Tuesday, May 3, 2011

finally, I am a Dad

Finally I can say that my wife and I have become parents.  I am the proud father of a bouncing baby....

Oop! Hold that thought.  I really have only told you half the story in previous posts.  So before telling you the gender, let me put my storytellers hat on and take you back to where we started.

Getting Pregnant

I've always wanted to be a dad.  My wife has always wanted to be a mum.  It was just when all that will happen that was stopping us.

We decided the time was right.  We had done our trip overseas and are living in a house big enough to support a family.  Money is good, support is good, everything was good.  So it was time to make good, if you know what I mean (wink wink, nudge nudge say no more).

Our first pregnancy test came up negative.  Nerts.

Next month, our second pregnancy test, zippo.

The following months our third, fourth, fifth pregnancy test etc, nothing.

We just could not get pregnant.  Both being young, fit, nubile persons, we were starting to get concerned.  Fast track to about 8 or so months of trying, we went to our local GP for tests, tips 'n tricks.

I was told to only wear boxer shorts, which I do (try not to imagine it).  No bicycling, no cigarettes, no caffeine.  Lots of no's.  I don't do the first two, but me and caffeine are thick as thieves.  I love it, it loves me.  The withdrawals of my fizzy coke fix and caffeine were shocking, but I needed to do it.  Man, I remember that being so very tough.

Anyway, we hopped on the happy sperm tablets and joyful lady pregnancy tablets for a few months to no avail.  I made happy into a jar to get the wrigglies tested, which by the way were well above average levels I will have you know!

My wife was getting upset that it started to look like she wasn't functioning right and I was.  Reading this you already know that we managed to eventually get pregnant, but here is the massive stroke of luck for us.  We saw an Obstetrician that recommended a pill that women can take that makes periods more regular, as in, tell the egg to be in the right spot at the right time.  This was to make sure we were trying on a day that was more likely to be successful.

Most couples get to this stage and it takes several tries, if at all.  We were lucky and got pregnant our first try.

I remember sitting on the couch half asleep when my wife tells me that she is pregnant.  I always imagined the time that she would tell me "I'm Pregnant" that I would run out the house, down the street, find a local park and run laps around it with giddy joy.  When she finally told me, it was first disbelief.  I felt relieved and exhausted at the same time, but also happy and shocked that we finally got there.

First Ultrasound

So onwards to the 9 weeks pregnant mark.  We had our Obstetrician lined up and did an ultrasound scan.

"There's your baby!" the doctor said as we held each others hand tight. It was amazing to finally see what we'd be trying for so long.

Now, the doctor had some concerns though, there was no heart beat. The heart beat could not be found and we thought we had lost our baby.  After over a year of trying and finally getting pregnant, we thought we lost him/her.

Our doctor told us that sometimes it takes longer for the heart to start working in the pregnancy.  It can get going anytime between 7-10 weeks into the pregnancy. This kept our hopes up.

The doctor sent us to get ultrasound scans again at a different place with better equipment.  This scan was a week after from the first, so you can imagine our tension, waiting a full week to know whether our baby's heart had started working yet or not.

We get to the ultrasound place and there on our screen is our beautiful little baby, heart beating away like a drum and very healthy.

Phew! What a relief.

Then the sonographer says "Ohh but it looks like this other little one hasn't made it."

A twin?  We were having twins and we lost one?

I stand up and put my face in my hands with an 'oh my god!'.  I hold back the tears for later and my wife looks at me with the same surprised face as I got.

We were given a few moments to soak in the news.  We are told the child didn't make it past 7 weeks old.

It is so sad, but in a way we prefer to not have a twin pregnancy because it would be much harder pregnancy than a single child.  At least thats what we told ourselves.  So I am kind of grateful but sad at the same time.  Forever though, we will wonder 'what if'.  Our doctor did say that there is a 20% increase in chance that you will have a twin pregnancy when you take pills to make periods regular.

So rest peacefully our lost little child.

Low Amniotic Fluids

At around the 30 week mark, we have a check up with our Obstetrician.  As I said in a previous post, Our baby is too small for the third trimester and Why baby is a bit small, our doctor poked and touched my wife's beautiful round tummy and said after about 5 seconds "You baby feels too small" and sent us to hospital.

We freaked out.  My wife double freaked out.  We were told to expect worse case scenario that our kid were to be born prematurely and on that night.  So you can see why we were slightly worried.

