Some women float through pregnancy like frigging goddesses. They eat healthily, look amazing, work until they go into labour and run the odd half marathon in their downtime. (Only a half marathon because, you know, doctors orders.)
I am not one of those women.
I throw up so much I have to be rehydrated intravenously. I am still finding stashes of vomit bags and Zofran in the most unusual places.
I eat whatever the hell stays down. Which mainly consisted of potato chips and baked beans.
I hobble around like someone who has ridden a horse for far too long. Thank you symphysis pubis dysfunction. I didn’t realise how bad it was until I dropped a bag at the shops and a beautiful lady with a perm and blue rinse picked it up for me.
My body itself attempts to reject the pregnancy. I bleed and contract and end up on medication and bedrest to try and prevent preterm labour.
In fact, I spend so much time in hospital that my health insurance company – clearly less than impressed with having to pay for in excess of 15 admissions – offer to provide me with a personal health coach to improve my health and wellbeing. At first I was all ‘hell yeah – free health support’. Then I made the disturbing discovery that all the models featured in the brochure had white hair and walking sticks.
I had been invited to geriatric fitness classes.
This was my new demographic.
Still, much to everyones surprise, I struggled on and on until 36 weeks. Then on a Saturday night I went into labour. Of course, since I had been contracting on and off for weeks I didn’t realise it was *actual* labour. So Hubster went to a bucks night and I popped a few Panadol and went out to dinner with some mums from the school. As you do.
The next day things were still on the ouchie side, but certainly not akin to my labour with Master D. And I had been experiencing similar pain almost daily for several months, so I wasn’t particularly alarmed.
Spoiler alert: I should have been alarmed.
Around lunchtime we called the hospital. I knew the drill. CTG and admission for observation. I packed my bag like I had done so many times.
But this time was different. The hospital was eerily quiet on a Sunday and I was the only woman in labour ward. This time I was dilating and they could not stop the labour.
Suddenly I was being prepped for an emergency c section and I was crying because I didn’t get my baby to the magic full term 37 weeks. And the doctors were telling me my baby would be taken away to special care because it was early. That my baby might be sick or have trouble breathing. And there were suddenly lots of people in scrubs around asking me weird questions like “have you been to West Africa in the last 21 days” (umm yeah. Just after I trekked the Himalayas). And I didn’t get the chance to stop my Lithium which can make babies floppy at birth. And I just didn’t think it would happen this way.
Less than four hours after calling the hospital I was holding our beautiful healthy baby girl. No special care needed. And aside from jaundice, and extreme sleepiness due to prematurity, no major issues following the birth.
Then came my recovery. With a history of postnatal depression, postnatal psychosis and bipolar disorder I was considered high risk for relapse and transferred to a mother baby unit following my discharge from the maternity ward. I was put on higher doses of medication and observed for a few weeks.
And you know what? I was fine. Despite all of the worry and the grim statistics. Once I wasn’t in constant pain and constant worry and threat of miscarriage or preterm birth. Once the stress of the pregnancy was taken away. Once I was holding my beautiful baby girl and my family was complete. My mind was freed once my body was my own again.
My Master D has always been sunshine to me. The brightness in my life that has kept me going through dark times. But Little Miss S is my rainbow. Something beautiful that has followed an unbelievable storm.
Welcome my beautiful rainbow girl. You are so very loved.