So I left. I got my shit together, packed it all up and just walked right out of the door, knowing I’d never go back. I remember taking a deep breath in, looking around the front room and wanting to throw myself on the floor and drown in my own tears. But I didn’t. I wasn’t Bridget Jones and this wasn’t a movie. I was Sophie Robinson and this was real life. My life. I needed to sort this out! I think I stayed so strong because I had known for a while that I'd been fighting a losing battle. I’d been trying to force something that wasn't meant to be and had been holding on to that glimmer of hope, that one day, Kal would love me the way I wanted and we'd live happily ever after. But the reality of it was, I was 20 years old, over half way through a pregnancy, and moving out of my ex boyfriend’s house - hardly a fairy tale.
My Mum had bought a little ex-council house as an investment and had renovated it to rent out. It was finished within a few days of me leaving Kal's house. It was perfect timing really; I just moved in and rented that! It was brand new inside and was located in my home town. But most importantly, it was mine. I could choose who came in and out. A place of my own that finally felt like a home.
I spent a lot of time alone in my new house. I learnt how to bake, how to cook, and I got a lot of work-related things done. I kept myself occupied and started counting down the days until my son arrived. All I wanted to do was cuddle him and tell him that I was sorry that things weren't as he deserved at home. I must have watched every pregnancy-related programme and film on TV! 'Juno' and 'What to Expect When You’re Expecting' were played at least once a day! I guess I just cut myself off from everything and lived in a bubble for a while.
Another reason I may have locked myself away is because even though I actually wasn’t ashamed at this point, I felt like I should have been. I knew that people thought. Even now, when I have no makeup on I do look young, especially with a face full of freckles. So back then, when I walked down the street with a huge bump, I could feel older women judging me and talking about me. If you think about it, I was very young, very pregnant, and already separated from the father. By ‘the book’, you’re supposed to have been together at least 5 years, be married and bought a house before putting a bun in the oven. I never have played by the rules though.
With regards to the pregnancy side of things, I was feeling good. I had no sickness, the tiredness had passed, and I was feeling pretty active. I started an Aqua Natal class on Thursday mornings which allowed me to mingle with other soon-to-be mums. I felt more confident in my pregnant skin and most importantly, it strengthened my bond with Andre. I felt like I had banished all the negative feelings and I was finally coming to terms with what had happened. I still cried a lot, but I was finally moving on. In fact, I was finally getting over Kallum.
Kal and I had put things to bed (so to speak). We agreed to both buy our own things for Andre and that he would attend any baby appointments I had. Going forward, there was no
reason for us to speak to each other apart from when we needed to talk about Andre, and of course when the time came for him to make an appearance. This worked. It was the first time that I didn’t have many negative thoughts about Kal. I had heard he'd still been enjoying his nights out with the lads and chatting up girls, but this was ok now. For the first time ever, we both knew exactly where we stood and both agreed that we were going to work together as a team to ensure Andre lived a happy life and knew he was loved very much.
Kal didn’t even know where I lived. He never asked and I never told him. We spoke a few times on the phone with regards to which baby things we needed to buy and how we would organise things when he was born. I knew that I wanted a natural labour with as little pain relief as possible, so we went to view Pontefract birthing unit together and decided that that’s where we would like to have Andre. I also knew that I was going to breastfeed. My Mum breastfed all four of her kids and I’d had it drilled into me from such a young age that 'breast is best'. This meant that Andre couldn’t be away from me for a few months at least, but Kal was fine with that. We had already agreed that while he was little, we would do as much as possible together so neither of us missed out.
I really started to enjoy my pregnancy and even though I felt at times as though I was doing it alone, it felt good. I felt like I had accomplished something. I did envy Kallum a bit, that he was still going out with the lads and I was left at home with his child stuck to the front of me. One thing I always tell my friends when they are expecting for the first time is that a woman becomes a mother the second she finds out that she's pregnant, and a man becomes a father the second his child is placed in his arms. I am a strong believer in that. We have to give up our bodies, sacrifice certain foods and drink, and protect our children while they are growing inside us.
I would do the whole pregnancy different if and when the time comes again. Nowadays, I see pretty girls getting all glammed up with their amazing bump, going for food and mocktails etc. I always think “hell yeah, go for it girl!” But I punished myself because I was single during my pregnancy. I felt like I wasn’t deserved enough to go out and enjoy myself.
I've been asked a few times if Andre was planned, and to be honest, I've probably given a different answer every time!! I should have just been honest and said no! And that actually, I nearly rolled off the fucking bed when I saw a five month old child inside my stomach. Or explained how I was up shit creek with my 'ex' that finished me on a daily basis. Instead my answers varied from “yes we tried a while for him” or “yes, we came off the pill and it happened within a day” blah blah blah. So I’m sorry to anyone that I lied to, I just wasn’t ready to tell my story until now.
The colder nights came around and Christmas was only round the corner. Kal and I had spent the last Christmas day together at my Mum’s, rolling around in the snow. That would have been Christmas 2011! A hell of a lot had changed in a year but I was looking forward to spending Christmas morning in my house, just me and bump, and then going to my Mum’s house to watch the kids open their presents and have a huge dinner. With the festive season came my work Christmas party. I wasn’t going to go but my boss insisted. I actually
started to look forward to it as I didn’t get out much anymore. I couldn’t wait for some nice food and a laugh with my friends; it was just what I needed!
So I went. We were all sat around the table when my phone went off. I assumed it would be my Mum checking I was ok because I was getting the train home that night and it would be late. She was a worrier when I was alone and pregnant! But it wasn’t Mum, it was a message from Kal!! It was strange for him to message me on a weeknight, especially at that time. I opened it and it simply read “Hi babe, what are you doing?” There was zero mention of Andre. Was this a booty call? Was the father of my child booty calling me on a Wednesday evening whilst I was at my Christmas do?! I was that big at the time that all I needed was an apple in my mouth and I could have passed for a hog roast, so surely he wasn’t contacting me for that!!
I replied and told him I was out at my work’s party and after exchanging a few messages, I found out he was at his too. He insisted that he wouldn’t drink and would give me a lift home so I didn’t have to get the train. So there I was, heavily pregnant and flirting via text message to the father of my child. Girls, I'm sure most of us have been there. You know when you know you shouldn’t reply, but you just can't help it!? Well, he only bloody started flirting back. The last message read “See you outside the Marriot at 10pm ;)”.
(End of Part 5.)