What (and where) is it going to be?

I won’t forget the moment I got my first look at the tiny life inside my tummy. That was the moment it became real to me. I can’t say I was still very emotional just then, but I was no longer in denial.

In the next ultrasound appointment, I will know the gender of the baby. I am so looking forward to that. Back home in India, it’s not legal to reveal the gender so I am glad to have the chance here. Now, I am not the sort to have maternal fantasies from a young age, but whenever I pictured myself as a mom, it was always to a boy. I know A has always had a desire to raise a girl and raise her in a gender neutral way. And frankly, I would also want to do that with a boy.

My ob is good and I am embarrassed to say this but I would have really liked some fussing about, which is missing. Not that I am expecting or getting a lot of that at home. I guess we are just not that sort of people anyway. But my colleagues are being so supportive that it makes up for it. I am kinda socially awkward, but it feels great to have such lovely colleagues and I am grateful for it. My colleague and friend, P, keeps telling me to opt for a midwife birth. I was taken aback because it seems so old school and anyways, isn’t it too late now?

My ultrasound results are out and what do you know! We are having a boy!!!! Oh I am over the moon and it’s no longer just real, but it’s exciting. A is a little disappointed but ehhh…. He’ll get over it.

My ob is affiliated to the North York general hospital. While it has a good reputation, my gut tells me this is not the place I want to have my baby. And an incident confirms this for me.

I have some uterine fibroids and pregnancy hormones can sometimes cause unbearable pain by shrinking the fibroids. I had this severe pain one night and I  called up both north york general and sunnybrook (closer to me). Nygh lady was so brusque while the person at sunnybrook was so sympathetic and asked me to come in. I did just that and all the nurses there were so sweet. It was exactly the kind of TLC I had been craving throughout my pregnancy. The next day, the pains were back again and this time, I decided to go to nygh as that’s where I am delivering. Everything about that experience felt so, so wrong. The nurses were super rude. They did their job but with absolutely no empathy or even a kind word. They discharged me when I was so weak from pain and medication that I fainted at the hospital’s front door. That does it for me. Do I really want to be at my most vulnerable self and place myself and my baby in the care of such unfeeling staff? No!  Meanwhile, my ob informs me that she’s going to be on vacation for about 2 months and won’t be around for my delivery. Well, ob don’t deliver the baby unless they are the on call doctor too, so while it doesn’t make that much of a practical difference, it triggers me to be more assertive about shaping my birthing experience.

On a whim and a night spent awake by endless bathroom visits, I apply for a midwife at seventh generation clinic – a team of midwives with access to Sunnybrook  hospital. I don’t expect anything to come out of it as I am already 34 weeks along and have never heard of anyone changing care so late.

But what do you know? I get a call from seventh generation and they have a midwife for me!! I am excited but terrified at the same time. A thinks I am over thinking and nygh will be just fine but he leaves the decision to me.  I decide to meet the midwife and then make a decision. I meet Natalie and we have a long chat and after some thought, I decide to trust my gut and go with a midwife. Phew, so much happening and it’s already 37 weeks!!!

But now I  know this – I am having a boy that will be delivered by someone I am familiar and comfortable with in a hospital I like. And I am proud that I decided to take charge and shape things my way instead of just sitting, wishing and fretting. I feel like a new person and I cannot wait to meet the new person inside me.