I was never a particularly "girly" girl. I knew my fish knife from my pocket knife, my heels from my hiking boots, but I certainly knew which I preferred. It was a natural progession from a childhood of scouting to life in the Army. I had no aspirations of motherhood, but I knew for absolutely certain that I wanted to be a Company Commander, and I was well on my way.
There was, however, a spanner in the works. I had met a lovely young gentleman during our training. I knew he was a good egg - after a week-long food and sleep deprivation exercise he was still in my good books. That really takes serious chemistry and strong character! It took six long months before we were dating (which I mostly spent trying not to catch his eye in class, then furiously blushing when I did - and I am NOT usually a blusher) and another whole week for him to kiss me (I had to talk him into it!)
Fast forward a few years and you can find us engaged and planning a wedding. My career was gunning, I had been deployed, I was getting great reports and was well regarded. I was going to the top! But suddenly I was tired, so tired. And no matter how much I ran I just felt BLOATED. Of course, wise readers, being so in tune with your own selves and with the benefit of distance, you can probably guess what was happening. I just thought my body had gone nuts. I ran more, ate less, and tried not to nap at work. There was an upside, though, all that running helped me win the cross country for my age group...
It came to a head the Friday before a planned week of backcountry skiing. My tummy hurt, so I went to the doctor. He assessed my symptoms, then asked me (in a gorgeous Afrikaans accent) "Well, Miss Not-Yet-Accidental, what will you do if you are pregnant?" I answered blithely "oh Doc, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it." Three minutes later, and he burst back in... "We are at the bridge!!"
And so began a new chapter of my life. OUR life. My charming young gentleman, once he remembered that we were older than sixteen, financially solvent, and in a committed (engaged!) relationship, was ecstatic. (This realisation took all of three seconds, but it was very funny watching his face while he processed.)
And so eventually, after a wedding and a move, along came Peanut. My friends found it very amusing - had we voted five years ago I have no doubt I would have taken out the titles of "least maternal" and "least likely to breed". I know I did win the title of "biggest bloke" at my all girl high school. But, somehow, motherhood and housewifery just suited me. I had found my new niche. And so, when Peanut was born, so was the "Accidental" name.
I want to make very clear that although Peanut was technically an accident, she is the most wonderful accident since the discovery of penicillin. In the great battle of birth control versus antibiotics, there was one clear winner - me. I lost the flu and gained one of the great loves of my life. She has been adored since the first time I knew she existed.... a full fifteen weeks after she was conceived. ;)
Listen to your body, ladies! It might be announcing exceptional news!