So what is pregnancy, labour, delivery, and having a baby for the first year REALLY like?
I won’t pretend to know it all, not even most of it. But I do know some of it. I’ve lived it. My version of it anyways. And I’ve had lots of late night phone calls and laughter filled lunch dates talking about it with my fellow newbie moms. Enough banter to know that I’m not alone, that the was thisfeels, is not just the way I feel. That it’s common, that it’s ok, and that it’s actually kind of freakin’ cool.
Over the next weeks I’ll post a series of blogs detailing MY experience from pregnancy to one year. Today, here’s the raw deal on pregnancy.
It starts with a test. Not the kind you take in school that stress you out for days and make you want to throw up, but the kind you pee on and make you actually throw up. From morning sickness people!
The nausea was unexpected. And late. When week six rolled around and I hadn’t felt but a touch of light nausea, I thought I was in the clear. I got cocky, and I got payback big time in the form of all day nausea. Yeah, you read that right. Whoever coined the term “morning sickness” was some sort of twisted.
Then there was the late night ice creams...and the late night poutines, which for those of you don’t know, are a Canadian delicacy involving French fries, cheese and gravy. Oh, and more late night ice creams. I really should have taken out shares in Haagen Daas.
And all the while my stomach grew and stretched with the life growing inside me. The shift was slow, then all at once, like jumping off a diving board. A moment of suspension in the air followed by a swift rushing. And somewhere in the middle the realization that I would break into the water, that my water would break, and I would emerge into an entirely new world.
I worried about everything from unpasteurized cheese and smoked salmon to whether or not I should buy maternity clothes or just try to fit into my own for as long as possible (I went for the last option, with a couple additions of stretchy wear from Aritzia and TNA).
I chose midwifery care, and the women who coached me through my pregnancy became like close friends. I can never thank that group of midwives enough, and I would recommend this route to anyone having a baby. They built confidence, alleviated fears, and above all, put me in the driver's seat for my own body. I never once felt I was being told what to do. I was being educated, and allowed to make decisions for myself.
As my stomach grew and the life that was slowly building inside became more apparent, an unmistakable calm came over me. I wasn’t afraid of labour, of having a baby. With each movement of her tiny body I felt more sure of myself, of who I’d been, and who I was becoming.
Don’t get me wrong, I was afraid of the pain of birth, or the sleepless nights, of retaining my essential self after I’d had my baby. But I was also completely sure that I had this, that whatever test was headed my way, I would meet it head on. And I would never be alone in it. This new life, this little girl, my adventurer, would be with me for the ride.