in ,

When In Rome

When In Rome | Beers Babies Better Halves
2 min read

There is something strangely ominous about sitting in a cracked leather chair staring down at a ten year old issue of Razzle with your pants around your ankles and a sample bottle grasped tightly in one clammy hand.
And that is not even where my story starts.
My wife and I had been trying to get pregnant for almost a year, tests like the one above had taken place and results had all returned perfectly fine, yet the struggle continued.
Ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, colossal excitement followed by disappointment and heartache every time that little strip said, “not this month.”

Cut to me in an Italian pharmacy, trying to explain in true Bridget Jones fashion that my wife is pregnant and that I need folic acid

As funny as it may sound, it was the one month that we truly switched off a little that our luck finally changed.
We were due to travel to Rome for our second wedding anniversary at the start of November, a couple of weeks prior to this my wife took a random ovulation test after some light cramping, positive. No point in wasting an opportunity.
Fast forward those two weeks, we land in Rome and after a rather eventful few days we reach the morning of our second wedding anniversary.
“Today is the day that I can take a test.” My wife smiled up at me from the bed.
She took the test, and I was given the highly complicated and massively important task of checking the strip, a task at which I failed miserably.
I wandered back into the bedroom of the old Italian apartment we were staying in and told her that the stick said negative. She had expected this, and although disappointed she took the news well, she then asked if she could see the stick and her face turned to shock then beaming excitement, in the dim lighting of the Italian bathroom I had missed the positive line.
We had a positive test!
…and we were in another country.
…with no pregnancy vitamins.
Cut to me in an Italian pharmacy, trying to explain in true Bridget Jones fashion that my wife is pregnant and that I need folic acid.
I left with a box of Natelben Piu and our pregnancy journey truly began.
The next few weeks dragged along in a strange almost ethereal blur.
We had a private scan booked for ten weeks, the wait for twelve just seemed too much, but so far things were progressing as normal, the morning sickness had reared its ugly head though the term ‘always sickness’ would probably be more appropriate.
As the scan loomed closer, time moved even slower and our anxiety reached an all time high, I am not a particularly anxious person so this feeling was new to me, and I was not a fan.
The day of the private scan arrived, and as we sat in the waiting area my wife’s hands were shaking as she tried to complete the paperwork.
Suddenly, we were there, the scan woman introduced herself, my wife lay upon the bed and the final wait began.
We stared up at a blank screen for what seemed like an eternity, when finally the big screen was turned on and we could see it for the first time.
Our baby was perfect and the little flickering heartbeat confirmed that everything was progressing as it should, it felt like a giant weight had been lifted off of our shoulders and we couldn’t stop smiling.

Originally posted at


Written by Matthew Bowes

I’m Matthew and I am 14 weeks and 2 days on my way to being a dad at the moment of writing this.

I decided to chronicle my journey from conception through pregnancy and on into the future as for some reason amusing things always seem to happen to me / around me.

Writing has always been a passion of mine and the chance to share my experiences with others makes the writing all the more fun.


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