kitchen and watched as he got a beer from the fridge. Then I placed the positive test kits on the table, laying them on a sheet of kitchen roll. He put the beer down, and smiled. “Really?”. When I nodded, he wrapped his arms around me, and I had this strange feeling that we were finally complete.

If you have been pregnant, you will be well aware of how it takes over your life. My brother was looking forward to having a niece or nephew, and my mum and dad were ecstatic at the thought of a grandchild to spoil. Olly was already suggesting names before we ate dinner, and suddenly it was the only thing any of us talked about.

Literally the only thing. All other life had stopped, frozen in time.

My colleagues at work squealed like piglets when I told them. Those who already had children began to offer serious advice, and Jan even started to tell me about how baby should sleep on its back. Then Caroline contradicted her, arguing in favour of putting a baby down on its stomach. They had soon forgotten all about me, and the debate continued between them until lunch time.

When I got home, I was amazed to discover that Olly had been shopping. He had bought all sorts of healthy stuff we would never normally eat, as well as a recipe book for expectant mothers. He said I should stop drinking wine immediately, and he would give up his beers to support me. We hadn’t even sat down to dinner before the phone calls started. Mum checking up on me, and Olly’s sister calling from Canada, actually screaming over the phone. “Oh if only mum had been alive, she would be over the moon”. With never knowing his father, and his mum having died before I met him, I felt Olly was missing out on that. So I let his sister ramble on.

That night, I had trouble geting off to sleep. But it was nothing to do with the baby.

Just a feeling of being overwhelmed. I was no longer Angela, the busy proof reader and occasional fun runner.

I was pregnant Angela, and that would take some getting used to.

63 thoughts on “My Bundle Of Joy: Part One

  1. As someone who is new to blogging I found you on my discover page very Late last night, liked your titles and decided to follow you. I started reading thinking you had experienced this as an individual (being a mum myself I can relate to it). Yes this next comment shows my powers of observation arenโ€™t great this morning but, I had no idea it was written by a man!! I love it!! Iโ€™m now off to read part 2. PS. I promised myself I would finally bite the bullet and have a go at creative writing, you have got me thinking thatโ€™s itโ€™s time I started.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Before this serial, I had just finished a 48-part serial called ‘The Homestead’. It was set in America, from 1864-1957. I have never been to America, so it entailed some considerable research. I have never had any children either, so I am challenging myself with a serial from a female POV. I have written a lot of fiction on this blog, including many short stories, which are a good way to start. This is the most recent one of those.
      https://beetleypete.com/2021/01/06/photo-prompt-story-black-widow/
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Once you are over 35, especially if it’s the first baby, it’s different. I’ve lived through this with so many friends and even my sister being in this situation. Well done, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. (1) Pray tell, is this an alternate version of “Rosemary’s Baby?”
    (2) Will Angie and Olly’s baby be a mixed breed: half Human / half Shar Pei?
    (3) When it comes to his manhood, can Oliver cram well?
    (4) Will Oliver and Angela name the baby Olivia or Angus? Will it self-identify as one or more of the 64 genders?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You managed to get Cromwell in there. I suspected you might. My dog is named after him, ‘Oliver Cromwell Johnson’, but the character in the story is named after a so-so actor, which is explained in Part 3. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. All true so far from my experience except for the trouble in the beginning. I became pregnant the first month we didn’t use any prevention. We were astounded to realize that we really had needed it! After that it all rang true.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Okay, I hope to stay for the duration with this one. I haven’t followed you nearly as long as many others, but I don’t remember you writing from the first person as a female before. I like that you’re trying something new.

    Nature gives a couple nine months to get used to the idea that their lives are about to change forever.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks very much, Shaily. I am using my imagination, and a very limited experience of knowing some friends who had babies. I might have trouble with this serial at the start, but I will do my best. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Good start, Pete. It sounds like me back in 1982. All the advice we received was overwhelming. In the end we decided to ignore it all and go our own way. I only give advice to my daughters-in-law if they ask for it. It’s better that way!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Very astute observation, Pete. I know many things can only be appreciated with experience, but the joy of being a grandparent is so much different from that of a parent, primarily because of the ever-present responsibility felt by parents, but I am also loving the opportunity to observe my granddaughter’s development incrementally, a lot of which I missed with my daughters because of work obligations: a very common story, of course. I wasn’t in a hurry to be a grandfather, but now that I am, to use a well-known phrase [but correctly!]: I’m loving it! Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Jon. I have never had children, nor lived with an expectant mother. But I wanted to challenge myself by writing from the female perspective. I hope I don’t get it all wrong! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

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