Our sea­side sou­venir

Laura Webb, 31, from Worces­ter, went to the sea­side, and came back with some­thing rather un­ex­pected...

Pick Me Up! Special - - Contents -

I was sick of say­ing I was just fat...

Walk­ing along our quiet street one evening, I bumped into my neigh­bour, Shel­ley. I hadn’t seen her in a while, and I smiled po­litely as she came over.

Grin­ning from ear to ear, she came straight up to me and placed her hand on my belly…

‘Con­grat­u­la­tions, Laura!’ she beamed. ‘When are you due?’

In that in­stant, I could feel my cheeks turn­ing red, and sweat form­ing at my tem­ples.

‘Erm, I’m not preg­nant,’ I said sheep­ishly. ‘I’m just fat.’

I don’t know who was more em­bar­rassed – me or Shel­ley.

‘I’m so sorry,’ she stut­tered, com­pletely flus­tered, be­fore scur­ry­ing off to her house.

Walk­ing straight back to my house, I was mor­ti­fied. But the truth was, deep down, I couldn’t blame Shel­ley for think­ing that I was preg­nant… Af­ter all, I did have a large bulging belly. I just couldn’t un­der­stand why it was so big, though. For years I’d made the ef­fort to keep healthy – go­ing to the gym reg­u­larly and stick­ing to a healthy diet of sal­ads and fruit. I did Zumba and ex­er­cise classes on a weekly ba­sis. In fact, just weeks ear­lier, I’d com­pleted my se­cond big run­ning race and was so proud of my­self. ‘You’re a su­per­star!’ my part­ner Scott, 35, had cheered, kiss­ing me on the cheek. But de­spite all the ex­er­cise and healthy eat­ing, I just couldn’t seem to shift the ex­tra weight around my tummy.

For­tu­nately, Scott loved me no mat­ter what.

We’d been to­gether for nine years, and as far as I was con­cerned, his opin­ion was all that mat­tered.

But now, af­ter my neigh­bour’s pass­ing com­ment, I felt so frus­trated.

That evening, I called my mum, Pam, to tell her about my em­bar­rass­ing en­counter.

Only, in­stead of words of com­fort, she agreed with Shel­ley!

‘Your stom­ach is quite round,’ she said. ‘Maybe there’s a baby in there?’ ‘No chance of that!’ I scoffed.

There was no way I could be preg­nant.

I had the con­tra­cep­tive in­jec­tion every four months, which is 96 per­cent ef­fec­tive.

Scott and I did want to have a fam­ily one day, we just wanted to be fi­nan­cially se­cure be­fore hav­ing a baby.

But, look­ing at my bloated tummy in the mir­ror, I started to won­der whether I had some sort of ge­netic con­di­tion, like di­a­betes, or worse – can­cer.

I’d been adopted when I was younger, and I didn’t know any­thing about my fam­ily his­tory.

‘Maybe I should see a doc­tor,’ I said to Scott.

‘They might be able to do some tests to find out what’s wrong.’

‘It’s worth it if it will put your mind at ease,’ he said.

In the mean­time, to try and cheer me up, Scott planned a day out to We­ston-su­per-mare, so we could walk our favourite beach route.

But as we packed up the car, the idea of a two-hour jour­ney filled me with dread. I’d been toss­ing and turn­ing the night be­fore, my pe­riod pain leav­ing me in agony.

But we headed off any­way, and when we ar­rived at the sea­side re­sort, Scott knew ex­actly how to take my mind off the pain.

Grab­bing my hand, he dragged me to the sea­side ar­cade. And,

Sud­denly the pain started to make sense

dash­ing from game to game like kids in a sweet shop, I soon felt the pain slip­ping away.

Af­ter­wards, we strolled along the sandy beach, and as the waves crashed near our feet, I couldn’t help but smile.

Watch­ing some nearby kids splash­ing around, I just knew that I wanted to be a mum one day.

