My mobile phone beeped at 6.09am with the news.
“Kate Middleton is pregnant,” I read through bleary eyes.
My heart did a sommersault (is that weird? Okay, don’t answer …). But it’s the truth, so there you have it. I was unashamedly overjoyed for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and I remained in that drunk-on-joy-hooray-for-a-royal-baby mood right up until I read the announcement from the Palace. The pregnancy has been confirmed but Kate is yet to reach 12 weeks.
She’s essentially been backed into a corner and forced to announce this pregnancy due to her hospitalisation on Monday. And THAT moment, when I realised what this all meant, that’s when my heart went from doing star jumps to dropping into my ugg boots.
‘Oh God,’ I thought. Just like every woman who has ever suffered the shock and pure devastation of a first trimester miscarriage. Just like every woman who has gleefully told friends and family of an expected baby only to have to – through a fog of sadness or numbness – make the calls and send the emails that start with the words, “We have some terrible news to share …”
I lost my first pregnancy at six and a half weeks. Alone in Townsville at a writers festival. I’d just checked into the festival hotel when my body went into cramps and I started to cry.
I knew what was happening as the floaty dreams of prams and cots and snuggling this little soul evaporated. Just like that. And regardless of how early a miscarriage is, if the baby is much-wanted, if you have already felt the whisper of a new little spirit in your ear – the loss can bring you to your knees. Your baby has gone.
But that fear for the Duchess having a miscarriage is not the only reason that some couples greeted Monday’s news with heavy hearts.
When you’re desperately trying to conceive or have suffered a stillbirth or neo-natal death, the news of someone else’s (really anyone else’s) pregnancy can feel like a sucker punch.
And while I’m not in that headspace now, I have been. Boy, have I been.