Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Our birth story...

It’s Monday morning, 25 June 2012. Our alarm just went off. It’s only 5 am. Funny how 5 am doesn't feel early at all today. Normally I would hate it to be awake so early. 

It’s difficult to explain how I feel at the moment, but if I have to elaborate, I would say it feels like I had to get up really early to go on a road trip - and I’ve been counting down the days until this morning... the morning my road trip starts...

I can have my last meal or drink just before 6 am, but to be quite honest, food is the last thing on my mind right now. Sarel makes me a cheese and Bovril toasted sandwich, but I have never struggled to get toast down my throat like I do this morning! Luckily the coffee goes down well.

It’s 5:30 am and breakfast is done. 7 am seems so far away! But to start getting ready right now would be really silly. The plan is to leave our house at 9 am.

The night wasn't peaceful at all. I couldn't find a comfortable position and my tummy felt extra big! 

It’s 6 am. Sarel went to lie down on the couch in front of the TV to get another few minutes of rest before we have to get up. I’m still in bed and wondering if he is asleep or thinking about the day ahead. I wonder if he is a little nervous. He seems extremely calm! I feel a bit stressed so I get up and take two rescue tablets. Hopefully it will calm my nerves just a little.

Yay! It’s finally 7:30 am and we’re up and getting ready! As I get dressed I realize that this will be my last morning of finding something big enough to fit over my belly. I will miss my bump even though it’s very uncomfortable right now. Should I feel sad or happy!?! I pack the last few things into my hospital bag... Hopefully I remembered everything! Lila's little hospital bag is also packed and ready... Flip, will our baby be wearing her little newborn clothes today? It feels so unreal! 

Before we leave our house Sarel and I take a few photos of: 1. Me and our hospital bags, and 2. Sarel with our hospital bags. It feels a bit silly... ha ha... photos with our hospital bags... Strange and funny!!! But we are so excited right now!!!

9 am... Our road trip to Stellenbosch feels extra long today. Although I have been traveling this road every day for the past 3 years, it feels like it’s the first time. My head is buzzing. I struggle to focus on anything specific. 

We arrive at the hospital. We sign in and a nurse shows us to my bed. Reality hits and tears roll down my cheeks!!! Everything feels too hectic to handle right now. Sarel holds me and promises that everything will be fine. Again I am reminded of the wonderful husband I have. I pull myself together. I need to be emotionally strong, for myself, and for Sarel as I don't know what is going on in his mind right now. Today, within a few hours, our lives will change and we don't know what to expect. 

Again minutes are dragging by and I feel extremely uncomfortable. I feel that the time has come. I am ready. I am ready to meet our baby girl. I get into a hospital gown. I look at myself in the bathroom mirror... Wow, I look MASSIVE!!! A nurse straps a monitor over my belly. The room is very quiet and all we hear is Lila's heart beat. This is so amazing! Her heart beats between 145 and 155 beats per minute. Eventually a nurse takes me to the theatre. 50% of me wants to run away right now, but 50% of me is also extremely excited and super happy!!! Sarel arrives in his own "nurse’s" outfit. I have to laugh... he looks very funny!!!

A few minutes go by before we enter the theatre. Obviously it seems very clinical, but for some reason it has a "warm", calming vibe. The bed is very narrow but quite comfortable. The anaesthesiologist explains the epidural to me. I have to admit, this is the one thing I have been dreading and flipping scared of, but luckily it goes well. I feel so relieved. Within a few minutes we will meet Lila!!!

They play music... Michael Buble... (!!!)... Urgh I don't like his music, but for the first time I really don't care about the music, but The Shins would have been a better choice... for me... he he... And for a few seconds I get flashbacks from scenes from Nip & Tuck, but no, I will not be getting boobs or lipo right now!!!

Dr Fazzler starts cutting. I am a little freaked out as I can feel exactly what he is doing!!! It takes me a few seconds to relax. Luckily I feel no pain. Wow, this is actually wonderful!!! Thank goodness for epidural!!! The anaesthesiologist explains every next move Dr Fazzler makes. I hear "cutting" sounds, but I try not to think too much right now. A c-section is super quick! I feel my body move and shake as they get Lila out, and after a few seconds Dr Fazzler lifts her up from behind my belly. It feels like a dream... or like I am watching a movie, but I am one of the characters, and nothing is "real"... The first thing I see is her extra long fingers! She is crying! I feel overwhelmed!!! I don't know what to do next... Should I touch her? Should I say something? Should I cry? Everything about her is so perfect and I struggle to realize that she is our baby girl, s-h-e  i-s  o-u-r  b-a-b-y  g-i-r-l... She is so beautiful!!! And quite big... Bigger than I have imagined she would be. And she has a lot of hair!!! I touch her head... it feels slimy, but I don't care. The pediatrician puts her into a little bath filled with luke warm water. She lies next to me, floating in the water with the pediatrician supporting her head. She seems so happy and calm right now. I touch her little feet... everything is just so perfect... and she is ours, our little Lila... I don't say much. I don't really know what to say. All I do is stare at the most beautiful miracle I have ever seen...

