It's been a while coming now but we are finally ready to announce the birth of our son Jayden Sangha. Weighing in at a healthy 3.54kg and measuring at 53cm, he came into the world an hour into the month of December last year. It was a close call as we weren't sure if he would be a November or December baby. Getting to that point in time certainly was a challenging journey.
Pregnancy wasn't exactly an easy fete on my own when my husband was still permanently residing in India. Unfortunately we still hadn't received an outcome on his residency. Given the health system in India isn't the best and I was severely ill, I had to make the trip back home to Australia. It wasn't worth the risk to stay although I would have had the support of my husband and his family at the very least.
The first trimester was torture, suffering from morning sickness every minute of the day. I was still in India at this point and the foreign smells made me incredibly nauseous. There was no respite anywhere for me as inside the house would be the smell of roti charring on the hot tawa pan mixed with stale cooking odours wafting from the kitchen. Meanwhile the bathroom had its own distinct odour that apparently only I could notice. Whilst outdoors the roadside gutters filled with sludge were so overpowering, lingering on the hot dusty breeze. The insanely hot weather only made me even more ill combined with food poisoning from the local cuisines and water. I could barely stomach any food and had to live off Subway for majority of my meals when I was able to. None of this helped my moods and my poor husband and family were at the brunt of my mood swings. I eventually had to make the trip home to have a more comfortable pregnancy; if there is such a thing!
I was back home for the second trimester which wasn't much better, although I was told that was the fiesta trimester. Which apparently meant that it was supposed to be a party in comparison to the first and last trimester. I certainly wasn't feeling the fiesta spirit in my second trimester. Given the medication I am on and my health conditions I had to be monitored by the Antenatal Clinic. This meant weekly trips to the hospital for regular check ups. Unfortunately I was still nauseous and vomiting up most of my meals. However this time it was due to the increase in stomach acids due to pregnancy. Therefore every time I ate I suffered the worst stabbing pains followed by the need to vomit. It subsided for a while only to return in my final trimester. I also could only consume very small meals as do many pregnant women. The lethargy was unbearable, constantly feeling exhausted and unable to do the most simple of tasks. To top it off I also managed to catch a cold in the cooler weather. However on the positive I had no craving for any sweet food and ate healthy throughout my entire pregnancy.
There is no doubt every woman will say the last trimester is the worst as time just goes by ever so slowly. I still hadn't heard any news on when my husband would return to Australia. I was feeling more lethargic than ever before and the nausea had ramped up once again. I was drinking an insane amount of fluids to ensure I wouldn't become dehydrated from vomiting. The only food I could really eat to help subdue the nausea were crackers.
The final few weeks I was bed ridden as I had become that ill and had discovered I was iron deficient hence why I was always lethargic. The waiting as any woman who has given birth will tell you was unbearable. Aching joints was just one of the many ailments of becoming uncomfortably large in size. Although you are incredibly tired it is impossible to sleep with a pregnant belly. Our lil man was super active in the final month and would kick for most of the day and night. Of course he was more active at night kicking furiously in my tummy. Luckily I was only a couple of days past due from my delivery date when the time arrived.
As I hadn't given birth by my estimated due date I had to go into hospital to book in a delivery date. Given I had been ill for the past few weeks and they advised me my blood results indicated I was iron deficient they wanted to keep me in for observation. But that meant hours waiting as they were overflowing with patients. So I went home as who wants to wait hours in a hospital when you're pregnant and feeling ill. I knew it wasn't anything serious and it was just because I was heavily pregnant and ready to burst. I arrived home later that day and showered to then have my waters finally break. I rang my support person and my local birthing suite in preparation of my arrival.
Our little man Jayden
It was just my luck that the hospital was overcrowded with patients and all the staff were busy. As I wasn't getting any contractions at the time of arrival they made us wait in an empty birthing suite that was no longer in use. While we were waiting, contractions finally started therefore they hooked me up to a monitor to measure how far apart they were. After 15 minutes they were ready to send me home, though given it was busy there were no staff around to release me.
My contractions suddenly became much more intense and were happening every three minutes. The midwife had said earlier once your contractions are three minutes apart that is when you should return to hospital to be admitted. Another 15 minutes passed and I'm telling my support person where the hell are the midwives I need to be admitted I'm going into labour. As they had only tested me 15 minutes ago they took their sweet time responding to my call as they assumed I was just a dramatic pregnant woman. When they heard my screams bellowing down the hallway they soon came running.
There were no available rooms that were fully equipped so they had to wait to discharge another patient before taking me in. It had become a blur to me at that point I was in so much pain. They had wheeled me on a chair into a spare room then had me wait on a spare bed until a bed was available for me. I was screaming for pain relief while I was stretched out on the bed in pain. My contractions were about a minute apart at this point.
I finally was given gas which didn't exactly relieve much pain as I was still screaming through the tube while my support people were telling me to breath. I didn't want to leave the bed as I could not move, although the midwives kept trying to encourage me to walk around the room or try standing positions as it would be easier.
There was no way I could manage moving let alone standing. Apparently giving birth laying on a bed was no longer encouraged as I had learnt in my birthing classes. All the videos I had watched showed women calmly breathing deeply during contractions yet I could only manage to scream. Breathing made absolutely no difference to my pain tolerance although the midwives kept telling me it would. I was demanding to know where my epidural was as that was the one thing I had written on my birthing plan. I had mentioned earlier upon my arrival also. But alas, by the time the nurses gained consent to do the test to see if it was safe to administer an epidural, I was too far dilated. They told me the best pain relief was to push that baby out.
Eight hours from when my first contraction started I was finally a mum holding my baby boy. Though given I couldn't push him out quick enough in the last hour they had to take him to the intensive care unit to monitor oxygen levels. For a first time mum I had what was an exceptionally quick labour which resulted in third degree tears and a week spent in hospital. It also didn't help that my poor lil man was deprived of oxygen and swallowed waters while giving birth, was born with two bottom teeth and had jaundice. So we both were admitted for a week in hospital to be monitored. Being born with baby teeth is also extremely rare and only one in every 5,000 babies are born with teeth. As the teeth fall out when they grow their next lot of baby teeth they had to be removed.
My poor lil man not only had to be wrapped up in a LED blanket that emitted some kind of light to help clear his jaundice. He also had to have his two bottom teeth removed and had terrible reflux due to the waters he had swallowed during birth. In addition to all the standard tests and needles that newborns are given. It was definitely a full on week for us both. Postpartum it then took a full three months to fully recover from giving birth. Almost six months later and I still feel like I am recovering although the physical injuries are fully healed.
In the end any mother will tell you it was worth it despite the nine months of torture and the trauma of giving birth.
I'd love to hear your stories in the comments below. (only available via desktop)