My first lesson in motherhood

I was pregnant, Wow, I thought! I was excited and anxious at the same time. This was what I wanted – to be a mom. The thing about pregnancy and having children is that everyone seems to know it all. Their advice and beliefs will be imposed on you, but what you do with them is entirely your choice. I’ve heard about so many different versions of pregnancy and what to expect, but I made the decision to experience this in my own way.

I was so lucky not to experience morning sickness like everyone said I would. In fact, my pregnancy was a dream, no nausea, no food aversions and no cravings. The weight gain, however, was a nightmare and by the end of 39 weeks, I had gained a total of 25 kilograms. This made my doctor happy – my little boy made me glow, I felt good and we were fit and healthy.

When we went to the foetal sonologist at 24 weeks, everything appeared to be on track. Our baby measured well, but he faced my spine instead of my tummy. My doctor also discovered that I had a small cyst outside my womb which was causing a shadow. Fortunately, this was harmless.

At 28 weeks, the start of my third trimester, our baby was breech with his head facing up and his feet down. This was a bit worrying because it was not ideal for the normal vaginal delivery (NVD) I had in mind. It never occurred to me to consider a caesarean section.

“At this stage, I knew I would never put my baby’s life in jeopardy over the vaginal versus caesarean birth debate.”

I knew I wanted to deliver my baby the natural way and I had it all planned out. After all, both my baby and I were healthy so why shouldn’t we have an NVD? Unfortunately, not everything goes according to plan and as I approached the end of my pregnancy, the baby remained breech and my doctor started to prepare me for the possibility of a C-section.

I was devastated and cried for weeks! I had so many unanswered questions: Why wouldn’t my baby turn? Was it something I’d done? Was something wrong? Was it because of the cyst?

At 39 weeks, he was still breech and on Tuesday, 10 July 2018 the doctor performed an inversion (the process of changing the baby’s position with his hands). It was painful and I began contracting without even knowing. When the doctor saw how much pain I was in, he stopped and said he would deliver our baby via C-section later than day. At this stage, I knew I would never put my baby’s life in jeopardy for the vaginal birth that I initially wanted. I was bringing a life into the world so it was all the same to me, as long as my baby would be born healthy – and he was!

I learnt from this that not everything is within my control. My baby boy taught me to submit and, for the first time, I didn’t have control over my body and I realised that this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. When I think back, this was my first lesson in motherhood. No matter how prepared we think we are, the unexpected is bound to happen and sometimes we just have to let things be.

Written by Haarisha Hoffman

Also read:

So your birth didn’t go according to plan? Don’t blame yourself
What are your choices when it comes to childbirth?

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