No one had to tell young mum Becca she was pregnant at 15 — she knew before she even took a test. But no one told her about the nausea during birth, either…
I didn’t really ‘find out’ that I was pregnant. There was no agonising two-minute wait for pink lines to appear, no moment of shock or joy – I just knew, from very early on.
I refused to take a test — I thought I could wait until I was 24 weeks and then tell everyone, when it was too late for them to try and change my mind- I didn’t even realise that you had to go to the doctors or see a midwife!
Thankfully, my mum is super intuitive. When I called her up to announce my engagement, she told me she already knew, and the case was the same with my pregnancy. I remember sitting in the living room watching daytime TV, when my mum sat down next to me and asked me if I was pregnant. I said maybe.
So she made me take a test which came out negative – ‘well that’s one less thing to worry about’, she said. Errrrrr, that’s not right!
I marched off to Boots, bought a couple of early pregnancy tests and went home to try again. They were positive (of course) so THEN I had the nerve wracking job of trying to tell my mum that, actually, the first tests were wrong and there was, in fact, something for her to worry about — her 15 year old daughter was almost 4 months pregnant. SURPRISE!
I had a pretty standard pregnancy
I had morning sickness from 5-12 weeks, nipples that felt like they were on fire whenever a slight breezed rolled past, anaemia, strange cravings, lots of weird, sloshy movements in my stomach and peeing whenever I sneezed.
My bump was consistently measuring small so was put under consultant care but that’s about the most exciting thing that happened!
Fast forward to the birth…
I woke up at around 7am. I had Braxton Hicks all day — nothing unusual — I was 2 days past my due date, feeling like a beached whale and stomach cramps were becoming a regular occurrence.
Around 1am on Saturday, mum and I were watching TV when I realised these Braxton Hicks were starting to kinda hurt. I mentioned it and mum starting timing them. About 20 minutes later she calmly turned to me and said ‘I think you’re in labour’. Oh. Okay then.
That was pretty anti-climactic — nothing like the scenes you see on TV where women suddenly double over in the middle of the street screaming ‘THE BABY’S COMING!!!’ Nope. Just ‘you’re in labour’, and I messaged my boyfriend to let him know too. Super casual.
We went to the hospital a couple of hours later and got turned away (‘take some paracetamol and have a hot bath’ yeah cheers, that’ll help tonnes), but come around 5am I couldn’t cope anymore, so mum took us (including my insomniac little brother this time!) back and I refused to leave until they gave me the drugs.
As if to spite me, they put me in a room next to THE LOUDEST woman on the ward. She screamed. A lot. And the screaming was punctuated every 10 seconds by the sounds of her puking- I could tell we were in for a really fun time. Have I mentioned that I’d been awake for almost 24 hours?
I was eventually given diamorphine for the contraction pain and I managed to get some sleep
When I woke up it was around 10am and I felt super nauseous — nobody told me this, but apparently the lady next door wasn’t just puking because she had a tummy bug — cue me, just woken from a drug-induced sleep, proceeding to sit up and spew all over myself. Classy. As. Fuck.
I looked at my mum like a poorly 5-year-old, covered in my own vomit, and she helped me get undressed and re-dressed with no complaints.
I will tell you now — that’s the exact point where my dignity got up and left the room and I haven’t seen any sign of it since.
Come 12pm I was getting the urge to push
My mum hailed a nurse and I waddled through to delivery. They gave me gas and air and apparently the pain was the only thing keeping me awake because I stopped pushing and started to fall asleep — I’d been awake for about 29 hours (with an hour or two’s broken sleep) at this point.
After my requests to ‘just pull her out’ were denied (bastards) I somehow managed to keep pushing, until came the ring of fire.
In all seriousness, when Brai started crowning I felt like I was being split in half. It was not pleasant, and I’m pretty sure that was when the tears and the ‘no I can’t do it, she can just stay there’s started. I don’t remember actually pushing her out — I’ve probably erased that memory from my brain — but I ended up with a second degree tear.
I do remember the overwhelming feeling of relief, and I cried. Thank GOD it was all over and I could finally sleep.
But wait… is it definitely a girl?!
These things can be wrong, you know! Why isn’t she crying? Is she okay? What do you mean 8lb 3oz? Are you sure? They told me she’d be 5lb!
The questions went on until finally they handed me my tiny, purple, alien-looking baby.
In truth, I didn’t feel that ‘rush of love’ that everyone talks about. Her dad said he did, but for me there wasn’t one distinct moment where I realised that I loved my daughter more than this earth — possibly because I’d loved her for 9 months already — but laid there, half asleep with a baby attached to my boob and my legs in stirrups while a woman sewed me up (I’m sure that was a pleasant scene for my brother to walk in on), I felt quite content.
It never really occurred to me that my baby would one day be a child
I never could have imagined my life how it is now: Braianna is now 5 and in year 1 at school. She’s positively mad but, if I’m honest, the whole family is.
Brai loves animals and junk modelling (yay) and climbing frames. She is an awesome dancer and knows all the words to ‘Let It Go’.
I’m no longer with her dad, and he no longer sees Brai, but I’m engaged to THE most incredible man on the planet. And I have a rather successful career after finishing my GCSE’s with 7 C’s and 3 B’s and starting an apprenticeship.
I’m also super-emotional now. I cry at everything — sad films, good songs, happy photos, cute animals — EVERYTHING.
When I had Brai I lost a lot of people who I thought would always be around but that’s okay. The universe has us on different paths for a reason, and really, I’m pretty happy with mine. It’ll never be perfect but it’s definitely, completely, 100% worth every second.
And despite the sleepless nights, the tears, the stress, the loneliness and the quite frankly inhumane nappies, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Read Becca and Brai’s adventures on Raising Brai.
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