Now that we’re approaching the end of our first year in parenthood I’ve begun to look back on how the journey began. Andrew and I found out we were expecting after a trip to the Dominican Republic and it’s amazing how that one moment, one test, can be the start of such a scary and wonderful adventure.
We knew from the beginning that our little one was one heck of a fighter. We had bleeding very early on and spent weeks 5-9 visiting the Early Pregnancy Unit at UH, just to make sure the bean was developing as it should. This is where I learnt that pregnancy isn’t for the modest and morning (aka all day) sickness in public places becomes less embarrassing over time. However, after seeing a good strong heartbeat at 9 weeks we tried to settle in, relax and enjoy the start of this little life!
Going for the neural tube testing at 13.5 weeks was our next ultrasound and although having a tech press on your very full bladder for an hour while trying not to embarrass yourself is hard, watching that squirmy little baby flip and stand on it’s head made the discomfort worth it. I actually got to do this two days in a row due to a very active bean who would not stay still for the measurements. What happened later the second day though had my heart return to my throat…bleeding at 14 weeks is never a good sign. My doctor told me to rest and referred me to the High Risk team at St. Jo’s.
Our first appointment was through St. Jo’s Triage at 19 weeks when I experienced early contractions. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how terrified we were but the doctors assured us our boy (we had photographic proof!) was going to stay put a little longer, however I was taken off work and put on bedrest. Not the saddest thing in the world as call center work, angry clients and pregnancy hormones do not mesh well.
That being said, I am not a patient person and bedrest was definitely difficult! Especially being pregnant and having all of those ‘nesting’ instincts. Oprah and CSI reruns became my daily ritual…as well as eating! I gained almost 60 lbs by the end of my pregnancy and I can assure you it wasn’t a pretty sight!
Andrew and I made the decision early on in our pregnancy, with all of the complications that we’d experienced, that we wouldn’t purchase any baby items until we were at 24 weeks, the viability marker. We just couldn’t imagine setting up a nursery and coming home with empty arms. Negative thinking maybe, but it helped preserve our sanity and gave us something to look forward to. Finally we reached 24 weeks, baby Richardson was still active and inside, so we registered at Toys R Us and started planning a baby shower! I can’t tell you how relieved we were to make it to this mark, the whole pregnancy was a set of milestones and this was a BIG one for us. I was still having some contractions and my cervix was getting shorter but each day baby stayed in was another one to help him get bigger and stronger.
At 29 weeks Andrew and I, as well as my brother-in-law, went to see what would be our last Toronto Blue Jays game for the season. I can’t even tell you how difficult it was to walk to the Rogers Center but me and my considerable bulk made it! We enjoyed the game, a close one, and made our way home later that night. Now I’m definitely not the most coordinated person I know, and apparently had no idea how big my belly actually was…and upon our return promptly shut the car door on baby’s head! This lead to a stressful night and a trip back to Triage in the morning! We were sent home with admonishments to take it easy and for goodness sake be careful! I felt so guilty…
Labour Day weekend 2010 arrived and we spent the day look for a new couch and moving the rest of Andrew’s things into our apartment. The Saturday evening I discovered that I was bleeding yet again, at 30 weeks…
We made tracks back to St. Jo’s and spent one of the longest nights in my life waiting to see if baby Richardson would make his entrance…