38 weeks pregnant and I made the trek upto my parents place, 2 hours from the farm where I would stay until Macie was born. I spent the next two weeks enjoying my days as me....and enjoying my days being pregnant. Every single person whether a stranger or not was telling me to soak it up...so I did - enjoying time with my mama, my sister and with me. I shopped, celebrated my baby shower, went to the movies, shopped some more and slept.
I loved being pregnant. I would sing to her, read to her and make Heath tell her funny stories through my belly. Pregnancy is purely magical and a true testament to what our bodies can do. Although I did have some rough times throughout my pregnancy with morning sickness and Bells Palsy, I would have it back in an instant.
On my due-date, 20th October 2009, it was declared by my obsetrician that it was time to get this baby movin'. She had stopped kicking me senseless and that was concerning to my doctor....and perhaps a little bit to me aswell. He gave me the cut-off date...I had four days to go into labour or I had to have the dreaded 'induction'. I hated the thought of induction - the invasive procedures, the drugs....and the loss of control to have an active labour.
Four days came and went.....and I tried every single trick in the book. Reflexology, Accupressure, Herbal teas, pineapple, hot curries, hot baths, Evening Primose Oil....you name it, I tried it. I dragged my Dad around town to find special potions at Nature Stores and we would laugh about the amount of shop assistants giving us the second glance...like my dad was my Sugar Daddy and I was carrying his Million-Dollar-Baby. Needless to say, I went shopping on my own after one too many stares with my hormones going into overdrive!!
The ball was out of my court and in my doctors. Heath was called and we were ordered to be at the hospital by 8pm on the 22nd October. It was by far the most scared we have ever been as a couple - and Heath's shaking hands showed just how close those nerves were bubbling to the surface. We would walk in those hospital doors as a couple - just Heath and Han....and would walk out of those doors as a family. It was pretty big stuff.
Next thing we know, we are told to relax, try to sleep and we would be awoken when it was time to be induced....easy peasy.
10pm....came and went.....midnight.....came and went.....and then 2am was the magical time. Let's go!
6am....waters broken with a side of contractions that were serious enough to stop me from cracking a joke with Heath. After 8 hours of walking the Labour Ward, I decided to jump in the bath......and declared it was heaven.
I.was.never.getting.out....end of discussion....
But my doc decided to pull rank....and dragged me out of the bath to check how progressed I was. It was there in that very moment that my love/hate relationship with my doc blossomed.....but I admired his guts to fight with a pregnant woman in labour. He was brave....or stupid.
Only 5cm dilated after nearly 8 hours of labour.....it was time to start with the drip....and after many tears of being so disappointed of not having the active birth I wanted - I had the drip, epidural, and every other monitor on or in me. I wasn't going anywhere.
2 hours passed where Heath breathed with me and watched me in pain (even with the epidural) and the midwives told me it was all normal. It sure as hell didn't feel normal but hey - they are the professionals....we will trust them, right? Then after one too many calls out to the midwives they decided to check me......and the room went silent with the realisation that Macie was coming....and she was coming NOW!
10 pushes later with Heath and the midwives (the doc missed the birth) and I was holding the most beautiful, perfect and pink little baby girl on my chest. She had her Daddy's dark hair and her Mummy's blue eyes. I cried....and cried and cried. She was simply the most perfect thing I had seen. It was there I fell in love....she stole my heart when she locked her eyes on mine and just lay in my arms - happy and content. She was scoping me out....checking that I was infact her Mum that had sung, read and talked to for the past 9 months.
We named her Macie Grace McNulty....she was ours.
Heath was totally amazed by the whole experience. His protectiveness for his girls became fierce and I could see him change the instant he held her....I could see him transform into a father....and I watched as Macie magically wrapped herself around her Daddy's little finger. He fell in love, there and then in that labour ward....and became the best Daddy ever. I always knew he would love his children unconditionally....but it made me cry to see him standing there with his little girl in his arms.....proud as punch. I fell more in love with him on this day....I didn't think it was possible....but I did. He has seriously stolen my heart.
It was during the next 5 days during our stay at hospital where we had the neonatal hearing test - mandatory in Queensland for all infants to determine their level of hearing and whether they require a referral for further testing. As I am hearing impaired myself and wear hearing aids in both ears, I knew that the chances of Macie having the same loss were quite high. I suppose that little bit of me was hanging on that little bit of hope that Heath's genes would dominate like his black hair and she would pass with flying colours. Instead, we were given a referral and I just sat there and cried while kissing Macie's perfect little face and telling her I was "Sorry". Seems so ridiculous now....hearing aids have never stood in my way - so why would they stand in hers......but I cried and cried. I shut the doors, I drew the curtains and I cried on Heath's shoulder. All while Heath held Macie and told her she was perfect - with the perfect Mum. Remember how I told you that I didn't think I could love him anymore.....well scrap that....this man is unbelievable. How are Macie and I so lucky to have him?
Six weeks later and we were having more neurological tests to determine the severity of Macie's hearing loss. We were diagnosed with a mild/moderate loss (like I was) and sent on the mad race of getting fitted with hearing aids. She took everything in her stride - the long trips to Brisbane to woo the audiologists and receive her first pair of little pink hearing aids. She wasn't letting anything, especially hearing aids, get in her way......like Mama like daughter.
Twenty months ago I held her for the first time - fell in love and memorised her little face. I never ever imagined that when I signed up to be a mother, that it would be the most exhilarating, exhausting and rewarding job I would ever experience. That I would laugh with her, cry with her and love her with all my hearts content. That this tiny little human being would introduce a new element in our marriage - something that has stuck us together like glue. That she would be the happiness in our lives that made everyone smile.
I am so proud to be her mum. I may not be doing the perfect job as per the parenting guides....but I am doing it and I am loving it.
And judging by these smiles.....so is she...