I havn’t put A’s pre-birth story down in writing before. Partly because I have been putting it off but mostly because it’s this private little gem that I like to take out and think about and then pack safely away again. But considering that I have such a terrible memory I should write this all up before I forget and lose a precious detail. Especially with Baby #2 around the corner.
So here goes:
I always knew I wanted to have kids. In my mind I had a set plan – finish university, get an awesome job, meet the guy of my dreams, get married, have kids and stay at home with them until they go to school. What actually happened was – I met the guy of my dreams (he literally ticked almost all the boxes of my high school dreaming checklist) at university, got a not-great job in an awesome company doing something I didn’t really like but with people that I really enjoyed, got married, had a kid and stayed home. I guess half the plan is still in effect 🙂
Anyway, I started getting broody two years into marriage but largely ignored the feeling because J wasn’t very receptive of the idea so soon. We had just bought our first home so finances were tight and we wanted to travel first. But I’m not a patient person. So I may have pushed him to commit to a date when we would start trying. Which meant we needed to travel ASAP. What a wonderful European holiday that was. Incidentally also when we picked a name for A. We got back in April and were in the baby making business. But J’s heart still wasn’t into it and I was also starting to have doubts about my readiness so it’s actually a miracle I fell pregnant at all. It was really a hit and miss situation.
I’m terrible at keeping track of my period and hadn’t been on birth control in years so I only started to suspect something was going on when my breasts became really frikkin sore. I couldn’t even look at them without it hurting. Sleeping on my tummy was out of the question. It didn’t click at first because I wasn’t kidding about us not putting a concerted effort into the baby manufacturing business. I actually waited two weeks before doing a test. I had a small stockpile at home because I had been doing random tests in the previous months and driving myself crazy. On 23 Dec 2012 I woke up at 5am and spent 1.5 hours convincing myself that I was wrong again and not to get my hopes up etc etc. At 6:30 I did the test and it was positive. That second line showed up before I even flushed. I just stared. It was weird. Surreal. I was equal parts overjoyed and terrified. I had so many ideas of cute ways I would tell J when it was time but that all flew out the window. I took the test, walked to the bedroom, woke him up, showed him the test wordlessly then burst into tears. The poor guy had had about three hours of sleep and didn’t register what was going on at first which made me cry even more. But then he woke up and I calmed down and we were cautiously excited. It still didn’t feel real so we impatiently waited for 8am to call and make a doctors appointment. We were lucky enough to get one at 9:30 and I had a blood test done with the doctor promising to call/msg as soon as he got the results. We were at a wedding when the message came through that I was 6 weeks pregnant. It was real. We were so excited!!! The wedding was a blur. We kept saying ‘six weeks’ to each other at random moments with varying degrees of excitement and panic.
We told our families on Christmas day. It was agony just waiting two days. J’s folks were happy for us but my mum totally flipped. She has been waiting for a grandchild from the day after our wedding! Typical Indian mother. 🙂 We waited until the 12 week mark to tell our friends. The best reaction was from our best friend who just sat in silence for about half an hour at the dinner table processing the information. It was hilarious. Then she burst out with something along the lines of ‘omg, you’re having a baby. We don’t even like kids. I’m not ready for this’ 😂😂😂😂 We still rip her out about it all these years later. She is now one of my daughter’s favourite people and the adoration is very much reciprocated. We still don’t like (other) kids though. 😛
I had a wonderful pregnancy with a few hiccups along the way. My first trimester was smooth sailing (speaking of sailing, against J’s better judgement I decided it would be a good idea for us to go on a 3 day cruise with my family and cousins at 12 weeks pregnant. I can only blame the crazy hormones for this lack of self preservation as even a short car trip makes me feel sick. Let’s just say I regretted my decision from that first night until I dragged myself onto solid ground 2 days later. It’s all fun and games until the ship actually starts moving. Ugh. Never again) with no nausea but I was hungry all the time and fatigued. I would go from content to starvation in five minutes. We would be watching tv and I would be fine then I would feel a bit hungry and mention it to J and then almost immediately I would be so hungry I was in tears. My stomach would cramp and I would feel faint. It freaked him out to no end.
The second semester was smooth sailing. I felt good and almost back to normal besides the growing bump.
The third trimester was slight trickier towards the end. My sense of smell became an unwanted superpower to the point where all I wanted to eat was jungle oats which had the moldest smell but filled me up. Then one day I started getting sharp pains in the groin. Like someone was stabbing me in the vagina with a stiletto. Not fun. Very scary. Thank goodness for Google which revealed that this was normal and a result of both joint pain and baby’s positioning on a nerve. A follow up call with the doctor confirmed this. We stopped panicking but the pain was still there every now and then. I was worried about it happening while I was driving so decided to go on maternity leave earlier. It was such a relief. I rested and nested to my hearts content.
Everything was going well, I was on track for a natural delivery, all the hospital admin had been done and I had packed and repacked our hospital bags at least 5 times. Then at the 38 week check up the doctor said that not only had baby not dropped into position but she had not put on any weight from the previous week. He didn’t want us to panic but he wanted to induce me as there was a chance that the placenta was no longer sufficient. We freaked out a bit but decided that the coming Friday would be the day. That gave us time to make sure we had everything ready. It suddenly became very real.
We got to the hospital at 6am, filled out the paperwork and headed to the labour ward. I had no idea what an induction entailed so when the nurse showed me a tiny strip of paper that she was going to insert inside me I was a bit confused. I assumed it would be an injection or drip. Anyway, once that was done they hooked me up to a machine and we waited for the contractions to start. And we waited. And waited. And waited some more. To the point where the nurse asked the doctor to check if she had inserted the induction strip thing properly. Awkward. It was in place but nothing was happening. Not even the teeniest tiniest cramp. I fel robbed. It sounds dumb but I wanted the pain. I wanted to experience this to the full extent. But nothing happened. It did give us time to come up with her second name though.
The doctor checked in every hour and by 3pm he said it would have to be a C-section. I was disappointed but also more than ready for something to happen after all the boring waiting. It took about half an hour for them to get set up then I went in for my epidural. While the aneasthetist got ready my husband excitedly told me that his friends husband would be assisting the gynae. WHAT?!!! How was this good news?? I didn’t want someone we know seeing my bits and bobs! The embarrassment distracted me from the spinal injection and the next thing I knew I was numb from the chest down. Very very strange feeling. Everything happened quite quickly after that. I was transferred to the operating table with a sheet at chest level so I couldn’t see what was happening down below. The drip made me feel very nauseas but luckily the anesthetist added some other magic to the bag and I felt better immediately. I had been dangerously close to throwing up.
Having a C-section was not my plan and I can’t say I enjoyed it. I lay there completely aware of what was going on but emotionally detached because I couldn’t see or feel the process unfold, besides the tugging of course. I could hear the doctors chatting about random stuff, J gave me a running commentary and the nurses kept checking on me but it just didn’t feel real. Until the doctor held up our little girl and then the floodgates opened. Tears started rolling into my hair but I was smiling so hard my face hurt. She looked really beautiful to me even all covered in blood and other who knows what. She was here. At last. I felt like I had waited my whole life for this little person to arrive. She was checked and then handed to me in a blanket while I was being stitched up but I couldn’t carry her properly because I suddenly had a severe pain in my right shoulder. So J took her and held her while I just stared and tried not to burst with happiness. I had just met the love of my life.
Shew. This was a longer post than I anticipated. But I’m so happy it’s here for me to look back at. I’ll do another soon on my post birth experience to finish off the story.