Yadda yadda yaddda, I was expecting our first baby a month later!
Picnic in the Park, 6 months pregnant
I was delighted, elated, excited, over the moon... surprised!! I thought it would be hard to conceive given the stories of infertility and CF that I was aware of, but for us it was very (Ben might say "too") easy. Benjamin was in shock!! (when I told him he looked like someone had died!) He was happy, but instantly worried too. We didn't expect it to be so easy (conceiving a baby)... Ben takes credit for it! *roll my eyes
After the dust settles and the "morning" (all day!) sickness begins I must admit to it was nerve wracking. Only because of all the horror stories you hear of ladies who have CF trying to have babies. The fear surrounding this subject is huge. You get bombarded by the worst case scenarios when your at CF clinic, of course they correct and are bound to tell you so you know everything. Add to that, I started heaving bleeding about a month in, I was rushed to emergency dept. They thought we lost our baby, but then the ultra sound picked up a heartbeat. Thank God! There's a possibility I lost a twin. So I was sent home to R&R until the bleeding stopped. So it was stressful, vomiting, bleeding, coughing! The acid from the vomit made the cough difficult. This was the only discomfort from having CF that I experienced at that stage.
Cravings; of course I had to crave the one cheese ladies in waiting are meant to avoid: Camembert! All I wanted was that with warm Turkish bread, Tadzhik dip and sun dried tomatoes!... and Shiraz!!! haha! I was enjoying my new preg-bod (early on). I've always been a petite lady if you get my meaning, it was a whole new me... and I liked it!
We had the routine ultra sounds and baby was developing nicely. 10 fingers and 10 toes, meeting all the normal growth developments. Each check put our minds at ease. Our baby was alright. Still underneath that was the anxiety about if our baby would have CF. We chose not to do genetic counselling. Bottom line we were prepared if our children had CF. We hoped not, but termination or embryo selection was not even an option. CF was already a big enough concern without having genetic over shadow the experience.
Many people ask," how did you cope having babies, being pregnant, giving birth?" With a LOT of effort, however not so much that made life terrible. I had to take it easy, look after my health, make extra effort nutritionally and never let physio slip. The Zen Chi machine made this sooooo much easier when I was expecting! It supported my back/chest without putting pressure on my pelvic area. Let me tell you ladies, coughing with a head pressing on 'down there' is tricky!! Actually this was the most difficult part of being pregnant and having CF. Towards the end of the 9 months I found that the most difficult thing to cope with. Baby's head sat in such a way so I couldn't empty my bladder properly, 'needing to go' made me cough, coughing made me.... lets just say thank goodness for 'tena lady'!!
Surprisingly my breathing didn't feel too bad. I was around 55% lung capacity when I began to have children. I expected a lot more respiratory discomfort towards the end. The only noticeable thing was needing two pillows, but that was mostly to stop coughing because of the issue above.. or should I say below?! This was not just 'luck'. I put all my efforts into being healthy, eating healthy, Juices and homemade smoothies galore!! It was full time, I didn't mind putting my life on hold for this though. It's all I ever wanted. 9 months is short time in the bigger picture. The rewards outweighed the sacrifices.
May 7th, the day before Benny's birthday, I felt odd. I was a week over due, had a few false alarms, but this time it was for sure!! Gosh is nerve wracking the first time!! You just don't know what to expect. No matter how many classes or books you read or people you talk to, until you go through labour don't bother trying to 'get' it, just relax!! Your body is made to cope with it, our heads are what get in the way of that.
Fist part of labour I was excited, cracking jokes, bouncing on those big exercise balls, having conversations, looking out at the Autumnal view. It was a beautiful day. I was so please to go into labour at a decent hour. I was admitted into my room at 11am. Then I went to the toilet for #1 (as per usual!)... HHHHEEEEELLLLPPP!!!!!!! It was the biggest contraction. The pain was... I can't even describe. I couldn't move. The midwifes carried me over to the bed and there it began. The most painful 45 minutes of my life. Let me tell you too, you DO NOT forget the pain, whoever said that is being very diplomatic! I thought my whole body was falling apart from the inside out!! Nobody told me that it feels like doing a massive/painful/horrific #2. But it was all over in 45. I coped fine. No tearing or excessive bleeding. My breathing didn't change a bit. It all went without a hitch. I thought what all the fuss about? What is true is that despite the worst pain of your life, you'll be happy to do it again!
Most of all Our first Healthy Baby Boy.... Charles James
Baby Charles at home, 3 days old
US. 8 weeks old.... xo
Happy Boy. He's got His Daddy
Words cannot describe the feeling of having a child. It ignites your life. That Charles was healthy we were so thankful and felt completely Blessed. And I was Beyond Happy to be Alive....