Part 4:

I wasn’t prepared, well, not mentally anyway. I had every little thing prepped & ready to go but that wasn’t what was worrying me. EVERYONE told me ‘boys are always late’ so I never expected on my due date to go in to labour. Even though I had done everything to get this baby going, in that moment, I wanted to keep him inside. I don’t know why but I just wasn’t ready to part with him, I just felt so panicked that this was actually happening. I sat on the toilet for a good ten minutes, Craig was still fast asleep so I text my best friend, my one of a kind – Phoebe. After speaking to her I thought I better go tell Craig, I went in & said ‘Craig, my waters have broke’ he jumped up in bed & said ‘oh you’re joking me’ – it’s hilarious now that he said that but right there & then I said ‘am I joking you, do I look like I’m fucking joking’ (language haha) He suddenly snapped – not in a nasty way, but it was if something switched inside of him, like protector mode, after a minute of fluster he just changed.

Craig jumped out of bed, asked what needed doing & did it. I phoned the hospital & told them that my waters had broke but I didn’t have any pain so they told me to go down. Craig packed the car full, all the baby bags, my bags, the car seat & isofix. Totally prepped to have our baby. He constantly asked ‘Are you ok?’ ‘Do you need anything, shall I pull over?’ By this point I was twinging & I was uncomfortable but nothing I couldn’t cope with. We got to the hospital & confirmed my waters had broke but I was only 2cm dilated so to go home & wait it out.

We got home & honestly, Craig was amazing. I can’t remember finer details as it was a very long process but he was exactly what I needed. We spent about 20 hours at home & then I couldn’t take anymore, I needed to go to hospital so we phoned & they told us to come on in, this is now 23 hours since my waters & contractions had started – I was feeling it. We arrived at hospital & they checked me, still only 5cm but they would keep us in and we would go to delivery suite.

I arrived at the delivery suit & met 1 of our many wonderful midwives – Jodie. I was given gas & air (absolutely loved the stuff) and I continued to sleep then wake, sleep then wake, all in between my contractions, Craig fed me, bathed my forehead, gave me drinks, rubbed my back – anything I wanted he did. I was struggling now, Jodie did a 10 hour shift & I still hadn’t had my baby. 33 hours since I had started this whole process & I wanted out. I got to that stage where you are just so uncomfortable you don’t think you can cope anymore. By this stage I had got through with just paracetamol, gas & air. For the next 6 hours I begged for an epidural – Craig knew I didn’t want one, we had discussed it & I said if I beg, don’t give me it. Anyway he tried, he really did but I won, they eventually gave me it to me, did the thing work? No! I was at 39 hours since my waters had broke & still no baby.

At this point the midwife told me (who I don’t remember because I was so out of it) ‘If the baby doesn’t come soon, we may have to do a C-Section. This made me absolute hysterical. I absolutely, point blank, did not want one. The midwife told me to basically get a grip & if I could get this baby out in the next hour then I wouldn’t need one so why was I crying. Good point. I just totally focused & got myself together. Craig, bless his heart, has now been awake for about 42 hours, his hand was raw from rubbing my back so much & my god he helped me. He was absolutely amazing. This man who had so many doubts, so much negativity towards this pregnancy, the man who didn’t want children, he had just become a Dad, in the past 42 hours that’s exactly what he did. He wanted to make sure I delivered our son safely into this world and nothing would stop him doing that, tired or not. He cheered me on & I was amazed by him.

On the 09th November at 5.32pm Baby Houseman was born. Weighing the most perfect 8lb 11oz & my god what a feeling. After 43 hours of labour our son came into this world, just absolutely perfect. I cannot put into words what that moment, a moment I wish I could feel over & over again, felt like. Completely & utterly in love.

Craig was passed George. I looked over and saw him, just sat in the chair, absolutely sobbing. He kissed his newborn sons forehead & just smiled through his tears, he inspected his little toes, his face with his fingers & just took every inch of our baby boy in. That moment I will cherish for the rest of my life. That imagine in my mind will never disappear & I see it every single time I see my boys together. Every fear I had ever felt in the last 9 months had just vanished, any doubts, any regret. Totally vanished.


Part 3:

When I said I couldn’t have been more wrong, I really couldn’t. Craig hadn’t accepted my pregnancy, he hadn’t suddenly realised everything I wanted him to & when I said it felt like he was drunk, he must have been because that night he couldn’t even remember. Craig struggled, Craig struggled the whole way through my pregnancy, I can talk about it now because I know the outcome but in that moment it wasn’t easy.