We stayed about a week in hospital to find out that yes, baby's abdomen wasn't growing to it's full potential and that the amniotic fluid was at 3cm instead of the average 11-20cm.

My wife was pulled out of work early for rest, drank lots of fluids and she fantastically got the baby fluids up to a normal level, but the problems meant us having fortnightly scans/visits to doctors, just to make sure everything was going well.

Towards the last few days of the pregnancy however, wife's blood pressure was rising and baby's growth was starting to slow down.

It was time for induction.  Thank god we were in the safe stages to give birth.

Induction! Time to be parents

The few days leading up towards our set date to be induced, well, for my wife to be induced, wasn't too bad.  I had expected to be pacing up and down the hallways freaking out and wearing the carpet thin.  Luckily I had enough gin stored in the pantry cupboard and fizzy drink in the fridge to combine the two together and keep my nerves down each night to not wreck the carpet.  Also luckily enough that our hallway is all tiled to prevent such carpet damage. Anyway, our bags are packed and we are off to the hospital.

So the midwife does her thing to see how it is all going on down.. you know.. where it all goes on.

"You don't need to be induced. You're 2cm dilated and ready to have your waters broken!" says the midwife.

Awesome! We don't need to sit around for hours waiting for induction to work.  We can simply burst the ol' waters and get this show on the road!

So we did.

When they say you are low on amniotic fluid, they are wrong.  You could have almost frozen the room and played ice hockey on the floor after they broke my wife's waters.

Anyway, not long until the contractions started.  I eventually become a pro on how to read a CTG machine.  I held her hand every single time she had a contraction.  Even though I couldn't do much, I just wanted to hold her to know I was there.  I also wanted to take my rings off just in case she pulverised my fingers together in agony.

She was great though.  She was having what we thought was a perfect labor.  She lasted no drugs at all until the last 30 minutes when we were told we were having issues that baby was struggling and we needed to get it out.

Caesarean section

It hit us both like a freak wave.  We required an emergency Cesarean section. It sent my wife into a panic.  I was flustering around the room trying to hide valuables whilst grabbing a camera for the surgery room and getting changed into scrubs.  A brief thought popped into my head about whether anyone from the show Scrubs would be involved.  Strange.  Even at my most worried my brain would still try to make a joke.

But I digress.  J.D. and Turk were nowhere to be seen and I had to be there for my wife and child, trying to encourage the wife that everything was going to be fine.  I knew it was going to be fine for some reason.  I had no worries in the world.  I was excited to be in the surgery room and to be there for my wife.  I usually am terrible with medical shows.  Watching procedures on the telly makes me faint or feel queasy, even just talking about them does, but I had this overriding sense or strength to be there and to grab my wife's hand as we were wheeled in for a c-section.

They gave me a stool to sit on at the head of the bed.  I was there for my wife, whom I am so very proud of for going through what she was not expecting.

Perhaps what was about 40 minutes into the cesarean came a scream into the room.  It wasn't my wife, it wasn't any of the doctors or staff.  It wasn't me either.

It was a scream from our baby.  It's first cry into the world.

The curtain was brought down for us to see our firstborn for the first time.

We finally saw our little man, so beautiful and perfect.

Yep, it's a boy!!!

His eyes wide open, outstretched arms.  Not too upset until he was poked and prodded by the doctors, but soon enough he was wrapped up and in my wife's arms.  All he could do is silently look at us with his big blue eyes and try to figure out what the heck is going on.

All we could do is look back at him and cry out our faces.

So there you have it.  Baby is going great.  Wife had a few more complication post labour, which I may go through one day, but she is doing great now too.

We our proud parents to a tiny little boy who is the spitting image of his father.

And I can finally tell the world what my wife and I have known since early scans that he is a boy!

I've never been happier in my life.

I can never repay my wife for what she has gone through and what she has done for us, but I promise to try every day.  I am so proud of her.

And to the new young fella of ours, you've got a lot to look forward to.  I know you'll make us proud.

So I hope I've given you an interesting perspective of a childbirth story from the fathers perspective.  Hopefully it will give people courage too if they are having any concerns during pregnancy, that in the end it is just a small blip on the radar of your life where all worries are washed away when you hold your little one in your arms.

Thanks for reading.

- tork