I didn't expect to be pregnant this year, it was not in my plan for 2017. I had become a successful freelance content writer after quitting my 9-5 marketing job and I had just moved into a new house, all on my own. Motherhood had never really been on the top of my to-do list. I was more interested in becoming a successful writer. And I was now finally doing what I loved for a living and was self-sufficient, relying on myself and no one else.
It was a few days after Valentine's Day when I did the test in a pub toilet whilst my best friend waited outside, frantically downing a bottle of white wine. She had told me she knew I was pregnant the moment she saw me - I had that glow apparently. I thought my late period was down to the stress of moving house whilst trying to keep my clients happy.
"I'm only f**cking pregnant," I said to Deb as I joined her back at our table, passing the urine-stained positive pregnancy test under the table (sorry Deb - you are the best!). She looked down at the stick with her eyes wide.
25 weeks pregnant
"Yep, you're definitely pregnant!". And she popped it in her bag. I hope it isn't still there? You really are the best, Deb!
My heart was racing, all sorts of thoughts running through my head. This wasn't in my plan. I was single. I worked for myself. I was thinking of getting a puppy, not a baby. How would I tell the father? We had parted ways a week after I conceived because I felt he wasn't ready to commit to more, when I had wanted more. Not, however, the commitment of a baby but perhaps meeting each other's parents or a weekend away together.
How would I tell my parents? What would my friends think? What would I do about work?
I realised that all the questions to myself were about the consequences of having this baby. Not once did I even think of having an abortion. If I was young and irresponsible with no life experience perhaps it would have been an option. I was 31, responsible, full of love to give to a child and with plenty of life experience I could pass down to them through advice and guidance. I was ready.
The overwhelming surge of love I felt for the tiny foetus inside me was overwhelming. I felt protective of this tiny being. The maternal instinct I wasn't sure I had suddenly kicked in. I had wanted to make a change in my life, who knew that in 2017 it would be having a baby.
I am now six months pregnant and spend my nights in bed staring down at my bump as he kicks and writhes in my tummy as we listen to an eclectic mix of Mozart to Madonna.
It hasn't been easy and being a single pregnant woman comes with its uncertainties, anxieties and stresses - pretty much like any pregnancy, whether you have a supportive partner or not! It is an isolating time. However, I realised early on in my pregnancy this is the best thing that could have happened to me. I am lucky enough to already have a strong bond with my baby boy. It's me and him, we're a team. I feel invincible with him growing inside my body and the little things in life don't touch me anymore.
I have learnt so much from these six months of being unexpectedly pregnant. And this is only the beginning...
People don't think before they speak
I am an anxious person, so when pregnant this just escalated. Every time I go to the toilet I think I am going to find blood and he will be taken from me. When I first started feeling his movements at week 17, I worried on those days when they weren't so frequent. I spent four whole days thinking my baby was no more but didn't tell anyone.
When pregnant, your body suddenly feels open for observational comments, like it did when I was very overweight before losing it all in 2013. I have been told on numerous occasions that I am not "big enough for 20 weeks" or that "you don't look pregnant". I wasn't sure what to say? Do you want to see the scan? He's in there! This induces worry that my baby isn't growing properly or I am not eating enough and the guilt kicks in. The truth is you only need 200 extra calories in the third trimester.
I understand people tell you stories to try and relate to your situation but sometimes it just does not help to hear them. The worst are the stories about miscarriage or illness. "My friend had a miscarriage at 21 weeks, it was awful..." and "I know someone who got cancer when they were pregnant..."
I've thought of absolutely every possibility or consequence of being pregnant when I wake at 4am in the morning and it only feels more of a worry when it's reinforced.
And don't get my started on people seeming to think they have the right to reveal your secret... There's a reason why I'm not ready to tell the world, respect that!
You realise just how loved you are
I will stop moaning now because I have been truly overwhelmed by the support I have received from my friends and family. My pregnancy hasn't been straight forward. I luckily only experienced fatigue, I wasn't sick in the early days and my baby is growing very healthily but my situation hasn't been easy. I've spent nights full of worry, crying with hormones racing through my body that led me down paths of thought I really didn't want to go down.
However, I have never looked back and I know I made the right decision to keep this baby and it was my decision alone. What has been reassuring is my friends and family standing by me in that decision, believing in me and telling me I can do this and will be the best mother to this boy.
Myself and best friend Joe on the way to Paris for a 'baby moon'. Joe has been my rock.
You also find strength from friends you're not particularly close to but motherhood brings you closer. For all the books you can read, advice from mums who have been there and done it really is the best.
Just like when you lose a loved one or experience a life-changing event, you do lose friends along the way when you're pregnant. Some people just don't have the support to give or know what to say or relate to me anymore, and that is fine. I've learnt to let go. Maybe one day they'll come back. And that is fine.
I finally love my body
I have spent most of my life hating my body. I was very overweight throughout my teens and early twenties. I hated my thighs, my tummy and my double chin. I felt ashamed of how big I had become and couldn't find a way out. I finally made a lifestyle change in 2013, adopting a healthier relationship with food and embracing exercise. I was down to a size 12 by 2015. Woo!
I still didn't like my excess skin on my tummy and I still picked on things I didn't like about my body but I felt much more confident and healthy.
I am finally full of respect for my body. My body is capable of growing a human and it amazes me every day. I thought I would get very paranoid about putting weight back on, especially as my bump grew more rotund. However, I love my bump and feel so proud of it. My tummy was always the part I felt self-conscious about but it's big for a bloody good reason now.
Now in my second trimester I have never felt more natural, beautiful or healthy. We shall see if that continues into the third trimester when my legs become tree trunks and my fingers swell to the size of sausages!
If you would like to talk babies and pregnancy, find me on Twitter @lizziecommunic8 and on Instagram @lizziebethwrites