My son was conceived on a glorious day of love, a celebration of my marriage, which is also my birthday, specifically on our wedding day. We intentionally created him with love, had just weeks prior made a wish at a Shiva celebration asking for a healthy, fun, baby boy. We offered up our milk, ate some lovely Indian food, and made love each time with full intention and presence.
I started to get sick on the honeymoon, but didn’t think I was pregnant, just thought the circumstances of stress from the farm, getting over a flu, the exhale moment when the wedding is done and life moves along, and being out on an island in the Whitsundays taking trips out in the Great Barrier Reef.
By time we got back home, I knew I was pregnant. I still took a test to confirm at 4am with my first mornings urine which is supposed to have the best rate of truth, I wanted to be sure, and I was. I woke my husband up and told him excitedly, he smiled at me and then we went back to sleep. I was pregnant and it certainly didn’t take long, I had only taken my IUD out less than a month before hand. Everything was happening very quickly!
I had what seemed like a mini period after that, which caused concern, even though I was feeling nauseated. The GP suggested I go in to the radiologist to have a sonogram as soon as I could, so I booked the next appointment I could, and went in. As I laid on the table, I was scared, what if I had lost the baby? I was so new to all of this. My husband wasn’t available to come with me, so I was there alone, and I felt just that, all alone. Then all of a sudden there was a heartbeat, and I was both relieved that it was there and also sad that I couldn’t share this first heartbeat experience with my husband. I saw my insides on the monitor and baby looked like a little dot amongst it all, but alas baby was there. It turns out that was implantation bleeding, which can occur for some women when the egg plants itself into the lining of the uterus.
For the rest of the first trimester, I experienced the most nausea I have ever had in my life. I took ginger, I went to acupuncture, I ate small bites of food regularly, and it never subsided. I really pride myself in the fact that I can avoid puking if I want, every so often I just cannot handle it and I have to vomit, but in this case, for weeks, months actually I was so sick but never actually vomiting. I was hot, like burning up hot most of the time. The acupuncturist would try to lower my heat from my upper body into my legs, and it did work a bit, it at least gave me peace of mind and I was able to cope a little better. During that first trimester I had to really take it easy, but I couldn’t, not really.
Also during the first trimester, the climax of a big dispute of the processing plant tenants at the farm came, it had been building as they had not been taking care of the animals and we even had to intervene and feed the starving animals ourselves on the eve of our wedding night. The whole time during our honeymoon, we, more so my husband, had to deal with the issue, and it was intense. When we got back my husband had to get to work in Sydney, so I was there at the farm with his parents and a few woofers trying to make a presence and not let anything happen. They were hostile and very volatile and we did not trust them at all to leave peacefully. I was on edge and I know that certainly did not help my pregnancy. Along with that, the farmhouse upstairs has this incredible way of syphoning all of the cooking smell from downstairs to the upstairs where the rooms are. So every day I would have nausea and have to smell cooking flesh on the stove, it was almost more than I could bear. I had to ask the woofers to wear deodorant, but only a non fragrant kind. Nausea and farm life really don’t go so well together, with animals being slaughtered, carcases decomposing, and all of the chicken poop and animal smells that come along with a farm.
It was so hard for me to be away from my husband, but I did not want to move to Sydney. I did not want to raise our son in the city, I did not want to move away from the group of friends I had made in country, but I missed him so much, that eventually in the 2nd trimester, I made the move down with him full time. As soon as I was in Sydney, in our new penthouse apartment, I hardly had nausea or morning sickness. By the way, whomever called it morning sickness may have been thinking globally at the time, because it is certainly not contained to one morning in one hemisphere, mine lasted all day and night every day at the farm.
During all of this, I had many different projects going on. I had hired on a coaching team to help me build my own business from scratch, which was becoming harder and harder to manage with my fluctuating levels of energy, feeling unwell, and a totally spacey head. I had a very candid conversation with one of the coaches, and she told me to stop doing it, if there was any advice she would give it would be to stop and not do it, being a soon to be new mother and trying to start a business at the same time was a disaster recipe, and that the most important thing was my child and to not make the same mistake she made by trying to do it all. She also suggested getting a really comfortable reclining chair to live in with the baby. I took her suggestions on board and she was right, although I will get back to it and finish what I started, when the time is right.
