I have never really thought much about sharing my pregnancy or birth story. I have always kept this quite close to my heart. My close friends and family know and that has always been enough. However this morning, I had an overwhelming rush of emotion where I just felt that I needed to write all of this down and share it all with you, my Mindful Mummies Tribe. Why? I am not entirely sure but I am just trusting in this process.
My husband and I were ecstatic when we fell pregnant with our third child. We always knew we wanted to have three children and we knew that this beautiful soul would complete our family. I gave a lot of thought as to who I wanted as my care provider for my final pregnancy. I had finally decided and called to schedule my initial appointment.
Not even an hour after making this appointment, I started to experience intense pain. It was Christmas Eve. My two boys were at daycare and I was just about to begin my Christmas cooking. I felt dizzy. I had pain as severe as contractions in my stomach. I felt like I was going to faint. I knew something wasn’t right. Tears ran down my face. Partly from the pain and partly from fear. I went to the bathroom and that was when I noticed the bleeding. I could barely move as the pain was so intense. I called my husband and he came home immediately. I called my midwife and she got an appointment for me later that day with Dr Zakia Sharif. We were 6 weeks pregnant. The day before, we had our first scan and there we heard our precious babies’ heartbeat. I was trying to be positive but I was also very scared.
Waiting for my appointment that afternoon, felt like an eternity. I cried…a lot. I was preparing myself for the worst. My husband was just as anxious and scared as I was. I am so thankful though that I had his incredible support that day and throughout the rest of my pregnancy.
We had a scan at the hospital that afternoon. During this scan, we were told that our baby still had a heart beat! We then went to meet Dr Sharif and there she was waiting for us with open arms. From the second we met her, we knew this lady would change our lives forever. She instantly made us feel heard and emphasised with our concern. She told us that what we had experienced was a threatened miscarriage and that we would need to take it easy for a while. It was positive news that our baby still had a heartbeat but we still needed to be aware that something wasn’t quite right. She wanted us to return on Boxing Day. She reiterated that we could call her any time of day or night if we had any concerns.
We returned for our appointment Boxing Day and had another scan. Our baby’s heartbeat was strong. The bleeding and pain (at a lesser intensity) stayed around for a number of weeks. Results showed that I had low progesterone and I was started on progesterone suppositories immediately. Dr Sharif went above and beyond for us. She checked in with us often, ensured we were receiving all the care that we needed and acted quickly with her treatment. I often wonder without this incredible support from our doctor, would we still have had the same happy ending?
During this difficult time, I was meditating daily. I felt so connected to my unborn baby and through the process of deep meditation came an inner knowing and calmness that everything was going to be okay. After the 12 week mark, my pregnancy was fairly straight forward. We had a few worries here and there and I was sick a lot, but everything was okay. My baby was growing and he was healthy.
I promised myself that I would take care of myself so that I could continue to nourish my growing baby. I continued to meditate, I ate well, I got regular pregnancy massages (from the incredible Leah) and I did pregnancy yoga.
From second trimester onward, I started listening to hypnobirthing meditations daily. I would play them as I drifted off to sleep or when I had a bath. The positive impact that this had on my pregnancy and birth experience was enormous.
My pregnancy story, is only one. It is my story. Every mother experiences different things. No two pregnancies are the same. It can be a very sensitive topic that can bring about many different emotions and unresolved grief for some people. Sadly, there are many mothers who have lost babies. There are also many mothers who have experienced perinatal depression and anxiety. There are mothers who have experienced hardship, abuse and health problems. There are mothers who are consumed by fear and trauma.
Every mother's experience is different. There is no right way or wrong way. Taking care of yourself during this time of your life though is vital. Your health as an expectant mother matters. You matter. Find what works for you. Meditation, good nutrition, pregnancy exercises, a trusted health professional and positive support networks can go a long way in improving your physical and emotional health during pregnancy. I will be helping to support expectant mothers in our community by releasing pregnancy specific workshops over the next couple of months.
Part 2 of this story: Jack’s birth, will be shared next week.
Thank you for taking the time to read about my pregnancy journey.