What happens when you are busy making plans

A sponsored post for Bupa

This post talks about pregnancy, problems in pregnancy, loss and premature births so may act as trigger to some people.

As the wise old lady sitting on my rocking chair on the verandah, OK the still old lady looking exhausted from her 3 children, I can safely say that looking back on all my years of parenting (10 years passed just a few months ago) that when it comes to babies and the kids: EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED.

I think back to seeing those first 2 lines of the pregnancy with Daisy in 2006 I just kind of figured that things would go to plan. I mean I had seen lots of my family all get pregnant, be pregnant and glowing, and then nine months later see them with their little one safe and sound, and that was it, right?

Oh how naive we are when we start out! It’s right up there with the amazing way you vow to raise your children without a screen in sight, some minimal (ethical of course) toys until a few years later you look around at all that MESS, plastic mess, with your kid on the iPad watching their 3rd episode of Play School in a row and you just laugh and laugh at your pre-baby self.

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When we found out we were expecting Daisy (Reg as she was affectionately known) Rob and I were excited, and completely clueless. I borrowed all the pregnancy books I could find, I read everything, took my vitamins and dutifully was the perfect pregnant woman. It came to our first 12 week scan – I hadn’t really had any kind of dealing with doctors other than a blood test to confirm the pregnancy – so we were excited to have our first “proper” appointment where we would have a scan and see the baby and a heartbeat. While we were nervous, I was just so SURE that everything would be fine that it didn’t even occur to me that it could be otherwise. That it is ‘otherwise’ for so many couples and families.

Rob and I burst with joy and the realisation of what was going on in that scan. So many months of knowing you are pregnant (and certainly feeling as such) but to see an actual BABY with life in them? I don’t think you ever forget that moment.

Rob and I being the people we are, had the ultrasound technician laughing and joking with us, and we didn’t notice the shift in mood, when she asked us “do you have a history of 6 fingeredness in your family?” that we just continued to laugh and laugh. This technician was funny!

Except she wasn’t.
She wasn’t joking.

There she was measuring away when she realised that Daisy had on both of her teeny tiny hands, 6 digits. Huh. And then another person had to come in and then another and then we were whisked into the Dr’s room (that I suddenly realised had boxes of tissues everywhere) to discuss what was going on.

The Dr thought that while it all looked OK, there were definitely 6 fingers, and we would need to do some genetic counselling to determine that we weren’t dealing with something more sinister. The Dr, I can’t remember if they were a man or woman, wrote down the name of what they “thought” it could mean on a yellow post it note and sent us on our way to wait it out and have an Amnio in a few weeks time.

We left that appointment in a blur, tears pouring down my cheeks, holding onto that shitty post it note that had changed ALL our plans. And of COURSE we Googled it and of course it was a horrific condition that said that the baby’s sex would change half way through the pregnancy, that the baby’s heart would be defective, if it was lucky to make it through the pregnancy. And all we had to do was wait it out for a few weeks.

We waited those few weeks, slowly detaching ourselves from our joy and plans so that we could “deal” with whatever was going to happen. We had lots of scans, constantly checking on those extra fingers that suddenly were no longer there?! We had the Amnio a few weeks later, desperately waiting for the results that took a week or so and then found out that in fact the one thing they were testing for had to be sent interstate and took a further 2 weeks. And now we were nearing the 20-week mark, which meant if something were really wrong, we would be dealing with death certificates, and unthinkable deliveries.

At 20 weeks we were confirmed that at last, all was OK with the baby. That we could go on with the pregnancy as we had originally planned. Except now we knew that it was best to have NO plans.

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Pregnancy isn’t always about washing on the line and avoiding stretch marks. For some families it’s about trying to navigate your way through every changing plan and worry. It’s about unspeakable heartbreak and loss. About beating the odds and pure joy.

Bupa are sharing a story of one of their member’s Perlita, whose little boy Theo was born at just 25 weeks.

Sob. Isn’t it an amazing story? Aren’t babies truly MIRACLES?

I love hearing stories like Perlita’s, hearing about the stories of how babies come into family’s lives. Whether it’s relatively easily and quickly (like our Maggie), or the ones that have been longed for and fought for over a long period of time. They are all so special, the lost ones that are never forgotten, the ones that arrive quickly and safely, the ones, like our Harper that were a little more complicated at delivery.

Babies, and Mothers and what we do to get them here really are miracles on Earth.

