having babies is not for the feint of heart When I turned 31 I had my first baby (a girl). I was dating daddy at the time and was suffering from PCOS (Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and hardly ever had periods. I was on the pill from time to time but only because my gynaecologist worried about me getting ovarian cancer. I was feeling the symptoms of the PCOS again, and was quite miserable. I decided to go to the doc and get this PCOS problem sorted out once and for all. I demanded he do all the tests checks smears and scans so we can identify and overcome this problem. Expecting a regular check-up and some meds he did his normal sonar check and told me I had a little jellybean growing…. SHOCK AND AWE I never thought I would ever be able to have babies (I mean, they have been telling me this since I was diagnosed when I turned 18). I had no idea how I was supposed to act, I just cried I was happy, shocked…. shocked. How to inform the future dad, when I was having trouble believing it myself! He was playing golf that day, and for some reason when I called he picked up the phone. I just blurted it out. I would say he was more or less as astonished as me. He sounded like he tried to sound exited, but all I heard were disbelief and shock. Next I called my mother. When she picked up the phone she immediately launched into a tirade accusing me of causing my younger half-sister to get fired from her job. HUH? Apparently my sister was interviewed, lied on her resume about previous employers and started her first day on the job. For some reason, during the first day she was called in to the office and fired. She did work for me for a couple of months prior to this new job, and now I was accused of admitting I was her family when they called me for a reference (a call I never received). What was I expecting, Joy, Elation, Congratulations? The poor soul already had a first grandchild by her 17 year old daughter that she was practically raising. Since the rubbish boyfriend left when he heard the news and she was still living at home. Anyway, the pregnancy went well, daddy and I went to the anti natal classes and I read every single book I could find, determined to be the best mommy ever, since I was going to be one after all! We had a pregnancy plan, but then all that went haywire after I went for my weekly check-ups and the doc felt my baby’s heartbeat was too slow. An emergency C-section was to be performed that afternoon. We notified everyone and dear mother wanted to be in the delivery room. I was shocked, scared and about to be part of my own new family, so I told her no, but they were all very welcome to visit after the birth. This was to be a private affair between my newly wedded husband and our first child. After the delivery I saw a glimpse of my new baby, we cried for joy but then she was rushed off to ICU. The family and friends showed up but I was pretty drugged up and full of tubes – I hardly noticed. The next morning, I woke up and realised I had a new baby daughter but I have not seen her since I gave birth to her, and when daddy arrived for his early morning visit he was shocked to see the tantrum I was having, confined to my bed by drips and a catheter. I let them have it. The nursing staff took her from the incubator and brought her to me, I was going to breast feed my baby and how dare they feed her anything else? She was a strong little girl and we fell in love at first sight. Even at being born 3 weeks early she still weighed in at a health 3.2 kilos. For the next 2 days I had to take the trip to the neonatal ward every 3 hours to go and feed her at the incubator. But she was doing well, and by the time I was discharged, she was sent home with me. It was only after the first day home we noticed she looked quite yellow. We had to go to have blood works done for jaundice and had to go back every day until the count went down. I could not handle it – the nurses could almost never find a proper vein my baby was crying hysterically in the clinic, and I was crying hysterically outside in the passageway. It was only after 3 days that we found a hospital that could do a blood count with a little machine pressed to her forehead. I was ready to go back and cause bodily harm to the other nurses that had been hurting my child for the past 2 days. True to her nature, by then my dear mother decided she felt offended by the treatment I gave her of shunning her from the delivery room and proceeded to ignore me and my new family for the next 3 months. Thank the Lord for giving me girlfriends. Some of them had been pregnant with me, and we could count on calling each other at night breastfeeding while the rest of the world was in dreamland. We tried teats on the bottles when the babies would not drink from them; we exchanged ointments, advice and recipes.