From newborn to toddler – A year of parenthood… {Personal}

My contractions started at 2am.
They had actually started on Monday morning and I was convinced that my baby girl would be in my arms by the end of that day, but then by 9pm they suddenly stopped.
But on Wednesday I was certain – my contractions were more intense and closer together. I reached for my phone, opened my app, and started timing. When Wihan woke up and I told him about the contractions, he wasn’t sure if he should go to work, but I said it might just be another false alarm and I’d let him know if I thought it was time to go to hospital. My parents were headed to the hospital to visit my sister who was in high care after an operation, and so I told them that there was a chance I might go with them. About 5min after Wihan told me that he was safe at work, I got this notification…

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So I put my bag in my mom’s car and Wihan met me at the hospital. It was just after 11am.
You know those scenes in the movies where the women get carted into the maternity ward in a wheelchair, huffing and puffing and screaming..? Yeah that wasn’t me 😀 I calmly walked to the maternity ward where it felt like I wouldn’t be taken seriously if I told them I was in labour, so I opted for “Hi, I’m having really strong contractions…” The nurse led me to a room and I was asked to lie down on the bed where they hooked me up to a contraction sensor. I was asked how far along my pregnancy was and how far apart my contractions were. “Less than 5 minutes”, I said. And then of course, as Murphy would have it, nothing happened for 10min! “This bed seems to have that effect on women” the nurse said rather sarcastically. I could sense that they see this alot – pregnant women coming in, reeling from the pain and thinking they’re in labour, when really it’s just Braxton Hicks. (Now I’m not saying Braxton Hicks aren’t painful – I just happen to have a very high pain tolerance – and if you’re one of those women, I don’t think less of you!)
Finally after 10min I had 2 big contractions very close together. The nurse said they would monitor me for a few more minutes, but I could see that the pace at which she was doing things changed. After a while she came in and said they had some forms for me to fill in and were going to check how far I was dilated: 5cm. A few minutes later they checked again: 7cm. Suddenly everything started happening very quickly – forms were filled in and signed, the anesthesiologist was contacted, I was getting my epidural, and I was told that I would be a mommy by lunch!

Just to go back a bit… I knew from the start that if it was at all possible, I wanted a natural birth with epidural. Even though I have a high pain tolerance, I decided that if I didn’t have to experience the pain, why would I want to..? I’m not the kind of girl that wants to put that on her “been there, done that” checklist. So…
My epidural was done and the nurse said that my baby was coming so quickly that she wasn’t going to activate the drip so that I could gain some partial feeling in my legs. I agreed that this was a great idea. By 1:30pm I was 9cm dilated and the nurses kept telling me that my baby would be here any minute… And then an hour passed… And another hour passed… My epidural started wearing off but our little girl had decided that she wasn’t quite ready for this world. I was tired and hungry (so hungry), but at the same time I was incredibly thankful!…
All my life I had known that if there was one thing I wanted to be, it was a Mommy! I remember my excitement when my sister was born when I was 2 and later when my brother was born when I was 7 – I LOVED playing Mommy! I would change my brothers nappies, watch him when my parents were out, and gladly babysat my cousins by myself by the time I was 12. I’ve always known that this is one of my greatest callings. So naturally I was thrilled when we found out we were pregnant, and you think that 9 months preparing for motherhood would be enough, but this moment right here… It was too big. I wasn’t ready. And then our little girl waited… And it almost felt like she was giving me time to let it all sink in – to catch up. And then, after more than 2 hours, I was ready… My epidural was almost completely worn off and I was hungry, but I was ready…

Tiara Fourie was born at 4:31pm on the 23rd of July 2014. She weighed 2,9kgs and measured 49,5cm.
As soon as she was born, Wihan left my side and the nurse whispered “I think he’s forgotten about you…” and I didn’t mind. My husband was captivated by our baby girl and it was beautiful to see.

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Today, one year later, it’s our baby girl’s 1st birthday!
How has a whole year passed? Some days I struggle to believe that I’m a mom, and now I’m the mom of a toddler??
It has been the best 365 days of my life! It has been such an adventure getting to know this incredible little human! She makes my heart full and has brought so much joy into the lives of so many people that adore her!
She is stubborn, persistent, determined, loving, funny, super smart, creative and is so deep in my heart that I’ll surely die without her. She’s daring and adventurous and definitely not a girly-girl. She loves dogs and the outdoors and motorcycles!

Today is her 1st birthday so I thought, what better time to share her newborn photos than today 😛
Happy birthday our gorgeous girl – may all your wishes come true!

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P.S. This was my first attempt at newborn photography and man is it hard! Not that I ever thought it was easy, but sooo much harder than I expected. Also, Tiara was seriously upset that I was messing with her beauty sleep, which is why there are so many photos of her with her dummy 😀 Still… The end result was definitely worth it?

3 Comments

  1. Janine Swart
    July 24, 2015
    Reply

    Chani, ek het sommer ‘n knop in my keel gekry terwyl ek jou post lees. Dit is so beautiful om te sien hoe jy Tiara geniet, hoe geduldig jy met haar is en om die bond tussen julle te beleef. Die foto’s is absolutely beautiful. Lief jou baie xx

  2. July 23, 2015
    Reply

    This is so fantastic. Your posts are so much fun to read, and your photos are absolutely incredible.
    Congratulations on your daughter’s 1st birthday 🙂

    • July 23, 2015
      Reply

      Thank you Teresa! I’m always worried that I’m babbling and no one cares to read what I write – such a relief to know that there are people actually reading it 😉
      Thanks! She’s such an incredible little human!

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