I knew I hated being pregnant, but I forgot how sh*t it actually is. Really really sh*t. And yes, I can be completely, totally, over the moon ecstatic to be having another baby and completely, totally, hating my pregnancy. It’s not unusual, although not as spoken about as expected… I wonder if this is because women feel shame that they’re wallowing in illness rather than rejoicing in this supposed ‘happiest time of their life’?
After finding out that we were pregnant, and although preparing myself for loss (read about our journey to becoming parents again here), I ran around madly for a week trying to get as much done as I could before the morning sickness struck. This was my third pregnancy, I knew the drill, I get sick early and bad and for a long time. As I say, I fail at pregnancy lol!
Wow Mama the bloat, weight gain and I-Can’t-Hide-This-Bump is real when it’s not your first pregnancy. I became a hermit, a vomiting hermit. Sounds attractive doesn’t it!
I told my two best friends at about 6 weeks, I knew that for one thing I couldn’t hide how sick I was and therefore had to choose between never seeing them again or telling them, and I also knew that if we lost again I would need their support. So not long after my new baby nephew’s actual due date (he arrived 6 weeks early) I got to tell my girlfriend who I had just supported through her horrible pregnancy, that she was about to support me through my horrible pregnancy [insert a lot of laughing crying].
Still convinced that we would lose our Rainbow Baby, I waited until 8 weeks to have the dating scan because by 8 weeks there is a heartbeat. But there it was, strong and perfect, a little heartbeat beating away. But because we lost our angel baby at 13 weeks, that became the benchmark to which I held out getting excited. I wouldn’t let myself or my girlfriends buy anything for the baby or plan anything until after this date. I can tell you that the gusto they’ve both taken to with purchasing baby things since that yardstick date is quite scary. You’re welcome Baby Bunting and Seed Heritage LOL.
I had an extremely positive experience going through Mater Mother’s Public Hospital with Bebe so we decided to do so again, this meant though that for those first few months there is very limited care available other than GP shared care. My first appointment with the hospital wasn’t until 12 weeks. I was so extremely blessed though, that my girlfriend had just had her baby as she put me in contact with her Obstetrician, Dr Bryan Kenny at Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology, who kindly agreed to see me until the hospital took over regularly to put my mind at ease. I can’t put into words how grateful I am to Dr Kenny, it is not standard procedure to see a patient who won’t be delivering at their hospital and he had no reason to do so for me, but he did and the relief I felt after those appointments, and the fear that he assuaged with his reassurance and kindness is immeasurable. Every time I got to see our little one on the screen, and hear the heartbeat made me believe just that little bit more that everything would be okay.
The hardest part of being so sick was that we had decided not to tell Bebe about the baby until after 13 weeks. He took it in his stride though and was so beautifully caring and gentle to me during that time. I truly am so very lucky to be his Mama. We took Bebe to our last appointment with Dr Kenny and waited until the baby was on the screen, Hubby pointed to the screen and asked “Do you know what that is?”, Bebe shook his head and said “no… oh wait a minute! It’s a BABY!” turns his head to look at me “Oh that’s why you’ve been so sick, there’s a baby in your tummy!” (watching his Aunt go through a Hyperemesis Gravidarum pregnancy prepared him for how sick women get when pregnant, you’re welcome future wife of Bebe). Dr Kenny printed out the scan and handed it straight to Bebe, who very proudly showed everyone and anyone (including the girl at Baskin Robbins where we took him for ice cream after the appointment) ‘HIS’ baby until I put it on the fridge to prevent it from getting too destroyed. He called his Aunts (my girlfriends) to tell them about HIS baby (but it’s in Mummy’s tummy) and all the things he’s going to do for the baby, such as put its socks on and teach it to play with trucks. His joy and excitement is such a beautiful thing to experience, and hasn’t diminished to this day. He knows HIS baby comes after his birthday, and points out all the things at shops that he wants to buy for it. Although apparently not a cot, because he wants the baby to sleep in his bed with him and doesn’t care if it cries.
So we made it past the 13 week mark, we’ve announced it to loved ones and publicly on Ruby & Lilli (and on Champagne S’il Vous Plaît’s Instagram), we’ve started buying baby things and it feels real. Very real. Beautifully real. And I’m only a tiny bit scared deep down, but I think that’s normal for anyone who has experienced loss.