There is nothing like growing a little human. Absolutely nothing can compare!
I don’t think there’s anything that can prepare you for the experience of pregnancy – especially birth and becoming a mother. I’ve had two pretty different experiences.
Baby # 1
Hannah was born in July 2014. I had a relatively good pregnancy, with a few strange/unexpected symptoms. I had standard morning sickness from 7-14 weeks and then I felt really good. I developed a sweet tooth during this time, which I had never had before! I craved doughnuts and fanta orange and basically ALL the junk food! I ate 2 minute noodles to keep morning sickness at bay. From day 1 of finding out, I couldn’t even stomach salad, which I had been eating daily and I gave in to a lot of cravings. oops. No wonder I gained 13kg! #sorrynotsorry
I also had carpel tunnel syndrome later on in my pregnancy and this was super painful! Not to mention the pain in my ribs, that I was convinced was the baby breaking through my ribcage. haha!
I was really hoping to have a natural birth and I did ALL the research and watched “One Born Every Minute” which is a great series about British Midwives. All that prep was wasted, as I was informed at 39.5 weeks, on a Thursday afternoon, that I would need to have a C-section. Although my doctor was probably right in the end, she didn’t really give me the choice to be induced or try for a natural birth at all. She simply just pushed me into a corner and I eventually gave in! It was my first baby, I was scared and even though I was SO upset, I made the decision to go ahead with the C-section. Monday rolled around, I had done my hair and even put on some make-up, so C-sections are great if you enjoy planning and feeling (somewhat) in control.
I WAS SO EXCITED… then the fear struck me as I was being wheeled into the theatre waiting area. I couldn’t control what was about to happen and I wasn’t prepared to feel such intense emotions – I was about to have a baby and there was really no going back. It took them a while to get her out, she was stuck quite high up and it took a few people basically sitting on top of me pushing her out, to eventually birth her into the world. Hannah Sophia was born at a whopping 3.8kg and 55cm. They called her “the catch of the day.”
Those first moments cuddling a newborn baby are the most incredible moments in the world! Here are some pics of us and little bub:
Baby # 2
Eden was born in August 2017.
I also had a pretty easy pregnancy with her. Standard morning sickness, pretty much the same symptoms as with Hannah, too. I couldn’t stomach meat while I suffered with morning sickness and I absolutely loved picked/fresh things. With her I only gained 7kg and I mostly felt great! See, the bump:
With Eden, I really wanted to try for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) and I even moved to a new doctor who was all for this option. Again, I did tons of research, watched copious amounts of birth stories on youtube… It was actually a really weird addiction… haha! My poor husband! I honestly believed that this time, I would get the birth experience that I had always wanted. I just wanted the chance to try! We only want to have two babies, so I knew that this was the only chance.
South African law states that once your baby reaches 3.5kg on an ultrasound, a VBAC is no longer an option. At 38 weeks the scan showed 3.1kg and with each day that passed and labour wasn’t happening, I knew the odds were against me. I had a 39 week scan on Monday and on the Sunday I remember crying and saying to Dave that I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I knew a C-section was coming. So we decided that if we had no choice, we would book the C-section for as soon as possible. Monday came and the scan showed exactly 3.5kg. So, we were booked in for the next day.
This time around, I was wheeled into theatre with a lot of excitement and anticipation. I dreaded the epidural, but that was ok, actually! Dave and I even joked around and laughed for most of the surgery. Eden Rose entered the world weighing 3.5kg and 50cm long, with a mop of dark hair – super unexpected.
Dave did skin-to-skin with her while I was in recovery and I believe that this made all the difference in my breastfeeding journey – she latched on like a champ from the first moment.
It was so special seeing Hannah meeting her baby sister for the first time and they absolutely adore each other.
Even though I was disappointed that I didn’t get the natural birth that I had been hoping for, it turned out that God had a plan all along. Once the doctors opened me up, they discovered cysts on my fallopian tubes that had to be removed and my bladder had adhered to my uterine wall. They wouldn’t have picked this up if it wasn’t for the C-section and it could’ve caused major issues. They sent the cyst mass away for testing and it was clear, but I am at risk of future cancer, so I will need regular tests. I give God all the praise and glory, for being in control and knowing what was best for me. As much as I wanted a natural birth, God knew what was going on in my body and he took care of me and my baby.
Birth is the single most beautiful and scary thing! I honestly don’t think I will do it again, which is a sad thought as a woman. I am grateful for two beautiful girls and the amazing joy that they bring to us.
Well, that was a bit longer than I expected! Thanks for reading.