A new life ahead

Last November, my DH accepted a job offer in Pietersburg/Polokwane. I was 6 months pregnant and we were living in Cape Town – about 1,800 km from DH’s new office. DH was due to start early in January. My little boy was due on 6 March. Can you believe such horrible timing?!

I decided to stay behind in Cape Town until the arrival of my boy as it seemed unwise to move to a new city / new gynae / new world in the last trimester.

On being a ‘single’, working, very pregnant mommy

The month of January passed me by in a blur of heat waves and exhaustion.

My little girl became (rather abruptly) heart-breakingly unhappy at daycare and was sobbing quietly in the mornings as dropped her off. I got the impression that her daymother was leaving her in her cot for hours. (The woman increased the number of babies in her care that month from 4 to 7 with no prior notice. Argh, I still feel furious about that!)

My little girl craved lots of attention every late afternoon/evening. She (and therefore I) was often awake for two or three hours at night. I remember one night she managed to switch on the light (using the remote control) and started pushing her doll’s pram around the house – at 4:30 am!

A logistic nightmare

At my 34-week gynae appointment in late January, there were signs that my little boy might come early (just like his sister) and I had steroid injections to mature his lungs – just in case he decided to show up that very same week. At the time, the thought of having a prem baby to added the mix of challenges was pretty scary.

DH could take 2 weeks of leave to come to Cape Town for the birth. But when should DH have scheduled those leave days in order to be present at the birth?? DH was guaranteed to miss the whole thing if I went into premature labour and the gynae seriously doubted we’d make it to my due date (6 March). DH decided to come in mid February (at 37 and a half weeks).

We also had to make arrangements with the removal company in order to get our stuff moved to Polokwane and for our house to be let once we left. Not knowing when baby would have wanted to come to party made the scheduling a nightmare!

An elective c-sec or induction at 39 weeks were options I was less keen on (provided baby and I made it that far!), since I’ve had such an uncomplicated labour (as labours go..) with my little girl. If I were expecting another girl, I would have been less reluctant to go for one of these options, since baby girls do better when they’re ‘evicted’ (as opposed to being allowed to pick their own birth date).

Getting closer..

My baby – good little boy! – hanged on in there till his daddy arrived in Cape Town in mid February.

My sweet mother-in-law (MIL) came and stayed with me after that scary 34-week gynae appointment. I remain very indebted to her for coming to help out at the time. It also meant that my little girl no longer had to attend daycare. Yay, yay! She instantly started sleeping better, if not well.

We decided that my little girl and I would go stay with my MIL and FIL after baby’s birth. We’d join DH in Polokwane as soon as the little dude was a bit bigger and stronger.

The perfect date

Beforehand, I mentioned to my mother that the perfect date for the birth would be Monday the 27th of Feb. It was the one day that truly fitted our schedule! On that specific day:

  • Baby was almost 39 weeks along and doing well.
  • My DH was in Cape Town (for only 5 more days mind you).
  • I was officially on maternity leave, having completed all the major things I wanted to finish off at work. Must say, it took much longer than I had hoped to reach that point – my brain was seriously uncooperative when I tried to do anything that challenged the grey matter.
  • I was packed and ready to go live with my MIL after the birth.
  • The moving company was due to start packing our stuff in boxes on that day. I wasn’t too keen on hanging around in that kind of mess while I felt hot (not in the sexy way) and about to pop.
  • If baby didn’t arrive within the next two days, I’d have had to consider the c-sec or induction route. Also, we’d have had to move out of our house and go live.., hum, I didn’t actually know. My SIL? A friend? In a B&B? DH and I couldn’t come to an agreement on this.

Shame, I felt so sorry for my boy. After telling him for weeks to please hang on, I suddenly needed him to snap into action. Instead of being a time of joyful anticipation, the last days of my pregnancy was rather tense, although I did my best to take things one day at a time.