that actually, despite everything I say, I love this little monster more than I can really describe, and I’d do anything to keep it safe. Early I’ve struggled with feelings of love since finding out I was pregnant. At first, it was a case of wondering how I could possibly love a little ball of cells, and I couldn’t really envisage it becoming a baby – much less OUR baby.

Then there was the 12 week scan, when it looked a bit positive signs like an alien, but still it was vaguely more human, and something in my mind ‘clicked’ and went “Oh… right… I may need to look after this at some point in the future”. 20 week scan and there was no denying it, it’s a fully-fledged, bona-fide human being in miniature form, growing and moving and doing all that stuff that unborn babies do… but still, it wasn’t quite ‘our baby’. I didn’t feel like I loved it yet, or that I’d ever really be able to. It’s amazing how sudden events can change your entire perspective. Not feeling the baby move is terrifying, when it spends most of its time pumelling your insides like there’s no tomorrow. Waking up to that sudden stillness – and worse, when that stillness doesn’t go away – creates so many emotions in your head. For me, that overriding emotion symptoms was love – a need to protect the baby, and to make sure it was ok.

Of course, we got to the hospital, they put me on the trace machine and do some test and behold, a very strong heartbeat and a Speed Bump trying desperately to kick the pads away. But the love didn’t fade (although it was joined with a feeling of ‘grr, you little monster!’). It’s still there. And weird things happen when you fall in love. I’ve gone from referring to it as ‘the baby’, or the pet name my family gave it, to calling it ‘pickle’ – don’t ask why, I have no idea, it just feels right. It’s my little pickle and I’m going to look after it. Love is weird, but it’s also nice. The thought of meeting SB in 12 weeks time doesn’t strike fear into my heart anymore – it makes me excited. Excited to see this tiny person we’ve created together, to look at the tiny face and see where it gets everything from, and to tell it how much we both love it. And I get that same rush of love now every time I see those scan pictures (we’re amassing a bit of an album now). That little blurry baby in those pictures might not have much by way of designer clothing kit, or the best toys, or the newest things and what it wants, when it wants it… but it will have more love than its tiny arms can shake a stick at

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