Letting the cat out the bag…

When we told people about the miscarriage earlier in the year, I got a lot of “at least you know you can fall pregnant” but in my mind it wasn’t about that.  I mean I KNEW I *could* get pregnant, I had a nearly two year old son who was proof of that.  What it would take to get pregnant was another story but once I had lost our little Stowaway, what worried me was whether I would get pregnant again with a HEALTHY baby that would be able to go from embryo to fetus to live baby after approximately 40 weeks of gestation.

The fact is once you’ve had a miscarriage, it’s not the getting pregnant bit that worries you.  Its the STAYING pregnant bit that clutches at your heart.

I posted in the aftermath of the miscarraige that I was doing well.  That I kept on having this sense of God telling me to just trust Him.  We had a conference at church and one of the guest speakers did the most amazing sermon on Mother’s Day.  What he said and the way he illustrated that sermon (he is an AMAZING story teller of God’s grace) made my heart warm in an amazing way.  It was a week later that I went to my mom’s place for a braai.  I was feeling slightly off colour and had stupidly bought a two pack pee stick pack from Clicks earlier that day.  You see, whilst in CT the week before on business I had, had some spotting that had come and gone.  I had been waiting for my period after the d&c but it hadn’t come.  But I had that odd spotting.  And was feeling off colour.  I felt incredibly foolish for having wasted money on two home pregnancy tests.  But a voice nagged at the back of my mind.  What if?

I wouldn’t allow myself  to believe it.  But I still only allowed myself ONE glass of wine that day.  And I sneakily did a pee stick in my mom’s bathroom.  WELL.  You could’ve knocked me over with a feather when I found myself staring down at this:

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I Whatsapped a friend and asked her if she could see what I was seeing and did she think that there was ANY chance of that line being there due to residual HcG from the miscarriage even though I knew that wasn’t the case cos I had had a low beta to confirm all was fine not that long ago.

Another positive stick in the morning had my hands shaking and my heart racing as I headed to Olivedale for my beta’s.  I did a series of beta’s (415.1, 1108, 4099) and got slightly pee stick obsessive.

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My heart ached to allow myself to believe that all would be ok.  My head wouldn’t allow it.  We told only our family members what was going on.  My obgyn is amazing, he saw me for a 5 week scan, and has been monitoring me every week since then  to ensure that all is well and on track with the pregnancy.  I have seen this person grow from a tiny spec in the middle of a dark sac on that screen to a little person.  I have worried and bartered with God daily to keep this baby healthy and growing strong.  With each passing scan I have felt my heart slipping more and more in love with this little being.  With each passing scan my head was preparing myself for the worst just.in.case.

Finally at our “12” week scan (actual gestation 11 weeks 5 days) I allowed myself to believe that this one will go all the way.  That as that guest pastor had preached on Mother’s day that “it is well”.  We announced this baby to all our family and friends.  We shared the news on Twitter and Instagram.  So… now you all know, we have another huge miracle on the way.  Another naturally conceived baby.  A healthy one this time.

And I cannot be more happy.

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Another journey comes full circle…

I cannot be more happy to see one of my closest friend’s journey come full circle today – her precious daughter Chloe Hope was born this morning to much joy and celebration after a long journey with infertility.

Welcome to the world Chloe – you bring with you so much healing to past hurts.  May God continue to keep His hands on you and may you grow strong in Him as you grow up.

We love you so much little girl.

Thoughts on Motherhood

Before I was blessed with Kade, I would spend a lot of time asking my friends who were mothers what motherhood was like, how it changed them, how their lives were effected by it and so on and so forth.

I got many different perspectives on motherhood from my friends, but the one thing that stayed consistent in their stories was how challenging the first few weeks were.  Challenging but also truly amazing.  I was told of how husbands and wives fought like cat & dog during those first few weeks, how resentment grew from the woman’s side cos she was doing it all while the man slept blissfully in their bed.   I was told of how their babies snuggled into them, almost melted into their arms and how wonderful that feeling was.  I was told that reaching the 6 – 8 week mark made all the difference.  Lots of stories.

I had created an idea of what it would be like in my head, one which I admittedly had coloured with rose-tinted glasses. 

Then I had one friend who told me that becoming a mother was the hardest transition in her life and that it quite literally left her with absolutely nothing left to give of herself to the people around her. 