‘This walk seems to have sorted you out,’ Scott said. ‘ ‘How about some lunch?’ We de­cided on a Nando’s, but, as I tucked into my peri-peri chicken, I was dou­bled over in pain again.

We soon left, and the jour­ney back home was hor­ri­ble.

Waves of pain con­tin­ued to wash over me, and I felt so sick.

As we neared home, the pain had be­come so bad, Scott in­sisted on tak­ing me to the hospi­tal.

Ar­riv­ing at A&E, doc­tors took one look at me and hur­ried us to a cu­bi­cle, where nurses gath­ered around me.

‘Are you ready to have your baby?’ a doc­tor fi­nally asked. ‘I’m not preg­nant,’ I sighed. ‘Just fat.’ But then… ‘You’re in labour and hav­ing

con­trac­tions,’ a nurse as­sured me. ‘Your baby is on its way.’ What?!

Com­pletely over­come with shock, I burst into tears.

‘I’m so sorry about this,’ I sobbed to Scott.

‘Don’t be silly,’ he soothed, hold­ing my hand. ‘We’ll get through this.’ But there was no time for tears, as just then, my wa­ters broke.

‘I need my mum here with me,’ I cried hys­ter­i­cally.

As an adop­tive mother, my mum had never gone into labour her­self, and I knew it would mean the world to her to be by my side now, watch­ing her grand­child be­ing born.

By now it was 2am, but Scott di­alled home any­way.

‘Pam, are you sit­ting down?’ I heard him say.

A few min­utes later, he came back into the de­liv­ery room.

‘She’ll be here in a few min­utes,’ he said.

‘She’s in shock, but she’s over the moon about this.’

When Mum walked in, she looked wor­ried.

‘Laura,’ she blubbed. ‘Ev­ery­thing’s go­ing to be OK.’

But af­ter four hours of con­trac­tions and an­other hour of push­ing, noth­ing had hap­pened.

Fi­nally, with a lit­tle help, our mas­sive baby boy – weigh­ing 8lb 13oz – ar­rived.

I couldn’t be­lieve I’d been preg­nant!

With no crav­ings, no sick­ness, and no pre­vi­ous pain, it was hard to be­lieve a hu­man be­ing had been grow­ing in­side me.

Scott was so emo­tional, but so proud, too.

He’d al­ways wanted a lit­tle boy, and now he was here.

Af­ter­wards, doc­tors ex­plained that I’d had a con­cealed preg­nancy, which meant that the pla­centa was on top.

‘That’s why I didn’t feel a thing,’ I said to Scott, still try­ing to get my head around how our baby had gone un­no­ticed for nine months.

We named him Ja­cob Al­fred, and Scott wasted no time in telling peo­ple our happy news.

‘Laura’s not com­ing in to­day,’ he told my boss that morn­ing.

‘We went to the sea­side and came back with a baby!’

Ja­cob and I stayed in hospi­tal un­til he’d fin­ished a five-day course of an­tibi­otics to com­pen­sate for the pre-birth in­jec­tion that I didn’t have.

Af­ter that, we were al­lowed to bring him home.

But walk­ing into the kitchen that af­ter­noon, I couldn’t be­lieve what I was see­ing.

There was a moun­tain of cards and presents on the ta­ble.

Even at such short no­tice, our friends and fam­ily had man­aged to buy us gifts.

We had ev­ery­thing we needed to care for our new­born.

And when our neigh­bour Shel­ley heard that she’d been right all along, she sent her well-wishes.

Ja­cob is now a cheeky, happy seven-month old.

We will cer­tainly take a trip back to We­ston-su­per-mare to cel­e­brate soon – and this time we’ll be proud par­ents, watch­ing lit­tle Ja­cob play­ing in the sand!

Best sur­prise ever!

We’d gone for a walk on the beach when the pain started

A fam­ily in a flash

We wel­comed our son with un­con­di­tional love

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