Ever since I saw the two pink lines in my pregnancy kit, I decided to arm myself with all the knowledge I can get related to pregnancy and childbirth. This meant buying pregnancy books, following different pregnancy/motherhood websites, and downloading several apps of the same. I decided I wouldn’t be ignorant and would do everything in my power to make this journey as smooth as I could for myself. I have to say it did help me understand the changes that my body was going through and be better prepared for it in some ways. But my pregnancy and childbirth definitely didn’t go as I’d hoped it would. Here’s why.
I was ready to tackle pregnancy cravings that would come my way towards the end of the first trimester. After all, pregnancy was all about dealing with weird cravings and asking your partner to get you ice cream in the middle of the night. I even looked up a few healthy recipes as I was worried about putting on too much weight than what was required during my pregnancy. However, I experienced no such thing, except maybe the occasional mood swings in the 8th and 9th week of my pregnancy. I must admit I was a bit disappointed by it. While I was expecting to put on weight during my second and third trimester, I lost a few kilos. And my belly didn’t start showing until the middle of the third trimester. This got me worried sick to the point where I had my gynecologist on speed dial to check with him every time I felt that I had lost weight. However, with every ultrasound appointment, my doctor reassured me that everything was fine and my baby was developing at the right pace. This made me realize that no matter what all the books and websites say, every pregnancy is different and unique in its own way.
The one thing that always scared the sh** out of me was childbirth. And believe me, I have heard enough horror stories from women who had experience in that department that I had once dropped the idea of having a baby. I was worried sick about getting an episiotomy or having a second or third-degree tear. So I enrolled myself in Lamaze classes and started practicing Kegel exercises at home under professional guidance. I was confident that by doing this, I would be able to have a natural childbirth experience and no doctor would have to cut me up down there. But when my D-day finally arrived, things took a complete U-turn. The only thing I learned in those pregnancy books was that childbirth will never go as expected, and it didn’t. After a day of having continuous contractions, I hadn’t dilated more than 4 centimeters. My doctor told me they will have to perform a C-section. In that one moment, all those weeks of preparing my body for natural childbirth flew out the window. And now I was to be cut open while I lay there unconscious in a room full of strangers.
Trust me when I tell you this, having a C-section DOESN’T make you less of a mother. And it doesn’t take away from the fact that you actually gave birth to your baby, unlike what some people will have you believe. Though I had no prior experience of childbirth, I can tell you that giving birth is just as painful no matter how you do it. I still vividly remember the moment when my anesthesia wore off and the actual pain started to kick in. Don’t forget, you are cut open and stitched back together, and now have a newborn in your arms who is entirely dependent on you. You don’t get time to relax and catch up on sleep. Instead, you now have to help your baby latch properly on your breasts and start breastfeeding.
Who knew something that looks so simple and easy would be such a struggle? I never thought something so natural as breastfeeding would cause me so much pain to the point that I start dreading it. No matter what position or tactics I try, my baby refused to latch on. This went on for about a month with constant visits to the pediatrician and lactation consultant. Then one fine day, both my baby and I started to get better at it, and I was glad I hadn’t given up
Pregnancy and motherhood is a wonderful journey in a woman’s life. But the only favor you can do to yourself is to be prepared for the unexpected. Learn to let go of the notions in your head of how you want it to be. Instead, enjoy the ride and take it one moment at a time. And things will finally start falling into my place.