I could not understand how being a mother could stop you from supporting your friends who were also facing life.  How becoming a mother and achieving the ideal of having a family could cripple you as a person for anyone or anything other than your new baby. 

But I was not a mother myself and felt that I probably shouldn’t judge.  

I was accused of not being supportive enough of this friend who had become a mother within a short period of time and was battling to adjust to the hardest transition of her life…

At the time, I was dealing with the loss of my father, working through my own grief whilst supporting my mother, sister and niece through theirs, had just received a negative on our 5th ART procedure on the day my father’s ashes arrived from overseas and was still in the aftermath of dealing with the “what could have been” of our chemical pregnancy from IVF # 4. 

I had to stop giving of myself to others and had to tend to my own emotional well being or lose myself in the process and lost that friendship cos I put myself first for the firt time.

Now that I am a mother myself, I still don’t understand where she was coming from.  Her argument was that she had not had the luxury of time to prepare for motherhood.  But with respect, in my opinion there is not a woman in the world who has that luxury.  Whether you become a mother by experiencing pregnancy, through adoption or via surrogacy, in my experience, you are quite literally thrown into the deep end when that baby comes.

We are all in a position where one day we are women, wives who are carefree and able to do things at a whim without thinking too much about what we’re up to and the next day we are Mother’s where our every decision effects this tiny helpless perfect being in every way.

We are all thrown into the spiral of sleep deprivation, of caring for our children, the endless, feed, burp, change sleep cycle that commands our lives for days and weeks on end…  We all need to adjust to having this tiny being  rely on us for their very livelihood.

Honestly, nothing you’ve thought of or researched or asked can prepare you for it.  It changes you indelibly.  Becoming a mother is incredibly challenging cos you’re holding all these balls up in the air and at any time they could drop and we put pressure on ourselves to be perfect.  To do the very best we can for our children.

It’s the hardest job we’ll ever do as women.

BUT it’s also the most amazing job we’ll do.  There is so much joy and so much reward in this thing called motherhood.

For me, being Kade’s mom has been an experience in filling me up instead of an experience of emptying me out.

I’m the first to admit that I wasn’t very good at physically being there for people in those first few early weeks of his life, I was SO consumed with my love for him, with my desire to care for him and to be the very best I could be for him, but I was always thinking of my friends who are still facing the challenge of infertility.  I was still praying for them.  And when they reached out to me, I reached back and comforted/advised as much as time would allow.  I remembered to be there for my close friends when it mattered most, as they faced small anniversaries of troubled times or failed cycles. 

Kade has been the salve for my soul.  My blessing, my miracle boy.

He has filled me to overflowing and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

Meeting Kade Ethan…

I’m slowly catching up on blogland, and I know I’ve missed so much whilst I’ve been consumed with love for Kade. 

I’m sorry that I’ve not been there for some of you who faced dark times and I’m sorry that I’ve not been around to share the joy that some of you have gloried in… I’m hopefully in a better rythym now and hope to be caught up very soon!

How is it possible that it’s been 11 weeks since my life changed?  How is it possible that it’s been a full 37 weeks 5 days of pregnancy and 11 weeks of having my little boy here with me?  Time.  It flies.

Many of you have emailed and asked how we are doing and for an update and I guess I should start at the beginning.  With my gorgeous boy’s birth story.  Its gonna be a long one so get some tea and settle in…

On Monday the 30th May I had my 37 week appointment with my Obgyn.  Our little boy was measuring at 4.3kg’s already and knowing that this could vary at birth by as much as a kilo we decided to book a c-section for Wednesday the 08th June as he was gearing up to be a big baby.  We decided that should I go into labour on my own before that date I would labour and try my hand at a natural delivery but to be honest nobody really expected our boy to come before the 08th.  He was nice and snug in my belly.

I finished work on the 31st and was excited to have some me time before our son arrived.  Time to get his nursery complete.  Time to swop some duplicate gifts we had received and some time to sleep.  

On Thursday the 2nd June, I was pretty uncomfortable all day and night.  Baby boy was lying VERY low and when he moved my cervix got pretty sore.  But I was not worried.  Just uncomfortable and as anyone who has been pregnant can attest those last few weeks are pretty uncomfy all round.

