Friday, 20 April 2012

Finding Normality

At first I didn't really want to see anyone, I just wanted to be left alone. I needed to get my head around what we were facing. Friends and family prayed and some visited but for a while we just stayed away. It was easier this way for now, anyway. Minutes, turned into hours and hours into days and slowly my joy in my pregnancy started to return. The maternity clothes got pulled back out and so did the magazines and I started to plan the baby's bedroom. I guess the biggest aspect I tried not to think about was that four weeks before my due date I was going to have to relocate to Brisbane which meant staying at Ronald McDonald House. For now, I just pushed it to the back of mind, anyway it was still months away.

I returned to work and began to do most of the things I used to and in my mind it was going to be ok. My visits to the local hospital were not pleasant ones, I was consistently told that my baby had spina bifida and arnold chiari because I didn't do this and that and it hit me very hard, all these myths were told to me, doctors were the worst. I would concentrate on that each visit I would hear the baby's heart beat and that was always a comfort. It was hard to ignore the comments but I had to choose my fights for the baby's sake and my own piece of mind. I did cry and feel overwhelmed every time I went to the hospital, I generally went with a sense of dread. I had some nice midwives but I always had to go to the doctor's clinic unfortunately. 

Our trips to Brisbane included a routine scan and a meeting with the doctor. I always found each ultrasound scary as I didn't know what they might find. In the early days there was no sign of hydrocephalus so that was encouraging. I got bigger and bigger and I loved feeling the baby move and kick. It gave me such delight. A couple of my friends were pregnant so it was great sharing our pregnancy journey together even though mine was sightly different.

I didn't do much research into spina bifida and arnold chiari malformation as I knew what I needed to know for now. The way in which our family and friends dealt with the news was very different. Most of them just wanted to be there to support us in any way possible. Others wanted to know what the outlook for our soon to be little one was. But how are we to know, every situation is different and the body responds differently too. I think that is what I struggled with most was those sort of questions. To me why look to what may be but look at now and the positives for now and deal with the future when it comes. I never minded answering questions about spina bifida but asking specific questions relating to the unknown of precious baby, I didn't see any sense in it. I think my husband dealt really well with the hard questions, he shielded me from it and at that point it was what I needed.

Now to the fun part, my mum organised a baby shower. As we didn't want to know whether we were having a boy or girl (we couldn't find out anyway as when our scans were done the little one kept turning away) we went for all the pastel colours. We had it at our house and this certainly brought so much fun to the baby planning and future. So many people came we had a full house. It was so much fun, we had games, food and everyone was so generous. The little bub got so many practical, fun and beautiful presents. By the way, so did I. I was spoilt We celebrated and it was such a joy. My husband and I painted the nursery and got furniture, all the little clothes washed, pressed and folded awaiting the arrival of bubs.

The day that was to come that I dreaded was the day I would leave my family and friends behind including my husband to relocate to Brisbane to await the arrival of our baby. This was so hard, so many tears, I felt this isn't the way it's meant to be. I wanted to be nesting at home. It was four weeks before my due date and suddenly my new found normality was gone again, a long time to return.

And to Brisbane I went...


  1. Hello Joy, you are very brave telling your story. It is beautifully written.
    Love and blessings to you and your family.

    1. Hi Jan, thank you for your comment and encouragement. It is greatly appreciated. :)