‘I found out I was pregnant at 5 months – and it was terrifying'

I used to laugh when watching the TLC show I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant because who doesn’t know when they’re pregnant? That’s rubbish. I really thought those stories were scripted - until it happened to me.

I woke up one day in November last year feeling dizzy, but I thought it was just one of those days. I went about my day until after lunchtime when I felt something moving in my stomach. I was sure I felt a kick in my stomach. I was sure it was a baby because I’ve been pregnant before so I know what it feels like. After work, I got a home pregnancy test, went home, peed on it and, BOOM! There was indeed a bun in the oven.

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My worst fear was confirmed: I was gong to become a mother again. I thought I was done with sleepless nights and buying nappies. I was 29 years old and another baby wasn’t in my plan. I was shocked, angry and confused. I remember calling my close friend telling her I was pregnant. Her response was, “You and your drama, you’re not pregnant.” But when I kept quiet she realised I wasn’t joking.

The worst part was I’d broken up with my baby daddy a few weeks prior to finding out. I suddenly found him annoying so I decided that I needed space. But then I had to let him know he was going to be a father.

The following day I went to his workplace to break the news. I knew it wasn’t the best place to do it, but it had to be done. Even though he was as shocked as I was initially, he’s an amazing man who is very calm and collected and he hardly panics.

He just said, “Go get checked and see how far along you are.” See? I told you, calm and collected.

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I went to a pharmacy clinic and the nurse guessed I was probably 22 weeks along based on the size of my tummy, which had suddenly grown to the size of a watermelon. I almost fell off the bed. 22 weeks? How did this happen? I was shocked and tears wouldn't stop coming. I couldn’t believe I didn’t know I was pregnant. This meant I only had less than four months to prepare for my newborn. Funnily enough, I didn’t have any pregnancy symptoms but I was on the pill too.

However, looking back I think I had weird symptoms but I didn’t think anything of them.

I was craving cigarettes (I know it’s wrong to smoke during pregnancy but I didn’t know I was expecting) and I’m not even a smoker. The second one was vegetables. Ordinarily I hate vegetables, especially cabbage and spinach – they’re not my thing. But I found myself indulging in some of my mother’s cabbage stew and creamy spinach salads. I would even drive to the nearest shop to buy a whole cabbage.

I remember with my first son I was anti-meat, but this time I was eating all kinds of meat except chicken. The most obvious sign was missing my period but because it isn’t regular I wasn’t really concerned. After finding out about my surprise pregnancy I struggled with thoughts like, “How am I going to love two these kids?”, “What if I fail them?” and “But my son is too young”.

My first son was only 15 months old when I found out I was 22 weeks pregnant with my second son. My first pregnancy was planned and we’d been trying for a long time. So you’d probably understand the close bond I have with my firstborn – he’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted. But now he had to share my love and attention.

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That thought nearly killed me. I remember at my first doctor’s visit I cried when I heard my second son’s heartbeat on the monitor. I didn’t think I could be his mom, I didn’t think I was good enough to even try. But I was prepared to carry him right through.

Although I still think I should sue the doctor who prescribed those contraceptive pills or the actual company, I’m really happy with my two boys. When I went for a 4D scan in my second pregnancy I knew I wanted this boy with my entire being. I didn’t know how I was going to do it but I knew he wasn’t a mistake. I think God knew I am capable that’s why He blessed me with him. My boy is cute and healthy and he’ll be four months old next week.

This story was submitted to DRUM and was minimally edited. Do you have a personal story to share? Email Mystory@drum.co.za

*Names have been changed to protect the children involved.