Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Looking into the crystal ball

Yesterday, I started my day with a trip to the fertility specialist, and ended it spending 5 hours with my friend and her 3 week old baby. In the space of a few hours, I looked into a crystal ball and got more than a glimpse of what my future life with baby would be like. It was an eye-opening experience!

Our appointment with the fertility specialist was one of the funniest doctor moments I’ve ever had. I told him I wanted to know what to do if I’m not pregnant given he’ll be on leave when my next cycle starts. Basically, he said to hold course with the 50mg dosage of clomid, come in for the blood tests if I want, and have sex on days 12, 14 and 16. Simple enough! If I am pregnant, I need to have a blood test to confirm, another a few days after that and a scan 2 weeks after that. Simple enough!

He then said if I wasn’t pregnant in a few months we can try insemination or IVF. He then asked about my husband’s sperm sample which he got done last year. Through the magic of technology, he was able to bring the results up on his screen.

He looked at the screen, looked at my husband, and looked back at the screen. “Well, that’s an impressive sample,” he said. He went on to tell us that a good sample has 40% mobility – my husband has 90%. A good sample has a minimum of 14 million sperm per millilitre and my husband has 542 million! The doctor was speechless. I said “Wow babe, you’ve got real movers and shakers.”

The doctor then said “Yes, the sperm is of no concern so we just need to get it to where it has to be. And you need to be doing it where it needs to be. I mean where you want it to be. Or wherever you need it to be. Oh, you know what I mean.” We were in hysterics by then and I could tell my husband was biting his tongue hard, resisting the temptation to engage in all the sexual innuendo flying around.

I left the doctor and headed straight to my friend’s house. This is her 3rd child and her other two are 18 months and 5. She had to have a caesarean so can’t drive and can’t lift her 18 month old up. I was the pack horse for the day lifting her in and out of the car seat, high chair, cot etc. Thankfully, my back survived the task!

The baby was born jaundice so has some trouble feeding because apparently jaundice babies fall asleep all the time. This meant that out of the 5 hours I was there, the baby slept for about 45 minutes. The rest of the time she was pretty much on my friend’s breast, or screaming in the car. She did not let up the entire day.

I was amazed at the resilience of my friend. Her husband has a fly in/out job so during the week, she has to live with her father so he can help her with the kids and do the driving. On the weekend, she goes back home. As if moving between houses with 3 kids wasn’t hard enough, she pretty much has this baby attached to her 24/7. I know mothers are super confident by the time their 3rd child comes along, but I was amazed at her dexterity as she walked through the shopping centre, did the groceries and held a conversation all while breast feeding.

Her baby is devine. I was amazed at how delicate and small she was. Twenty years ago, I worked in child care and my first post was in the babies room – aged 6 weeks to 15 months. Here I was at 18 years old, holding these tiny babies, not having a clue what to do with them. I had no choice but to learn fast and I’m very glad I have that experience to fall back on. A lot of first-time Mums have never held a newborn baby so I’m already way ahead of the game!
I was surprised at how quickly it all came back to me. I was supporting her head and burping her like a champion. And bless her heart, she didn’t throw up on me once! I’ve been projected vomited on numerous times and it’s never pleasant!

My friend told me she hadn’t had a decent night sleep in 5 years. I was the bearer of bad news and told her it would probably be another 5 before she got one. I hoped for her sake it wasn’t that long because she looked exhausted. Having one baby is hard enough, let alone having three, and having to move house every few days. I told her how amazed and inspired I was by her and how she’s doing an amazing job. Her family is beautiful, and even through the sleepy eyes, she was beautiful.

Mind you, I must say I did feel a little guilty when I thought “thank God I get to go home tonight and get an uninterrupted night of sleep.” The karma gods must have heard me and sent my cat to wake me up at 3am. I guess I should get use to it because if I’m really lucky, and truly blessed, I’ll get to look that exhausted too one day!

Image by jannoon028
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