Oh c’mon, out with it already!

What kind of support would you want when you have a baby? Your spouse, your in laws, your parents? The right answer of course is an endless number of maids and nannies, but if beggars could choose and blah blah…🙃

Any (realistic) combination will have its own pros and cons. So when it came about that my in laws will be here for the first 6-7 months of my postnatal journey, I could see the positives and negatives of that. Although as far as in-laws go, they are quite nice. It’s their first time outside the country and this visit is making two of their dreams come true. I am a little self conscious about family seeing me all huge so am really hoping the baby makes a landing before they do.

My gut instinct tells me the baby is going to be late so am working as long as possible. Some of my friends at work throw me a great baby shower, and I am blown away by how much effort they had put into it. After just a few months in Canada, I have actually managed to make more friends than I did in all those years in bangalore. I find it so easy to talk to people here  even when they come from such varied backgrounds or maybe it’s because of it. People are genuinely nice and patient here and I find myself becoming a better person just being in such a place, trying to return the favor.

My colleagues at work have started asking me why am still working, so 3 days before my due date, I  begin my maternity leave. It’s a pity because I had just got into the groove of things and after a year of maternity leave, who knows how it’s going to be. Still, Am carrying some work related documents home with me to just refresh my memory during  the year long vacation (any moms reading the blog – please excuse me, I am a FTM ☺️). I am going to miss working with a few of my colleagues a lot, like my Japanese friend M who is my cubicle and subway-ride mate, and is a super nice and interesting person. She was actually born in a car on the way to the hospital, imagine that!!! That’s the stuff of my nightmares.

My in laws are arriving 5 days after my due date and A has planned for contingencies like if that coincides with my labor. Something tells me that the baby is not going to be here by then and am very disappointed by that.

My due date has come and gone and there’s no sign of the baby. I must have had 5 membrane sweeps by now, and they are NOT pleasant. All the ultrasounds show baby is healthy and super comfy. Throughout this pregnancy, I haven’t been very fanatical about baby movement counter, and the baby is not super athletic inside. Just a tiny roll here and there is all he offers us. So I guess it’s no wonder, he’s taking his sweet time in getting here.

Of course, by now I am quite OK about the idea of a baby (high time, right!) so am getting really frustrated that he’s in no hurry to meet his mom. And so my in laws are here, settled in and baby is still not here. On top of it, living in a tiny 1 bedroom flat with endless trips to the single bathroom that we share among 4 of us, is getting to me.

My midwife Natalie is supportive of waiting as long as I want, but does want me to get induced after 14 days of the due date. They have been so nice to me, even working late evenings to see me. I am quite overwhelmed by this point and in one appointment, just can’t hold back my tears…. Gawd, how embarrassing! Oh and I have long stopped responding to people’s messages asking if the baby’s here yet.

It’s 11 days past my due date; we have just finished dinner and I start feeling some mild contractions but of course, nowhere close to 5-1-1. The contractions continue through the night, they are painful but just not close enough. A is super helpful guiding me through them with the breathing techniques. Thank God, he paid attention in those prenatal classes! Then at 2:30 am, my waters break!!!! We are in business, people 😎

 

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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.