26 November 2014

This post is inspired by Simone of Simonelovesmakeup. She wrote a beautiful labour and delivery post - (Link!) - about her Charlie and it took me back memory lane when I had ze Toddler. So I decided to finally write his story. You need a drink too if you like to continue reading.

Here we go...

It wasn't long since we started trying when we found out we were pregnant. I feel very fortunate to have been pregnant naturally (and quickly) especially when I used to believe that something is wrong with my uterus and my body will betray me when it comes to babies and making them.

Just a few days before I did my first home pregnancy test, I had a dream. I was trying to pull out a giant pregnancy stick from my belly button and it felt like it's anchored in and I was getting really frustrated. I was trying and trying until it finally came out and to my surprise it had a red positive sign. I jolted awake and I immediately consulted my period app on my phone and it showed me that I still had 2 days before I can say my period is late. My gut feeling was certain I was pregnant.

Two days after, I peed on a stick and it was negative. I was devastated. I stayed home and watched videos about "Live Pregnancy Tests" on YouTube which was fun and depressing. I mean who does that? I watched videos after videos then a lightbulb moment hit me. I was reading the results wrong! I ran straight to the bathroom leaving ze husband (boyfriend at that time) confused and startled. I locked the doors and I blindly took my negative test result out of the bin and put it face down on the vanity. I counted 1 to 3 and turned the stick over and compared the results to the diagram in the instructions leaflet. It was definitely negative.

Feeling bummed but determined, I took another pregnancy test. I peed on it and put it face down again and left the bathroom. I paced back and forth from the bedroom back to the bathroom like an idiot. After 5 loooong minutes, I slowly flipped it over and saw a big fat positive. My body started shaking and tears just started streaming down. And then I told ze Husband and he froze. We then told our families first and they were over the moon like us.

I didn't have any morning sickness but I was always tired and sleepy. I remember going to my car to sleep during lunch breaks. I also had massive cravings for foods that are not easily accessible unless I go in an oriental shop or drive south of the river. I hated cooking and the smell that came from MY own cooking but I would gladly eat anything and everything that was cooked for me by someone else. I hated broccoli with a passion and I inhaled nutella and peanut butter like no other.

My skin was perfect - clear, smooth, hydrated. My hair was so shiny. My nails were so strong. I had the pregnancy glow up until the second trimester when everything started swelling up. My feet grew 2 sizes up (length and width). My face looked swollen and my ankles were huge. I was a hot mess and very pregnant.

At the beginning of my third-trimester, ze Husband took me to US for our babymoon. Thinking back now, I think we were extremely crazy brave to have flown thousands of miles to a winter season at 26 weeks for 5 weeks. But it was one of the best trips we did together ever. We got engaged half way the holiday too making the trip extra memorable. It was romantic and there were tears and lots and lots of red velvet cake.

We got back to a very hot Australian summer at 32 weeks and I still had 2 weeks of work. I was hot and bothered. I had extremely swollen feet. The temperature was always high 30s - 40s C and I was cranky. I remember thinking that nothing is clean enough or sanitised enough. I've washed the baby clothes so many times to make sure it's super soft. I was a nutcase-nester.

Then one day, after waking up from what seemed to be THE BEST night sleep ever, I felt a different kind of belly tightening that peaks every 6mins. I rang the hospital and politely asked if I can come to the hospital now. The midwife advised to stay home and do "normal things". So I got myself in the shower but it was very uncomfortable so I had to do it fast. I got dressed and had my breakfast then asked ze Husband to ring the hospital again and say it's coming at 4-5mins now but the midwives can hear me talking and as a rule (apparently) - if you can still talk normally then you're OK to stay home for a bit more. So I decided to watch 27 Dresses on TV so I can just relax. I didn't last 10mins. It started coming fast and strong. I asked ze Husband again to ring the hospital and advised that it's now 2-3mins apart. They finally said OK.

We got to the hospital and I couldn't even walk from the carpark to the entrance without stopping in pain. At this stage, my sentences were cut with aagghhhhh and ooooohhhh. The pain when it peaked was so intense I nearly crushed ze Husband's hands. I remember not being able to leave the lift and ze Husband had to hold the door open for when I am able to move again. A nurse asked if I needed a wheelchair like for real and I replied with a silent death stare.

I was wheeled in the birthing suite. It was a lovely room. I felt more excited and also in a lot of pain. Surprisingly, I was extremely quiet. There were no screaming and swearing like in the movies. Another midwife helped me get changed and then she examined me. Five centimetres she said and then my water broke. My OB arrived looking like she just got out bed and still wearing what looks like PJs and it's not even her scrubs (no kidding!). She was very excited and even joked about meeting ze Baby by mid-day. As luck would have it, I was stuck at 5cm for hours and hours.

Fourteen hours (14hrs) later and 10cm fully dilated, I had epidural top-ups, 2 hours of blissful sleep, a few hours of epidural not working, more hours inhaling gas which made me say the most stupid things and still no baby. My OB (now in proper clothes) advised that it's time to take ze baby out but we might have to do an emergency C-section if ze Baby doesn't tuck his chin in. I said whatever you need to do, do it.

I was wheeled in the theatre just in case and suddenly everything felt serious and surreal. My OB advised that I should be able to push after all. I said I can't feel anything so I wouldn't know when to push but they guided me. They would yell "Now Sheryl push" and I would push all my might not knowing how to actually push. One nurse said to push as if I am doing a poo and so I did. We did 5 sets and I was knackered and still no baby. They then advised me that I'll be getting an episiotomy and that they will be using forceps and vacuum to help take the baby out. My OB yelled the very effective "last push Sheryl and you'll meet your baby" and I gave it all. I felt a sudden release and I could breath normally and then ze Baby let out the most beautiful sound and I was in heaven. I could not stop smiling and I swear I was slurring my words. My whole body was shaking that they had to hold me still so I can be stitched up. The anaesthetist assured me that it's normal. ze Husband got to hold him first and he was proud and happy. He got to cut the cord as well which was special. And then ze Baby was handed to me for some skin to skin action and suddenly motherhood officially started.

I bled for a bit and I was monitored very closely. They found what's causing the bleeding and was fixed just in time for me to have a shower which was the most ah-ma-zing feeling ever. Walking with a catheter and bag was something but walking for the first time after giving birth was another level. I remember thinking my hips are locked, it's not moving but it was.

I can honestly say that my recovery was slow and steady. The episiotomy definitely hurt and it took 8 weeks to feel OK down there. My hormones were all over the place and I were too emotional. I cried a lot missing my mum and feeling sorry that she won't be able to hold ze Baby ever. I cried.a.lot. Luckily, I am surrounded by very supportive family and friends.

I thank my lucky stars every waking moment of my life for my little family. I was the happiest pregnant lady and I am even more happy now if that's even possible. The highs and lows of motherhood are very confronting most of the time but I've learned that mother's instincts are always right.

I'll definitely do it all over again.

So there you have it. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.

I'll speak to you soon! xx

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