Thembi was a mother of a 15-month-old when she found out she was 22 weeks pregnant with her second child. She hardly had time to prepare for a second baby and had just broken up with her boyfriend. This is her story.
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.
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.
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.
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.