Part 1: My Pregnancy Experience
Before diving into motherhood, I only remember NOT wanting to be a mother. I always had other plans. I had goals and dreams waiting to be fulfilled.
February 2016. That’s when I found out that my life would be changed forever. I was sleepy all the time. I was hungry, but I wasn’t, but I was, but I wasn’t. My hormones jumped all over the place. I loved life one minute and I hated it the next. I wasn’t myself.
Mother Nature’s gift to me arrived on the same day of every month for years. The 14th. Except in March, I was left with nothing. A part of me was excited, but the majority of me panicked. It was a feeling I never experienced before. Who was I? I never wanted a child. I never imagined myself being a mother. I couldn’t bring a child into this world if I had nothing to offer.
When I had a feeling I was pregnant, I bought a whole pack of pregnancy tests. Not just one. Multiple. And in the first second that my pee hit the stick, the positive sign showed up. It didn’t even give me the time to analyze what I was doing exactly. “Let’s cut to the chase.. YOU’RE HAVING A BABY!” I screamed in silence. I didn’t know whether it was a happy scream or a ‘ARE YOU SERIOUS?!’ scream. I took about 7 more tests and basically relived the same scream over and over again. I was most definitely pregnant.. but I stayed in denial.
Weeks after the home pregnancy tests, April 2016, I went to a clinic to get a physical required for a job I was processing. At that point, I convinced myself that I was excited for the new chapter in my life. Curious about the workload, I asked a nurse if I’d be able to pick up the job while being pregnant. She asked if I had seen an OBGYN and I said no. I didn’t go to the doctor to confirm my pregnancy, so she arranged a blood test.
About 30 minutes to an hour went by and I went back to see the nurse. She gave me her condolences and explained to me that the blood test came back negative for pregnancy. I was shocked, hurt, and confused. I walked away holding back my tears. I consoled in my mother as I left the clinic, and it was the first time I had even mentioned being pregnant. I told her that I was sure I was having a baby, but the clinic denied it. She didn’t say much.
Weeks after the clinic pregnancy test, my belly grew. I was tired. I had no energy. I had no appetite. I was drained. Eventually, I felt a fluttery feeling in my belly, but I told myself it was “just gas”. I knew I was pregnant, but I didn’t know I was pregnant. I was so in denial after the clinic’s results. Truthfully, I didn’t want to go back to see a doctor. I finally wanted to have that baby and I was scared they would tell me the same thing twice. I was wrong for waiting so long, but I finally went back. After filling out a pile of papers, a nurse called my name. We did the normal checkup routine and I answered some questions. For a second time, I went back to the lab to get my blood drawn, and then I waited. Only this time around, I got a “congratulations!” I was relieved of my denial. I received my first prenatal care at 25 weeks pregnant. Yes, TWENTY-FIVE WEEKS!
In the whole 25 weeks of pregnancy, I was lonely. I had Joshua by my side and that was it. As I didn’t fully transition into adulthood, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know how to be pregnant. I didn’t know how to schedule doctor’s appointments. I didn’t get advice. I just simply didn’t know. I didn’t tell anyone (important) in those 25 weeks that I was pregnant because I was waiting for a confirmation. I was waiting to finally get an ultrasound or to hear a heart beat before letting the news out. Although a few people knew, I was afraid to share it.
During my first ultrasound, July 2016, the technician asked me a lot of questions about the beginning of my pregnancy, and then she was silent for a while. Just as I felt great relief that I was finally seeing my baby, I felt another weight on my shoulders. She gave me a vibe that told me I should be worried. She then said that she was going to get her own boss to take a look at my baby himself. He told me that my baby was growing short of his gestational age, and that I’d have to return back to the clinic weekly for ultrasound checkups. That was the first ultrasound of thousands. Although most expecting mothers would love to see their baby weekly, it was a bit heartbreaking for me. I had to go to the clinic twice and sometimes three times a week from 25 weeks until 38 weeks. I felt depressed. I was having ultrasounds so often for my baby to be monitored, I was filled with worry. My son wasn’t growing fast enough, so at 39 weeks pregnant, I met my induction day.
The morning of my 39th week, October 26, I ate toast with butter and a handful of grapes. Joshua and I packed our bags. I was ready for my induction day.
When we finally got checked into our delivery room, we jumped right into the induction. I didn’t quite gather my thoughts or emotions before everything happened. One minute I was joking and conversing with Joshua, and the next, pain. I remember laying on my bed in complete silence while people started filling the room. Admittedly, I didn’t want anybody to know where I would be delivering my son. I didn’t want anybody to be with me but Joshua. His family poured in, then my mom and sisters arrived. Or whatever order they came in. I don’t remember entirely what they were all doing in the room, but eventually, I didn’t care. I was in pain and I tried not to show it, so I stayed quiet. I always imagined I’d turn into Godzilla on the delivery bed. I was the opposite of that.
I felt contractions as soon as ten minutes into getting on the delivery bed, so at about 13 hours into it, I was out of my mind. At 8 cm dilated, I decided to get an epidural. More time passed by, and finally, nurses and doctors started coming into the room. A young man came in and introduced himself, explaining that he’ll be delivering my baby. He didn’t mention that he was in training, but I was alarmed when I overheard him asking THE NURSE what the procedures were in delivering. I silently panicked.
At 2:45 a.m., even with an epidural, I felt the pressure of my contractions. Finally 10 cm dilated, I got the “go” to start pushing. I remember unfamiliar faces surrounding me, cheering me on. Joshua was holding my left leg up. He was the only face I wanted to see. Two pushes in, his entire expression changed. I felt pressure, and then it was gone.
2:54 a.m. Everybody cheered. My baby was finally here. And Joshua’s face? He witnessed our son fly into the doctor’s hand.
October 27. I finally got to hold my little human being, Madden Reign.
Almost two years later, I can’t imagine not being a mother. It was almost hard for me to recollect my thoughts and feelings pre-motherhood.
Before diving into motherhood, I thought that I had goals and dreams to be fulfilled, but..
I’ve learned that my son had chosen the best path for me. He taught me how to love and he taught how love should feel. It wasn’t easy for me to fast forward into a new chapter in my life, but with my Madden Reign, everything became possible. I’ve learned how to give without needing to take. I’ve learned how to make sacrifices. I’ve learned that loving myself was just as important as loving my newborn baby. I regained my confidence in the value of my life and my health. Becoming a mother has proven to be a medicine for my personal hardships. Because of my son, I have a better understanding of why we celebrate Mother’s Day. Being a mother is the most rewarding thing you could be.