Luckily the stitching up and recovery part went quick and a nurse takes me back to my room. Sarel is waiting for me. He looks extremely happy, excited and proud, and he brings Lila to me. He gives her to me, and I get a feeling which I have never felt before... 

I feel like a mother... 

I feel like I will do anything in this world for this little bundle of love that I am holding against my chest... 

I feel love like I have never felt before...

This is life. This is the moment you realize you are (very much) alive... 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

38 weeks pregnant and now…

...counting the days!!!

But dear family and friends… reality has not struck me yet!!! Is this a problem?

I feel a bad to admit it, but some days (but only some days) I really wish that little Lila would make her appearance now. But I only wish this because of how I feel sometimes. At the same time I’m also extremely grateful of what a great pregnancy I’ve had so far. Nothing really to complain about. Actually, a lot to be grateful for… The fact that Lila is a healthy baby, with 10 fingers and 10 toes, is such a blessing in itself! The only "bad" thing was the few weeks of morning (in my case, "all day") sickness and my low blood pressure. But then again, I’m glad that it was low and not high blood pressure. If I really have to mention anything else it would be my aching hips at night, but really, again, it is not that bad.

I can’t believe that there are only a few days left!!! Flip, am I ready for this? Well, I think I am, a little bit, but I also know that I don't really have a clue of how our life is going to change. But hey, it's how they say… "A change is as good as a holiday!" and I am really looking forward to this change.

Even though this feels like a wonderful dream, I’m so happy that no one can wake me up from is fantastic time in our lives. I am loving every single moment of it and I am so so so incredibly happy!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The waiting game...

Even though I am 36 weeks pregnant, the whole idea of a tiny little life inside me still feels very unreal. It feels like I’m back in primary school… playing in my doll house… folding my dolls clothes, making her bed and waiting for my dad to buy the baby doll that I really love -  after all, it is my birthday soon! I feel the urge to phone someone to just kick start this whole process, and as soon as that person gives the "go ahead" I will jump up and down (o crap, I can't jump!!!) of excitement, screaming "Yay, yay, yay, freaken yay"!!! It feels so unreal… Soon I will be holding our little baby girl in my arms… sometime in this month of June… not July, not August… flipping, freaking JUNE!!! It can either be tonight, or tomorrow, or in a week or two… who knows? All I really know, as I sit here typing this post, is that time has NEVER EVER dragged this much!

A lot of things constantly run through my head… When will reality set in? Will it even set in before I give birth? When will my water break? Will it happen at work, or at home? Will it even break? How will my husband react? How will I react? Will I feel emotionally overwhelmed, or will I be calm? I do believe that "porridge brain" doesn't happen because your baby takes up all of your brainpower… No ways, it is because your mind needs to deal with so many extra questions, reactions and emotions – on top of normal life as we know it. Obviously the "filing system" gets a bit muddled up at some stage.

I wonder how many pregnant woman out there agree with me?

So how do I keep myself busy until something exiting happens? Because checking my stomach for stretch marks only keeps me busy for a few minutes… he he…

Friday, May 11, 2012

And finally…

Lila's room… 

Red, blue and white, with a touch of pink… as she is a little girl after all. I preferred to make a few things myself (okay, I will admit that Lila's grandmother had to help here and there) as I can't stand the "catalogue look". I like putting unusual patterns and colors together. And yes, I do believe that red and pink go together! 

I love the end result… Spending time in her rooms makes me feel happy, warm and loved.

Little Lila

The name is of Arabic origin, and the meaning of Lila is  "Night", "Dark Beauty", "Beautiful".
And on a spiritual level it means "Divine Creation".
I love short names – it’s not over used and not usual.
You also get a beautiful, purple Lila flower…
Luckily my husband and I both love this name. We would have had a bit of a problem if he didn't like it as I didn't really have any other name in mind that I liked. And thank goodness for a little girl as we would have had endless problems on settling on a boy name. We have different opinions about male names. My husband feels very strong about family names, and frankly, I hate the whole idea of it. And o my goodness, being Afrikaans doesn't make it any better!!!