On Friday 03rd June I woke up and started getting ready to meet my friend who had just found out recently that she was finally pregnant for a day of shopping.  She needed maternity pants and I needed to sort out all the gifts etc.  I went to the loo and when I wiped I had blood on the tissue paper. I was like “what?” and could not quite believe what I was seeing.  My first thought was panic.  Blood for me has traditionally not been a good sign, but I told myself it was my bloody show, I called my midwife and we had a chat.  My obgyn was going away that weekend and she told me that I could come in right away for a c-section before he left for the weekend or I could see how I went considering I was not leaking amniotic fluid and was feeling pretty good overall. 

I chose the latter option – I had shopping to do!  AND I hadn’t yet packed a bag and everyone knows that it can take AGES before the baby comes after a bloody show.  Right? 

I then took the last photo of myself pregnant with my BlackBerry.

I had an awesome day shopping with Tam.  Well when I wasn’t complaining to her about how sore my back was getting and when I wasn’t complaining about the darn Braxton Hicks contractions that were getting pretty darn consistent and slightly painful.  Yes, I was in serious denial.

 Eventually after lunch and hearing Tam tell me for the 50th time that she was sure I was in labour we went home.  I called Cliff and told him “I might be in labour” and that we needed to go to the hospital just in case, and that I was packing a bag and there was no need to rush.  In the car we called family and told them that it was probably a false alarm but that we were headed to the hospital.

We got to the hospital and walked to the labour ward.  We told them I might be in labour and they told me it was not a great time as they were out of beds.  I was like “um, well if I am in labour this baby needs somewhere to be born” and they stuck us in the little side room to put me on the monitors to check if I was indeed in labour.  At this point I was still thinking I would be going home for the weekend and that we would meet our son on the 08th.

The nurse explained to us that anything above 20 on the monitor was a contraction and that they would keep me on the monitor for 30 minutes or so to ensure that I was in labour if I was having contractions.  Well.  My readings were reaching between 75 to 85 and were coming at 3 minute intervals.  Sure labour.  I was excited and pretty scared – I wasn’t ready – he was only supposed to come on the 08th – we hadn’t even finished his room properly!

At this point the nurse started asking me about my contractions – were they not sore?  I said yes they’re pretty uncomfortable and sore and then she said your blood pressure is not good.  My heart dipped.  I asked about labouring and going onto have a natural delivery.  She called the matron who took one look at my BP and told Cliff to get me admitted immediately and for him to change into scrubs cos our baby would be born immediately via emergency c-section.  My BP was dangerously high.  200/116!

Within 20 minutes I was being wheeled into theatre and the on call doctor, midwife, anethetist, paed etc were all getting me ready to meet my son.  Cliff came in (he looked HOT in his scrubs by the way) and we were in a daze.  Before we knew it we would be meeting our SON! 

Waiting for my spinal whilst having a contraction

The spinal was the worst part of it all.  It hurt like a bitch for 5 seconds.  Give me contractions anyday!

Cliff held my hand and took some photo’s. 

Then they started cutting me. 

I have a highly developed sense of smell and I remember telling the anethetist that the smell of them suturing whilst cutting was getting to me.  I remember watching Cliff watch them cut me open all the while praying that our son would be born healthy.  I remember thanking God for this experience, for our boy that would soon be born.  I remember telling them over and over that I wanted skin on skin should baby be healthy enough to do it.  I remember thinking over and over to myself  “this is it Samantha, your life is about to start”, I remember the midwife telling me it was nearly time. 

And then she told me that our son was coming out of my womb.

I remember the anthetitist telling me that I didn’t want to miss this and that he lifted my head and shoulders so I could see my son being born.  What happened next is the most defining moment of my life.  They took my son’s head out of my body and as they started lifting him out, he opened his eyes for a second and our eyes met.  I just felt the tears slide down my face at that point.  He looked at me.  My boy – our miracle looked at me.

Then all hell broke loose – he was NOT happy about being taken out of my tummy, his cries and screams were the most amazing thing I’ve heard.  He has a deep voice.  I was crying.  Cliff was crying.  And our boy made a massive wee all over the place.  Such joy and wonder.

They placed our son on my chest and I could not stop kissing him and loving him.  My heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest with love for him. 

They took him away and did his apgars, Cliff cut the cord and closed me up. 

My BP at this stage was sketchy but I was high.  High on having met our boy at long last.  After 6 IVF’s and over 7 years of waiting, he was here.  Our miracle boy.

Our gorgeous, wonderful, amazing, perfect miracle boy.

Kade Ethan Young.

Our little Clam.

Finally, we were a family of 3.