I found out I was pregnant on 4 August, 2017
On 24 August, we had an early scan at a private clinic in north Cambridge. I had had a tumultuous year, fertility-wise, and I wanted to see the heart rate ASAP. Chances of miscarriage plummet once a heart rate is spotted, so I booked an appointment for the middle of the seventh week after my last period – a happy medium between the NHS’ policy of 12-14 weeks and my desire to see the embryo THIS DAMN SECOND. Plus by 7 weeks the heartbeat should be clearly visible so I wouldn’t be setting myself up for any further anxiety. One way or the other, I would know. In the meantime, I went to Asda and bought two cheap pregnancy tests to corroborate the fancy digital one that had clearly said ‘Pregnant, 1-2 weeks.’ The cheap tests came back blue – clearly, irrefutably blue – but they were slow to change and they weren’t, I don’t know, flashing neon, which is the only thing that would have calmed me down.
When I got to the clinic, a compact, no-nonsense woman with an immaculate bob gave me an incredibly firm handshake and sat me down on the ultrasound couch. No sooner had she touched the wand to my stomach than we saw a grain of rice with a pulsating heartbeat flickering in front of us. I wanted to cry with relief. All three of us stared at it for a little while and then the sonographer – who had the air of a Uterus Tour Guide – said ‘ok, let’s just look at the pla…..do twins run in your family?’
And that’s when she showed us an unmistakable second grain of rice with a second, clearly visible heartbeat. She printed a picture and gave us some time to collect ourselves. I spread the picture on my polka-dot skirt and stared at it, waiting for it to feel real.