Updated: Apr 14, 2020
I admit it, people are right when they say you can never be 'ready' for a baby. We were right to think we were as prepared as we could be at the time but there was NO WAY we were ready for what really came next.
My fiancee and I came to the conclusion that we wanted babies together quite early in our relationship. We decided we were as ready as we could be not long after that. By the time we actually got pregnant it was almost 2 years of 'trying but not' - which really means I was too scared to go to the doctor and neither my partner or I wanted to be responsible for not being able to give the other a baby. Instead, we just responded to everyone's "when are you guys having a baby?" questions with "not sure", "when we are ready", or diverted to "when are you having number X?". The few people that did know we were trying would say things they thought were helpful like "maybe it's just not meant to be yet", "it will happen when it's meant to". Even though I knew they only meant well these comments would cut me so deep. How could we not be ready? I had finished my degree, we were working earning a good income, saving some money, had good cars, managed to buy our first house, had a dog, and were happy with each other. So why could life not just let us have what we wanted when we wanted it? I think part of what was so hard about this was that everything in my life to this point was something I could make happen with hard work if I wanted it, and I had been successful in most things I had put my mind to up to this point. I didn't know it would be so hard to not have any control over this - maybe that's my inner control freak. We would avoid the baby showers and 1st birthdays. We took probably 10+ tests all reading negative.
As luck would have it as soon as we said "okay let's just have a bit of a break from trying" we found out we were pregnant! I was only a day late and since we weren't trying anymore here was me thinking I'll have a drink or 2, or 10. Luckily I had the sense to "just check incase". My partner thought I was joking when I called him to come see the lines, "whatever"... "That's a line!!" and that was the start of our journey into parenthood.
Just like that my "I shouldn't drink in case it affects my fertility" turned to "I can't drink because I'm growing a life", "I should eat more fatty foods in case it changes my hormone balance" turned to "If I have to exercise I will throw up on you and give me alllll the foods", and "If another one of my friends gets pregnant without trying again I don't know if I can go to the baby shower and act strong" turned to "show me all the baby things!!!"
I had no idea our struggle with getting to this point was trying to teach me something about being a mama: you can't control everything. If that isn't the one constant about parenthood I don't know what is.
So I was pregnant, now what? Well you can't just start telling everyone straight away just in case right? So we told our select few and off to One Love Festival I went with my vodka bottle filled with water and my empty can of Somersby Cider I held onto all day. Nobody even noticed that I never actually took a drink.
Then came the morning sickness, seriously, how are you meant to brush your teeth and get to work on time if you throw up every time the toothpaste hits the toothbrush. Skip forward to second trimester and we were smooth sailing. Getting bigger was so exciting and I only had to wash my hair once a week now. What a life! Then in comes third trimester and now we're really getting big. Running up 4 flights of stairs at work quickly changed to taking the lift due to some new developments AKA the worst chaffing you've ever had in your life.
Overall, compared to what I've heard from other mums I think I got off pretty lightly in pregnancy though, maybe that's just my mind trying to trick me into round 2, who knows.
Then came labour which I took in my stride, baby has to come out at some point right? 7.5 hours later and we have a beautiful pēpi. He was and is the most precious thing to enter my life. He was big at 4.08kg and long at 52cm. After trying 3 different hats on his head we found one to fit and his Dad dressed him for the first time. We transferred from our labour room to our stay room. Tried to get the last little bit of sleep while he had his birth sleep - supposedly a big sleep I was told at wananga - not for this little dude. 4 hours later he was up and ready to go. Then something crazy happened.... they let us take him home.