I’ll start at our twelve week scan, I had continued to do 10000 pregnancy test before this scan because I was just so in denial, Craig kept asking ‘are you sure you’re actually pregnant’ well yeah, I mean as best as I can be? We had told family, friends & work because I can’t keep a secret & felt like Craig had to tell people to try & make it real for himself. Everyone was absolutely over the moon, I knew just how loved this baby was going to be but I’ll be honest, I think Craig thought it was going to be one big dream & he would wake up.

We sat there, in the waiting room & the women called us in, I laid on the bed & the women talked & I didn’t even listen – I was just desperate to see my baby on that screen & for Craig to see it. You know what they are like, they don’t say a bloody word just making you wait until they’ve got all their information & then they start. In that 5 minutes I could not stop shaking, I imagine everyone feels the same, all you want is to see your baby and know everything is ok.

She turned the screen around & showed us, there it was, our baby, 12 weeks & 2 days, all perfect & wonderful. I just cried, absolutely sobbed. Reality set in & I just knew, I just knew that no matter what this baby would change my life in the best way possible. In that moment I didn’t care how Craig felt, I didn’t care how anyone felt. I had spent so long trying to comfort Craig & make sure he was doing ok, I hadn’t even considered myself. The morning sickness, the tiredness, I had dealt with it all myself because I just knew Craig didn’t want to know. But right there & then, I was the happiest I had ever been in my life. I vaguely remember Craig asking questions, the scan was so clear & we could see babies heart beating & it’s little feet. I thought to myself, how could he ever not want this baby now? Here it is in black & white, moving around, his own flesh & blood.

When we left we chatted & I just sat staring at the picture, sending it to anyone & everyone so elated that the baby was fine & we had a confirmed due date – 07th November 2016. I had learnt over the past 6 weeks that talking about it to Craig didn’t help, in fact I think it made it worse, he was struggling to come to terms with it & he had to do It at his own pace in his own time, so instead I talked to everyone else.

At 16 weeks we went for our private gender scan, even then he wasn’t very interested, he was convinced we would have a girl but I knew from the moment I had done that pregnancy test that we would have a boy. Totally confirmed, a boy. Craig didn’t seem to have any emotions about it, all he said was, ‘I thought we’d have a girl’ I think what kept me going was that I just knew that as soon as this baby was born, everything would change. I knew it & I think he did as well.

My pregnancy went really smoothly, I had very little sickness, very little problems & I kept working right up to 38 weeks just knowing that he would be late (boys usually are everyone told me) We had set George’s nursery up, it was absolutely perfect & slowly but surely, Craig was coming around, don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t jumping for joy but we could hold a conversation about the baby, discuss names, what parenthood would be like, but it was limited. My baby shower was amazing, my friends & family where all amazing & I just couldn’t wait for my beautiful boy to be born.

The 07th November came around, I woke up in the morning & Craig had booked the day off just in case anything happened but I felt absolutely fine, no twinges, no signs, just still extremely pregnant. I had googled old wives tales & was convinced I would do them all that day. So in the morning I drank raspberry tea, I bounced on my ball none stop & then Craig suggested a walk, yep let’s do a walk. I had seen going on a bumpy car ride could help so Craig went the back route everywhere in hopes something would happen, to be fair to him, that day he was brilliant, he did everything I asked but I could tell he was nervous, I could tell in the back of his mind all he could thing was ‘this baby is coming & I don’t know how I feel’.

We walked for about an hour around the tarn, very few people around & we didn’t talk, we just held hands & smiled at passers by, I could tell both our minds where going wild but we just didn’t say anything out loud. We drove home, ordered a curry & I sat on my ball. Now this is so strange but at about 8pm Craig said, ‘I’m knackered, I think I’m going to bed, are you coming?’ Now Craig is such a night owl & never goes to bed early but off he went, I decided to stay up as my mind wouldn’t shut off and keep bouncing, drinking tea & walking around.

At 9.30 I thought sod it, I’ll go to bed, so I tidied up, walked upstairs, put my pjs on & climbed into bed. The moment I got in to bed, I weed, well, I thought I had weed. I didn’t say anything so bloody embarrassed, walked (waddled) to the bathroom & sat on the loo. Well, total confirmation, my waters had broke.