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And when Daisy was eventually pushed into this world on Valentine’s Day 2007, after almost 3 hours(?!) of pushing, the first thing I screamed out was “HOW MANY FINGERS DOES IT HAVE?!” And there just five: five a side on our sweet baby girl.

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I felt EXACTLY the same Daise.

Who knows what happened to them? They WERE there, we all saw them, perhaps she over achieved and then went WOAH NELLY I’ve gone a little too far there? In any case, those plans that we all had, well they went out the window. It was the perfect first lesson in being a parent: make no plans, adjust as you go, and buckle in, because it’s bound to be a bumpy ride.

You can read more about Bupa and their Family cover here.

I’d love for you guys to share YOUR stories of plans gone awry.

Did you have a pregnancy or birth that was the complete opposite of what you planned?
Had a premature delivery like Perlita?

Thank you for sharing, I know for some that they are heartbreaking, for others joyous and for ALL of us, involving tears, so thank you x

Comments

  1. I had my third baby when I was 35. Dream pregnancy apart for being the size of a house. I remember I was 32 weeks and had the worst headache ever. It was terrible. I couldn’t sleep I felt so sick. I stood at the end of our bed and screamed out to my husband and then apparently I had a seizure. Just about bit my tongue in half. I don’t remember a thing. The ambulance was called and I had a further 2 seizures on the way to hospital and I actually died, but obviously was bought back. I had a further 2 fits in emergency and they decided to do an emergency c section. Our son Alexander was born just over 2 pounds and was a fighter. I was on life support for the next 3 days. And of course eventually recovered. A terrifying situation for my husband and other 2 kids. I don’t remember any of it. I remember they took me to the special care nursery in a wheel chair to meet my son an I was so drugged up I thought yep, cute baby, why are you showing me this baby. A very rare case with me. The ambulance officers even came to visit me as I was known as the miracle mum, lol. I should not have survived or so the doctors told me. A strong will I would say. Mine was a happy ending, some aren’t and I feel for those parents. My little 2 pound baby turns 21, on 14 th Feb, Valentine’s Day, best valentines gift ever. He towers over me. Life is good

    • Oh WOW! Donna! Amazing story. 2 pounds! What a start to parenthood that was for you AND him. And a valentine baby too – I have one of those! Thank you so much for sharing xxx

  2. I too went into my first pregnancy presuming it would end in a beautiful pink baby at the end of it. By the time I was pregnant with Harriet, a friend had lost her baby at full term and it was a very different feeling, knowing that things don’t always go to plan and the endings aren’t always happy ones.

    I’m so happy Daisy’s story ends like it did. What happened to that finger? I reckon that’s a miracle. xx

  3. Oh where do I start… short n sweet I was in my 6th ivf cycle over stimulated ovaries produced 36 eggs this is not what they want to see less is best. But they found one good egg (& that she is)fertilised it got pregnant then more fun began.. sick sick sick I wasn’t well anyway from hyperstimulation of the ovaries… I lived on morphine for 1st 6 months of pregnancy @ 16 weeks my left ovary was the size of a football they tried to drain in with a bloody big needle!!! This caused my ovary to twist 3 times (excruciating pain) I had to be operated on (c sec cut) so they could untwist it.. then from that day on I was bed ridden well actually couch ridden sitting up more comfortable … I had my baby girl at 39 weeks by c section. Ovary was checked still large but now like a grapefruit… plans oh I had soooo many . I wanted many many babies. I stopped at one & she is quite simply divine.

  4. Yep, I’ll put my hand up as being one of those “my child will NOT watch TV until they are a toddler” people.

    Cut to me frantically shoving a 3 week old in front of newborn animation vids on Youtube which was the only thing that would settle her. Now at 8 months she loves watching Lachy and nursery rhymes. And watching her dad play computer games…

    We go outside too. 😉

    But how does anyone get ANYTHING done without the TV as the babysitter?

  5. Out of all 7 of my pregnancies & 4 births, maybe 1 went to plan but that was my 1st baby & I was 20 & had no freaking plan!
    3 miscarriages that completely floored me, a vacuum birth that ended with me having a massive bleed, a 12 week scan with very bad results that led to amnio that was fine that then led to gestational diabetes that led to a super easy birth but a baby born with breathing problems who was hooked up to machines for 3 days & then the final baby who arrived 18 days early while her dad was working in the pilbara & she arrived in an hour meaning her dad missed everything & listened to her being bought into this world over the phone!
    So yeah, after my first miscarriage at 22 I learnt to not make plans, to realise I actually had no control over what my body was doing through pregnancy & that even when that healthy baby is placed on your chest things can still go a little AWOL. BUT! I’ve got 4 kids, how goddamn lucky am I????

