The first reaction David and I had when we found out I was pregnant was pure happiness. We couldn't believe it, so I took the test 3 times just to make sure. And each time it came up positive, we both screamed lol. It is our first baby and we were prepared! Well, not quite prepared physically but prepared mentally. We both love children and wanted one as soon as God blessed us with one! Everything definitely went by quick for my husband and I. We got engaged after dating for a year and a half, then 4 months later, we got married. We knew "this is it", so why wait? We couldn't wait to start our life together. A month later, lo behold, I was expecting! We did not hesitate about the timing, not one second. So, safe to say, we were anxious and ready for her!
My pregnancy was AMAZING! It got a little uncomfortable the last few weeks because I just couldn't wait any longer. We could not wait to meet her! My hospital bag was ready on my living room table a month in advance. I just kept thinking...you never know when. Every day, I would take the baby bag, back to her room (because we have 10 people dinners almost every night lol) and would put it back on the table the next day. I mean, I was ready! We even moved to a bigger apartment when I was 9 months. So instead of relaxing, I was packing/unpacking and I did not mind. I felt THAT great.
In the meantime, I am checking in with the doctor every week...no dilation. For the single ladies out there, this means, your baby is not ready to come out! Comes week 40 (final week), still no sign of baby wanting to come out. we decided to wait a week longer (we wouldn't have, except we were convinced my doctor got the date wrong), but even then...no baby. FINALLY at 41 weeks, David and I decided to get induced, by Doctor's recommendation. And that was that, we went in, 24 hours later, came Katherine Elcie Abovian! 6.9lbs, 20.5 in. on May 1 at 4:01pm.
The second she came out, all I thought was, "This is MAGIC!" I could not believe that a human being grew inside my belly and that David and I creating this little angel. I mean, HOW?! I mean, we know how but you know...HOW?! It's pure magic. And my second thought was, "It was you! It was you kicking me, sucking my energy, making me naucious when I didn't feed you...it, was, you." There is NO better feeling in the world. She is thee best accomplishment in my life and nothing will ever compare.
Now, let's rewind for a minute. The closer I got to my due date...the more I was getting freaked out about the delivery. I was asking everyone who has a child what their experience was like. Of course, everyones experience is very different; so that would worry me more. WHICH ONE AM I GOING TO BE?! The girl who sneezes out her baby or the girl who struggles. I initially thought I want a c-section because I was so afraid of the delivery. Until a girlfriend of mine had her baby a few months before me, with a c-section and she said, "Try NOT to get a c-section"...and told me about her horrific experience. No matter how you looked at it, it was scary. I decided to go the natural way (with epidural). Let me tell you, I praise you women who have delivered without the drugs! *praising hands emoji* I am convinced you ladies are built differently.
Everyone advised me about pregnancy and delivery but what they didn't tell me was the aftermath! Maybe they don't want to scare you? or maybe when the baby is born and you see their beautiful face, you forget about everything else? Whatever the case, the parts that scared me most, were the best. Delivery? I didn't feel a single thing! 5 pushes and she was out. I couldn't believe how easy it was, I thought, hey! I can have 5 more! No. Once the drugs subside and you start to get all feeling back...oh, my, God. THE STRUGGLE WAS REAL, FOR REAL. I will not go into the gruesome details, but let me tell you, you throw all shame out the window. Your nurses will be your savior for the next few days you're there. Just research into the possible pains after delivery and read all about it. Or not lol. Let me put it this way, I couldn't walk for at least a week. I was uncomfortable beyond words. Throughout the next few weeks I felt better and better, but until I got there...I thought I was going to die! Ok, Im exaggerating, but you get the point.
Right after birth, I had also decided that I wanted to breast feed. I have to say, the first time is not fun! It's uncomfortable, painful and just down right torture. But this part, you kind of don't care about too much because nurture kicks in and all you are thinking about is feeding your child and making sure she is getting enough food. Put your sleepiness and tiredness aside, the baby needs to eat and you're the only one that can feed her. It is actually the cutest thing in the world watching them learn to latch. It really is their FIRST learning experience in life and you are there to help her. They are so cute! But what I didn't know, was how painful it is in your stomach when you're breastfeeding! Yes, your stomach. Turns out, your uterus is trying to shrink back into its normal size and location in your stomach. When you're physically breast feeding, it sends a message to your uterus and every time the baby latches, your stomach cramps begin; it feels like you are having contractions all over again, every time! You want to fold over and hold your belly but you can't because the baby is physically in the way, eating. This lasted for about a month for me. Fabulous!
I was overproducing milk and although to some this may seem like a good problem to have, it was still a major problem. I had to breastfeed or pump every 1.5 hours (you're supposed to every 2 hours), except I was producing so much milk that if I waited to 2 hours, that meant at that point, my breasts were engorged (hard as a rock and burning like fire) and painful. This also means that I had an alarm on my phone every 1.5 hours, even throughout the night, to wake up and pump! This part was the most torturous of all. By the way, the uterus shrinking happens even when you're pumping. I am LUCKY that my baby would wake up only every 3-4 hours to eat at night for the first 2 weeks and after that, slept a good 8 hours and now 10! lol. Doctor's will tell you to wake up your child every 2 hours to feed them but I never did that with Katherine. When she's hungry, she wakes up and let's me know, then eats and goes back to sleep. Me, on the other hand? Still waking up throughout the night.
The pumping for 1 month and not sleeping will make you delusional. When I announced on SnapChat that I was breastfeeding, I was getting a lot of messages from moms saying, "Good luck! It is the most emotional and hardest experiences!" and I was thinking...Why? I am a strong woman, I can handle anything! Until one day, David brought me the wrong coffee from Starbucks and I started to cry. LOL! I laugh about it now but OH MY GOD, that emotional breast feeding stuff is real!
I had to go back to work a month after I delivered because I had clients booked from a year ago, so I had to stop the milk. I can not pump between clients because I have a client every hour to the hour. However, I was not sad about stopping! You really have to stop your life and do nothing but pump and with my schedule and life, I just couldn't do it. I praise the women who have done this past one month. They do say it gets better after the first few months, but only
if you hang in there lol. I have to say though...the second I was about to turn her on to formula, my heart hurt. I realized that no matter what pain you're going through, they are all worth it. By the way, did I mention that you are also bleeding for the entire month (and then some) after delivery? It is all just one fabulous experience, along with your body trying to physically get back to its original state.
Most importantly, I don't know what I would do without my husband. He has been so understanding, so supportive and so helpful throughout the entire process; physically, mentally and emotionally. He's been an amazing husband and now dad. With the right support, you can get through all of it, at least 50% better. And I cannot thank my mom enough! She would come over and look after Katherine while I slept for at least an hour! By the time I would wake up, my house was clean and there was food on the table. God bless her.
I really tried to keep this blog post short but it was just impossible! I could write a book on this experience lol...as I am sure there are a million. I hope this post did not scare you but helps prepare you for what's to come. You should know that all this is normal and that everyone goes through it and you're not alone. And hey! If you do not go through it and have a much easier time, then even better! I have learned age plays a big part in having a baby and well, I am now 32 :) Not to say that's old, but definitely is not the same as your 20's!
I know I complained a lot, but all put aside - having a baby is the most amazing thing in the world. David and I are obsessed with her beyond words. You think you are happy with your life until one of these little angels come into your life and you wonder why you didn't have them sooner! I am excited every single day for her; her new expressions, her growing out of her clothes, the noises she makes and so much more. I now wake up and go to sleep every day with the biggest smile on my face. They really are heaven sent and I would do this all over again.