Was it planned?
A few weeks ago, something rattled the usually calm demeanour of my other half.
He was talking about our impending addition at work and someone said 'Ah, see we did it the proper way - got a house, got married, had a baby.'.
It pissed him off enough to come home and tell me about it over our courgetti dinner (I'm lying, it was spag bol) and it ruffled my motherly feathers a little bit too.
It's archaic. Granted, it works for some people but to label that as the 'right' way implies that every other way is wrong - that's something that can be thrown right back to 1950 and we'll bring back the awesome beehive hair and dance moves instead.
The statement seemed to go hand in hand with something else we'd been asked a lot when we told people that we were going to have a baby;
'Was it a planned pregnancy?'
The more people asked me, the more I realised what a personal, intrusive question it actually is.
In the early stages, I laughed quite hard when people asked me.
My life consisted predominantly of working hard at my job, walking the dog and going to the pub with Sam.
We solemnly raised our glasses in sunny beer gardens to the parents running around after small children, unloading 47 toys into the vicinity before scurrying off to the loos to change a nappy, all before they even made it to the bar.
We once watched a woman hold a glass of white wine in her hand for half an hour before she had the chance to take a sip, because of the toddlers swinging from her elbows - that day, I was silently grateful for my empty uterus.
The following week, Sam and I politely declined the offer to hold a baby at a wedding - instead ordering one last round of drinks and heading home to watch Netflix comedy specials, hang out with the dog and really, do whatever the hell we pleased.
For those who really know me, it's quite clear that becoming a mother wasn't really on my short term goals list. I got eight hours sleep every night and had a Paperchase loyalty card for Christ's sake - that is not a person who is ready for the sticky calamity of parenthood.
HOWEVER. That doesn't make the entire experience any less brilliant than someone who planned it, and their experience is no less surreal or wobbly than ours because they knew it was coming.
Planned or unplanned, pregnancy makes both fools and warriors of us all.
Whether you've been sitting shaking ovulation sticks and calendar-watching for the last two years or if your baby was a total, utter surprise, really is it anyone else's business?
I'm speaking in broad terms here. When parents and siblings asked us if we'd planned to have a baby, it was more from downright shock at the idea that we'd actually made a proactive decision to swap the merlot for midwifery appointments - I don't blame them for a little incredulity, we were pretty damn surprised at the news ourselves. No, I'm talking about the same breed of person who pushes the unwarranted advice I've spoken about before, who raises an eyebrow if you so much as glance at a glass of wine and who really ought to be avoided at all costs.
'Was it planned?'
Ergo, 'Did you mean for this to happen?'
And ultimately 'I want to know if you really have your shit together or not so that I can measure my own feelings of success against yours and reaffirm the choices I'm making.' You can't win. If you tell someone at 24 that it was on purpose, then inevitably you extract some insecure kind of bitterness from this person, because you look like you have your life TOO on track for a twenty-something and you should still be eating gummy bears for lunch. Which actually, I did the other day.
If they're within your age group, said individual will usually say something self-deprecating like how adult you are and how shit at life they are, whilst secretly hating you a bit.
If you cheerfully tell someone at 24 that you didn't plan it, immediately their expression changes to one of sympathy, of worry or worse, of 'I thought not.'.
I'm the Queen of bad decisions... or at least a Duchess; I've never done heroin or anything but I knowingly watched several episodes of The Great British Bake-Off last year before I got around to buying a TV licence, so you tell me who's living life on the edge.
Regardless, sometimes I make impulsive, snap decisions and they don't quite work out and so it's rather a sweet irony that a completely unconscious life decision has turned out to be one of the best.
Asking if someone planned their pregnancy is not okay, in my book.
It's squeezing out more details either because you're a bit of a nosy sod or to try and find the chink in someone's armour to make yourself feel better about your own life decisions.
To answer the question - no, he wasn't planned.
But chances are, he's still going to have better manners than someone who asked his mother if he was planned or not.