A heartbeat

And there was silence long before a little heartbeat.

We spend our lives hearing people are pregnant. It might be your neighbour, a cousin or a friend. It’s almost always something that brings a smile to people’s faces – ‘When is the due date?’ – ‘When will you know the gender?’ – ‘How did your family react to it?’. There are a lot of questions asked that are extremely easy to answer but others, not so much.

I found out I was pregnant on December 5th 2018 as my period was 2 days late. It was barely a line, we had to tilt the test to see it but one thing was sure: it was there. Hard to believe as I wasn’t feeling anything at the time but every single one of the 2463 links that I’ve clicked on Google said that a really faint line was still a line. We’ve decided to take the test again 2 days later as it should show a better result – and for our surprise, it did. We knew we were very early in our pregnancy, possibly less than a month, but you just needed to look at our faces to know we were a mess of emotions.

‘Is there really a baby?’ – ‘I’m sure someone in the world has had positive results when they weren’t pregnant, I might be one of them’ – ‘What are we going to do now?’ – ‘How do I tell people at my work?’ – ‘Are we going to be good parents?’ – ‘What if I go to the ultrasound and there’s nothing there?’. I’ve already experienced some situations in my life where I have had a lot of questions in my head, this was by far the one I’ve questioned the most (and still do!).

‘How are you feeling?’ – This was the golden question when I finally spilled the tea to my family with the fact that yes, I was pregnant.

‘Good…happy.’ – and scared and worried and not believing my eyes.

The weeks seemed to drag. The midwife would only see me when I hit my 8th week and expected me to know exactly how far in my pregnancy I was – I had no idea but tried to figure something out. She had a lot of easy questions about family health, urine tests and blood tests. ‘Am I really pregnant?’ I kept asking myself ‘Am I making a fool of myself coming here to find out my belly is empty?’. Ultrasound was scheduled for my ‘12th week’ which would be 3 weeks from the midwife appointment date. ‘How am I supposed to live 3 weeks not knowing for sure if I’m pregnant?’ I finally asked the midwife which I thought would understand my concerns. She laughed it off and said that a faint line was still a line.

I got home quite frustrated about the fact that I was feeling that way. At what point you start believing that you are indeed pregnant and that there is a heartbeat inside of you? The fear of completely believing it and being let down was so strong I couldn’t help myself. Three long weeks went by with me feeling that way – ‘Maybe I’ll get my period again soon’, ‘My belly doesn’t even feel hard and I’m sure it would be hard by now if I were pregnant’.

The long awaited day arrived, the 12th of February – Ultrasound day. I made sure I had every single document I needed (believe me I already have two books full of stuff – God knows everything that is in there, apparently it will follow me all through my pregnancy and is then to be kept by the hospital) and that I took a really deep breath as I left home with Kevin. He seemed quiet, a bit apprehensive like me as he too wouldn’t believe it until he saw it.

Getting called by the doctor gave me that cold feeling in my belly that you only get on big life events such as getting engaged or bungee-jumping – we went in, I laid down and Kevin sat by my side. The moments following me laying down there are a blank space in my mind until I saw the image on the screen.

A baby.

Wow.

Squished between my bladder and something else I couldn’t figure out but still a baby.

My baby, there, moving non stop and making a motion that really resembled the ‘swallowing’ movement. ‘The baby is eating the amniotic fluid’ the midwife said.

I have a baby and my baby is eating? Just like that, he can eat?

‘Look, this is his hand by his face’. My baby had a hand by its face. MY baby. Our baby.

I looked at Kevin at this point and he couldn’t take his eyes out of the screen. A leg kicking, another leg kicking, feet, fingers, a really straight spine and a well-shaped ‘oval head’ as described by the midwife.

I am yet to be able to describe 10% of the feeling that comes with seeing your first baby for the first time. It is out of this world. How amazing is life and how incredibly lucky am I to have this tiny little soul in my belly? There are still a lot of questions inside of my mind but there’s only one feeling overwhelming me at the moment: Love. In it’s purest form. Love from inside out. Just love.

We spend our lives hearing people are pregnant. It might be your neighbour, a cousin, a friend or…you.

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Nadine

 

 

 

Too much on my plate

I’ve been married for almost 3 years and have moved three times – one of them was overseas. When you have so much on your plate in so little time it’s extremely easy to forget about yourself.

I’ve always loved to read and write, it’s something I have a passion for. I would long to come home after work just to continue the story that I had to stop the night before. I have journals – three of them – that have hundreds of scribbled pages. I used to sit down and do it, I loved to learn and to start new courses – challenging myself.

I think the fact that everything that has happened challenged me so much in every single way possible, I now tend to try to ‘escape’ it by ignoring what I’m feeling. I would think that it would be nice to start a new book but had none at home. I would want to get my favorite pen to write but next minute I would just give up. My workplace actually offered to pay me some courses to make me grow on my career but I haven’t chosen what I want to do.

I’ve noticed this was happening around a year ago but haven’t tried to change it until I could see that it was affecting my marriage. I would be extremely moody, anxious, extremely tired and not looking forward the weekends. I can’t say I had depression but I was really close.

The first thing I did was to take a deep breath, then I put things to action. Organised my house, started writing, made a blog and I am now choosing which course I want to do and planning on learn how to knit, paint and calligraphy. I feel energised and proud of what I’m doing/ who I am. I missed this feeling.

I can still get myself feeling a bit down once in a while but everybody does. I can see how much healthier my way of thinking is and how it has impacted positively on my husband. We’re in a much better place now together. I just love it.

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After a really rainy week, we’ve had sunshine today. I like to think it was just because I got the day off from work to finish some Christmas shopping and take some time to myself. My day was amazing and I forgot how much I enjoy spending some time alone – it’s like I’ve met myself all over again.

On the ups and downs of life I have thousands reasons to be thankful today and that’s all that I am.

Please notice that even though I was able to snap out of it, depression is real and can come and go. If you are struggling with your feelings – please reach for a family member, friends and/or your doctor. There’s no shame on getting a bit of help and maybe all you need is someone to turn on the lights.

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Nadine