Part 2:

I drove home, hitting every bloody red traffic light there was, giving me even more time to overthink what was going to happen when I got home. A journey that takes 20 minutes seemed to last 200 minutes. I smoked then & I watched as everyone next to me in cars smoked – I couldn’t do that now could I, I was pregnant. Fully pregnant. I hadn’t yet got my head around it obviously but I knew I had to as I had to try get Craig’s head around it. I tried taking my mind elsewhere but every time it just came back to this conversation I was going to have to have. I knew I had to be smart, I knew I couldn’t just go home & blurt it out the second I got through the door so I had to plan it, what I would say & when.

I pulled up home, the sickness I had was like something i had never, ever felt before. It was horrific. Anyone who knows Craig knows his love for food & without it, he’s miserable. So my plan was to make him tea first & then sit him down. I walked in. I couldn’t put it off any longer knowing he would have heard my car pull up & wonder what was going on. Craig was stood at the cooker, making tea. Now this is so rare, I think that’s probably the only time he’s made my tea in 8 years. Why today? Why are you being nice today? For some reason I was riddled with guilt, not excitement, not butterflies, guilt because I knew I was about to change his life.

I can still smell the chicken cooking & the lump it made in my throat, I haven’t eaten that bloody garlic & herb chicken since that day. When I walked in, he knew something was wrong straight away, Craig knows me better than anyone and can tell from a slight glance that something isn’t right. I brushed it off saying I just didn’t feel well & asked him about his day at work – the usual rubbish, all while dying inside. Sitting down & eating that meal was awful, Craig continued to ask me what was wrong the whole time, I live for food & I could barley take a mouthful.

After tea had finished, I told Craig to sit down as I had something to tell him, he looked at me, like properly at me as though he was searching my face for some sort of clue & then his face changed, he knew straight away. He responded with ‘you’re pregnant’ now I told a little white lie here & said ‘ i don’t know but I think I am’ even though the previous 4 tests I had done fully confirmed I was, but I wanted him to think I was unsure just so the possibility could sink in. His reaction wasn’t great to put it politely, he told me to go do one & I did. Down I came with that bloody pregnancy test, hand shaking with the blue lines so apparent.

I don’t really know how to write this down as it isn’t very nice but it’s the truth & I said to myself that when I started this, I would write the total truth.. He didn’t want it. He didn’t want this new life growing inside me, our unborn child, he wasn’t interested in anything I said. I tried to make him understand that everything he felt now would totally disappear once the baby was here, baring in mind I had found out 3 hours previous & was trying to digest this myself, but I had to say these things despite me not knowing for certain it would be the truth. I wanted this baby, but I also wanted Craig.

Now Craig’s an only child, a very lucky, spoilt only child but in the best way. He had a brilliant upbringing, a brilliant family & had been totally doted on his whole life. He was pampered, he lived the dream doing what he wanted when he wanted & he didn’t want that to change. Is that selfish? No. It’s not selfish at all, but he also had to look at this from my point of view & at this moment, he wasn’t. Nothing that came from my mouth made a difference, in fact, looking back, I think it made it worse. He was absolutely gutted, he cried, he shouted, he went silent & I didn’t know what to say or do to make this any better.

I knew Craig, I knew what an amazing man he was, that he would do absolutely anything for me & anyone else, I knew he would make the best father, the best role model & most of all, I knew he would love this baby more than life itself if he just trusted me. That night was one of the worst nights ive ever had. I can look back now & it not affect me but right there & then, my god was it hard, my whole body ached from crying, my mind was a complete mess, I didn’t know where to turn or who to, how could I tell anyone that he didn’t want this baby? How could I believe it was true? And by saying it out loud, made it just that, true.

After about 6 hours of going backwards & forwards, sobbing my heart out, Craig crying (a man that I’ve seen cry probably 3 times) shouting, swearing, hearing things I never wanted to hear, I decided to go to bed. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t cope any longer, my whole life I had dreamed of this moment, having a baby with someone I love & living that family life. I wanted to be a Mum more than anything in this world but right now, I couldn’t even think of that. I couldn’t think of anything other than what was happening right now & it was torture. I laid in bed, tossing & turning, not being able to switch off – in comes Craig. He got into bed, rolled over & put his arm around me, I didn’t know what the hell was going on but I went with it. His first & only words to me where ‘I wonder if it’s a boy or a girl’ with his hand on my tummy. The only way I can describe him right now is drunk, completely drunk. He wasn’t tho, he just laid for about 10 minutes, totally silent, hand on my tummy & all of a sudden I relaxed. I laid crying, unsure of what to make of it all, completely & utterly confused. He kissed me on the cheek, said ‘I love you’ and rolled over. Everything I had ever wanted had just happened in that 15 minutes, my absolute love had just accepted we would be having a baby, thinking about the future of our little cub, if it would be a boy or a girl? But my god I was wrong. So wrong.

