It started with a late period, then two lines on the stick… and the rest was history.
The first three months was hellish, a whirlwind of morning sickness, fatigue, broken sleep, endless blood tests and late nights at work for a signature event. An hour before the event I had the worst cramps in both my legs, but I pushed through nevertheless. I woke up at the crack of dawn, alone in the hotel room feeling like someone was stabbing the bottom of my feet repeatedly. A hot shower barely helped and the masseuse at the on-site spa was reluctant to treat a woman in her first trimester. So I limped on for the weekend. Thank god for a trusted colleague who offered up the miraculous epsom salt remedy.
Then I saw your heartbeat on the screen.
Your pad-like hand and feet were clinging on to my uterus for dear life. Don’t let go, baby.
The next three months was a walk in the park. I felt just the tiniest kick from you in a loud restaurant. The food was mediocre but I will forever remember the fluttering sensation in my tummy. You were growing stronger day by day, but also leaving me with many sleepless nights. I outgrew my pretty frocks and got myself acquainted with anything that was stretchy with elastic band.
Then we saw you writhing and moving around on the screen.
Look, mummy, I am a boy!
My heart burst with joy. I couldn’t help but coo over all the cute baby clothes, and handed over my credit card. Will you be sporty or a bit of a nerd? Will you like cars or trains?
I had been fasting overnight and jabbed on my forearms three times in two hours.
The dreaded gestational diabetes test. I prayed and hoped the test result came back alright…
… it didn’t.
I was ushered from room-to-room, from a diabetic educator to the endocrinologist to the dietitian to learn all about gestational diabetes and my treatment plan: Insulin injections four times a day, glucose monitoring four times a day. Eight times a day inflicting pain to myself, voluntarily.
Maybe someone your grandma will tell you about the time I was twelve and bawled my eyes out at the doctor’s office during my vaccination appointment. Let alone stabbing myself with a syringe and lancet.
Yet all that was going through my mind as I was sitting in my weekly endocrinologist appointment was how I have disappointed you already, even before you were born. Diabetes is hereditary and my condition means you are at a higher risk for diabetes too.
I have set you up for failure.
I am sorry that you will never know the euphoric rush, the indulgence of donuts and pancakes drown in maple syrup.
Bliss has slowly been replaced by frustrations as I grew heavier and bigger by the day. I huffed and puffed my way around everywhere, feeling clumsier and slower day by day. Aches and pains were normal by then, but those few days when you decided my bladder would make a nice pillow was a deal-breaker for me. I was admitted at the hospital for a kidney infection. The whole ordeal drained all my energy and positivity.
Why are you doing this to me? For the first time, I felt resentment towards you.
I was scared to love you. I had a loss before you even existed and it broke my heart into a million pieces. At every scan and appointment, I was nervous and anxious, just waiting for the penny to drop.
Then I saw your face for the first time.
The wall that I built up to protect myself from being heartbroken again crumbled. My right wrist may be in pain from pregnancy-induced tendonitis and my legs are sore from fluid retention, but my heart is bursting with love.
I finally understood what this is all about. I will do anything for you, to keep you safe, healthy and happy. You have been loved from the very beginning but you, my baby, have changed my world at 34 weeks’ old.
Baby, I love you.