My journey to motherhood, having a baby during a pandemic and etc.
It has been nearly 3months since I’ve become a mother. I have thought about writing a blog about it a million times, but life gets really busy with a baby!
After 4 years of being married, we realized it is time to bring someone else in the family. How the realization came, that is a crazy story. Few months ago, before I got pregnant, suddenly I was not feeling well for days. That is when it occurred to me, “am I pregnant?”! The thing is, I was not supposed to be at all, but just to calm my worrying self, we decided to have a home test. Like I said, it was supposed to be negative, and we both thought we want it to be negative, but the moment I was holding the ” test stick” on my hand hoping for “one line to appear”, we both realized we’d actually be happy if there are two lines! That was the moment we knew “this is the sign” and that the universe is telling us what we both failed to realize- “we are ready to be parents!”. That night we decided we should go see a doctor very soon to know if we should take any extra preparations.
The next week we went to “Soon Women Hospital”, close to Jangjeon station in Busan. We saw a doctor there and she did a thorough check-up of me. That was the first time I heard about the most important thing about pregnancy, “OVALUATION”. In any Korean hospital, you can check if you are ovaluating in any month by ultrasound scan. In other words, it is actually a way of determining your fertility. Anyways, the doctor asked me to start taking folic acid supplements and encouraged us to try for the baby.
When you try for a baby you probably start googling all the symptoms to see if you are pregnant even before the actual symptoms appears, lol. But truth is, when you are really pregnant, you’d see the unique symptoms yourself and trust me, you will not need google for that. Last year, during the first week of July, I knew something was off. I was getting hungry for absolutely no reason at all, I had high temperature without any cold. After 4days of these, I realized I need to take the test. I took two tests, one that evening and one in the next morning. And there they were, “two lines” we’ve been waiting for!
After 38 long weeks, we finally met our precious, our little sunshine, our baby girl! The journey was never easy. Being a PhD student, everything was even more difficult. I still remember the first few months, when everything used to smell, when all the delicious food tasted like trash, lol. During the 6months, I had tendon inflammation in my left hand which made me unable to use my hand for almost a month. I had to go on full bed rest due to placenta previa during the 7months. Luckily, my placenta moved upward in 2weeks, so I got back to work again and worked till the last day before my delivery. I completed one full semester with coursework with her inside me and hopefully I will complete four more with her beside me.
At 37 weeks 5 days, something was not right from the evening. I thought at first, I was leaking urine, as it was very common when the baby weight puts pressure on the bladder. I could not sleep whole night due to cramping and felt even worse the in the morning. When I went to the doctor, she confirmed that actually my water broke! Before the test, she was checking the amniotic fluid level with the ultrasound scan, and it was very low. Ultrasound scans are pretty common in here, they’d make a scan every time you go for prenatal checkups. Anyways, that’s when my doctor decided to induce labor. Later it was found that my water broke anyways, so that was just one more reason to induce labor lol.
I had almost 24 hours of labor. But it was not enough to dilate my cervix fully, and with the low fluid level, the duty doctor decided to go for c-section. I wish there were words to describe the moment when I first saw her. Gosh, it was so magical!
However, our magical moment turned into a disaster. Around that time, “patient 31” made Korea with the highest cases of COVID-19 after China. I remember, in the hospital bed during my recovering days, all I was praying to God, to keep my baby healthy and safe. Every second we were receiving emergency alerts from government, and I was even afraid to go home from hospital, thinking we’d catch the virus on our way. It has been 3months and the situation got just a little better, and yet we are afraid to stay out longer. We wear masks, use hand sanitizer, even I try to sanitize each of our stuffs separately. We did not meet any of our community people on the fear of spreading yet. Sometimes I wish if she could come at a better time! The world is having a hard time right now and for new mothers this is even harder. Yeah, I know, all the parents want their children to be safe. But the new parents are always insecure about if they are taking care of their baby right. And these whole situation puts a lot pressure on them.
I usually take her with me at work. She is still not used to with staying in her stroller. Sometimes she starts crying in her stroller on the way, and the only thing that comforts her then is to hold her. My husband and I both feel helpless then, as her stroller has a curtain, we feel she is a bit safer there than out in the open. Also, she sees us with masks while we are out, and I think our masked faces are unfamiliar to her, so she becomes even more uncomfortable.
But with all the worrying and disturbing thoughts, it’s not like we are not enjoying parenting. For me, parenting is something in between exhausting and amazing, lol. It’s like, I’m dying for some rest all day, and yet I don’t want to miss a moment. Just looking at her tiny feet and her tiny fingers, my heart melts a million times. Or the time, when she’s crying out loud but the moment I hold her, she’d stop crying. She wants to communicate these days by making noises and smiles when we talk or sing to her. She’s the only person in earth, who enjoys my singing and whistling, lol. Your child can make you feel special in uncountable ways, trust me!
Life goes on and I know there are a lot of new mothers and to be mothers out there. I pray that god makes things easier for you, just hang in there mamas! I really hope that these dark days will pass soon, and this world will again be a bit safer for our children.
-Munira Chowdhury, 19/05/2020