  6. One good pregnancy but terrible birth and next a terrible pregnancy & and good birth. First birth was a prolapsed cord I had no idea this could even happen…I was put under being rushed I to theatre for an emergency c section…both lucky to survive. Yep I went back for another one…during pregnancy I had a terrible itch on my feet & palms…my liver was failing!!! I had to eat lots of meat & supplements. I was tired all the time but had an early c section. I had always been a healthy person with no health issues so thought having babies would be easy. I was 36 and 38 having these babies…maybe that was a factor but that was not a choice…I married at 30 but 2 years later my then husband decided he didnt want kids! (Thanks mate)… so I meet my 2nd husband at 34…tick tock!!! Ah that was a good vent…sorry if I scared anyway…but I have 2 great kids now (boy & girl) and thank god for our anazing doctors & nurses ??

    • You got there in the end Elle! Congrats on your beautiful two and well done on all the effort to get them here! Amazing! Thanks so much for sharing x

  7. My first baby was a series of mishaps and fear. On my first scan they couldn’t find a heartbeat and said that they thought the pregnancy was not viable. False alarm. She was fine. Then at the 12 week scan they said she had a thick neck near the spine or whatever that took the chances of her having Downs Syndrome from something like 3,000:1 to then 150:1 which of course I took to mean that she definitely had it. Worried the whole pregnancy but decided not to have the amnio and find out for sure. Whatever would be would be. Turns out she didn’t. Went into labour 6 weeks early while my husband was flying back from Europe and I couldn’t contact him. No family close by. Drove myself to hospital in labour. Parked the car blocks away to save on paying money on hospital parking (idiot!!!). Popped the baby out in a couple of hours all by my lonesome. She went to intensive care for breathing difficulties. Husband arrived a few hours later straight from the airport, a little bit worse for wear after several bottles of red wine on the plane. Although she has ended up being perfect, nothing went to plan and it took me a long time to get over that.

  8. After wanting another baby for many years and wanting to wait for the right time to have another we finally fell pregnant with our third baby this time last year. My first 2 pregnancies were very easy as I had no sickness at all and I now have 2 beautiful healthy boys. This pregnancy was much the same until I had a scan at 32 weeks and a heart problem was picked up. I was monitored closely by the paediatric cardiologist and obstetrician and they were quite confident that our baby would be OK. I delivered our beautiful little boy Lewis just over 3 months ago now. He was perfect a little on the small side but I have small bubs so nothing unusual. He stopped breathing after being born and his problems seemed to escalate from there. He was transferred to another hospital and spent 8 days in nicu. He was a mystery baby, no one could work out why he was having problems and why he was so sick. In the end he had a lot of problems that we didn’t know about and were not able to be picked up in scans. Our little Lewis lost his very brave fight at 8 days old. We are all totally devastated, and seeing our boys go through this is heartbreaking. We never in a million years would think we would be in this position. We are waiting on lots of testing and hopefully one day we find out what happened to our perfect little Lewie? Life has been pretty hard for our little family in the last few months but we are trying to make plans for the future to get us through ?
    Liz

  9. 1st baby was in a bit of rush and arrived 9 weeks early after literally stamping her way out – the doctor was like ‘we’ve got a foot’. Within an hour we had a baby after emergency c section.
    2nd was 5 weeks early but a whopper at 3.5kg. But because my kids just have to throw us a curve ball he had very bad dislocated hips and was in a harness for 5 months.
    My plan was to follow the plan of the baby and Doctor. And as my very smart mother said – looking at me over her glasses- ‘Has the baby read the book darling? ‘

  10. I am blessed to have three beautiful boys 13, 10 and 7. We fought to have them in so many ways, I have poly-cystic ovary syndrome and had IVF after trying to have a baby for five years – we finally had our first son 13 years ago and all was well, we then thought we would try for another baby, it all happened naturally this time and we thought, wow! That was easy, a dream pregnancy and birth followed….our second son arrived, he was perfect, a complete dream….then when he was five weeks old he started to have seizures…and so they have relentlessly continued for the last almost 11 years. Seizures have robbed our little man of so many things, walking, talking, sitting, eating, but not love, never love…and then our youngest son arrived….he came out screaming and hasn’t stopped since he was born, but gosh he healed some big gaping holes for us….kids, they have the worst warranty around and they don’t come with an instruction manual! None the less, we are grateful for every, single day we have together, love ….my three boys, oh and the big one to, couldn’t do it without him!

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