We also had the closing of the abattoir at the farm, which was a very big deal. There was also an internet business that my husband and I were getting into, which long story short, over a year of being dragged along, paying out our noses and still not getting to the point where we could sell the internet to others, Telstra finally got back to my husband with the contract. It’s such bologna that any independent resellers have to go through the one company which owns all the lines in Australia that were actually paid fro by the people before they fave it over to this private corporation, who more or less has a monopoly over all the lines across the country. Of course they don’t want competition, there is no reason for them to help someone compete with them, it’s a very flawed system. We didn’t think it was going to be such a big issue, but it was, had we have known we wouldn’t have been stuck into it as long as we did with our finances draining by the month.
Along with this I was still contemplating whether or not to take up the offer for Honours at University and to teach the Digital Marketing class part time. It would have to be all out of pocket as I didn’t have PR, and was considered an international student. The next question was whether or not I would be able to handle having a newborn, living in the Northern Rivers while my husband was in Sydney and trying to do it all. This had to wait as well.
I also started up a mini little network marketing business to help generate some income, which ended up me just spending a lot of money in the way of their products, which while the dollar was one to one, it wasn’t so bad. I sent out heaps of greeting cards and that felt really good, until the realisation that the only way you make money is not by having others buy your greeting cards, but they have to be distributors as well, it felt a bit strange, and I found that it didn’t work as well in Australia, especially as the US dollar increased in value, it became really expensive to keep this going. Eventually I stopped paying and my account has just enough to send a few more cards and then its done.
So there were all of these projects happening, lots of stress, and then a move, to a place I didn’t really want to live, but did because I wanted, err, needed, to be with my husband.
I started trying to figure out where to do antenatal classes that fit in with my husbands rotating schedule, I didn’t get into this alone and I didn’t want to do it alone. I found a birthing from within program in the Northern Rivers and it fit the dates in my 3rd trimester, and I felt better. I had luckily gotten in to the caseload midwife program at the local hospital near the farm where I could have a water birth and be assisted by lovely experienced women with the security of having the hospital as well just in case anything went awry.
There was still a lot of stress regarding the projects we had going on, but I was getting everything sorted one by one. Then at one of the ultrasound appointments, I was told that my placenta was low lying, and that if it didn’t move up, then I would have to have to have a cesarian. This was the opposite of the midwife assisted water birth I had planned to do without any kind of medication. I kept hoping it was wrong and was misdiagnosed due to me not drinking enough water so they could see inside properly with their machine. At the 20 week scan, we saw that my son was not shy at all and was showing his parts in full glory. I was going to have a boy. It was all pretty surreal and was happening.
After a quick trip back to the farm, I got back on the plane to Sydney and was required to show my letter stating I was okay to fly. I honestly didn’t feel very good at all. The day before I had spent a little time in the healing waters of Lake Ainsworth, a nearby tea tree oil infused lake, which happens to be my favourite lake in the world. I was told later that it was an aboriginal birthing lake, which maybe somehow my body knew that.
We landed in Sydney, I met up with a Uni friend and strolled the open gardens on a lovely spring day at Westmeade hospital, and I was tired, very very tired. I had only just finished my 2nd trimester, the baby wasn’t due for another almost three months, but I was so exhausted. That evening, I went to the toilet and found that I was bleeding, a lot of blood. Interestingly only a week or so before, as a precaution I booked into the local Nepean Hospital just in case I needed anything while I was in Sydney related to my pregnancy. We called and they said to come in, and this was the first of many experiences I had with the birthing suite. They wanted to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and to make sure everything was okay. Turns out everything was okay, and that bleeding was par for the course when it came to having a low lying placenta. After a couple of days they let me go home after it was clear that I wasn’t bleeding anymore. I was relieved and very tired.
Since we lived in penthouse apartment that was a walkup, that meant I had to somehow make it up 4 flights of stairs to my bedroom. It was horrendous. We had to move. We had to move for other reasons as well. We had these two older Sri Lankans who totally leached off of us for more months than I care to admit. My husband didn’t want to deal with it as he had his plate absolutely full, and they kept promising they would pay rent. We took on two additional housemates on top of them to help pay the rent, so there was a full house on top of it all. We started looking intently for another place to live that was clean, nice, and not too expensive. I had been looking when I would come to Sydney from the farm and just couldn’t find anything that would work, the one place that did was then pulled last minute and rented to a friend of the owner. By chance, we were directed by a real estate agent to a place we hadn’t even noticed online, and it was the right one, so we signed on, things were looking up. It was a ground level, stand alone two storied town house with three bedrooms and three bathrooms with a a cute backyard. Perfect for what we needed and it was brand new.
I had another bout of bleeding a week later and again, we rushed to hospital, this time there was more blood than I’ve ever seen rushing out of my body.
To be continued.