The sweet scent of fresh doughnuts wafted through the air as I made my way towards the office block where I worked. I guess one won't hurt, I told myself, stopping at the food court. And that one probably didn't hurt - but soon I was tucking into them daily at the real estate agency. Before long, I'd piled on 10kg.
"I need to lose weight," I sighed to my partner, Kurt.
As a mum to my 18-month-old daughter, Jayla, I wanted to set a good example. I cut back on sugar but it didn't make any difference. Then my period was late and I panicked that I was pregnant.
I took two tests, but both were negative. It wasn't much of a surprise as I had polycystic ovarian syndrome which meant it would be harder for me to have another child.
One morning, I stepped into the shower when a sharp pain that felt like an electric shock shot from my stomach to my chest.
"Argh!" I gasped, staggering to the bathroom.
Kurt rushed to my side as I keeled over. Suddenly, I had a thought.
"I think my appendix has burst," I stammered.
My younger brother Corey, 19, lived with us and offered to rush me to hospital while Kurt stayed home with Jayla. Staggering into the emergency room while Corey searched for a parking spot, I fought back tears at the side-splitting pain.
"Please help me," I begged to the young nurse sitting behind the counter.
The entire waiting room was staring as another wave of pain crippled me.
I was swiftly transferred onto a bed for an ultrasound to look at my appendix. As the image flickered up on the screen, I heard that familiar sound: thump … thump … thump ... Surely not...
"Is this what I think it is?" I stuttered.
The doctor smiled.
"You better believe it. Congratulations - your bub's got a solid heartbeat."
The words stunned me to the point of being speechless.
I'd had my last period just three weeks earlier, so it'd be a couple of months before we'd make it public.
"We need to get you into the delivery room," the doctor smiled. "The baby's coming."
My blood ran cold. It was coming NOW?
I panicked that I must be having a miscarriage, but the doctor reassured me.
"You're nine months gone - the bub will be just fine!"
A minute ago I was facing appedicitis, now I was about to give birth!
As I was wheeled to the labour ward, I begged the nurses to call Kurt.
But I could feel the baby was already coming. After just four pushes, a deafening cry filled the room.
"It's a boy," the midwife said, handing my son over.
Looking into his eyes was overwhelming.
He was so beautiful, but I couldn't stop crying. I knew how much Kurt had wanted a boy.
Thankfully, he and Corey burst through the room not long after.
The news had had time to sink in for me, but Kurt was dumbstruck.
"Oh my God," he repeated.
Thankfully, our baby Jax was healthy.
"I never even felt you kick," I told him. "Not once."
Friends and family who I saw everyday all agreed I hadn't looked pregnant, either.
"You were only a little bit podgy," Mum teased.
Looking back, I think those donuts I treated myself to were well-deserved. After all, I'd unknowingly been eating for two!
Once word spread, the whole community pitched in. Soon, the house was filled to the brim with bottles, nappies, blankets and clothes.
I love being a mum again – even if I didn't plan it. And little Jayla adores her brother. But when they're older, Kurt and I will tell them the crazy story of how I became a mum without realising it.
Baby Jax has taught me that life really is a mystery, but I wouldn't change him for anything.
- SkincareWhy you should use seaweed in your skincare routine
Australian Women's WeeklyFeb 14, 2019