27 Mar

I should have known when I peed my pants

A few weeks after our blissful trip to Egypt, I was on a photo shoot with one of my wedding couples. We were doing their engagement shoot and their theme was “travel and tourism” because they had guests coming from all over the world for their wedding. My friend Doug from New York was visiting at the time, so he came along to hold my equipment for me.

So, I’m thinking to myself, “What happens to tourists?” And the answer was, “They get targeted by flashers.” So I had an idea to put Doug into my raincoat and photograph him flashing the couple, who would then act suitably aghast. Doug is 6’2” and muscular; it was like stuffing the Hulk into a coat made for a Barbie doll. And, of course, to make it look authentic from behind, I had to pull his trousers down around his ankles. In the middle of Southbank.

Doug was mortified and I laughed so hard I’m surprised that I could actually take the picture. I could see other tourists out of the corner of my eye stopping to stare at the scene. As I pushed the shutter button a few times, I suddenly felt very warm down there. I was laughing so hard that I had peed in my pants. Not much, but enough.

I wrapped the shot up as quickly as possible, helping Doug to extricate himself from the coat and pull up his trousers, and then excused myself to find a toilet.

Peeing in my pants is not a common occurrence for me. In fact, it’s safe to say that, since I’ve been potty trained, it’s never happened to me. I thought maybe I was just getting older and it was time for a little incontinence.

A week later I did the test, peeing again, but this time in the right place. I sat on the toilet, hoping it would say yes (because I really didn’t want to do ICSI) and knowing from experience that it probably wouldn’t. I watched the little stick waiting for the familiar and loathed “Not Pregnant” to flash up on the screen. But that’s not what happened.

I was pregnant.

I started laughing and crying at the same time. The nearest I had felt to this was on only a few other occasions: finishing the London Marathon, marrying my husband, and seeing the gorillas in Rwanda. I have no other way to describe it than pure happiness.

Trying to compose myself, I sauntered into the bedroom to wake James. I tapped him on the shoulder and, as he stuttered awake, I said, “What do you think about the name Egypt Derbyshire?” We both broke down in tears.

One of the first things I did was send him out to a bookstore to buy What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I wouldn’t allow myself to have it until I was pregnant.

Eagerly, I looked up my symptoms and, sure enough, “more frequent urination than usual” was one of them. That’s why I was getting up five times a night and why I had peed in my pants during a photo shoot. Other symptoms to look forward to included bloating and flatulence, nausea, fatigue, and mood swings. The rollercoaster ride of pregnancy had begun.


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