I’ve been AFK for some time now, not only from the exhaustion of the pregnancy, but also the overall busyness that comes with December and the holidays.
I’ve had contractions on and off sometime after New Years and it grew more pronounced after my OBGYN did the, uhm, invasive check up on January 2nd 2019.
There was a scare in relation to my gestational diabetes where I had high blood pressure in the Doctor’s office (which is bad since it’s a precursor to some major birth complications, so that was wonderful). So, I was sent over to the hospital next door to have my blood pressure taken and had clamps all over my burgeoning tummy to monitor the baby’s heart rate.
Of course, everything was fine, for some reason I was a bundle of nerves in the doctor’s office, because that lady always makes me nervous and she is quite old school too, meaning more intimidating with a top-down approach to patients, so maybe that’s why the high blood pressure?
Nevertheless, while I was strapped in the hospital I felt the contractions, but they weren’t pronounced enough that it warranted me to stay at the hospital just yet. I went home after a few hours and then towards the evening the contractions started picking up again. I looked at my husband with a dawning realization that it was getting pretty close, I told him it was definitely soon time to go.
Last moments as a single child and the last ride as a family of 3
I played with my soon to be 7 year old daughter, building up the Lego set she had just received as a Christmas gift from her cousins (It was one of those fantastical elves sets that I think I would have loved as a kid if they had existed in the early 90s). As we built the enchanted tree house brick by brick, I bore through the growing contractions with a smile, not realizing that this moment of undivided attention between my daughter and myself was dwindling. Something inside me told me it was necessary to spend that time with her and even that night I read her bed time stories like usual and put her to bed, just like the old routine, the old times where it was just me and her (and of course her daddy too, it’s just mommy does things better, haha).
Around 9:30 I came out of the bedroom and my husband and I just chilled on the couch watching some YouTube, our go-to videos lately have been Let’s players battling through trolling levels of Mario maker on the Nintendo and other stuff, although it was a pleasant distraction it was hard for me to focus on them as the contractions came in several minute intervals and were growing stronger and more frequent. I followed my usual nighttime snacking routine that was part of this gestational diabetes low-carb diet thing, eating my frozen grapes, cheese stick, crackers and some dark chocolate and flavored seltzer water, but then around 11 PM it was go time.
Thankfully, my mom was here and my in-laws. We tried to wake up my daughter to tell her we were heading to the hospital and probably somewhere in the depths of her slumber she heard us as she mumbled an “okay” and fell back asleep. (I heard she woke up with a shock finding her grandma instead of myself and her daddy sleeping next to her the next morning T.T)
We took the longer route to the hospital, instead of speeding onto the local highway we opted for the local almost back-roads that would lead us eventually to the hospital. The streets were bare, empty, and dark. There was also something exciting but also eerie about driving close to midnight and just seeing just vast empty streets before us. Maybe because it was Wednesday night? The few times I ever drove out in the middle of the night like this was when I was kid/teen and we came back from a family trip or something like that. I often fantasized in that scenario to just whip out some roller blades and skate in the middle of the street, riding in-between the lanes and just marveling at the smoothness of street under the wheels as a soar or zoom with uncanny speed like the Flash.
“This will probably be the last time in a while where we can be alone like this.” my husband said bringing me back to reality in the comfortable silence of our ride there. There was nothing tragic in his voice, it was more like a statement of fact or his observation.
I agreed and I didn’t feel discouraged by it, but like him it was more about having accepted that reality long time ago. In fact, I had come to accept that since the first chaotic and unforeseen pregnancy of my first child, Y. and the wonderful colorful years she has given to my life and my husband’s.
As a couple we had grown a lot stronger over the years. We enjoy each other’s company much more, we have similar interests such as video games and even similar tastes in music. We will always find time for each other, we know that and we cherish our time together more than ever and I have grown to love him deeply over the years. Steadfast, mellow, grounded and calm, perfect to temper my emotional moods and my artistic flare ups that sometimes keep me in the clouds and inside my head.
We arrived at the hospital in the dead of the night and I was ushered to the Labor/delivery wing, forced to strip down into the most unsexy, unflattering and worn through hospital gown and put on bed rest while my husband lay on the plastic-wrapped couch.
Initially, they admitted me for dehydration, because apparently if you are dehydrated you can get contractions, so they hooked me up to an IV with the plans of sending me home in the morning, but no, my body was already 3~4 centimeters dilated by 7 AM the next day and my contractions were growing unbearable too.
So, January 3rd on Thursday with only 2~3 pushes and some sweeeeeeeeeeet merciful God epidural and no other drugs to speed up the contractions, at 10:56 AM my daughter A. was born 3 weeks earlier at 6.9lbs on January 3rd 2019 in great health.
Reality settling in…
I feel like I should have realized what was happening there. I knew this baby was coming and I felt like I should have cried about my daughter’s time as a single child coming to an end. I did cry about it much earlier on in the pregnancy and my husband soothed me the best he could, reassuring me that she would be fine as long as we don’t neglect her and give her the attention she needs. By nature I am a worrier, I will worry until I can see proof that I can stop worrying or when someone I trust tells me it’s all right and that I am being a little too irrational with my worries.
The last thing I want is my older daughter to feel that I love her any less and even now as I am writing this post, 14 days after the birth and probably under the influence of hormones, I still fear it becoming a reality, she is such a sensitive child that I fear I might say or do something to her that will scar her…
Yes, I may be dramatic right now, but that is how I feel right now.
Y. is my first child and when I had her it was a very difficult time in my life, I was upset and filled with regrets that I couldn’t finish my college studies like I intended and I really don’t remember most of her newborn and even toddler stages as I had a form of postpartum depression that really shrouded and took away my ability to enjoy her in that delicate time frame. Thank God we have tons of footage of her baby days that we can look back on, but I honestly don’t remember one bit of it and it is sad and I kick myself for allowing myself to wallow in whatever darkness it was.
Y. has given me so much joy and purpose in life. She redirected my energy, placed me on a better path with a clearer vision of reality and allowed me to finish college quickly with a fire under my butt while she was old enough to attend daycare.
I guess, I’ve run into a crisis, a fear that maybe again is hormone/insecurity fueled, where I ask myself, how can I love another being as much and as fully as I did with my first child without neglecting one or the other?
Time and patience
I know it’s been not even 21 days since the birth of my second child. I know, I may be hard on myself, worrying about things that I still have to figure out, but I felt it was necessary to write about this or at least blog about it while the feelings are still raw.
I really wished I had done some blogging or some writing after my first daughter was born, it would have been an interesting read and also a fascinating comparison. This is definitely a post I would like to write about, comparing both births and postpartum period.
In weeks or months from now I want to see how I feel about all of this and see if I have a better grip, but I must say so far no sign of postpartum depression, no anger, no regrets, no fear, no anxiety, numbness or even loss of interest.
The fact that I am writing this post, feeding a hungry baby and have done lot of errands in the past 21 days, gone to the mall and quasi resumed my housewife duties – I am more than fine.
I feel stronger, hopeful, invigorated and optimistic.
I am better equipped mentally and physically to handle a newborn. I am in a better place in my life. I feel peaceful and confident. I should celebrate the fact that I successfully kept a 6 year old child alive, happy and well-taken care through college and beyond. Now I continue with raising another little bundle with the help of my 6 year old and also evermore supportive, loving and attentive husband.
I feel amazing and just so serene with my situation…
Now whether I will get any writing or work done in 2019 >.> that will be TBA XD
Have a wonderful week and I will see you in the next post my lovely readers and writer ❤