Six years ago, I met a handsome man outside Upper Crust in Manchester Piccadilly Station. I’d never met him before, but we’d been penpals for about five years. I could go in to more detail, but that’s a story for another day. We went for a drink and ended up watching the sun rise the next day as we put the world to rights. A few weeks later, we were an item.
Two years after that, he packed all his stuff in to boxes and moved across the country to be with me. We moved in to a poky one-bed flat in the middle of the city centre. The walls were thin and our neighbours like shouting at each other more than they appeared to enjoy living together. She also exclusively wore the colour purple from head to toe. I still see her around sometimes. She’s easy to spot because she’s SO BLOODY PURPLE. Two years after that, we decided we’d had enough of Purple and Shouty and decided we needed a bigger place.
The bigger place was a lovely Victorian house a couple of miles out of the city centre. I had a romantic idea about Victorian houses with the tall ceilings and big rooms, lots of light and interesting history. Turns out they are also a bugger to keep warm and are absolutely full of spiders. I changed jobs and someone stole the bumper from our car, both of which were pretty stressful. I persuaded him to let us foster some cats for a local charity. He didn’t like the cats we looked after, and they didn’t like him either. One day, I got a call asking us to look after three six month old kittens for a week. It took a lot of persuasion, but I finally talked him into fostering them, on the basis that it was only for one week. We had them for a year. It turns out that kittens are a lot of fun, and a lot of hard work, I have the scars to prove it. The best scar is one across my forehead, but I can’t really blame the kitten for that one, I did drop her on my head. When they got big, they started to fight, and we suggested to the charity that we split them up. We kept the little one and decided to adopt her. If she’s not asleep on his chest or curled up in his lap, she’s probably sprawled across his shoulders as he walks about. It’s like they’re in a secret club that I’m not allowed in, but I’m OK with that because it gets me out of cleaning the cat litter tray.
We went away for a few days for our five year anniversary, and on a sunny day in Spain, on a rowing boat on a lake with turtles and one-legged ducks, he proposed. Then we ate tapas, drank way too much beer and decided to get married on our six year anniversary. It was perfect.
We planned a party, with a quick wedding ceremony at the start. We were overly casual about it, it was a civil ceremony in a town hall with a knees up at one of our favourite pubs nearby. So, on our 6th anniversary, we got our vows on in front of 100 of our nearest and dearest and headed over to the pub for a good party. Our friend’s band played, other friends bought a cake buffet, my aunty made a wedding cake and me and my mum did the flowers. Although we acted all cool, when all was said and done, it meant way more to us than we’d ever imagined. We were totally unprepared, had no idea what we were meant to be doing or when, and the night finished with my new husband passed out asleep and me eating a BigMac in my wedding dress. I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
The next day, with sore heads, we packed our bags and headed for Heathrow. We flew half way across the world and had a bloody wonderful time. We watched the sun rise, sunburnt our bums whilst learning to surf and snorkled in a thunderstorm. We ate squid caught and cooked in front of us, purchased unidentified foodstuffs from market stalls and learnt the hard way that my new husband is a terrible, terrible haggler.
When we landed back in Heathrow and took the sleep deprived drive up North back to our little Victorian home, the shine had worn off a bit. We wanted some grass in our garden, wanted a home office we could both work from, and wanted to be nearer our friends and my family. We emailed a few landlords on Rightmove, and three viewings later, we signed on the dotted line. We were to be moving house 4 weeks after we landed back in the UK from our honeymoon.
When it came to baby making, I did my research beforehand. I knew all about charting temperatures and OPKs, about the old wives tales and sperm meets egg plan and decided that it wasn’t really for us…yet. We thought we’d carry on what we were doing before, but, now we were married, we’d just forget about the protection. Nothing would happen for a few months, and in that time, we’d move house, pay off our bills, maybe have 5 minutes to collect our thoughts after a pretty hectic few months and probably drink a lot of wine.
Three weeks after coming back from our honeymoon, this happened:
I don’t think either of us expected things to happen this quickly, although it gives me an excellent excuse not to lift any boxes during the house move, not to mention getting out of cleaning the oven for a few months. We’re obviously over the moon, but I just don’t feel like I’ve got my head around the whole thing yet. I feel a bit like I’m pretending to be pregnant, rather than actually being pregnant. I wonder when it will all start to feel real?