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