And so my due date came and went.
My husband Adam chose to find out the sex of our baby, I however, did not.
I had everyone giving me their opinions as to what it was, 'it’s a boy because it’s late,' 'it’s a girl because when you're pregnant with a girl you hold it in your butt!'
Whatever it was though, I just wanted it out!
By this time I had put on 44lbs and carrying this around was starting to get very, very annoying. I was exercising daily, but by this stage...it was more in the hope of making baby hurry up rather than for my physical or mental well-being! From step-ups, to squatting to skipping...yes you read right - skipping! But NONE of it worked!
Three days went by...nothing...four days...nothing. Five, six, seven days and still...NOTHING!
Finally day 10 came around and our little one decided to make its way into the world! In one heck of a rush too, well not really...just a short 14 hours!
At 1:47am on Sunday 27 October 2014, our awesome baby girl Caden Shae Clarke was born.
Adam, Mom, my Mother-in-Law and my best friend were present. It was an amazing (although at times, scary) experience. Here she was! A perfect little baby girl, all 8lb 7oz of her. I held her as soon as she was born and after around 20 minutes of skin-on-skin time, she was wrapped up and passed around the crowd for personal introductions.
First was her Dad of course, then the rest followed. It was now the early hours of the morning, about 3am. The nursing staff politely asked everyone to leave so I could ‘get some rest.'
I remember everyone leaving, they all said goodbye to me and went to walk out. I pulled Adam over and said, 'what do I do now?' He replied, 'just try get some sleep baby and I'll come back as soon as I wake up.'
Now, as comforting as those words may seem, nothing would comfort me at that moment. There I was, left alone in a hospital room with my baby sleeping next to me in a small bassinet. It was so lonely. If my baby had been born at 12 o’clock in the afternoon I wouldn’t have been left alone until later that night, but being left alone so soon was quite honestly a very daunting experience. I tried to get a few hours sleep, but my daughter started crying so I fed her. Luckily, it came relatively easily to us. After that, the nurse came in and took her away for an hour so I could get some much needed sleep.
I sat and watched the sunrise with my baby girl in my arms. That however was after I rang Adam at the crack of dawn to come back and see us! Poor guy had only two hours sleep but he was there in 20 mins...his eyes falling out of his head...with the biggest smile and his face soaked with expression of love and adoration. We sat and talked and kissed and admired our baby. She was ours...WOW!
A more acceptable time of morning came around and nurses filled the room with documentation and a sense of urgency to move me to the maternity ward...so off we went. Luckily, we were put in an empty room with four beds.
First nappy change was Adam's department. I basically just sat there and watched everyone else deal with her, my job was to feed her! She pretty much slept the whole day. By 3pm we were eager to get home, so we packed everything up and begged the nurse to let us go.
Adam raced off to get the car and I met him downstairs with our new addition. We strapped her into the car seat, with everyone watching (I wish I had practiced it to avoid the embarrassment). We then stopped at Mom and Dad's place first so we could skype Adam's dad. On the way home we stopped at the supermarket to get some dinner, I stayed in the car patiently. I just wanted to be home. By 5pm we were home in our little nest. Thank goodness Adam's mom was staying with us. She helped out and did almost everything.
The first few days were with out a doubt the hardest. Very little sleep. We took turns looking after her. Adam's mom spent the whole night up with her and just bought her in for feeds, which was great. On the Monday we went grocery shopping. We walked around the supermarket at a very leisurely pace, when I suddenly needed to pee. Like right NOW! I remember asking the checkout lady if they had a toilet I could use and her casual, delayed answer had me explaining to her that I had a one-day-old baby and that I needed a toilet now, any toilet, whether it was for staff use only or not!
After that I felt like a new woman.
It took rather a long time to get through the shopping, every second person wanted to see the one-day-old baby and ask one million questions. Meanwhile, Caden was blissfully unaware of the plethora of strangers peering in at her. That night, Adam's mom looked after her for a short time while I wandered over to the gym to watch Adam train some clients. Once again, a million questions. I was only gone for 20 minutes as I was worried Caden would be hungry, and sure enough she was waiting for the milk machine as soon as it walked in the door!
The next day came and that third night was the worst night of all. Adam and I remember looking at each other and thinking, 'what have we got ourselves into?' Adam's mom slept most of the night as she had been up the previous nights, so it was just us. She cried and cried and cried and we didn’t know how to console her. My milk hadn’t come in so she was a hungry little girl and all we could do was wait.
Morning came and so did my milk...all was finally well! We had boxing and circuit classes on that week, so we took Caden along to meet the members at the gym. Fair to say not much working out got done, as a high percentage of the clients were females! The next few days flew by and before we knew it, she was one week old.
Our lives had changed for the better and our journey as a family had just begun...
Written by Nikki Clarke.