The Journey Begins..

Part 1:

So here it goes, my friends have been badgering me for a year now to write a blog, I have no idea why but I do think I secretly wanted to do it too, i like writing & sharing honesty but I also love to know more about people, their stories & what their lives have been or what they are going to be. I enjoy it (I’m just super nosey) so thought I’d give it go.

I’ll start at the beginning & probably do part 1, part 2 & so on – I’m super nervous & never done anything like this before so please bare with me!

I’m Ashlee, 25 and I’m from Leeds. I currently have my world attached to my hip – George Peter, my lovely baby boy (not so much a baby anymore but ya know) nearly 2 & the best thing that ever, ever happened. I live with my wonderful boyfriend Craig & our little Bengal cat, Luna, all of them equaling to my version of a perfect family. Let’s touch on Craig for a moment as after-all, that’s how this whole journey of motherhood started. We have been together 8 years, and when I look back we actually are childhood sweethearts (sweethearts is one word for it) well for me anyway, I was 17 when we met, him 21 & he’ll never actually know what meeting him did for me.

I had a pretty rubbish couple of years from being 14-17, I don’t often talk about it & it’s not something I dwell on to much as it’s in the past, what’s the point, the past is the past for a reason, right? But it wasn’t great, I’ll touch on it more in another blog (maybe if I ever dare do another) but I lost my Mum, at14, I lost her & my whole wide world came crashing down, I knew it was coming but never prepared myself for it. Everything I had ever known wasn’t what it was anymore, and at my tender teenager years, I needed her more than ever. During them 3 years I had some pretty toxic relationships, a very rocky patch with my poor Dad who was struggling with how to raise 2 young daughters after just loosing his beloved wife & me totally spiralling out of control. But, I got my life together, it took some time & with major help from some amazing friends (who I’ll never forget) and my family – I found myself again. I got a job, began living life again & being a normal teenager. Them years were extremely difficult, sometimes I wonder how I even got through them but I can look back now and say i did it, I got myself together & became a much better person, a little broken, but someone with hopes, dreams & wanting a future.

Between Christmas & New year 2010, I went out for food with a couple of my friends & who do I see, my Craig, sat across the room with his friends having food. Now I already knew him, he went to my school & was friends with my brother (awks) but there he was, smiling & waving, I’m not joking when I say I fell. I knew he was a good person, people I knew, knew him & I could tell from that moment I wanted him in my life. I made the first move & god does he like to remind me of it, some rubbish about him being in my dream (cringe) but it worked & we began dating.

It wasn’t easy, there was a lot of bumps in the road, we were young & nothings as easy as it seems. But it worked. The more I got to know him, the more I loved him. He was a grafter, genuine, kind, funny, had his life together & I needed that in my life at that moment, most importantly, he cared about me. We had been together maybe 4/5 years, we lived together & all was great but for me something was missing. All my life I had craved being a Mum, I don’t know if it was so apparent then because I was without my Mum & I wanted that love, a family of my own – but ask anyone, my goal in life was to have a family & live that life. It’s funny as me & my sister read our horoscopes the other night & that was the key thing for mine, the love for a family like no other, a home bird that craves to care & love for others – that’s me.

Anyway, I had been dropping hints the moment I met Craig, I knew he was the man I wanted to have children with, I wanted my children to have him as a Dad & that was that. Although, Craig had different views than me, he sat me down & told me he never wanted children. It hit me like a tonne of bricks. The man I loved didn’t share the same views as me? He told me he may change his mind but right now it wasn’t what he wanted & wasn’t sure he would change his mind. It was hard. Hard to digest & hard to get my head around but I did, I loved him & hoped that one day he would think differently. I was 21 then, I had time on my side.

Fast forward to Feb/March 2016, I had been texting the girls saying I was putting on weight, smashing the gym in a desperate bid to loose this bloating that had appeared & being so confused. I’m not eating any different? Am I due on? Then something hit me.. was I pregnant? I stupidly did a pregnancy test at work, thinking nothing of it, just wanting to rule it out. Sat waiting for it to bloody work was the longest minute of my life, I looked & there is was 2 lines. 2 lines??? I was pregnant. Pregnant? I was shocked, excited, nervous, all the natural things you feel when you find out you are carrying a life, but I knew I had to go home & tell Craig. Nothing could calm me as I just knew how he was going to react – never mind coming to terms with having a baby, I had to come to terms with how Craig would be & that made me sick.

“Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body”

– Elizabeth Stone