So, post number 1. A blank canvas. An endless sea of blank white virtual paper in front of me……..
I am starting this blog when Wade is 14 months old. So finally, after the first year is over and maybe some of the lost brain cells that drained out with my breast milk are starting to return, I have got it up and running. So many things have happened up until now and more amazing, beautiful or frustrating crazy things are happening everyday. I want to tell the story from the beginning but I will also put in little stories of things that are happening right now.
Let’s start with my favourite photo of him at the moment.
I had wanted to have children for a very long time and when I met Mick and knew that he was “the one”, having kids was always in the front of my mind. There were things we needed to get done first like buy a house, get settled, plan a wedding and so on. It started to feel like it was never going to happen and I’m far too impatient for my own good. When I want something, I want it there and then. People always say that life is about the journey but mostly I thought that was crap. Once we finally got ourselves together to have a family, it took another 8 months of trying. I know this is actually a reasonably average time for it to take but I wanted kids so badly and every month that went by that I wasn’t pregnant, felt like torture. When I was young, I was constantly told about how easy it is to fall pregnant and you have to be vigilant!! Now, I want to get pregnant and apparently all the planets have to align while someone waves a red flag to the east or something before it will happen. I will admit to not being the loveliest person to be around during this time….
This was the first lesson Wade taught me. The lesson of patience. Babies will do whatever they do, when they do it and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it!
When it (finally!) happened, I was over the moon. I was amazed at how quickly my mind started listening and understanding what was happening in my body. I was doing yoga a couple of times a week at a reasonably intense level before I fell pregnant. I knew that yoga is fantastic for the body and really good during pregnancy as long as you modify the postures and not do anything that doesn’t feel right. I had every intention of continuing the practice throughout the pregnancy but a couple of weeks in, I just had this feeling that it wasn’t right. The postures felt wrong, there was no pain or anything just a bell going off in mind somewhere saying don’t do this. So, I stopped. I don’t know whether it was the right thing to do or not but it felt right to stop, so I did! Things like this happened all the time throughout the pregnancy. It happened with foods I wasn’t sure whether to eat, events I was invited to, things I wanted to do. As time went on I wondered if it was Wade talking to me or the beginnings of maternal instincts. I still don’t know.
What I do know is that I had a dream pregnancy. Everything felt fine. I had no morning sickness, although there were 2 weeks there when the taste of toothpaste and the smell of washing powder made me cough uncontrollably till I thought I would cough up a lung! Weird.
I was definitely tired but I was working on my feet as a waiter which is exhausting at the best of times.
In fact, if I’d never had any prenatal testing, it would have been a “perfect” pregnancy.
I remember being so suspicious of all the medical intervention into birth early on in my pregnancy. It’s weird, I am not necessarily gung-ho about all natural birth but I don’t like unnecessary intervention. The kind of “just in case” things that mothers feel pressured into having. My plan was for as natural birth as possible and to be prepared to go to plan B if I had to. If I had to go to plan B, I wanted to know why it was necessary and what the risks were of not having it. Informed choice so to speak. I wanted to give birth at a Birthing Centre in the hospital for this exact reason. The Birthing Centre is for low risk pregnancies with an emphasis on aiming for a natural birth but it is literally 2m away from the main delivery department just in case something went wrong. This made feel comfortable that I had all of the bases covered.
When I went to my local GP after the home pregnancy test came back positive, I went home with paperwork about all the tests I would need to have. The 8 week dating scan and blood tests for risk of DS and other chromosomal abnormalities. Instantly, I began questioning whether any of this was necessary. It was just presumed that I would book in for these. I decided that the dating scan was only useful if I didn’t know the date of my last period (which I did) and why expose my baby to more scans than necessary?
When it came to having the blood tests done for risk of chromosomal abnormalities, I decided not to do it. I decided that the test was unnecessary. That it didn’t prove anything and that it wouldn’t make any difference because we wouldn’t terminate if the baby had DS. I remember being definitive about the decision but with hindsight, it was idealistic. I believed at the time that the less we knew about the baby, the better. That we would deal with whatever came our way and all this testing just confused things.
Hindsight is a beautiful thing. How differently I would approach this now. Now I know that information is golden. The more I know, the more I can look objectively at the issue. By refusing testing, I was effectively putting my head in the sand about what could go wrong. Now that I am on the other side, I feel much more in control of my emotions and my decisions when I have all the facts in front of me. Obviously this is a personal choice but this works for me as there are less “what ifs” to deal with and more “this is the way it is”.