Advantages Sometimes you can overcome the odds
Disadvantages There are some truely awful people in the world
This is not fictional, it is a true account of what actually happened 9 years ago.
My husband waited patiently while I did the test. I snapped the cap back on, and waited, keeping my fingers crossed. I leaned against the wall, closing my eyes."Please, let it be positive. Please let it be positive" I begged, over and over again. I opened my eyes and looked at the little window. Then I did the test again.
I opened the door slowly."Well?" asked my husband, searching my face. I grinned.
"You're going to be a daddy!" I squealed.We were so excited! We had waited nearly seven long years to have a child. I often would dream about holding my baby in my arms.
I would feel his soft, delicate skin against mine, hear him gurgling as I gently rocked him. How I loved him! A little baby boy, always a boy.Then I would awaken, feeling confused at first at the disappearance of my child, and then utterly lost and distraught as the realisation hit me. I hated my dreams for taunting me with their empty promises.
We could have tried for a baby as soon as we got married, but we decided to wait until we were in a situation to provide properly for a child. It had taken seven years of hard work, but we were finally there.I fell pregnant at the first attempt, convincing me that my baby was meant to be. I knew it would be difficult, I was a diabetic injecting four times a day, but I had 17 years experience of my disease; I believed I could cope.
What I had not anticipated was the attitude of my work colleagues. I was bubbling with happiness when I went into work that morning, bursting to tell them my news.The reaction I got was very cool. I couldn't understand it. Over the course of the day, my excitement and happiness was slowly eroded by their nastiness. Why couldn't they be happy for me?
As my pregnancy continued, so did the barbed comments and opinions. It was a constant barrage of harassment and abuse, I could do nothing right. I became seriously ill with stress, my blood pressure rocketed eventually needing medication, and I struggled desperately to maintain my diabetic control.One day I got to work feeling very ill. I just made it to my desk before I collapsed shaking and sweating. I telephoned my doctor.
One of the other women had overheard the conversation. "I don't know why you're bothering" she sneered. "That baby's probably already dead inside you". I sat there absolutely stunned. How could anyone say such a dreadful thing? She was a mother herself! Did she have no compassion at all?There was worse to come.
Later that day, after hearing that all was not well, the office had a discussion and decided, with me actually sat there, that my baby would probably be born disabled.That's if it weren't stillborn.
I left the office and shut myself in the toilets. I broke down, sobbing, cradling my bump. Why were they doing this? I had worked with them 6 years. The office was facing some redundancies, and I guess that I was an easy target for them to ensure their own job security. I thought that I knew them. I didn't know what to do. My husband told me to give my notice in, but we so desperately needed the money.The stress understandably got worse. It was causing other problems too. My kidneys were not functioning properly and I was at high risk of kidney failure.
At 22 weeks, we were taken aside and told that it would be best for me to undergo an emergency Caesarean section. I gently stroked my stomach and felt a sharp kick.My baby was strong, but I knew that he wouldn't stand much chance of survival at 22 weeks. I couldn't lose my baby now. Not now. Please not now. I had grown to love him so much already. Feeling your baby grow and move inside you, responding to your voice; to me that was such a beautiful experience.
From first seeing him on the scan, thumb in mouth, to hearing his heart beating, to the very first kick. Losing my 'dream' babies had broken my heart; the thought of losing this little one tore me apart.I had to give him every chance of survival. We asked to be given a week to decide and somewhat reluctantly, the doctor finally agreed.
The next week was awful. I felt so ill and tired, not just physically but mentally. I wasn't sure how much more I could take. We had a difficult decision to make.I was petrified of losing my baby. My husband was petrified of losing both of us. My little one would wriggle and kick, as though he was trying to be heard too. My maternal instinct to protect him took over. I refused the Caesarean.
I was taken into hospital 32 weeks pregnant. I was supposed to be induced the next day, but there were no beds in the special care baby unit, and the doctors were taking no chances with this baby.It was 11 days before a cot became free. I watched the other women coming in with their bumps and watched as one by one they disappeared to the delivery room. I would see them later, with their beautiful little bundles. Delicate little fingers and noses poking out from the cot blankets. How I ached to hold my little bundle, caress the tiny fingers.
Early one morning, a nurse came in."Right, get your things, your turn!" she sang breezily.
I panicked! I had to phone my husband!After 13 hours of labour, the doctors were getting worried. It looked like I would be getting a Caesarean after all! Although it was nearly midnight, and even after 13 exhausting hours of labour, I wanted to stay awake for the operation.
I wanted to make sure that my baby was okay. It was a very strange sensation having him tugged and pulled out of me, but it didn't hurt at all. Suddenly I heard him cry out!After everything that had happened, the waiting, the tears, he was finally here! He was brought round the screen so that we could see him. A feeling of complete and utter love engulfed me as two piercing little blue eyes studied me.
Our baby.Our beautiful, perfect, gorgeous little baby.
He was whisked away to the baby unit, but returned the next day. Although he was born at 34 weeks, he weighed over eight pounds! My 'little' bundle wasn't so little at all!That was 9 years ago, but it seems like only yesterday.
My job? My employers refused to pay me some money that I was owed and I had to threaten them with legal action. I gave in my notice. No amount of money was worth a job like that.My baby? An intelligent wonderful little boy now, but still my baby. (Just don't tell him that I called him that!) I love him so much. I can't imagine life without him.
I'd always dreamed of a large family, but I've been advised against having any more children. I have serious problems with my kidneys and eyes, complications of my diabetes. I firmly believe that the stress I endured throughout my pregnancy acted as the catalyst for these problems.Some nights when I go in to check on my son, I stand and watch him, slumbering peacefully, lost in his own little world of pirates and dragons and I think about everything that happened and the path that our lives have taken.
I lean down to give him a kiss and whisper "Goodnight, sweetheart". He stirs slightly, putting his arm around my neck to return my kiss. "Goodnight, Mummy" he murmurs, "I love you".And that's when I know.
It was all worth it in the end.I finally got my dream baby.
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