2019: what a special year. Not without incident, mind you, but still special.

I started out the year heavily pregnant. In January I was in my 8th month and I looked like a planet. One morning, I had a nasty headache. I tried to keep hydrated in the hope that it would go away.

It didn’t. It turned into a full blown migraine, one of the worst in my life. I started to convulse and even became incontinent. I had to go to hospital and since I was pregnant, there wasn’t much that could be done and the pain was unbearable. Then I was given codein. I wasn’t right as rain, but better enough to go home.

A few short weeks later, I went into labour. On the 20th of February I visited my gynecologist and he did what is called a sweep, which is basically a deep internal exam and I actually had a contraction at that moment on his examination table. When I got home, I went for a long and brisk walk. At 4am on the 21st, I got a strong contraction and 20 minutes later, another one. At 6 am they became about 7 minutes apart and stayed that way, so we went to the hospital. Unfortunately, I was only 4cm dilated and the contractions remained 7 minutes apart until 10pm. But after 10pm: oh Lord. Those contractions came faster and faster and stronger and stronger. Thank goodness for the epidural. I was kind of terrified of having a massive needle stuck into my spine, but it honestly wasn’t so bad. Definitely not as bad as the contractions. At 3am they turned it off, I was fully dilated and the baby was practically crowning. I pushed for an hour and at 4.05am on the 22nd of February we welcomed our little daughter into the world.

And nothing was ever the same again.

The month that followed was all about getting used to life with a kid, visits from the midwife and mastering breastfeeding. One evening, I sneezed really violently and managed to blow one of my stitches off. It was really horrible and it happened on my 35th birthday. Thank goodness I didn’t need to be restitched and it healed on its own.

A week later I had this weird ache in my torso and shoulders and I simply blamed it on constantly carrying my child. Later on in the evening, I started vomitting and I had to go to hospital, leaving my husband all alone with our 5 week old daughter. It turned out I have massive gall stones and as soon as my daughter grows up a little, my gall bladder will have to go. In the meantime, to prevent another attack, I need to stay as fat free as possible. I haven’t yet had another attack and I pray it stays that way for as long as possible.

One evening in early June, the hubby and I sat down to watch some television when all of a sudden the baby started making these loud wheezing sounds. They sounded horrible and scary and we ran to the health Centre to get her seen by a doctor. She was her usual jolly self, smiling at everyone and giggling. It was clearly evident that absolutely nothing was wrong. But there ain’t no worry like mama worry, so you get it checked out. Apparently it was just a guttural sound she makes when excited.

This summer was such a different experience in comparison to other summers: lazy days spent at the beach, evenings out after work…yeah, none of that. I can only take the baby to the beach after 5pm because I’m afraid she’ll get burnt and can’t really stay more than an hour, 90 minutes tops. Also, going alone is not an option.

However, what I can really take away from 2019 is how much I have learnt about transformation and how one adapts and coins a new way of life when the necessity arises.

I hate this new year, new me concept. Everyone assumes that a new me means a marked improvement from the former model. The funny thing is, 2019 actually turned me into someone new: a mum. Is it an improvement? I’m not exactly sure.

But it’s definitely different. And full of love.

Happy 2020 everyone.