Everything related to this name feels very positive and beautiful which leaves me with a big smile…
Now I really can't wait to see our little princess's face!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Girlfriend shoot…

Isabel came up with this wonderful idea… spending a day with girlfriends in Kalk Bay and having a photographer running after us taking amazing photographs!!! Isabel, you rock! Saturday was so much fun and every single moment was captured by a professional. One should definitely do this more often! 

PS. More photographs to follow soon ;)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Week 32…

We are in week 32!!! Eeck, week flippen 32!!! It’s insane!!! How did the time fly by so fast? On the one hand it still feels like I have loads of time and on the other hand it feels like I have too little time left. This is such a strange time to be in… I can't wait to meet our baby girl, but I also want to treasure the time I have alone with my husband.
It constantly feels like I keep ticking off on a checklist in my mind. And the list keeps getting longer and longer!!! It started with: We need a cot, car seat, pram… basically all the big things. Then it moved on to what her room will look like… (I still need to do a complete separate blog update for this one!) Then it moved to medication for babies… Yes I know, it must sound very strange, but she actually has her own little medical cupboard, and I try to focus on natural, herbal remedies. And o my goodness, no one ever told me how bad "nesting" is! I started off with washing all the curtains in the house… starting with our bedroom and ending with the living area, but by the time I got to the living area the bedroom's curtains didn't feel clean enough any more!!! And rearranging almost every single cupboard in the house!!! O, and you won't believe this one… Getting the garden nice and tidy as I won't have time to do get to it when she is born. I have to admit, the day I attempted this I felt like I was going to give birth that same evening!!! Now I focus on packing her clothing into her drawer… Newborn in the top draw and 0 – 3 months in the draws underneath it.
Hopefully I will start calming down soon!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Wedding Bells

Friends of ours, Jacques and Nicole, got married in February.  I was the fortunate one to design their wedding stationary. It was a beautiful beach wedding on the West Coast. I have to thank Nicole for being the best bride that I have ever worked with. She made my job an absolute (sea) breeze and I was extremely pleased with the end result. Thank you Nicole and Jacques!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dear Tony...

I read our last bbm messages to each other… You are congratulating Sarel and I on our wedding anniversary, and also telling me how special that day was for you, as you met Jorika there. I feel the need to watch our wedding video again, just to hear your voice once more, as photographs just aren't enough. And even though I am very sad, seeing you in that video makes me laugh…
I sit and look back at the past year and a few things makes a little bit more sense now...
Since I met you in 2006, and as René introduced us, you made me feel like I have been one of your best friends – like we have known each other since childhood. You made everyone feel so good, so special, so unique. Another thing that amazed me was the fact that you could have fun with anyone, anywhere. I remember a thought that popped up in my mind… You are ALWAYS so much fun! One never had one dull moment spending time with you. Even if you were in another room your laughter would make every one feel so much closer together.
One of your most beautiful characteristics were the fact that every one was equal in your eyes, and I really loved that about you. I will always remind myself to be a little bit more like "Tony". Even though you were crazy about fancy, fast cars, materialism didn't exist to you. You could have a blast from a shack in Khayelitsha to a mansion in Constantia, and every one would have been equal and evenly loved in your eyes. Tony, each and every one who crossed your path learned so much from you. I think that each and every one feels so blessed… Even though you are our guardian angel now, you were a true angel here on earth…
I never thought that our paths would grow so close or that you would ever spend time with my very afrikaans family as if you are one of us. I couldn't really imagine it… a Spaniard and a South African Weskus mix just sounded too weird… But it was such a joy and privilege! Well, let me tell you, the Weskus english vocabulary really improved quite a bit this past year. We had a few lekker giggles. Especially when the women couldn't figure out how to greet you… "Hy soen mens op altwee wange?" …they always used to say with a very confused expression on their faces. There are so many moments which leaves us with a warm smile, but at the same time, the feeling of how huge our lost is... Each member of our family loved you dearly Tony, and we will never forget the moments we shared together.
I hope that in this past year your life was filled with real family love, real friendship love and real true love…
We love you, and miss you. Always.
You were one AWESOME person!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Our little angel...

