I can’t believe I am writing this already! It literally feels like I started this blog yesterday and as today is the final day of this part of the journey, I decided to go back and read all the entries since the beginning. It has made me a little teary eyed & I am feeling modestly proud of myself for keeping at it, even though the original premise for the site changed. That seems natural now after so much else has changed over the months. I am finding it a little tough to find the right words to sign off this chapter though. Add to that I still need to pack my “last minute bag” and I want to be in bed by 8h30 and this is going to be a short post!
I have faced some holy terrors over the past week, facing the fear of surgery itself with my overwhelming fear of dying and of being alone in a hospital. Yesterday it was the sudden (yes, even after 9 months of pregnancy) realisation that Brett and my relationship was about to change forever and it would never just be us again and I started missing him immediately and couldn’t stop crying. Waking up this morning I was furious because I had just wasted my last chance to sleep in EVER which of course had me in hysterics within second of opening my eyes, because I have no idea if and how I will cope with no sleep. And yes, every one of those things made me question my ability to be a good mom.
As tough as some of the pregnancy journey has been, I can see the purpose in that now. It is as much about preparing and growing you to be a mom as it is about growing your baby. It forces you to deal with a lot of your own issues; teaches you how to manage pain and hurt for the good of your child; has moments where fear grips you at the throat as will no doubt happen regularly from the day your baby is born; it teaches you that there is more you can’t control in the world than you can and that this doesn’t necessarily mean it is the end of the world and the slow increase in physical discomfort and pain gets you to the point where you feel that childbirth is a perfectly manageable way to just get it over with.
A few last thoughts on pregnancy in my last few hours pregnant – it is hard! No matter how desperate you are to be a mom and how much you have always wanted a baby, it is physically and emotionally and hormonally difficult. I don’t know why it is that so many mommies ignore that or refuse to acknowledge it, I own it as part of the what it took to get me to where I am right now. It is also terrifying, new things to be afraid of crop up every day and every time you think you have a handle on things everything changes and you start all over again.
Some of the highlights for me have been feeling Charly move and grow inside of me, even though that started a little later on and even on the most difficult uncomfortable days and even though she has been in a painful position in the past few months, every movement stirred feelings in me I still cannot put into words. Watching my husband fall in love with our daughter even before we could meet her, the care and attention and strength he has shown me throughout the pregnancy and his ability to see the future for our family when pain or fear clouded that view for me – all of it has confirmed in every fibre of my being that he is the perfect man for me. And finally the warmth and love I have found through this blogging experience, the relationships I have formed with amazing women all over South Africa and overseas – I have made friends I feel will be around for the rest of my life. I am so very blessed.
Some advice for other preggy mommies – share your experiences with others, never be afraid to be honest about what you are feeling and going through; it could change somebody’s life forever to know that they are not suffering alone. Take full advantage of the second trimester – do everything you feel needs to be done and do a few things just for you: finish the nursery, prep your hospital bags, read lots of books, go on your babymoon, do antenatal classes and first aid classes before the third trimester sets in.
Save up for a 4D scan!!! I cannot emphasise enough what an exceptional experience this is; as I mentioned when I posted about it, this is especially important if the first trimester has been a particularly rough one & you need a moment to reconnect and bond with your baby (it is under R1000, so not even that expensive!). And prepare yourself, for me and so many other mommies-to-be, the third trimester is the hardest. Not only is baby bigger and heavier, but you are more tired than I can ever imagine being again and for some unlucky few (me included) the third trimester brings back all the worst culprits of trimester one, including ‘morning’ sickness.
There are a million more things I could say and one of my goals for when I start posting again is to look back on all the pregnancy experiences from the viewpoint of a new mom. I am curious how much we really forget or let go of and how little we ‘feel’ the pains once the baby we have been waiting for and working towards is finally in our arms. How much of the pregnancy pains I hang onto, the experience of the c-section and the recovery and any and every experience I have in those first few months of mommyhood; my one promise is that I am going to stay honest with you about it all.
And so for now, the blog will be on a “pregnant pause”… I will be on social media whenever I can with pics and updates of our little girl and I hope I will find time soon enough to come back here and share with you all how things go. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey thus far and I can’t wait to see you all on the other side xxx