It is July 2006. I'd been in Germany for a week. Not on holiday, nonono, not this time, not even to visit friends and family. Some time ago the decision was made that since we'd be living in Scotland for the foreseeable future, at least we should get married in Germany, to give everyone in Scotland a chance to find out where the bride came from. We also happened to find the perfect place for the perfect wedding's afters, not to be beaten by all the fancy castles, ships, and posh houses at extortionate prices which you can pick from closer to home, err Scotland.
Of course there was an awful lot of last minute panic, what with a wedding dress made by a friend in Germany which was only first tried on a week before the big day (needless to say it needed some alterations), all the last minute stuff that needs to be organised (flowers, decoration, number of guests, menus etc). We were headless chickens, not just to make this day extra special for us, but also to ensure that those who travelled all the way to make our day special would have a fabulous time. There were trips to airports, hotel bookings that went wrong, a programme of activities pre and post big day for those who were around. It was busy, and good. The pleasure of bringing together all of our friends, so many who made the journey, to have this crowd of all the very special people we care for so much all together in one place. Such a privilege, such pride in the fact that we could call these fantastic people our friends.
The day of our wedding was fabulous - a perfect day, sunny, but not too hot or sticky, and all the catering went without a blib. Of course, I was nervous, both before and after, with so many things to organise, I only relaxed towards the end of the actual wedding day and after about three glasses of wine and various other drinks. I'm a worrier, you see. What was more, I got a phone call while in Germany. This was before the wedding day. A job application I'd submitted at the spur of a moment of being disillusioned with annual contracts and lack of colleagues (I worked for a small charity and was the only employee at the time) had brought about an interview. No affordable flight was to be had (and I was happy about that, as I didn't fancy going back to Scotland between wedding and honeymoon) so it was scheduled as a phone interview for the Tuesday after our wedding on Saturday.
My period was late at our wedding, just a few days. I'd been there before. I blamed it on being a nervous wreck, and after all, had I not lost weight coming up to the wedding, without even trying? Yes, it was all a bit much organising a wedding.
The day of my interview approached. I spent Sunday recovering from a hangover and two sleepless nights, and prepared for the interview all day Monday and Tuesday morning.
Tuesday morning came and my period was still late. I figured it must be well over a week late. Now, I'd never been there before other than while training for a marathon, so really, I don't tend to miss periods. It dawned on me that I may, just may, be pregnant. There was an interview at 2pm. A job I really wanted, a rare opportunity which ticked all possible boxes. I'd just got married. My in laws were still about and I was keen to entertain them and show them some of the highlights of the area. Oh, and did I mention the interview I was trying to find time to prepare, in between all of that?
I knew I had to at least test. I also knew that just in case I was actually pregnant, there was no way I could test before the interview.
So this is what my schedule of that fateful Tuesday was (I actually planned this out exactly and stuck to it just so):
Prepare interview (all morning)
Get hubby (oh, he's my HUSBAND now) to get a pregnancy test in a German pharmacy. The thought of it still makes me giggle.
1 pm Have lunch
2 pm do interview by phone
3 pm have a half hour break to collect nerves strewn about after the most agonising interview ever (have you ever done a phone interview with a mobile phone line breaking up and being interviewed by 2 young people whose first language is not English if you yourself are not a native speaker of English? I really and truly had trouble understanding their questions)
3.30 pm pregnancy test
3.32 OMG there are two lines!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I've just done a job interview.
I'm going on honeymoon tomorrow.
I've just got married.
I had a lot of booze at my wedding. As you would expect really.
I'm only a few weeks pregnant and have already damaged my baby. Howl.
Can someone stop this rollercoaster? Please?
I got the job. And I took it, because at the end of the day, I really and truly wanted it, as much as I wanted to have a child I felt awful and requested a chat where I admitted the state I was in. This is before I started the job or gave notice at my old work. I continued to feel awful throughout my pregnancy, never once complaining, not missing a single day, trying to schedule all antenatal appointments with least impact on my work. My new employer has been good to me, not a negative word about the rather awkward timing. This is of course how it should be, but still.
As to our honeymoon I had to admit that picking a destination where the roads were cut into high mountains and one continuous bend wasn't very clever for a first trimester mum to be. My overwhelming memory are endless car journeys on an all day sickness stomach. Fish with all the bits still on staring at me and seriously putting me off any food there was. Panic at every restaurant table if yet again the fare was unstomachable. It usually was - this place was steeped deeply in old fashioned bucolic food, untouched by tourism or the finer taste buds. My constant questions on the pasteurisation status of cheese answered invariably with a shoulder shrug, I came to believe that in this place, pasteurisation had not made its entry. Shame, because there was little other food that I could stomach. There was also little opportunity to find out what I was supposed not to eat, so I indulged in peanuts, prawns, raw egg and whatever else there is which should be avoided during pregnancy. Not that I ate much. Boy those fish eyes and the smell of seaweed, harbour and recently caught fish did not do me much good. Did I mention I missed a whale watching trip? A boat trip, when 8 weeks pregnant? No way Jose. I was so so sick. So so tired, I barely managed to get up for breakfast or lunch and could have spent my whole honeymoon in bed.
Just for all the wrong reasons.
photo credit: Luke and Courtney Barrett