I am just past the halfway mark and guess what… Our little angel has started to kick! Well, obviously she has been kicking away for quite a while, but the little flutters has turned into obvious thuds. This feeling is so amazing! I have to admit that this stage of my pregnancy is much more fun. The nausea is completely gone (super yay!). To actually feel something inside you is a constant reminder that you are carrying a little precious gift within you. This might sound funny, but before now I had to constantly remind myself that I am actually pregnant – because you can't really see a big bump yet and I couldn't feel any movement inside me. In the beginning it just feels like gas bubbles moving around in my tummy. Now I know that it had nothing to do with gas at all… ha ha!!!

At our last scan, the doctor captured a lovely image of her face. I can't stop looking at it! I am really super excited to see her, to hold her, to kiss her little face… I constantly wonder if she will look like me like my husband? The doctor did say that she has lovely curves… Well, she won't be getting that from me ;)

In the end, nothing matters more than her health. Seeing how excited our parents are about their first grandchild… she will definitely be showered with a lot of LOVE.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Is it a boy or is it a girl…

In the days where you still day dream of being pregnant one day and you think about having a little boy or girl, you tend to be more excited about one of the two. Or you think, maybe it should be better to first have a girl and then a boy, or visa versa. Since I was a little girl, I always dreamed about having a little boy. I will literally climb trees with him, build tree houses, catch fish with him, join him on a crazy, scary fun ride at an entertainment park or join him in a paintball game. But then I also feel like I would miss out on all the fun, girly stuff… like dressing my little princess, curling her hair, sprinkling her with fairy dust, helping her decorate her doll house…

It’s funny how your perspective changes as soon as youre pregnant… These little preferences take a back seat, and all I can think about now is having a healthy child – no matter if it’s a boy or a girl. 

When it gets to stuff like buying clothes, before you know what the sex is, could be quite challenging. White, beige, yellow and green baby clothes are just not as cute as the little bright blue, or bright pink outfits. Some days I think not knowing what we are expecting is a blessing in disguise, as I would have been broke by now if I had known what to buy! Shopping for a baby is so much fun!!!

Hopefully with our next visit to the doctor, we will be able to see what the sex of our little bundle is! Actually, I wouldn't mind not knowing – it would be a wonderful littlesurprise for us when it is born. My husband however, really wants to know and I know that he wouldn't be able to keep it a secret. I have a suspicion  about the sex of the baby – but hey, obviously I have a 50% chance of being right or wrong, so I’ll just keep to myself. I will definitely let you know if my intuition was right! 

I love it when people guess whether it will be a boy or a girl, so go ahead… we have a few days left to play this little fun game… Lets see who is right!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Big news...

Well, I guess it's about time to blog about the wonderful changes happening 
in me and my husband's life at the moment…

I am 15 weeks pregnant!!!

The pregnancy experience is different for everyone. The day I found out about my pregnancy, the word "overwhelming" didn't exactly express how I really felt. 

When I went for the blood test, I felt like a naughty teenager buying something really embarrassing. I even leaned over the counter to whisper to the receptionist that I am there for a pregnancy test – scared that people might hear my reason for visiting Pathcare. How silly can one be?

And while waiting for the test, I was overwhelmed by an extreme desperation for a positive result, a feeling I never though I would ever feel so intensely. I guess this is when nature takes over, preparing you for motherhood. At the same time I started thinking about other women who have trouble falling pregnant. How extremely sad they must feel? Not even talking about the frustration and desperation – all adding up, bit by bit. There is no form of medication for that type of pain. I have so much more respect for all the woman who are in the "family planning" stage of their lives. This is when you realise how blessed you really are.

When I parked my car in front of Pathcare, this wonderful woman who assisted me earlier the day, waited for me in the doorway with the results in her hand. She was smiling and I thought to myself… Can it really be? For a few minutes she was my best friend and we jumped, cried, laughed, hugged each other. How amazing is that? This complete stranger being so happy for me. 

When I got back to my car, I had to actually think about how to drive it. How do you concentrate on any thing else when you know that you are pregnant? The drive home felt extra long, and I couldn't wait to break the news to my husband! But how do you tell your hubby that you are pregnant? I wanted it to be special and when I got home I pretended that every thing was normal. And while he took a shower I wrote him a letter from his unborn child. First he seemed very confused when he started reading the letter, but when he got to the words "nine months" he clicked and his facial expression at that specific moment was an expression I will never forget… complete, utterly, extremely happy and already in love.

How overwhelming we feel about the fact that a little human being is growing inside my stomach, is indescribable. 

The amount of love we already have for this little person we haven't even met yet, is indescribable. 

Being so blessed to be pregnant, is indescribable.

This moment is when a complete different type of love awakens inside of you…

And this moment is indescribable!