What happens when you're 37, almost infertile, in a new relationship and you go and get pregnant by accident? Find out in Sarah's weekly column: Up the Duff Without a Paddle.
Ohmigod, I'm not supposed to be pregnant!
I'm so not supposed to be pregnant, because I'm 37 and I haven't been struggling for years, which is what's supposed to happen for us 'oldies' - right? - and what I expected would happen for me.
Wrong!And it's not just scare stories in the press (mostly The Daily Mail) that convinced me that only struggle lay ahead. I'm not supposed to be pregnant because over the last three years three consultants at three different fertility clinics have told me that my chances of conceiving naturally were, well, as low as Gordon Brown's chances of winning the next election. "It's not no chance, but it is a low chance," was the best prognosis. (More about why a single girl was frequenting fertility clinics in a later instalment.)
What's more, I'm definitely not supposed to be pregnant because I've only known my chap for a bit over a year; he only moved in a matter of weeks ago and as for a joint child... hey, we don't even have a joint bank account yet. I'm still working out where to squeeze the toothpaste tube so he doesn't get upset, and he's still deciding if he should hang my washing out on the same rack as his stuff. I know, I know, at least he's hanging my washing out.
He's one heck of a lovely man it has to be said, not because he's probably reading this, and it's a blessing that he's the dad (he is the dad), but I'm not a girl who does things quickly - jeez I don't even run for buses.
And anyway, I'm not supposed to be pregnant, because we'd only just stopped using condoms that month, and were using the 'Yep, I understand my cycle perfectly and know exactly when my don't-go-there fertile days are - if I were normally fertile, which I'm not, and anyway, having kids isn't everything, I like my life, no really I do' method of contraception. Which I convinced my chap would work, because I know my cycle, and I'm 37 and just about infertile, right? Ahem. Clever me.
And *hangs head in shame* I'm not supposed to be pregnant because I haven't got around to properly dealing with my divorce yet, from the last chap. He's the one I was with for years and years and thought I'd have kids with, and separated from three years ago. See previous paragraph about not doing anything quickly.
Oh, and sensible grown-up-type people might say that I'm not supposed to be pregnant because I'm busy forging a new freelance career, in a recession, and let's just say maternity benefit isn't in the deal. Right now, payment is barely in the deal, never mind maternity!
Oh, it's all a bit mental and nothing like the fairy story, but, you know what? Against the odds, I am pregnant. Only just pregnant I should say; 11 weeks as I write this, and a long way to go. I'm happy, we're happy, but I definitely do feel I'm up the duff without a paddle. I'm really rather ecstatically excited most of the time, but help! Is there anybody out there with a spare paddle and half a clue about pregnancy?
In next week's column: Well, cripes, who knows what will be in next week's column? I've never been pregnant before and have no idea what's about to happen. Right now I'm obsessing about swine flu and why my tummy is twice the size it used to be, but it isn't baby, and whether it's too early to buy a maternity bra. And how come I don't feel sick anymore? But I might have forgotten all about that by next week. Judging by the way my brain is in meltdown, I might have forgotten where I live by next week. But do come back...hell's bell's don't leave me alone!